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FEW, and only a few, words are needed to introduce 
the History of the Fylde to the public. In its 
preparation my aim has been to make the work 
as comprehensive in description and detail as the prescribed 
limits would allow, and I have endeavoured to write in a style free 
from any tendency to pedantry, and I hope, also, from dulness. 
How far these conditions have been fulfilled I must now leave 
to the judgment of the reader, doing so with some degree of 
confidence that at any rate the attempt will be generally 
appreciated, if the success be not universally acknowledged. 
In the course of my labours I have availed myself of the 


works of various authors, and desire to acknowledge my 
indebtedness, especially to Baines's Lancashire, Fishwick's 
Kirkham, Thornber's Blackpool, and many volumes of the 
Cheetham and other historical societies. My thanks for 
valuable aid are also due to the following gentlemen, amongst 
others, the Ven. Archdeacon Hornby, of St. MichaePs-on-Wyre ; 
the Rev. W. Richardson, of Poulton-le-Fylde ; Col. Bourne, M.P., 
of Hackensall and Heathfield ; John Furness, esq., of Fulwood ; 
W. H. Poole, esq., of Fleetwood ; and the Bailiffs of Kirkham. 


Fleetivood, August, 1876. 


Page 7, line 15, after the word crossing, insert the Main Dyke from. This Dyke 
is crossed after leaving, and not before reaching, Staining, as stated. 
Page 147, line 9 from the bottom, for Gulph, read Gulf. 
Page 183, line 2, for 1857, read 1657. 
Page 256, dele the heading Coasting. 

Page 286, line 2 from the bottom, lor fortified, read forfeited. 
Page 289, line 13 from the bottom, for the first funds, read expenses. 















BLACKPOOL 311-362 














" See ! in what crowds the uncouth forms advance : 
Each would outstrip the other, each prevent 
Our careful search, and offer to your gaze, 
Unask'd, his motley features. Wait awhile, 
My curious friends ! and let us first arrange 
In proper order your promiscuous throng." 

[HE large district of western Lancashire, denominated 
from time immemorial the Fylde, embraces one third 
at least of the Hundred of Amounderness, and a line 
drawn from Ashton, on the Ribble, to Churchtown, 
on the Wyre, forms the nearest approach to an eastern boundary 
attainable, for although the section cut off by its means includes 
more land and villages than properly appertain to the Fylde, a 
more westerly division would exclude others which form part of it. 
The whole of the parishes of Bispham, Lytham, Poulton, and 
St. Michael's ; and the parish of Kirkham, exclusive of Goosnargh- 
with-Newsham and Whittingham, are comprised in the Fylde 

The word Amounderness was formerly considered to signify 
the " Promontory of Agmund," or " Edmund," and this origin is 
alluded to in a treatise written some years since by Mr. Thomas 



Baines on the " Valley of the Mersey," -in which the following 
remarks occur : "In the year 911 the Northumbrians themselves 
began the war, for they despised the peace which King Edward 
and his 'Witan' offered them, and overran the land of Mercia. 
After collecting great booty they were overtaken on their march 
home by the forces of the West Saxons and the Mercians, who 
put them to flight and slew many thousands of them. Two 
Danish Kings and five Earls were slain in this battle. Amongst 
the Earls slain was Agmund, the governor, from whom the 
Hundred of Agmunderness (Amounderness) was probably named." 
In order that the reader may properly comprehend why Mr. 
Baines should surmise that Amounderness received its title from 
the Danish Earl, Agmund, it may be stated that the extensive 
province of Northumbria, then colonised by the Northmen or 
Danes, embraced, amongst other territory, the district afterwards 
called Lancashire, and, consequently, the Hundred of Amoun- 
derness would be in a great measure under Danish governance. 
When, however, we call to mind that the Danes did not invade 
England until A.D. 787, and learn that this Hundred was entered 
in the Ripon grant in A.D. 705, as Hacmunderness, it becomes 
obvious that the name cannot have been conferred upon it by that 
nation, and some other source must be looked to for its origin. 
In Gibsons' Etymological Geography there is "Anderness" (for 
Ackmunderness) described as a " promontory sheltered by oaks, 
(ac, oak ; and mund, protection)." As many large trunks of 
trees have been discovered beneath the layers of peat in the 
extensive local mosses, whilst others have been laid bare along 
the shore by the action of the tides, it can be readily believed 
that at one time the greater share of the district was clothed 
with forests. Leyland, who was antiquary to Henry VIII., and 
surveyed the Hundred during the reign of that monarch, 1509-47, 
says : " Al Aundernesse for the most parte in time paste hathe 
been full of woods, and many of the moores replenished with hy 
fyrre trees ; but now such part of Aundernesse as is towarde the 
se is sore destitute of woodde." With such irrefutable evidences 
of the early woodland condition of Amounderness, there need be 
no hesitation in accepting the signification which Messrs. Gibson 
have given to the name the Ness or Promontory protected by 
oaks. The word Fylde is regarded simply as a corruption of 


" Field." Camden in his "Britannia" of 1590, writes : 
" Tota est campestris, unde Fild pro Field appellatur." I 
(The whole is champaign, whence it is called Fild for Field.) 

Iii a subsequent edition of the same work Fild is spelt File, and 
the latter orthography was used inFileplumpton, in the Duchy 
records, afterwards called Fylde Plumpton, and now Wood 
Plumpton. The Fylde section of this Hundred is a level 
well-watered country, highly cultivated and richly productive, 
especially of grain, from which circumstance it was formerly 
designated the corn-field of Amounderness. 

Anterior to the third invasion of the Romans in A.D. 43, the 
inhabitants of the Fylde and other portions of Lancashire lying 
between the range of mountains which separates this county 
from Yorkshire, and the coast about the Bay of Morecambe, 
were called the Setantii or Segantii, " the dwellers in the country 
of water," but at that date the whole tract populated by these 
people was included in the more extensive province of the 
Brigantes, comprehending what are now known as the six 
counties of York, Durham, Northumberland, Westmoreland, 
Cumberland, and Lancaster. The Fylde at that epoch would be 
composed chiefly of morasses and forests, interspersed with limited 
areas and narrow paths of more stable land, and there can be 
little doubt that the dwellers on such an uninviting spot must 
have been very few, but that it was traversed and, as far as 
practicable, inhabited by the ancient Setantii is evident from 
the several relics of them which have been discovered amongst 
the peat in modern days. Two or three canoes, consisting of 
light wooden frameworks, covered with hides, were found by a 
man named Jolly, about half a century ago, when cutting the 
"Main Dyke" of Marton Mere; 2 Celtic hammers, axes, and spears 
have also been taken out of the mosses in the district, all of 
which were doubtless originally the property of the aboriginal 
Britons. The bay of Morecambe and the river Wyre acquired 
their distinctive appellations from the Setantii, the one being 

1. William Camden was born in London in 1551. His most celebrated 
publication is entitled " Britannia," and consists of a survey of the British isles, 
written in elegant Latin. He died in 1623, at Chiselhurst, in Kent. 

2. The reader must not confound these canoes with some others found in 
Martin Meer, North Meols. 


derived from the Celtic gwyr } pure or fresh, and the other from 
tnawr, great, and cam, winding or bent. 

The hardihood of the native Britons of these parts is attested by 
Dion Cassius, who informs us that they lived on prey, hunting, 
and the fruits of trees, and were accustomed to brave hunger, 
cold, and all kinds of toil, for they would " continue several days 
up to their chins in water, and bear hunger many days." In the 
woods their habitations were wicker shelters, formed of the 
branches of trees interwoven together, and, in the open grounds, 
clay or mud huts. They were indebted to the skins of 
animals slain in the chase for such scanty covering as they 
cared to wear, and according to Caesar and other writers, dyed 
their bodies with woad, which produced a blue colour, and had 
long flowing hair, being cleanly shaved except the head and 
upper lip. That the power of endurance possessed by the 
Setantii, and the neighbouring Brigantes is not to be understood 
literally as expressed by Cassius may, we venture to think, be 
taken for granted. It can scarcely be credited that the human 
frame could ever be reduced or exalted to such an amphibious 
condition as to be indifferent whether it passed a number of days 
on dry land or under water ; it seems more probable that in his 
description Cassius referred to the hunting and other expeditions 
of the fhhabitants into the forests and morasses of the Fylde and 
similarly wooded and marshy tracts, where there is no question 
the followers of the chase would be more or less in a state of 
immersion during the whole time they were so engaged. 

The religion of the Setantii was Druidical, and their deities 
resembled those of other heathen nations, such as the Romans 
and Greeks of that era, but differed in their names. Caesar tells 
us that this order of priesthood was presided over by a superior, 
who was known as the chief Druid, and had almost unlimited 
authority over all the rest. The Druids were settled at various 
points of the island, where they erected their temples, but in 
addition to these principle stations, many of their order were 
scattered amongst the native tribes of Britain, over which they 
appear to have exercised the functions and power of judges, 
arranging both public and private disputes, and deciding all 
criminal cases. It was part of the creed professed by the Setantii, 
to vow, when they were engaged in warfare, that they would, 


through the agency of the Druids, immolate human victims as 
an atonement for slaughtered enemies, believing that unless 
man's life were given for man's life, the divine anger of the 
immortal Gods could not be appeased. There were other 
sacrifices of the same kind instituted at regularly appointed 
seasons and on special occasions. The Setantii also believed in 
an immortal soul, but seem to have had no idea of a higher 
state, as their priests inculcated the doctrine that after death the 
soul was transported to another body, " imagining that by this 
the men were more effectually roused to valour, the fear of death 
being taken away." 1 Ornaments called "Druids' eggs," and 
worn only by these priests, have been found in the Fylde. 

How Caesar, in B.C. 54 and 55, invaded Britain a first and a 
second time, achieving at best an empty conquest, and how, 
after his death, the emperor Claudius sent over an army with a 
determination to exterminate the Druids, and after thirty pitched 
battles, subdued province after province, is beyond the limits of 
this work to state, but as a connecting link of the history of the 
country with that of our own county, and that portion of it 
especially under examination, it may be stated that Britain was 
finally conquered by the Romans under Julius Agricola, and that 
the best investigation of the subject leads to the opinion that the 
district which we call Lancashire, was brought into subjection 
to the Roman conqueror in A.D. 79. A vigorous resistance was 
for long offered to the army of invaders in the territory of the 
Setantii by the natives under the Brigantine chief Venutius, but 
the well drilled legions of the Romans, when commanded by 
Agricola, proved too formidable to be checked or broken by the 
wild, undisciplined valour of the Setantii. Tacitus, the son-in-law 
of the general, informs us that early in the summer of A.D. 79, 
Agricola personally inspected his soldiers, and marked out many 
of the stations, one of which, either made at that time or later 
by the same people, was situated at Kirkham, on the line of the 
Roman road running from the mouth of Wyre, which will be 
described hereafter. He explored the estuaries and woods 
along the western coast of Lancashire, and harassed the enemy 
by sudden and frequent incursions. When the Brigantes and 

I. Caecar's Bell. Gall., v. 14. 


Setantii had been thoroughly overawed and disheartened by the 
invincible Romans, Agricola stayed his operations in order to 
shew them the blessings of peace, and in that way many towns 
which had bravely held out were induced to surrender and give 
hostages. These places he surrounded with guards and 
fortifications. The following winter was passed in endeavouring, 
by various incentives to pleasure, to subdue the warlike nature of 
the Britons, thereby diminishing the danger of an outbreak, 
especially amongst such tribes as the Setantii, whose intrepid 
spirits had been so difficult to quell, and who were not likely to 
submit quietly to the yoke of the conqueror, unless some means 
were adopted to allure them by the charms of civilised luxury 
from their free field and forest mode of existence. Temples, 
courts of justice, and comfortable habitations were first erected ; 
the sons of the petty chiefs were next instructed in the liberal 
arts, and Agricola professed to prefer the genius of the Britons 
to the attainments of the Gauls. The Roman dress became the 
fashion, and the toga was frequently worn. The " porch, 
luxurious baths, and elegant banquets" were regularly instituted, 
and by degrees the crafty design of the Roman general was 
accomplished, and the vanquished Britons had ceased to be the 
hardy warriors of old. 

About one century after the subjugation of Britain by Agricola 
no less than seven important Roman stations, or garrisoned 
places, had risen up in the county of Lancaster, and were situated 
at Manchester, Colne, Warrington, Lancaster, Walton-le-dale, 
Ribchester, and Overborough. The minor ones, such as Kirkham, 
supposing their sites to have been first built upon in a season of 
warfare, subsequently became small settlements only, and were, 
in all probability, unused as military depots. The rivers which 
flowed in the neighbourhood of the several encampments, 
terminated in three estuaries, denominated by Ptolemy, 1 the 
ancient geographer, in his book, completed in A.D. 130, the 
Seteia ./Estuarium, the Moricambe ^Estuarium, and the Belisama 

I. Ptolemy was a native of Egypt, and lived at Alexandria during the first 
half of the second century. He was an astronomer, chronologer, and geographer. 
His geographical work was in use in all schools until the 1 5th century, when it 
was supplanted by another treatise containing the more recent discoveries of 
Venetian and other navigators. 


^Sstuarium. The first of these estuaries is generally regarded as 
the mouth of the Dee, the second is identified with Morecambe 
Bay, and the third with the Ribble by some historians and the 
Mersey by others. The same authority mentions also a Portus 
Setantiorum, which has been located on the banks of the Ribble, 
Lune, and Mersey, by different antiquarians, but in the opinion 
of the most recent writers the ancient harbour of the Setantii was 
situated at the mouth of the river Wyre. Further reference to the 
Setantian port will be made in a later page of the present chapter. 
At the shore margin of the warren at Fleetwood there was 
visible, about forty years ago, the abrupt and broken termination 
of a Roman road, which could be traced across the sward, along 
the Naze below Burn Hall, and onward in the direction of Poulton. 
From that town it ran in a southerly line towards Staining, 
crossing Marton Mere, on its way, in the cutting of which its 
materials were very apparent, and lying on the low mossy lands 
to the depth of two yards in gravel. From Staining it proceeded 
to Weeton, and in a hollow near to the moss of that township, 
consisted of an immense stony embankment several yards in 
height ; in the moss itself the deep beds of gravel were distinctly 
observable, and from there the road continued its course up the 
rising ground to Plumpton, the traces as usual being less obvious 
on the higher land. From Plumpton it travelled towards the 
elevated site of a windmill between Weeton moss and Kirkham, 
at which point it turned suddenly, and joined the public road, 
running in a continuous straight line towards the latter town. 
The greater part of the long street of Kirkham is either upon 
or in the immediate vicinity of the old Roman road. From 
Kirkham the road directed its course towards Lund church, 
somewhere in the neighbourhood of which it was joined by 
another path formed by the same people and commencing at the 
Neb of the Naze near Freckleton. 1 Leaving Lund it ran through 
Lea on to Fulwood moor, where it took the name of Watling 
street, and proceeded on to Ribchester. This road has always been 
known in the Flyde as the Danes' Pad, from a tradition that 
those pirates made use of it at a later period in their incursions 
into our district, visiting and ransacking Kirkham, Poulton, and 

I. Mr. Thornber mentions this path in his History of Blackpool. 


other towns or hamlets of the unfortunate Saxons. Numerous 
relics, chiefly of the Roman soldiery, have been dug or ploughed 
up at different times out of the soil, bordering on the road, or 
found amongst the pebbles of which it was composed, and 
amongst them may be mentioned spears, both British and Roman, 
horse shoes in abundance, several stone hammers, a battle axe, 
a broken sword, and ancient Roman coins, all of which were 
picked up along its line between Wyre mouth and Weeton. 
Several half-baked urns marked with dots, and pieces of rudely 
fashioned pottery were discovered in an extensive barrow or cairn 
near Weeton-lane Heads, which was accidentally opened, and is 
now pointed out as the abode of the local hairy ghost or boggart. 
In the neighbourhood of Kirkham there have been found many 
broken specimens of Roman pottery, stones prepared for building 
purposes, eight or ten urns, some containing ashes and beads, 
stone handmills for corn grinding, ancient coins, " Druids' eggs," 
axes, and horse shoes ; in the fields near Dowbridge, where several 
of the above urns were discovered, there was found a flattened 
ivory needle, about five or six inches long with a large eyelet. 
A cuirass was also picked up on the banks of the Wyre ; but the 
most interesting relic of antiquity is the boss or umbo of a shield, 
taken out of a ditch near Kirkham, which will be fully described 
in the chapter devoted to that township. The Romans were 
accustomed to make three kinds of roads, the first of which, 
called the Viae Militares, were constructed during active warfare, 
when they were engaged in pushing their way into the territory 
of the enemy, and easy unobstructed communication between 
their various encampments became a matter of the utmost 
importance. The second, or public roads, were formed to facilitate 
commerce in time of peace ; and the third were narrower paths, 
called private roads. The county of Lancaster was intersected by 
no less than four important Roman routes, two of which ran from 
north to south, and two traversed the land from west to east. 
The course of one road, and perhaps the best constructed of the 
whole four, we have just followed out ; of the remainder, the first, 
commencing at Carlisle, passed near Garstang and Preston, crossed 
the Irwell at Old Trafford, and maintaining its southerly direction, 
ultimately arrived at Kinderton, in Cheshire. The second 
extended from Ovcrborough to Slack, in Yorkshire, passing on its 


way through Ribchester, the Ribble, Radcliffe, Prestwich, and 
Newton Heath ; whilst the third had its origin at a ford on the 
Mersey, in close proximity to Warrington, and from that spot 
could be traced through Barton, Eccles, Manchester, Moston, 
Chadderton, Royton, and Littleborough, thence over Rumbles 
Moor to Ilkley, where was located the temple of the goddes 
Verbeia. It is conjectured that these roads, which consisted for 
the most part of pavement and deep beds of gravel, were begun, 
or at least marked out, by Agricola during the time he was 
occupied in the subjugation of Lancashire, and if this very 
probable hypothesis be correct the course taken by that general 
in his exploration of the woods of the Fylde, and the estuaries 
of Morecambe and the Ribble is clearly indicated by the direction 
of the ancient path communicating with the mouth of Wyre and 
the Naze. 

At the opening of the third century the Roman governor of 
Britain found it necessary to obtain the personal co-operation 
of Severus, in order to put an effectual check to the repeated 
outbreaks of the natives ; in A.D. 207, that emperor having landed 
and established his head-quarters at York, a considerable force 
marched northwards under his leadership to punish the revolting 
tribes, and it is surmised that the curious road, running across 
the mosses of Rawcliffe, Stalmine, and Pilling, was constructed 
by the legionaries whilst on this tour. The pathway alluded to, 
and commonly known as Kate's Pad, was deeply situated in the 
mosses, and had apparently been formed by fastening riven oak 
planks on to sleepers of the same material, secured and held 
stationary by means of pins or rivets driven into the marl a little 
above which they rested. Its width was about twenty inches, but 
in some places rather more. 1 Herodian, in describing the 
expedition of Severus to quell the insurrection of the Briton, 
says : " He more especially endeavoured to render the marshy 
places stable by means of causeways, that his soldiers, treading 
with safety, might pass them, and having firm footing fight to 
advantage. In these the natives are accustomed to swim and 
traverse about, being immersed as high as their waists : for going 

I. "In the memory of man large portions of Kate's Pad existed with various, 
but irregular interruptions : these, however, the moss cutter yearly removes, and 
shortly no remains of it will be found." Rev. W. Thornber, Blackpool, 1837. 


naked as to the greater part of their bodies they contemn the 
mud. His army having passed beyond the rivers and fortresses 
which defended the Roman territory, there were frequent attacks 
and skirmishes, and retreats on the side of the barbarians. To 
these indeed flight was an easy matter, and they lay hidden in the 
thickets and marshes through their local knowledge ; all which 
things being adverse to the Romans served to protract the war." 
There can be no doubt that, when the path, which consisted in 
some parts of one huge tree and in others of two or more, was 
formed, timber must have been very plentiful in the vicinity, and 
at the present day numbers of tree trunks of large size are to be 
found in the mosses, further corroborating the conclusions arrived 
at by Leyland, whose words have already been quoted, and 
Holinshed, who wrote : " The whole countrie of Lancaster has 
beene forests heretofore." An iron fibula, a pewter wine-strainer, 
a wooden drinking bowl, hooped with two brass bands and having 
two handles, a brass stirrup, and other relics have been taken out 
of the moss fields ; and in the same neighbourhood an anvil, 
several pieces of thin sheet-brass, and a pair of shears were 
discovered in a ditch. 

About the year 416 the Romans finally removed themselves 
from our island, taking with them many of the brave youths of 
Britain, and leaving the country in the hands of a people whose 
inactive habits, acquired under their dominion, had rendered 
them ignorant of the art and unfit for the hardships of warfare. 
According to Ethelwerd's Chronicle, in the year 418 those few of 
the Roman race who were left in Britain, not being able to put 
up with the manifold insults of the natives, buried their treasure 
in pits, hoping that at some future day, when all animosity had 
subsided, they would be able to recover it and live peaceably, but 
such a fortunate consummation never arrived, and weary at 
length of waiting, they assembled on the coasts and " spreading 
their canvass to the wind, sought an exile on the shores of Gaul." 
The Saxon Chronicle says : "This year, A.D. 418, the Romans 
collected all the treasures that were in Britain, and some they hid 
in the earth so that no one since has been able to find them ; and 
some they carried with them into Gaul." It is far from unlikely 
that the silver denarii, discovered in 1840 by some brickmakers 
near Rossall, and amounting to four hundred coins of Trajan, 


Hadrian, Titus, Vespasian, Domitian, Antonius, Severus, Sabina, 
etc., were deposited in that spot for security by one of those 
much harassed Romans, previous to his departure from our coast. 
A prize so easily to be obtained as Britain in its practically 
unprotected state appeared, was not long in attracting the 
covetousness of the neighbouring Picts and Scots, who came 
down in thousands from the north, forced their way beyond the 
Roman Wall erected by Hadrian, occupied the fortresses and 
towns, and spread ruin and devastation in their track. The 
northern counties were the chief sufferers from these ruthless 
marauders. Cumberland, Yorkshire, and Lancashire, were ravaged 
and plundered to such an extent that had it not been for the 
seasonable assistance of the Saxons, the whole country they 
embrace would have been utterly devastated and almost 
depopulated. Gildas, the earliest British historian 1 , born about 
500, described our land before the incursions of the Picts and 
Scots as abounding in pleasant hills, spreading pastures, cultivated 
fields, silvery streams, and snow-white sands, and spoke of the 
roofs of the buildings in the twenty-eight cities of the kingdom 
as " raised aloft with threatening hugeness." We may readily 
conceive how this picture of peace and prosperity was marred and 
ruined, as far as the three counties above-named were concerned, 
by the destroying hand of the northern nation. The British 
towns were still surrounded by the fortified walls and embattled 
towers, built by the Romans, but the unfortunate inhabitants, so 
long unaccustomed to 

" The close-wedged battle and the din of war," 

and deprived of their armed soldiers and valiant youth, were 
panic stricken by the fierce onslaughts of the Scottish tribes, and 
fled before their advancing arms. Some idea of the critical and 
truly pitiable condition to which they were reduced may be gleaned 
from the tenor of an appeal for help sent by them to their old 
rulers, which the author last quoted has preserved as follows : 
The Lamentation of the Britons unto Agitius, 

thrice Consul. 

" The barbarians drive us to the sea, the sea drives us back to the barbarians. 
Thus of two kinds of death, one or other must be our choice, either to be 
swallowed up by the waves or butchered by the sword." 

I. Gildas, the wise, as he was styled, was the son of Caw, Prince of Strathclyde, 
and was born at Dumbarton. 


The Romans were full)' occupied with enemies of their own, the 
Goths, and consequently were unprepared to offer any assistance 
to the Britons, whose position was shortly afterwards rendered 
additionally wretched by famine and its attendant evils. At that 
period both the state of Lancashire itself and of its inhabitants 
must have been exceedingly deplorable the country ravaged and 
still exposed to the depredations and barbarities of the enemy, 
had now become a prey to a fearful dearth. Many of the 
descendants of the old Setantii, unable any further to support 
the double contest, yielded themselves up to the Picts and Scots 
in the hope of obtaining food to appease the fierce cravings of 
hunger, whilst others, more hardy, but outnumbered and weakened 
by long fasts, sought refuge in the woods and such other shelters as 
the neighbourhood afforded. Disappointed in the Romans, the 
Britons applied for aid to the Saxons, or Anglo-Saxons, a mixed 
and piratical tribe, dwelling on the banks of the German Ocean, 
and composed of Jutes, Angles, and pure Saxons. The men of 
this race are described as determined, fearless, and of great size, 
with blue eyes, ruddy complexions, and yellow streaming hair. 
They were well practised in warfare, and armed with battle-axes, 
swords, spears, and maces. Their chief god was Odin, or Woden, 
and their heaven Valhalla. About one thousand of these warriors, 
under the command of Hengist and Horsa, embarked in three 
vessels, built of hides, and called Cyulce or Ceols. They landed on 
the coast of Kent, about the year 449, and by the direction of 
Vortigern, king of the Island, marched northwards until they 
arrived near York, where an encounter of great moment took 
place, terminating in the utter defeat of the Picts and Scots. 
Inspirited by so early and signal a success the Saxons followed up 
their advantage with alacrity, drove the baleful marauders out of 
the counties of Lancaster and York, and finally compelled them 
to retreat across the frontier into their own territory. After 
having rescued the kingdom from these invaders the Saxons 
settled at York and Manchester, and not only evinced no sign of 
returning to their own country, but even despatched messengers 
for fresh troops. This strange and suspicious conduct on the part 
of their allies excited considerable alarm and anxiety amongst 
the Britons, who practically expressed their disapproval by 
refusing to make any provision for the reinforcements. After a 


short interval a mandate was issued to the Saxon leader ordering 
him to withdraw his army from the soil of Britain. Incensed and 
stimulated by such decisive action Hengist determined at once 
to carry out the object he had cherished from the first the 
subjugation of the people and the seizure of the island. Having 
procured a further supply of men under his son Octa, he 
established them in the country of the Brigantes, and almost 
immediately invited the native nobles to a friendly conference 
with his chiefs on Salisbury plain. The Britons, who were far 
from suspecting his treacherous design, attended the assembly 
unarmed, and in that defenceless state fell an easy prey to their 
Saxon hosts, who in the midst of feasting and revelry, brutally 
massacred the whole of their guests. Successful in his cowardly 
and murderous stratagem, Hengist took possession of the southern 
counties, whilst his son Octa maintained his sway over the 
Brigantine province of Northumbria, in which the Fylde was 
included, as intimated at the beginning of the chapter. 

The ancient warlike spirit of the Setantii, which had lain 
almost dormant for centuries, was once more thoroughly aroused 
in the natives of Lancashire, and a determined and valiant 
opposition offered by them to Octa and his army. Overborough 
capitulated only when its inhabitants were worn out by fatigue 
and famine, whilst Warrington and Manchester sustained severe 
and protracted sieges before they fell into the hands of the enemy. 
Nennius, another early historian, who was born towards the end 
of the sixth century, informs us that the famous King Arthur and 
his sixty Knights of the Round Table worsted the Saxons in 
twelve successive battles, four of which were fought on the banks 
of the Douglas, near Wigan. In those conflicts our county was 
well and effectively represented in the person of Paulinus, the 
commander of the right wing of the army, who after many brave 
and sanguinary struggles overthrew the hitherto unconquered 
Octa, and for a time, at least, delivered the Fylde and other parts 
of Northumbria from the rule of the Saxons. This gallant soldier 
was the offspring of a union between a Roman warrior and a 
British maiden, who had established themselves in Manchester. 
The chieftain Ella, however, compelled the Britons to submission, 
and assumed the government over part of Northumbria. Clusters 
of Saxon huts, soon growing into villages, now sprang up on the 


soil of the Fylde, which under the wood-levelling and marsh- 
draining Romans had lost much of its swampy and forest 
characters and been transformed into a more habitable locality. 
We need have little hesitation in conjecturing that the valour 
displayed by the inhabitants of our county was greatly increased, 
and often rendered almost desperate, by the knowledge that if 
their land were subdued and occupied by the Saxons the key, if 
it may so be called, to their mountainous strongholds would be 
lost, and the line of communication between them impassably 
and irretrievably obstructed ; for the venerable Bede 1 tells us that 
a portion of the Britons fled to the hills and fells of Furness, and 
we are aware that a much larger share sought refuge amongst the 
mountains of Wales, lying to the south-west, and visible from the 
shores of the Fylde. Others escaped over to Armorica in France, 
and from them it acquired the name of Brittany. Additional 
evidence that Furness was peopled by the Britons, even for more 
than two centuries after the arrival of the Saxons, is to be found 
in the writings of Camden, who says : " The Britons in Furness 
lived securely for a long time, relying upon those fortifications, 
wherewith nature had guarded them ; for that the Britons lived 
here in the 228th year after the coming of the Saxons, is plain 
from hence ; that at that time Egfrid, the king of the 
Northumbrians, gave to St. Cuthbert the land called Cartmell, 
and all the Britons in it ; for so it is related in his life." 

The Saxons were great idolaters, and soon crowded the country 
with their temples and images. The deities they worshipped 
have furnished us with names for the different days of the week, 
thus Sunday is derived from Sunan the sun, Monday from Monan 
the moon, Tuesday from Tuisco a German god, Wednesday from 
Woden, Thursday from Thor or Thur, Friday from Friga, and 
Saturday from Seater. 

When the nation was once more at peace, all the towns and 
castles which had been damaged during the wars were repaired, 
and others, which had been destroyed, rebuilt. The Britons were 
brought by degrees to look with less disfavour on their conquerors, 
and as time progressed adopted their heathenish faith and offered 
up prayer at the shrines of the same idols, drifting back into 

I. Bede died in A.D. 734. His chief work was an Ecclesiastical History. 


darkness and forgetting or ignoring those true doctrines which, 
it is said, had been declared and expounded to them at the very 
commencement of the Christian era. According to Clemens 
Romanus and Theodoret, the Apostle Paul was one of the earliest 
preachers of the Gospel in Britain, but whatever amount of truth 
there may be in this statement, it is certain that at the Council 
of Aries in A.D. 314, and ten years later at that of Nicene, three 
British bishops were present. All traces of their former religion 
quickly vanished from amongst the native population of 
Lancashire under the pagan influence of their rulers ; and it was 
during that unhallowed age that Gregory, surnamed the Great, 
and afterwards pontiff, being attracted by the handsome appearance 
of some youths exposed for sale in the market-place at Rome, and 
finding, on inquiry, that they came from the kingdom of Deira, 
in Britain, determined to send over Augustine and Paulinus to 
Christianise the inhabitants. In 596 Augustine landed with forty 
missionaries on the coast of Kent, the king became a convert, and 
the new faith spread rapidly throughout the island. Thousands 
were baptised by Paulinus in the river Swale, then called the 
Northumbrian Jordan, and the waters of Ribble were also resorted 
to for the performance of similar ceremonies. 

The advent of the Roman mission initiated a fresh epoch in the 
ecclesiastical history of the county, monasteries and religious 
houses sprang up in different parts, and at the consecration of the 
church and monastery of Ripon, lands bordering on the Ribble, 
in Hacmundernesse (Amounderness), in Gedene, and in Duninge 
were presented amongst other gifts to that foundation. Paulinus 
was created bishop of Northumbria in 627, and it is to his 
ministrations and pious example that the conversion of the 
inhabitants of the Fylde and vicinal territory is generally 
attributed. The Saxon Chronicle records, however, that in 565 
Columba " came from Scotia (Ireland) to preach to the Picts." 
Columba was born at Garten, a village in county Donegal, and 
according to Selden and other learned writers, the religion 
professed by him and the Culdees, as the priests of his order were 
called, was strictly Presbyterian. Bede writes : " They preached 
only such works of charity and piety as they could learn from 
prophetical, evangelical, and apostolic writings." Columba 
established a monastery at lona. Dr. Giles states that " the 


ancient name of lona was I or Hi, or Aoi, which was Latinised 
into Hyona, or lona ; the common name of it now is I-colum-kill, 
the Island of Colum of the Cells." Bishop Turner affirms that 
" the lands in Amounderness, on the Kibble," were first presented 
to a Culdee abbot, named Eata, on the erection of a monastery at 
Ripon, but that before the building was finished he was dismissed 
and St. Wilfred made abbot of Ripon, sometime before 66 1. If 
the foregoing assertion be correct there is certain evidence that 
the Culdee doctrines were also promulgated in Lancashire, and 
doubtless in our own district, at that early date. Bede seems to 
support such an assumption when he states that the Ripon lands 
were originally granted to those who professed the creed of the 
Picts to build a monastery upon, and did not pass to St. Wilfred, 
bishop of Northumbria, until afterwards, in 705, when he re-edified 
the monastery. Whatever discrepancies may exist as to the exact 
period and manner in which Christianity was introduced or 
revived in the bosoms of our forefathers, there is ample and 
reliable proof that the majority of them had embraced the true 
faith about the middle of the seventh century, when churches 
were probably erected in the hamlets of Kirkham and St. Michael's- 

About the year 936 the Hundred of Amounderness was granted 
by Athelstan to the See of York : " I, Athelstan, king of the 
Angles, etc., freely give to the Omnipotent God, and to the 
blessed Apostle Peter, at his church in the diocese of York, a 
certain section of land, not small in extent, in the place which 
the inhabitants call Amounderness," etc. The Hundred of 
Amounderness when this grant was made must have been pretty 
thickly peopled, for Athlestan states that he " purchased it at no 
small price," and land at that date was valued chiefly by the 
number of its residents. Here it will be convenient to observe 
that in some instances, as in that of Amounderness, the Hundreds 
acquired the additional titles of Wapentakes, and, in explanation of 
the origin of the term, we learn from "Thoresby Ducat Leodiens," 
that when a person received the government of a Wapentake, he 
was met, at the appointed time and usual place, by the elder 
portion of the inhabitants, and, after dismounting from his horse, 
he held up his spear and took a pledge of fealty from all according 
to the usual custom. Whoever came touched his spear with 


theirs, and by such contact of arms they were confirmed in one 
common interest. So from wcepnu, a weapon, and tac, a touch, or 
taccare, to confirm, the Hundreds were called Wapentakes. 
Traces of the above antique ceremony are still to be met with in 
the peculiar form of expression used when the tenantry and others 
are summoned by the manorial lords of Amounderness to attend 
their court-barons and court-leets. 

The Heptarchy, established about 550, and consisting of seven 
sovereign states, was finally abolished in 830, and Egbert became 
king over the whole island. The province of Northumbria, more 
especially the Fylde and tracts of adjoining territory, had at 
that date been the scene of irregular and intermittent warfare 
during the previous forty years. Lancashire had suffered cruelly 
from the visitations of the Northmen, or Danes, who spared 
neither age, sex, nor condition in their furious sallies. In the 
years 787, 794, and 800, these pirates invaded the soil, ravaged 
the country, butchered the inhabitants, and on the last occasion 
shot Edmund, the king of the West Saxons, to death with arrows, 
because he refused to renounce the Christian faith and embrace 
the errors of heathenism. Egbert was no sooner seated on the 
throne than the Danes re-appeared off the coasts, and there can 
be little doubt that some of their bands made their way down the 
western shore of the island, entered the Bay of Morecambe, and, 
guided by the old Roman road near the mouth of the Wyre, 
pushed onwards into and through the heart of the Fylde, 
plundering and laying waste villages, hamlets, and every trace of 
agriculture in their path. u The name of the Danes' Pad" says 
Mr. Thornber, " given to the Roman agger is and ever will be an 
everlasting memorial of their ravages and atrocities in this 
quarter." 1 In addition it may be stated that many warlike relics 
of the Danes have been found along the road here indicated, 
and that the names of the Great and Little Knots in the channel 
of Wyre, opposite Fleetwood, were of pure Scandinavian derivation, 
and signified " round heaps," probably, of stones. These mounds 
were, during the formation of the harbour entrance, either 
destroyed or disfigured beyond recognition. Several localities, 
also, along the sea. boundary of the Fylde bear Danish denomin- 

I. History of Blackpool and Neighbourhood. 


ations, which will be treated of hereafter. In 869 Lancashire was 
again visited by a dreadful famine, and many of the people in every 
part of the county fell victims either to the dearth itself or the fatal 
disorders following in its train. Those who were fortunate enough 
to escape the wholesale destruction of the scourge suffered so 
severely from the merciless massacres of the Danes that at the 
accession of Alfred the Great, in 871, our Hundred was but 
sparsely populated. During the reign of that illustrious monarch 
England was divided into counties, which again were subdivided 
into Hundreds. Each Hundred was composed of ten Tithings, 
and each Tithing of ten Freeholders and their families. When 
this division of the kingdom was effected the south-western 
portion of the old province of Northumbria was separated from 
the remainder, and received the name of Lonceshire, from the 
capital Lancaster, the castle on the Lone, or Lune. Alfred, as we 
are told by his biographer Asser, did much to improve the 
condition of his subjects both for peace and war ; referring to 
their illiterate state, on his accession the king himself says : 
" When I took the kingdom there were very few on the south 
side of the river Humber, the most improved portion of England, 
who could understand their daily prayers in English, or translate 
a letter from the Latin. I think they were not many beyond the 
Humber. There were so few that I cannot, indeed, recollect one 
single instance on the south of the Thames." 1 After suffering a 
defeat at Wilton almost at the outset of his career, Alfred 
surprised and overthrew the Danish camp at Eddington ; 
Guthrum, their leader, and the whole of his followers were taken 
prisoners, but afterwards liberated and permitted to colonise East 
Anglia, and subsequently Northumbria, an act of clemency which 
entailed most disastrous consequences upon the different sections 
of the latter province. The Fylde now became the legalised 
abode of numbers of the northern race, between whom and the 
Saxon settlers perpetual strife was carried on ; in addition the 
restless and covetous spirit of the new colonists constantly 
prompted them to raids beyond the legitimate limits of their 
territory, rebellions amongst themselves, and conspiracies against 
the king ; insurrection followed insurrection, and it was not until 

I. Alfred's Preface, p. 33. 


Athelstan had inflicted a decisive blow upon the Danish forces, 
and brought the seditious province of Northumbria under his 
own more immediate dominion, that a short lull of peace was 
obtained. In the reign of his successor, however, they broke out 
again, and having been once more reduced to order, agreed to 
take the name of Christians, abjure their false gods, and live 
quietly henceforth. These promises, made to appease the anger 
of Edmund, were only temporarily observed, and their turbulent 
natures were never tranquilised until Canute, the first Danish 
king, ascended the throne of England in 1017. The Norse line 
of monarchs comprised only three, and terminated in 1041. 
Reverting to Athelstan and the Danes we find that about ten 
years after the subjugation of the latter in 926, as recorded in the 
Saxon Chronicle, Anlaf, a noted Danish chieftain, made a 
vigorous attempt to regain Northumbria. The site of the 
glorious battle where this ambitious project was overthrown and 
the army of Anlaf routed and driven to seek refuge in flight from 
the shore, on which they had but a short time previously 
landed exulting in a prospect of conquest and plunder, is a 
matter of dispute, and nothing authentic can be discovered 
concerning it beyond the fact that the name of the town or 
district where the forces met was Brunandune or Brunanburgh, 
and was situated in the province of Northumbria. The former 
orthography is used in Ethelwerd's Chronicle : " A fierce battle 
was fought against the barbarians at Brunandune, whereof that 
fight is called great even to the present day ; then the barbarian 
tribes were defeated and domineer no longer ; they are driven 
beyond the ocean." Burn, in Thornton township, is one of the 
several rival localities which claim to have witnessed the 
sanguinary conflict. In the Domesday Survey, Burn was written 
Brune, and it also comprises a rising ground or Dune, which 
seem to imply some connection with Brunandune. From an 
ancient song or poem, bearing the date 937, it is clear that 
the battle lasted from sunrise to sunset, and that at night-fall 
Anlaf and the remnant of his followers, being utterly discomfited, 
escaped from the coast in the manner before described. This 
circumstance also upholds the pretentions of Burn, as it is situated 
close to the banks of the Wyre, and at a very short distance both 
from the Irish Sea and Morecambe Bay, as well as being in the 



direct line of the road called Danes' Pad, the track usually taken 
by the Northmen in former incursions into the Fylde and county. 
In addition it may be mentioned that tradition affirms that a large 
quantity of human bones were ploughed up in a field between 
Burn and Poulton about a century ago. Sharon Turner says : 
" It is singular that the position of this famous battle is not yet 
ascertained. The Saxon song says it was at Brunanburgh ; 
Ethelwerd, a contemporary, names the place Brunandune. These 
of course are the same place, but where is it ? m Having done our 
best to suggest or rather renew an answer presenting several 
points worthy of consideration to Mr. Turner's query, we will, 
before bidding farewell to the subject, give our readers a 
translated extract from the old song to which allusion has been 
made : 

Athelstan king, 

Of earls the Lord, 

Of Heroes the bracelet giver, 

And his brother eke, 

Edmund Atheling, 

Life-long glory, 

In battle won, 

With edges of swords, 

Near Brunanburgh. 

The field was dyed 

With warriors blood, 

Since the sun, up 

At morning tide, 

Mighty planet, 

Gilded o'er grounds, 

God's candle bright, 

The eternal Lord's, 

Till the noble creature 

Sank to her rest. 

West Saxons onwards 
Throughout the day, 
In numerous bands 
Pursued the footsteps 

Athelstan, in order to encourage commerce and agriculture, 
enacted that any of the humbler classes, called Ceorls, who had 
crossed the sea thrice with their own merchandise, or who, 

Of the loathed nations. 
They hewed the fugitives, 
Behind, amain, 
With swords mill-sharp. 
Mercians refused not 
The hard-hand play 
To any heroes, 
Who with Anlaf, 
Over the ocean, 
In the ship's bosom, 
This land sought. 

There was made to flee 
The Northmens' chieftain, 
By need constrained, 
To the ships prow 
With a little band. 
The bark drove afloat. 
The king departed. 
On the fallow flood' 
His life he preserved. 
The Northmen departed 
In their nailed barks 
On roaring ocean. 

I. History of the Anglo-Saxons. 


individually, possessed five hides of land, a bell-house, a church, 
a kitchen, and a separate office in the king's hall, should be raised 
to the privileged rank of Thane. Sometime in the interval 
between the death of this monarch, in 941, and the arrival of 
William the Conqueror, the Hundred of Amounderness had been 
relinquished by the See of York, probably owing to frequent wars 
and disturbances having so ruined the country and thinned the 
inhabitants that the grant had ceased to be profitable. 

During the earlier part of the Saxon era the clergy claimed 
one tenth or tithe of the produce of the soil, and exemption for 
their monasteries and churches from all taxations. These 
demands were resisted for a considerable period, but at length 
were conceded by Ethelwulf " for the honour of God, and for his 
own everlasting salvation." l In 1002, it is recorded in the Saxon 
Chronicle, that " the king (Ethelred) ordered all the Danish men 
who were in England to be slain, because it was made known to 
him that they would treacherously bereave him of his life, and 
after that have his kingdom without any gainsaying." In 
accordance with the royal mandate, which was circulated in secret, 
the Anglo-Saxon populace of the villages and farms of the Fylde, 
as elsewhere, rose at the appointed day upon the unprepared and 
unsuspecting Northmen, barbarously massacring old and young, 
male and female alike. Great must have been the slaughter in 
districts like our own, where from the Danes having been 
established for so many generations and its proximity to the 
coast and the estuaries of Wyre and Kibble, a safe landing and a 
friendly soil would be insured, and attract numbers of their 
countrymen from Scandinavia. The vengeance of Sweyn, king 
of Denmark, was speedy and complete ; the country ol 
Northumbria was laid waste, towns and hamlets were pillaged 
and destroyed, and for four years all that fire and sword, spurred 
on by hatred and revenge, could effect in depopulating and 
devastating a land was accomplished in Lancashire, and the 
neighbouring counties, by the enraged Dane. Half a century 
later than the events just narrated, earl Tosti, the brother ol 
Harold, who forfeited his life and kingdom to the Norman 
invaders on the field of Hastings, was chosen duke of Northumbria. 

I. Saxon Chronicle. 


The seat of the new ruler has not been discovered, but as far as 
his personal association with the Fylde is concerned it will be 
sufficient to state that almost on its boundaries, in the township 
of Preston, he held six hundred acres of cultivated soil, to which 
all the lands and villages of Amounderness were tributary. As a 
governor Tosti proved himself both brutal and oppressive. In a 
very limited space of time his tyrannical and merciless conduct 
goaded his subjects to rebellion, and with one consent they ejected 
him from his dukedom and elected earl Morcar in his stead, a 
step commended and confirmed by Harold, when the unjust 
severity of his brother had been made known to him. Tosti 
embraced the Nprman cause, and fell at the head of a Norwegian 
force in an engagement which took place at Standford a few 
months before the famous and eventful battle of Hastings. 

We have now traced briefly the history of the Fylde through a 
period of eleven hundred years, and before entering on the era 
which dates from the accession of William the Conqueror, it will 
be well to review the traces and influences of the three dissimilar 
races, which have at different epochs usurped and settled on the 
territory of the old Setantii ; our reference is, of course, to the 
Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Danes. Under the first, great 
advances were made in civilisation ; clearings were effected in 
the woods, the marshes were trenched, and lasting lines of 
communication were established between the various stations 
and encampments. The peaceful arts were cultivated, and 
agriculture made considerable progress, corn even, from some 
parts of Britain, being exported to the continent. Remains of the 
Roman occupation are to be observed in the names of a few 
towns, as Colne and Lincoln, from Colonia, a Colony, also Chester 
and Lancaster, from Castra, a Camp, as well as in relics like those 
enumerated earlier. The word " street " is derived from Stratum, 
a layer, covering, or pavement. Their festival of Flora originated 
our May-day celebrations, and the paraphernalia of marriage, 
including the ring, veil, gifts, bride-cake, bridesmaids, and 
groomsmen, are Roman ; so also are the customs of strewing 
flowers upon graves, and wearing black in time of mourning. 
That the Romans had many stations in the Fylde is improbable, 
but that they certainly had one in the township of Kirkham is 
shown by the number and character of the relics found there. 


This settlement would seem to have been a fairly populous one, 
if an opinion may be formed from the quantity of cinereal urns 
discovered at various times, in which had been deposited the 
cremated remains of Romans, who had spent their days and done 
good service in levelling the forests and developing the resources 
of the Fylde. The traffic over the Roman road through the 
district must have been almost continuous, to judge from the 
abundance of horse-shoes and other matters picked up along its 
route, and whether the harbour of the Setantii was on Wyre, 
Ribble, or elsewhere, it is evident from the course taken by the 
well constructed path that something of importance, say a 
favourable spot for embarcation or debarcation, attracted the 
inhabitants across the soil of the Fylde towards its north-west 
boundary. Now arises the question what was the boundary here 
denoted, and in reply we venture to suggest that the extent of 
this district, in both a northerly and westerly direction, was much 
greater in ancient days than it is in our own, and that the Lune 
formed its highest boundary, whilst its seaward limits, opposite 
Rossall, were carried out to a distance of nearly eight miles beyond 
the existing coast, and comprised what is now denominated 
Shell Wharf, a bank so shallowly covered at low water spring 
tides that huge boulders become visible all over it. Novel as 
such a theory may at first sight appear, there is much that can be 
advanced in support of it. From about the point in Morecambe 
Bay, near the foot of Wyre Lighthouse, where the stream of 
Wyre meets that of Lune at right angles, there is the 
commencement of a long deep channel, apparently continuous 
with the bed of the latter river as defined by its sandbanks, which 
extends out into the Irish Sea for rather more than seven miles 
west of the mouth of Morecambe Bay, at Rossall Point. This 
channel, called " Lune Deep," is described on the authorised 
charts as being in several places twenty-seven fathoms deep, in 
others rather less, and at its somewhat abrupt termination twenty- 
three fathoms. Throughout the entire length its boundaries are 
well and clearly marked, and its sudden declivity is described by 
the local mariners as being " steep as a house side." Regarding 
this curious phenomenon from every available point of view, it 
seems more probable to us that so long and perfect a channel was 
formed at an early period, when the river Lune was, as we 


conjecture, continued from its present mouth, at Heysham Point, 
through green plains, now the Bay of Lancaster, in the direction 
and to the distance of " Lune Deep," than that it was excavated 
by the current of Lune, as it exists to-day, after mingling with 
the waters of Morecambe and Wyre. The course and completeness 
of Wyre channel from Fleetwood, between the sandbanks called 
Bernard's Wharf and North Wharf, to its point of junction with 
the stream from Lancaster, prove satisfactorily that at one time 
the former river was a tributary of the Lune. Other evidence can 
be brought forward of the theory we are wishful to establish 
that the southern portion of Morecambe Bay, from about 
Heysham Point, bearing the name of Lancaster Bay, as well as 
" Shell Wharf" was about the era of the Romans, dry or, at least, 
marshy land watered by the Wyre and Lune, the latter of which 
would open on the west coast immediately into the Irish Sea. If 
the reader refer to a map of Lancashire he will see at once that 
the smaller bay has many appearances of having been added to 
the larger one, and that its floor is formed by a continuous line of 
banks, uncovered each ebb tide and intersected only by the 
channels of Wyre and Lune. The Land Mark, at Rossall Point, has 
been removed several times owing to the incursions of the sea, and 
within the memory of the living generation wide tracts of soil, 
amounting to more than a quarter of a mile westward, have been 
swallowed up on that part of the coast, as the strong currents of 
the rising tides have swept into the bay ; and in such manner 
would the land about the estuary of " Lune Deep," that is the 
original river of Lune, be washed away. As the encroachments 
of the sea progressed, the channel of the river would be gradually 
widened and deepened to the present dimensions of the " Deep " ; 
the stream of Wyre would by degrees be brought more 
immediately under the tidal influence, and in proportion as the 
Lune was absorbed into the bay, so would its tributary lose its 
shallowness and insignificance, and become expanded to a more 
important and navigable size. About the time that "Lune Deep" 
had ceased to exist as a river, and become part of the bay, the 
overcharged banks of the Wyre would have yielded up their 
super-abundance of waters over the districts now marked by 
Bernard's Wharf and North Wharf, and subsequently, as the 
waves continued their incursions, inundations would increase, 


until finally the whole territory, forming the site of Lancaster 
Bay, would be submerged and appropriated by the rapacious hosts 
of Neptune. The "Shell Wharf" would be covered in a manner 
exactly similar to the more recently lost fields off Rossall ; and as 
illustrations of land carried away from the west coast in that 
neighbourhood, may be instanced a farm called Fenny, at Rossall, 
which was removed back from threatened destruction by the 
waves at least four times within the last fifty years, when its 
re-building was abandoned, and its site soon swept over by the 
billows ; also the village of Singleton Thorp, which occupied the 
locality marked by " Singleton Skeer" off Cleveleys until 1555, 
when it was destroyed by an irruption of the sea. Numerous 
other instances in which the coast line has been altered and driven 
eastward, between Rossall Point and the mouth of Ribble, during 
both actually and comparatively modern days might be cited, 
but the above are sufficient to support our view of the former 
connection of " Shell Wharf" with the main-land, and its gradual 
submersion. If on the map, the Bay of Lancaster be detached 
from that of Morecambe, the latter still retains a most imposing 
aspect, and its identity with the Moricambe ^stuarium of 
Ptolemy is in no way interfered with or rendered less evident. 
The foregoing, as our antiquarian readers will doubtless have 
surmised, is but a prelude to something more, for it is our purpose 
to endeavour to disturb the forty years of quiet repose enjoyed by 
the Portus Setantiorum on the banks of the Wyre and hurl it far 
into the Irish Sea, to the very limits of the " Lune Deep," where, 
on the original estuary of the river Lune, we believe to be its 
legitimate home. No locality, as yet claiming to be the site of 
the ancient harbour, accords so well with the distances given 
by Ptolemy. Assuming the Dee and the Ribble to represent 
respectively, as now generally admitted, the Seteia yEstuarium 
and the Belisama yEstuarium, the Portus Setantiorum should lie 
about seven miles 1 to the west and twenty-five to the north of the 
Belisama. The position of the " Lune Deep " termination is just 
about seven miles to the west of the estuary of the Ribble, but is, 
like most other places whose stations have been mentioned by 
Ptolemy, defective in its latitudinal measurement according to 

i. Ptolemy gives the longitude as ten minutes, but at such a height a minute 
would scarcely represent a mile. 


the record left by that geographer, being only fifteen instead of 
twenty-five miles north of the Belisama or Ribble estuary. 
Rigodunum, or Ribchester, is fully thirty miles to the east of the 
spot where it is wished to locate the Portus, and thus approaches 
very nearly to the forty-mile measurement of Ptolemy, whose 
distances, as just hinted, were universally excessive. As an 
instance of such error it may be stated that the longitude, east 
from Ferro, of Morecambe Bay or Estuary given by Ptolemy, is 
3 40' in excess of that marked on modern maps of ancient Britannia, 
and if the same over-plus be allowed in the longitude of the 
Portus Setantiorum a line drawn in accordance, from north to 
south, would pass across the west extremity of the " Lune Deep," 
showing that its distance from the Bay corresponds pretty 
accurately with that of the Portus from the Morecambe 
^Estuarium as geographically fixed by Ptolemy. In describing 
the extent and direction of the Roman road, or Danes' Pad, in his 
" History of Blackpool and Neighbourhood," Mr. Thornber writes: 
" Commencing at the terminus, we trace its course from the 
Warren, near the spot named the ' Abbot's walk ' ; " but that the 
place thus indicated was not the terminus, in the sense of end or 
origin, is proved by the fact that shortly after the publication of 
this statement, the workmen engaged in excavating for a sea-wall 
foundation in that vicinity came upon the road in the sand on 
the very margin of the Warren. Hence it would seem that the 
path was continued onwards over the site of the North Wharf 
sand bank, either towards the foot of Wyre where its channel 
joins that of Lune, and where would be the original mouth of the 
former river, or, as we think more probable, towards the Lune 
itself, and along its banks westward to the estuary of the stream, 
as now marked by the termination of " Lune Deep." The Wyre, 
during the period it existed simply as a tributary of the Lune, a 
name very possibly compounded from the Celtic al, chief, and 
aun, or tin, contractions of afon, a river, must have been a stream 
of comparatively slight utility in a navigable point of view, and 
even to this day its seaward channel from Fleetwood is obstructed 
by two shallows, denominated from time out of mind the Great 
and Little Fords. The Lune, or " Chief River," on the contrary, 
was evidently, from its very title, whether acquired from its 
relative position to its tributary, or from its favourable comparison 


with other rivers of the neighbourhood, which is less likely, 
regarded by the natives as a stream of no insignificant magnitude 
and importance. As far as its navigability was concerned the 
Portus may have been placed on its banks near to the junction of 
Wyre, but the distances of Ptolemy, which agree pretty fairly, 
as shown above, with the location of the Portus on the west 
extremity of the present u Lune Deep," are incompatible with 
such a station as this one for the same harbour. The collection 
of coins discovered near Rossall may imply the existence in early 
days of a settlement west of that shore, and many remains of the 
Romans may yet be mingled with the sand and shingle for 
centuries submerged by the water of the still encroaching Irish 
Sea. Leaving this long-argued question of the real site of the 
Portus Setantiorum, in which perhaps the patience of our readers 
has been rather unduly tried, and soliciting others to test more 
thoroughly the merits of the ideas here thrown out, we will 
hasten to examine the traces of the Anglo-Saxons and Danes. 

Many, in fact most, of the towns and villages of the Fylde were 
founded by the Anglo-Saxons, and have retained the names, 
generally in a modified form, bestowed upon them by that race, 
as instance Singleton, Lytham, Mythorp, all of which have Saxon 
terminals signifying a dwelling, village, or enclosure. The word 
hearb, genitive hearges, indicates in the vocabulary of the same 
people a heathen temple or place of sacrifice, and as it is to be 
traced in the endings of Goosnargh, and Kellamergh, there need 
be no hesitation in surmising that the barbarous and pagan rites 
of the Saxons were celebrated there, before their conversion to 
Christianity. Ley, or lay, whether at the beginning of a name, as 
in Layton, or at end, as in Boonley, signifies a field, and is from 
the Saxon hag ; whilst Hawes and Holme imply, respectively, a 
group of thorps or hamlets, and a river island. Breck, Warbreck, 
and Larbreck, derive their final syllables from the Norse brecka, a 
gentle rise ; and from that language comes also the terminal by, 
in Westby, Ribby, and other places, as well as the kirk in Kirkham, 
all of which point out the localities occupied by the Danes, or 
Norsemen. Lund was doubtless the site of a sacred grove of these 
colonists and the scene of many a dark and cruel ceremony,, its 
derivation being from the ancient Norse lundr, a consecrated 
grove, where such rites were performed. 


At the present time it is difficult, if indeed possible, to 
determine from what races our own native population has 
descended, and the subject is one which has provoked more than 
a little controversy. Palgrave, in his " History of the Anglo- 
Saxons," says : " From the Ribble in Lancashire, or thereabouts, 
up to the Clyde, there existed a dense population composed of 
Britons, who preserved their national language and customs, 
agreeing in all respects with the Welsh of the present day ; so 
that even to the tenth century the ancient Britons still inhabited 
the greater part of the west coast of the island, however much 
they had been compelled to yield to the political supremacy of 
the Saxon invaders." Mr. Thornber states that he has been 
" frequently told by those who were reputed judges " that the 
manners, customs, and dialect of the Fylde partook far more of 
the Welsh than of the Saxon, and that this was more perceptible 
half a century ago than now (1837). "The pronunciation," he 
adds, "of the words laughing, toffee, haughendo, etc., the 
Shibboleth of the Fylde always reminds me of the deep gutterals 
of the Welsh, 1 and the frequent use of a particular oath is, alas ! 
too common to both." Another investigator, Dr. Robson, holds 
an entirely different opinion, and maintains in his paper on 
Lancashire and Cheshire, that there is no sufficient foundation 
for the common belief that the inhabitants of any portion of 
those counties have been at any time either Welsh, or Celtic ; 
and that the Celtic tribes at the earliest known period were 
confined to certain districts, which may be traced, together 
with the extent of their dominions, by the Celtic names of places 
both in Wales and Cornwall. From another source we are 
informed that at the date of the Roman abdication the original 
Celtic population would have dwindled down to an insignificant 
number acting as serfs and tillers of the land, and not likely 
to have much influence upon future generations. Mr. Hardwick, 
in his History of Preston, writes : " Few women would accom- 
pany the Roman colonists, auxiliaries, and soldiers into Britain ; 
hence it is but rational to conclude, that during the long 
period of their dominion, numerous intermarriages with the 

I. The Welsh language is the oldest of all living languages, and is of Celtic 
origin, being in fact the tongue spoken by the ancient Britons but little altered 
by modern innovations. 


native population would take place." Admitting the force of 
reasoning brought forward by the last authority, it can readily be 
conceived that the purity of the aboriginal tribes would in a great 
measure be destroyed at an early epoch, and that subsequent 
alliances with the Anglo-Saxons, Danes, and Normans, have 
rendered all conjectures as to the race of forefathers to which the 
inhabitants of the Fylde have most claim practically valueless. 

The dense forests with which our district in the earliest historic 
periods abounded must have been well supplied with beasts of 
chase, whereon the Aborigines exercised their courage and craft, 
and from which their clothing and, in a great measure, their 
sustenance were derived. The large branching horns of the 
Wild Deer have been found in the ground at Larbrick, and during 
the excavations for the North Union and East Lancashire Railway 
Bridges over the Ribble, in 1838 and 1846 respectively, numerous 
remains of the huge ox, called the Bos primigenius, and 
the Bos longifrons, or long-faced ox, as well as of wild boars 
and bears, were raised from beneath the bed of the river, 
so that it is extremely likely that similar relics of the brute 
creation are lying deeply buried in our soil. Such a supposition 
is at least warranted by the discovery, half-a-century ago, of 
the skull and short upright horns of a stag and those of an 
ox, of a breed no longer known, at the bottom of a marl pit 
near Rossall. Bones and sculls, chiefly those of deer and oxen, 
have been taken from under the peat in all the mosses, and two 
osseous relics, consisting each of skull and horns, of immense 
specimens of the latter animal, have been dug up at Kirkham. 
In the " Reliquiae Diluvianse " of Mr. Buckland is a figure of 
the scull of a rhinoceros belonging to the antediluvian age, and 
stated to have been discovered beneath a moss in Lancashire. 



|HEN the battle of Hastings, in 1066, had terminated in 
favour of William the Conquerer, and placed him on 
the throne of England, he indulged his newly acquired 
power in many acts of tyranny towards the vanquished 
nation, subjecting the old nobility to frequent indignities, 
weakening the sway of the Church, and impoverishing the middle 
and lower classes of the community. This harsh policy spread 
dissatisfaction and indignation . through all ranks of the people, 
and it was not long before rebellion broke out in the old province 
of Northumbria. The Lancastrians and others, under the earls 
Morcar and Edwin, rose up in revolt, slew the Norman Baron set 
over them, and were only reduced to order and submission when 
William appeared on the scene at the head of an overwhelming 
force. The two earls escaped across the frontier to Scotland, and 
for some inexplicable reason were permitted to retain their posses- 
sions in Lancashire and elsewhere, while the common insurgents 
were afterwards treated with great severity and cruelty by their 
Norman rulers. Numerous castles were now erected in the north 
of England to hold the Saxons in subjection, and guard against 
similar outbreaks in future. Those at Lancaster and Liverpool 
were built by a Norman Baron of high position, named Roger de 
Poictou, the third son of Robert de Montgomery, earl of Arundel 
and Shrewsbury. When William divided the conquered territory 
amongst his followers, the Honor 1 of Lancaster and the Hundred 

I. An Honor has a castle or mansion, and consists of demesnes and services, 
to which a number of manors and lordships, with all their appurtenances and 
other regalities, are annexed. In an Honor an Honourable Court is held once 
every year at least. 


of Amounderness fell, amongst other gifts, amounting in all to 
three hundred and ninety-eight manors, 1 to that nobleman, and, 
as he resided during a large portion of his time at the castle 
erected on the banks of the Lune, our district would receive a 
greater share of attention than his more distant possessions. 

After the country had been restored to peace, William deter- 
mined to institute an inquiry into the condition and resources of 
his kingdom. The records of the survey were afterwards bound 
up in two volumes, which received the name of the Domesday 
Book, from Dome, a census, and Boc, a book. 

The king's commands to the investigators were, according to 
the Saxon Chronicle, to ascertain " How many hundreds of 
hydes were in each shire, what lands the king himself had, and 
what stock there was upon the land ; or what dues he ought to 
have by the year from each shire. Also he commissioned them 
to record in writing, how much land his archbishops had and his 
diocesan bishops, and his abbots and his earls ; what or how much 
each man had, who was an occupier of land in England, either in 
land or stock, and how much money it was worth. So very 
narrowly, indeed, did he commission them to trace it out, that 
there was not one single hide, nor a yard of land ; nay, moreover 
(it is shameful to tell, though he thought it no shame to do it), 
not even an ox, nor a cow, nor a swine, was there left that was 
not set down in his writ." The examination was commenced in 
1080, and six years afterwards the whole of the laborious task was 
accomplished. In this compilation the county of Lancaster is 
never once mentioned by name, but the northern portion is joined 
to the Yorkshire survey, and the southern to that of Cheshire. 

The following is a translation of that part of Domesday Book 
relating to the Fylde : 


Poltim (Poulton), two carucates; 2 Rushale (Rossall), two carucates; Brune (Burn), 
two carucates ; Torentun (Thornton), six carucates ; Carlentun (Carleton), four 

1. A Manor is composed of demesne and services, to which belong a three 
weeks Court, where the freeholders, being tenants of the manor, sit covered, and 
give judgement in all suits that are pleading. To every manor a Court Baron is 

2. A carucate was generally about one hundred acres of arable soil, or land in 
cultivation ; this word superseded the Saxon hyde, which signified the same thing. 


carucates ; Meretun (Marton), six carucates ; Staininghe (Staining), six carucates. 

Biscopham (Bispham), eight carucates ; Latun (Layton), six carucates. 

Chicheham (Kirkham), four carucates ; Salewic (Salwick), one carucate ; Cliftun 
(Clifton), two carucates ; Nevitnne (Newton-with-Scales), two carucates ; Frechel- 
tune ( Freckleton), four carucates ; Rigbi (Ribby-with-Wray),six carucates; Treueles 
(Treales), two carucates ; Westbi (Westby), two carucates ; Pluntun (Plumptons), 
two carucates ; Widetun (Weeton), three carucates ; Pres (Preese), two carucates ; 
Midehope (Mythorp), one carucate ; Wartun (Warton), four carucates ; Singletun 
(Singleton), six carucates ; Greneholf (Greenhalgh), three carucates ; Hameltune 
(Hambleton), two carucates. 

Lidun (Lytham), two carucates. 

Michelescherche (St. Michael's-on-Wyre), one carucate ; Pluntun (Wood Plump- 
ton) five carucates ; Rodecliff ( Upper Rawcliffe), two carucates ; Rodeclijf( Middle 
Rawcliffe), two carucates ; a third Rodediff (Out Rawcliffe), three carucates ; 
Eglestun (Ecclestons), two carucates ; Edeleswic (Elswick), three carucates ; Imcip 
(Inskip), two carucates ; Sorbi (Sowerby), one carucate. 

All these vills belong to Prestune (Preston) ; and there are three churches (in 
Amounderness). In sixteen of these vills 1 there are but few inhabitants but how 
many there are is not known. 

The rest are waste. Roger de Poktou had [the whole]. 

When we read the concluding remark " The rest are waste," 
and observe the insignificant proportion of the many thousands 
of acres comprised in the Fylde at that time under cultivation, we 
are made forcibly cognizant of the truly deplorable condition to 
which the district had been reduced by ever-recurring warfare 
through a long succession of years. There is no guide to the 
number of the inhabitants, excepting, perhaps, the existence of 
only three churches in the whole Hundred of Amounderness, and 
this can scarcely be admitted as certain evidence of the paucity of 
the population, as in the harassed and unsettled state in which 
they lived it is not very probable that the people would be much 
concerned about the public observances of religious ceremonials or 
services. The churches alluded to were situated at Preston, Kirk- 
ham, and St. Michael's-on-Wyre. The parish church at Poulton 
was the next one erected, and appears to have been standing less 
than ten years after the completion of the Survey, for Roger de 
Poictou, when he founded the priory of St. Mary, Lancaster, in 
1094, endowed it with " Pulton in Agmundernesia, and what- 
soever belonged to it, and the church, with one carucate of land, 
and all other things belonging to it." 2 The terminal paragraph 

I. The whole of the vills of Ampunderness, here signified, amounted to sixty-one. 
2. Regist. S. Maria- de Lane. 


of the foundation-charter of the monastery states that Geoffrey, 
the sheriff, having heard of the liberal grants of Roger de Poictou, 
also bestowed upon it " the tithes of Biscopham, whatever he 
had in Lancaster, some houses, and an orchard." It is difficult to 
determine whether a church existed in the township of Bispham 
at that date or not, but as no such edifice is included in the above 
list of benefactions, we are inclined to believe that it was not 
erected until later. The earliest mention of it occurs in the reign 
of Richard I., 1189 to 1199, when Theobald Walter quitclaimed 
to the abbot of Sees "all his right in the advowson of Pulton, 
with the church of J3iscopham. m 

The rebellious and ungrateful conduct of Roger de Poictou 
ultimately led to his banishment out of the country, and the 
forfeiture of the whole of his extensive possessions to the crown. 
The Hundred of Amounderness was conveyed by the King on the 
22nd of April, 1194, being the fifth year of his reign, to Theobald 
Walter > the son of Hervens, a Norman who had accompanied the 
Conqueror. " Be it known," says the document, " that we give 
and confirm to Theobald Walter the whole of Amounderness with 
its appurtenances by the service of three Knights' fees, namely, 
all the domain thereto belonging, all the services of the Knights 
who hold of the fee of Amounderness by Knight's service, all the 
service of the Free-tenants of Amounderness, all the Forest of 
Amounderness, with all the Venison, and all the Pleas of the 
Forest." His rights " are to be freely and quietly allowed," 
continues the deed, " in wood and plain, in meadows and 
pastures, in highways and footpaths, in waters and mills, in 
mill-ponds, in fish-ponds and fishings, in peat-lands, moors and 
marshes, in wreck of the sea, in fairs and markets, in advowsons 
and chapelries, and in all liberties and free customs." Amongst 
the barons of Lancashire given in the MSS. of Percival is 
" Theobald Walter, baron of Weeton and Amounderness," but, as 
Weeton never existed as a barony, it is clear that the former title 
is an error. The "Black Book of the Exchequer," the oldest 
record after the " Domesday Book," has entered in it the tenants 
and fees de veteri feoffamento* and de novo fcoffamento* and 
amongst others is a statement that Theobald Walter held 

I. Regist. S. Mariae de Lane. 2. Held in the reign of Henry I., 110x3-1135. 
3. Held in the reigns of Stephen and Henry II., 1135-1189. 



Amounderness by the service of one Knight, thus the later 
charter, just quoted, must be regarded as a confirmation of a 
previous grant, and not as an original donation. He was an 
extensive founder of monastic houses, and amongst the abbeys 
established by him was that of Cockersand, which he endowed 
with the whole Hay of Pylin (Pilling) in Amounderness. He was 
appointed sheriff of the county of Lancaster by Richard I. in 1 1 94, 
and retained the office until the death of that monarch five years 
afterwards. His son, Theobald, married Maud, sister to the 
celebrated Thomas a - Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, and 
assumed the title of his office when created Chief Butler of 
Ireland. The family of the same name which inhabited Rawcliffe 
Hall until that property was confiscated through the treasonable 
part played by Henry Butler and his son Richard in the rebellion 
of 1715, was directly descended from Theobald Walter-Butler. 
The Butlers of Kirkland, the last of whom, Alexander Butler, 
died in 1811, and was succeeded by a great-nephew, were also 
representatives of the ancient race of Walter, and preserved the 
line unbroken. Theobald Walter, the elder, died in 1206, and 
Amounderness reverted to the crown. 

Richard I. a few years before his death presented the Honor of 
Lancaster to his brother, the earl of Moreton, who subsequently 
became King John, and it is asserted that this nobleman, when 
residing at the castle of Lancaster, was occasionally a guest at 
Staining Hall, and that during one of his visits he so admired the 
strength and skill displayed by a person called Geoffrey, and 
surnamed the Crossbowman, that he induced him to join his 
retinue. How far truth has been embellished and disguised by 
fiction in this traditional statement we are unable to conjecture, 
but there are reasonable grounds for believing that the story is 
not entirely supposititious, for the earl of Moreton granted to 
Geoffrey 1'Arbalistrier, or the Crossbowman, who is said to have 
been a younger brother of Theobald Walter, senior, six carucates 
of land in Hackinsall-with-Preesall, and a little later, the manor 
of Hambleton, most likely as rewards for military or other services 
rendered to that nobleman. John, as earl of Moreton, appears to 
have gained the affection and respect of the inhabitants of 
Lancashire by his liberal practices during his long sojourns in 
their midst. He granted a charter to the knights, thanes, and 


freeholders of the county, whereby they and their heirs, without 
challenge or interference from him and his heirs, were permitted 
to fell, sell, and give, at their pleasure, their forest woods, without 
being subject to the forest regulations, and to hunt and take 
hares, foxes, rabbits, and all kinds of wild beasts, excepting stags, 
hinds, roebucks, and wild hogs, in all parts within his forests 
beyond the desmesne hays of the county. 1 On ascending the 
throne, however, he soon aroused the indignation of all sections of 
his subjects by his meanness, pride, and utter inability to govern 
the kingdom. His indolent habits excited the disgust of a 
nobility, whose regular custom was to breakfast at five and dine 
at nine in the morning, as proclaimed by the following popular 
Norman proverb : 

Lever a cinque, diner a neuf, 

Souper a cinque, coucher a neuf, 

Fait vivre d'ans nonante et neuf. 2 

Eventually his evil actions and foolish threats so incensed the 
nation, that the barons, headed by William, earl of Pembroke, 
compelled him, in 1215, to sign the Magna Charta, a code of laws 
embodying two important principles the general rights of the 
freemen, and the limitation of the powers of both king and pope. 

About that time it would have been almost, if not quite, 
impossible to have decided or described what was the national 
language of the country. The services at the churches were read 
in Latin, the aristocracy indulged only in Norman-French, whilst 
the great mass of the people spoke a language, usually 
denominated Saxon or English, but which had been so mutilated 
and altered by additions from various sources that the ancient 
" Settlers on the shores of the German Ocean " would scarcely 
have recognized it as their native tongue. Each division of the 
kingdom had its peculiar dialect, very much as now, and from the 
remarks of a southern writer, named Trevisa, it must be inferred 
that the patois of our own district, which he would include in the 
old province of Northumbria, 3 was far from either elegant or 

I. Duchy Rolls, Rot. f. 12. 

2. To rise at five, to dine at nine, to sup at five, to bed at nine, makes a man 
live to ninety-nine. 

3. Although England had been divided into counties the different districts were 
for long classified under the names of the old provinces or petty kingdoms of 
the Heptarchy. 


musical. " Some," he says, " use strange gibbering, chattering, 
waffling, and grating ; then the Northumbre's tongue is so sharp, 
flitting, floyting, and unshape, that we Southron men may not 
understand that language." Such a list of curious and 
uncomplimentary epithets inclines us at first sight to doubt the 
strict impartiality of their author, but when it is remembered that, 
in spite of the greatly increased opportunities for education and 
facilities for intercommunion amongst the different classes, the 
provincialisms of some of our own peasantry would be utterly 
unintelligible to many of us at the present day, we are constrained 
to admit that Trevisa may have had just reason for his remarks. 

In 1268 the Honor of Lancaster, the Wapentake of 
Amounderness, and the manors of Preston, Ribby-with-Wray, 
and Singleton were given by Henry III. to his son Edmund 
Crouchback, and in addition the king published an edict 
forbidding the sheriffs of neighbouring counties to enter 
themselves, or send, or permit their bailiffs to enter or interfere 
with anything belonging to the Honor of Lancaster, or to the men 
of that Honor, unless required to do so by his son. Edmund was 
also created earl of Lancaster, and became the founder of that 
noble house, whose possessions and power afterwards attained to 
such magnitude as to place its representative, Henry IV., upon the 
throne, although nearer descendants of his grandfather Edward III. 
were still living. 

We have now arrived at the unsettled era, comprising the 
reigns of the three Edwards and Richard II., and during the 
whole of the time these monarchs wore the crown, a period of one 
hundred and twenty-six years, the nation was engaged in 
continual wars with the Welsh under Llewellyn, the Scotch 
under Bruce and Wallace, and the French under Philip. The 
reign of Richard II. was additionally agitated by the insurrection 
of Wat Tyler. Looking at that long uninterrupted season of 
excitement, we cease to wonder at the riotous and disorganized 
state into which society was thrown. The rulers, whether local 
and subordinate, or those of a higher grade, were too actively 
engaged in forwarding the efficiency of the army, to devote much 
attention to the welfare and proper government of the people. 
Crimes and disturbances were allowed to pass unpunished, and 
evil-doers, being thus encouraged to prosecute their unlawful 


purposes, carried their outrages to the very confines of open 
rebellion against all power and order. It was not until such a 
dangerous climax had been reached that a commission, consisting 
of the following judges, Peter de Bradbate, Edmund Deyncourt, 
William de Vavasour, John de Island, and Adam de Middleton, 
was appointed to deal summarily and severely with all offenders 
in the counties of Lancaster and Westmoreland. During those 
troublesome times Sir Adam Banastre and a number of others 
assaulted Ralph de Truno, prior of Lancaster, and his train of 
attendants at Poulton-le-Fylde, seized and carried him off to 
Thornton, where they brutally ill-used and finally imprisoned 
him. An inquiry into the disgraceful proceeding was instituted 
by order of Edward I., but the result has not been preserved, at 
least no record of it has as yet been discovered amongst any of the 
ancient documents concerning this county. Leyland, who was 
antiquary to Henry VIII., alluding to the death of the disorderly 
knight, says, "Adam Banastre, a bachelar of Lancastershire, 
moved ryot agayne Thomas of Lancaster by kraft of kynge 
Edward II., but he was taken and behedid by the commandment 
of Thomas of Lancaster." The first part of the quotation has 
reference to a quarrel between the earl of Lancaster and Sir 
Adam, who for his own aggrandizement and to curry favour with 
the king, as well as to divert the attention of that monarch from 
his own misdeeds, declared that Thomas of Lancaster wished to 
interfere with the royal prerogative in the choice of ministers; 
and, professedly, to punish such presumption he invaded the 
domains of that nobleman. An encounter took place in 
the valley of the Ribble, not far from Preston, in which the 
followers of Sir Adam were vanquished anct put to flight. Their 
leader secreted himself in a barn on his own lands, but, being 
discovered by the soldiers of his opponent, was dragged forth and 
beheaded with a sword. Subjoined is an account of a disturbance 
which occurred at Kirkham during the same period, transcribed 
from the Vale Royal 1 register : " A narrative of proceedings in a 
dispute between the abbot of Vale Royal, and Sir Will, de Clifton, 
knt., respecting the tithes in the manor of Clifton and Westby, in 
the parish of Kirkham, A.D. 1337, in the time of Peter's abbacy. 

I. Vale Royal, Cheshire, obtained a grant of the manor, etc., of Kirkham in 1296. 


The charges alleged against Sir William state, that he had 
obtained twenty marks 1 due to the abbot ; had forcibly obstructed 
the rector in the gathering of tithes within the manor of Clifton 
and Westby ; seized his loaded wain, and brought ridicule on his 
palfrey : that he had also burst, with his armed retainers, into the 
parish church of Kirkham, and thereby deterred his clerks from 
the performance of divine service ; had prevented the parishioners 
from resorting to the font for the rite of baptism ; and that, 
having seized on Thomas, the clerk of the abbot of Vale Royal, 
he had inflicted on him a flagellation in the public streets of 
Preston. After a complaint, made to the abbot of Westminster, a 
conservator of the rights and privileges of the order to which 
Vale Royal belonged, Sir William confessed his fault and threw 
himself on the mercy of the abbot of the Cheshire convent, who 
contented himself, after receiving a compensation for his rector's 
losses, with an oath from the refractory knight, that he would in 
future maintain and defend the privileges of the abbey, and would 
bind himself in forty shillings to offer no further violence to the 
unfortunate secretary of the abbot." 

During the reign of Edward III., Henry, earl of Lancaster, was 
created duke of the county with the consent of the prelates and 
peers assembled in parliament. This nobleman, whose pious and 
generous actions earned for him the title of the " Good duke of 
Lancaster," received a mandate from the king during the war with 
France, when there were serious apprehensions of an invasion by 
that nation, to arm all the lancers on his estates, and to set a strict 
watch over the seacoasts of Lancashire. These precautions, 
however, proved unnecessary, as the French made no attempt to 
cross the channel. Irfhis will, bearing the date 1361, (the year of 
his death), Duke Henry bequeathed the Wappentakes or Hundreds 
of Amounderness, Lonsdale, and Leyland, with other estates, to 
his daughter Blanche, who had married John of Gaunt, the earl 
of Richmond and fourth son of Edward III. John of Gaunt 
succeeded to the dukedom in right of his wife. 

" In the " Testa de NevuT," a register extending from 1274 to 
1327, and containing, amongst other matters, a list of the fees and 
serjeanties holden of the king and the churches in his gift, it is 

i. 1$ 6s. 3d. 


stated under the latter heading : " St. Michael upon Wyre ; the 
son of Count Salvata had it by gift of the present king, and he 
says, that he is elected into a bishoprick, and that the church is 
vacant, and worth 30 marks 1 per an. Kyrkeham ; King John 
gave two parts of it to Simon Blundel, on account of his custody 
of the son and heir of Theobald Walter. Worth 80 marks 2 per 
an." In another part of these records it is named that Richard de 
Frekelton held fees in chief in Freckleton, Newton, and 
Eccleston ; Alan de Singilton, in Singleton, Freckleton, Newton, 
and Elswick ; and Adam de Merton, in Marton ; also that Fitz 
Richard held serjeanties in Singleton, by serjeanty of 

The earliest intimation of members being returned to represent 
our own district, in conjunction with the other divisions of the 
county, is to the parliament of Edward I., assembled in 1295, 
when Matthew de Redmand and John de Ewyas were elected 
knights of the shire for Lancaster, and in his report the sheriff 
adds "There is no city in the county of Lancaster." The 
members of parliament in 1297 were Henricus de Kigheley and 
Henricus le Botyler ; in 1302 Willielmus de Clifton and 
Gilbertus de Singleton ; and in 1304 Willielmus de Clifton and 
Willielmus Banastre. Henricus le Botyler, or Butler, belonged 
to the family of the Butlers of Rawcliffe ; Gilbertus de Singleton was 
probably connected with the Singletons whose descendants 
resided at Staining Hall ; Willielmus de Clifton was an ancestor 
of the Cliftons of Lytham, and here it may be stated that 
Lancashire was represented in 1383 by Robt. de Clifton, of 
Westby, and Ric'us de Hoghton ; and in 1844 by J. Wilson 
Patten, now Lord Winmarleigh, and Jno. Talbot Clifton, esq., of 
Lytham Hall. Thos. Henry Clifton, esq., son of the last 
gentleman, and the Hon. F. A. Stanley are the present members 
for North Lancashire. 

During the Scottish wars of Edward III., John de Coupland, of 
Upper Rawcliffe, valiantly captured David II., king of Scotland, 
at the battle of Durham, and although that monarch dashed out 
Coupland's teeth and used every means to incite the latter to slay 
him, the brave soldier restrained his wrath and delivered up his 

I. 20 os. od. 2. ^"53 6s. 8d. 


prisoner alive. For that signal service Edward rewarded him 
with a grant of ^"500 per annum, until he could receive an 
equivalent in land wherever he might choose, and created him a 
knight banneret. 1 " I have seen," says Camden, "a charter of 
King Edward III., by which he advanced John Coupland to the 
state of a banneret in the following words, because in a battle 
fought at Durham he had taken prisoner David the Second, King 
of Scots : ' Being willing to reward the said John, who took 
David de Bruis prisoner, and frankly delivered him unto us, for 
the deserts of his honest and valiant service, in such sort as others 
may take example by his precedent to do us faithful service in 
time to come, we have promoted the said John to the place and 
degree of a banneret ; and, for the maintenance of the same state, 
we have granted, for us and our heirs, to the same John, five 
hundred pounds by the year, to be received by him and his heirs," 

For some time after a truce had been concluded with Scotland, 
the war, in which the incident narrated occurred, continued with 
little abatement, and in 1322 this county with others was called 
upon to raise fresh levies. These constant drains upon its 
resources, and the devastations committed by riotous companies 
of armed men, so impoverished our district that the inhabitants of 
Poulton forwarded a petition to the Pope, praying him to forego 
his claims upon their town on account of the deplorably distressed 
condition to which they had been reduced. The taxations of all 
churches in the Fylde were greatly lowered in consideration of the 
indigency of the people ; that of Kirkham from 240 marks per 
annum to 120, and the others in like proportion. Further 
evidence of the poverty of this division may be gathered from a 
census taken in 1377, which states, amongst other things, that 
" There is no town worthy of notice anywhere in the whole of the 
county " ; and again, twenty years later, when a loan was raised 
to meet the enormous expenditure of the country, Lancashire 
furnished no contributors. 

In 1389, during the reign of Richard II., it was enacted, with a 

I. Knights banneret were so called from a privilege they possessed of carrying 
a small banner. This privilege and the title of " Sir" were conferred as a reward 
for distinguished military service, and were usually accompanied by a pecuniary 


view to the preservation and improvement of the salmon fisheries 
throughout the kingdom, " that no young salmon be taken or 
destroyed by nets, at mill-dams or other places, from the middle 
of April to the Nativity of St. John Baptist"; and special 
reference is made to this neighbourhood in the following sentence 
of the bill : "It is ordained and assented, that the waters of Lone, 
Wyre, Mersee, Ribbyl, and all other waters in the county of 
Lancaster, be put in defence, as to the taking of Salmons, from 
Michaelmas Day to the Purification of our Lady (2nd of February), 
and in no other time of the year, because that salmons be not 
seasonable in the said waters in the time aforesaid ; and in the 
parts where such rivers be, there shall be assigned and sworn good 
and sufficient conservators of this statute." The foregoing is the 
earliest regulation of the kind, and the wisdom and utility of its 
provisions are evinced by the existence of similar measures at the 
present day. 

From -the annals of the Duchy may be learnt some interesting 
particulars relative to changes in ownership at that period of 
certain portions of the territory comprised in the Fylde. In 1380 
John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, issued a " precept to the 
Escheator to give seisin of the Lands of William Botyler in 
Layton Magna, Layton Parva, Bispham, Warthebrek, and Great 
Merton," etc. ; and shortly afterwards gave orders to " seize the 
Lands of William Botyler." In 1385 mandates were issued by 
the same nobleman to his Escheator to " seize into the Hands of 
the King and himself the Lands of Thomas Banastre, (deceased, 
1384), in Ethelswyk, Frekculton, Claughton in Amoundernes, 
Syngleton Parva, Hamylton, Stalmyn," etc. ; also those of 
"Emund Banastre, (deceased, 1384), in Wodeplumpton, Preston," 
etc. In the Rolls the subjoined entries also occur : 



John Botyler, Knt. Henry de Bispham, Enrolment of the Grant of the 

Richard de Carleton, Manors of Great Layton, Little 

Chaplains. Layton, Bispham, and Warde- 

brek ; lands in Great Merton, 

and the whole Lordship of 

Merton Town. 

Henry de Bispham, John Botyler, Knt., Enrolment of the Grant of the 

Richard de Carleton. and Alice his wife. above Manors, Lands, and 

Lordship, in Fee Tail special. 



Robert de Wasshyngton. William de Hornby, Enrolment of Grant of Lands, 

Parson of St. Michael- etc., in Carleton in Amounder- 

upon-Wyre, and Wil- ness, for a Rose Rent per ann. 

Ham le Ducton. 8 years, and increased rent 20 

per ann. 

There is nothing of interest or importance to recount affecting 
the Fylde from the death of Richard II. until the year 1455, when 
the battle of St. Albans, resulting in the defeat of Henry VI. and 
the royal forces by the Duke of York, initiated those lamentable 
struggles between the rival houses of York and Lancaster ; and 
the inhabitants of our section shared, like the rest, in the ruin and 
bloodshed of civil war. Those contests, which lasted no less than 
thirty years, and included thirteen pitched battles, were finally 
terminated in 1485, by the union of Henry VII. with Catherine of 
York, daughter of Edward IV. 

In 1485 a malady called the " Sweating Sickness " visited the 
different districts of Lancashire, and so rapid and fatal were the 
effects, that during the seven weeks it prevailed, large numbers 
of the populace fell victims to its virulence. Lord Verulam, 
describing the disease, says : " The complaint was a pestilent 
fever, attended by a malign vapour, which flew to the heart and 
seized the vital spirits ; which stirred nature to strive to send it 
forth by an extreme sweat." 

In 1487 the impostor Lambert Simnel, who personated Edward, 
earl of Warwick, the heir in rightful succession to Edward IV., 
landed at the Pile of Fouldrey, (Peel harbour) in Morecambe Bay, 
with an army raised chiefly by the aid of the Duchess of Burgundy, 
and marched into the country. At Stoke, near Newark, he was 
defeated and taken prisoner, and subsequently the adventurer 
was made a scullion in the king's kitchen, from which humble 
sphere he rose by good conduct to the position of falconer. 
Henry VIII., soon after his accession in 1 509, became embroiled 
in war with France, and whilst he was engaged in hostilities on 
the continent, James IV. of Scotland crossed the border, and 
invaded England with a force of fifty thousand men. To resist 
this aggression large levies were promptly raised in Lancashire 
and other northern counties, and on the field of Flodden, in 
Northumberland, a decisive battle took place in 1513, in which 
the Scottish monarch was slain, and his army routed. The 


Lancashire troops were led by Sir Edward Stanley, and their 
patriotism and valour are celebrated in an ancient song call the 
" Famous Historic or Songe of Floodan Field." In the following 
extract certain localities in and near the Fylde are mentioned as 
having furnished their contingents of willing soldiers : 

" All Lancashire for the most parte 
The lusty Standley stowte can lead, 
A stock of striplings stronge of heart 
Brought up from babes with beef and bread, 
From Warton unto Warrington, 
From Wiggen unto Wyresdale, 
From Weddecon to Waddington. 
From Ribchester to Rochdale, 
From Poulton to Preston with pikes 
They -with ye Standley howte forthe went, 
From Pemberton and Pilling Dikes 
For Battell Billmen bould were bent 
With fellowes fearce and fresh for feight 
With Halton feilds did turne in foores, 
With lusty ladds liver and light 
From Blackborne and Bolton in ye moores." 

The office of High Sheriff is one of considerable antiquity, and 
in early times it was no uncommon thing for the elected person 
to retain the position for several years together. Annexed is a 
list of gentlemen connected with the Fylde who have been High 
Sheriffs of the county of Lancaster at different times, with their 
years of office : 

1194 \ 

to > Theobald Walter, of Amounderness. 
1199. ) 

1278. Gilbert de Clifton, of Clifton and Westby. 
1287. Gilbert de Clifton, of Clifton and Westby. 
1289. Gilbert de Clifton, of Clifton and Westby. 

1393. Sir Johannes Butler, Knt., of Rawcliffe. 

1394. Sir Johannes Butler, Knt., of Rawcliffe. 

1395. Sir Johannes Butler, Knt., of Rawcliffe, 

1397. Sir Richard Molyneux, Knt., of Larbrick (for life). 

1566. Sir Richard Molyneux, Knt., of Larbrick. 

1606. Edmund Fleetwood, of Rossall. 

1677. Alexander Rigby, of Layton. 

1678. Alexander Rigby, of Layton. 

1691. Sir Alexander Rigby, Knt., of Layton. 

1740. Roger Hesketh, of Rossall. 

1797. Bold Fleetwood Hesketh, of Rossall. 


1820. Robert Hesketh, of Rossall. 

1830. Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, of Rossall. 

1835. Thomas Clifton, of Lytham. 

1842. Thomas Robert Wilson ffrance, of Rawcliffe. 

1853. John Talbot Clifton, of Lytham. 

It may be here noticed that Edmund Dudley, so notorious in 
English history as the infamous agent of Henry VII. in the 
wholesale and scandalous extortions that monarch practised upon 
his subjects, held many and large territorial possessions in the 
county of Lancashire, the reward in all probability of his 
unscrupulous services to the king. After the death of his royal 
patron a loud outcry for the punishment of Dudley was raised by 
the nation, and in the first year of Henry VIII. a proclamation 
was issued inviting those subjects, who had been injured by 
Dudley and his fellow commissioner, Sir Richard Empson, to 
come forward and state their complaints ; the number of 
complainants who appeared was so great that it was found 
impossible to examine all their claims, so in order to pacify the 
universal indignation, the two obnoxious agents were thrown into 
prison on a charge of treason. From the Inquisition for the 
Escheat of the Duchy of Lancaster taken on the attainder of 
Edmund Dudley, in 1509, it is discovered that amongst his 
numerous estates, were lands in Elswick, Hambleton, Freckleton, 
Thornton, Little Singleton, Wood Plumpton, Whittingham, 
Goosnargh, and Claughton. Stow, writing about the circum- 
stances alluded to, says : " Thereupon was Sir Richard Empson, 
Knight, and Edmund Dudley, Esquire, by a politicke mean 
brought into the Tower, where they were accused of treason, and 
so remained there 'prisoners, thereby to quiet men's minds, that 
made such suit to have their money restored. On the seventeenth 
of July Edmund Dudley was arraigned in the Guildhall of 
London, where he was condemned, and had judgement to be 
drawn, hanged, and quartered. * Henry VIII. sent 

commandment to the Constable of the Tower, charging him that 
Empson and Dudley should shortly after be put to execution. 
The Sheriffs of London were commanded by a special writ to see 
the said execution performed and done, whereupon they went to 
the Tower and received the prisoners on the iyth of August, 1510, 
and from thence brought them unto the scaffold on Tower Hill, 
where their heads were stricken off." 


The most conspicuous event which happened during the 
sovereignty of Henry VIII. was the Protestant Reformation. 
Henry, having quarrelled with the Supreme Head of the Church 
at Rome, determined to suppress all religious houses in his 
kingdom whose incomes amounted to less than 200 per annum. 
Doctors Thomas Leigh and Thomas Layton were appointed to 
inspect and report on those in Lancashire ; and amongst the 
number condemned on their visit was a small Benedictine Cell at 
Lytham. This Cell owed its origin to Richard Fitz Roger, who 
towards the latter part of the reign of Richard I. granted lands at 
Lytham to the Durham Church, in order that a prior and 
Benedictine monks might be established there to the honour of 
St. Mary and St. Cuthbert. Its yearly revenue at the time of 
suppression was only $$. A little later, in 1540, the larger 
monastic institutions suffered the fate of the smaller ones ; and 
amongst. the chantries closed were two at St. Michael's-on-Wyre. 
All Catholic places of worship were closed by a proclamation, 
bearing the date September 23rd, 1548, and issued by the lord 
protector Somerset on behalf of the young king Edward VI. On 
the death of that monarch in 1553 the crown descended to his 
sister Mary, only daughter of Catherine of Arrogan ; and one of 
her first acts was to re-establish the old faith and re-open the 
churches and chantries which her predecessors had closed. Mass 
was again celebrated in the churches of St. Michael's-on-Wyre, 
Kirkham, and Singleton, as in former days, the officiating priests 
being : 

Kirkham Thomas Primbet, annual fee 2 ids. od. 

Singleton Richard Goodson, 2 95. od. 

St. Michael's-on-Wyre, Thomas Cross ^ 133. lod. 

In the early part of this reign a grand military muster was 
ordered to be made in the county palatine of Lancaster, and 
towards the 300 men raised in the Hundred of Amounderness the 
Fylde townships contributed as follows : 

Warton 4 men. Thornton 8 men. 

Carleton 8 Out Rawcliffe 4 

Hardhome with Newton.. 8 

Much Eccleston 5 

Clifton 6 

Bispham and Norbreke ... 5 

Freckleton 5 

Thilston .. ,8 

Upper Rawcliffe and Tornecard i 

Pulton 3 

Weton 3 

Threleyle 6 

Little Eccleston and Larbreke 6 

Little Singleton and Grange... 5 


Newton with Scales ... 3 men. Westbye and Plumpton 8 men. 

Layton with Warbrick ... 8 Rigby with Wraye 8 

Elliswicke 5 Lithum 5 

Kelmyne and Brininge ... 5 Much Singleton 7 

Kirkham 3 Plumpton II 

The commanders of the regiment were Sir Thomas Hesketh, 
Sir Richard Houghton ; George Browne, John Kitchen, Richard 
Barton, William Westby (of Mowbreck), and William Barton, 

Dodsworth, who lived in the latter part of the sixteenth and 
early part of the seventeenth centuries, informs us that sometime 
during the year 1555 " a sudden irruption of the sea" took place 
near Rossall grange, and a whole village, called Singleton Thorp, 
was washed away by the fury of the waves. " The inhabitants 
were driven out of their ancient home, and erected their tents at a 
place called Singleton to this day." It has been surmised that 
Singleton Thorp was the residence of Thomas de Singleton, who 
opposed Edward I. in a suit to recover from that king the manors 
of Singleton, Thornton, and Brughton. The site formerly 
occupied by the ancient village is now called Singleton Skeer. 
Dodsworth also declares that the Horse-bank lying off the shores 
of Lytham was, in 1612, during the reign of James I., a pasture 
for cattle, and that, in 1601, a village called Waddum Thorp 
existed between it and the present main-land. 

In January, 1559, about two months after the accession of 
Elizabeth, another muster took place throughout the several 
counties of the kingdom, and subjoined are enumerated the bodies 
of soldiers furnished by the different Hundreds of Lancashire : 

BLACKEBURNE HUNDRED 407 harnessed men, 406 unharnessed men. 
AMOUNDERNES HUNDRED 213 harnessed men, 369 unharnessed men. 
LoNDESDALL HUNDRED 356 harnessed men, 114 unharnessed men. 
LEYLONDE HUNDRED 80 harnessed men, 22 unharnesed men. 
SALEFORDE HUNDRED 394 harnessed men, 649 unharnessed men. 
WEST DERBY HUNDRED 459 harnessed men, 413 unharnessed men. 

Sum Total of harnessed men 1919. 

Sum Total of unharnessed men 2073.! 

An epidemic, described by Hollinworth as a " sore sicknesse," 
prevailed in this county during some months of 1565, and carried 
off many of the inhabitants. 

I. Ilarl. Mss. cod. 1926, fol. 4 b. 


Queen Elizabeth on her accession wrought another change in 
the national religion, but taking warning from the outcries and 
disturbances produced by the sudden and sweeping policies of 
Henry VIII. and Mary, proceeded to affect her purpose in a more 
deliberate manner. She retained some of her Catholic ministers, 
taking care, however, to have sufficient of the reformed faith to 
outvote them when occasion required, and appointed a commission 
to inquire into the persecutions of the last reign, with orders to 
liberate from prison all those who had been confined on account 
of their attachment to Protestant principles. In her own chapel 
she forbade several Popish practices, and commanded that certain 
portions of the services should be read in the English tongue. 
Shortly afterwards a proclamation was issued, ordering that all 
chantries should conduct their services after the model of her 
own chapel. This comparative moderation was succeeded at a 
later period of her sovereignty by sterner measures, and many 
Catholic recusants were placed in confinement, being subjected to 
heavy penalties and degradations. During the same reign the 
military strength of the nation was again ascertained by a general 
muster. The gathering took place in 1574, when six gentlemen 
of our neighbourhood were thus rated : 

Cuthbert Clifton, esq., to furnish : Light horse I, Plate-coate 
i, Pyke i, Long bows 2, Sheaves of arrows 2, Steel caps 2, Caliver 
I, Morion I. 

James Massey, George Alane to furnish : Plate-coat i, Long 
bow i, Sheaf of arrows I, Steel cap i, Caliver i, Morion i, Bill i. 

William Hesketh to furnish of good will : Caliver I, Morion I. 

William Singleton, John Veale to furnish : The same as 
William Hesketh doth. 

The whole complement raised in the Hundred of Amounderness 
consisted of 5 Light horse, I Demi-lance, 2 Corslets, 17 Plate- 
coats, ii Pykes, 22 Long bows, 22 Sheaves of arrows, 27 Steel 
caps, 15 Calivers, 20 Morions, and 10 Bills. 

Father Edmund Campion, the notorious Jesuit, was apprehended 
in 1581, immediately after travelling through Lancashire 
endeavouring to spread the doctrines of his faith, and imprisoned 
in the Tower. Under the cruel influence of the rack he divulged 
the names of several persons by whom he had been received and 
entertained whilst on his journey, and amongst them were Mrs. 


Allen of Rossall Hall, the widow of Richard Allen, and John 
Westby of Mowbreck and Burn Halls. Shortly before his 
execution Campion deplored his compulsory confession in a letter 
to a friend in these words : " It grieved me much to have offended 
the Catholic cause so highly, as to confess the names of some 
gentlemen and friends in whose houses I have been entertained ; 
yet in this I greatly cherish and comfort myself, that I never 
discovered any secrets there declared, and that I will not, come 
rack, come rope." 

The following extracts are taken from some manuscripts in the 
Harleian collection, and will explain themselves : 

" Names of such as are detected for receiptinge of Priests, Seminaries, etc., in 
the County of Lancashire. 

" This appeareth by the presentment One named little Richard receipted at 

of the Vicar of Garstang. Mr. Rigmaden's of Weddicar by report. 

" This appeareth by the presentment Ricard Cadocke, a seminary priest, also 

of the Vicar of Kirkham. Deiv. Tytmouse conversant in the 

Company of two widows viz. Mis- 
tress Alice Clyfton and Mistress Jane 
Clyfton, about the first of October last, 
1580, by the report of James Burie. 

" This also appeareth by the present- Richard Brittain, a priest receipted in 
ment of the Vicar of Kirkham. the house of William Bennett of 

Westby, about the beginning of June 
last, from whence young Mr. Norrice 
of Speke conveyed the said Brittain to 
the Speke, as the said Bennett hath 

" The said Brittain remayneth now at the house of Mr. Norrice of the Speke, as 
appeareth by the deposition of John Osbaldston. 

" Diocese of Chester 

" Amounderness Deanery 

Cuthb. Clifton, Esq. - - - Obstinate. 

Will. Hesketh, gent. - - - Obstinate. 

John Singleton, gent. - - - Obstinate." 

At that period it was customary to levy a tax of live stock and 
different articles of food on each county, for the supply of the 
royal larder, and Sir Richard Sherburn, of Carleton and 
Hambleton, and Alexander Rigby, of Middleton, near Preston, 1 
ratified an agreement with the treasurer and controller of 
Elizabeth's household, that Lancashire should provide annually 

I. Alexander Rigby was related to the branch of that family residing at Layton 


forty great oxen, to be delivered alive at her majesty's pasture at 
Crestow. Afterwards the sums to be contributed by each 
Hundred for the purchase of these animals was arranged, and 
Amounderness rated at 16 los. od. per year. The latter agree- 
ment was ratified by Sir Richard Sherburne and Edward Tyldesley, 
of Myerscough, amongst others. Grievous complaints were made 
in the Fylde and other parts of the county of the desecration of the 
Sabbath by "Wakes, fayres, markettes, bayrebaytes, bull baits, 
Ales, Maygames, Resortinge to Alehouses in tyrne of devyne 
service, pypinge and dauncinge, huntinge and all manner of 
unlawfull gamynge." A letter praying that these profanations 
might be reformed was signed by the magistrates of the several 
districts, amongst whom were Edmund Fleetwood of Rossall, and 
R. Sherburne of Carleton, etc., and forwarded to London. A 
commission of inquiry was appointed, and after an investigation, 
the commissioners charged all mayors, bailiffs, and constables, as 
well as other civil officers, churchwardens, etc., to suppress by all 
lawful means the said disorders of the Sabbath, and to present the 
offenders at the quarter sessions, that they might be dealt with for 
the same according to law. They also directed that the minstrels, 
bearwards, and all such disorderly persons, should be immediately 
apprehended and brought .before the justices of the peace, and 
punished at their discretion ; that the churchwardens should be 
enjoined to present at the sessions all those that neglected to 
attend divine service upon the Sabbath day, that they might be 
indicted and fined in the penalty of twelve pence for every 
offence ; that the number of alehouses should be abridged, that 
the ale-sellers should utter a full quart of ale for one penny, and 
none of any less size, and that they should sell no ale or other 
victuals in time of divine service ; that none should sell ale 
without a license ; that the magistrates should be enjoined not to 
grant any ale-licenses except in public sessions ; that they should 
examine the officers of the commonwealth to learn whether they 
made due presentment at the quarter sessions of all bastards born 
or remaining within their several precincts ; and that thereupon a 
strict course should be taken for the due punishment of the 
reputed parents according to the statute, as also for the con- 
venient keeping and relief of the infants. 1 

I. Harl. MSS. cod. 1926, fol. 80. 



In 1588, the year following the execution of Mary, Queen of 
Scots, Philip of Spain, urged on by an ambition to conquer the 
kingdom of England and re-establish the Romish religion, 
equipped an immense fleet, consisting of seventy-two galliasses 
and galleons, forty-seven second-class ships of war, and eleven 
pinnaces, to which he gave the name of the " Invincible Armada." 
The rumour of this invasion spread great alarm throughout the 
country ; and the magistrates, gentry, and freeholders of Lancashire 
were summoned to meet Lord Strange at Preston, to consider 
what steps should be taken for the defence of their coast, on 
which, at Peel in Morecambe Bay, it was deemed probable the 
Spaniards would attempt a landing. So doubtful does Elizabeth 
appear to have been of the loyalty of her Lancashire subjects that 
Lord Strange was commanded to append to his summonses the 
words, " Fayle not at your uttermost peril." Nor were these 
suspicions on the part of the queen without good reason, for the 
principal landed proprietors and gentry of the county were 
members of the Romish Church, and it was to be feared that they 
would be only lukewarm in repelling, if not, indeed, active in 
encouraging, an enemy whose professed object was the restoration 
of their religion. Baines, in reviewing the Reformation, says, 
" In the county of Lancashire it was retrograde. The Catholics 
multiplied, priests were harboured, the book of common prayer 
and the service of the Church, established by law, were laid aside ; 
many of the churches were shut up, and the cures unsupplied, 
unless by the ejected Catholics." Numerous crosses on the 
highways, as well as the names of several places, as Low-cross, 
High-cross, Norcross, etc., also testify to the Romish tendency of 
the inhabitants. Cardinal Allen, who had for many years been 
living on the continent at Douai and elsewhere 1 was suspected 
of having, in conjunction with Parsons, the Jesuit, instigated 
Philip to this invasion. The harbour of " Pille," (Peel) is 
described in the Lansdowne manuscripts as the " very best haven 
for landings with great shyppes in all the west coast of England, 
called St. George's Channel," and further in the same folio we 
read : " What the Spanyerd means to do the Lord knows, for all 
the countrie being known to Doctor Allen, who was born harde by 

i. See "Allen of Rossall," in Chapter vi. 


the pyle," (Rossall Hall was the birth-place of Allen,) " and the 
inhabytentes ther aboutes all ynfected with the Romish poyson, 
it is not unlike that his directione will be used for some landinge 
there. # * # One Thomas Prestone (a papyshe atheiste) is 
deputye steward, and commandes the menrede, and lands ther, 
wch were sometyme appertayning to the Abbeye of Fornes." 

Whilst preparations for resisting the Spaniards were being 
pushed forward with as much expedition as possible, the 
" Invincibles " appeared in the English Channel, and arranged 
themselves for battle in the form of a crescent. The British fleet, 
numbering only thirty-four ships of war, and sundry private 
vessels equipped for the occasion, under the command of Lord 
Howard, sailed out to engage them. A series of actions took 
place, and although nothing decisive had been effected, the 
advantage seemed to be leaning towards the English fleet, when 
eight fire-ships drifted in amongst the Armada and threw them 
into utter confusion. This coup de maitre took place on the 29th 
of July, 1588. The panic-stricken Spaniards, fearing that the 
whole of their ships would be destroyed in a general conflagration, 
severed their cables, and fled. A westerly gale, however, sprang 
up, and wrecked many of the vessels on the coast between Ostend 
and Calais ; the shores of Scotland and Ireland were also covered 
with fragments of their ships and bodies of their mariners, while 
tradition asserts that one of the galleons was stranded on the Point 
of Rossall, where it was attacked by the country people, either for 
the sake of pillage or in the hope of capturing it. Whether one 
or both of these desires actuated the rustics they were doomed to 
disappointment, for the Spaniards successfully resisted their first 
attempt, and escaped on the returning tide, before further efforts 
could be made by the little band on shore. Two cannon balls 
were formerly to be seen at Rossall Hall, and it was stated that 
they were the identical ones fired by this vessel, as a parting 
salute, when she sailed away. They were found on removing 
some of the walls belonging to the old mansion. 

The annexed is a list of free-tenants residing in the Fylde 
district about the year 1585, the 2yth of the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth : 

Molyneux, Sir Richard, of Larbrick, knight. 
Clifton, Thomas, of Westby, esq. 


Rigby, Edward, of Layton and Burgh, esq. 
Veale, John, of Mythorp, esq. 
Butler, Henry, of Out-Rawcliffe, esq. 
Parker, William, of Bradkirk, esq. 
Westby, John, of Mowbreck, esq. 
Kirkby, William, of Upper Rawcliffe, esq. 
Singleton, George, of Staining, esq. 
Hesketh, William, of Little Poulton, esq. 
Stanley, Thomas, of Great Eccleston, esq. 

Warren, , of Plumpton, esq. 

White, Nicholas, of Great Eccleston, gent. 
Rogerly, George, of Lytham, gent. 
Banister, William, of Carleton, gent. 
Sharpies John, of Freckleton, gent. 

The dress of the priests previous to the Protestant Reformation is 
thus described by Harrison : " They went either in divers colours 
like plaiers, or in garments of light hew, as yellow, red, greene, 
etc., with their shoes piked, their haire crisped, and their girdles 
armed with silver ; their shoes, spurs, bridles, etc., buckled with 
like mettall ; their apparell chiefly of silke, and richlie furred, 
their cappes laced and buttoned with gold ; so that to meet a 
priest in those days, was to beholde a peacocke that spreadeth his 
taile when he danseth before the henne." " The manners and 
customs of the inhabitants of Lancashire," writes John de 
Brentford, " are similar to those of the neighbouring counties 
except that the people eat with two pronged forks 1 ; the men are 
masculine, and in general well made, they ride and hunt the same 
as in the most southern parts, but not with that grace, owing to 
the whip being carried in the left hand ; the women are most 
handsome, their eyes brown, black, hazel, blue, or grey ; their 
noses, if not inclined to the aquiline, are mostly of the Grecian 
form, which gives a most beautiful archness to the countenance, 
such indeed as is not easy to be described, their fascinating 
manners have long procured them the name of Lancashire 
witches." Leyland in his "Itinerary" says : "The dress of the 
men chiefly consists of woollen garments, while the women wear 
those of silk, linen, or stuff. Their usual colours are those of 

i. Table forks were introduced into England from Italy at the close of the 
Tudor dynasty ; previously the people of all ranks used their fingers for the 
purposes to which we now apply a fork. A kind of fork was used as far back as 
the Anglo-Saxon times, but only to serve articles from the dish. 


green, blue, black, and sometimes brown. The military are 
dressed in red, which is vulgarly called scarlet." In the time of 
Henry VIII. the custom of placing chimneys on the tops of the 
houses was first introduced amongst the English ; before that 
period the smoke usually found its way through an opening in the 
roof or out of the doorway. The houses of the middle classes 
were for the most part formed of wood, whilst those of the 
peasantry were built of wattles plastered over with a thick 
coating of clay. The few stone mansions existing in Lancashire 
were the residences of the nobility or of the most opulent gentry. 
Harrison, referring to the improvements in accommodation 
gradually gaining ground, remarks : " There was a great, 
although not general, amendment of lodging ; for our fathers, 
yea, and we ourselves also, have lien full oft upon straw pallets, 
on rough mats, onelie covered with a sheet under coverlets made 
of dagswam or hopparlots, and a good round log under the head 
instead of a bolster or pillow, which was thought meet onelie for 
women in childbed ; as for servants, if they had anie sheets above 
them, it was well, for seldome had they anie under their bodies to 
keep them from the prickly straws that ran oft through the 
canvas of the pallet, and raised their hardened hides." Holinshed, 
also, notices the better style of entertainment at the inns of 
Lancaster, Preston, etc. ; at which he tells us the guests were well 
provided with " napierie, bedding, and tapisserie," and each was 
sure of resting " in cleane sheets wherein no man had been lodged 
since they came from the laundress." Camden, writing of our 
more immediate neighbourhood a little later than the period we 
are now discussing, says : " The goodly and fresh complexion of 
the natives does sufficiently evince the goodness of the county ; 
nay and the cattle too, if you will ; for in the oxen, which have 
huge horns and proportionate bodies, you will find nothing of that 
perfection wanting that Mago, the Carthagenian, in Columella 
required. This soil (Amounderness) bears oats pretty well, but is 
not so good for barley; it makes excellent pasture especially 
towards the sea, where it is partly Champain ; whence a great 
part of it is called the File, probably for the Field. But being in 
other places Fenny 'tis reckoned less wholesome. In many places 
along the coast there are heaps of sand, upon which the natives 
now and then pour water, till it grows saltish, and then with turf 



boyl it into white salt." Several of these salt manufacturies were 
located near Lytham, and it is very likely that the two brass pans 
and an ancient measure, discovered about forty years since deeply 
imbedded in the peat not far from Fox Hall, were used in the 
production of salt somewhere in that vicinity. 



the accession of James I., in 1603, the crowns of 
England and Scotland became legally united, although 
it was not until a considerable time afterwards that 
they could be regarded as practically so. This 
monarch was the first to assume the title of King of Great Britain. 
A custom prevailed in former days of relieving the secular 
portion of the community by imposing exclusive taxes on the 
clergy, and hence it is seen, that in 1608 a rate was levied upon 
the latter by the Right Reverend George Lloyd, D.D., the eighth 
bishop of Chester. The following is a copy of the impost so far as 
the Hundred of Amounderness was concerned : 

" Archid. Decanatus \ A Rayte imposed by me George Bushoppe of 

Cestrie in Com. Lancastrie S Chest 1 " upon the Clergie within the Countye 
of Chesshyre and Lancashyre within the Dyoces of Chest, r By vertue of Ires from 
the lordes grace of Yorke grounded upon + from the lordes and others of his ma tes 
most honorable privye counsell for the fyndinge of horses, armes, and other 
furniture, the xxvinth of October 1608. 

Amounderness Decanatus Archid. Richm. 
Mr. Porter, vicar of Lancast 1 " ... ... ... ... ... a corslet furnished. 

Mr. Paler, vicar of Preston 

Mr. Norcrosse, vicar of Ribchest r 

Mr. Whyt, vicar of Poulton & ) 

Mr. Greenacres, vicar of Kirkham ... ... j 

Mr. Ayns worth, vicar of Garstange ... ... ) 

Mr. Woolfenden, vicar of St. Michael's upon Wyre ) 

Mr. Calver, vicar of Cockerham ... ... 

Mr. Parker, vicar of Chippin ... ... ... j 

a musket furnished, 
a musket furnished, 
a musket furnished. 

... a caliver furnished. 
George Cestriensis." 1 
Here it may be mentioned that, although about 636, Honorus, 
archbishop of Canterbury, attempted to divide the kingdom into 
parishes, it was not until many years later, in the reign of Henry 

i. Harl, MSS. 


VIII., that the diocese to which Lancashire belonged was clearly 
defined. At that date Chester was created a distinct bishopric, 
and the southern part of our county included in the archdeaconry 
of Chester, whilst the northern portion was attached to the 
archdeaconry of Richmond. 

In 1617 James I., on his return journey from Scotland to 
London, was entertained at Myerscough Lodge, near Garstang, by 
Edward Tyldesley, the grandfather of the gentleman who erected 
Fox Hall, at Blackpool. Thomas Tyldesley, a cousin of the owner 
of Myerscough Lodge, and attorney-general of the county of 
Lancaster, had been knighted by the monarch at Wimbleton in 
the previous year. From Myerscough the King proceeded to 
Hoghton Tower, where a petition was presented to him by the 
agricultural labourers, petty tradesmen, and ordinary servants in 
this and other districts lying near Preston, praying that the edict 
of the late queen, whereby sports and games had been prohibited 
on the Sabbath, might be repealed. The prayer of the petitioners 
found favour with James, and shortly afterwards he caused it to 
be proclaimed "that his majesty's pleasure was, that the bishops 
of the diocese should take strict order with all the puritans and 
precisians within the county of Lancaster, and either constrain 
them to conform themselves, or to leave the countrie, according 
to the laws of this kingdom and the canons of the church ; and 
for his good people's recreation his pleasure was, that after the 
end of divine service, they be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged 
from any lawful recreation, such as dancing, either men or women ; 
archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any such harmless 
recreation ; nor having of May-games, Whitson-ales, and Morice- 
dances, and the setting up of May-poles, and other sports 
therewith used ; so as the same be had in due and convenient 
time, without impediment or neglect of divine service ; and that 
women should have leave to. carry rushes to the church, for 
decorating of it according to the old custom ; but withal his 
majesty did here account still as prohibited, all unlawful games to 
be used on Sundays only, as bear and bull-baitings, interludes, 
and, at all times, in the meaner sort of people, by law prohibited, 
bowling." A few months after this concession to the wishes of a 
portion of his subjects, James issued a publication designated the 
" Book of Sports," in which he explained what were to be 


considered lawful sports to be indulged in on " Sundays and 

The gentlemen enumerated below were free-tenants, residing in 
the Fylde, during his reign : 

Clifton, Sir Cuthbert, of Westby, knight. 
Banister, Sir Robert, of Plumpton, knight. 
Fleetwood, Edward, of Rossall, esq. 
Westby, Thomas, of Mowbreck, esq. 
Kirkby, William, of Upper Rawcliffe, esq. 
Veale, Edward, of Whinney Heys, esq. 
Burgh, Richard, of Larbrick, esq. 
Leckonby, John, of Great Eccleston, esq. 
Longworth, Richard, of St. Michael's, esq. 
Parker, John, of Bradkirk, esq. 
Hesketh, William, of Mains, esq. 
Singleton, Thomas, of Staining, esq. 
Brown James, of Singleton, gent. 
Leigh, Robert, of Plumpton, gent. 
Smith, John, of Kirkham, gent. 
Sharpies, Henry, of Kirkham, gent, 
ffrance, John, of Eccleston, gent. 
Thompson Wm., of Little Eccleston, gent. 
Dobson, William, of Bispham, gent. 
Hornby, Henry, of Bankfield, gent. 
Bradley, James, of Bryning, gent. 
Taylor, James, of Poulton, gent. 
Bamber, Thomas, of Poulton, gent. 
Bailey, Lawrence, of Layton, gent. 
Bonny, Robert, of Kirkham, gent. 
Whiteside, Robt., of Thornton, gent. 

In the Registers of Kirkham is the annexed statement, from 
which it appears that a few years from the death of James I. the 
Fylde, or at least a considerable tract of it, was visited by some 
fatal epidemic, but its peculiar nature cannot be ascertained : 
" A.D. 1630. This year was a great plague in Kirkham, in which 
the more part of the people of the town died thereof. It began 
about the 25th of July and continued vehemently until Martinmas, 
but was not clear of it before Lent ; and divers towns of the parish 
was infected with it, and many died thereof out of them, as 
Treales, Newton, Greenall, Estbrick, Thistleton. N.B. The 
great mortality was in the year 1631 ; 304 died that year, and 
were buried at Kirkham, of whom 193 in the months of August 
and September.^ Charles I. soon after ascending the throne in 

1626, provoked a breach with his parliament by endeavouring to 
enforce subsidies, with which to carry on his foreign wars, and 
further, he alienated the affections and respect of the Puritan 
section of his subjects by confirming the regulations of the " Book 
of Sports." Dissatisfaction and murmurings were quickly 
fermented into rebellion, and the closing of the gates of Hull 
against the king in 1642 initiated those fearful wars, which 
desolated and disorganised the country for so many years. In 
1641, Alexander Rigby, 1 esq., of Layton Hall, Sir Gilbert de 
Hoghton, with eight other gentlemen, were removed from the 
commission of the peace, by order of parliament, on suspicion of 
being favourably disposed towards the royal party. The chief 
supporters of the king in the ensuing conflicts were the nobility, 
in great numbers ; the higher orders of the gentry, and a 
considerable portion of their tenantry ; all the High-churchmen ; 
and a large majority of the Catholics. The parliamentarian army, 
on the other hand, was mainly composed of freeholders, traders, 
manufacturers, Puritans, Presbyterians, and Independents. An 
engagement near Wigan roused up the people in our vicinity to a 
sense of the dangers menacing them, and a public meeting of 
royalists was called at Preston under the presidency of the earl of 
Derby. Amongst other gentlemen who took a prominent part 
in the assembly were Thomas Clifton, esq., of Lytham, and 
Alexander Rigby, esq., of Layton. Several resolutions were 
adopted, the most important being that a sum of money, 
amounting to ^"8,700, should be raised and devoted to the 
payment of a regiment, consisting of 2,000 foot and 400 horse, in 
the following scale of remuneration : 


Captain I2s. od. per diem. 

Lieutenant 6s. od. 

Cornet 43. od. 

Sergeant 35. od. 

Corporal 2s. od. 

Dragooner is. 6d. 

Kettle-drum... 2s. od. 

I. This Alex. Rigby must not be confounded with the gentleman of that name 
mentioned in the former chapter, and who in the civil contests was a parliamen- 
tary general. A. Rigby here denoted, was a royalist officer. 



Captain los. od. per diem. Captain i6s. od. per diem. 

Lieutenant 43. od. Lieutenant ...... 8s. od. 

Sergeant is. 6d. Cornet 6s. od. 

Drummer is. 3d. ,, Corporal 43. od. 

Corporal is. od. Trumpeter 5s. od. 

Private os. gd. Private 2s. 6d. 

And to every Commissary 5 s - d- P er diem. 

Parliamentary commissioners were sent this year, 1642, into all 
parts of Lancashire to visit the churches and chapels and to 
remove therefrom all images, superstitious pictures, and idolatorous 
relics, which any of them might contain. 

Preston and Lancaster were amongst the earliest towns to fall 
into the hands of the Roundheads, and about ten days after the 
surrender of the former place, when the people of this district were 
labouring under the excitement of war on their very frontier, 
Alexander Rigby, of Layton Hall, accompanied by Captain 
Thomas Singleton, of Staining, and other officers, appeared near 
Poulton at the head of a number of horsemen, and threw the 
inhabitants into a state of great consternation and alarm, 
fortunately proving unnecessary, for the cavalcade had other 
designs than that of bringing devastation and bloodshed to their 
own doors, and continued their journey peacably northward. A 
few weeks later a Spanish vessel was seen at the entrance of 
Morecambe Bay, off Rossall Point, and as it evinced no signs of 
movement, either towards the harbour of Lancaster or out to sea, 
the yeomen and farm servants of that neighbourhood at once 
surmised that some sort of an invasive attack was meditated on 
their coast, nor were these fears in any way allayed by the constant 
firing of a piece of cannon from the deck of the ship, and it was 
not until the discharges had been repeated through several days 
that they realised that distress and not bombardment was intended 
to be indicated. On boarding the vessel they found that she 
contained a number of passengers, all of whom, together with the 
crew, were reduced to a pitiable and enfeebled condition through 
exposure and scarcity of provisions, for, having lost their way in the 
heavy weather which prevailed, they had been detained much over 
the time expected for the voyage, blindly cruising about in the 
hope of discovering some friendly haven or guide. The craft was 
piloted round into the mouth of the river Wyre, opposite the 


Warren, and relief afforded to the sufferers. Rumour of the 
presence of the ship was not long in reaching the ears of the earl 
of Derby, who, with promptitude determined to march down and 
seize it in the king's name. On the Saturday he arrived at 
Lytham Hall with a small troop of cavalry, where he sojourned 
for the night, with the intention of completing his journey and 
effecting his purpose the following day before the parliamentarians 
had got word of the matter ; but here his calculations were at 
fault, for the parliamentary leader had already dispatched four 
companies of infantry, under Major Sparrow, to take possession of 
the prize, and on the same Saturday evening they took up their 
quarters at Poulton and Singleton, having arrived by a different 
route to the earl, who had forded the river at Hesketh Bank. On 
the Sunday Major Sparrow, who throughout showed a lively 
horror of risking an encounter with the renowned nobleman, 
posted scouts with orders to watch the direction taken by the 
latter, and convey the information without delay to the chief 
station at Poulton, where the soldiers were injreadiness, not for 
action, as it subsequently turned out, but to put a safe barrier 
between themselves and the enemy, for no sooner was it ascer- 
tained that the earl, " all his company having their swords drawn," 
was marching along Layton Hawes towards Rossall, than Sparrow 
conducted his force across the Wyre, at the Shard, and followed the 
course of the stream towards its outlet "until he came over 
against where the shipp lay, being as feared of the earle as the 
earle was of him." 1 The earl of Derby advanced along the shore 
line and across the Warren to the mouth of the river without the 
naked weapons of his followers being called into service, but find- 
ing when he boarded the ship that two parliamentary gentlemen 
had forestalled his intention by seizing her for the powers they 
recognized, he unhesitatingly took them prisoners, and set fire to 
the vessel, whilst Sparrow and his men stood helplessly by, on the 
opposite side of the water, where the gallant major perhaps con- 
gratulated himself on his caution in having avoided a collision 
with so prompt and vigorous a foe. Some of the Spaniards 
attached themselves to the train of the earl, whilst others were 
scattered over the neighbourhood, depending for subsistence upon 

i. A Discourse of the Warr in Lancashire, edited by William Beamont (Cheet- 
ham Society.) 


the charity of the cottagers and farmers, but their final destiny is 
unknown. The noble general, enraged at the unlocked for frus- 
tration of the main object of his journey, determined that it 
should not be altogether fruitless, and on his return forced admit- 
tance into the mansion of the Fleetwoods, at Rossall, and bore off 
all the arms he could lay hands upon. Resuming his march he 
re-passed through Lytham, forded the Ribble, and finally made 
his way to Lathom House, his famous residence. 

Inactivity, however temporary, was ill suited to the tempera- 
ment of the earl, and on receiving the news that the solitary piece 
of artillery belonging to the luckless Spanish vessel had been 
appropriated by the parliamentary officials before he appeared upon 
the scene, and transferred to their stronghold at Lancaster, he 
conceived the idea of reducing the ancient castle on the Lune, and 
so taking vengeance on those who had anticipated him in the 
Wyre affair, as well as removing a formidable obstacle to the 
success of the royal arms. Before entering on an undertaking of 
such importance it was necessary that his small body of troops 
should be materially increased, and after exhausting the districts 
south of the Ribble, he crossed it, in search of recruits amongst the 
yeomanry and peasantry of the Fylde. The earl lodged his 
soldiers in and about Kirkham, and fixed his own quarters at 
Lytham Hall. Dreadful stories are related by the old historian, 
from whose work we have already quoted, of the doings of the 
troops for the short time they remained in the neighbourhood, 
but it is only fair to state that their rapacity was directed exclu- 
sively against the property of those whose sympathies were with 
their opponents, whose houses and farms they plundered most 
mercilessly, driving off their horses, and carrying away ornaments, 
bedding, and everything which could either be turned to immediate 
use or offered a prospect of future gain. Warrants were issued on 
the first day of their arrival, from the head quarters at Lytham, 
over the whole of our section, calling upon every male above six- 
teen years of age and under sixty, " upon payne of death to appear 
before his Honor at Kirkham the next morning by eight of the 
clock, in their best weapons, to attend the King's service." 1 The 
officers to whom fell the task of heralding the mandate over the 

I. A Discourse of the Warr in Lancashire, edited by William Beamont. 


large area in the brief interval allowed, fulfilled their duties with 
energy, and a goodly company responded to the arbitrary sum- 
mons of the commander. After having seen that the fresh levies 
were as suitably equipped for warfare as means would permit, the 
earl appointed John Hoole, of Singleton, and John Ambrose, of 
Wood Plumpton, as captains over them, and gave the order to 
march. On reaching Lancaster Lord Derby summoned the 
mayor and burgesses to surrender the town and castle into his 
hands, to which the chief magistrate replied that the inhabitants 
had already been deprived of their arms and were unresisting, but 
that the fortress, now garrisoned by parliamentary troops, was out 
of his keeping, an answer so far unsatisfactory to the besieger 
that he set fire to the buildings, about one hundred and seventy 
of which were destroyed, and inflicted other injury on the place. 
Colonel Ashton, of Middleton, who had been sent to relieve the 
castle, arrived too late, when the earl was some distance on his 
return towards Preston, from which town he dislodged the enemy. 
A little later the tide of fortune turned against the royalists, and 
the earl of Derby was one of the earliest to suffer defeat. Colonel 
Thomas Tyldesley, a staunch partizan of the king, and the father 
of Edward Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, Blackpool, retreated before 
Colonel Ashton, from Wigan to Lathom, and afterwards to Liver- 
pool, where he was beseiged and forced again to fly by his inde- 
fatigable opponent. (Later he distinguished himself at Burton-on- 
Trent, by the desperate heroism with which he led a cavalry 
charge over a bridge of thirty-six arches, and for that display of 
valour as well as his faithful adherence to Charles, he received 
the honour of knighthood.) Driven from Liverpool, Tyldesley, 
in company with Lord Molyneux, withdrew the remnant of his 
regiment towards the Ribble, crossed that stream, and quartered 
his men in Kirkham, whilst Molyneux occupied the village of 
Clifton. In these places they rested a night and a day, keeping a 
vigilant look out for their pursuer, Ashton, from the old windmill, 
situated at the east end of Kirkham. About one o'clock on the 
day succeeding the evening of their arrival the soldiers, acting 
under orders, repaired to their several lodgings to further refresh 
themselves after their prolonged fatigues, but before four hours 
had elapsed, a report came from the outpost that the enemy was 
approaching. An alarm spread through the camp, and with 


difficulty Lord Molyneux and Colonel Tyldesley assembled their 
forces in the town of Kirkham, where they elected once more to 
make a stand against the victorious Ashton. Command was 
given that all the women and children should confine themselves 
within doors, and preparations were hurried forward to offer the 
parliamentarians a vigorous resistance ; but as daylight waned and 
the besiegers were momentarily expected, the courage of the royal 
troops seems to have oozed away, and they precipitately vacated 
the town, fording the Wyre, and flying towards Stalmine, whence 
they continued their retreat to Cockerham, and so on northwards. 
When Colonel Ashton entered Kirkham he found the enemy 
gone and the inhabitants in a state of extreme trepidation, but 
their fears were soon dismissed by the action of the gallant soldier 
who, on learning the course taken by Tyldesley and Molyneux, 
pushed on without delay. Ashton followed up the pursuit as far 
as the boundaries of Lancashire, without overtaking any of the 
royalists, and then returned to Preston. The rear of his troops 
diverged from the main road at Garstang, unknown to their 
leader, and marched into the Fylde for plunder. They passed 
through St. Michael's, and visiting the residence and estate of 
Christopher Parker, of Bradkirk, drove away many of his cattle, 
and stripped his house of everything of value. In Kirkham they 
laid the people under heavy toll, and even spared not those who 
were notoriously well affected towards parliament. At Clifton 
they found more herds of cattle, which were joined to those 
already with them ; but at Preston they fell to quarrelling over 
the booty, and it is questionable whether their ill-gotten stores 
did not prove rather a curse than a blessing to them. 

Towards the end of 1643, the year in which the events just 
narrated occurred, Thurland Castle, the seat of Sir John 
Girlington, was captured by the parliamentary colonel, Alexander 
Rigby, of Middleton, near Preston. In the engagement the 
Lancashire troops were under the command of Alexander Rigby, 
of Layton, who allowed his small regiment to be surprised and 
routed by his namesake. After his success at Thurland, Colonel 
Rigby, of Middleton, proceeded to raise fresh levies in Amoun- 
derness. Mr. Clayton, of Fulwood Moor, was appointed to 
superintend the whole of the recruiting and directed to place 
himself at the head of the new regiment. Mr. Patteson, of 


Ribby, and Mr. Wilding, of Kirkham, were each apportioned half 
of the parish bearing the latter name, in which they were 
respectively ordered to raise a company. In the parishes of 
Poulton and Bispham, Mr. Robert Jolly, of Warbreck, Mr. 
William Hull, of Bispham, Mr. Richard Davis, of Newton, and 
Mr. Rowland Amon, of Thornton, were made captains, and had 
similar duties imposed upon them. In Lytham parish, Mr. 
George Sharpies, of Freckleton, received a commission, but was 
unable to muster more than a very few followers, as the people of 
that neighbourhood reflected the loyal sentiments of the lord of 
the manor, and could neither be coerced nor seduced, from their 
allegiance to the king. Captains Richard Smith and George 
Carter, of Hambleton, raised companies in Stalmine, Hambleton, 
and the adjacent townships and villages. Mr. William Swarbrick 
recruited a company in his native parish of St. Michael's, and 
Mr. Duddell obtained another in Wood Plumpton. 

At the siege of Bolton, in May, 1644, when the town was 
stormed and surrendered after a valiant resistance, to Prince Rupert, 
with an army of over nine thousand royalists, Duddell and Davis 
were amongst the officers slain, whilst their companies were 
literally cut to pieces. Captain George Sharpies, of Freckleton, 
was taken prisoner, and dragged, almost naked and barefooted, 
through the miry and blood-stained streets to the spot where 
Cuthbert, the eldest son of Thomas Clifton, of Lytham, was 
standing after the carnage, in which he had led a party of the 
besiegers. Captain Clifton and others near him were in a mood 
for a somewhat rude and ungenerous entertainment, and placed the 
hapless Sharpies, in his dilapidated attire, in a prominent position 
and, thrusting a Psalter into his hand, compelled him to sing a 
Psalm for their delectation. After they had amused themselves 
in such fashion for some time the prisoner was handed over to 
the guard, from whom he ultimately made his escape. Captain 
Cuthbert Clifton was elevated to the rank of colonel as an 
acknowledgment of his gallant services at Bolton, after which he 
returned for a few days into the Fylde, where he engaged himself 
in procuring a fresh detachment of soldiers, who readily flocked to 
his standard. For their provision and comfort he did not hesitate 
or scruple to appropriate a number of cattle on Layton Hawes, 
and to relieve some of the Puritans of Kirkham, Bispham, and 


Poulton, of their bedding, etc. Having fully supplied his 
commissariat department by these means, he marched to 
Liverpool, and joining Prince Rupert, was present at the sacking 
of that town. 

The Civil War had proved' most disastrous to Lancashire, 
where the constant movements and frequent collisions of the 
contending parties had ruined the towns, destroyed almost all 
attempts at agriculture, and reduced the inhabitants to a state of 
wretchedness and poverty, in many instances to the verge of 
starvation ; and notwithstanding the fact that in not one single 
instance had the Fylde been the scene of an encounter, the people 
of this section were in as lamentable a condition of penury and 
suffering as those of the less fortunate districts, a circumstance 
not to be wondered at when the incessant plunderings are taken 
into consideration, and when it is remembered that the youth 
and strength of the neighbourhood were serving as volunteers or 
recruits, either under the banner of parliament or that of the king. 
The of September, 1644, was appointed by the Puritans as a 
day of solemn prayer and fasting throughout the country, and 
parliament decreed that half of the money collected " in all the 
churches within the cities of London and Westminster and within 
the lines of communication," should be devoted to the relief of 
the distressed and impoverished in this county. 

Sir Thomas Tyldesley accompanied the army of Prince Rupert 
to York, near to where the sanguinary and famous battle or 
Marston Moor, in which no less than sixty thousand men were 
engaged on both sides, was fought on the 2nd of July, 1644. 
Oliver Cromwell commanded the parliamentarians in person, and 
after a fierce struggle discomfited the troops of Prince Rupert 
and drove them in confusion from the field. Sir Thomas 
Tyldesley retreated with his shattered regiment in hot haste 
towards Amounderness, where he made diligent search for 
arms and ammunition, but hearing that the* enemy, under 
Sir John Meldrum, was marching in quest of him he hurried 
to the banks of the Ribble, and crossed the ford into the 
Fylde. This latter incident happened towards the end of the 
week, and on Saturday he was joined in his ambush by the 
immense royalist force of Colonel Goring, so great indeed that 
" before the last companies had marched over the bridge at St. 



Michael's Church the first company was judged to be at Kirkham." 1 
There is probably some little exaggeration in the quoted state- 
ment, but even allowing it to be verbally correct, there can be no 
doubt that it is unintentionally misleading, as the extreme length of 
road covered would be due more to the wide intervals between the 
companies and the straggling manner in which they proceeded 
than to their actual numerical strength. Nevertheless the detach- 
ment, chiefly composed of cavalry, was enormous, and completely 
inundated the towns and villages in the parishes of Poulton, Kirk- 
ham, and Lytham. The men were lodged twenty, thirty, forty, 
fifty, and even sixty in a house, and on the Sunday morning they 
set out on an errand of pilfering without respect to persons, pillag- 
ing those who were friendly with as much eagerness and apparent 
satisfaction as others who were inimical to their cause, an impar- 
tiality so little appreciated by the inhabitants that they are said to 
have blessed the Roundheads by comparison with these insatiate 
freebooters. Horses, money, clothes, sheets, everything that was 
portable or could be driven, was greedily seized upon, and, in spite 
of threats and entreaties, remorselessly borne away. Hundreds of 
households were stripped not only of their ornaments, bedding, 
etc., but even of the very implements on which the family depended 
for subsistence. It is in truth no figure of speech to state that by 
far the larger share of the people were reduced to utter and seem- 
ingly hopeless destitution, and grateful indeed were they when 
their portion of the parliamentary grant of collections in the 
metropolis, before mentioned, was distributed amongst them, 
coming like manna from the heavens to comfort their desolated 
homes. To add insult to injury the graceless troopers compelled 
their entertainers to employ the Sabbath in winnowing corn in 
the fields for their chargers, and even refused to allow them to 
erect the usual curtains to protect the grain from being carried 
away by the high wind, so that the loss and waste amounted to 
barely less than the quantity utilised as fodder, and completely 
exhausted the fruits of their harvest. Sir Thomas Tyldesley, Lord 
Molyneux, and others of the leaders, fixed their lodgment near 
the residence of a gentleman named Richard Harrison, and 
were supplied with necessaries from Mowbreck Hall. Freckleton 

I. A discourse of the Warr in Lancashire, edited by William Beamont. 


marsh was the rendezvous, and there the entire forces assembled 
on the morning of Monday, but were compelled to remain until 
one o'clock at noon before the Ribble was fordable, when they took 
their departure, to the intense joy of all those who had trembled 
for their lives and suffered ruin in their small properties during 
their brief sojourn. Sir John Meldrum appeared in the district 
only a few hours after the royalists had left, and thus the Fylde 
had again a narrow escape of adding one more to the long list of 
unnatural battles, most truly described as suicidal massacres of the 
nation, where men ignoring the ties of friendship or kinship im- 
brued their swords in the blood of each other with a relentless and 
inhuman savagery, reviving as it seemed the horrid butcheries of 
the dark ages. Sir John Meldrum hastened in the direction of 
the retreating foe, but failed to overtake them. 

"In 1645," writes Rushworth, "there remained of unreduced 
garrisons belonging to the king in Lancashire only Lathom House 
and Greenhalgh Castle." 1 This castle was erected about half a 
mile eastward of Garstang, overlooking the Wyre, by Thomas, the 
first earl of Derby, in 1490, after the victory of Bosworth Field, as 
a protection from certain of the outlawed nobles, whose estates in 
that vicinity had rewarded the services of the earl to Henry VII. 
The castle was built in a rectangular form almost approaching to 
a square, with a tower at each angle. The edifice was surrounded 
and protected by a wide moat. The garrison occupying the small 
fortress at the date under consideration held out until the death of 
the governor, when a capitulation was made, and, about 1649, the 
castle was dismantled. In 1772 Penant spoke of the "poor 
remains of Greenhalgh Castle." 2 

The fall of Lathom House and other strongholds of the king and 
the surrender of Charles himself to the Scotch army of Puritans, 
brought the contests for a time to a close in 1647, and Sir Thomas 
Tyldesley, with several more, received instructions to disband the 
troops under his command. During the foregoing struggles 
parliament, in order to provide the necessary funds for the in- 
creased expenditure, had allowed " delinquents, papists, spies, and 
intelligencers" to compound for their sequestered estates, and 
amongst those connected with this locality who had taken 

I, Hist. Collect. P. 4, vol. I, p. 22. 2. Tour, p. 20. 


advantage of the permission were : 

Brown, Edward, of Plumpton, compounded for ^127 8s. od. 
Breres, Alexander, of Morton, gent., 82 45. $d. 

Bate, John, of Warbreck, 
Leckonby, Richard, of Elswick, esq., 
Nicholson, Francis, of Poulton, yeoman 
Rigby, Alexander, of Layton, esq., 
Walker, William, of Kirkham, gent., 
Westby, John, of Mowbreck, esq., 

^"n os. od. 

^58 6s. od. 

/I33 as. 4d. 

^381 35. 4d. 

17$ os. od. 

^"1,000 os. od. 

Presbyterianism became the national, or at least, the state 
religion, and for the regulation of ecclesiastical matters the 
Assembly of Divines, at Westminster, suggested that the country 
should be divided into provinces, whose representatives should 
hold annual conferences at the larger towns. The county of 
Lancaster was divided into nine Classical Presbyteries, and the 
seventh Classis, embracing the parishes of Preston, Kirkham, 
Garstang, and Poulton, consisted of 

Mr. Isaac Ambrose, of Preston, minister. 

Mr. Robert Yates, of Preston, minister. 

Mr. Ed. Fleeetwood, of Kirkham, minister. 

Mr. Thos. Cranage, of Goosnargh, minister. 

Mr. Chr. Edmondson, of Garstang, minister. 

Mr. John Sumner, of Poulton, minister. 


Alexander Rigby, of Preston, Esq. Thomas Nickson, of Plumpton, gent. 

William Langton, Esq. Robt. Crane, of Layton, gent. 

Alderman Matt. Addison, of Preston, gent. Wm. Latewise, of Catterall, gent. 
Alderman Wm. Sudall, of Preston, gent. Wm. Whitehead, of Garstang, gent. 
Alderman Wm. Cottam, of Preston, gent. Edward Veale, of Layton, Esq. 
Edward Downes, of Wesham, gent Rd. Wilkins, of Kirkham, yeoman. 

Edmund Turner, of Goosnargh, yeoman. 

One of the duties of these Classes was to examine, ordain, and 
appoint ministers, or presbyters, as they were called, whenever 
vacancies occurred in the district over which, respectively, they 
had jurisdiction ; subjoined is the certificate given in the case of 
Cuthbert Harrison, B.A., when selected and appointed presbyter 
of Singleton chapel : 

"Whereas Cuthbert Harrison, B.A., aged 30 years, hath addressed himself to 
us, authorised by ordinance of parliament of 22 Aug. 1646, for ordination of 
ministers, desiring to be ordained a presbyter, being chosen by the inhabitants 
within the chapelry of Singleton to officiate there ; and having been examined by 
us the ministers of the Seventh Classis, and found sufficiently qualified 
for the ministerial functions, according to the rules preserved in the said ordinance, 


and thereupon approved we have this day solemnly set him apart to the office of 
presbyter and work of the ministry of the gospel, by laying on of hands by us 
present, with fasting and prayer, by virtue whereof we declare him to be a lawful 
and sufficiently authorised minister of Jesus Christ. In testimony whereof we 
have hereunto put our hands the 27th Nov., 1651." 

(Here follow the signatures.) 

In 1648 General Langdale, a royalist officer, appealed to the 
loyalty of the northern counties to attempt a rescue of the im- 
prisoned monarch from the hands of his enemies. Many rushed 
to his standard, and the parliamentarians of the Fylde shared the 
general consternation which pervaded Lancashire at the success of 
his effort to rekindle the still smouldering embers of civil war. 
There is no necessity to trace the steps of this ill-judged enterprise 
to its disastrous issue, but suffice it to say that the defeat and 
routing of the little army was followed at a very short interval by 
the execution of Charles I., after a formal trial in which he dis- 
claimed the jurisdiction of the court. 

On. the 22nd of June, 1650, a meeting of Commissioners under 
the Great Seal of England was held at Preston " for inquiring 
into and certeifying of the certeine numbers and true yearely 
value of all parsonages and vicariges presentative, of all and every 
the sp'uall and eccli'call benefices, livings, and donatives within 
the said countye " ; and after examining the good and lawful men 
of Kirkham and Lytham, it was recommended by the assembly 
that Goosnargh and Whittingham should be formed into a 
separate parish on account of their great distance from the church 
at Kirkham. At this inquiry it was also stated that " the 
inhabitants of Newsham desired to be annexed to Woodplumpton ; 
the inhabitants of Clifton and Salwick, together with the 
inhabitants of Newton-cum-Scales, and the upper end of Treales, 
desired to be united in one parish. Singleton chappell, newly 
erected, desired that it might be made a parish. The inhabitants 
of Weeton-cum-Preese desired that that township might be made 
a parish, and the inhabitants of Rawcliffe desired to be annexed to 
it. The townships of Rigby-cum-Wraye, and of Warton, and of 
Kellamore-cum-Bryning, and Westbye-cum-Plumpton, all humbly 
desired to be made a parish. The several townships of Eccleston 
Parva-cum-Labrecke, and the inhabitants of Medlar and Thistleton, 
and the inhabitants of Rossaker-cum-Wharles, desired to be 
annexed to Elswick, and that it might be made a parish." Al- 


though at that time these petitions failed in obtaining their 
objects, much the same thing has been accomplished in more 
recent years by Lord Blandford's Act, by which separate parochial 
districts, as far as ecclesiastical matters are concerned, have been 
appropriated to each church, thus rendering it independent of the 
mother-church of the ancient parish in which it might happen to 
be situated. 

In 1651 the son of the unfortunate monarch, who had been 
proclaimed king by the Scotch under the title of Charles II., 
crossed the frontier and invaded England with a force of fourteen 
thousand men. That year the earl of Derby, Sir Thomas 
Tyldesley, and several other officers, sailed from the Isle of Man, 
whither they had retired, in obedience to the call of the young 
prince, and landed either on the Warren, at the mouth of the 
river Wyre, or at Skippool higher up the stream, with a regiment 
of two hundred and fifty infantry and sixty cavalry. Two of the 
vessels grounded during the operation of disembarking the horses, 
and in the heavy winds that ensued were reduced to total wrecks. 
As soon as the news of the earl of Derby's arrival on the banks of 
the Wyre was rumoured abroad, " all the ships," says the Perfect 
Diurnall, "were wafted out of the rivers of Liverpool, and set 
sail with a fair wind fore Wirewater ; where the Frigots rid that 
brought the Lord Derby over with his company, to surprise them 
and prevent his Lordship escaping any way by water." The earl 
marched through the Fylde, but the martial ardour of the 
inhabitants was not so readily excited as on former occasions, for 
the recollection of their abusive and piratical treatment by the 
troopers of Colonel Goring, in 1644, was still fresh in their minds, 
and effectually checked any feelings of enthusiasm at seeing the 
royal banners once again unfurled in their midst. A scattered 
few, however, there were who were willing to forget the misdeeds 
of the agents in their eagerness for the success of the cause, and 
with such meagre additions to his strength the carl hastened on. 
At Preston he raised six hundred horse, and shortly afterwards 
encountered the parliamentarians, under Colonel Lilburne, at 
Wigan-lane, where the royalists were defeated with great 
slaughter. Sir Thomas Tyldesley was slain, and the gallant earl 
escaped from the field only to be taken prisoner in Cheshire and 
suffer the fate of his late regal master, Charles I. Alexander 


Rigby, the grandson of the Alexander Rigby, of Layton, before 
mentioned, and only seventeen years of age, also took part in this 
eventful engagement, and twenty-eight years subsequently, when 
High Sheriff of the county of Lancaster, erected a monument to 
the memory of Major-General Sir Thomas Tyldesley near the 
spot where he fell. So universally esteemed was the valiant 
knight for his bravery and honourable conduct that the title of 
" Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche " was conferred upon him 
alike by friends and enemies. Charles II., after the overthrow of 
his army by Cromwell, adopted the disguise of a peasant, and 
having narrowly escaped detection by hiding himself amidst the 
foliage of an oak tree, fled at the first opportunity over to France. 
Cromwell was now installed in the chief seat of authority and held 
the reins of government under the style of Lord Protector. 

In 1660, two years after the death of Cromwell, Charles II. 
was recalled and placed upon the throne; and in 1662 
a law was passed by which it was enacted that before St. 
Bartholomew's Day of that year, all ministers should arrange 
their services according to the rules contained in the new book of 
Common Prayer, under pain of dismissal from their preferments. 
The following letter was received by the churchwardens of 
Garstang, ordering the ejectment of the Rev. Isaac Ambrose, who 
was a member of the family of Ambrose of Ambrose Hall, in 
Wood Plumpton, from his benefice on account of his refusal to 
conform to the arbitrary regulation : 

" Whereas in a late act of Parliament for uniformitie, it is enacted that every 
parson, vicar, curate, lecturer, or other ecclesiasticall person, neglecting or refusing, 
before the Feast Day of St. Bartholomew, 1662, to declare openly before their 
respective congregations, his assent and consent to all things contained in the 
book of common prayer established by the said act, ipso facto, be deposed, and that 
every person not being in holy orders by episcopall ordination, and every parson, 
vicar, curate, lecturer, or other ecclesiasticall person, failing in his subscription to 
a declaration mentioned in the said act to be subscribed before the Feast Day of 
St. Bartholomew, 1602, .-h;ill be Utterly disabled, and ipso facto deprived, and his. 
place be void, a.s if the person so failing he naturally dead. And whereas Isaac 
Ambrose, late Vicar of Garstang, in the county of Lancaster, hath neglected to 
declare and subscribe according to the tenor of the said act, 1 doe therefore declare 
the church of Garstang to be now void, and doe strictly charge the said Isaac 
Ambrose, late vicar of the said church, to forbear preaching, lecturing, or officiating 
in the said church, or elsewhere in the diocese of Chester. And the church- 
wardens of the said parish of Garstang are hereby required (as by duty they are 
bound) to secure and preserve the said parish church of Garstang from any 


invasion or intrusion of the said Isaac Ambrose, disabled and deprived as above 
said by the said act, and the churchwardens are also required upon sight hereof to 
show this order to the said Isaac Ambrose, and cause the same to be published 
next Sunday after in the Parish Church of Garstang, before the congregation, as 
they will answer the contrary. Given under my hand this 2gth day of August, 

"Geo. Ceslriens. 

" To the Churchwardens of Garstang, in the County Palatine of Lancaster." 

In this county sixty-seven ministers refused to submit to the 
mandate, and were removed from their churches by the authority 
of documents similar to the above, and prohibited from officiating 
in their priestly capacity anywhere within the diocese. Amongst 
the number, so interdicted, were the Rev. W. Bullock, of 
Hambleton, the Rev. Joseph Harrison, of Lund chapel, and the 
Rev. Nathaniel Baxter, M.A., of St. Michael's-on-Wyre. The 
Nonconformists were subsequently subjected to even greater 
harshness and injustice by an act which decreed that no 
clergyman, belonging to any of their sects, should reside within 
five miles of the town or place at which he had last preached, 
unless he took an oath as under : 

" I do swear that it is not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to take arms 
against the king, and that I do abhor the traitorous position of taking arms 
against his authority ; against his person ; or against those that are commissioned 
by him, in- pursuance of such commissions ; and that I will not at any time 
endeavour any alteration of government either in church or state." 

The sufferings experienced by those ministers who had been 
deprived of their benefices are described as having been extreme, 
nay, almost intolerable, and it was doubtless owing to the great 
severity practised towards the body of Nonconformists that the 
old creed gained such little popularity for some time after its 

Charles II., soon after the restoration of monarchy at his 
coronation, determined to create a new order of knighthood, to 
be called the u Royal Oak," as a reward to some of the more 
distinguished of his faithful adherents, and amongst the number 
selected for the honour were Col. Kirkby, of Upper Rawcliffe, 
Richard Butler, of Out Rawcliffe, and Edward Tyldesley, of Fox 
Hall, Blackpool. 1 The design was shortly abandoned by the advice 

I. From a M.S. of Peter Le Neve., Norroy, among the collection of Mr. Joseph 
Ames. The knights of this order were to wear a silver medal ornamented with a 
device of the King in the Oak, suspended by a ribbon from their necks. The 



of the crown ministers, who foresaw that the necessarily limited 
distribution of the distinction would give rise to jealousy and 
animosity amongst those who had been active in the late wars. 

In 30 Charles II. a statute was passed entitled "An act for 
lessening the importation of linen from beyond the seas, and the 
encouragement of the woollen and paper manufactories of the 
kingdom" ; and by it was provided, under a penalty of ^"5, half of 
which was to be distributed to the poor of the parish, that at 
every interment throughout the country a certificate should be 
presented to the officiating minister stating that the winding 
sheet of the deceased person was composed of woollen material and 
not of linen, as heretofore. The certificate ordered to be used 
at every burial ran thus : 

" A, of the parish of B, in the county of C, maketh Oath that D, of the parish 
of It, in the county of C, lately deceased, was not put in, wrapt or wound up or 
Buried, in any Shirt, Shift, Sheet, or Shroud, made or mingled with Flax, Hemp, 
Silk, Hair, Gold, or Silver, or other than that which is made of Sheep's Wool 
only. Nor in any Coffin lined or faced with any cloth, stuff, or anything whatso- 
ever, made or mingled with Flax, Hemp, Silk, Hair, Gold, or Silver, or any other 
material but Sheep's Wool only. 

" Dated the * * day of * * in the xxxth year of the reign of our 
Sovereign Lord, Charles the second, king of England, Scotland, France, and 
Ireland, etc. 

" Sealed and Subscribed by us, who were present and witnesses to the Swearing 
of the above said affidavit 

(Signatures of two wttnesses.) 

"I, * * , esq., one of the King's Majesties Justices of the Peace for the 
County above said, do hereby certify that the day and year above said A came be- 
fore me and made such affidavit as is above specified according to the late Act of 
Parliament, entitled An Act for burying in Woollen. 


The foregoing statute was amended two years later, and the 
modified enactment continued in force for some time, when it was 

following is a list of persons in the county of Lancashire who were considered fit 
and qualified to be made Knights of this Order with the value of their estates : 

Thomas Holt per annum 1000 

Thomas Greenhalgh 1000 

Colonel Kirkby ... 1500 

Robert Holt 1000 

Edmund Asheton... 1000 

Christopher Banister 1000 

Francis Anderton... 1000 

Col. James Anderton 1500 

Robert Nowell 1000 

Henry Norris 1200 

John Girlington ... per annum ^"1000 
Thomas Preston ... 2OOO 

Thomas Farrington of Worden 1000 
Thomas Fleetwood of Penwortham 1000 
William Stanley ... 1000 

Edward Tyldesley 1000 

Thomas Stanley .. looo 

Richard Boteler (Butler) 1000 

John Ingleton, senior 1000 

Walmsley of Dunkenhalgh 2000 


repealed. In the registers of old churches, such as Bispham, 
Poulton, Kirkham, and St. Michael's-on-Wyre, where they have 
been preserved, notices of burials according to this regulation 
during the two years it was in operation, may be seen ; and 
amongst the records of the Thirty-men, or governing body of 
Kirkham, is an entry of expenses incurred when they went " to 
justice Stanley" to obtain his authority to " demand 505. for 
Tomlinson's wife buried in linen," contrary to the law. 

Three years from the accession of James II., his repeated 
attempts to curtail the civil and religious liberties of his subjects 
had so far incensed them against him that William, Prince of 
Orange, was invited over to free them from his rule. In 1688 
James abdicated the throne, and the following year William and 
Mary were crowned at Westminster. Annexed is a list of the 
gentry residing in the Fylde from the reign of Henry VIII, to 
their accession, as prepared from original records and private 
manuscripts : 

Allen of Rossall Hall. Lowde of Kirkham. 

Ambrose of Ambrose Hall. Massey of Carleton. 

Bradley of Bryning. Molyneux of Larbrick Hall. 

Bradshaw of Preese and Scales. Parker of Bradkirk Hall. 

Butler of Rawcliffe Hall. Rigby of Layton Hall. 

Butler of Layton and Hackensall. Sharpies of Freckleton. 

Clifton of Westby. Shuttleworth of Larbrick. 

Eccleston of Great Eccleston Hall. Singleton of Singleton. 

Fleetwood of Plumpton. Singleton of Staining Hall. 

Fleetwood of Rossall Hall. Stanley of Great Eccleston Hall. 

Hesketh of Mains Hall. Tyldesley of Fox Hall, Blackpool. 

Kirkby of Upper Rawcliffe. Veale of Whinney Heys. 

Kirkby of Mowbreck. Westby of Rawcliffe. 

Leigh of Singleton. Westby of Mowbreck and Burn 
Longworth of St. Michael's Hall. Halls. 

James II., when force of circumstances had driven him into 
exile, left a considerable number of supporters behind him, chiefly 
amongst the Roman Catholics, who were not dilatory in devising 
-clu'incs for his re-establishment. On the l6th of M;iy. 1690, 
Robert Dodsworth deposed upon oath, before Lord Chief Justice 
Holt, that the following' Popish gentry of the Fylde, amongst 
others, had entered into a conspiracy to restore James, and that 
they had received commissions as indicated for the purpose of 
raising troops to carry out the enterprise : Colonel Thomas 


Tyldesley, son of the late Sir Thomas ; Captains Ralph Tyldesley, 
son of the late Sir Thomas ; Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, 
nephew to the two preceeding ; Richard Butler, of Rawcliffe Hall, 
and Henry, his eldest son ; Thomas Westby, of Mowbreck Hall, 
and William, his third son, who was designated a lieutenant ; and 
Lieutenant Richard Stanley, of Great Eccleston Hall. Nothing 
is recorded as to the result of the above information, but in 1694 
Sir Thomas Clifton, brother to Cuthbert Clifton, of Lytham, was 
arraigned, with several more, on a charge of treason in connection 
with a reported Jacobite plot, but was acquited, as also were those 
with him. During the course of the trial, Thomas Patten, of 
Preston, as witness to the loyalty of Sir Thomas Clifton to the 
existing government, stated that " in 1689 he received orders from 
the Lord Lieutenant to secure several Popish gentlemen, and that 
amongst them Sir Thomas Clifton was one who was taken and 
brought prisoner to Preston upon the i6th day of June in that 
year ; that Sir Thomas being a very infirm man and unfit to be 
carried so far as Manchester, which was the place where the rest 
of the Popish gentlemen then made prisoners were secured, he 
undertook for Sir Thomas, and prevailed to have him kept at his 
(Patten's) own house in Preston, where he continued prisoner, and 
was not discharged until the January following, at which time all 
the gentlemen were set at liberty ; that during Sir Thomas 
Clifton's confinement he expressed to him much zeal and affection 
to the present government, saying how much the persons of his 
religion ought to be satisfied with their usage, as putting no differ- 
ence betwixt them and other subjects save the public exercise of 
their religion, so long as they themselves would be quiet, and 
protested for himself that he could never endure to think of 
practising any change." Further Mr. Patten affirmed " that he 
knew Sir Thomas's disposition to have always been peaceful and 
quiet." During the time that James IT. was engaged in inciting 
the Irish nation to espouse his cause and furnish him with an 
army to invade England and regain his throne, Thomas Tyldesley, 
of Fox Hall, prepared a secret chamber in that mansion for his 
reception. The disastrous battle of the Boyne, however, in which 
James was vanquished by William, Prince of Orange, and King 
of England, crushed all hope of future success in the fallen 
monarch, and at the earliest opportunity he escaped to France. 


In 1715, during the reign of George L, his son, the Chevalier de 
St. George was proclaimed king in Scotland under the title of 
James III. The earl of Mar and several other influential suppor- 
ters of the Stuarts assembled a large force and marched south- 
wards ; on arriving at the border five hundred of the Highlanders 
refused to proceed further, but the remainder passed through the 
northern counties as far as Preston. Here they were besieged by 
the loyal troops under Generals Carpenter and Wills, who 
stormed the town and forced the rebels to an unconditional 
surrrender. Many of the leaders were executed, whilst others 
were incarcerated for various terms ; the general treatment of 
their unfortunate followers may be gleaned from the journal of 
William Stout, of Lancaster, in which it is written : " After the 
rebellion was suppressed about 400 of the rebels were brought to 
Lancaster Castle, and a regiment of Dragoons was quartered in 
the town to guard them. The king allowed them each 4d. a day 
for maintenance, viz., 2d. in bread, id. in cheese, and id. in small 
beer. And they laid on straw in stables most of them, and in a 
month's time about 100 of them were conveyed to Liverpool to be 
tried, where they were convicted and near 40 of them hanged at 
Preston, Garstang, Lancaster, etc. ; and about 200 of them con- 
tinued a year, and about 50 of them died, and the rest were 
transported to America." Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, died in 
1715, just before the outbreak of the rebellion, but his son Edward, 
who succeeded him, joined the rebels. For this act of treason he 
was put on his trial, but escaped conviction and punishment 
through the favour of the jury, by whom he was acquitted 
in spite of clear and reliable evidence that he had entered 
Preston at the head of a company of insurgents with a 
drawn sword in his hand. After the capitulation, when 
the king's troops had entered the town and were marching 
along the streets, many men from our district, who had 
congregated on Spital's Moss, armed with fowling pieces and 
implements of husbandry, joined their ranks, and a huge duck-gun 
belonging to a yeoman named Jolly, from Mythorp, near Black- 
pool, was instrumental in doing good service to the besiegers by 
slaying one Mayfield, of the Ashes, Goosnargh. The rebel had 
secreted himself behind a chimney on one of the houses, and was 
engaged in picking off the loyal soldiers as they made their way 


along the thoroughfare below. His murderous fire was at length 
put an end to by a charge from the famed gun of Jolly, whose 
keen eye had detected the assassin in his hiding place. Jolly 
himself appears to have had an aversion to causing the death of a 
fellow-creature in cold blood, even though a rebel, and the credit 
of the shot is due to a soldier, whose own weapon failed in reaching 
the object. The Rev. W. Thornber tells us in his History of 
Blackpool, that the family of the Jollys, for many years, treasured 
up the wonderful gun, and that the tale of its exploit was circu- 
lated far and wide in the neighbourhood of their home. From 
the remarks of the Rev. Patten, who accompanied the army of 
the Chevalier, as chaplain to General Forster, we learn that those 
who joined the insurgents in Lancashire were chiefly Papists, 
and that the members of the High-church party held aloof, much 
to the disappointment and chagrin of General Forster, who, in his 
anger, declared " that for the time to come he would never again 
believe -a drunken tory." Edward Tyldesley, Henry Butler, of 
Rawcliffe Hall, and his son Richard Butler, were the most distin- 
guished personages amongst the small body of men belonging to 
this section who openly espoused the cause of the Pretender. The 
paucity of the recruits attracted by the insurgent standard from our 
neighbourhood is easily to be accounted for, when it is remembered 
that for many years the county of Lancashire had enjoyed an 
immunity from strifes and disturbances, so that the inhabitants of 
the rural districts, such as the Fylde, had settled down to the 
cultivation of the soil, and would care little to assist in a work 
which as far as they were privately concerned, could only terminate 
in the devastation of their fields, and, probably, in the ruin of 
many of their households. Especially, in 1715, would the people 
be disinclined to take part in or encourage insurrectionary and war- 
like proceedings, for in that year extraordinarily bountiful 
harvests had rewarded their labours, and general prosperity had 
taught them the blessings of peace. 1 After the rebellion of 1715 
many Papists registered their estates and the respective yearly 
values thereof, according to an Act of Parliament passed in the 
reign of George I., and amongst the number may be observed the 

I. " This year (1715) provisions were plentiful and cheap, as also corn and hay" 
-the Journal of W. Stout of Lancaster. 


names of sundry local personages as : 

Sherburne, Sir Nicholas, 

Butley, Mary, ) 

Butler, Catherine, j 
Butler, Elizabeth, 

Butler, Christopher 

Brockholes, John, 
Clifton, Thomas, 
Clifton, Bridget, 
Blackburne, Thomas 
Blackburne, Richard, 
Hesketh, William, 
Hesketh, George, 
Hesketh, Margaret, 
Singleton, Anne, 
Stanley, Anne, 

of Carleton, Hambleton, and 

wife and only child of Rich. Butler, 
who died in gaol, 

of Kirkland, afterwards the third 
wife of Henry Butler, of Rawcliffe, 
second son of H. Butler, of Raw- 

of Claughton, etc., 
of Lytham, Clifton, etc., 

Annual Value. 







of Wood Plumpton, 

of Stockenbridge, near St. Michael's, 

of Mains, 

brother to W. Hesketh, 

widow of Thos. Hesketh, of Mains, 

of Staining and Bardsea, 

widow of Richard Stanley of Great 


of Little Eccleston, 

of Fox Hall, and Myerscough, 

half-sister of Edward Tyldesley, 

of Wood Plumpton, 

of White Hall, St. Michael's, 

of Mowbreck, 

bros. of J. Westby, of Mowbreck, 

of Leckonby Honse, Elswick, etc., 

of Kirkham, 

of Salwick, 

of Thistleton, 

Prince Charles Edward, the son of the former Pretender, 
landed in the Hebrides, in 1745, with a well-officered force of two 
thousand men, and after defeating Sir John Cope, seized the city 
of Edinburgh and commenced his march southwards. Crossing 
the border, he passed through Lancashire, and arrived at Preston 
with- an army barely six thousand strong. At Preston he met 
with an enthusiastic welcome, the church bells were rung, and 
loud cheers greeted the proclamation of his father, the Chevalier, 
as king of Great Britain and Ireland. His sojourn in the town 
was brief, and on the 2yth of November the rebel troops set out 
for Manchester, inspirited by the lively strains of " The King 
shall have his own again." Arriving at that city, they continued 

Swartbreck, John, 
Tyldesley, Edward, 
Tyldesley, Agatha, 
Threlfall, Cuthbert, 
Westby, John, 
Westby, John, 
Westby, Thomas, 
Westby, Cuthbert, 
Leckonby, William, 
Walley, Thurstan, 
Charnock, Anne, 
Knott, Thomas, 

10 19 


522 19 


1548 16 


3 10 

i 6 


21 2 


198 3 


13 6 


57 o 


76 15 


118 15 


23 15 


720 9 


52 10 


31 12 


119 II 


230 5 


20 o 




79 " 




I 4 

20 o 


their march towards Derby, where, on receiving the news that the 
Duke of Cumberland was at Lichfield on his way to intercept 
them, Prince Charles Edward hastened to beat a retreat, and on 
the 1 2th of December re-passed through the streets of Preston, 
the wearied feet of his followers keeping time to the doleful but 
appropriate air of " Hie the Charlie home again." 

The battle on the moor of Culloden, in which the rebel army 
was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland, finally decided the fate 
of the House of Stuart, and after experiencing many hardships, 
Prince Charles Edward escaped across the channel into France. 
James, the son of Edward Tyldesley who took part in the 
insurrection of 1715, served in the army of the Young Pretender. 
During the excitement and alarm produced by these rebellions, 
silver spoons, tankards, and other household treasures, were 
deposited for safety in a farm house at Marton ; cattle and other 
farm-stock were driven to Boonley, near Blackpool, whilst money 
and articles of jewelry were buried in the soil of Hound Hill in 
that town. The Scots who accompanied Prince Charles were so 
renowned for their voracious appetites that the householders of 
the Fylde prepared for their expected visit by laying in an 
abundant supply of eatables, hoping that a good repast, like a soft 
answer, would turn away wrath. Mr. Physic, of Poulton, was an 
exception to the general rule, and having barricaded his house, 
determined vigorously to resist any attack of the rebels either 
on his larder or his purse. Hotly pursued by the Duke of 
Cumberland in their retreat towards Scotland, the insurgents 
were quickly hurried through the country, but some of the 
stragglers found their way to Mains Hall, where they were 
liberally provided with food by Mrs. Hesketh. It is probable that 
these rebels formed part of the number of Highlanders, who were 
afterwards captured at Garstang, and that one of them was the 
bare-footed Scot who seized the boots of John Miller, of Layton, 
dragging them from his feet with the cool remark " Hout mon, 
but I mon tak' thy brogues." William Hesketh, of Mains, had 
considered it prudent to secrete himself on the warren at Rossall 
until the excitement had subsided, as in some way or other he 
had been mixed up with the former outbreak, and wished to 
avoid any suspicion of having been implicated in this one also. 
At the sanguinary and decisive battle of Culloden, two notorious 


characters from Layton and Staining were present ; one of them, 
named Leonard Warbreck, served in the capacity of hangman at 
the executions following the rebellion, whilst the other, James 
Kirkham, generally known as Black Kirkham, was a gallant 
soldier, remarkable for his giant-like size and immense strength. 
The country people near his home were wont to declare that, 
for a small wager, this warrior carried his horse and accoutrements 
round the cross at Wigan to the astonishment and admiration of 
the by-standers. One incident of these times, reflecting little 
credit on this neighbourhood, but which, as faithful recorders, 
we are bound to relate, was the journey of Henry Hardicar, of 
Little Poulton, to London, a distance of two hundred and thirty- 
three miles, all of which he travelled on foot, solely to gratify a 
morbid taste by witnessing the legal tragedies performed on 
Tower Hill. "I saw the lords heided" was his invariable 
answer to all inquiries as to the wonders he had seen in the 
metropolis. In this rising, as in the earlier one, the inhabitants 
of the Fylde evinced their prudence and good sense by remaining 
as nearly neutral as their allegiance to the reigning monarch 
would permit them. Those insurgents who found their way into 
the district were treated with kindness, but no encouragement 
was given them to prolong their stay, either by professions of 
sympathy or offers of assistance in their insurrectionary enterprise. 
We have at last come to the end of the long chain of wars and 
disturbances which from the period of the struggles between the 
Houses of York and Lancaster, had exercised their baneful 
influence on the territory and population of the Fylde, and are 
now entering on an era of peace and unbroken prosperity. The 
small water-side hamlets of Blackpool and Lytham put forth 
their rival claims to the patronage of the inland residents, 

" And had their claims allow'd." 

In 1788, Mr. Hutton described the former place as consisting of 
about fifty houses and containing four hundred visitors in the 
height of the season. This historian also informs us, that the 
inhabitants were remarkable for their great longevity, and relates 
the anecdote of a woman who, forming one of a group of 
sympathising friends around the couch of a dying man, exclaimed 
" Poor John ! I knew him a clever young fellow four score 
years ago." Lytham, also, attracted a considerable number of 



visitors during the summer, and for many years was a more 
popular resort than Blackpool. In Mr. Baines's account of 
Lytham, published in 1825, we read as follows : " This is one of 
the most popular sea-bathing places in the county of Lancashire ; 
and if the company is less fashionable than at Blackpool, it is 
generally more numerous, and usually very respectable." 

A list of the Catholic Chapels and Chaplains, together with 
the number of their respective congregations, in the county of 
Lancaster, was collected in 1819, and subjoined are enumerated 
those situated in the Hundred of Amounderness : 

Place. Chapels. 

Preston .. 2 

Alston Lane 


The Hill 











Great Eccleston . . . 

Priest. No. of Congregation. 

Revd. Dunn \ 

Morris f g 

Gore I b ' 000 

>, - Bird ) 

Cowburne 400 

Blakoe 500 

Martin 450 

Gradwell 800 

Lawrenson 350 

Storey 600 

Marsh 600 

Caton 300 

Anderton 400 

Sherburne 600 

Butler 300 

Dawson 500 

Platt 400 

Parkinson 450 

Total 16 12,650 I. 

In 1836 the first house of Fleetwood was erected, and in a few 
years the desolate warren at the mouth of the Wyre was converted 
into a rising and prosperous town. The rapidity of its early 
growth may be inferred from the following paragraph, extracted 
from a volume on Lancashire, published during the infancy of this 
new offspring of the Fylde : " As a bathing place, it possesses 
very superior attractions : hot water baths, inns, and habitations 
of all kinds have sprung as if by magic on one of the most 
agreeable sites it is possible to imagine, very superior to any other 

I. A tract in the library of the British Museum, entitled " Catholic Chapels, 
Chaplains," etc., and bearing the date 1819. 


in Lancashire, admitting, as from a central point, excursions by 
land and water in all directions, amongst some of the most 
beautiful scenery in the empire. A couple of hours steaming takes 
the tourist across Morecambe Bay to the Furness capital, and into 
the heart of a district of surpassing interest. Charming indeed 
is Fleetwood in the height of the summer, with its cool sands, 
northern aspect, and delightful prospects. First there is a noble 
bay in front, an ocean of itself when the tide is in ; and when it 
is out offering firm sands of vast extent, for riding or walking." 
Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, bart., of Rossall Hall, lord of the 
manor, and founder of the town to which he gave his name, was 
returned on four occasions as one of the parliamentary representa- 
tives of Preston : 


1832. Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, and the Hon. Henry Thos. Stanley. 
1835. Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, and the Hon. Henry Thos. Stanley. 
1837. Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, and Robert Townley Parker. 
1841. Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, Bart., and Sir Geo. Strickland, Bart. 

The year 1 840 was an auspicious one in the history of the Fylde. 
On the 25th of July, the Preston and Wyre Railway, running 
through the heart of this district, was completed and declared 
open for traffic. By its means the farmer became enabled to 
convey his produce to the extensive market of Preston ; and 
Kirkham, Poulton, and Garstang were no longer the only towns 
accessible to our agriculturists for the sale of their crops. The 
early appreciation of the utility and benefit of the line is apparent 
from the rapid increase of its traffic, as shown by the annexed 
tables, in which the official returns of passengers and goods for 
the week ending Dec. I4th, 1842, and the corresponding weeks 
of the four succeeding years are stated : 

Week ending Dec. I4th, 1842. 911 Passengers. ^65 los. 5d. 

Goods. 62 8 I 

127 18 6 

Corresponding week in 1843. 1105 Passengers. 88 I 6 

Goods. 140 ii 9 

228 13 3 


Corresponding week in 1844. 1601 Passengers 139 4 6 

Goods. 163 18 ii 

303 3 5 

Corresponding week in 1845. 1997 Passengers. 144 12 I 

Goods. 234 13 4 

379 5 5 

Corresponding week in 1846. 2820 Passengers. 243 19 o 

Goods. 308 1 8 5 

552 17 5 

At the present date, 1876, the average weekly traffic on this 
railway and its branches to Lytham and Blackpool, amounts 
in round numbers to ^"1,200 for passengers, and ^~8oo for goods. 

The Preston and Wyre Railway was amongst the earliest formed, 
and the impression made on the natives of this district, who had 
been accustomed to the slow-going coaches, must have been one 
of no little amazement, when, for the first time, they beheld the 
" iron horse " steaming along the rails at a speed which their past 
experience of travelling would make them regard as impossible. 
The following lines were written by a gentleman named Henry 
Anderton, a resident in the Fylde, on the opening of the railway : 

" Some fifty years since and a coach had no power, 
To move faster forward than six miles an hour, 
Till Sawney McAdam made highways as good, 
As paving-stones crushed into little bits could. 
The coachee quite proud of his horse-flesh and trip, 
Cried, ' Go it, ye cripples ! ' and gave them the whip, 
And ten miles an hour, by the help of the thong, 
They put forth their mettle and scampered along. 
The Present has taken great strides of the Past, 
For carriages run without horses at last ! 
And what is more strange, yet it's truth I avow, 
Hack-horses themselves have turned passengers now ! 
These coaches alive go in sixes and twelves,. 
And once set in motion they travel themselves ! 
They'll run thirty miles while I'm cracking this joke, 
And need no provisions but pump-milk and coke ! 
And with their long chimneys they skim o'er the rails, 
With two thousand hundred- weight tied to their tails ! 


While Jarvey in stupid astonishment stands, 
Upturning both eyes and uplifting both hands, 
' My nags,' he exclaims, betwixt laughing and crying, 
1 Are good 'uns to go, but yon devils are flying.' " 

The fares on the Preston and Wyre Railway at its commence- 
ment were : 

1st class. 2nd class. 3rd class. 

Preston to Fleetwood or Blackpool... 43. 6d. 33. od. 2s. od. 

Preston to Poulton 33. 6d. 2s. 6d. is. 6d. 

Preston to Kirkham 2s. od. is. 3d. os. gd. 

Preston to Lytham 33. od. 2s. 6d. is. 6d. 

Until the opening of the branch lines to Lytham and Blackpool 
respectively, in 1846, passengers completed their journies from 
Kirkham and Poulton to those watering places by means of 
coaches. Three trains ran from the terminus at Fleetwood to 
Preston on each week-day, and one on Sunday, a similar number 

In consequence of the severe distress prevailing throughout the 
country, a proclamation was issued by Her Majesty for a General 
Fast to be held on Wednesday, the 24th of March, 1847 ; and 
from the public prints of that date it is evident that the occasion 
was observed with great solemnity in our division the shops of 
the different towns were closed during the whole of the day, the 
streets were quiet, [the hotels deserted, whilst the churches were 
crowded even to overflowing. This distress was caused by an 
almost complete failure in the potatoe harvests ; and at that time 
these necessary articles of diet were sold at 263. per load in the 
local markets, whilst meal, also scarce, rose to 523. per load. 

In September of the same year, the Fylde was honoured by a 
passing visit from Queen Victoria and the late Prince Consort, 
who arrived at Fleetwood in the Royal Yacht on their return 
journey from Scotland to London. An address was presented 
by Sir P. H. Fleetwood, bart, the Rev. St. Vincent Beechey, 
Frederick Kemp, esq., James Crombleholme, esq., and Daniel 
Elletson, esq., on behalf of the inhabitants of Fleetwood, and 
received by Lord Palmerston, who promised that it should be 
laid before the Queen. In the course of a few days an 
acknowledgment was received from the metropolis. In Her 
Majesty's book, published in 1868, and entitled "Leaves from 
our Highland Journal," these diarian entries relating to the 


above event appear : 

" Monday, September" 20th, 1847. 

" We anchored at seven in Fleetwood Harbour ; the entrance was extremely 
narrow and difficult. We were lashed close to the pier, to prevent our being 
turned by the tide ; and when I went on deck there was a great commotion, such 
running and calling, and pulling of ropes, etc. It was a cheerless evening, 
blowing hard." 

" Tuesday, September 2lst, 1847. 

" At ten o'clock we landed, and proceeded by rail to London." 
In 1860, a project was launched for a comprehensive scheme of 
water supply for the towns of this district ; a company was 
established, and, in the session of 1861, an act of parliament was 
obtained " for incorporating the Fylde Waterworks Company, and 
for authorising them to make and maintain waterworks, and 
to supply water at Kirkham, Lytham, Blackpool, Fleetwood, 
Poulton, Rossall, Garstang, South-shore, and Bispham, in the 
. county palatine of Lancaster, and to shipping at Fleetwood and 
Lytham." The act granted power to take the water from Grize- 
dale Brook, a tributary of the Wyre, which rises in Grizedale Fell, 
one of the Bleasdale range, and, flowing through the gorge or 
pass, called Nickey Nook, divides the township of Nether- 
Wyersdale and Barnacre-with-Bonds, and falls into the Wyre a 
mile or so before that river reaches Garstang. A dam or embank- 
ment, upwards of 20 feet high, 70 feet wide at the base, and 12 
feet wide at the top, was raised across the valley, converting the 
upper portion of it into a reservoir. At the west end of the 
reservoir, below the embankment, is a culvert, through which 
the water passes to a guage, where a stipulated quantity is turned 
into the brook, and the rest enters the pipe for the Fylde. 
Twelve miles of twelve inch pipes carry the water to the service 
reservoir at Weeton. The course is down Grizedale, under the 
railway, through Greenhalgh Green, Bowgrave, leaving Garstang 
to the right, then past Catterall Mill, through the grounds 
of Catterall Hall, ' and onward to the east of St. Michael's, 
through Elswick, to Weeton. The service reservoir, situated on 
the most elevated ground, called Whitprick Hill, in the township 
of Weeton, has a diameter at the base of 400 feet, and at the top 
468 feet. The embankment is at the base 70 feet in diameter, and 
12 feet at the top, with a puddle trench in it, varying from 8 feet 
8 inches to 6 feet wide. To the south a 10 inch main takes the 



supply of water for Kirkham and Lytham ; and from the west 
side a main of similar size takes the water for Fleetwood and 
Blackpool, the supply for the former place branching off near 
Great Marton, and going by Bispham and Rossall. The Weeton 
reservoir was formed capable of containing fifteen million gallons 
of water. An additional pipe, running from Weeton through 
Singleton, Skippool, and Thornton, to join the Fleetwood main 
at Flakefleet, near Rossall, was laid in 1875 ; and a new reservoir, 
to hold 190,000,000 gallons, is in course of formation at Barnacre, 
above Grizedale. 



JIHERE is little to be remarked, because little is 
known, respecting the social and moral aspects of 
the untutored race which, in the earliest historic age, 
sought a domicile or refuge amidst the forests of 
the Fylde, or invaded its glades in search of prey. The habits 
of the Setantii were simply those of other savage tribes who 
depended for their daily sustenance upon their skill and prowess 
in the chase, and whose intercommunion with the world beyond 
their own limited domains, was confined to hostile or friendly 
meetings with equally barbarous races whose frontiers adjoined 
their own. Certain disinterred roots were necessary adjuncts 
to their repasts, and indeed, on many occasions, when outwitted 
by the wild tenants of the woods, formed the sole item. Their 
Druidical faith and the supreme power of the priesthood over 
their almost every action, both secular and religious, have already 
been referred to in an earlier page. The remorseless sacrifice ol 
fellow beings on their unhallowed altars, and the general spirit 
of cruelty and inhumanity which pervaded all their rites, are not 
to be regarded as disclosing a naturally callous and brutal 
disposition on the part of the Setantii, but as indications of the 
deplorable ignorance in which they existed, and the blind 
obdedience which they yielded to the principles indoctrinated 
by the Druids. That the Setantii, however submissive to the 
dictates and requirements of their priests, were far from passively 
allowing the encroachments of others on their liberties is shown 
by the promptitude and fierceness with which they combatted 
the progress of the Roman legions through their territory. No 


portion of the British conquest cost the conquerors more trouble, 
time, and bloodshed, than did the land peopled by the hardy and 
valorous Brigantes with their comparatively small, but equally 
intrepid, neighbours and allies the Setantii. The two most 
striking characteristics of the aboriginal Fylde inhabitants were 
their ignorance and bravery, and whilst the former rivetted the 
chains which held them in subjection to the priesthood, the latter 
incited them to oppose to the death the usurpations of the 
stranger. There is nothing of local interest to recount during 
the period the Romans held the soil, but after their abdication, 
when the Anglo-Saxons violated their faith and traitorously 
seized a land which they had come professedly to protect, the 
Fylde began to evince symptoms of greater animation ; villages 
sprang up in different spots on the open grounds or clearings in 
the woods ; the solitary Roman settlement at Kirkham was 
appropriated and renamed by the new arrivals, and, perhaps, 
for the first time a population of numerical importance was 
established in the district. 

During the earlier part of this era the inhabitants were graziers 
rather than agriculturists or ploughmen. Three quarters, even, 
of the entire kingdom were devoted to rearing and feeding cattle, 
so that the grain produce of the country must have been 
extremely small when compared with the superabundance of 
live stock, and as a consequence of such a condition of things, 
those animals which could forage for themselves and exist upon 
the wild herbage of the waste lands or the fallen fruits of the 
trees, as acorns and beech-mast, were to be purchased at prices 
almost nominal, whilst others which required the cultivated 
products of the fields, as corn and hay, for their sustenance, were 
disproportionately dear ; thus about the end of the tenth century 
the values of the former were : 

One Ox 73. o$d. 

Cow 55. 6A 

,, Pig is. io|d. 

Sheep is. 2d. 

Goat os. 5$d. 

The latter commanded these comparatively high prices 

One Horse i s. 2d. 

Mare, or Colt i 35. $d. 

., Ass, or Mule o 143. id. 


Trees were valued not by the circumference or magnitude of 
their trunks, but by the amount of shelter their branches would 
afford to the cattle, which seem to have lived almost entirely in 
the open pastures ; and bearing that in mind we are not surprised 
to read in the Saxon Chronicle of periodical plagues or murrains 
breaking out amongst them. " In 1054," says that journal, 
" there was *so great loss of cattle as was not remembered for 
many winters before." This, however, is only one extract from 
frequent entries referring to similar misfortunes in different years, 
both before and after the date quoted. Swine were kept in 
immense herds throughout the kingdom, and there is every 
probability that in a locality like the Fylde, where trees 
would still abound and provender be plentifully scattered 
from the oaks and beeches, hogs would be extensively bred. 
Indeed immediately after the close of the Saxon empire, Roger de 
Poictou conveyed his newly acquired right to pawnage (swine's 
food) in the woods of Poulton, amongst other things, to the 
monastery of St. Mary, in Lancaster, a circumstance strongly 
favourable to the existence of swine there in considerable 
numbers. Kine, also, are usually reported to have been a 
favourite stock with the breeders of Lancashire, whilst sheep 
were rare in proportion, although in other places they were 
exceedingly popular and- profitable, chiefly from the sale of their 

The Saxon inhabitants of the small villages in the Fylde who 
were engaged in agriculture had no knowledge of any manure 
beyond marl, which they mixed with lighter and finer soils ; nor 
were their farm-lands cultivated all at one time, but a portion 
only of the estate was subjected to the action of the plough, and 
when its fertility had been thoroughly exhausted, the remainder 
was tilled and brought into service, the first plot being allowed 
to lie fallow for a few years until its productive powers had been 
renewed. Grain was not, as now, purchased from the growers by 
dealers and stored up in warehouses, but each of the neighbouring 
people, as soon as the crops had been gathered into the barns, 
bought whatever quantity he thought would suffice for his 
household wants until the ensuing harvest, and removed it to his 
own residence. The universal waste and improvident consump- 
tion of grain during this season of abundance, led frequently to 


famines in other parts of the year, and many instances of that 
punishment following such prodigality are related in the chronicle 
before named. One notice, bearing the date 1044, says : "This 
year there was very great hunger all over England, and corn so 
dear as no man ever remembered before ; so that a sester of wheat 
rose to sixty pence and even further." 

The ploughs of our forefathers were, as would ^naturally be 
supposed, somewhat rude and clumsy in construction, differing 
considerably in appearance, although not in their -modus operandi, 
from those which may be seen furrowing the same land in the 
present day. Each plough was furnished with an iron share, 
in front of which, attached to the extremity of a beam projecting 
anteriorly, was a wheel of moderate diameter, its purpose being to 
relieve the labour of the oxen and to facilitate the guiding of the 
instrument, especially in turning. The oxen employed were 
ordinarily four, and yoked to the plough by means of twisted 
willow bands. Horses were prohibited by law from being used 
on the land, but there must have been little need, one would 
imagine, for a legal prohibition in the matter when it is 
remembered that horses were nearly four times as valuable as 
oxen, and that the latter were fully efficient at the task. The 
month of January commenced their season for preparing the 
ground, and during the period thus occupied the labours of the 
ploughman began each morning at sunrise, when the oxen were 
tethered and conducted to the fields, where the duty of the 
husbandman was lightened by the assistance of a boy, who 
superintended the cattle, driving or leading them whilst at work. 
In the inclement months of winter these oxen were fed and 
tended in sheds under the special care of the ploughman, but 
during summer they shared a common lot with the other cattle 
and were turned out to pasture in the fields, being transferred to 
the charge of the cowherd. Other implements of husbandry in 
use, in addition to the plough, were scythes, sickles, axes, spades, 
pruning-hooks, forks, and flails, besides which the farmers 
possessed carts and waggons of rather a cumbersome pattern. 
It is doubtful whether the harrow was known here so early, but 
opinion usually refers its introduction to a later date. 

Of the moral tone of our Saxon settlers it is difficult to judge, 
but that there business transactions were not always governed by 


a very strict sense of honour is intimated by the following 
enactment, apparently framed to check repudiations of bargains 
and, perhaps, to insure fair dealing : " No one shall buy either 
what is living or what is dead to the value of four pennies without 
four witnesses either of the borough or of the village." William 
of Malmesbury, who wrote about a century after the Norman 
Conquest, informs us that " excessive eating and drinking were 
the common vices of the Saxons, in which they spent whole 
nights and days without intermission." It may, however, with 
much probability be conjectured that not only is the statement in 
some degree exaggerated, but that its application was designed 
more particularly for the inhabitants of the larger towns than 
those of comparatively sparsely populated districts like our own. 
Nevertheless it cannot be claimed, with any show of reason, that 
the small section of the nation established in the Fylde was 
entirely uninfected by the vices which enervated and degraded 
the wealthier and more populous regions of the kingdom. The 
evil of intemperance in both food and drink, especially the latter, 
pervaded the whole community, but as its indulgence required 
both means and opportunity, its loathsome features were less 
prominently visible in localities where these were scarce than in 
others where they abounded. The Church used every effort to 
awaken a better feeling in the minds of her degenerate sons, 
and liberate them from the chains of a passion which had so 
thoroughly enslaved them. Canons were directed against the 
" sin of drunkenness," and in order that no plea of ignorance 
could be urged by any who had overstepped the bounds of sobriety, 
a curious and minute description of the condition of body and 
brain which constituted inebriation was appended to one of them, 
as here quoted : " This is drunkenness when the state of the 
mind is changed, the tongue stammers, the eyes are disturbed, 
the head is giddy, the belly is swelled, and pain follows." Ale 
and mead were the beverages on which these excesses were com- 
mitted, and cow-horns the drinking cups. It would seem that 
there was yet another national blemish, that of gambling, which 
even invaded the cloister and threw its veil of fascination over 
the clejgy themselves, for a canon of the reign of Edgar ordered 
" That no priest be a hunter, or fowler, or player at tables, but 
let him play upon his books, as becometh his calling." 


Water-mills, planted on the banks of streams and consisting of 
square weather-boarded structures, usually open at the top, were 
the means possessed during the Saxon era for grinding the cereal 
products of the Fylde. The wheel which received the pressure of 
the current, and conveyed its motive power to the simple machinery 
within the fabric, differed little from those still in use in various 
parts of the country, one of which until recently was connected 
with a small mill on the brink of the brook which drains the mere 
at Marton into the river Wyre, and less than a century ago another 
mill, situated in the township of Marton and worked on a similar 
principle, was turned by a stream from the same mere. A water- 
mill is at present in use near Great Eccleston. After the grinding 
process had been completed the bran and flour were separated by 
hand-sieves. About seventy or eighty years after the Normans 
had settled in the district these primitive sheds were superseded 
by a fresh species of mill, in which sails supplied the place of the 
wheel, and another element was called into service. The new 
erections were of wood, and separated from the ground by a pivot 
of slight altitude, on which they turned bodily in order to be fixed 
in the most favourable position for their sails to reap a full 
harvest of wind. Solitary specimens of this early piece of 
mechanical ingenuity are still visible hereabouts, but most of the 
old mills were pulled down about a hundred years ago, or less, and 
rebuilt with more stable material, whilst the modern improvement 
of a revolving top only, did away with the necessity for the 
venerable pivot, and allowed the foundations of the edifices to be 
more intimately associated with mother earth than formerly. 

Throughout the whole of the Saxon dynasty the mass of the 
inhabitants would be what were termed the " villani," that is, a 
class forming a link between abject slavery and perfect independ- 
ence. They were not bound to any master but to the soil on 
which they happened to be born, and on no plea were they 
permitted to leave such localities. To the lord of the manor each 
of the " villani " gave annually a certain portion of the produce 
of the ground he tilled, but beyond that they acknowledged no 
claim to the proceeds of their thrift by the large territorial 
proprietors. When a manor changed ownership the "villani" 
were transferred with it in exactly the same condition as before, 
so that really they seem to have occupied the position of small 


tenants paying rent in kind, with the important addition 
that they were forced to pass their lives in the district where 
they had first seen the light of day. It should be noted that 
any " villani " not having domiciles of their own were com- 
pelled to enter the service of others who were more fortunately 
situated in that respect. 

During the twelfth century the house-wife's plan of preparing 
bread for the table, in the absence of public bakehouses, common 
in some neighbourhoods, was to knead the dough into large flat 
cakes and lay them on the hearth in full glare of the fire, Avhere 
they were permitted to remain until thoroughly baked. Bread 
from pure wheat of the best quality was a luxury unattainable 
except by those of high station or wealth, the bulk of the people 
having to content themselves with an inferior quality, brownish 
in colour and made from rye, joats, and barley. The amount of 
this indispensable commodity to be sold at a specified price was 
regulated by law, and the punishments for not supplying the 
proper measure, or for " lack of size " as it was termed, were for 
the first offence, loss of the bread ; for the second, imprisonment ; 
and for the third, the pillory or tumbrel. 1 In 1185 the maximum 
charges to be made for certain provisions were settled by an act 
which decreed that the highest price for a hen should be ^d., a 
sheep 5^d., a ram 8d., a hog is., an ox 55. 8d., and a cow 45. 6d. 

In the ensuing century no restrictions were placed upon the 
tenants of the Fylde as to the course of husbandry to be pursued, 
but each on renting his farm or parcel of ground cultivated it 
according to the dictates of his own inclination or experience, the 
only stipulation being that the soil should suffer no deterioration 
from any ignorant or imprudent action on the part of the holder. 
Oats and barley mixed, and a light description of wheat, very 
inferior to the best grain, were the favourite crops, the former 
being known as " draget," and the latter as " siligo." Arable land 
was let at 4d. per acre, and the annual yield of each acre sown 
with wheat, usually amounted to 1 2 bushels, the value of the grain 
itself averaging about 45. 6d. per quarter. Demand notices were 
sent in two days after the rent had become due, and if not complied 
with in two weeks the landlord distrained without further 

I. A kind of Ducking Stool. 


ceremony ; after an interval of another fortnight, if the money 
still remained unpaid, the tenant was summarily ejected, and the 
owner seized both farm and stock. 

The meals consumed by the peasantry comprised only two during 
the twenty-four hours, one, called dinner, being eaten at nine in 
the morning, and the other, supper, at five in the afternoon. It 
is very possible, however, that during the summer those farm 
servants whose arduous duties were entered on at daybreak, partook 
of some slight repast at an early hour of the morning, but the only 
meals for which regular times were appointed were the two men- 
tioned. During harvest the diet of the labourers consisted for the 
most part of herrings, bread, and an allowance of beer, whilst 
messes of pottage were far from uncommon objects on the rustic 
boards. Between the year 1314 and 1326 the prices of live stock 
were again arranged, as under : 

The best grass fed ox i6s. od. 

The best cow (fat) I2s. od. 

The best short-horn sheep is. 2d. 

The best goose os. 3d. 

The best hen os. i^d. 

The best chickens, per couple os. id. 

Eggs, twenty for os. id. 

In 1338 no domestic or husbandry servant residing in the 
Hundred of Amounderness was allowed to pass beyond the 
boundaries of the Wapentake on profession of going to dwell or 
serve elsewhere, or of setting out on a pilgrimage, without bearing 
with him a letter patent stating the reason of his departure and the 
date of his return. This law, which applied to all Hundreds alike, 
was intended to prevent the threatened decay of agriculture from 
a dearth of labourers, who heretofore had been in the habit of 
deserting their employment and wandering away into other 
divisions of the country, where they supported an idle and 
frequently vicious existence by soliciting alms and by petty thefts. 
It will scarcely surprise the reader to learn that superstition was 
rife amongst the populace during the periods so far noticed, and 
that nothing was too absurd to be accepted as an omen, either of 
good or evil, by our credulous forefathers. A timid hare encountered 
in their walks abroad announced the approach of some unforeseen 
calamity, as also did a blind or lame man, a woman with dis- 
hevelled hair, or even a monk ; whilst the visions of a wolf 


crossing the path, St. Martin's birds flying from left to right, a 
humpbacked man, or the sound of distant thunder, were welcomed 
as heralds of prosperity. All amusements were of an athletic 
kind, and consisted of archery, casting heavy stones, spear darting, 
wrestling, running, leaping, and sword and buckler playing. On 
festivals, and occasionally at other seasons, the barbarous and 
cruel sports of bull and bear-baiting were indulged in, 1 but cock- 
fighting was considered, until a later epoch, an entertainment only 
suitable for children, and on Shrove Tuesday each boy took his 
pet bird to the school-house, which was for that day converted 
into a cock-pit, superintended by the master. 

In 1444, the wages received by different classes of agricultural 
servants were : 

A bailiff i 33. 4d. per year, and 5s. for clothing, with board. 

A chief hind } 

,, carter > i os. od. and 43. for clothing, 
shepherd ) 

A woman servant o los. od. and 43. for clothing, 
A boy under 14 o 6s. od. and 33. for clothing, 
A common husbandman o 153. od. and 4od. for clothing, ,, 
At harvest time, when special labour was required, the scale of 
remuneration was : 

A mower 4d. per day, with board. 

6d. without 

A reaper or carter ......... 3d. 

A woman labourer, or 

other labourer 




The statute which arranged the above rates of payment concluded 
by saying that " such as deserve less shall take less, and also in places 
where less is used to be given less shall be given from henceforth ;" 
so that the table just completed would seem to represent the 
maximum rather than the ordinary scale of wages. This statute 
also enacted that farm servants who purposed leaving their em- 
ployers, must engage themselves to other masters and give 
reasonable warning before leaving their present ones, by which 
idleness and mendicancy were effectually guarded against. 

The common pastimes of the inhabitants during the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries, in addition to some of those already 

I. A bear was baited at Weeton fair less than a century ago. 


enumerated which still held their sway, were club, and trap-ball, 
bowling, prisoners' -bars, hood-man blind, (a game similar to the 
modern blindman's-buff, but entered into by adults alone,) battle- 
dore and shuttlecock, and during hard frosts skating, at first by 
means of the shank bone of a sheep fastened on to the sole of the 
boot and afterwards with iron-shod skates. Hawking and hunting 
were confined to the familes of position who resided at the ancient 
Halls of the Fylde and to others of similar social standing, 
forming but a small proportion of the entire population. At 
Christmas the largest log obtainable was lighted on the hearth 
and denominated the yule log. If the mass burned throughout 
the night and the whole of the next day, it was regarded as an 
omen of good fortune by the members of the household, but if it 
were consumed or extinguished before that time had expired, it 
was looked upon as auguring adversely for their prosperity. The 
first Monday after Twelfth Day was called Plough Monday, a 
name still familar to many an old Fylde man, and was observed 
as a general holiday by the men whose labours were associated 
with that instrument, who on this day went about the villages 
from house to house asking for plough-money to spend in 
ale. Their processions, if such they could be called, consisted 
of a plough, which was dragged along by a number of sword- 
dancers ; a labourer, dressed to resemble an old woman ; and 
another, who was clothed in skins, and wore the tail of some 
animal hanging down his back. These two oddly garbed 
individuals solicited small contributions from the people whilst 
the remainder were engaged in dancing, and if anyone refused to 
disburse some trifling sum when requested, they turned up the 
ground fronting his doorway with the plough. During 
Christmas week the country people blackened their faces, and thus 
disguised committed all sorts of frolics and absurdities amongst 
their neighbours. The chief rustic festival, however, was appointed 
for the first of May, on which day the May-pole was drawn to the 
village green by several oxen, whose horns were decorated with 
bunches of flowers, and accompanied by a joyous band of revellers, 
who after its erection on the accustomed site held their jubilee of 
feasting and dancing around it. The pole itself was covered with 
floral garlands, and streamed with flags and handkerchiefs from 
its summit. A Lord and Lady, or Queen, of May were elected 


by a general vote, and to them belonged the honour of presiding 
over the festivities. The costumes of these pseudo-regal 
personages were liberally adorned with scarfs and ribbons, so that 
their appearances should be in unison with the rest of the gay 
preparations. The morris-dance formed an important feature of 
the festival, and the performers in that somewhat vigorous 
exercise wore richly decorated habits on to which small bells, 
varying in tone, had been fastened. The new year was ushered 
in with feasting and joviality, whilst friendly interchanges of 
presents took place amongst all classes. In the evening, a huge 
wassail-bowl filled with spiced ale was carried to the different 
houses of the villages, and all who quaffed its exhilerating 
contents drank prosperity to the coming year, and rewarded the 
cup-bearers, usually female farm-servants, with some small 
donation ; the following carol in a more antique form, or some 
similar one, was sung on the occasion : 

" Good Dame, here at your door, 

Our Wassel we begin, 
We are all maidens poor, 
We pray now let us in, 

With our Wassel. 
" Our Wassel we do fill, 

With apples and with spice, 

Then grant us your good will 

To taste here once or twice 

Of our Wassel. 

" Some bounty from your hands 

Our Wassel to maintain. 
We'll buy no house nor lands 
With that which we do gain, 

With our Wassel. 

On Shrove Tuesday a barbarous custom prevailed of tying 
cocks to a stake driven into the ground, and throwing at them 
with sticks, until death ensued from repeated blows. St. Valen- 
tine's day received a merry welcome from the country swains 
and maidens, who at that auspicious time made choice of, or more 
properly speaking were mated to, their true loves for the year 
The all important selection was made by writing the names of an 
equal number of each sex on separate slips of paper, and then 
dividing them into two lots, one of which represented the males 



and the other the females. The women drew from the male 
heap, and the men from that of the females, so that each person 
became possessed of two sweethearts, and the final pairing was 
really the only element of real choice in the matter ; in this the 
men usually claimed the girl whom each of them had drawn, and 
thus an amicable settlement was soon arrived at. After the 
mirthful ceremony had been completed and each happy couple 
duly united, the men gave treats and dances to their sweethearts, 
and wore their billets for several days pinned on to their breasts 
or coat sleeves. Another, and much simpler, plan of choosing a 
valentine was to look out of the door or window on the eventful 
morning, and the first person seen was regarded as the special 
selection of the patron Saint, provided always the individual was 
of the opposite sex, and unfettered by the silken bonds of Hymen. 
Whitsun-ales and Easter-ales were assemblies held within, or in 
the immediate neighbourhood of, the church-yards, at which the 
beverage, giving the title to these festivities, was sold by the 
clergy or their assistants, and consumed by the country people, 
the proceeds being devoted to ecclesiastical purposes and the 
relief of the poor. Wakes originated in an ancient custom of 
gathering together on the evening before the birthday of a Saint 
or the day appointed for the dedication of a church, and passing 
the night in devotion and prayer. These watches, however, were 
soon altered in character, and instead of religious exercises 
employing the period of vigil, feasting and debauchery became the 
recognized occupations. 

The festival of Rush-bearing is of such antiquity that its origin 
has become in a great measure obscured, but there is a strong 
probability that the practice arose from a recommendation given 
by Pope Gregory IV. to Mellitus, who was associated with St. 
Augustine in christianising the inhabitants of England, to cele- 
brate the anniversaries of the dedications of those places of wor- 
ship, which they had rescued from Pagan influences, "by building 
themselves huts of the boughs of trees about such churches, and 
celebrating the solemnities with religious feastings." The rush- 
cart, decorated with flowers and ribbons, was paraded through 
the village streets, accompanied by morris-dancers and others 
bearing flags or banners. One of the mummers, dressed in a 
motley suit, somewhat resembling that of a circus jester, jingled a 


horse-collar hung with bells, and kept up a constant succession of 
small jokes at the expense of the bystanders as the procession 
advanced. In early days before churches were flagged it was the 
annual custom to strew their floors with rushes on the day of the 
dedication of the sacred edifice, and in the parish register of 
Kirkham we find, as follows : " 1604. Rushes to strew the 
church cost this year 93. 6d." From the register at Poulton 
church we have also extracted an entry, at random, from similar 
ones occurring each year: "Aug. 6th, 1784. To Edward 
Whiteside for rushes, 6s. 8d." The practice appears to have 
arisen simply from a desire to promote warmth and comfort 
within the churches by providing a covering for the bare earth, 
and its connection with rush-bearing, when it existed, must be 
regarded as having been purely accidental. Brand has discovered 
another motive for rush-strewing, more especially in private 
houses, and one not very flattering to our forefathers : " As our 
ancestors," writes he, " rarely washed their floors, disguises of un- 
cleanliness became very necessary." Erasmus, also, a Greek 
Professor at Oxford in the time of Henry VIII., in describing the 
hovels in which the agricultural labourers and others of the lower 
classes lived, says : " The floors are commonly of clay strewed 
with rushes ; under which lies unmolested an ancient collection 
of beer, grease, fragments, bones, spittle, and everything that is 

From 1589 to 1590 inclusive, the daily wages, without board, 
of a ditcher were 4d., a thresher 6d., a hedger 4d., a gardener iod., 
and a master-mason I4d. In 1533 it was enacted that no tenant 
should hold more than two farms at once ; and fifty-five years 
later sundry penalties were imposed upon any one erecting 
cottages for the agricultural population without attaching four 
acres of land to each, also for allowing more than one family to 
occupy a cottage at the same time. 1 A law was passed in 1597, 
directing that all houses of husbandry which had fallen into decay 
within a period of seven years should be rebuilt, and from twenty 
to forty acres of ground apportioned to each. 2 The average yields 
of grain per acre on well-cultivated soils during the latter half of 
the sixteenth century were wheat 20 bushels, barley 32 bushels, 

I. 25 Henry VIII. c. 13, and 31 Elizabeth, c. 7. 2. 39 Elizabeth, c. I. 


and oats 40 bu'shels. The subjoined tables contain the average 
prices of some of the common articles of consumption : 

In 1500. In 1541. In 1590. In 1597. 

12 Pigeons ... 4d. ... os. lod is. od 45. 3d. . 

ioo Eggs ... 7d. ... is. 6d 3s. 6d. 

i Goose 4d. ... os. 8d 

i Chicken ... id os. 8d. 

i Lb. of Butter ... os. 3d os. 4d 

In 1581, the charge for shoeing a horse was iod., and some- 
times I2d. Here it may be noticed, although perhaps rather 
digressive, that the herb tobacco was introduced into this country 
sometime during the summer of 1586, by a party of Englishmen, 
who for a short time colonised the island of Roanoak, near the 
coast of Virginia, but, having quarrelled with the aborigines, were 
removed home in the ships of Sir Francis Drake. Camden, 
writing of these men, says : " They were the first that I know of 
that brought into England that Indian plant which they called 
tabacca and nicotia, or tobacco, which they used against crudities, 
being taught it by the Indians. Certainly, from that time 
forward, it began to grow into great request, and to be sold at 
a high rate ; whilst in a short time many men, everywhere, 
some for wantonness, some for health sake, with insatiable desires 
and greediness, sucked in the stinking smoke thereof through an 
earthen pipe, which presently they blew out again at their 
nostrils ; insomuch that tobacco-shops are now as ordinary in 
most towns as tap-houses and taverns." 

The following rhymes, descriptive of the games and recreations 
common in Lancashire amongst the youth of both sexes, were 
written in 1600, by Samuel Rowland : 

" Any they dare challenge for to throw the sledge, 
To jump or leap over ditch or hedge ; 
To wrestle, play at stool-ball, or to run, 
To pitch the bar or to shoot off a gun ; 
To play at loggats, nine-holes, or ten-pins, 
To try it out at foot-ball by the shins ; 
At tick-tacke, seize-noddy, maw, and ruff ; 
At hot-cockles, leap-frog, or blindman's buff ; 
To drink the halper-pots, or deal at the whole can ; 
To play at chess, or pue, and inkhorn ; 
To dance the morris, play at barley-brake ; 
At all exploits a man can think or speak : 
At shove-groat, venter-point, or cross and pile ; 


At ' beshrew him that's last at any style ' ; 
At leaping over a Christmas bonfire, 
Or at ' drawing the dame out of the mire ' ; 
At shoot-cock, Gregory, stool-ball, and what-not ; 
Pick-point, top and scourge, to make him hot." 

Many of these games have long since become obsolete. Tick- 
tacke resembled backgammon, but was rather more complicated ; 
seize-noddy, maw, and ruff were games of cards, the first being 
somewhat similar to cribbage, while the two latter have no 
modern representatives, although the expression to ruff is 
frequently used at the whist-table ; 'cross and pile' is merely an 
earlier name of 'pitch and toss' ; and shoot-cock has been 
modernised into shuttlecock. 

During the seventeenth century occasional village fairs were 
held in the Fylde, at which such uncouth games as " grinning 
through a horse-collar," as well as trials in whistling, etc., were 
common amusements, while pedlars' stalls, puppet shows, raffling 
tables,- and drinking booths were well attended by the holiday- 
makers. At that period any damsel, wishing to learn something, 
be it ever so little, of her future mate, was directed to run until 
out of breath on hearing the first notes of the cuckoo, and on 
removing her shoe she would find a hair of the same colour as 
that of the husband whom fate had selected for her. On May-day 
a snail placed upon the ashes of the hearth would trace the initial 
letter, or letters, of the lover's name ; or the rind, peeled from an 
apple and thrown backwards over the head, would by its arrange- 
ment on falling to the ground effect a similar purpose : 
" Last May-day fair I search'd to find a snail 
That might my secret lover's name reveal : 
Upon a gooseberry bush a snail I found, 
For always snails near sweetest fruit abound. 
I seiz'd the vermin ; home I quickly sped, 
And on the hearth the milk white embers spread, 
Slow crawled the snail, and if I right can spell 
In the soft ashes marked a curious L." 1 

This couplet was recited by young maidens after capturing an 
insect called a Lady-bird, and on releasing it : 
" Fly, Lady-bird, fly south, east, or west ; 
Fly where the man is that I love best." 
The following extracts from an "inventarye of all the goods and 

I. Gay. 


chattels of Peter Birket, late of Borrands," taken after his decease 
in 1 66 1, will furnish a pretty accurate idea of the monetary worth 
of certain articles of farming stock at that time : "One outshoote 
of hay, \ 6s. 8d.; one stack of hay without dores, ics. ; one 
scaffold of hay, IDS. ; one mare and one colt, ^"3 ; five geese, 43. ; 
13 sheepe, $ ; one cock and five hens, 2s. ; one calfe, IDS. ; two 
heiffers, $ ; one heiffer, 2 ; one cow, 2 IDS. ; another cow, 
$ IQS." Whether this gentleman was a fair representative of 
his class or not we are unable to say, but if so, the small farmers 
of Lancashire, to whom he appears to have belonged, were not 
over indulgent in articles of dress or comfort, for the whole of 
his wearing apparel was valued at no more than \, whilst 
his bedding realised only 55. 

In 1725 the Lancashire justices arranged and ordered that the 
rate of wages in all parts of this county should be : 

A bailiff in husbandry, or chief hind 6 os. od. per year, with board. 

A chief servant in husbandry, able to mow or 

sow 500 

A common servant in husbandry of 24 years of 

age and upwards 40 o 

A man servant from 20 to 24 years of age ... 3 10 o 
A man servant from 16 to 20 years of age ... 2 10 o 

The best woman servant, able to cook 2 10 o 

Dairy man, or lower servant 200 

Woman servant under 1 6 years of age I 10 o 

The best of millers 500 

They also appointed the hours of labour for those hired by the 
day to be, between the middle of March and the middle of 
September, from five in the morning until half-past seven in the 
evening, and during the remainder of the year from sunrise to 
sunset, resting half-an-hour at breakfast, an hour at dinner, and 
half-an-hour at "drinking," as the meal corresponding to our 
" tea" was termed. " In the summer half," added the magisterial 
mandate, " the labourers may sleep each day half-an-hour ; else 
for every hour's absence to defaulk a penny ; and every Saturday 
afternoon or eve of a holiday, that they cease to work, is to be 
accounted but half a day." The day wages, as fixed by the same 
authorities, were : 

The best kind of husbandry labourer 1 2d. without, and 6d. with board. 

An ordinary labourer lod. and $d. 

A male haymaker lod. and 6d. 


A woman haymaker 7d. without and 3d. with board. 

A mower I5d. and gd. 

A man shearer I2d. and 6d. 

A woman shearer , rod. and 6d. 

Hedgers, Ditchers, Threshers, and persons 

employed in task work lod. ,, and 6d. 

Masons, Joiners, Plumbers, Tilers, Slaters, 

Coopers, and Turners I2d. ,, and 6d. 

Master workman, acting as foreman I4d. without board. 

From 1660 to 1690, the average price of mutton was 2d. per 
pound ; from 1706 to 1730, 2^d. ; and from 1730 to 1760, 3d. per 
pound. The prices of beef, veal, and lamb in 1710, were respec- 
tively ly^d., 2fd., and 2 T %d., per pound. 

During the eighteenth and earlier part of the nineteenth 
centuries there was perhaps no pastime more popular amongst 
the adult members of all classes than the callous sport of cock- 
fighting ; every village and hamlet in the Fylde had its pit, where 
mains were held at all times and seasons. The following were 
the rules pretty generally adopted in this neighbourhood for the 
regulation of the contests : 

"l. To begin the main by fighting the lighter pair of cocks which fall in 
match first, proceeding upwards towards the end, that every lighter pair 
may fight earlier than those that are heavier. 
"2. In matching, with relation to the battles, after the cocks of the main 

are weighed, the match bills are to be compared. 

"3. That every pair of equal weight are separated, and fight against others ; 
provided it appears that the main can be enlarged by adding thereto." 

Skippool was one of the favourite resorts for the gentry of our 

district when wishful to indulge in their favourite amusement, 

and frequent allusions to the cockpit there are to be found in the 

journal of Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, as "June 9, 1714, 

* thence to Skipall, where at a cockin I meet with a deal 

of gentlemen. Gave Ned M y is. for his expenses ; spent is., 

and won 2s. 6d. of Dr. Hesketh's cockes." In 1790 a notice 
appeared in Liverpool that " The great main of cocks between 
John Clifton, Esq., of Lytham, and Thomas Townley Parker, 
Esq., of Cuerden, would be fought on Easter Monday, the 5th of 
April, and the three following days, at the new cockpit in Cockspur 
Street to show forty-one cocks each. Ten guineas each battle, 
and two hundred guineas the main." The great-grandfather of 
the present Lord Derby compelled each of his tenants to maintain 
a game-cock for his benefit, and many were the birds supplied 


from the Fylde to uphold his great reputation as a successful 

One of the most ancient punishments amongst our forefathers 
was that of the Brank or Scolds' Bridle, a specimen of which was 
possessed by Kirkham, and doubtless many others existed in the 
Fylde. This instrument was but little removed in severity from 
those implements of torture in vogue at the time of the Inquisi- 
tion, but differed from them in one important particular it was 
intended to control or silence, and not to stimulate, the tongue of 
its victim. The Brank consisted of an iron framework, which 
was fitted on to the head of the offender, usually some woman 
whose intemperate language had incensed her husband ; and a 
metal spike, attached to the front of it, was so inserted into the 
mouth that the slightest movement of the tongue brought that 
sensitive organ in contact with its sharp edge or point. Doctor 
Plott, who appears to have held the Brank in high estimation, 
and to have considered it greatly superior to another mode of 
correction, much in fashion during his day, says : "This artifice 
is much to be preferred to the ducking-stool, which not only 
endangers the health of the party, but gives liberty of tongue 
betwixt every dip." 

The Ducking-stool or Cuck-stool consisted of a substantial chair, 
fastened to the extremity of a long pole, and suspended over a 
pool of water. The middle of the pole rested on an upright post 
near the edge of the pond, and was attached to it by means of a 
pivot-hinge, so that the chair could be swung round to the side to 
receive its victim, and, after being freighted and restored to its 
original position, plunged into the water by raising the other end 
of the shaft as often as those on the bank deemed it necessary to 
cool the anger of the unfortunate scold. Several pools in 
different parts of the Fylde still retain their names of Cucking- 
ponds, and the last person condemned to suffer the barbarous 
punishment was a young woman at Poulton, but she was happily 
rescued by the kindly intervention of Madam Hornby, who 
became surety for her good conduct in future. 

In the belfry of Bispham church there formerly stood a plain- 
looking wooden frame, which in earlier times had done duty as a 
pennance-stool, but some years since the chair was removed, and 
probably destroyed, as no trace of its existence has since been 


discovered. The last to perform pennance in this church and sit 
upon the stool was a woman, who seems to have been living as 
recently as 1836. A public pennance was exacted by the Church 
from all frail maidens, who desired to obtain pardon for the sins 
into which they had fallen. The ceremony consisted of parading 
the aisles of the parish church with a candle in each hand, bare- 
footed, and clothed in white. Jane Breckal, of Poulton, was the 
last to undergo the ceremony at that place, some time during the 
ministry of the Rev. Thos. Turner, 1770 to 1810. The sobs and 
cries of the unfortunate girl aroused the indignation of the 
inhabitants against the pennance, and the cruel and degrading 
exhibition was never repeated. 

Riding Stang was another plan of punishment formerly inflicted 
on quarrelsome or adulterous persons, and a woman named Idle, 
of Great Layton, is mentioned as being the last of its victims in 
that locality, and very likely in the whole of the Fylde. There 
seem to have been two ways adopted of Riding Stang, one of 
which was to mount the offending party or parties on a ladder, 
supported at each end on the shoulders of one or sometimes two 
men, and carry them about the neighbourhood for several hours, 
accompanied by a band of men and boys beating tin kettles, 
frying-pans, etc. ; the other mode, and perhaps the more antique 
one, was to place a youth astride a ladder, borne as in the previous 
case, and arm him with a hand-bell, so that he was fully equipped 
to undertake the duties of town crier. A procession was then 
formed, and, amidst the discordant sounds of the instruments just 
alluded to, paraded through the streets of the village, whilst the 
crier, who usually did his part with great gusto, shouted out the 
following doggrel rhymes, varying some portions of them when 
occasion required : 

" Ran a dan, ran a dan, dan, dan, 

But for * * * has been banging his good dame. 

He banged her, he banged her, he banged her, indeed, 

He banged her, poor woman, before she stood need ; 

For neither wasting his substance nor spending his brass, 

But she was a woman, and he was an ass. 

Now, all good people that live in this row, 

I would have you take warning, for this is our law, 

And if you do your good wives bang, 

For you three nights we will ride this stang. 
Hurrah ! hurrah ! " 


When the offender happened to be some woman, who had 
inflicted chastisement on the person of her spouse, the rhyme 
was altered to suit her sex, and asserted that " he was a coward, 
and she was an ass." The remains of stocks in various states of 
preservation, are still to be seen in many old villages, and 
their use is of too recent a date to require any elucidation in this 

On the fifth Sunday in Lent, Carling Sunday, the villagers 
prepared a feast, consisting chiefly of peas, first steeped in water, 
and afterwards fried in butter, which were eaten on the 
afternoon of that day. Small troops or companies, of pace- 
egg mummers went from house to house in Passion week 
enacting a short dramatic piece, and afterwards soliciting 
money, or, in some cases, eggs, from their audience. The 
dramatis personce usually represented St. George, the cham- 
pion of England ; a Turk, dressed in national costume ; the 
Doctor, of the quack fraternity ; the Fool ; and one or two others. 
In the play, the Turk was wounded by St. George, and being left 
for dead upon the field, guarded by the Fool, was restored to 
health and strength by the Doctor, who opportunely arrived, and 
concluded his self-laudatory harangue over the body of the 
apparently defunct Turk, thus : 

" Here, Jack, take a little out of my bottle, 
And let it run down thy throttle ; 
If thou be not quite slain, 
Rise, Jack, and fight again." 

Easter mumming is now rapidly becoming obsolete, and at 
present amounts to nothing more entertaining than the recital of 
a few weak, almost meaningless, rhymes, by, usually, five young 
boys, decorated with ribbons and coloured paper, and supposed to 
represent Lord Nelson, a Jack-Tar, a Lovely Youth, Old Toss-pot, 
and Old Bessy Branbags. 

" Lifting at Easter " was an old-established practice, existing in 
the villages, of hoisting individuals in the air, either in a chair 
or by any other means that might be convenient, until they 
purchased their release by payment of a forfeit, generally some 
small coin. On Ascension-day the parochial schoolmaster 
conducted his pupils, armed with peeled willow wands, round 
the limits of the parish, and each pupil struck the various 


boundary marks with his stick as he passed them. All-Hallows' 
E'en was the time when the young people tested the durability of 
love or friendship by burning nuts : 

" Two hazel nuts I threw into the flame, 
And to each nut I gave a sweetheart's name : 
This with the loudest bounce, me sore amazed, 
That in a flame of brightest colour blazed ; 
As blazed the nut, so may thy passion grow, 
For 'twas thy nut that did so brightly glow ! "1 

Other pastimes contributed to the evening's amusement, such 
as "ducking for apples," and "snatch apple" a tub, in the 
former case, having been nearly filled with water, and the fruit 
placed in it, each in turn, with hands bound behind them, 
endeavoured to seize the prize with the teeth ; in the latter game, 
an apple was fastened to one extremity of a rod and a lighted 
candle to the other, the whole being suspended by a string from 
the ceiling, and the players, bound as before, snapped at the 
apple, and avoided the flame as well as they were able. 

Until within the last fifty or sixty years, the mosses of Marton 
and the hills in the vicinity of the Fylde were illuminated with 
bonfires on All-Hallows' Eve, or Teanlay-night, as it was called, 
kindled by the country people with the avowed object of suc- 
couring their friends who were lingering in the imaginary regions 
of a middle state. A field near Poulton received the name of 
" Purgatory " from the mummery of the " Teanlays " having, on 
one occasion at least, been celebrated there. 2 This ceremony was 
simple in its performance, and consisted merely of a circle of men 
raising masses of blazing straw on high with pitch-forks. On All 
Souls' Day our Catholic forefathers were accustomed to bake cakes 
of oatmeal and aromatic seeds, named Soul-cakes, and these, 
together with pasties and furmety, formed a feast invariably eaten 
at that season. Remnants of this custom existed even in late 
years amongst the youths of Marton and some other townships and 
villages, who on the day of ancient festival solicited money, under 
the name of Soul-pence, from their neighbours. 

We will now enumerate some of the superstitions and beliefs 
that have prevailed in the Fylde more recently than those to 

I. Gay. The Spell. 
2. Hist, of Blackpool and Neighbourhood, by W. Thornber, B.A. 


which allusion has been made in the earlier part of the chapter. 
The following adage, showing the signification of certain marks 
on the nails, will probably be familiar to many of our readers, and 
it is questionable whether, even yet, it is not regarded by a few of 
the less enlightened of the peasantry as something more than a 
mere saying : 

" Specks on the fingers, 
Fortune often lingers ; 
Specks on the thumbs, 
Fortune surely comes." 

No sick person could die if the bed or pillow upon which he lay 
contained a pigeon's feather ; and, at an earlier date, the dwellers 
near the coast firmly believed that life could only depart with the 
ebbing tide. A horse-shoe nailed against the stable or barn-door, 
or a broom-stick placed across the threshold of the dwelling, 
prevented the entrance of witches or evil persons ; also a hot 
heater placed in the churn, and the mark of a cross, protected 
respectively the cream and baking of dough from their presence. 
The advent of guests was made known to the family circle by 
certain conditions of the fire-grate ; thus, a flake of soot hanging 
from the topmost bar foretold a boy visitor, from the second a 
man, from the third a woman, and from the fourth a girl. Cats 
were popularly supposed to have the power of drawing the breath, 
and as a natural consequence the life, out of children when asleep, 
and for this reason great care was taken to exclude them from 
bedchambers. Should a dark complexioned person be the first to 
enter a dwelling on New Year's morning, the household looked 
forward with confidence to a prosperous year ; but if the person 
happened to be light, more especially if he had red hair, the omen 
was regarded as unpropitious. Moon-beams shining through the 
windows of bedrooms were considered injurious to the sleepers, 
and even capable of distorting their features, or rendering them 
imbecile. Children were taught to recite these simple lines 
whenever the moon shone into their chambers : 
" I see the moon, 

The moon sees me ; 

God bless the priest 

That christened me." 

A tooth, after extraction, was sprinkled with salt and thrown 
into the fire in order to insure peace and comfort to the person 


from whose mouth it had been removed. A pair of shoes placed 
under the bed so that the tips of the toes alone were visible, 
formed a certain remedy for cramp. Warts were removed by 
rubbing them with a piece of stolen beef, which was afterwards 
carefully and secretly buried to render the charm complete ; a 
snail hung on to a thorn was equally efficacious in removing these 
excrescences, which gradually faded away as the snail itself melted 
and vanished. A bag, containing small stones of the same number 
as the warts, thrown over the left shoulder, transmitted them to 
the person who had the - misfortune to pick up the pebbles. 
People labouring under attacks of ague, jaundice, or other 
ailments, applied for relief to the wise-men of the neighbourhood, 
who professed to cure them by incantations. The two following 
receipts are taken from an old medical work, published as early as 
1612, and in its time a highly popular authority on matters of 
" Phisicke and Chirurgerie " amongst our rural populations : 
" A good -Medicine to staunch the bleeding of the Nose, although it bleed never 

so freely. 

" Take an egg and breake it on the top, in such sorte that all the white and 
yolke may issue cleane forthe of it ; then fill the egg-shell with some of the bloud 
of the party which bleedeth, and put it in the fire, and there let it remaine until it 
be harde, and then burne it to ashes, and it will staunch the bleeding immediately 
without all doubt." 

" A very good Medicine to staunch bloud when nothing else will do it, by 
reason the veine is cut, or that the wound is greate. 

" Take a Toade and dry him very well in the sunne, and then put him in a 
linen Bagge, and hang him about the necke of him that bleedeth with a stringe, 
and let it hange so low that it may touch his breaste on the left side neere unto 
his hart, and commonly this will stay all manner of bleeding at the mouth, nose, 
wound, or otherwise whatever. Probatum est." 

A woman named Bamber, living at Marton, attained to con- 
considerable celebrity amongst the peasantry and others by her 
skill in checking bleeding, which she is reported to have accom- 
plished by the utterance of some mystic words. 

The people of the Fylde were not exempt from the common 
belief in the miraculous power of the Royal touch in that 
particular form of disease known as king's evil, for amongst the 
records of the Thirty-men of Kirkham is a notice that in 1632 a 
sum of money was " given to Ricd. Barnes's child, that had the 
king's evil, to help him up to London," to be touched by 
Charles I, ,, 


The fairies of the Fylde were supposed, like those of other 
localities, to reside in the earth ; the vicinity of a cold spring, 
situated between Hardhorn and Newton, was one of their 
legendary resorts, and from such reputation acquired the name of 
"Fairies' well." Many stories are told of the mischievous, or 
good-natured doings of these imaginary beings ; one or two of 
which we will here narrate : A poor woman when filling her 
pitcher at the above well, in order to bathe the weak eyes of her 
infant, was gently addressed by a handsome man, who gave her a 
small box of ointment, and told her at the same time that it would 
prove an infallible remedy for the ailment of her child. The 
woman, although grateful for the present, either overcome by that 
irresistible curiosity which is commonly, but perhaps erroneously, 
supposed to attach itself to her sex, or doubtful of the efficacy 
which the stranger had assigned to the drug, applied it to one of 
her own eyes. A few days afterwards she had occasion to go to 
Preston, and whilst there detected her benefactor in the act of 
stealing corn from the open mouths of some sacks exposed for 
sale, and, having accosted him, began to remonstrate with him 
on the wickedness of his proceedings, when he inquired with 
evident surprise, how she became enabled to observe him, as he 
was invisible to all else. She explained the use that had been 
made of his ointment, and pointed to the powerful eye ; but 
hardly had the words been uttered and the organ of supernatural 
vision indicated, before he raised his clenched hand, and with one 
blow struck out the offending optic, or rather reduced it to a state 
of total and irrecoverable blindness. Another anecdote refers to 
a milkmaid, who, whilst engaged in her avocation, perceived a jug 
and sixpence placed near to her by some invisible means ; but no 
way disconcerted by the singular event, and probably attributing 
it to the agency of one of the elvan tribes, she filled the pitcher 
with milk, and, having watched its mysterious disappearance and, 
with unerring commercial instinct, pocketed the silver coin, took 
her departure. This episode was repeated for many successive 
mornings, until the maiden, overjoyed at her good fortune, 
revealed the curious adventures to her lover, and from that hour 
the hobgoblins appear either to have grown less thirsty, or, 
annoyed at what they might consider the betrayal of their secret, 
to have removed their custom to some other dairy, for neither 


jug nor sixpence ever gladened the morning labours of the milk- 
maid again. A ploughman had his good nature, in cheerfully 
repairing the broken " spittle " of a lady liberally rewarded. 
The fairy, for such she proved to be, made known her presence 
to the agriculturist by suddenly crying in a distressed tone " I 
have broken my speet," and then held out in her hands the 
useless instrument with a hammer and nails. No sooner had 
she received her property, restored to a state of utility, than she 
vanished into the earth, but not, however, without leaving a 
substantial acknowledgment of his skill and kindness in the 
palm of the astonished husbandman. 

We can only discover a record of one witch in the Fylde ; this 
person of unenviable notoriety is stated to have had her abode in 
Singleton, and to have been known to the villagers as Mag 
Shelton. Her food, according to local tradition, was composed of 
boiled groats mixed with thyme or parsley, and numerous are the 
anecdotes related of her evil machinations and doings in the 
neighbourhood the cows of the country people were constantly 
milked by her, whilst the pitcher walked before her in the form 
of a goose ; lives were blighted and prosperity checked by the 
influence of her evil eye. Once, however, she was foiled by a girl, 
who fastened her to a chair by sticking a bodkin, crossed with 
two weavers' healds, about her dress when seated before a large 

Some idea of the spiritual condition of the peasantry may be 
obtained from the perusal of the following prayer, a common one 
amongst the children of the Fylde about one hundred years ago : 
" Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 

Bless the bed that I lie on ; 

There are four corners to my bed, 

And four angels overspread, 

Two at the feet and two at the head. 

If any ill thing me betide, 

Beneath your wings my body hide. 

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 

Bless the bed that I lie on." 

Bacon was considered to prove the finest and best if the hogs were 
slaughtered before the moon began to wane, and in some month 
whose name contained the letter R : 

" Unless your bacon you would mar 
Kill not your pig without the R." 


The dumb-cake was made by unmarried women who wished to 
divine the selection of fate as to their future husbands. The cake 
was baked in strict silence by two maidens on Midsummer's eve, 
and afterwards broken into three pieces by another, who placed 
one under each of their pillows ; during sleep the expectant fair 
ones were rewarded with a vision of their lovers, but the charm 
was ruined if only a single word were spoken. Hemp-seed, also, 
was sown by young maidens, who whilst scattering it recited the 
words " Hemp-seed I sow, hemp-seed I hoe, and he that is my 
true-love come after me and mow." After repeating the rhyme 
three times it was only necessary to look over the shoulder, and 
the apparition of the destined swain would never fail to appear : 
"At eve last Midsummer no sleep I sought, 
But to the field a bag of hemp-seed brought ; 
I scattered round the seed on every side, 
And three times, in a trembling accent cried : 
'This hemp-seed with my virgin hand I sow, 
Who shall my true love be the crop shall mow.' 
I straight looked back, and, if my eyes speak truth, 
With his keen scythe behind me came a youth."i 

A spinster who fasted on Midsummer's eve, and at midnight laid 
a clean cloth, with bread, cheese, and ale, and sat down to the 
table as though about to eat, would be gratified with a sight of 
the person to whom she would be married. This individual was 
supposed to pass through the doorway, left open for the purpose, 
as the clock struck twelve, and, approaching the table, to salute 
his future partner with a bow and a pretence of drinking her 
health, after which he vanished, and the maid retired to her 
couch to rejoice or mourn, according as she admired or contemned 
the prospect in store for her. Cuttings or combings from the hair 
were thrown into the fire, and upon their blazing brightly or 
smouldering away depended the duration of life likely to be 
enjoyed by the person from whose head they had been taken. 
Wishing-wells and gates were visited by credulous rustics, who 
were anxious to make use of their mysterious power in obtaining 
their desires in matters of love or business. The forefinger was 
deemed venomous, and on that account children were instructed 
not to spread salve or ointment with it. 

About a century ago oats formed the . chief production, and 

i. Gay. 


nearly, if indeed not quite, the only grain crop cultivated in the 
Fylde. When reaped, in harvest time, this commodity was 
carried on the backs of pack-horses to the markets of Poulton, 
Kirkham, Garstang, and Preston. The " horse bridge " between 
Carleton and Poulton was originally a narrow structure, capable 
only of affording passage to a single horse at once, and it was from 
the practice of the farmers, with their laden cattle, crossing the 
stream by its aid, when journeying to market, that the bridge 
derived its name. These horses followed a leader ornamented 
with a bell, and after they had arrived at their destination and 
been relieved of their burdens, returned home in the same order 
without a driver, leaving him to attend to his duties at the 
market. The old bridge in use at the period to which we allude, 
still exists, but is built over and hidden by the present erection. 
Later experience has taught the agriculturist that the soil of the 
Fylde is capable of producing, under proper tillage, other crops, 
equal in their abundance to the one to which it appears formerly 
to have been mainly devoted, and it would be difficult at the 
present day to enumerate with accuracy the many and varied 
fruits of the earth that have fonnd a home in the Corn-field of 

We mentioned about the commencement of the chapter that 
marl was in general use as a manure in the Anglo-Saxon era, and 
here it is perhaps hardly necessary to state that this substance, so 
rich in lime and so adapted for giving consistency to the sandy 
soils, is still occasionally had recourse to by the husbandman. 
Guano was first introduced into this country about the year 1842, 
but it is probable that it was not commonly used in our district 
until the beginning of 1845, when a cargo was imported from 
Ichaboe to Fleetwood by Messrs. Kemp and Co., and offered for 
sale to the farmers of the neighbourhood. Other cargoes followed. 
Subjoined are arranged some tables showing the average market 
values of certain productions of the Fylde in the two years given: 

1847. 1867. 

Inclusive. Inclusive. 

Jan. to June. July to Dec. Jan. to June. July to Dec. 

Wheat, per windle 393. 6d. 255. 6d. 313. 8d. 325. - 6d. 

Meal, per load 525. 6d. 413. 6d. 373. od. 373. 6d. 

Beans, per windle 2$s. 6d. 22s. 6d. 

Oats, per bushel 53. io ; ',-d. 43. 8d. 43. 5d. 43. 6d. 



Jan. to June. July to Dec. Jan. to June. July to Dec. 

I2s. 8d. us. 6d. 

Butter, per pound ... 









Eggs, per dozen 






I id. 



Pork, per pound 

























. OS. 



1. This high price was owing to an almost complete failure in the potatoe crops. 

2. Obtained by striking an average of the weekly market quotations in the local 
periodicals, published weekly during the respective years. 



[HE history of the dresses and costumes of the 
inhabitants of the Fylde is interesting not only on 
account of the multifarious changes and peculiarities 
which it exhibits, but also as a sure indication of the 
progress in civilisation, wealth, and taste, made in our section at 
different eras. To Julius Caesar we are indebted for our earliest 
knowledge of the scanty dress worn by the aborigines of this 
district, and from that warrior it is learnt that a slight covering 
of roughly prepared skins, girded about the loins, and the 
liberal application of a blue dye, called woad, to the rest of the 
body constituted the sole requisites of their primitive toilets. 
Caesar conjectures that the juice or dye of woad was employed by 
the people to give them a terror-striking aspect in battle, but here 
he seems to have fallen into error, for the wars engaged in by the 
Setantii would be confined to hostilities with neighbouring tribes, 
stained in a similar manner, and it is scarcely reasonable to 
suppose that either side would hope to intimidate the other by 
the use of a practice common to both. A more probable explana- 
tion of the custom is, that it was instituted for the ornamental 
qualities it possessed in the eyes of the natives. Such a view 
is supported by the remarks of Solinus, a Roman author, who 
informs us that the embellishments usually consisted of the 
figures of animals, " which grew with the growth of the body " ; 
and from this it is evident that before the frame had arrived at 
maturity, in either youth or childhood, the skin was subjected to 
the painful and laborious process of tattooing, for such according 
to Isidore, appears to have been the nature of the operation. The 


latter asserts that the staining was accomplished by squeezing out 
the juice of the plant on to the skin, and puncturing it in with 
sharp needles. When the Romans established a station at 
Kirkham, and opened out the Fylde by means of a good road-way 
to the coast, the Setantii modified their wild uncultivated habits, 
and, taking pattern from the more civilised garb of their 
conquerors, adopted a covering for the lower limbs, called bracks, 
hence the modern breeches, whilst many of the chiefs were not 
long before they strutted about in all the pride of a toga, or gown. 
About four hundred years later, when the Anglo-Saxons had 
taken possession of the soil of the Fylde, and had either 
appropriated the deserted settlements and renamed them, or 
reared small and scattered groups of dwellings of their own, a 
marked change became visible in the nationality, character, 
and costumes of the people. No longer the semi-civilised and 
half-clad Briton was lord of the domain, but the more refined 
Saxon with his linen shirt, drawers, and stockings, either of 
linen or woollen, and bandaged crosswise from the ankle to the 
knee with strips of leather ; over these a tunic of the same 
material as the stockings was thrown, and reached as low as the 
knees, being plain or ornamented according to the means or rank 
of the wearer. This garment was open at the neck and for a 
short distance over the chest ; the sleeves, extending to the wrists, 
were generally tight, and a girdle frequently, but not universally, 
confined the gown round the waist. In addition a small cloak 
was worn for out-door purposes over the tunic, and fastened on 
the breast or shoulder with brooches or clasps. The shoes of the 
Saxon settlers were open down the instep, where they were laced 
or tied with two thongs. Even the very lowest of the population, 
although poverty might reduce them to miserable straits, seldom, 
if ever, went barefooted. Caps, on the contrary, were not in great 
request, and rarely to be seen, unless on the heads of some of 
the more affluent. Our female ancestors at that era were habited 
in a close-fitting dress, falling to the feet and furnished with tight 
sleeves, reaching as far as the wrists, over which was placed a 
shorter gown with loose open sleeves. Their head-dress was 
simply a strip of linen of sufficient length to wrap round the 
temples and fall on the neck. Amongst the wealthiest of the 
nation a flowing mantle, ornaments of precious metal, and sable, 


beaver, and fox furs were common, but the inhabitants of the 
Fylde, being of less exalted social standing, were obliged to 
content themselves with the skins of lambs and cats by way of 
adornment. The inferior farm servants, called serfs, amongst 
whom many of the vanquished Britons would be classed, were 
seldom indulged by their masters with more than a coat, a pair 
of drawers, and sandals, the shirt, we presume, being deemed ill 
suited to their positions of servitude and dependence. 

The colonisation of the Danes, whatever effect it may have had 
upon the habits and condition of the people, exercised no lasting 
influence upon their dress, and it was not until half a century after 
the Norman baron, Roger de Poictou, had parcelled out the 
land amongst his tenants, that the bulk of the males were induced, 
by the example of the new-comers, to display their taste in the 
choice of a head-covering. Many varieties were daily open to 
their inspection on the brows of the Norman landholders and 
servants, but the diffidence, let us hope, of the now humbled 
Saxons suggested the adoption of an exceedingly plain flat species 
of bonnet, which speedily became the common cap of the district. 
The ladies, however, with a greater aptitude for rising superior to 
disappointment and affliction, were not dilatory in benefitting by 
the superior style of the fair partners of their conquerors, and 
soon, putting aside all semblance of depression, appeared in long 
cuffs, hanging to the ground from their upper dress sleeves and 
tied in a large knot ; their kerchiefs, also, whose modest pro- 
portions had formerly served only to encircle the forehead, were 
now extravagantly lengthened and fastened in a similar manner. 
As years rolled on and fashion began to assert her sway with a 
greater show of authority, the shoes of the men underwent certain 
changes, becoming more neat in workmanship and having the 
toes somewhat elongated and pointed, whilst the richer of the 
gentry, chiefly Normans, wore short boots reaching a little 
distance up the calf. In the early part of the thirteenth 
century the female head-dresses consisted of nets, made from 
various materials, in which the hair was confined ; and the trains 
of the gowns were lengthened. Later in the same era cowls or 
hoods, twisted and pinned in fanciful shapes, adorned the heads 
of the ladies, and formed the main feature of their walking 
costumes. Aprons also came up at that period. The dress of 


the men underwent no alteration of any moment until the first 
half of the fourteenth century, when the manorial lords of the 
neighbourhood, and others of the inhabitants, discarded the cloaks 
and tunics of their forefathers, and substituted in their stead a 
close-fitting outer garment of costly and handsome material, 
scarcely covering the hips, immediately above which it was 
surrounded by a girdle. The sleeves usually terminated at the 
elbows, and from there long white streamers depended, whilst the 
sleeves of an under dress reached to the wrists, and were orna- 
mented with rows of buttons. A long cape and cowl was the 
general overcoat. The most characteristic dress of the ladies was 
a habit cut away at the sides so as to expose the under skirt, 
which was invariably of rich and fine texture. The long white 
streamers, just alluded to, were part of the female as well as the 
male attire, and the borders of the habit were bound with fur or 
velvet. We may mention that an English beau of that era wore 
long pointed shoes, the toes of which were connected with the 
knees by gold or silver chains, a long stocking of different colour 
on each leg, short trowsers, barely extending to the middle of the 
thigh, a coat, half of which was white and the other blue or some 
equally bright colour, and a silken hood or bonnet, fastened under 
the chin, embroided with grotesque figures of animals, and 
occasionally decked with gold and precious stones. Lest, 
however, the reputations of our ancestors should suffer in the 
eyes of the present generation from the existence in their age 
of the absurdity here pictured, it is our duty and pleasure to 
assure all readers that such parodies on manhood were strictly 
confined to the populous cities, and that there is no probability of 
even a solitary specimen ever having desecrated the modest soil 
of the Fylde. 

During the greater portion of the succeeding cycle of a hundred 
years a species of cloth turban was much in favour amongst the 
male sex of the middle and upper classes, from one side of which 
a lengh of the same material hung down below the waist, and was 
either thrust between the girdle and the coat, or wrapped round 
the neck as a protection from cold. Faces were cleanly shaved, 
and hair cut as close to the scalp as possible ; hitherto, from about 
the date of the first arrival of the Normans, the practice had been 
to allow the latter to grow long and to wear the beard. The hose 


were long and tight. The boots were either short, or reached 
half-way up the thighs, both kinds being long toed. Occasionally 
a single feather relieved the plainness of the turban-shaped cap. 
The ordinary dress of the gentlewomen was a full trained robe or 
gown, made high in the neck, and sometimes, with a fur or velvet 
turn-over collar, its folds at the short-waist being confined by 
means of a simple band and buckle. Coiffures were mostly heart- 
shaped, but in some rare instances horned. The sleeves of the 
above costume were, shortly after its institution, lengthened and 
widened to a ridiculous extent. Towards the end of the particular 
era of which we are writing trains were discontinued, and broad 
borders of fur substituted, whilst round tapering hats, two feet 
in height, with loose kerchiefs floating from the apex, came 
much into favour. The last few years of the fifteenth and the 
earliest ones of the sixteenth centuries were marked by great 
changes in the male attire ; the Butlers, Cliftons, Carletons, 
Westbys, Aliens, Molyneux, and many others of the gentry of 
the neighoourhood, figured at that period in fine shirts of long 
lawn, embroidered with silk round the collar and wristbands, a 
doublet with sleeves open at the elbows to allow the shirt to 
protrude, a stomacher, over which the doublet was laced ; a long 
gown or cloak, with loose or hanging sleeves and broad turn-over 
collar of fur or velvet ; long hose or stockings ; broad-toed shoes 
for ordinary use, and high boots, reaching to the knees, for riding 
purposes ; and broad felt hats, or variously shaped caps of fur or 
velvet, adorned with ostrich or other feathers. The hair was 
permitted to grow enormously long and fall down the back and 
over the shoulders, but the face was still cleanly shaved, with the 
exception of military and aged persons, who wore mustaches or 
beards. The wives and daughters, belonging to such families as 
those alluded to, were habited in upper garments, cut square at 
the neck, and stomachers, belts, and buckles, or costly girdles 
with long pendants in front. The sleeves were slit at the elbows 
in a manner similar to those of the men. High head-dresses were 
abandoned, and a cap or caul of gold net or embroidery, which 
allowed the hair to flow beneath it half way to the ground, took 
their place. Turbans, also, were fashionable for a brief season. 
The females of a humbler sphere wore plain grey cloth gowns, 
ornamented with lambs' skin or wool, and cloaks of Lincoln 


green ; the appearance of such an one upon a holiday is described 
by Skelton, the laureate of Henry VII., as under : 

" Her kirtle bristow red, 
With cloths upon her head, 
They weigh a ton of lead. 
She hobbles as she goes, 
With her blanket hose, 
Her shoone smeared with tallow." 

In the following reign, the commonalty, in imitation of the 
example set by the resident squires in this and other parts of the 
kingdom, became so extravagant in their ideas of suitable habili- 
ments that Henry VIII. issued an edict, prohibiting them from 
wearing ornaments of even the most simple description, and 
confining them to the use of cloth at a certain fixed price, and 
lambs' fur only. At the same time, velvets of any colour, furs of 
martens, chains, bracelets, and collars of gold were allowed only 
to those who possessed an income of not less than two hundred 
marks per annum ; but the sons and heirs of such were permitted 
to wear black velvet or damask, and tawny-coloured russet or 
camlet. None but those in the yearly receipt of one hundred 
marks could venture on satin or damask robes. The dress which 
may be taken as the most characteristic garb under the sover- 
eignty of the last Henry and of his two immediate successors, 
comprised a doublet with long bases, or skirts, and extensive 
sleeves, over which was thrown a short cloak, provided with arm- 
holes for the passage of the doublet sleeves. The cloak had a 
wide rolling collar, made of velvet, fur, or satin, according to 
taste. The shirt was plaited, and embroidered with gold, silver, 
or silk. The hose were closely fitted to the limb, being in some 
cases long and entire, and in others divided, under the names of 
the upper and nether stocks. Slashed shoes, or buskins of velvet 
and satin, with broad toes, and a cap of one of sundry forms, 
either simply bordered, or laden with feathers, completed the 
costume of every male member of the numerous families inhabit- 
ing the ancient halls of this section. Sir Walter Scott, who is 
generally allowed to have been pretty correct in the costumes of 
his heroes and minor characters, has described the appearance of 
a yeoman of our county about the middle of the sixteenth century 
as follows : 


" He was an English yeoman good, 
And born in Lancashire. 

* * * 

His coal-black hair, shorn round and close, 

Set off his sun-burnt face ; 
Old England's sign, St. George's cross, 

His barret-cap did grace ; 
His bugle horn hung from his side, 

All in a wolf-skin baldric tied ; 
And his short falchion, sharp and clear, 
Had pierced the throat of many a deer. 
His kirtle, made of forest green, 

Reached scantly to his knee ; 
And at his belt, of arrows keen 
A furbished sheaf bore he." . 

Shortly after the accession of Queen Elizabeth in 1558, remark- 
able alterations became evident in the fashions of the inhabitants. 
The skirts of the doublet were reduced to much smaller dimen- 
sions, so as thoroughly to expose the upper stocks, which, under 
the new title of trunk-hose, had risen to a very important 
place in the toilet. French trunk-hose were the first to render 
themselves conspicuous in our locality, and consisted of two 
varieties, the former of which were short, round, and full, 
becoming, in fact, in course of time, so swollen by padding that 
their use was abandoned by universal consent; and the second 
variety, going to the other extreme and fitting tightly to the 
limb, introduced. The next to arrive were the Gallic hose, very 
large and wide, and extending to the knee only ; after which came 
the Venetian hose, reaching below the knee to the garter, where 
they were secured with silken bands. The trunk-hose, of every 
kind, were made of silk, velvet, satin, or damask. The nether 
stocks, or stockings, were of jarnsey, thread, fine yarn, and later, 
of silk, whilst the shoes partook more of the nature of slippers, 
and were variously decorated. Ruffs encircled the necks of the 
males as well as the females. Above the doublet was worn in the 
Spanish style a cloak of silk, velvet, or taffeta, and of a red, black, 
green, yellow, tawny, russet, or violet colour, many being 
bordered with long glass beads. Hats were conical and high, flat 
and broad, and flat and round, but in all cases were made of velvet 
or sarcenet, and ornamented with bunches of feathers. The robes 
of the ladies, made of bright-coloured velvet, silk, or fine cloth, 


had both tight and wide sleeves, and were branched or opened at 
the front of the skirt to expose the handsome petticoat beneath. 
The farthingale distended the dresses of our female ancestry from 
just below the bodice or stomacher, in a manner that few, we 
opine, of the fair sex would care to see revived at the present day. 
The ruff was of cambric or lawn, and when first introduced, 
moderate in its proportions, but like many other fashions of that 
epoch, became enlarged into an absurdity as years passed on. 
The hair of the ladies was curled, crisped, and arranged with 
most elaborate care ; indeed, so curious and changeable were the 
coiffures that it would be tedious to our readers to offer more than 
this general description of them. Capes falling but a short way 
beyond the shoulders, and faced with fringe or velvet, were also 
worn. The costume of the gentlewomen during the seventeenth 
century, if the sombre garbs of the Roundhead families be 
excepted, consisted of an upper gown, which comprised a bodice 
and short skirt, the former being open over a laced stomacher, 
and the latter divided anteriorly, and its sides drawn back 
and looped up behind ; a petticoat or under-dress, of expensive 
material, reaching to the ground ; a yellow starched neckerchief, 
overspreading the shoulders and terminating on the bosom in two 
pointed ends ; and a high crowned hat, beneath which long 
ringlets escaped and flowed down the back. The peasant girls or 
female farm servants had plain dresses, falling to the ankles, and 
usually tight sleeves and aprons. The bodices of some were open 
to the waist, but the stomachers, although laced, were of a very 
inferior kind, and the starched neckerchiefs were wanting. The 
gentlemen of the Fylde were influenced in their choice of gar- 
ments according as their sympathies were with the King or 
Parliament, but there can be little question that in a locality so 
staunchly loyal as our own, the picturesque garb of the Cavaliers 
would predominate over the affectedly modest and plain attire of 
the partizans of Cromwell. The existence on the soil of such men 
as Sir Thomas Tyldesley, Thomas Singleton of Staining Hall, 
Thomas Hesketh of Mains Hall, who laid down their lives in the 
service of the crown, and numbers of others, who drew the 
sword in the cause of the throneless monarch, are fair evidence 
that the above conjecture is not hazarded without good reason. 
A doublet of silk, satin, or velvet, with large wide sleeves slashed 


up the front ; a collar covered by a band of rich point lace, with 
Vandyke edging ; a short cloak, thrown on one shoulder ; short 
trousers, fringed and reaching to the wide tops of the high boots ; 
a broad-leaved Flemish beaver hat, with a plume of feathers and 
band ; and a sword belt and rapier, constituted the full costume 
of a Cavalier. Instead of the velvet doublet, a buff coat, richly 
laced, and encircled by a broad silk or satin scarf, fastened in a 
bow, was substituted when the inhabitants were under the 
excitement produced by actual war, in which so many took part. 
The hair, it should be mentioned, was worn long by the Cavaliers, 
and closely cropped by the Roundheads, whose dress offers no 
special features to our notice. 

In the earlier part of last century the occupiers of Layton, 
Lytham, Fox, Burn, Mains, Rawcliffe, Rossall, Larbrick, etc., 
Halls, and others of equal social standing, who formed the gentry 
of the Fylde, and who consequently must be taken as our mirror 
of fashion, were clothed in straight square-cut waistcoats, extend- 
ing to the knees, and of very gorgeous patterns ; velvet breeches 
fastened below the knees ; long silk stockings ; buckled shoes, 
with high red heels ; periwigs of monstrous size ; hats, cocked on 
three sides ; long lace neckerchiefs ; and lastly, but far from the 
least important, a coat of rich material, having long stiff skirts 
and wide cuffs, turned back and adorned with gold or silver lace. 
The ladies had laced stomachers beneath a bodice with straight 
sleeves, ending at the elbow in moderately wide cuffs. The skirt 
of the dress was divided in front and looped up behind, disclosing 
a petticoat equalling or surpassing the richness of the upper 
garment, and trimmed with flounces and furbelows. The boots 
resembled those just described, but were more delicate in work- 
manship. The head-dress was composed of a species of cap, the 
lace material of which rose in three or four tiers, placed one above 
another, almost to a point, whilst the hair was brushed up and 
arranged in stiff curls, somewhat resembling a pyramid. This 
coiffure had only a brief reign, and was superseded by one less 
exalted, and of more elegant appearance. Hoops were introduced 
about 1720, and thirty years later silk aprons and gipsy straw hats, 
or small bonnets, were worn. In 1765 periwigs were discarded, and 
the natural hair was allowed to grow, being profusely sprinkled 
with powder, both by males and females. The country people 


were habited in long, double-breasted coats, made from frieze or 
homespun, and of a dark brown, grey, or other quiet shade ; a 
light drugget waistcoat, red shag or plush breeches, and black 
stockings. There is no necessity to trace the costumes of our 
ancestors further than the point here reached, as their varieties 
present few phases of special interest, and probably the most 
striking are already sufficiently familiar to our readers. A sure, 
though somewhat unsteady, decline was shortly inaugurated in 
the sumptuous and elaborate dresses of the people, which 
continued its course of reform until the more economical and 
unostentatious dress of modern days had usurped the place of the 
showy habiliments of the eighteenth century. 

THE COUNTRY or district of the Fylde may be briefly described 
as broad and flat, for although in many places it is raised in gentle 
undulations, no hill of any altitude is to be seen upon its surface. 
The fertility of its soil has long been acknowledged, and a visit to 
its fruitful fields during the warm months of summer would 
disclose numbers of rich acres yellow with the ripening grain, 
while potatoe and bean-fields, meadow and pasture-lands, orchards 
and fruit gardens, are scattered over the wide area. Our design 
in the present instance is not, however, to enlarge upon these 
cultivated features, but to notice some of the more striking 
natural peculiarities, and to arrange in a classified list sundry of 
the rarer wild plants growing in the neighbourhood, enumerating 
also the 'different birds and sea-fowl, which are either natives or 
frequenters of the locality. 

The features most calculated by their singularity to attract the 
attention of the stranger on surveying this division of the county 
are the moss-lands, the sand-hills, the mere at Marton, and the 
stunted appearance and inclination from the sea of those trees 
situated anywhere in the vicinity of the coast. 

The great moss of the Fylde lies in the township of Marton, 
and extends six miles from north to south, and about one mile 
from east to west. On examining the structure of this moss, 
below the coarse herbage covering its surface, is discovered 
a substance called peat, brown and distinctly fibrous at its upper 
part, but becoming more and more compact as we descend, until 
at the bottom is presented a firm, dark-coloured, or even black 
mass, betraying less evidence, in some cases barely -perceptible, of 


its fibrous formation. Beneath the peaty layer is a thick bed of 
clay, having imbedded in it, either partially or wholly, large 
trunks of trees oak, yew, fir, etc., which, by their frequency and 
arrangement, show that at some period the extensive tract must 
have been a dense woodland, but at what particular era it is 
impossible, Avith any degree of exactness, to determine. The 
disinterment, however, of certain Celtic relics from the substance 
of the peat, which may be supposed to have belonged to the 
aboriginal Britons of the section, inclines us to the opinion that 
the lower layers of the moss were formed, and consequently the 
forest overthrown, anterior to the Roman occupation of our island, 
but how long before that time it was standing, must remain 
purely a matter of conjecture, unless some reliable proofs of its 
more precise antiquity are disclosed during operations in the turf. 
The manner in which the demolition of the forest was effected is 
also somewhat wrapt in obscurity, although it is probable that 
the noble trees of which it was composed were overturned and 
uprooted by the fury of some wide-spread inundation or the 
violence of some terrific hurricane. The fearful devastations, 
both or either of the elements here brought into action can 
accomplish, are too well marked in the histories of other countries 
for us to hesitate in ascribing to them the power of overthrowing, 
under similar turbulent conditions, even so substantial an obstruc- 
tion as the forest must have been ; but a careful study of the 
locality and of the several sudden incursions of the tide which 
have occurred during recent years, leads to the belief that the sea 
was the chief destructive agent, and that the gale which hurled 
the raging volumes of water over the low-lying lands at the south 
of Blackpool, and the then level wooded tract beyond, assisted only 
in the ruinous work. In support of such a hypothesis may be 
instanced the flood of 1833, when a tide, only estimated to rise to 
a height of sixteen feet, but greatly swollen by a furious storm 
from the south-west, burst over at that spot, swept away several 
dwelling-houses in its course, battered down the hedges, and laid 
waste the fields far into the surrounding country. Had this 
inundation occurred during the high spring tides, it is impossible 
to say to what extent its ravages might have been carried, but the 
incident as it stands, being within the recollection of many still 
living, and by no means a solitary example of the usual direction 


taken by the storm-driven waves, furnishes an apt illustration of 
the most natural way in which the downfall of the forest may 
have been accomplished. The Rev. W. Thornber, who has 
bestowed much time and labour on the subject, says : u There 
are some facts that will go far to prove that these forests, once 
standing on Marton Moss, were overthrown by an inundation of 
the sea, viz., every tree on the Moss, as well as the Hawes, lies 
in a south-eastern direction from the shore ; and the bank, which 
appears to have been the extent of this irruption, commencing at 
the Royal Hotel, runs exactly in the same direction. The shells, 
similar to those collected on the shore, intermixed with wrack of 
the sea, which are found in abundance under the peat, also 
corroborate this supposition. Moreover the tide is constantly 
depositing a marine silt similar to that which lies beneath the 
peat, and in some instances upon it." 

The wreck of such a vast number of trees would cause a great 
but gradual alteration in the surface of the ground. The masses 
of fallen timber, blocking up the streamlets and obstructing 
drainage, would create a more or less complete stagnation of 
water upon the land ; the bark, branches, and leaves undergoing 
a process of decay would form the deepest layers of the peat ; 
rank herbage and aquatic plants springing up and dying in endless 
succession, would form annual accumulations of matter, which in 
course of time would also be assimilated into peat, and in this 
manner the moss overlaying the original clayey surface and 
burying the ancient forest, would grow step by step to its present 
dimensions. Again, each layer of peat, as they were successively 
formed, would press upon those beneath, so that the weight of its 
own increase would give firmness and solidity to the substance of 
the moss. Thus we see that the whole secret of the creation or 
formation of the moss is simply a process of growth, decay, and 
accumulation of certain vegetable products annually repeated. 
The huge moss of Pilling and Rawcliffe owes its existence to 
similar phenomena. 

The large mounds, or star-hills as they are called, which 
undulate the coast line from Lytham to South-Shore, are com- 
posed simply and purely of sand, covered over with a coarse 
species of herb, bearing the name of star-grass. Similar eminences 
at one time occupied the whole of the marine border of the Fylde, 


but in many places the encroaching tide has not only annihilated 
the hills themselves, but even usurped their sites. The town of 
Fleetwood is erected on a foundation of sand, and several 
extensive mounds of that nature exist in its vicinity. Below this 
light superficial substance, in some places very deep and thrown 
into its elevated forms by the long-continued action of the wind, 
is a subsoil resembling that found in other parts of the Fylde, 
and consisting of a clayey loam and alluvial matter. The 
diminutive size of those trees growing near the coast is due both 
to the openness and bleakness of the site, and the deleterious 
effects of the saline particles contained in the air ; whilst the 
peculiar leaning from the water of their branches, and in many 
instances their trunks, is caused by the mechanical action or 
pressure of the strong winds and sea breezes prevailing from the 
west during three-fourths of the year. 

Marton Mere, situated in the township indicated by its name, 
was formerly a lake of no inconsiderable extent, but drainage and 
the accumulation within its basin of sediment have reduced it to 
its present comparatively unimportant dimensions. Traces of the 
more extensive boundaries of the sheet of water in former days 
are still discernible along its banks, and at one time, it is stated, 
the wheel of a water-mill near to the village of Great Marton, 
was turned by a stream from the mere. The right of fishery in 
the lake, for such it was in the earlier periods, was the subject of 
legal contest in the reign of Edward III., and in 1590 John 
Singleton^, of Staining Hall, held the privilege. 

There are few districts of similar area which can boast so 
many and such interesting varieties of the feathered tribes, either 
natives or visitants, as the Fylde. Some of the rarest sea-fowl 
are occasionally seen along the coasts, while the fields and hedge- 
rows abound with most of the melodious songsters of our island. 
Amongst the number of both land and sea birds which have been 
observed in the neighbourhood, either during the whole year or 
only in certain parts of it, may be mentioned the following : 


Tinnunculus Alaudarus Kestrel Common 

Accipiter Nisus Sparrow Hawk Common 

Circus ceruginosus Moor Buzzard Very rare 



Strix flammea 
Otus vulgaris 
Otus brachyotus 

Barn Owl 
Long-eared Owl 
Short-eared Owl 



Hirundo rustica Common Swallow 

Cotyle riparia Sand Martin 

Chelidon urbica House Martin 


Sylvia undata 
Sylvia trochilus 
Sylvia curruca 
Sylvia sibilatrix 
Calamodyta phragmitis 
Saxicola senanthe 
Pratincola rubetra 
Pratincola rubicola 
Ruticilla phoenicura 
Parus major 
Parus cocruleus 
Parus caudatus 
Parus ater 
Motacilla Yarrellii 
Motacilla sulphurea 
Motacilla campestris 
Anthus pratensis 
Anthus arboreus 
Regulus cristatus 
Regulus ignicapillus 

Willow Warbler 
Lesser Whitethroat 
Wood Warbler 
Sedge Warbler 
Great Titmouse 
Blue Titmouse 
Long-tailed Titmouse 
Cole Titmouse 
Pied Wagtail 
Yellow Wagtail 
Grey Wagtail 
Meadow Titlark 
Tree Titlark 
Golden-crested Wren 
Fire-crested Wren 

Turdus musicus 
Turdus viscivorus 
Turdns pilaris 
Turdus iliacus 
Turdus merula 
Turdus torquatus 

Lanius collurio 

Corvus Corone 
Corvus comix 
Corvus frugilegus 
Pica caudata 

Sturnus vulgaris 

Song Thrush 
Missel Thrush 
Ring Ousel 

Red-backed Shriek 
Carrion Crow 
Hooded Crow 

Common Starling 


Rather rare 

Very rare 

Very common 
Rather rare 
Rather rare 


Very common 

Very common 
Rather rare 





Fringilla carduelis 



Fringilla caelebs 



Fringilla spinus 



Fringilla chloris 



Fringilla cannabina 



Emberiza citrinella 

Yellow Bunting 


Emberiza schaeniculus 

Reed Bunting 


Emberiza miliaris 

Common Bunting 


Emberiza nivalis 

Snow Bunting 


Pyrrhula rubicilla 



Alauda arvensis 


Very common 

Alauda arborea 





Cuculus canorus Cuckoo Common 



Columba palumbus Ring Dove Rare 

Columba senas Stock Dove Common 


Phasianus Colchicus Common Pheasant Common 


Perdix cinereus Common Partridge Common 

Coturnix communis Quail Common 



Charadrius pluvialis 
Charadrius hiaticula 
Charadrius morinellus 
Vanellus griseus 
Vanellus cristatus 
Hsematopus ostralegus 
Cinclus interpres 

Golden Plover Common 

Ringed Plover or Dotterel Common 

Common Dotterel Common 

Grey Plover Common 

Common crested Lapwing Common 

Oyster-catcher Very common 

Turnstone Common 

Ardea cinerea Common Heron Common 

Nycticorax Europaeus Common Night Heron Rare 

Botaurus stellaris Bittern Very rare indeed 


Tringoides hypoleuca Common Sandpiper Common 

Totanus ochropus Green Sandpiper Rare 

Totanus Calidris Redshank Sandpiper Common 

Numenius arquata Curlew or Whaup Common 

Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel Common 

Limosa vulgaris Common Godwit Rare 




Philomachus pugnax 
Tringa Canutus 
Tringa Temminckii 
Tringa minuta 
Tringa cinclus 
Phalaropus fulicarius 
Scolopax rusticola 
Gallinngo media 
Gallinago gallinula 

Rallus aquaticus 
Ortygometra crex 
Gallinula chloropus 
Fulica atra 

Ruff Rare 

Knot Rare 
Temminck's Stint " Rare 

Little Stint Very rare 

Dunlin Common 

Grey Phalarope Rare 

Woodcock Common 

Common Snipe Common 

Jack Snipe Common 


Water Rail Common 

Land Rail Common 

Water Hen Common 

Common Coot Common 


Anser ferus 
Anser segetum 
Bernicla leucopsis 
Cygnus ferus 
Tadorna vulpanser 
Mergus Castor 
Anas boschas 
Querquedula Crecca 
Spatula clypeata 
Moreca Penelope 
Myroca Terina 
Margellus albellus 
Fuligula cristata 
Fuligula marila 
Oidemia fusca 
Oidemia nigra 
Clangula vulgaris 
Clangula albeola 

Colymbus glacialis 
Colymbus arcticus 
Colymbus septentrionalis 
Chaulelasmus strepera 
Podiceps minor 

Grey-lag Goose 
Bean Goose 
Bernicle Goose 
Whistling Swan 
Common Shieldrake 
Common Teal 
Shoveller Duck 
Common Wigeon 
Common Pochard 

Tufted Duck or Pochard 
Scaup Duck or Pochard 
Velvet Scoter 
Black Scoter 

Golden-eye Duck or Garrot 
Buffel-headed Duck 
Great Northern Diver 
Black-throated Diver 
Red-throated Diver 
Gad wall 
Little Grebe 

Fratercula artica 
Alca torda 
Uria Troile 


Common Guillemot 











Rather rare 

Occasional visitor 

Rather common 

Rather rare 


Very rare 

Rather common 


Very rare 


Rather common 

Very rare 







Thalassidroma pelagica Stormy Petrel Common 

Thalassidroma Leachii Fork-tailed Petrel Rather rare 


Larus canus Common Gull Very common 

Larus ribibundus Black-headed Gull Very common 

Larus fuscus Little Black-headed Gull Common 

Larus tridactylus Kittiwake Gull Very common 

Larus Glaucus Glaucus Gull Rare 

Larus argentatus Herring Gull Very common 

Sterna hirundo Sea-swallow or Tern Common 

Sterna fuliginosa Sooty Tern Rare 

Sterna minuta Lesser Tern Common 


Graculus Carbo Common Cormorant Common 

Graculus Cristata Crested Cormorant Rather rare 

Sula Bassanea Gannet or Solan Goose Common 

The fertile fields and sunny lanes of the Fylde afford ample 
opportunity for the botanist to indulge in his favourite pursuit, and 
a short ramble over any portion of the pleasant country will 
unfold to his inquiring gaze many of Nature's most beautiful and 
interesting offsprings. Specimens, especially of the maritime 
varieties of several of the floral families, unobtainable in the 
inland districts, may here be found lightly planted on the loose, 
sandy margins of the shore. In the context it is not intended to 
enter into a description of the different plants or of the localities 
in which they may most commonly be found, but merely to 
enumerate some of the more important ones ; and in the follow- 
ing list all those inhabitants of the district, which are likely to 
interest the student of Botany or lover of Nature, are arranged in 
their various groups or orders : 


Ranunculus aquatilis Water Crowcroft 

Lingua Spearwort 

,, acris Meadow Crowfoot 

arvensis Corn 

Thalictrum minus Lesser Meadow-rue 

Delphinium consolida Field Larkspur 


Nymphaea Alba White Water-lily 


Papaver dubium Long Smooth-headed Poppy 

Rhceas Corn Poppy 

Chelidonium majus Common Celandine 



Nasturtium officinale Common Water-cress 

Hesperis matronalis Common Damewort 

Cochlearia officinalis Common Scurvy-grass 

Danica Danish 

Cakile maritima Purple Sea Rocket 

Crambe Sea Kale 

Sisymbrium Irio Broad-leaved Hedge-mustard 

Sophia Fine-leaved 


Viola odorata Sweet Violet 

tricolar Heartsease 


Reseda Luteola Yellow Weed 


Drosera rotundifolfa Sundew 

Parnassia pallustris Grass of Parnassus 


Saponaria officinalis Common Soapwort 

Lychnis Diocia White Campion 

Floscuculi Cuckoo-flower 

Silene inflata Bladder Catchfly 

maritima Sea 

Arenaria marina Sea Sandwort 

serpyllifolia Thyme-leaved Sandwort 

Adenaria peploides Sea Chickweed 


Linnm usitatissiraum Common Flax 

catharticum Purging 


Malva rotundifolia Dwarf Mallow 

Althaea officinalis Marsh Mallow 


Geranium sanguimeum Bloody Crane's-bill 

Geranium pratense Meadow Crane's-bill 

Geranium purpurea Odoriferous Cranes-bill 

Erodium cicutarium Hemlock Stork's-bill 


Anthyllis vulneraria Common Kidney-vetch 

Vicia lathyroides Spring Vetch 

Ononis procurrens Procurrent Restharrow 

spinosa Spinous 

Melilotus officinalis Common Melilot 

Trifolium arvense Hare's-foot Trefoil 


Rosa canina Dog rose 

spinosissima Burnet-leaved Rose 

eglantaria Sweet Briar 

Agrimonia Eupatoria Agrimony 

Spiraea ulmaria Meadow Sweet 

Rubus fruticosus Blackberry Brambles 


Epilobium hirsutum Great Willow-herb 

montanum Small 

Lythrum salicaria Spiked purple Loosestrife 

Hippuris vulgaris Common Mare's-tail 

Montia foutana Water Blinks 

Sedum acre Biting Stonecrop 

allbum White 

Sempervivum tectorum Houseleek 

Saxifraga granulata White Saxifrage 

stellaris Starry 

aizoides Yellow 

Crithmum maritimum Samphire 

Hydrocotyle vulgaris Marsh Pennywort 

Conium maculatum Hemlock 

Cicuta virosa Cowbane 

Eryngium maritimum Sea-holly 

Apium graveolens Wild Celery 

Bupleurum tenuissimum Slender Hare's-ear 

(Enanthe Crocata Dead-tongue 

Peucedanum ostruthium Master-wort 

officinale Sea Sulphurwort 

Daucus Carato Wild Carrot 

Anthriscus sylvestris Wild beaked Parsley 

Scandix Pecten-Veneris Venus' Comb 

Louicera Periclymenum Pretty piped Woodbine 

,, Caprifolium Common Woodbine 

Sambucus Nigra Elder 

Galium verum Yellow Bedstraw 

mollugo Hedge 

Sherardia arvensis Little Spurwort 


Valeriana officinalis Common Valerian 

Valerianella olitoria Lamb's Lettuce 

Dipsacus sylvestris Wild Teazel 

Aster Tripolium Sea Starwort 

Apargia hispida Rough Hawkbit 

Hieracium pallidum Hawkweed 

umbellatum Narrow-leaved Hawkweed 

Carduus tenuiflorus Slender-flowered Thistle 

palustris Marsh Thistle 

Chysanthemum maritimum Sea Feverfew 

Tanacetum vulgare Common Tansey 

Centaurea Cyanus Corn Bluebottle 

Pryethrum parthenium Common Feverfew 

inodorum Corn 

Senecio vulgaris Common Groundsell 

aquaticus Marsh Groundsell 

Silybum Marianum Milk Thistle 

Tragopogon pratense Yellow Goatsbeard 

Helminthia echioides Bristly Oxtongue 

Oxycoccus palustris Cranberry 

Campanula rotundifolia Harebell 

Pyrola media Intermediate Wintergreen 

Vinca major Greater Periwinkle 

Gentiana Pneumonanthe Marsh Gentian 

Campestris Field 

Chironia Centaurium, var. White-flowered Centaury 

,, latifolia Broad-leaved ,, 

pulchella Dwarf-branched 

Convolvulus Soldanella Sea Bindweed 

Sepium, var. Great Ditto, Pink-flowered 

arvensis Small Bindweed 

Veronica Anagallis Water Speedwell 

arvensis Wall 

,, Beccabunga Brooklime 

Serpyllifolia Thyme-leaved Speedwell 


Digitalis purpurea Purple Foxglove 

Linaria vulgaris Yellow toadflax 

Antirrhinum Cymbalaria Ivy-leaved Snapdragon 

Scrophularia vernalis figwort 

Thymus Serpyllum Wild Thyme 

Marrubium vulgare White Horehound 

Prunella vulgaris Selfheel 

Mentha viridis Spearmint 

arvensis Corn mint 

Betonica officinalis Wood Betony 

Lamum album White Dead-nettle 

purpureum Red 

Galeopsis ladanum Red Hemp-nettle 

Scutellaria galericulata Skullcap 

Armeria vagaris Common Thrift 

Statice Limonium Lavender 

Myosotis palustris Forget-me-not 

coespitosa Water Scorpion-grass 

arvensis Field ,, 

versicolor . Yellow and Blue 

Utricularia vulgaris Greater Bladderwort ' 

Primula vnlgaris Primrose 

veris Cowslip 

Glaux maritima Black Saltweed 

Samolus Valerandi Brookweed 

Anagallis cserula Blue Pimpernel 

tenella Bog 

Hottonia palustris Water Featherfoil 

Lysimachia vulgaris Yellow Loosestrife 

Plantago major Plantain 

media Hoary Plantain 

,, maritima Sea-side Platain 

Littorella lacustris Plantain Shoreweed 

Rumex crispus Curled Dock 

acetosa Common Sorrel 

Euphorbia paralias Sea purge 



Humulus Lupulus Hop 

Urtica pilulifera Roman nettle 

Parietaria officinalis Common Wall-pellitory 

Salix argentea Silky Sand Willow 

repens Dwarf Willow 

Myrica Gale Sweet Gale 

Iris Pseudacorus Yellow water-iris 

Narcissus Pseudo-narcissus Common Daffodil 

Galanthus nivalis Snowdrop 

Butomus umbellatus Flowering-rush 

Alisma ranunculoides Lesser Thrumwort 

Ruppia maritima Sea Tasselgrass 

Zannichellia palustris Common Lakeweed 

Orchis morio Green-winged Orchis 

pyramidalis Pyramidal 

Epipactis latifolia Broad-leaved Helleborine 

palustris Marsh 


Juncus effesus Soft Rush 

filiformis Threadrush 

squarrosus Heathrush 

Narthecium ossifragrum Bog Asphodel 

Lenna minor Lesser Duckweed 

Acorus Calamus Sweet-flag 

Carex limosa Mud Sedge 

flava Yellow 

arenaria Sea 

Eriophorum polystachyon Broad-leaved Cotton-grass 

Equisetum arvense Corn Horsetail 

variegatum Variegated Horsetail 

THE RIVER WYRE rises in the hills of Wyersdale and 
Bleasdale ; running in a south-westerly direction and passing 
the towns of Garstang and Church Town, it arrives at St. 
Michael's, from which point its tortuous course is continued 
almost due west as far as Skippool. Thence winding past the 


ancient port of Wardleys, the stream, much widened, flows 
north and a little inclined towards the west, until it reaches 
the harbour of Fleetwood, situated at its mouth. From that 
seaport, the channel of the river, unaltered in direction, lies for a 
distance of nearly two miles between the sand-banks of North 
Wharf and Bernard's Wharf, and finally terminates in More- 
cambe Bay, meeting the well-defined bed of the Lune at right 
angles. The origins of the Wyre in the hills consist of two small 
rivulets, and the stream formed by their union is joined near 
Scorton by the Grizedale Brook, whilst lower down, about two 
miles beyond the town of Garstang, it receives the Calder, 
rising on the slopes of Bleasdale. Before leaving the parish of 
Garstang, the Wyre is further increased by the brook springing 
from Fairsnape and Parlick Pike, which passes Claughton and 
Myerscough, not far from where it receives a small tributary from 
the south. At Skippool also a brook, the Skipton, which springs 
from the mere and marshy grounds of Marton Moss, pours its 
contents into the river. 

The Wyre is crossed at Garstang by the aqueduct of the 
Preston, Lancaster, and Kendal canal, and at St. Michael's, near 
the Church, it is spanned by a rather narrow but substantial 
stone bridge. For a distance of about six miles in the neighbour- 
hood of the latter place the stream is enclosed within artificial 
banks, which in some parts have a descent of thirty feet. In 
spite of these precautions, however, high floods occasionally occur, 
when the swollen waters burst over the embankments and inundate 
the adjoining country. At Cart Ford there is a wooden structure 
of very limited width, connecting the opposing banks ; and a few 
miles further down is the Shard Bridge, built of iron, and present- 
ing a neat and elegant appearance. The river at that spot is 500 
yards in breadth, and until the erection of the bridge in 1864, 
was crossed by means of a ferry-boat, or forded at low water by 
carts and conveyances. The ancient name of this ford was 
Ald-wath, and we learn from the following entry in the diary 
of Thomas Tyldesley, that in 1713 the charge for crossing by boat 
was 6d. each journey: "September 14, 1713. Went after dinr. to 
ffox Hall ; pd. 6d. ffor boating att Sharde ; saw ye ferry man 
carry out of ye boat a Scot and his pack, a sight I never saw 
beffor, beeing 56 years off age." 


About three hundred years since the venerable Harrison 
described the principal rivers of Lancashire, and from his 
writings at that time we quote as under : 

" The Wire ryseth eight or ten miles from Garstan, out of an hill in Wiresdale, 
from whence it runneth by Shireshed chappell, and then going by Wadland, 
Grenelaw Castle (\vhich belongeth to the erle of Darbie), Garstan and Kyrkeland 
hall, it first receiveth the seconde Calder, that commeth down by Edmersey 
chappell, then another chanel increased with sundrie waters, the first water is 
called Plympton brooke. It riseth south of Gosner, and commeth by Craweforde 
hall, and eare long receyving the Barton becke, it proceedeth forward till it 
joyneth with the Brooke rill that commeth from Bowland Forest by Claughton 
hall, where M. Brokehales doth live, and so throw Mersco forest. After this con- 
fluence the Plime or Plimton water meeteth with the Calder, and then with the 
Wire, which passeth forth to Michael church and the Rawcliffes, and above 
Thorneton crosseth the Skipton, that goeth by Potton, then into the Wire rode, 
and finally into the sea, according to his nature." 

Drayton also has left the subjoined versified account of the 
Wyre, and as in addition to its poetic merit, it possesses the 
virtue of being a faithful description, we need not apologise for 
giving it unabridged : 

" Arising but a rill at first from Wyersdale's lap, 
Yet still receiving all her strength from her full mother's pap, 
As downe to seaward she her serious course doth ply, 
Takes Calder coming in, to beare her company, 
From Woolscrag's cliffy foot, a hill to her at hand, 
By that fayre forest knowne, within her Verge to stand. 
So Bowland from her breast sends Brock her to attend, 
As she a Forest is, so likewise doth she send 
Her child, on Wyresdale Flood, the dainty Wyre to wayte, 
With her assisting Rills, when Wyre is once repleat ; 
She in her crooked course to Seaward softly glides, 
Where Pellin's mighty Mosse, and Merton's on her sides 
Their boggy breasts outlay, and Skipton down doth crawle 
To entertain this Wyre, attained to her fall." 1 

White Hall, (formerly Upper Rawcliffe Hall,) Rawcliffe Hall, 
and Mains Hall, each of which will claim our attention more 
particularly hereafter, are seated on the banks of the Wyre, so 
also is the ancient house of Preesall-with-Hackensall, and although 
not properly comprised within the limits of this work, it has a 
right from its association with the river, to some description a 
right the more readily conceded when it is known that in point 
of antiquity and interest, the hall and domain are well deserving 

I. Faerie Land, Song, edit. A.D. 1622. 


of our consideration. The site of the mansion is a little removed 
from the brink of the stream, and almost directly opposite the 
southern extremity of Fleetwood. The present building is of 
considerable age, having been erected by Richard Fleetwood, of 
Rossall, in 1656, as indicated by an inscription over the main 
entrance, but there can be no question that the origin of its 
predecessor was co-eval, at least, with the grant of the manor by 
King John, when earl of Moreton, to Geoffrey, the Crossbowman, 
who, with his descendants, resided there. The whole of the large 
estate remained in the family of Geoffrey until the fifteenth 
century, when it was conveyed in marriage to James Pickering, 
of Layton, by Agnes, the sole offspring and heiress of the last 
male Hackensall, the title assumed, according to custom, by the 
Crossbowman. James Pickering left at his decease four daughters, 
co-heiresses, and married to Richard Butler, of Rawcliffe, Thomas 
Aglionby, Nicholas Aglionby, and James Leybourne, each of 
whom inherited one-fourth of the manor in right of his wife. In 
1639 Sir Paul Fleetwood, of Rossall, held three-fourths of 
Hackensall, whilst the remaining quarter had descended to 
Henry Butler. Under the will of Richard Fleetwood, the 
re-erector of the hall, at that time occupied by his brother 
Francis, the three-fourths just named were sold by his trustees, 
being purchased, in part, for the Hornbys, of Poulton. Geoffrey 
Hornby, vicar of Winwick, and Robert Loxham, vicar of Poulton, 
held between them three-quarters of the manor in 1729, and 
William Elletson, of Parrox Hall, had possession of the other 
fourth, which is now the hereditary estate of Daniel Hope 
Elletson, esq., justice of the peace, residing at the same seat. 
At the end of the last century the Hornbys disposed of their 
share to John Bourne, gentleman, of Stalmine, from whom it 
descended to his second son, James Bourne, of Stalmine, and 
from him to his nephews, Thomas, James, and Peter, successively. 
The other portion of the manorial rights of the three-fourths was 
subsequently acquired by the last-surviving nephew, Peter Bourne, 
of Heathfield and Liverpool. Peter Bourne, esq., of Hackensall, 
married Margaret, the only daughter of James Drinkwater, esq., 
of Bent, in Lancashire, and left issue James, who is the present 
lord of three-quarters of the manor, and owner of the ancient Hall. 
James Bourne, esq., M.P., of Hackensall, and of Heathfield, near 


Liverpool, is Col.-Comdt. of the Royal Lancashire regiment of 
Militia Artillery, a deputy-lieutenant, and a justice of the peace of 
this county. Colonel Bourne has recently restored the old manor 
house, but in such a way as to preserve, and not obliterate, its 
links with a bygone age. The antique fire-places, one of which 
was protected by a massive arch of stone sweeping across the 
whole width of the room, have been renewed as before, and 
although the main doorway has been removed to another part of 
the building, the stone with the initials F. R. A., being those of 
Richard Fleetwood and Anne, his wife, has been reinstated in its 
original position above the newly-constructed lintel. Rumour 
affirms that during certain alterations two or three skeletons, 
supposed to be those of females, were found bricked up in a 
narrow chamber in one of the walls, and whilst confirming the 
discovery of a long secret recess, we dare not venture, for the 
evidence is somewhat contradictory, to hold ourselves responsible 
for the strict accuracy of the other part of the story, which 
suggests the enactment of a scene of revolting cruelty, similar 
to that introduced by Sir Walter Scott in the following lines : 
" Yet well the luckless wretch might shriek, 

Well might her paleness terror speak ! 

For there was seen in that dark wall, 

Two niches, narrow, deep, and tall. 

Who enters at such grisly door 

Shall ne'er I wean find exit more. 

In each a slender meal was laid 

Of roots, of water, and of bread. 

Hewn stones and mortar were display'd, 

And building tools in order laid." 

The moat has now been nearly filled up, but its extent and 
direction can still be pointed out. There are no indications of a 
chapel having formerly constituted part of the residential building, 
but several years since, when an outhouse was destroyed, at a 
short distance, about twenty yards, two gravestones were dis- 
covered, and it is probable that they were somewhere near, if not 
actually on the site of, the private chapel or oratory. One of the 
stones was broken up immediately, and the other is practically 
illegible, although three or four words, still preserved, prove that 
the inscription has not been in raised characters. The rights to 
wreckage, etc. on the foreshore of the manor have pertained to 


the lords of Hackensall from time immemorial, and still continue 
to be held and exercised as portion of the lordship. 

Anterior to the establishment of a port at Fleetwood, or more 
correctly speaking, to the foundation of a town and the erection 
of wharfage, etc., on the warren forming the western boundary of 
Wyre estuary, Wardleys and Skippool, almost facing each other, 
were the harbours to which all commercial traffic on the river 
was directed. Ships of considerable size, freighted with cargoes 
of various sorts, found their way to those secluded havens, and 
even within the last few years, during high tides, vessels laden 
with grain have been berthed and unloaded in the narrow creek 
leading from Skippool bay, while bags of guano have often ter- 
minated their sea-voyages at Wardleys. A solitary warehouse, 
however, undated, but bearing on its battered exterior and decay- 
ing timbers the unmistakable stamp of time, is, at the present 
day, almost the only remaining witness to the former pretentions 
of the first named 'place. At Wardleys, three or four spacious 
warehouses, in a similarly dilapidated condition and now partially 
converted into shippons, the remainder being unused except as 
lumber-rooms or temporary storehouses for guano or some local 
agricultural produce, together with a stone wharf, are evidences 
of a fair amount of business having once been carried on at that 
little port. 

In 1825 Baines described Wardleys as "a small seaport on the 
river Wyre, where vessels of 300 tons register may discharge their 
burdens, situated in the township of Stalmine with Stainall, in 
the hundred of Amounderness ;" but in the year 1708 customs 
were established at Poulton in connection with Wardleys and 
Skippool. Nor should we be justified in limiting the antiquity of 
the ports to that date, for as early as 1590 1600, William and 
James Blackburne, of Thistleton, carried on an extensive trade 
with Russia, and there can be no doubt that their cargoes of mer- 
chandise, most likely flax and tallow, were landed on the banks 
of the Wyre at those ancient harbours. The father of the above 
merchants was the first of the family to take up his residence in 
this neighbourhood, and appears to have settled at Garstang, 
about 1550, from Yorkshire. That the commercial dealings of 
the partners were both large and successful is shown in the pro- 
perty acquired by William Blackburne, the elder brother, who 


purchased Newton, lands in Thistleton, and several other estates 
of considerable magnitude in the Fylde, all of which he bequeathed 
to his son and heir, Richard. Richard Blackburne married Jane, 
the daughter of John Aynesworth, of Newton, and had issue John 
of Eccleston ; Richard, of Goosnargh ; Thomas, of Orford and 
Newton ; Edward, of Stockenbridge, near St. Michael's-on-Wyre ; 
Robert, who was suspected of being implicated in the Gunpowder 
Plot, but acquitted, the evidence being insufficient ; Annie, who 
married Nickson ; and Elizabeth, the wife of William Standish. 
When the Singletons of Staining became extinct, the Hall and 
estate of that name passed to a William Blackburne, as heir-at- 
law, and there is great probability that he was a descendant of one 
of the sons of Richard Blackburne of Thistleton, Newton, etc. 
most likely of John Blackburn, of Eccleston. 

During the years more immediately previous to the opening of 
the new port at the mouth of the river, a great many large ships 
from America, laden with timber, and brigs from Russia, with flax 
and tallow, were discharged at Wardleys. A three masted vessel, 
for the foreign trade, was also constructed in the ship-yard 
attached to that place, but as far as can be learnt this was the 
only vessel of equal dimensions ever built there, repairs being the 
chief occupation of the workpeople. 

Several of the officers connected with the Custom House at 
Poulton, were stationed at Knot End, opposite the Warren, 
living in the small cottage standing near the shore, in order to 
board the different craft as they entered the river, and pilot them 
up the stream to Wardleys. A large hotel is situated behind 
the site of the old ship-yard, and during the summer months is 
generally well patronised by visitors, to whom, as well as to the 
pleasure-parties arriving by water from Fleetwood, and by road 
from Blackpool, the hamlet is now mainly indebted for support. 
Some large mussels, the " Mytili angulosi," but known amongst 
the natives of those parts as " Hambleton bookings," were found 
formerly in large quantities a little lower down the river, but lately 
specimens of this fine shell-fish have been growing much scarcer. 
Dr. Leigh, in his Natural History of our county, informs us that 
pearls have frequently been discovered enclosed within the shells 
of these molluscs, and also that their popular name arises from the 
manner in which they are taken, the feat being accomplished " by 


plucking them from their Skeers, or Beds, with Hooks." The 
tidal estuary of the Wyre embraces an area of three miles by two, 
and it is near to its termination that the port and town of Fleet- 
wood are situated. Our purpose now is not to enter into a 
description of the harbour, which will be found in the chapter 
specially devoted to the seaport itself, but a few words as to the 
advantages derived from the nature of the river's current and its 
bed, will not be out of place. Captain Denham, R.N., F.R.S., 
after inspecting the site of the proposed port on behalf of the pro- 
moters, issued a report in the month of January, 1840, and 
amongst other things, stated that during the first half of the ebb- 
tide, a reflux of backwater was produced which dipped with such 
a powerful under-scour as to preserve a natural basin, capable of 
riding ships of eighteen or twenty feet draught, at low water, 
spring tides ; also that the anchorage ground, both within and 
without the harbour, was excellent. These facts alone seemed 
sufficient to warrant the gallant officer's prediction that the 
undertaking would be successful and remunerative, but when in 
addition it is called to mind, that " as easy and safe as Wyre 
water " had for long been a proverb amongst the mariners of our 
coast, and that the harbour was, and is, perfectly sheltered from 
all winds, as well as connected with a railway terminus which 
communicates with Preston, Manchester, etc., we are astonished 
that comparatively so little encouragement has been given to it, 
and that now, thirty-five years from the date of this survey, the 
first dock is only approaching completion. 

The river Wyre is plentifully supplied with fish of various sorts ; 
in the higher parts of the stream trout and smelts may be found, 
whilst the lower portion and estuary contain codling, flounders, 
sea-perch, conger, sand eels, and occasionally salmon. The 
earliest enactments with regard to the fisheries connected with 
the last-named fish related to the Wyre, Ribble, and other rivers 
of Lancashire. In 1389, during the reign of Richard II., a law, 
which arranged the times and seasons when the fisheries in these 
rivers should be closed, and other matters affecting them, was 
passed and brought into force, being the first regulation of its 

The Ribble is associated with the Fylde only in so much as its 
tidal estuary is concerned, which forms the southern boundary of 


the district. Since 1837 great alterations have been effected in 
the channel of the river by the Ribble Navigation Improvement 
Company. The stream for the larger portion of its extent from 
Preston to the Naze Point has been confined within stone 
embankments, and its bed considerably deepened by dredging. 
During the progress of these improvements wide tracts of land 
have been reclaimed both north and south of the current. 
From Freckleton the river rapidly widens as it approaches 
the sea, so that a direct line drawn from Lytham to Southport 
across its mouth would pass over a distance of seven or 
eight miles. The channel here is shallow, while the sands on 
each side are flat and extensive,, and midway in the estuary, at its 
lowest part, lies the far-famed Horse-bank, which divides the 
stream into a north and south current, scarcely discernible, 
however, after the tide has risen above the level of the bank. 
About one mile from the town of Lytham, in the direction of 
Preston, is a pool of moderate dimensions, having an open com- 
munication with the river, and formed into a small harbour or 
dock for yachts and vessels connected with the coasting trade. 
In the bed of the river, a little higher up than that locality, 
trunks of large trees are occasionally observed at low water, and 
many such remains of a once noble forest, which is believed to 
have extended from near the Welsh coast as far even as More- 
cambe, have been raised at different times during the operation of 

The following descriptions of the Ribble, its source, course, and 
tributaries, were written, respectively, by the ancient topographer 
Harrison, and the poet Drayton, whose accounts of the Wyre 
have been previously quoted : 

" The Rybell, a river verie rich of Salmon and Lampreie, dooth in manner 
inviron Preston in Andernesse, and it jriseth neere to Ribbesdale above Gisburne. 
It goeth from thence to Sawley or Salley, Chatburne, Woodington, Clitherow 
Castell, and beneath Mitton meeteth with the Odder, which ryseth not farre from 
the Cross of Crete in Yorkshire, and going thence to Shilburne, Newton, 
Radholme parke, and Stony hirst, it falleth ere long into Ribble water. From 
thence the Ribble hath not gone farre, but it meeteth with the Calder. Thys 
brooke ryseth above Holme Church, goeth by Townley and Burneley (where 
it receiveth a trifeling rill), thence to Higham, and ere long crossing one 
water that cometh from Wicoler, by Colne, and another by and by named Pidle 
brooke that runneth by Newechurch, in the Pidle : it meeteth with ye Calder, 
which passeth forth to Padiam, and thence (receyving a becke on the other side) 


it runneth on to Altham, and so to Martholme, where the Henburne brooke doth 
joyn with all, that goeth by Alkington chappell, Dunkinhalge, Rishton, and so 
into ye Calder as I have sayde before. The Calder therefore being thus inlarged, 
runneth forth to Reade (where M. Noell dwelleth), to Whalley, and soon after 
into Ribell,that goeth from this confluence to Salisbury hal, Ribchester, Osbaston, 
Sambury, Keuerden, Law, Ribles bridge, and then taketh in the Darwent, before 
it goeth by Pontwarth or Pentworth into the sea. The Darwent devideth Leland 
shire from Andernesse, 1 and it ryseth by east above Darwent Chappell, and soone 
after uniting it selfe with the Blackeburne, and Rodlesworthe water it goeth 
thorowe Howghton Parke, by Howghton towne, to Walton hall, and so into the 
Ribell. As for the Sannocke brooke, it ryseth somewhat above Longridge 
Chappell, goeth to Broughton towne, Gotham, Lee hall, and so into Ribell." 
" From Penigent's proud foot as from my source I slide, 

That mountain, my proud sire, in height of all his pride, 

Takes pleasure in my course as in his first-born flood, 

And Ingleborrough too, of that Olympian brood, 

And Pendle, of the north, the highest hill that be, 

Do wistly me behold, and are beheld of me. 
' These mountains make me proud, to gaze on me that stand, 

So Longridge, once arrived on the Lancastrian strand, 

Salutes me, and with smiles me to his soil invites, 

So have I many a flood that forward me excites, 

As Hodder that from Home attends me from my spring, 

Then Calder, coming down from Blackstonedge doth bring 

Me easily on my way to Preston, the greatest town 

Wherewith my banks are blest, where, at my going'down, 

Clear Darwen on along me to the sea doth'drive, 

And in my spacious fall no sooner I arrive, 

But Savock to the north from Longridge making way 

To this my greatness adds, when in my ample bay, 

Swart Dulas coming in from Wigan, with her aids, 

Short Taud and Dartow small, two little country maids, 

In these low watery lands and moory mosses bred, 

Do see me safely laid in mighty Neptune's bed, 

And cutting in my course, even through the heart 

Of this renowned shire, so equally it part, 

As nature should have said, lo ! thus I meant to do, 

This flood divides this shire, thus equally in two." 

The beautiful scenery and historical associations of the Ribble 
render it the most interesting and charming of the several rivers 
which water the county of Lancaster. The quietude of its fair 
valley has on more than one occasion been rudely broken by the 
clash of arms, and students of our country's history will readily 

i. This is incorrect, as the Ribble and not the Darwent separates the Hundreds 
of Leyland and Amounderness. 


call to mind that calamitous day to the Duke of Hamilton, when 
Cromwell routed the Highlanders under his command, near 

"And Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbrued." 

Other instances of war-like doings along the banks of this river 
might be recounted, but as the neighbourhoods in which they 
occurred are not enclosed within the Fylde boundaries, we are 
perforce obliged to exclude them from this volume, and must 
refer those of our readers who are anxious to learn more both of 
them and of the river itself to other sources for the required 
information. The chief fish of the Ribble is of course its salmon, 
but in addition the estuary contains numbers of flounders and 
other varieties of the finny tribes similar to those fouud in the 
tidal portion of the Wyre. During the sixteenth century 
sturgeons seem to have been captured occasionally in the Ribble, 
and amongst the records of the duchy in 1536, there is a com- 
plaint that when " one certain sturgeon was found within the 
township of Warton and seized for the use of the King (who held 
the right of fishery there), and laid up in a house in Warton, one 
Christopher Bone, of Warton, and James Brad r ton, of the ley, 
with divers riotous persons, about the 6th of May last, did then 
and there take out of the said house the said sturgeon, and the 
said Bone hath at divers times and in like manner taken 
sturgeons and porpoises to his own use and the injury of his 
majesty." 1 

As such a small part, and that far from the most important, of 
of Ribble stream is really connected with the Fylde, and as it is 
not our intention to trespass beyond the limits of that district, at 
least not knowingly, and the margin in" the present instance is so 
clearly defined that no excuse could be offered for overstepping it, 
we. are compelled to content ourselves with this brief account, 
leaving much unsaid that is of considerable historical and general 

THE SEA which washes over the westerly shore of the Fylde 
forms part of St. George's Channel or the Irish Sea, whilst the 
narrow northern boundary of the same district is limited by the 
waters of Morecambe Bay. The main peculiarities to be noticed 

I. Record Office, 28 Henry VIII., V. S., c. 6. 


along the extensive line of this coast swept- over by the billows of 
the Irish Sea, are the almost entire absence of seaweeds and the 
levelness of the sands ; indeed, so gentle is the slope of the latter 
that its average declivity has been estimated at no more than one 
foot in every fifty yards, and to the flatness of this surface it is 
due that the beach is in a very great measure freed from putrifying 
heaps of fish and seaweed, for the rising tides glide with such 
swiftness over the level sandy beds that most driftmatters and 
impurities are left behind in the depths beyond low water mark. 
An analysis, made by Dr. Schweitzer, of the waters of the English 
coast, furnishes the following result : 

No. of grains. 

Water 964.74 

Chloride of Sodium (Table salt) 27.06 

Chloride of Magnesium 3.67 

Sulphate of Magnesia (Epsom Salts) 2.30 

Sulphate of Lime 1.40 

Carbonate of Lime 0.03 

Carbonate of Magnesia 

Carbonic Acid 

'Potash , Traces 

T j A 1 tlCCo 


Extractive matter 

Bromide of Magnesium 


There are few, we imagine, who have not at one time or 
another admired the luminous appearance of the sea on certain 
evenings. This astonishing and beautiful phenomenon is brought 
about by the presence in the water of myriads of tiny beings, 
called Noctilucse, which possess the power of emitting a phos- 
phorescent light, and seemingly convert the bursting waves into 
masses of liquid fire. The immense expanse of sea spreading out 
from the westerly border of the Fylde has, independently of its 
association with the Gulph Stream, a marked influence in 
equalising the climate and averting those sudden and extreme 
degrees of heat and cold commonly experienced inland. The 
atmosphere over water does not undergo such rapid alterations in 
its temperature as that over land, and hence it happens that 
localities situated near the coast are cooler in summer and 
warmer in winter than others far removed from its vicinity. 
Most people will have observed that after a calm sunny day at 
the seaside, a breeze from the land invariably arises after sunset, 


due to the fact that the air over the earth being cooled and 
condensed much sooner than that over the sea, the heavier body 
of atmosphere endeavours to displace the warmer and lighter one. 
A gentle evaporation is daily taking place from the surface of the 
sea, by which the air becomes loaded with moisture, remaining 
suspended until the coolness of evening sets in, when it is 
deposited on the ground as dew. The water thus obtained from 
the deep is not pure brine, as might at first sight appear, but is 
freed from its salts by the process of natural distillation which 
has been undergone. Similar evaporation also goes on from the 
surfaces of the Ribble and Wyre, and it is doubtless chiefly owing 
to the Fylde being almost environed by water, constantly dis- 
seminating dew, that its fecundity is not only so great, but also so 
constant. The following is a list of the seaweeds to be found on 
the coast : 



Fucus nodosus Knobbed Wrack 

serratus Serrated 

canaliculatus Channelled 

vesiculosus Bladder 


Desmarestia aculeata Spring Desmarestia 

viridis Green 


Alaria esculenta Edible Alaria 

Laminaria digitata Tangle 

saccharina Sweet Laminaria 

bulbosa Sea-furbelows 

Chorda filum Thread Ropeweed 


Dictyosiphon faeniculaceus Tubular Netweed 

Asperococcus echinatus Wooly Rough-weed 

compressus Compressed 


Chordaria flagelliformis Whiplash weed 

Mesogloia virescens Verdant Viscid-weed 

vermicularis Wormy 

Cladostephus verticillatus Whorled Cladostephus 

spongiosus Spongy 

Sphacellaria scoparia Brown-like Sphacellaria 

plumosa Feathered 

Cirrhosa Nodular 



Ectocarpus litoralis Shore Ectocarpus 

siliculosus Podded 

tomentosus Feathered 



Polysiphonia fastigiata Tufted Polysiphonia 

urceolata Hair-like 

nigrescens Dark 


Bonnemaisonia asparagoides Asparagus-like Bonnemaisonia 

Laurentia pinnatifida Pinnatifid Pepper-dulse 

,, caespitosa Tufted 

dasyphylla Sedum-leaved 


Corallina officinalis Officinal Coralline 

Jania Jania 

Melobesia Melobesia 

Delesseria alata Winged Delesseria 

Rhodymenia palmata Dulse 

,, ciliata Ciliated Rhodymenia 

Hypnea purpurescens Purple Hypnea 


Gelidium Jellyweed 

Gigartina mamillosa Papillary Grape-stone 

Chondrus crispus Irish moss 

Polyides rotundus Round Polyides 

Furcellaria fastigiata Slippery Forkweed 

Halymenia rubens Red Sea-film 

membranifolia Membranous Sea-film 

edulis Edible 

palmata Palmated 

lacerata Lacerated 

Catanella opuntia Catanella opuntia 


Ceramium rubrum Red Hornweed 

diaphanum Diaphanous ,, 

ciliatum Hairy 

echionotum Irregularly-spined Hornweed 

acanthonotum Spined 

nodosum Nodose 

Callithamnion tetragonum Square-branched Callithamnion 

plumula Feathery 

polyspermum Many-spermed ,, 




Couferva rupestris Rock Crowsilk 

lanosa Woolly 

fucicola Wrack 

tortuosa Twisted 


Oyster Green or Laver 
Lettuce Laver 
Intestinal Entermorpha 
Branched ,, 

of some of 

Ulva latissima 

Entermarpha intestinalis 

The subjoined table contains the names of some of the 
crustaceous animals and molluscs commonly met with in the 
neighbourhood : 

Arctopsis tetraodon 
Hyas araneus 
Portunus puber 
Corystes dentata 
Gonoplax angulata 
Pinnotheres pisum 
Porcellana platycheles 
Cancer pagurus 
Cancer maenas 
Pagurus Bernhardus 
Pilumnus hirtellus 
Palaemon serratus 
Crangon vulgaris 
Corophium longicorne 
Orchestia littorea 
Talitrus saltator 
Sulcator arenarius 
Mytilus edulis 
Cardium edule 
Buccinum undatum 
Litorina litorea 
Calyptra vulgaris 

Four-horned Spider-crab 

Great Spider-crab, or Sea-toad 

Velvet Fiddler-crab 

Toothed Crab 

Angular Crab 


Broad-claw porcelain Crab 

Edible crab 

Common Crab 



Common Prawn 

Common Shrimp 

Long-horned Corophium 




Edible Mussel 




Common Limpet 



jjHE Aliens who resided at Rossall Hall for a period 
of more than half a century, and by intermarriage 
became connected with the Westbys of Mowbreck, 
the Heskeths of Mains, and the Gillows of Bryning, 
sprang from the county of Stafford. At the time of the 
Protestant Reformation, George Allen, of Brookhouse, in 
the division just mentioned, held a long lease of the Grange 
and Hall of Rossall from a kinsman of his family, one of the 
abbots of Deulacres, a Staffordshire monastery, to which the 
estate had been granted by King John. George Allen at his 
death left one son, John, who resided at the Hall, and subse- 
quently married Jane, the sister of Thomas Lister, of Arnold 
Biggin, in Yorkshire. The offspring of this marriage were 
Richard, William, Gabriel, George, who espoused Elizabeth, 
the daughter of William Westby, of Mowbreok ; Mary, afterwards 
the wife of Thomas Worthington, of Blainscow ; Elizabeth, 
subsequently the wife of William Hesketh, of Mains Hall ; and 
Anne, who married George Gillow, of Bryning. Richard Allen, 
of Rossall Hall, the eldest son, left at his demise a widow with 
three daughters, named respectively, Helen, Catherine, and Mary, 
who were deprived of their possessions and rights in the Grange 
in the year 1583 by Edmund Fleetwood, whose father had 
purchased the reversion of the lease from Hcury VIII., at the 
time when the larger monastic institutions were dissolved in 


England. The widow and her daughters fled to Rheims to escape 
further persecution, where they were hospitably received by their 
near relative, Cardinal William Allen, who interested the princely 
family of Guise in their behalf and so obtained for them the means 
of subsistence. 

William Allen, the second son of John Allen, of Rossall Hall, 
was born in 1532, and at the early age of fifteen entered Oriel 
College, Oxford, under the tutorship of Morgan Philips, perhaps 
the most eminent logician of his day. Three years later he was 
elected to a fellowship. Upon the accession of Mary he entered 
the church, and in 1556 was made principal of St. Mary's Hall, 
acting as Proctor for the two succeeding years. In 1558 he was 
created canon of York, but on the accession of Elizabeth, he 
refused the Protestant oaths, was deprived of his fellowship, and, 
in 1560, retired to Louvaine, where he wrote his first work, 
entitled "A Defence of the Doctrine of Catholics, concerning 
Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead," in answer to an attack on 
those dogmas by Bishop Jewell. In 1565, the year in which this 
publication appeared and fermented great excitement both here 
and abroad, William Allen determined, in spite of the extreme 
dangers of such an act, to visit his native country, more 
especially the home of his fathers at Rossall. Religious zeal 
prevented his active spirit from being long at rest ; after residing 
in England about three years and visiting different parts of 
Lancashire, seeking converts to his creed, he was obliged to 
secrete himself from the eye of the law amongst his friends, 
Layton Hall and Mains Hall being two of his hiding places, 
until a suitable opportunity occurred for escaping over to the 
continent. Flanders was his destination, and from there he went 
to Mechlin, afterwards taking up his abode at Douai, where he 
obtained a doctor's degree, and established an English seminary. 
This college, we learn from the " Mem : Miss : Priests : Ed. 1741," 
was founded in 1568 "to train up English scholars in virtue and 
learning, and to qualify them to labour in the vineyard of the 
Lord, on their return to their native country ; it was the first 
college in the Christian world, instituted according to the model 
given by the council of Trent." 

Whilst engaged at the above scholastic institution, William 
Allen was appointed canon of Cambray; subsequently when the 


English council applied to the ruling powers of the Spanish 
Netherlands to suppress the college of Douai, the Doctor and his 
assistants were received under the protection of the house 
of Guise. Afterwards Doctor Allen, on being appointed canon of 
Rheims, established another seminary in that city. At that time 
perhaps no one was more admired and revered by the Catholic 
party abroad, and detested by the Protestant subjects of England, 
than William Allen. He was even accused by his countrymen at 
home of having traitorously instigated Philip II. of Spain, to 
attempt the invasion and conquest of England, and although he 
strenuously denied any agency in that matter, it is certain that 
after the defeat of the Armada, he wrote a defence of Sir William 
Stanley and Sir Rowland York, who had assisted the enemy. In 
1587, he was made cardinal of St. Martin in Montibus by Pope 
Sectus V., and a little later was presented by the king of Spain 
to a rich abbey in Naples with promises of still higher preferment. 
In 1588 he published the " Declaration of the Sentence of Sixtus 
the Fifth," which was directed against the government of the 
British queen, whom he declared an usurper, obstinate and 
impenitent, and for these reasons to be deprived. As an appendix 
to the work he issued shortly afterwards an "Admonition to the 
Nobility and People of England and Ireland," in which he pro- 
nounced the queen an illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII. 
Although the effect of these publications on the English nation 
was not, as he hoped, to arouse the people to open rebellion, or 
in any way to advance the Catholic cause, the efforts of the 
cardinal were so far appreciated by the king of Spain that he 
promoted him to the archbishopric of Mechlin. He lived at 
Rome during the remainder of his life in great luxury and 
magnificence. On October 6th, 1594, this remarkable man 
expired at his palace, in the 63rd year of his age, and was 
buried with great pomp at the English church of the Holy 
Trinity in the ancient imperial city. 


The name of Butler, or as it was formerly written Botiler, 
belonged to an office in existence in earlier times, and was first 
assumed by Theobald Walter, who married Maud, the sister of 
Thomas a Becket, on being appointed Butler of Ireland. 


Theobald Walter-Botiler gave to his relative Richard Pincerna, 
or Botiler, as the family was afterwards called, the whole of Out 
Rawcliffe and one carucate of land in Staynole. This gentleman 
was the founder of that branch of the Butlers which was estab- 
lished at Rawcliffe Hall for so many generations. Sir Richard 
Botiler, of Rawcliffe, married Alicia, in 1281, the daughter of 
William de Carleton, and thus obtained the manor of Inskip. 
He had issue William, Henry, Richard, Edmund, and Galfrid. 
Richard Botiler, the third son, who had some possessions in 
Marton, left at his death one son, also named Richard, who was 
living in 1323, and became the progenitor of the Butlers of 
Kirkland. William, the eldest son, espoused Johanna de Sifewast, 
a widow, by whom he had Nicholas de Botiler, who was alive in 
1322, and had issue by his wife Olivia, one son, William Botiler, 
living in 1390. William Botiler had three children John, 
Richard, and Eleanor. John Botiler was created a knight, and in 
1393-4-5 was High Sheriff of the county of Lancaster. Sir John 
Botiler left at his death, in 1404, three sons and one daughter, the 
offspring of his marriage with Isabella, his second wife, who was 
the widow of Sir John Butler, of Bewsey. Nicholas, the eldest 
son, was also twice married, and had issue by his first wife, 
Margeria, the daughter of Sir Richard Kirkeby, John and 
Isabella Botiler. John Botiler espoused, in 1448, Elizabeth, the 
daughter of William Botiler, of Warrington, and had issue 
Nicholas and Elizabeth Botiler. Nicholas Botiler married Alice, 
the daughter of Sir Thomas Radcliffe, knt., and was succeeded 
by his eldest son John Botiler, who subsequently espoused 
Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of Sir John Lawrence, knt., 
and had issue William, James, Richard, and Robert Botiler. 
James Botiler, the second son, inherited the estates, most 
probably owing to the death of William, his elder brother, and 
married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Thomas Molyneux, knt., of 
Larbrick Hall. James Botiler, or Butler, was living in 1500, but 
died shortly afterwards, leaving two sons and two daughters 
John, Nicholas, Isabella, and Elizabeth. John, the elder son, had 
issue four daughters, whilst Nicholas, the second son, had issue 
by his first wife, the daughter of Richard Bold, of Bold, two sons, 
Richard and Henry, and by his second wife, Isabel, the daughter 
and co-heiress of John Clayton, of Clayton, one daughter, who 


died in 1606. Richard Butler married Agnes, the daughter of 
Sir Richard Houghton, knt., but having no offspring, the estates 
of Rawcliffe passed to William Butler, the eldest son of his 
younger brother, Henry Butler, somewhere about 1627. William 
Butler espoused Elizabeth, the daughter of Cuthbert Clifton, of 
Westby, by whom he had one son, Henry, who was thrice 
married, and had numerous offspring. Richard, the eldest son 
of Henry Butler by his first wife, Dorothy, the daughter of Henry 
Stanley, of Bickerstaffe, died before his father, but left several 
sons, one of whom, also named Richard, succeeded to the 
Rawcliffe property, and was thirty- two years of age in 1664 ; 
another, Nicholas, was a colonel in the time of Charles I. ; and 
another, John, was a citizen of London. Richard Butler espoused 
Katherine, the daughter of Thomas Carus, of Halton, by whom 
he had a large family, the eldest of which, Henry, was six years of 
age in 1664. Henry Butler, of Rawcliffe, espoused as his first 
wife, Katherine, the granddaughter, and subsequently heiress, of 
Sir John Girlington, knt., of Thurland Csstle, and had issue 
Richard, Christopher, Philip, Mary, and Katherine. Henry 
Butler, and Richard, his eldest son, took part with the Pretender 
in the rebellion of 1715, and for this piece of disaffection their 
estates were confiscated by the crown, and afterwards sold. Henry 
Butler made his escape over to France, but Richard was seized, 
tried, and condemned to death. He died in prison, however, in 
1716, before the time appointed for his sentence to be carried out, 
leaving an only child, Catherine, by his wife, Mary, the daughter 
of Henry Curwen, of Workington, who married Edward Markham, 
of Ollarton, in the county of Nottingham, and died a minor 
without issue. Henry Butler lived in the Isle of Man for several 
years, and espoused Elizabeth Butler, of Kirkland, his third wife, 
but had no further issue. 

The family of the Cliftons, whose present seat is Lytham Hall, 
has been associated with the Fylde for many centuries. The 
earliest ancestor of whom there exists any authentic record, was 
Sir William de Clyfton, who lived in the time of William II., 
surnamed Rufus, and during the last year of that monarch's 
reign, A.D. uoo, gave certain lands in Sal wick to his son William 


upon his marriage. In 1258 a namesake and descendant of this 
William de Clyfton held ten carucates of land in Amounderness, 
and was a collector of aids for the county of Lancaster. His son 
Gilbert de Clyfton was lord of the manors of Clifton, Westby, 
Fylde-Plumpton, etc., and High Sheriff of the county in the 
years 1278, 1287, and 1289. He died in 1324, during the reign 
of Edward II., and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir William 
de Clifton, who was Knight of the Shire for Lancaster 1302-1304. 
Sir William de Clifton, 1 knt., the son of the latter gentleman, 
came into possession of the estates on the demise of his father, 
and married in 1329, Margaret, the daughter of Sir R. Shireburne, 
knt., of Stonyhurst, by whom he had issue one son, Nicholas, 
afterwards knighted. He also entailed the manors of Clifton and 
Westby on his male issue, and settled the manor of Goosnargh 
upon his son and heir. He died in 1365. Sir Nicholas de 
Clifton, during one portion of his life, held the post of Governor 
of the Castle of Ham, in Picardy. He married Margaret, the 
daughter of Sir Thomas West, of Snitterfield, in Warwickshire, 
and had issue two sons Robert and Thomas. The former, who 
succeeded him, was Knight of the Shire 1382-1383, and espoused 
Eleyne, the daughter of Sir Robert Ursewyck, knt., by whom he 
had three sons Thomas, Roger, and James. In course of time, 
Thomas, the eldest, became the representative of the family, and 
married Agnes, the daughter of Sir Richard Molyneux, of Sefton. 
This gentleman (Thomas Clifton), accompanied the army of 
Henry V., when that monarch invaded France in 1415. He 
settled Goosnargh and Wood-Plumpton upon his second son, 
James, while the other portion of the estates passed, on his death 
in 1442, to Richard, his heir. Richard Clifton formed a matri- 
monial alliance with Alice, the daughter of John Butler, of 
Rawcliffe, from which sprang one child, James Clifton, who 
afterwards espoused Alice, the daughter of Robert Lawrence, of 
Ashton. The offspring of the latter union were Robert and John 
Clifton. The former on inheriting the property married Margaret, 

I. This Sir William de Clifton was accused in the year 1337 of having taken 
possession of twenty marks belonging to the Abbot of Vale Royal, and of having 
forcibly obstructed the rector in the collecting of tithes within the manors of 
Clifton and Westby ; also with having inflicted certain injuries upon the hunting 
palfrey of the latter gentleman. 



the daughter of Nicholas Butler, of Bewsey, in Lancashire. His 
children were Cuthbert and William ; and now, for a few genera- 
tions, we have two separate branches, the descendants of these 
gentlemen, which afterwards became united in the persons of 
their respective representatives : 


Cuthbert Clifton, Alice, d. and co-heiress of 

of Clifton, 
died 1512. 

Sir John Lawrence, of 

William Clifton,=Isabel, d. of William 

who inherited 


Thornborough, of 
Hampsfield, in Furness. 

SirR.Hesketh,=Elizabeth Clifton, =SirW. Molyneux, Thos. Clifton,;=Elmor, d. of Wm. Ellen. 

of Rufford, 
1st husband. 

died 1548. 

of Sefton & Larbreck, of Westby. 
2nd husband. 

Sir A. Osbaldiston, 
of Osbaldiston, co. 
Lancashire, Knt. 


| William Molyneux, died young. | 
Thos. Molyneux, Ann Molyneux, Hy. Halsall Cuthbert Clifton.i=:Catherine, d. of 

unmarried heiress of her brother, 
or without issue. 

of Halsall. 

of Westby 

Sir E. Houghton, 
of Houghton, Knt. 


Richard Halsall,=Ann, d. of Alex. Barlow. Thos. Clifton, = Mary, d. of Sir Ed. Seven other 
| of Westby. [ Norreys, of Speke, Knt. children. 

Sir Cuthbert Halsall,=:( 

of Halsall and 

) Sir Cuthbert Clifton.l Ann, d. of Sir Thos. Tyldesley, 
of Westby & Lytham, I of Morley. 

Ann Halsall, -Thomas Clifton, 




of Westby 

and Lytham. 

died 1657. 


Colonel in the army of Charles I., 

and slain at Manchester. 


Cuthbert Clifton. Sir Thos. Clifton. John Clifton. Widow of 

Geo. Parkinson, 
of Fairsnape. 

Ten other children. 

Thos. Clifton, 
of Clifton, etc. 

This Thomas Clifton retained the Fairsnape estates, which he 
had inherited from his mother, during his lifetime, but on his 
decease they passed to his uncle. He marrried Eleanora Alathea, 
the daughter of Richard Walmsley, of Dunkenhalgh, in Lan- 
cashire. At his death he left a family of five daughters and two 
sons, the eldest of whom, Thomas Clifton, of Clifton, Westby, 
and Lytham, subsequently espoused Mary, the daughter of the 
fifth Viscount Molyneux. His heir, also Thomas, and born in 
1728, rebuilt Lytham Hall, and allied himself to the noble house 
of Abingdon by marrying, as his third wife, Lady Jane Bertie, 

i. Sir Cuthbert Clifton espoused as his second wife, Dorothy, daughter of Sir 
Thomas Smyth, of Wotton Walwyns, in Warwickshire, and had three sons, 
Lawrence, Francis, and John, captains in the royal army, and slain in the civil 
war, besides seven other children. Sir Cuthbert purchased Little Marton and the 
monastic portion of Lytham from Sir John Holcroft in 1606. He was knighted 
by James I. at Lathom House, 


the daughter of the third earl. The children of this union were 
seven, and John, the eldest, born in 1764, inherited the estates, 
and married Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Horsley Wid- 
drington-Riddell, of Felton Park, Northumberland. John Clifton 
was succeeded by his eldest son, Thomas, who had four brothers 
and three sisters John, William, Charles, Mary, Harriet, and 
Elizabeth. Thomas Clifton, of Clifton and Lytham, born in 1788, 
was a justice of the peace, a deputy-lieutenant, and in 1835, 
High Sheriff of the county of Lancaster. He married Hetty, 
the daughter of Pellegrine Trevis, an Italian gentleman of ancient 
lineage, by whom he had issue John Talbot, born in 1819 ; 
Thomas Henry, lieut.-colonel in the army, and knight of the 
Legion of Honour and of the Mejidie ; Edward Arthur, died 
abroad in 1850; Charles Frederick, who espoused Lady Edith 
Maud, eldest daughter of the second Marquis of Hastings, and 
assumed in 1859, by act of parliament, the arms and surname of 
Abney Hasting ; and Augustus Wykenham, late captain in the 
Rifle Brigade, who married Lady Bertha Lelgarde Hastings, 
second daughter of the second Marquis of Hastings. John Talbot 
Clifton, esq., is still living, and is the present lord of Lytham, 
Clifton, etc. He was for* some years colonel of the ist. Royal 
Lancashire Militia, and sat in Parliament from 1844 to 1847 as 
Member for North Lancashire. In 1844 he married Eleanor 
Cicily, the daughter of the Hon. Colonel Lowther, M.P., and has 
one son, Thomas Henry Clifton, esq., who was born in 1845, and 
is now one of the Members of Parliament for North Lancashire. 
John Talbot Clifton, esq., is a justice of the peace, and deputy- 
lieutenant of this county. Thomas Henry Clifton, esq., M.P., 
espoused, in 1867, Madeline Diana Elizabeth, the eldest daughter 
of Sir Andrew Agnew, bart., and has issue several children. 

In 1872 Henry Lowther succeeded his uncle as third earl of 
Lonsdale, and at the same time his sisters Eleanor Cicily, the wife 
of John Talbot Clifton, esq., of Lytham Hall, and Augusta Mary, 
the wife of the Right Hon. Gerard James Noel, M.P., younger 
son of the first earl of Gainsborough, were elevated to the rank of 
earl's daughters. 


This family sprang originally from Little Plumpton in the 
Fylde. Henry Fleetwood being the first of whom there is any 


reliable record, and of him nothing is known beyond the place of 
his residence, and the fact that he had a son named Edmund. 
Edmund Fleetwood married Elizabeth Holland, of Downholme, 
and was living about the middle and earlier portion of the latter 
half of the fifteenth century. From that marriage there sprang 
one son, William Fleetwood, who subsequently espoused Ellyn, 
the daughter of Robert Standish, and had issue John, Thomas, 
and Robert Fleetwood. Of these three sons, Thomas, the second, 
resided at Vach in the county of Buckingham, and at the 
dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII., about 1536, 
purchased from that monarch the reversion of the lease of 
Rossall Grange, then held by the Aliens from the Abbot and 
convent of Deulacres, in Staffordshire. Thomas Fleetwood 
married Barbara, the cousin and heiress of Andrew Frances, of 
London, and had issue five sons, the second and third of whom 
were knighted later in life, whilst the eldest, Edmund, came into 
possession of Rossall Hall and estate in 1583, after the demise of 
Richard Allen, whose widow and daughters were ejected. Thus 
Edmund Fleetwood was the first of the name to reside at Rossall, 
where he died about forty years later. This gentleman married 
Elizabeth, the daughter of John Cheney, of Chesham Boys, in 
Buckinghamshire, and had issue several sons and daughters. 
Paul, the eldest son and heir, who succeeded him, was knighted 
by either James I. or Charles I., and married Jane, the daughter 
of Richard Argall from the county of Kent, by whom he had 
three sons and two daughters. Edmund, the eldest son, had no 
male issue, and at his death, in 1644, Richard, his brother, 
succeeded to the property and resided at Rossall Hall. Richard 
Fleetwood, who was only fifteen years of age when the death of 
his predecessor occurred, subsequently espoused a lady, named 
Anne Mayo, from the county of Herts, by whom he had only 
two children, a son and a daughter, and as the former died in 
youth, the estate passed to the next male heir on his demise. 
The heir was found in the person of Francis, of Hackensall Hall, 
the brother of Richard Fleetwood and the third son of Sir Paul 
Fleetwood. Francis Fleetwood, of Rossall, married Mary, the 
daughter of C. Foster, of Preesall, and had issue Richard 
Fleetwood, who succeeded him, and a daughter. Richard 
Fleetwood resided at Rossall Hall, and married Margaret, the 


daughter of Edwin Fleetwood, of Leyland, in 1674. The 
offspring of that union were two sons, Edward and Paul, and a 
daughter Margaret. Edward, the heir, was born in 1682, and 
practised for some time as an attorney in Ireland. On the death 
of his father, however, he inherited the property, and took up his 
abode at the ancestral Hall. He espoused Sarah, the daughter of 
Edward Veale, of Whinney Keys. Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox 
Hall, Blackpool, was on terms of friendship and intimacy with 
the Fleetwoods of Rossall at that period, and on the fourteenth of 
April, 1714, the following entry occurs in his diary, referring to 
Edward Fleetwood, the lord of the manor, and his brother Paul, 
also Edward Veale, the father of Mrs. Ed. Fleetwood, whom, for 
some reason unknown, the diarist invariably designated Captain 
Veale : " Went to Rosshall. Din d with the trustys, y e Lord 
& his lady, Mr. Paull, and Cap" Veal. Gave I. Gardiner is., and 
a boy 6d. ; soe to ffox Hall." 

Paul Fleetwood, the younger brother of the " Lord " died in 
1727 and was buried at Kirkham, where some of his descendants 
still exist in very humble circumstances. 

The offspring of Edward Fleetwood consisted only of one child, 
a daughter, named Margaret, who was born in 1715, and to 
whom the estates appear to have descended on the decease of her 
father. On the sixteenth of February, 1733, she married, at 
Bispham church, Roger Hesketh, of North Meols and Tulketh. 
Roger Hesketh and his lady resided at Rossall Hall until their 
respective demises, which happened, the latter in 1752, and the 
former in 1791. Fleetwood and Sarah Hesketh were the children 
of their union. On the decease of his father at the ripe age of 
8 1 years, the son and heir, Fleetwood, had already been dead 22 
years, and consequently his son, Bold Fleetwood Hesketh, the 
eldest offspring of his marriage, in 1759, with Frances, the third 
daughter of Peter Bold, of Bold Hall, in the county of Lancaster, 
succeeded his grandfather Roger Hesketh. Bold Fleetwood 
Hesketh, who was born in 1762, died unmarried in 1819, and 
was buried at Poulton, his younger brother, Robert Hesketh, 
inheriting the Hall and estates. Robert Hesketh was in his 55th 
year when he became possessed of the property, and had already 
been married 29 years to Maria, the daughter of Henry Rawlinson, 
of Lancaster, by whom he had a numerous family. His four 


eldest sons died in youth and unmarried, the oldest haying only 
attained the age of twenty three, so that at his decease in 1824 he 
was succeeded by his fifth son, Peter Hesketh. This gentleman, 
who was born in 1801, espoused at Dover, in 1826, Eliza 
Delamaire, the daughter of Sir Theophilus J. Metcalf, of Fern 
Hill, Berkshire, by whom he had several children, who died in 
early youth. As his second wife he married, in 1837, Verginie 
Marie, the daughter of Senor Pedro Garcia, and had issue one 
son, Peter Louis Hesketh. In 1831, Peter Hesketh obtained 
power by royal license to adopt the surname of Fleetwood in 
addition to his own, and in 1838 he was created a baronet. In 
1844, Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood vacated Rossall Hall, and the 
site is now occupied by a large public educational institution, 
denominated the Northern Church of England School. Sir 
P. H. Fleetwood died, at Brighton, in 1866, leaving one son and 
heir, the Rev. Sir Peter Louis Hesketh Fleetwood, bart., M.A., of 
Sunbury on Thames, in the county of Middlesex. The Rev. 
Charles Hesketh, M.A., rector of North Meols, is the younger 
brother of the late Sir P. H. Fleetwood, and consequently uncle 
to the present baronet. 


William, the son of John ffrance, who married the younger 
daughter of Richard Kerston, of Little Eccleston, was the first of 
this family to reside at the Hall, and he was living there at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century. William ffrance had two 
sons and a daughter John, born 1647 ; Henry, born 1649 ; and 
Alice, born 1653. John, the eldest son, succeeded to the Hall 
and estates on the demise of his father, and married Deborah 
Elston, of Brockholes, by whom he had issue Robert, who died 
in 1671 ; Anne, died 1672 ; Thomas, died 1672 ; Deborah, died 
1673 ; John, born 1675 ; William, died 1680; Henry, died 1676 ; 
Mary, died 1701 ; and Edward, died 1703. John ffrance, sen 1 "., 
survived all his sons except John and Edward, and on his 
death, in 1690, was succeeded by the former and elder of the two 
brothers. John ffrance, like his father, resided at the Hall, and 
espoused Joan, daughter of John Cross, of Cross Hall, by whom 
he had issue John, born 1699 ; Anne, died 1702 ; and Henry, 
died 1707. John ffrance died in 1762, and his eldest son, John, 



inherited the estates. This John ffrance married Elizabeth, 
daughter and heiress of Thomas Roe, of Out Rawcliffe, and by 
that union became possessed, later, of Rawcliffe manor and Hall, 
to which the family of ffrance removed. John ffrance, of 
Rawcliffe Hall, the son and heir of John and Elizabeth ffrance, 
of Little Eccleston Hall, and subsequently of Rawcliffe, died 
childless in 1817, aged 91 years, and bequeathed his property to 
Thomas Wilson, of Preston, who assumed the name of ffrance. 1 


This family was descended from the Heskeths, of Rufford, 
through William Hesketh, of Aughton, the sixth son of Thomas 
Hesketh, of Rufford. Bartholomew, the son of William 
Hesketh, of Aughton, succeeded to his father's estates, and 
married Mary, the daughter of William Norris, of Speke, by 
whom he had one son, George, residing at Little Poulton Hall in 
1570. George Hesketh married Dorothy, the daughter of William 
Westby, of Mowbreck, and had issue a son, William, who, on his 
father's death, somewhere about 1571, inherited considerable 
property, comprising possessions in no less than twenty-eight 
different townships in Lancashire. William Hesketh, who was 
living in 1613, married Elizabeth, the daughter of John Allen, of 
Rossall Hall, and sister to Cardinal Allen. The children springing 
from that union were William and Wilfrid. William, the elder 
son, is the first of the Heskeths mentioned as inhabiting Mains 
Hall, and he appears to have been living there in 1613. We 
have no documents throwing any certain light upon the way in 
which he gained possession of the seat, but it is most probable 
that he purchased it. William Hesketh, of Mains Hall, espoused 
Anne, the daughter of Hugh Anderton of Euxton, and had issue 
Thomas, Roger, John, William, Hugh, George, Anne, Alice, and 
Mary. Thomas, the eldest son, was nine years old in 1613, hence 
it is extremely likely that he was the first representative of the 
family born at Mains Hall. Thomas Hesketh was twice married ; 
the first time to Anne, the daughter of Simon Haydock, of Hezant- 
ford, and after her decease, to Mary, the daughter of John Westby, 

i. See Out Rawcliffe in the chapter on St. Michaels' parish for the Wilson- 
ffrance descent. 


of Westby and Mowbreck. The children of his first marriage 
were William ; Thomas, an officer in the royalist army, and slain 
at Brindle in 1651 ; Anne, who became the wife of Thomas 
Nelson, of Fairhurst ; and Margaret, afterwards the wife of Major 
George Westby, of Upper Rawcliffe. William, the elder son, 
married Perpetua, the daughter of Thomas Westby, of Mowbreck, 
and had issue Thomas, born in 1659 ; William, who died in 
infancy ; John ; Anne, married to Richard Leckonby, of 
Leckonby House, Great Eccleston ; Helen ; Dorothy, married to 
Thomas Wilkinson, of Claughton ; Perpetua, died in infancy ; 
and six other daughters, all of whom died in youth. Thomas 
Hesketh, the eldest son, left four sons and three daughters 
William ; Thomas, who was a priest ; John ; George ; Mary ; 
Perpetua ; and Anne. William Hesketh, the eldest of these sons, 
was living at the same time as Thomas Tyldesley, who died in 1714, 
and was a frequent visitor at Fox Hall. He married Mary, the 
daughter of John Brockholes, of Claughton, and heiress to her 
brother- William Brockholes, of Claughton, and had issue 
Thomas, Roger, William, Joseph, James, Catherine (an abbess), 
Margaret, Anne, Mary (a nun), and Aloysia (a nun). Thomas, 
the eldest son, inherited the property of his deceased uncle, 
William Brockholes, and assumed the name and arms of 
Brockholes. He died in 1766. Roger, the second son, also died in 
1766. William, the third son, was born in 1717, and in later years 
entered the " Society of Jesus," dying in 1741. Joseph succeeded 
to the Brockholes' estates on the death of his brother Thomas, and, 
like him, assumed the name of Brockholes. He married Constantia, 
the daughter of Bazil Fitzherbert, of Swinnerton, and dying in a 
few years without issue, was succeeded by his sole remaining 
brother, James, who also assumed the name and arms of Brock- 
holes, and some years afterwards died unmarried. The Brock- 
holes' property now passed, under the will of Joseph Hesketh- 
Brockholes, to William Fitzherbert, the brother of his widow ; and 
that gentleman, after the manner of his predecessors, assumed the 
name of Brockholes. He espoused Mary, the daughter and 
co-heiress of James Windsor Heneage, of Cadeby, Lincolnshire, 
and had issue Thomas Fitzherbert-Brockholes, of Claughton ; 
Catherine, abbess of the Benedictines at Ghent ; Margaret ; Ann ; 
Mary, who became a nun ; and Frances. 



The Hornbys, of Poulton, were descended from Hugh Hornby, 
of Singleton, who died about 1638,. after having so far im- 
poverished himself during the civil wars . as to be obliged to 
dispose of his estate at Bankfield, inherited from his sister, and 
purchased from him by the Harrisons. Geoffrey Hornby, the son 
of this gentleman, practised very successfully as a solicitor in 
Preston, and probably was the first to acquire property in Poulton. 
Edmund Hornby, his eldest son, of Poulton, where he also 
practised as a solicitor, and Scale Hall, married Dorothy, the 
daughter of Geoffrey Rishton, of Antley, in Lancashire, Member 
of Parliament for Preston, and had issue Geoffrey, George, and 
Anne. George, the second son, went into holy orders, became 
rector of Whittingham, and subsequently died without surviving 
offspring. Anne Hornby married Edmund Cole, of Beaumont 
Cote, near Lancaster ; and Geoffrey Hornby, who inherited the 
Poulton property, as well as Scale Hall, espoused Susannah, the 
daughter and heiress of Edward Sherdley, of Kirkham, gentleman, 
by whom he had issue Edmund and Geoffrey, the latter dying 
unmarried in 1801. Geoffrey Hornby, who died in 1732, was 
buried in Poulton church, being succeeded by his son Edmund, 
who came into the possessions at Poulton and Scale. Edmund 
Hornby, born in 1728, married Margaret, the daughter of John 
Winckley, of Brockholes, and had issue one son, Geoffrey, 
and three daughters. At his decease, in 1766, the estates 
descended to his only son and heir, Geoffrey, born at Layton 
Hall in 1750, who, after being High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1774, 
and for some time colonel of a Lancashire regiment of militia, 
entered the church and became rector of Winwick. The Rev. 
Geoffrey Hornby espoused the Hon. Lucy Smith Stanley, 
daughter of Lord Strange, and sister of the twelfth earl of Derby, 
and had issue ; but the departure of this representative of the 
family from the homes of his fathers severed the close connection 
between the town of Poulton and the name of Hornby, after an 
existence of about a century. 


Richard Hornby, of Newton, who was born in 1613, married 
Elizabeth, the daughter of Christopher Walmsley, of Elston, and 


had issue a son, William Hornby, also of Newton. That 
gentleman had several children by his wife Isabel, the eldest of 
whom, Robert Hornby, was born in 1690, and espoused Elizabeth 
Sharrock, of Clifton, leaving issue by her at his decease in 1768, 
three sons Hugh, William, and Richard. Hugh Hornby took 
up his abode at Kirkham, where he married Margaret, the 
daughter and heiress of Joseph Hankinson, of the same place, 
and had issue Joseph, born in 1748 ; Robert, born in 1750, and 
died in 1776 ; Thomas, of Kirkham, born in 1759, married 
Cicety, the daughter of Thomas Langton, of that town, and died 
in 1824, having had a family of two sons and five daughters ; 
William, of Kirkham ; John, of Blackburn and Raikes Hall, 
Blackpool, born in 1763 ; Hugh, vicar of St. Michael's-on-Wyre, 
born in 1765 ; Alice, who became the wife of Richard Birley, of 
Blackburn ; and Elizabeth. Joseph Hornby was a deputy- 
lieutenant of the county of Lancaster, and erected Ribby Hall. 
He married Margaret, the daughter of Robert Wilson, of Preston, 
by whom he had Hugh ; Margaret, who espoused William 
Langton, of Manchester ; and Alice, who died a spinster. Hugh 
Hornby, the only son, born in 1799, succeeded to the Hall and lands 
on the death of his father in 1832, and left issue at his own demise, 
in 1849, Hugh Hilton, Margaret Anne, and Mary Alice. Hugh 
Hilton Hornby, of Ribby Hall, esq., who married his relative, 
Georgina, the daughter of the Rev. Robert Hornby, M.A., J.P., 
in. 1868, is the present representative of the family, and was born 
in 1836. 

John Hornby, of Blackburn and Raikes Hall, married Alice* 
Kendal, a widow, and the daughter of Daniel Backhouse, of 
Liverpool, by whom he had four sons Daniel, born in 1800, who 
espoused Frances, daughter of John Birley, of Manchester, and 
dying in 1863, left issue, Fanny Backhouse and Margaret Alice 
Hornby ; Robert, born in 1804, M.A., a clergyman and justice of the 
peace, who married Maria Leyland, daughter of Sir William 
Fielden, bart., and had issue, Robert Montagu, William St. 
John Sumner, Leyland, Frederick Fielden, Henry Wallace, 
Hugh, and ten daughters, the fifst and third sons being captains 
in the army, and the second in the royal navy ; William 
Henry, of Staining Hall, J.P. and D.L., born in 1805, and Member 
of Parliament for Blackburn from 1857 to 1869, married 


Susannah, only child of Edward Birley, of Kirkham, by whom 
he had John, Edward Kenworthy, Henry Sudell, William Henry, 
Cecil Lumsden, Albert Neilson, Charles Herbert, Elizabeth 
Henriana, Frances Mary, Augusta Margaret, and Caroline 
Louisa, of whom Edward Kenworthy Hornby, esq., has sat as 
M.P. for Blackburn ; John, M.A., formerly M.P. for Blackburn, 
and born 1810, married Margaret, daughter of the Rev. Chris- 
topher Bird, having issue, John Frederick, Wilfrid Bird, Edith 
Diana, and Clara Margaret. The Rev. Hugh Hornby, M.A., 
sixth son of Hugh Hornby, of Kirkham, was vicar of St. 
Michael's-on-Wyre, and espoused Ann, daughter of Dr. Joshua 
Starky, a physician, of Redbales, having issue one son, William, 
now the Venerable Archdeacon Hornby, M.A., and the present 
vicar of St. Michael's, born in 1810. Archdeacon Hornby 
married, firstly, Ellen, daughter of William Cross, esq., of Red 
Scar, and four years after her decease, in 1 844, Susan Charlotte, 
daughter of Admiral Sir Phipps Hornby, K.C.B. The offspring 
of the earlier union were two William Hugh and Joseph Starky, 
both of whom died young ; whilst those of the second marriage 
are William, Hugh Phipps, Phipps John, James John, William 
Starky, Susan, and Anne Lucy, the eldest of whom, William, 
died in 1858, aged thirteen years. 


John Leckonby, the earliest of the name we find mentioned 
as connected with Great Eccleston, on the borders of which stood 
Leckonby House, was living in 1621, and was twice married 
first to Alice, the daughter of Thomas Singleton, of Staining 
Hall, and subsequently, in 1625, to Marie, the daughter of Henry 
Preston, of Preston. Richard Leckonby, the eldest son and heir, 
was the offspring of his first marriage, and like his father, became 
involved in the civil wars on the royal side. Richard succeeded 
to the family estates sometime before 1646, for in that year he 
compounded for them with Parliament. He left issue at his 
death in 1669, by his wife, Isabel, a numerous family John ; 
Richard, of Elswick ; George ; William, of Elswick ; Sarah ; 
Martha ; and Mary, who married Gilbert Whiteside, of Marton, 
gentleman. John Leckonby inherited the estate, and resided at 
the ancestral mansion Leckonby House. He married Ann, the 


daughter of William Thompson, gent., of Little Eccleston, but 
dying without offspring, was succeeded by his brother Richard, 
who had espoused Ann, the daughter of William Hesketh, of Mains 
Hall. The children of Richard Leckonby, of Leckonby House, 
were William ; Richard, who was born in 1696, and afterwards 
became a Romish missionary ; and Thomas, also a missionary, who 
died at Maryland in 1734. William Leckonby, the eldest son, 
occupied Leckonby House, after the decease of his father, as 
holder of the hereditary estates. He espoused Anne, the daughter 
of Thomas Hothersall, of Hothersall Hall, and sister and co- 
heiress of John Hothersall, and had issue Richard ; Thomas, 
born in 1717, who entered the Order of Jesus ; William, of 
Elswick, who died in 1784 ; Anne, born in 1706 ; Bridget ; and 
Mary, who became the wife of Thomas Singleton, of Barnacre- 
with-Bonds, gent. Richard Leckonby, who succeeded his father 
in 1728, inherited, in addition to the lands in Great Eccleston 
and Elswick, the extensive manor of Hothersall, and by his 
marriage with Mary, the daughter of William Hawthornthwaite, 
of Catshaw, gent., came into possession, on the death of her 
brother John Hawthornthwaite in 1760, of Catshaw, Lower 
Wyersdale, Hale, Luddocks, and Stockenbridge. Notwithstanding 
these large accessions to the original family domain, Richard 
Leckonby managed, by a long career of dissipation and extrava- 
gance, to run through his resources, mortgaging his estates, and 
bringing himself and his family to comparative poverty. He died 
in 1783, at about 68 years of age, having survived his wife many 
years, and was buried at St. Michael' s-on-Wy re. His offspring 
were two sons, the elder of whom was thrown from a pony and 
killed in early youth ; whilst the second, William, met with a 
fatal accident when hunting in Wyersdale the year before the 
death of his father. William Leckonby, left, at his untimely 
death, by his wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of James Taylor, of 
Goosnargh, gent., two sons and a daughter. Of these children, 
Richard, the eldest, died in 1795, when only sixteen years of age ; 
James, the second son, died in infancy ; and Mary, their sister, 
married in 1799, at the age of twenty-two years, Thomas Henry 
Hale Phipps, of Leighton House, Wiltshire, a justice of the peace 
and deputy-lieutenant of his county, by which union, Leckonby 
of Leckonby House, became a title of the past. 



Leyland House was occupied during the latter half of the 
seventeenth and part of the eighteenth centuries by a family of 
wealth and position, named the Leylands of Kellamergh. Chris- 
topher Leyland, the first of the line recorded, resided at Leyland 
House in 1660, and married in 1665, Margaret Andrew, of Lea, 
by whom he had issue John ; Ralph, died in 1675 ; Anne, born 
1671 ; Ellen, born 1679 ; Susan, died 1670 ; another Ralph, born 
1680 and died 1711 ; Francis, died 1674; Bridget, died 1687; 
Roger, died 1678 ; and Thomas, who died in 1682. 

John Leyland, who succeeded to the Kellamergh property and 
Leyland House on the death of his father in 1716, married, in 
1693, Elizabeth Whitehead, and had offspring Christopher, born 
1694 ; Thomas, born 1699, afterwards in holy orders ; Joseph, 
died 1709 ; Ralph, born 1712 ; John, died 1716 ; and William, 
who espoused Cicely, widow of Edward Rigby, of Freckleton, and 
daughter of Thomas Shepherd Birley, by whom he had two 
daughters, one of whom, Jane Leyland, subsequently married 
Thomas Langton. 

Christopher Leyland inherited Kellamergh and the mansion on 
the demise of his father, John Leyland, in 1745, and at his own 
death, some years later, left one child, Elizabeth, who married, as 
her second husband, the Rev. Edward Whitehead, vicar of 


The family of Longworths, inhabiting St. Michael's Hall until 
the early part of the eighteenth century, was descended from the 
Longworths, of Longworth, through Ralph, a younger son of 
Christopher Longworth, of Longworth, by his wife Alice, the 
daughter of Thomas Standish, of Duxbury. Ralph Longworth 
married Anne, the daughter of Thomas Kitchen, and had issue 
two sons and one daughter. Robert, the younger son, espoused 
Helen Hudson, whilst Elizabeth, his sister, married Richard 
Blackburne, and afterwards Thomas Bell, of Kirkland. Richard, 
the elder son and heir, is the first of the Longworths, described 
as of St. Michael's Hall, in Upper Rawcliffe. He married 
Margaret, the daughter of George Cumming, of Upper Rawcliffe, 
and had issue Ralph, Thomas, Lawrence, Christopher, Anne, 


Elizabeth, and Katherine. Ralph, the eldest son, espoused Jane, 
the daughter of Richard Cross, of Cross Hall, in Chorley parish, 
but further than this fact, we have no information concerning 
him. The family of the Crosses, into which he married, belonged to 
Liverpool, and their old country seat, Cross Hall, is now con- 
verted into cottages and workshops. Thomas Longworth, the 
second son, born in 1622, resided at St. Michael's Hall, and 
married Cicely, the daughter of Nicholas Wilkinson, of Kirkland, 
by whom he had one son Richard Longworth. The latter 
representative, having succeeded in course of time to the Hall and 
estates, was a justice of the peace for the county of Lancaster, 
and on terms of intimacy with Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, 
Edward Veale, of Whinney Heys, William Hesketh, of Mains 
Hall, and a number of other leading gentry in the district. He 
married Fleetwood, the daughter of Edward Shutteworth, of 
Larbrick, and Thornton Hall, and left at his demise one son 
Edward Longworth, who became a doctor of medicine, and resided 
at St. Michael's Hall until 1725, about which time he removed to 
Penrith, in the county of Cumberland. 


The Parkers, who inhabited Bradkirk Hall for over a hundred 
years, were relatives of the Derby family, and came originally 
from Breightmet Hall, near Bolton, where they had lived for 
many centuries. William Parker, of Bradkirk Hall, who died in 
1609, and was buried at Kirkham, is the first of whom we have 
any authentic account, and he is stated to have married Margaret, 
the daughter of Robert Shaw, of Crompton. The children 
springing from that union were John, who inherited Bradkirk 
Hall ; Thomas, of Bidstone, in the county of Chester ; and Henry, 
who espoused, in 1609, Alice Threlfall, and became the founder of 
the family of Parkers of Whittingham. John Parker, of Bradkirk 
Hall, married Margaret, the daughter and co-heiress of Anthony 
Parker, of Radham Park, Yorkshire ; and after her decease he 
espoused Alice, the daughter of Richard Mason, of Up-Holland, 
near Wigan, by whom he had three sons and one daughter 
William, Richard, John, and Margaret. The offspring of his 
first marriage were Anthony, Elizabeth, Jennet, Anne, Alice, and 
Christopher. Anthony died unmarried, and Christopher, the 


second son, born in 1625, succeeded to Bradkirk Hall on the 
demise of his father. He was a justice of the peace for the 
county of Lancaster, and married Katherine, sister to James Lowde, 
of Kirkham, and daughter of Ralph Lowde, of Norfolk. His 
children were Anthony ; Alexander, who married Dorothy, the 
daughter of Thomas Westby, of Mowbreck ; John, William, 
Gerrard, Christopher, Margaret, Mary, and Jane, the last married 
John Westby, of Mowbreck, at Poulton church, in 1688. 
Anthony Parker, the eldest son, born in 1657, lived at Bradkirk 
Hall, and espoused Mary, the daughter of Sir Thomas Stringer, 
sergeant-at-law, by whom he had issue Christopher, Catherine, 
and Rebecca, who died young. Christopher Parker inherited 
Baadkirk Hall, and was Member of Parliament for Clitheroe in 
1708. He died unmarried about 1713, and the Hall and estates 
passed by will to his sister Catherine, the wife of Thomas Stanley, 
of Cross Hall, in Ormskirk Parish, conjointly with her uncle 
Alexander Parker. In 1723 the possessions of the deceased 
Christopher Parker in Lancashire and Yorkshire were sold by 
Catherine Stanley and Alexander Parker. The latter, however, 
resided at Bradkirk Hall for some time after that date with his 
wife Dorothy, the daughter, as before stated, of Thomas Westby of 
Mowbreck, by whom he had nine sons and two daughters. The. 
sons appear to have died without issue, and one of the daughters, 
Dorothy, married Cowburn, whilst the other Katherine, became 
the wife of William Jump, of Hesketh Bank. 


The Rigbys, of Lay ton, were descended from Adam Rigby, of 
Wigan, who married Alice, the daughter of Middleton, of 
Leighton, and had issue John, Alexander, and Ellen. John 
Rigby, of Wigan, married Joanna, the daughter of Gilbert 
Molyneux, of Hawkley, and became the founder of the family 
of Rigby of Middleton. Ellen became the wife of Hugh ForthJ; 
and Alexander Rigby, of Burgh Hall, in the township of 
Duxbury, espoused Joanna, the daughter of William Lathbroke, 
by whom he had three sons and one daughter Edward, Roger, 
Alexander, and Anne. Edward Rigby, of Burgh, who purchased 
the estate of Woodenshaw from William, earl of Derby, in 1595, 
was the first of the family, as far as can be ascertained, who held 


property in the Fylde, and from his Inq. post mortem, dated 

1629-30, we find that he possessed Laiton, Great Laiton, 

Little Laiton, Warbrecke, Blackepool, and Marton, besides 

other estates in Broughton in Furness, Lancaster, Chorley, 

etc. This gentleman married Dorothy, the daughter of Hugh 

Anderton, of Euxton, and had issue Alexander, Hugh, Alice, 

Jane, and Dorothy. Alexander Rigby, who was born in 1583, 

succeeded to Layton Hall, and Burgh, on the death of his father, 

and afterwards married Katherine, the daughter of Sir Edward 

Brabazon, of Nether Whitacre, in the county of Warwick. In 

1641, during the time of Charles I., he was a colonel in the 

king's forces, and was, somewhere about that period, removed 

from the commission of the peace for this county by command of 

Parliament on account of certain charges made against him of 

favouring the royal party. In 1646 he compounded for his 

sequestrated estates by paying ^381 33. 4d. His offspring were 

Edward, of Burgh, and Layton Hall ; Thomas, rector of St. Mary's, 

Dublin ; William, a merchant ; Mary, wife of John Moore, of 

Bank Hall ; Elizabeth, wife of Edward Chisenhall, of Chisenhall ; 

Jane, the wife of the Rev. Paul Lathome, rector of Standish ; and 

Alexander, who died in infancy. Edward, the eldest son, who 

died before his father, married Mary, the daughter of Edward 

Hyde, of Norbury, and left issue Alexander, William, Hamlet, 

Robert, Richard, Mary, and Dorothy. Alexander Rigby, the heir, 

who was born in 1634, was also an officer in the royalist army, 

and erected a monument to Sir Thomas Tyldesley near the spot 

where he was slain at Wigan-lane, at which battle " the grateful 

erector " fought as cornet. He was High Sheriff of Lancashire 

in 1677 and 1678, and married Alena, the daughter of George 

Birch, of Birch Hall, near Manchester. His children were 

Edward, Alexander, Mary, Alice, Eleanor, and Elizabeth. Of 

Edward we have no account beyond the fact that he was born in 

1658, and consequently muet conclude that he died young. 

Alexander, the second son, succeeded to the estates, and was 

knighted for some reason, which cannot be discovered. He was 

High Sheriff of the county in 1691-2. Mary, the eldest daughter, 

married Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, and was co-heiress with 

Elizabeth, wife, and subsequently, in 1720, widow of Colley, 

to her brother, Sir Alexander Rigby, of Layton Hall and Burgh, 


who married Alice, the daughter of Thomas Clifton, of Clifton, 
Westby, and Lytham, but left no surviving offspring. Sir 
Alexander Rigby is reputed to have been a gambler, and to have 
so impoverished his estates, already seriously injured by the 
attachment of his family to the fortunes of Charles I. and II., 
that he was compelled to dispose of his possessions in Poulton 
and Layton for the benefit of his creditors. He also appears to 
have been imprisoned for debt until released by an act of Parlia- 
ment, passed in the first year of George I., and his property 
vested in trustees. His estates in Layton and Poulton were sold 
for ^"19,200. After his liberation he resided in Poulton at his 
house on the south side of the Market-place, where the family 
arms, bearing the date 1693, may still be seen fixed on the outer 
wall. The pew of the Rigbys is still in existence in the parish 
church of that town, and has carved on its door the initials 
A. R., and the date 1636, separated by a goat's head, the crest of 
the family. 


There is every reason to suppose that the Singletons who 
resided at Staining Hall during the greater part of two centuries 
were a branch of the family founded in the Fylde by Alan de 
Singleton, of Singleton. George, the son of Robert Singleton by 
his wife Helen, the daughter of John Westby, of Mowbreck, 
purchased the hamlet and manor of Staining from Sir Thomas 
Holt, of Grislehurst, and was the first of the name to occupy the 
Hall. He married Mary Osbaldeston, and left issue at his death, 
in 1552, William, the eldest ; Hugh, who espoused Mary, sister 
of William Carleton, of Carleton, and left a son, William, who 
died without issue ; Richard ; Lawrence ; and Margaret, the wife 
of Lawrence Carleton, heir and subsequently successor to his 
brother William. William Singleton, of Staining, became allied 
to Alice, the daughter and heiress of Thomas ffarington, by whom 
he had Thomas, John, George, Richard, Helen, and Margaret. 
On the demise of his father in 1556, Thomas, the heir, came into 
possession of the estate ; he married Alice, the daughter of James 
Massey, and had one child, a daughter, Ellen, who espoused John 
Massey, of Layton. Thomas Singleton died in 1563, and was 
succeeded by his brother John, who had married Thomasine, the 
daughter of Robert Anderton, and had issue two daughters, the 


elder of whom, Alice, became the wife of Henry Huxley, of 
Birkenhead, and the younger, Elizabeth, of James Massey, of 
Strangeways. John Singleton died in 1590, and was in his turn 
succeeded by the next male representative, his brother George^ 
who had issue by his wife Mary, the daughter of John Houghton, 
of Penwortham or Pendleton, two sons and a daughter Thomas, 
George, and Anne, the wife of Robert Parkinson, of Fairsnape. 
Thomas Singleton, the heir, became lord of Staining in 1597, 
previously to which he had espoused Cicely, the daughter of 
William Gerard, of Ince, and had issue Thomas, John, Mary, Grace, 
Alice, the last of whom married John Leckonby, of Great Eccleston, 
and Anne, the wife of Richard Bamber, of the Moor, near Poulton. 
Thomas Singleton, the eldest son, succeeded to the lordship in 
the natural course of events, and formed an alliance with Dorothy, 
the daughter of James Anderton, of Clayton, who was left a 
widow in 1643, when her husband was slain at Newbury Fight 
in command of a company of royalists. The offspring of 
Thomas and Dorothy Singleton were John, born in 1635 and 
died in 1668, who espoused Jane, the daughter of Edmund 
Fleetwood, of Rossall ; Thomas, who died childless ; George ; 
James; Anne, of Bardsea, a spinster, living in 1690 ; Mary, the 
wife of John Mayfield ; and Dorothy, the wife of Alexander 
Butler, of Todderstaff Hall. John Singleton, of Staining, whose 
widow married Thomas Cole, of Beaumont, near Lancaster, 
justice of the peace, and deputy-lieutanant, had no progeny, and 
the manor passed, either at once, or after the death of the next 
brother, Thomas, to George Singleton, who had possession in 
1679, but was dead in 1690, never having been married. He held 
Staining, Hardhorne, Todderstaff, and Carleton manors or estates. 
The whole of the property descended to John Mayfield, the son 
and heir of his sister Mary, whose husband, John Mayfield, was 
dead. John Mayfield, of Staining, etc., ultimately died without 
issue, and was succeeded by his nephew and heir-at-law, William 
Blackburn, of Great Eccleston, whose offspring were James, and 
Gabriel, under age in 1755. 


The Stanleys, of Great Eccleston, were descended from Henry, 
the fourth earl of Derby, who was born in 1531, through Thomas 
Stanley, one of his illegitimate children by Jane Halsall, of 


Knowsley, the others being Dorothy and Ursula. Thomas 
Stanley settled at Great Eccleston Hall, probably acquired by 
purchase, and married Mary, the relict of Richard Barton, of 
Barton, near Preston, and the daughter of Robert Hesketh, of 
Rufford. The offspring of that union were Richard Stanley ; 
Fernando Stanley, of Broughton, who died unmarried in 1664 ; 
and Jane Stanley, who was married to Henry Butler, of Rawcliffe 
Hall. Richard Stanley, the eldest son, succeeded to Great 
Eccleston Hall and estate on the death of his father, and espoused 
Mary, the daughter and sole heiress of Lambert Tyldesley, of 
Garret, by whom he had one son, Thomas Stanley, who in course 
of time inherited the Eccleston property, and married Frances, 
the daughter of Major-General Sir Thomas Tyldesley, of 
Tyldesley and Myerscough Lodge, the famous royalist officer slain 
at the battle of Wigan-lane in 1651. Richard Stanley, the only 
child of this marriage, resided at Great Eccleston Hall, and 
espoused Anne, the daughter and eventually co-heiress of Thomas 
Culcheth, of Culcheth, by whom he had two sons Thomas and 
Henry Stanley. Richard Stanley, who died in 1714, was buried 
at St. Michael's church, and the following extract is taken from 
the diary of Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, the grandson of Sir 
Thomas Tyldesley, and consequently Richard Stanley's cousin, 
who at that time appears to have been in failing health, and 
whose death occurred on the 26th of January in the ensuing 
year : 

" October 16, 1714. Wentt in ye morning to the ffuneral off Dick Stanley. 
Part d with Mr. Brandon att Dick Jackson's dor ; but fell at Staven's Poole ; and 
soe wentt home." 

It may here be mentioned that for two years the cousins had 
not been on very friendly terms, owing to Richard Stanley having 
at a meeting of creditors, summoned by Thomas Tyldesley in 
1712, when he had fallen too deeply into debt, objected to an 
allowance being made to Winefride and Agatha, daughters of 
Thomas Tyldesley by a second marriage. We may form some 
idea of the strong feeling existing between them from an entry 
made on the 7th of May, 1712, by Thomas Tyldesley in his diary : 
" Stanley Dicke very bitter against my two poor girlies, and 
declared he would bee hanged beffor they had one penny allowed ; 
yet my honest and never-to-be-forgotten true friend Winckley, 


with much art and sence, soe perswaded the othe r refferys that 
the slaving puppy was compelled to consent to a small allowance 
to be sedulled viz.: ^~ioo each." After the decease of Richard 
Stanley, Great Eccleston Hall, for some reason we are unable to 
explain, passed into the possession of Thomas Westby, of Upper 


The family which inhabited the ancient mansion of Fox Hall 
in the time of Charles II., and for many subsequent years, sprang 
originally from the small village of Tyldesley, near Bolton-le- 
moors. When or how they first became associated with the 
latter place is impossible to determine, as no authentic documents 
bearing on the subject can be discovered ; but that they must 
have been established in or connected with the neighbourhood at 
an early epoch is shown by the fact that Henry de Tyldesley held 
the tenth part of a Knight's fee in Tyldesley during the reign of 
Edward I., 1272-1307. A Richard de Tyldesley was lord of the 
manor of Tyldesley towards the close of the sovereignty of this 
monarch, and there is sufficient evidence to warrant the 
assumption that he was the son and heir of Henry de Tyldesley. 

At a later period Thurstan de Tyldesley, a lineal descendant, 
who is accredited with having done much to improve his native 
village, and having built Wardley Hall, near Manchester, about 
1547, was a justice of the peace for the county of Lancaster, and 
Receiver-General for the Isle of Man in 1532. He was on 
intimate and friendly terms with the earl of Derby, and we may 
safely conjecture that the members of the two houses had for long 
been familiarly known to each other, as we read that in 1405 
Henry IV. granted a letter of protection to William de Stanley, 
knt, John de Tyldesley, and several more, when they set out to 
take possession of the Isle of Man and Peel Castle. In 1417, 
when Sir John de Stanley, lord of the same island, was summoned 
to England, he left Thurston de Tyldesley, a magistrate, to 
officiate as governor during his absence. The Tyldesleys held 
extensive lands in Wardley, Morleys, Myerscough, and Tyldesley, 
having seats at the three first-named manors. Thurstan de 
Tyldesley, who erected Wardley Hall, was twice married and 
had issue by each wife. To the offspring of the first, Parnell, 


daughter of Geoffrey Shakerley, of Shakerley, he left Tyldesley 
and Wardley ; and to those of his second, Jane, daughter of Ralph 
Langton, baron of Newton, he bequeathed Myerscough, and some 
minor property. There is nothing calling for special notice 
concerning any, except two, of the descendants from the first 
marriage Sir Thomas Tyldesley, a great-grandson, attorney- 
general for Lancashire in the reign of James I. ; and his son, who 
did not survive him many months, and terminated the elder 
branch. In consequence of this failure of issue the Tyldesley 
estate, but not Wardley, which had been sold, passed to the 
representatives of Thurstan's children by his second wife. The 
eldest son of the second alliance, Edward, had espoused Anne, 
the daughter and heiress of Thomas Leyland, of Morleys, and, 
subsequently, inherited the manor and Hall of Morleys. The 
grandson and namesake of Edward Tyldesley, of Morleys and 
Tyldesley, who was born in 1585, and died in 1618, entertained 
James I. for three days at his seat, Myerscough Lodge, in 1617. 
Edward Tyldesley, of Myerscough, was the father of Major- 
General Sir Thomas Tyldesley, knt., who so greatly distinguished 
himself, by his fidelty and valour, in the wars between King and 
Parliament. In those sanguinary and calamitous struggles he 
served under the standard of royalty. He was slain at the battle 
of Wigan-lane in 1651 ; and as a mark of esteem for his many 
virtues and gallant deeds a monument was erected, near the spot 
where he fell, in 1679, by Alexander Rigby, of Layton Hall, High 
Sheriff for the county of Lancaster. The monument was inscribed 
as under : 

" An high Act of Gratitude, which conveys the Memory of 


To posterity, 

Who served King Charles the First as Lieutenant-Colonel at Edge-Hill Battle, 
After raising regiments of Horse, Foot, and Dragoons, 

and for 
The desperate storming of Burton on Trent, over a bridge of 36 arches, 

He afterwards served in all the wars in great command, 

Was Governor of Litchfield, 

And followed the fortune of the Crown through the Three Kingdoms, 
And never compounded with the Rebels though strongly invested ; 

And on the 2$th of August, A.D. 1651, was here slain, 
Commanding as Major-General under the Earl of Derby, 


To whom the grateful erector, Alexander Rigby, Esq., was Cornet ; 

And when he was High Sheriff of this county, A.D. 1679, 

Placed the high obligation on the whole Family of the Tyldesleys, 

To follow the noble example of their Loyal Ancestor." 

Sir Thomas Tyldesley married Frances, daughter of Ralph 
Standish, of Standish, and had issue Edward, born in 1635 ; 
Thomas, born in 1642 ; Ralph, born in 1644 ; Bridget, who 
became the wife of Henry Blundell, of Ince Blundell ; Elizabeth ; 
Frances, wife of Thomas Stanley, of Great Eccleston ; Anne, who 
was abbess of the English nuns at Paris in 1721 ; Dorothy; Mary, 
wife of Richard Crane ; and Margaret. 

Edward Tyldesley, the eldest son and heir, followed in the 
footsteps of his father, and was a staunch supporter of Charles II. 
When that monarch had been restored to the throne of his 
ancestors he purposed creating a fresh order of Knighthood, 
called the Royal Oak, 1 wherewith to reward a number of his 
faithful adherents, whose social positions were of sufficient 
standing to render them suitable recipients of the honour. 
Edward Tyldesley was amongst those selected ; but the design 
was abandoned by the king under the advice of his ministers, 
who considered that it was likely to produce jealousy and dis- 
satisfaction in many quarters, and might prove inimical to the 
peace of the nation. Under an impression, which afterwards 
proved erroneous, that Charles II. intended to confer upon him 
the lands of Layton Hawes, in recognition of the loyal services of 
his father and himself, Edward Tyldesley erected a residence, 
called Fox Hall, near its borders, where he lived during certain 
portions of the year until his death, which occurred between 1685 
and 1687. Edward Tyldesley espoused Anne, daughter of Sir 
Thomas Fleetwood, of Colwich, in Staffordshire, and baron oi 
Newton, in Lancashire ; and after her decease, Elizabeth, daughter 
of Adam Beaumont, of Whitley, by whom he had only one child, 
Catherine Tyldesley, of Preston. The offspring of his union with 
Anne Fleetwood were Thomas, Edward, Frances, and Maria. 
Thomas Tyldesley succeeded to the estates, on the decease of his 
father, with the exception of Tyldesley, which had been sold by 
Edward Tyldesley in 1685, and resided during a considerable part 

I. See page 72. 



of his life at Fox Hall, and occasionally at Myerscough Lodge. 
Thomas Tyldesley was born in 1657, and at twenty-two years of 
age married Eleanor, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Holcroft, 
of Holcroft, by whom he had Edward, Dorothy, Frances, 
Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Mary. After the death of his wife 
Eleanor, Thomas Tyldesley espoused Mary, sister and co-heiress 
of Sir Alexander Rigby, of Layton Hall, and had issue Charles, 
Fleetwood, James, Agatha, and Winefrid. Thomas Tyldesley, 
whilst living at Fox Hall, employed his time chiefly in field 
sports, visits amongst the neighbouring gentry, and frequent 
excursions to his more distant friends, as we learn from his diary, 
a portion of which is still preserved. The following extracts from 
it will illustrate what formed the favourite recreations of the 
numerous well-to-do families peopling the Fylde at that era : 

" May 16, 1712. In the morning went round the commone a ffowling, and 
Franke Malley, Jo. Hull, and Ned Malley, shoot 12 times for one poor twewittee ; 
came home ; after dinner Cos. W : W : went with me to Thornton Marsh, where 
we had but bad suckses ; tho wee killed fHve or six head of ffowle. 

" May 31, 1712. Went to y 6 Hays to see a race between Mr. Harper's mare 
and Sanderson's ; meet a greatt deal of good company, but spent noe thing. 

"June 7, 1712. Pd. Mrs. 2s. 6d., pd. pro ffish is., pro meat 33. ; and affter 
din r went with cos Walton to bowle with old Beamont. I spent lod. att bowling 
green house with 4 grubcatchers and Tom Walton, and Jo. Styeth. 

"June 10, 1713. Gave Jo n Malley and Jo. Parkinson is. to see y 8 cock 
ffeights. Gave Ned Malley is. for subsistence. Din d in the cockpitt with Mr. 
Clifton and others. Spent in wine 6d., and pro din r is. Gave y* fidler 6d. Spent 
in the pitt betwixt battles 6d. ; I won near 305. 

" June 17, 1713. Al day in y e house and gardening; went to beed about 7, and 
riss at 10, in ord r to goe a ffox hunting. 

" Augt 29, 1713. Paid 2s. pro servant, &c. ; soe a otter hunting to Wire, but 
killed none. 

" Sept r 5, 1713. In the morning Jos. Tounson and I went to Staining ; * * 
thence to Layton-heys to see a foot race, where I won 6d. off Jos. Tounson white 
against dun ; soe home. Gave white my winings. 

"Oct r 6, 1713. We hunted y tt hare ffive hours; but y e ground soe thorrowly 
drughted by long continewance of ffine wether that we could not kill her. 

" Dec r 1 6, 1713. In the morning went a coursing with S r W : G : ; Law r 
Rigby, &c. 

" March 16, 1714. In the morning sent Dick Gorney and 6 more harty lads a 
ffishing ; I stop d with a show 1 " of raine. Two of Rob. Rich his sons came in on 
my godson, to whom I gave is. ; thence followed the ffish", where we had very 
good sport, and tuck 8 brave large growen tenches, and 6 as noble carps as I have 
seen tuke, severall pearch, some gudgeons, and a large eyell, and 6 great chevens." 


The diarist, Thomas Tyldesley, died in 1715, before the outbreak 
of the rebellion, and was buried at Churchtown, near Garstang. 
Edward Tyldesley, his eldest son, who succeeded him, had two 
children by his wife Dorothy James and Catherine. He was 
accused, tried, and acquitted of taking part with the rebels of 1715, 
although the evidence clearly convicted him of having led a body 
of men against the king's forces. At the death of Edward 
Tyldesley, in 1725, Myerscough no longer belonged to the family, 
but Holcroft, acquired by marriage in 1679, passed to his son James, 
who twenty years later served with the troops of Prince Charles, 
the younger pretender, and died in 1765. The offspring of James 
Tyldesley by Sarah, his wife, were Thomas, Charles, James, Henry, 
and Jane, all of whom with their descendants seem to have sold or 
mortgaged the remnants of the once large estates, and gradually 
drifted into poverty and obscurity. 

It will not be out of place in concluding the notice of a family 
connected with the earliest infancy of Blackpool, to state some- 
thing of the character and habits of Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox 
Hall, as disclosed by, and deduced from, the entries in his diary, 
which unfortunately comprises only the last three years of his 
life. At the present time the appearance of a party of gentlemen 
in this neighbourhood decorated with curled wigs, surmounted by 
three-cornered hats, and habited in long-figured waistcoats, plush 
breeches, and red-heeled boots, would excite no little astonishment, 
yet in the days of the diarist the sight must have been one ot 
usual occurrence, for such was the style of costume worn by 
the wealthier classes. The lower classes wre. clothed in garments 

i.ff'" *-> 

made from the undyed wool of the sheep, -dtid called hodden gray. 
Thomas Tyldesley was a great equestrian, his journeys being 
so frequent and rapid that it is difficult to be certain of his 
whereabouts when he finished his day's work and its minute 
record, with the final " soe to beed." He was on terms 01 
intimacy and friendship with the Rigbys of Layton, the Veales 
of Whinney Heys, the Westbys of Burn Hall, and all the wealthy 
families in the neighbourhood. Fishing, hunting, coursing, and 
shooting were his favourite recreations. Nor was he unmindful 
in the midst of these amusements of the interests of his farm, as 
the accompanying remarks amply testify : " Very bussy all 
morning in my hay ;" and "Alday in the house and my garden, 


bussy transplanting colleflow r and cabage plants ;" whilst at other 
times we find him in communication with various tenants relative 
to some portion or other of the Myerscough property. Unless 
confined to bed by gout or rheumatism, and the self-imposed, but 
fearful, " Phissickings " he underwent, swallowing doses whose 
magnitude alone would appal most men of modern days, he 
was ever actively engaged in either business or pleasure. Every 
item of disbursement and every circumstance that occurred, even 
to the most trivial, has found a place in his diary, and from 
it we learn that while evidently anxious to avoid unnecessary 
expenditure, he was neither parsimonious nor illiberal, always 
recompensing those who had been put to any trouble on his 
account, and paying his share of each friendly gathering with a 
scrupulous exactness. There is, however, a satisfaction expressed 
in the words, " but spent noe thing," after the brief notice of the 
horse-race he had attended on the Hawes, which, when we call to 
mind his natural generosity, showed that his income required care 
in its expenditure, and was barely sufficient to support the position 
he held by birth. Many other entries in his diary prove that he 
was frequently short of money, and as his mode of living appears 
to have been far from extravagant, it seems difficult at first sight 
to account for the circumstance. But when we discover that he 
had for years been connected, as one of the leading members and 
promoters, with a Catholic and Jacobite Society at Walton-le- 
dale, having for its object the restoration of the Stuarts, then in 
exile, and remember that a scheme of such magnitude and 
importance could not possibly be matured or kept in activity 
without the purses of its more earnest supporters suffering to a 
great extent, we obtain in some measure an explanation of the 

The character of Thomas Tyldesley, as gleaned from his diary, 
may be summarised as follows : He was in every sense a country 
gentleman, fond of field sports, happy on his farm, thoughtful of 
the condition and comfort of his cattle, although sometimes given 
to hard, or at least far, riding ; for the rest, he was active and 
intelligent, liberal to his dependants, careful in his household, and 
strictly honourable in all his dealings, but above all he had an 
earnest and deep reverence for his creed and principles that spared 
no sacrifice. 



The Veales, of Whinney Heys, who during a time of consider- 
able license and extravagance, were renowned for their piety and 
frugality, were descended from John Veale, of My thorp. This 
gentleman was living during the reign of Elizabeth, and fur- 
nished I caliver and I morion at the military muster which took 
place in 1574. Francis Veale, the son of John Veale, of Mythorp, 
is the first of the name we find described as of Whinney Heys. 1 
Francis Veale left a son, Edward, who resided at Whinney Heys, 
and appeared amongst the list of Free-tenants of Amounderness 
in 1621. According to Sir William Dugdale, he was a justice of 
the peace for Lancashire in the reigns of James I. and Charles I. 
Edward Veale married Ellen, the daughter and co-heiress, with 
her younger sister Alice, of John Massey, of Layton and Carleton, 
and in that way the Veales acquired much of their property in 
the neighbourhood of Whinney Heys. The offspring of this 
union were John, who was born in 1605; Massey; Edward; 
Francis ; Singleton ; Ellen, who married Thomas Heardson, of 
Cambridge ; Juliana ; Dorothy, who married George Sharpies, of 
Freckleton ; Anne, who became the wife of John Austin, of 
London ; Alice ; and Frances, the wife of William Wombwell, 
of London. The maiden name of Mrs. Edward Veale's mother 
was Singleton, she being the daughter of Thomas Singleton, of 
Staining Hall, and for that reason we find the name borne by one 
of the sons of Edward Veale. John Veale, the eldest son, 
succeeded to the Hall and estate, and espoused Dorothy, the 
daughter of Matthew Jepson, of Hawkswell, in Yorkshire. John 
Veale was fifty-nine years of age in 1664, and at that date entered 
the names of his ancestors, etc., before Sir William Dugdale at 
Preston, who was on his heraldic visitation in Lancashire. The 
children of John Veale, by Dorothy, his wife, were John, 
Edward, Helen, Susan, and Jane. John Veale, who was twenty 
years old in 1664, became the representative of the family on the 
decease of his father, some time previous to which he had 
married Susannah, the daughter of Geoffrey Rishton, of Antley, 
and by her had issue Edward, born in 1680 ; Ellen, the wife of 
Richard Sherdley, of Kirkham, born in 1698 ; and Dorothy, who 

I. Dugdale's Visitation. 


died unmarried in 1747, aged 76 years. John Veale was a justice 
of the peace for this county, and died in 1704. After the death of 
John Veale, whose remains were interred at Bispham church, 
Edward, his only son, inherited the lands and Hall of Whinney 
Heys. Edward Veale was living at the same time as Thomas 
Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, Blackpool, and between the two 
gentlemen a close friendship seems to have existed, as we glean 
from the diary of the latter, in which Edward Veale is frequently 
mentioned, being invariably, for some reason, styled Captain, 
perhaps he once held that rank in some temporary or reserve 
force, for there is no record of his ever having been connected 
with the regular troops. The following is a short extract from 
the above diary in 1712 : 

"Aug. 2. Att my returne I wentt to y e King's Arms, and got my din r with 
Bro r . We spent is. a pice in whitte wine, and as wee went through y e hall 
met with Just. Longworth, 1 Cap" Veale, Just. Pearson, Franke Nickinson, and 
small L d of Roshall. 2 Wee were very merry upon y e small Lord, and spent is. 
a pice in sack and white wine, w h elevated y e petite L d that before he went to 
bed he tucke y e ffriedom of biting his man Sharocke's thumb off just beyond 
y 8 nail. I found cos. W: W: att home." 

Edward left issue at his death in 1723, at forty-three years of 
age John, Sarah, and Susannah. John Veale, the heir, entered 
into holy orders, and subsequently died unmarried. Sarah and 
Susannah Veale, the co-heiresses of their brother, married 
respectively Edward Fleetwood, of Rossall Hall (the small lord), 
and John Fayle, of the Holmes, Thornton, who erected Bridge 
House in Bispham, after the model of the original Hall of 
Whinney Heys. The lands and residence of Whinney Heys 
eventually passed into the possession of the Fleetwoods, of 
Rossall, through the wife of Edward Fleetwood. The Veales 
were Puritans in religion, and one of the family, named Edward 
Veale, whose father was the third son of Edward and Ellen Veale 
mentioned above, and a lay member of the Presbyterian Classis for 
this district in the time of the Commonwealth, attained consider- 
able eminence, first as a Puritan preacher and afterwards as a 
Nonconformist minister. Calamy, in his Nonconformist Memorial, 
tells us that "Mr. Edward Veale, of Christ Church, Oxford, 

I. Richard Longworth, of St. Michael's Hall, a justice of the peace. 
2. The small L d of Roshall was Edward Fleetwood, of Rossall Hall, who at 
this time was thirty years of age. 


afterwards of Trinity College, Dublin, was ordained at Winwick in 
Lancashire, August 4th, 1857. When he left Ireland he brought 
with him a testimonial of his being ' a learned, orthodox minister, 
of a sober, pious, and peaceable conversation, who during his 
abode at the college was eminently useful for the instruction of 
youth, and whose ministry had been often exercised in and about 
the city of Dublin with great satisfaction to the godly, until he 
was deprived of his fellowship for nonconformity to the cere- 
monies imposed in the church, and for joining with other 
ministers in their endeavours for a reformation ;' sighed by 
Richard Charnock and six other respectable ministers. He 
became chaplain to Sir William Waller, in Middlesex, and 
afterwards settled as a Nonconformist pastor in Wapping, where 
he lived to a good old age. He had several pupils, to whom he 
read university learning, who were afterwards useful persons ; 
one of whom was Mr. Nathaniel Taylor. He died June 6th, 
1708, aged 76. His funeral sermon was preached by Mr. T. 
Symonds, who succeeded him." 


The family of this name, so long associated with the township 
of Medlar-with-Wesham, in the parish of Kirkham, is descended 
from the Westbys of Westby, in the county of York. 

William Westby, who was under-sheriff of Lancashire in 1345, 
is the first of the name, we can find, residing at Mowbreck ; and 
a great-grandson of his, named William Westby, is recorded as 
inheriting the Mowbreck and Westby property in the reign of 
Henry VI., 1422-61. John Westby, the son of the latter William, 
succeeded to the estates, residing, like his ancestors, at Mowbreck 
Hall, and was twice married, the offspring of the first union, with 
Mabill, daughter of Richard Botiler, being two daughters ; and of 
the second, with Eleanor Kirkby, of Rawcliffe, a son and heir, 
named William, who succeeded him at his death in 1512. 
William Westby, although the lawful holder of the estates, did 
not obtain control over them until after 1517, being a minor at 
that date. He married Elizabeth Rigmayden, of Wedacer, and 

I. John Westby, of Mowbreck, was probably the builder or purchaser of Burn 
Hall about the middle of the sixteenth century. See pedigree above at that date. 


had issue John, Elizabeth, and Helen. John Westby, the heir, 
had possession of Mowbreck, and Burn in Thornton township, 
about the year 1556, after the decease of his father; his places of 
residence were Mowbreck and Burn Halls. He was thrice married, 
and by his last wife, Ann, daughter of Sir Richard Molyneux, of 
Sefton and Larbrick, and widow of Thomas Dalton, of Thurnham, 
had issue John, Thomas, William, Ellen, and Mary. John 
Westby succeeded his father in 1591, and dying unmarried in 
1604, was in his turn succeeded by his brother, Thomas Westby, 
who was twice married, and purchased the estate of Whitehall, 
where the children of his second union established themselves. 
The offspring of his first wife, Perpetya, daughter of Edward 
Norris, of Speke, were John, Thomas, Edward, William, 
Francis, Margaret, Perpetua, and Anne. John Westby, the 
heir, came into the Mowbreck estate and Burn Hall some time 
after 1622, but dying without issue in 1661, was succeeded by his 
nephew, Thomas, the eldest son of his fourth brother, Francis 
Westby, Thomas Westby, M.D., slain in the civil wars, and his 
two other brothers, Edward and William, having died childless. 
Thomas Westby, the inheritor of Westby, Mowbreck, and Burn, 
was born in 1641, and espoused Bridget, daughter of Thomas 
Clifton, of Lytham Hall, his issue being John, Thomas, William, 
Cuthbert, Robert, Francis, Bridget, Anne, and Dorothy. John 
Westby, the eldest son, inherited Westby, Mowbreck, and Burn 
Hall, on the demise of his father in 1700. Thomas Tyldesley, of 
Fox Hall, was intimate with this gentleman, as observed from the 
following entry in his diary in the year 1715 : 

" June primo. Went to Mains to prayers ; thence with Jack Westby to Burn 
to dinner ; stayed till 4 ; thence to Whinneyheys ; stayed till 9 ; soe home." 

John Westby married, in 1688, Jane, daughter of Christopher 
Parker, of Bradkirk Hall, and had issue four daughters 
Catherine, who married Alexander Osbaldeston, of Sunderland ; 
Bridget, the wife of William Shuttleworth, of Turnover Hall ; 
Mary, the wife of the Rev. Thomas Alderson ; and Anne, the 
wife of the Rev. J. Bennison, of London. At the death of John 
Westby in 1722, Burn Hall and estate passed to the Bennisons, 
whilst Mowbreck became the property of Thomas Westby, who 
died childless six years later, and afterwards of Robert Westby, 
brothers of the deceased John Westby. Margaret Shuttleworth, 


the daughter of William and Bridget Shuttleworth, of Turnover, 
married her cousin, Thomas Westby, of Whitehall, in 1744, and 
had numerous offspring, the eldest of whom, John Westby, 
succeeded to Mowbreck, as heir-at-law, on the death of his 
relative, Robert Westby, before mentioned, in 1762. This John 
Westby died in 1811 unmarried, and was succeeded by his only 
surviving brother, Thomas Westby. This gentleman also died 
unmarried, and was succeeded in 1829 in the Turnover Hall 
estate, by his cousin, Thomas Westby, heir-at-law, to whose 
eldest son, George Westby, he left Whitehall and Mowbreck. 
George Westby espoused Mary Pauton, the eldest daughter of 
Major John Tate, of the 6th West Indian Infantry, and had issue 
Mary Virginia Ann ; Matilda Julia, wife of the Rev. Dr. Henry 
Hayman ; Jocelyn Tate ; Ada Perpetua ; Georgina Blanche ; 
Ashley George, late captain in the army ; Cuthbert Menzies ; 
Bernard Hsegar, captain i6th regiment ; Basil Clifton, captain 
1 6th regiment. George Westby died at Paris in 1842, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son, Jocelyn Tate, the present holder, 
who took by royal license the name and arms of Fazakerley on 
espousing, in 1862, Matilda Harriette Gillibrand-Fazakerley sister 
and co-heiress of the late Henry Hawarden Gillibrand-Fazakerly, 
the son of Henry Hawarden Fazakerley, of Gillibrand Hall, etc., 
and lord of the manor of Chorley. 

Jocelyn Tate Fazakerley- Westby, of Mowbreck Hall, esq., was 
formerly a cornet in the Scotch Greys, and is now a captain of 
Lancashire hussars, yeomanry cavalry. He is a justice of the 
peace and a deputy-lieutenant of the county of Lancaster. 



JIHE ancient town and port of Poulton occupies the 
summit of a gentle ascent about one mile removed 
from the waters of Wyre at Skippool, and three 
from the Irish Sea at Blackpool. Between 1080 and 
'86, Poltun, as it was written in the Norman Survey, contained no 
more than two carucates of land under tillage, or in an arable 
condition, so that out of the 900 acres composing the township, 
only 200 were cultivated by the inhabitants. A considerable 
proportion of the entire area of the township, however, would be 
covered with lofty trees, and provide excellent forage ground for 
large herds of swine, which formed the chief live-stock dealt in by 
our Anglo-Saxon and early Norman ancestors. Taking this into 
consideration, the comparatively small amount of soil devoted to 
agriculture, may not, indeed, indicate so meagre a population 
about the close of the eleventh century as otherwise it would 
seem to do, but still the evidence adduced is barely sufficient 
whereon to base the assumption that the antecedents of Poulton 
had been less under the destructive influence of the Danes than 
those of its neighbours. Regarding the locality more retrospec- 
tively, and turning back, for a brief space, to the era of the Romans, 
it must be admitted that nothing has as yet been discovered 
which could be construed into an intimation that the followers of 
Agricola, or their descendants, ever had a settlement or encamp- 
ment on the site. It is true that the churchyard has yielded up 
many specimens of their ancient coinage, whilst others have been 


found at no great distance, but the character of the relics is in no 
way suggestive of a sojournment, like that of the fragmentary 
domestic utensils and urns of Kirkham ; and when it is remem- 
bered that the much-used Roman road (Dane's Pad) leading to 
the most important harbour of the west coast, passed through 
the vicinity on its way towards the Warren of Rossall, the 
explanation of the presence of the coins, as of other antiquities 
along its line, is obvious. The name of the town and district 
now under examination is of pure Anglo-Saxon origin, and 
acquired from its proximity to the pool of the Skipton, or 
Skippool, the signification of the word being, it is scarcely 
necessary to add, the enclosure or township of the pool. The 
date at which habitations first became visible on the soil must 
remain in a great measure a matter of conjecture, as the annals 
of history are silent respecting this and most other towns of 
Amounderness, until the arrival of William the Conqueror, but 
we may safely infer that it was not long after the advent of the 
Saxons before a situation so convenient both to the stream of 
Wyre and the frequented pathway just mentioned, attracted a 
small colony of settlers. Whatever century gave birth to 
Poulton, it is certain that from such epoch to 1066, the 
population would be constituted, almost exclusively, of the 
class known as " Villani," perhaps most appropriately inter- 
preted by our term villagers, and that the occupation of 
these bondsmen of the soil would be the tillage of the land 
and the superintendence of swine. Their huts were doubtless 
of very rude and primitive construction, but somewhere 
within the boundaries of the township there must have been a 
dwelling of more pretentious exterior, the residence of the Town- 
Reve, who received the dues and tolls from the " Villani," on 
behalf of the large territorial lord, and exercised a general super- 
vision over them. Athelstan appears to have held the lordship of 
the whole of Amounderness in 936, when he conveyed it to the 
See of York, and possibly before he ascended the throne it was 
invested successively in his regal predecessors. 

After the Conquest, Poulton passed into the possession of the 
Norman nobleman, Roger de Poictou, by whom it was granted in 
1094, to the priory of St. Mary, at Lancaster. " He gave," says 
the charter, " Pol tun in Agmundernesia, and whatsover belonged 


to it, and the church with one carucate' of land, and all other 
things belonging to it ; moreover he gave the tithe of venison 
and of pawnage 1 in all the woods, and the tithe of his fishery." 8 
This extract proves beyond question the existence of a church at 
Poulton exactly eight years after the completion of the Domesday 
record ; and further, that it was endowed with one carucate of 
land, or half the cultivated portion of the township. At the first 
glance it seems more probable that the sacred edifice was over- 
looked by the investigators in the course of the survey than that 
it was erected so shortly afterwards, but a study of other pages of 
the register betrays such evident care and minuteness on the part 
of those to whom the work of compilation was entrusted, that it 
appears impossible for an important building like the church to 
have escaped their notice. Roger de Poictou was justly celebrated 
for zeal in the cause of his faith ; several monastic institutions 
owed their establishment to his liberality, and amongst them was 
St. Mary's of Lancaster. It will therefore be but a reasonable 
conclusion to arrive at, that he built and endowed the parish 
church of Poulton with the intention of presenting it to the 
Priory of his own founding, in connection with the abbey of 
Sees in Normandy. During the reign of Richard I. (1189-99), 
Theobald Walter quitclaimed to the abbot of Sees all his right to 
the advowson of Poulton and the church of Bispham, owing to a 
suit instituted against him by that ecclesiastic ; 8 and hence it 
must be inferred that the donation of Roger de Poictou had 
through some cause reverted to him, being subsequently conferred 
on Walter in company with other of the confiscated estates of the 
rebellious baron. The abbot of Cockersand also had some 
interest in the town about the time the last event took place, and 
in about 1216 he compounded with the prior of Lancaster for 
certain tithes held by him in the parish. 4 In 1246 the mediety of 
the church of Poulton and the chapel of Bispham was granted 
by the archdeacon of Richmond to the priory of St. Mary, and 
half a century later John Romanus, archdeacon of Richmond, 
confirmed the gift, bestowing on it in addition the remaining 

1. Pawnage, or Pannage, signified the food of swine to be found in woods, such 
as acorns and beech-mast, etc. 

2. Regist. S. Mariae de Lane. MS. fol. I. 

3. Regist. S. Mariae de Lane. fol. 77. 

4. Regist. of Cockersand Abbey, and S. Mariae de Lane. 


mediety, to be received when death had removed the present 
holder. A clause in the document stipulated that immediately 
the second mediety had been appropriated a vicar should be 
appointed at a salary of twenty marks (13 6s. 8d.) per annum. 1 
Here again it is clear that some time in the interval between 
1199 and 1246 the lands and living of Poulton had once more 
been forfeited or disposed of by the Lancaster monastery, but in 
the absence of any records bearing on the subject, the manner 
and reason of the relinquishment must still continue enveloped 
in a veil of mystery. From 1246 the vicarage of Poulton 
remained attached to the Lancaster foundation until the 
dissolution of alien priories, when it was conveyed to the abbey 
of Sion, in Middlesex, and retained by that convent up to the 
time of the Reformation in 1536. Alien priories, it may be 
explained, were small monastic institutions connected with the 
abbeys of Normandy, and established on lands which had been 
granted or bequeathed to the parent houses by William the 
Conqueror or one of his followers. They were occupied by only 
a very limited number of brethren and members of the sister- 
hood. A prior was appointed over each, his chief duty being to 
collect the rents and other monies due from their estates, etc., 
and transmit them over to Normandy. Such immense sums 
were in that way annually exported out of the country, that it 
was ultimately deemed expedient by the king and his ministers to 
suppress all priories of this description. 

The Banastres were a family long connected with the Fylde 
through landed property which they held in the neighbourhood ; 
originally they are stated to have come over from Normandy with 
William the Conqueror, and to have settled at Newton in the 
Willows. On their frequent journeys to and from Thornton, 
Singleton, and Staining, the tenants of the priory of St. Mary 
were in the habit of crossing over the lands of the Banastres, 
by whom their intrusions were deeply resented, which led 
to constant feuds between them and the head of the Lan- 
caster monastery. In 1276, as we learn from the "Regist. S. 
Mariae de Lane.," Sir Adam Banastre with several of his friends 
and retainers, amongst whom were John Wenne, Richard le 

I. Baines's Hist, of Lane. 


Demande (the collector), William de Thorneton, Richard de 
Brockholes, Geoffrey le Procuratoure (the proctor), and Adam le 
Reve (the reeve), attacked the prior, Ralph de Truno, and his 
train of attendants, when on their way to Poulton. They seized 
and carried off both him and his retinue to Thornton, where, after 
treating them with great indignity, they chastised and imprisoned 
them. Edward I., on hearing of the disgraceful outrage, appointed 
John Travers, William de Tatham, and John de Horneby to 
investigate the matter and ascertain the cause, if possible ; but no 
paper is now to be found revealing the result of the examination 
or hinting at the provocation, although a surmise may be hazarded 
that it was no new quarrel, but simply the old feud, which had at 
last culminated in a cowardly assault on a defenseless ecclesiastic. 
In 1299, Poulton was held in trust by Thomas, earl of Lancaster, 
for the prior of St. Mary ; and eight years anterior to that date 
the abbot of Deulacres, in Staffordshire, drew certain revenues 
from land in the township, viz., ^"8 per annum from 16 carucates 
of land, about 133. 4d. each year from the sale of meadow land, 
los. from assessed rents, and $ from the profit of stock, making 
in all an annual total of ^"14 33. 4d. The repeated disputes 
between Sir Adam Banastre and Adam Conrates, prior of 
Lancaster, relative to the trespasses of the latter's tenants and the 
collection of tithes on the domains of the former were peaceably 
settled in 1330, by an arrangement, in which Sir Adam pledged 
himself to allow two good roads across his lands one from 
Poulton and Thornton to Skippool and thence across the ford of 
Aldwath, now called Shard, on to Singleton, the other starting 
from the same localities and running to the ford of Bulk higher 
up the river, probably the modern Cartford, or in its vicinity, in 
addition the knight agreed to make good any damage that the 
prior or his dependants might suffer over that portion of their 
journeys. 1 Adam Conrates on his side promised to withdraw all 
actions for trespass, etc., on the fulfilment of these conditions. In 
1354 a person named Robert de Pulton held some small possessions 
in Poulton, but nothing further than that trifling fact is recorded 
about him, although it is probable from the orthography of his 
name that his ancestors were at some time closely and honourably 

I. Regist S. Marige de Lane. 


associated with the town from which their distinctive appellation 
appears to have been derived. During the time of Elizabeth, 
James Massey, gentleman, of Carleton and Layton, purchased 
from the governors of the Savoy Hospital, in London, the tolls 
in the parish of Poulton, together with all the " chauntry and 
appurtenances " founded in the parish church of Bricksworth, and 
all messuages, lands, tenements, etc., situated in the town and 
parish of Poulton ; the tolls remained subject to an annual 
rent of 2, to be paid on St. Michael's day to the governors 
and chaplains of the hospital. Later in the same reign James 
Massey sold to William Leigh, esq., of High Leigh, in Cheshire, 
half of these tolls and some pasture fields, called "Angell's Holme," 
adjoining the Horse-bridge, where in earlier days, when the waters 
of Wyre made their way along a brook into the interior of this 
neighbourhood, boats are said to have been built. The Rigbys, of 
Layton Hall, subsequently became possessed of a great part of 
Poulton, and at the present day a large number of houses are 
leased in their name for the remainder of terms of 999 years ; the 
Heskeths, of Mains, and other leading families in the district were 
also considerable property owners in the town. On one occasion 
the ruling powers of Kirkham made an unsuccessful attempt to 
obtain the tolls arising from the cattle fairs held in Poulton and 
Singleton, but on what plea such claims were urged the record is 

In an entry which occurs in the lists of the Norman Roll, an 
impost consisting of the ninth of corn, fleeces, and lambs, and 
created in 9 Edward III., 1336, it is stated that in 1291 the 
vicarage of Poulton was taxed by Pope Nicholas at 10 marks, or 
6 135. 4d. modern coinage, the prior of Norton taking 2 in 
garbs or wheat sheaves. Afterwards the vicarage was freed from 
the payments of tenths on account of the smallness of the living. 
Dr. Whittaker informs us that the priory of Lancaster was granted 
by Henry V., in 1422, to the chancellor of England, who in that 
year instituted a vicar to the living of Poulton, but eight years 
previously, in the same reign, the priory was granted in trust for 
the abbess and convent of Sion ; from which seemingly con- 
tradictory statements it may be gathered that the chancellor was 
the trustee for the property, and in such capacity alone acted as 
patron of the church of Poulton. In support of this supposition 


may be cited the fact that the Lancaster house and its belongings 
were not received by the convent in Middlesex until 1431, during 
the sovereignty of Henry VI., when the vicarage was endowed by 
the abbess, and William de Croukeshagh presented to the living. 
This pastor, the earliest personally mentioned, was succeeded on 
.his death, in 1442, by Richard Brown, appointed by the same 
convent. " Among the records," writes Baines in his history of 
Lancashire," in the Augmentation Office is in indenture tripartite 
in English, bearing the date u Henry VIII., 1579, and purporting 
to be made between the Abbess of Sion on the first part, Thomas 
Singleton and Henry Singleton on the second part, and William 
Bretherton, vicar of Poulton, on the third part, by which the 
tithe-sheaf of Pulton and a tenement are leased to the vicar, that 
he may better keep and maintain his house in Pulton ; the term 
to continue during the existence of a lease granted to the persons 
named Singleton by Sion abbey." At the Reformation the manor 
and advowson were claimed by the crown, and a few years later 
became the property of the Fleetwoods. The last royal presenta- 
tion to the living was made by Edward VI. in 1552, just one year 
before his death, whilst the first by this family was in 1565, by 
John Fleetwood, lord of the manor of Penwortham. The Rev. 
Charles Hesketh, M.A., of North Meols, is now the patron. 

The ancient church of Poulton stood on the site now occupied 
by the existing edifice, and like it, was dedicated to the Saxon 
St. Chad or Cheadda, bishop of Mercia, and seated at Chester in 
A.D. 669. The original structure consisted of only a nave and 
north aisle, the outer walls of which were composed of sandstone, 
whilst the double roof rested on semicircular arches, extending 
from the chancel to the font, and supported on four octagonal 
pillars. These semicircular arches belonged to a very antique 
style of architecture, and have given rise to the belief that the 
pillars were at first massive cylinders, being carved into an 
angular form about the time of Henry VIII. The pulpit had its 
place towards the south, and at the east end there appears to have 
been a small gallery. A pipe clay monument in memoriam of 
the Singletons, of Staining, stood inside the church, but was, 
intentionally or accidentally, destroyed when the building was 
pulled down. A rude brass crucifix and a chalice, both of which 
belonged to the church previous to the Reformation, are still 


preserved, one being in the possession of a late priest at Breck 
chapel, and the other in the Catholic chapel at Claughton. The 
upper halves of the windows, including the east one, were semi- 
circular in form. In 1622 the old chancel was repaired by the 
Rev. Peter Whyte, the vicar, and a stone, two feet in length and 
one foot and a half in depth, bearing the name " Peter WhyJ:e," 
and the date "1622," in raised letters about six inches long, 
was placed over the east window. This piece of masonry now 
occupies a situation in the south-west corner of the edifice. The 
churchyard, which is reported to have been usually in a filthy 
and disgraceful state, was partly surrounded by a moderately wide 
ditch, on the brink of which three or four fine sycamore trees 
flourished, but were cut down when sundry alterations and 
improvements were effected in the ground. In 1751, after the 
old church had been standing six centuries and a half, it was 
determined to demolish it, and erect a more commodious building 
on the site. The tower, however, was retained, as, being of more 
recent date, it evinced none of those symptoms of decay which 
had rendered the body of the edifice dangerous to worshippers. 
An opinion prevails that the tower was built about the time of 
Charles I., and such a view is upheld by the discovery on the 
removal of the pulpit in 1836 of a square stone, having on its face 
the raised letters TB. WG. in the first line, IH. TG. IH. in the 
second line, and WG. 1638 in the last line. It is supposed that 
this stone, which is now fixed in the wall at the south-west 
corner of the church, was carved in commemoration of the 
erection of the tower, and the raised letters are the initials of the 
churchwardens then in office, and the date when the work was 
accomplished. Between this stone and the one previously referred 
to, there is a stained-glass memorial window to " Robert Buck, 
born 1805, died 1862, presented by his sister, C. D. Foxton." 
Mrs. Catherine Dauntesy Foxton, the lady here indicated, is the 
representative of the family of Bucks, of Agecroft Hall, Pendle- 
bury, and inherited considerable property in the neighbourhood 
of Poulton. During the time the new church was in course of 
building, divine service was performed in the tithe-barn, and the 
ceremony of baptism at the residences of the parents. The funds 
required for carrying out the important undertaking were 
doubtless chiefly supplied through the munificence of a com- 



paratively small circle of private individuals, whose contributions 
would probably be in some measure supplemented by minor 
collections amongst the less opulent agriculturists and peasantry. 
One person, named Welsh, who resided at Marton, seems to have 
cherished a bitter antipathy to the levelling of ancient structures 
in general, and embodied his refusal to assist this particular work 
in the following rhymes : 

" While here on earth I do abide, 
I'll keep up walls and pull down pride ; 
To build anew I'll ne'er consent, 
And make the needy poor lament." 

It has usually been affirmed that the side galleries were not 
erected until several years after the new church had been finished, 
but the annexed extract from an old document discovered in 
1875, shows that authority to build them was obtained in 1751, 
whilst the church was levelled with the ground ; and as the parch- 
ment also discloses that a number of seats in these galleries were 
allotted to certain gentlemen of the parish in the ensuing year, 
there is ample evidence that the rebuilding of the church and 
their erection were carried on simultaneously : "25 June, 1751. 
On the Certificate and request of Roger Hesketh, Esq., Patron ; 
the Rev. Robert Loxham, Clerk, Vicar ; and the Churchwardens 
of the Parish Church of Poulton ; a Faculty was Granted to 
John Bird, John Birley, and Richard Tennant, all of Poulton, 
Gentlemen (for the better uniformity of the Parish Church of 
Poulton, which was then taken down and rebuilding) to take 
down the Gallery over the Chancel in the East of the said 
Church, which was then very irregular and incommodious, and 
to rebuild the same with a convenient staircase, stairs, and 
passage leading thereto, of their own expense, in the west end 
thereof to adjoin to the north side of the gallery there then 
standing, and to be made uniform therewith, and to make 
satisfaction to the several owners of the seats in the said Gallery 
for the damage sustained in removing the same and altering, and 
lessening the seats therein ; and to erect a Gallery on each side of 
the said Church, with convenient staircases leading thereto at the 
north-east and south-east ends of the said Church, if necessary, 
according to the form of the said Certificate annexed, and also 
to remove the Pulpit and reading desk from the place where the 


same then lately stood, near to the place where the Churchwardens' 
seat was then lately situate, as it would greatly tend to the 
conformity of the said Church and to the benefit and advantage 
of the Inhabitants of the said Parish, and also that they might 
have liberty to sell and dispose of the seats to be contained in the 
said intended side Galleries, to such persons within the said 
Parish as should stand most in need thereof, to reimburse them- 
selves the charges and expenses they would be necessarily put to in 
building the said intended gallaries and making the alterations 

The present edifice is of stone, plain but commodious, and 
comprises a chancel, body, and embattled tower, with buttresses 
supporting each corner. Formerly a small shed stood on one 
side of the tower, and was used as a repository for the sculls and 
other osseous relics of humanity, which were unearthed during 
the process of making fresh graves ; this house was pulled down 
some years ago, and its numerous treasures returned to the ground 
at the south-east corner of the yard. The chancel now standing 
was erected eight years since, mainly through the exertions of the 
Rev. Thomas Clarke, M.A., the vicar, who died in 1869. On the 
exterior of the building, over a door at the south-east corner of 
the body, is the inscription : Insignia Rici Fleetwood Ari Hujus 
Eccliae Patroni Ann Dni 1699" ; above which is- a circumscribed 
uneven space formerly occupied by the arms of the Fleetwood 
family. Within the church the quarterings of the Heskeths and 
Fleetwoods are hung against the walls in frames. At the west 
end of the building there is a wooden panel into which the 
following names have been cut : 

Rich. Dickson. John Hull. 

Rich. Willson. Rich. Willson. 

John Woodhouse, churchwardens, 1730, 

From the way in which the holders of similiar offices are 
arranged at present it is surmised that these gentlemen respectively 
represented the townships of 

Poulton. Hardhorn. 

Carleton. Thornton. 


On the south side of the church is a mural tablet to the memory 
of the Rev. Richard Buck, M.A., of Agecroft Hall, Pendlebury, 


born 1761, died 1845, also Margaret, his wife, and Margaret, his 
daughter. Another monument bears the names of Frances Hull, 
born 1794, died 1847 ; William Wilson Hull, born 1822, died 
1847, in the Queen's service, at Bathurst, St. Mary's Island in the 
river Gambia ; Henry Mitchell Hull, M.A., born 1827, died 1853 ; 
John Hull, M.D., born 1761, died 1843 "left the eldest of the 
three children of John Hull, surgeon ; an orphan at six years of 
age, poor, friendless, by the best use of all means of education 
within his power, by unwearied industry, by constant self-denial, 
he duly qualified himself for the practice of his profession 1 " ; 
Sarah Hull, died 1842 ; William Winstanley Hull, M.A,, Fellow 
of Brazenose College, Oxford, and Barrister-at-Law, eldest son 
of John Hull, M.D., F.L.S., born 1784, died 1873. Here also was 
the old churchwardens' pew, removed in 1876, having a brass 
plate inscribed thus : " Thomas Whiteside, Jno Wilkinson, Jno 
Whiteside, Thos. Cornwhite, Jno Hodgson, Churchwardens, 
1737"; also the old pew formerly belonging to the Rigbys of 
Layton Hall, on the door of which are carved the letters " A.R.," 
a goats head, and the date " 1636," being the initials and crest of 
Sir Alexander Rigby, of Layton Hall. Until last year, when they 
were removed to afford space for more modern seats, the two 
family pews of the Fleetwoods and Heskeths stood on this side. 
The pews were walled in laterally and in front by a high orna- 
mental railing of oak, and in the larger of the two traces of a 
crest were visible on the wall. Near this spot there are many very 
ancient pews, one of which has the date and initals " I7.TW.O2 " 
carved upon it, whilst on the floor of the aisle close at hand is the 
gravestone of "Edward Sherdley, gentleman, dyed 2ist September, 
1744, aged 71," and almost adjoining lies another stone, sur- 
mounting the remains of Geoffrey Hornby, who died in 1732. 
On the day of the latter gentleman's funeral the west side of the 
market-place was destroyed by fire, and as the procession passed 
the scarves of the mourners were scorched by sparks driven by a 
high wind in showers from the conflagration. On the north side 

I. John Hull, M.D., F.L.S., commenced his professional education at Black- 
burn in 1777 ; and in 1791, after graduating in medicine, settled at Manchester, 
where he attained to considerable eminence both as a physician and writer on 
botanical and medical subjects. He retired from practice to his native town of 
Poulton in 1836, and remained there until his demise. 


of the church is a pew bearing the date ' 1662 ' ; and near to are 
the old pews of Burn Hall, Little Poulton Hall, Mains Hall, and 
Todderstaff Hall, above which, fastened to the wall and marking 
the resting place of several members of his family, are the arms 
of Thomas Fitzherbert Brockholes, esq., of Claughton, the lord of 
Little Poulton, etc. 

The chancel contains a monument in memory of Bold Fleetwood 
Hesketh died 1819, and his nephew, Edward Thomas Hesketh, 
died 1820 ; also of Fleetwood Hesketh, of Rossall, who died in 
1769, aged 30, and Frances Hesketh, who died in 1809, aged 74, 
all of whom were interred beneath the Communion. In addition 
there are two recent tablets, one being to the memory of the 
late Thomas Clarke, vicar of the parish ; and the other in memory 
of Francis Wm. Conry, only child of F. A. Macfaddin, surgeon, 
47th regt. Within the Communion rails are two antique and 
elaborately carved oak chairs. 

In the south gallery are mural tablets inscribed in remembrance 
of Edward Hornby, died in 1766, and Margaret, his wife; Edward 
Sherdley, died 1744, and Ellen, his wife ; Giles Thornber, J.P., 
died 1860, and his wife ; Geoffrey Hornby, died in 1732, and 
Susannah, his wife ; Richard Harrison, vicar of Poulton, died in 
1718, aged 65 ; and Christopher Albin, curate of Bispham, died 
in 1753, aged 56, on a pew door opposite to which is a brass plate 
engraved : " Introite et orate, cselo supinas si tuleris manus 
sacra feceris, malaque effugies. 1 Christopher and Margery Albin 

At one time a sounding board was suspended over the pulpit. 
An ancient font, formerly belonging to the church and now the 
property of the vicar, the Rev. William Richardson, M.A., has 
carved upon its exterior the date 1649, the letters M.H., a cross, 
and something, in its damaged state difficult to trace but 
betraying some resemblance to a crown. The successor to this 
font was removed several years since to make room for a new one 
presented by the daughter of the Rev. Canon Hull, of Eaglescliffe, 
in memory of her sister Frances Mary Hull, who died in 1866, 
aged 20 years. 

i. " Enter and pray, if you have raised to heaven your open palms you will 
have performed sacred duties, and will fly from evil things." 


The old church books, extracts from which will be given 
subsequently, contain many entries of sums paid for rushes to 
strew the pews and aisles, a custom existing here as late as 1813. 
In the tower is a peal of six bells, with the inscriptions : 

1st Bell. " Prosperity to all our Benefactors. A. R. 1741. 

2nd. " Peace and good Neighbourhood. A. R. 1741. 

3rd. " Prosperity to this Parish. A. R. 1741. 
4th. " When us you ring 

We'll sweetly sing. A. R. 1741. 
5th. " Able Rudhall 

Cast us all. M. T. Gloucester. 1741." l 

The 6th bell was recast by G. Mears and Company, of London, 
in 1865, at the sole expense of the Rev. T. Clarke, and is inscribed : 
" T. Clarke, M.A., vicar ; W. Gaulter, J. T. Bailey, W. Jolly, 
J. Whiteside, churchwardens." The original inscription was 
"Robert Fishwick, John Wilkinson, William Cookson, James 
Hull, John Moore, churchwardens." 

About thirty years since the roof of the church was altered and 
renewed. Notwithstanding the fact that the churchyard has been 
in constant use for so many centuries very few emblems of 
antiquity, beyond occasional coins of the Roman era, have ever 
been discovered in it, and at present, unlike most burial grounds 
of great age, no specimens of raised letters are to be seen amongst 
the numerous gravestones, the oldest of which still legible, 
intimates the resting place of Richard Elston, and has the date 
1719. At a short distance, and assisting to flag a side pathway to 
the south of the church, is another stone, covering the grave of 
" Richard Brown, of Great Marton, who died the third day of 
April, 1723"; but neither this nor the foregoing one have any 
interest beyond their antiquity. The ancient practice of tolling 
the Curfew-bell is still continued in the winter evenings from 
the 29th of September to the loth of March, whilst a pancake bell 
is rung at 12 o'clock on each Shrove Tuesday.* 

1. Mr. Rudhall, as we learn from the following entry in the registers of the 
30 men of Kirkham, was in business at Gloucester : " 1749, April 14. Paid old 
Mr. Rudhall for coming from Gloucester to take notes of the bells when the 2nd. 
was recast, $ 33. od." 

2. The Pancake Bell is usually rung by an apprentice of the town as a signal 
for his confreres to discontinue work for that day, but strange to say on a late 
occasion not one apprentice could be found in the whole of Poulton, and conse- 
quently the duty was performed by the ordinary bell-ringer. 





Date of 


On whose 

Cause of vacancy. 

In 1431 

Wm. de Croukeshagh 

Abbot and Convent 

of Sion 

1442 Richard Brown 


Before 1519 William Bretherton 


In 1552 

Ranulph Woodward 

Edward VI. 

Richard Cropper 

,, 1565 

Wm. Wrightington 

John Fleetwood, of 

Death of Richard 



, *573 

Richard Grenhall 

Bridget Fleetwood 

Death of William 

and William, her 



,, 1582 

Peter Whyte 

Edward Fleetwood 

Death of Richard 

and William Pur- 



About 1650 

John Sumner 

George Shaw 

In 1674 

Richard Harrison 

Richard Fleetwood, 

Death of George 

of Rossall 



Timothy Hall 

Edward Fleetwood, 

Death of Richard 

of Rossall 


,, 1726 

Robert Loxham 

Ditto * 

Death of T. Hall 

,, 1749 

Robert Loxham 

Roger Hesketh, of 

Resignation of R. 



i 1770 

Thomas Turner 

Exors. of Fleetwood 

Death of Robert 

Hesketh, of Ros- 


sall, by consent 

of his widow 


Nathaniel Hinde 

Bold . Fleetwood 

Death of Thomas 

Hesketh, of Ros- 



,, 1820 

Chas. Hesketh, M.A. 

Peter Hesketh, of 

Cession of N. Hinde 



John Hull, M.A. 

Rev. C. Hesketh, of 

Resignation of C. 

North Meols 



Thos. Clarke, M.A. 


Resignation of J. 



William Richardson, 


Death of T. Clarke 


Of the earlier vicars mentioned above, nothing is known until 
we come to the Rev. Peter Whyte, of whose immediate 

I. In all previously issued lists of vicars, Richard Fleetwood has erroneously 
been named as patron in this instance. There was no Rich. Fleetwood of Rossall 
at that time, and Edward, who had been patron at the former institution, was pro- 
bably still alive as he had no son and but one daughter, who married Roger 
Ilesketh, the next patron in right of his wife. 


descendants it is recorded that, after his death, they rapidly 
drifted into poverty, and that one of them, a granddaughter, 
regularly attended the fairs of Poulton as the wife of a pedlar or 
hawker. The Rev. Richard Harrison was cousin to Cuthbert 
Harrison, the Nonconformist divine who suffered ejection, and 
belonged to the Bankfield family. Until instituted to Poulton, 
Richard Harrison was curate at Goosnargh. His son Paul gained 
some celebrity as a controversial writer on matters of ecclesiastical 
interest. 1 The Loxhams settled at Dowbridge, near Kirkham, 
and that estate is still held by the family. The Rev. Thomas 
Turner purchased the living in 1770, when it was worth no more 
than ^75 per annum, for ^"200, and held it until his death forty 
years later. The Rev. C. Hesketh, M.A., brother to the late Sir 
Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, bart., is rector of North Meols and 
patron of the living. During a portion of the time when he 
was vicar of Poulton, the Rev. R. Bowness was curate in charge. 
The Rev. John Hull, M.A., is honorary canon of Manchester, and 
and was examining chaplain to the Right Rev. Prince Lee, D.D., 
the first bishop of this diocese, by whom he was appointed to the 
rectory of Eaglescliffe, near Yarm, one of the most valuable livings 
in his gift. The Rev Thomas Clarke, M.A., was originally curate 
at the Parish Church of Preston, and afterwards became incum- 
bent of Christ Church in the same town, which living he resigned 
on being presented to the vicarage of Poulton. 

Subjoined are a number of extracts selected from the old 
account books of the churchwardens, and in them will be found 
much that is both interesting and curious : 


" June 4. To the Ringers, being his Majestie's Birthday, 33. od. * 
July 8. To a Bottle of Wine to a strange Parson, 2s. od.: To ditto to a strange 
Parson, 2s. od. 


" June 6." To Mr. Lomas for mending clock, 2s. 2d. 

August 1 8. To Thomas Parkinson for Rushes, 6s. 8d.: Spent when Rush 
came, is. 7d. 

Oct. 20. To Mr. Loxham for a Prayer, 2d. 

I. In 1876 a brass plate was found in Poulton church, near the site of the old 
communion table, inscribed : " Here lies the body of Anne, wife of Richard 
Harrison, vicar of Poolton, who dyed the 24th of December, 1679, aged 55 


Dec. 25. Spent Receiving Bassoon, is. 6d.: To Clark in full for^ wages, 
j^4 os. od.: To Ringers Last half y r Sallary, i8s. od.: To Singers in full, I2s. 6d. 

" Sept. 15. Rushes for Church, 6s. 8d. : Candles, Beesoms, &c., I2s. 6d. 


" May 13. Court fees at Visitation, "js. iod.: Churchwardens' Expenses at 
Preston, i Is. 5d.: Curat's horse hire to D, 2s. 6d. 
July 20. To Reed for Bassoon, 43. 6d. 

Nov. 21. To Hugh Seed for Flaggin, 6 i8s. 8|d.: To Thos. Crook for 
Church steps, i8s. 4d.: Ale at fixing d, is. od. 


" Sept. I. To Mr. Warbrick for Cloth for Surp oe , iod.: To a Sacrament day, 
us. 6d. 

" 1769. 
" Feb. I. To A New Prayer Book, i is. 3d. 

6. To Cleaning Candlesticks, 2s. od. 
Mar. 27. To Cash w th Marton Parson, 53. 5d. 

By Miss Hesketh's Burial in the Church, 33. 4d. 

" 1770. 
" Mar. 13. To Cash allowed Church Wardens for attending sacram ent , 53. od. 


" May 29. To Ringers ale, 33. od. 
Aug. 18. Spent when Parson Hull preeched, 43. 6d. 

" 1772. 
Aug. 14. To cleaning Windows, 73. ; and lowance of ale 2s. 6d. 

" 1774- 

" July 4. Spent on Parson Eckleston and another strange Parson, one Red 
prayrs and the other preached, 33. 6d. 

Dec. 21. To Expense of a Meeting in sending for boys that had done Mischief 
at Church, is. 


" May 3. To 5 Church Wardens attending 7 Sacrament Days, i 153. od. 

May 6. To Horse Hire for 5 Church Wardens twice to the Visitation, i 53.: 
To W m Brown for ale for Rich d Rossall whilst he was altering Pulpit, and at 
settling his ace*, 33. 

June 30. Spent on Martin Singers, los. 

Oct. 4. Spent on St. Lawrence's Singers, i8s. 4d. 


" July 14. It is agreed this Day among the Parishioners of the several Town- 
ships of Poulton that all arrears belonging to the said Parish unto the time of 
Visitation last past shall be paid and discharged by a Tax regularly laid upon the 
Parish in general, and that all charges of Organ and Organist for the Parish 


Church of Poulton shall not be defrayed hereafter by any Tax levied on the 
Parish in general but by voluntary subscription only. In witness whereof we 
have hereunto set our hands the Day and Year above written. 


" 1782. 

" Feb. 6. Rec d for Mr. Brockhole's Burial in the Church, 33. 4d. 
July 27. Memorandum : It is agreed at this Vestry Meeting by all the 
parishioners who have attended here that in future the public ringing days in 
this parish shall be reduced to two, namely, the King's Birthday and Christmas 
Day, the ringers to be allowed Six Shillings on each day ; and further, that the 
Church Wardens' Expenses on every Visitation shall on no pretence exceed forty 


" 1788. 
" June 7. Cartage of Rush and allowance, 95. od.: Kirkham Singers, xos. 6d. 

" 1793- 

" P d for ale for Ringers on 29 May, 6s. od. 
do do on the 4 of June, 6s. od. 
do do on the 25 Octob r , 6s. od. 
do do on the 5 Novemb r , 7s. 6d. 
do do on the 25 Decemb r , 6s. od. 
do do on Easter Tuesday, 7s. 6d. 1 

Dec. 8. To Cash Rec d for digging a grave in the Church for Mrs. Buck, 33. 4d. 
Nov. 5. Spent on Singers, I2s. od. : ditto on Ribbons for Girls, 2s. od. 

" Oct. 4. To Ringers on Nelson's Victory, 2s. 6d. 2 

" 1805. 

" June 9. To Exp 8 to Church Town when John Sauter Clerk convicted 
himself in getting drunk, and Timothy Swarbrick for making him drunk (when 
they were each fined 5s.), is. 6d. 
Oct. 2. To Rush, 145. 3d. 

" 1806. 

Nov. 9. To Ringers at Lord Nelson's victory of Trafalgar on the 2ist, 73. od. 
N.B. : No money to be given to the Ringers on account of any Victory in 
future on the Parish account ; the Victory of Trafalgar was so Extraordinary that 
7s. was allowed to the Ringers on that occasion. 


" Reserved that in compliance with the request of the inhabitants of Marton 
one pound shall be allowed for an annual Dinner on Easter Day in future. 

1. From these entries it would seem that the regulation of 1782 soon became a 
dead letter, if indeed it were ever carried into practice. 

2. The Battle and Victory of the Nile. 


" 1817. 

"Nov. 20. To Expenses to Churchtown when W m Hodkinson, W m Whiteside, 
and W m Butcher was convicted for getting drunk W m Hodkinson finde, and the 
other two acquitted upon the promise of future good behaviour, 33. od." 

The following extracts from the parish registers show the 
numbers of marriages, baptisms, and burials, which took place 
during the last and first years of the specified centuries : 
1600-1601. 1700-1701. 1800-1801. 

Marriages 16 15 22 21 13 13 

Baptisms 40 74 73 79 63 57 

Burials 52 41 56 57 67 48 

Anterior to 1674 the old vicarage was a thatched building of 
two stories, the upper one being open to the roof and supported 
on crooks, but about that date the vicar, the Rev. Rich. Harrison, 
made an addition, abutting the west end, and put the original 
portion in thorough repair. This house, which was surrounded 
by venerable trees, was taken down in 1835, and the present 
vicarage erected on the site. 

In 1830, a spacious building, capable of holding three hundred 
persons, was erected in Sheaf Street by voluntary subscription for 
the purposes of a Sunday School, previous to which a small 
cottage in the Green had been used as a meeting place for the 
scholars connected with the church. 

About one hundred and fifty years ago the town of Poulton 
presented a very different appearance to that it wears in our da)'. 
The market-place was surrounded by a number of low thatched 
houses of very humble exteriors, if we except a few private 
residences, as those of the Walmsleys and Rigbys, which stood 
out conspicuously from the rest, not only by their superiority in 
size, but also by the possession of slated or flagged roofs. The 
house of the Rigbys was built in 1693 by Sir Alexander Rigby, of 
Layton Hall, who was High-sheriff of the county in 1691-2, and 
stands at the south end of the square, the family arms and date 
of erection being still attached to the front wall. The building is 
now used as a dwelling and retail shop combined, and contains 
little of moment beyond the ancient oak balustrade and staircase. 
It is probable that Sir Alexander Rigby built the house with the 
intention of using it as a town residence for himself and family 
during the winter months, for we must remember that Poulton 
contained several persons of note and distinction at that time, 


and nothing is more natural than that the knight should prefer 
the cheerful society to be found amongst them to the long 
solitudes of the Hall during the dull, inclement season of the 
year, when country roads were almost impassable. After Sir 
Alexander Rigby had been released from prison, having satisfied 
the claims of his creditors, he took up his abode permanently in 
Poulton until his death, Layton Hall and other property having 
been sold, but whether his remains were laid in the churchyard 
here, or removed elsewhere, cannot be ascertained. 

At the opposite end of the market-place was the Moot Hall, 
connected with which were shambles and pent-houses, the latter 
being continued along the fronts of the dwellings in the square. 
None of the streets could boast a pavement, and as a consequence 
intercourse between the inhabitants in rainy weather was a matter 
of considerable inconvenience and difficulty, visiting under such 
unfavourable circumstances being usually performed by means of 
stepping stones. Public lamps were unknown in the streets, and 
any one whose business or pleasure took him abroad after night- 
fall or dusk, would have to rely on the feeble glimmer of a horn 
lantern to guide him along the proper track and protect him 
from floundering in the mud. Looking on this picture of discom- 
fort, it seems pretty certain to us that our Poultonian forefathers 
at least, could they but enjoy one week of our modern life and 
improvements, would be the very last to join in the wish, so often 
enthusiastically, but rather thoughtlessly, expressed, for a revival 
of the good old times. The market-square still retains its fish- 
stones, cross, whipping post, and stocks ; and although the wooden 
portion of the last has been recently renewed, we are in a position 
to inform the curious or alarmed reader that it has not been done 
with the view of re-introducing the obsolete punishment, but 
merely to preserve a link, be it ever so painful an one, with the 
past. The cross surmounts a stone pillar placed on a circular 
base of similar material, formed in steps and tapering towards the 

Although Poulton was never the scene of any military 
encounter during the unsettled eras of our history, still there 
is ample proof that the inhabitants were far from lethargic or 
indifferent to the course of events during those times. During 
the reign of Henry VIII., when James IV. of Scotland succumbed 


to the superiority of the English arms, and yielded up his life on 
Flodden Field, the yeomanry and husbandmen of this town were 
well represented ; and the cheerful alacrity with which they 
hastened to join the royal standard under Lord Stanley, in 
company with others from the Fylde, between here and Preston, 
is lauded in an ancient ballad, written to celebrate the victory, 
from which the following lines are extracted : 

" From Ribchester unto Rachdale, 
From Poulton to Preston with pikes, 
They with y* Stanley howte forthe went." 

There is no necessity to recapitulate the stirring incidents of 
the Civil Wars, the bivouacking and plundering in the neighbour- 
hood or the frequent demands for recruits by the royal and 
parliamentary generals, but it will be sufficiently convincing of 
the earnestness and loyalty of the inhabitants to state, that most 
of the local families of influence risked their lives and fortunes in 
the service of the king, leaving little doubt that those of humbler 
sphere would be actuated by a like enthusiasm. 

About a century ago it was customary amongst the gentry and 
more wealthy yeomanry to hold their interments at night by the 
light of lamps or lanterns, and during the passage of the funeral 
procession through the town, each householder illuminated his 
windows with burning candles. The last person to be buried with 
this ceremony was the Rev. Thomas Turner, the vicar, who died 
in 1810. 

Of the domestic habits of Poulton at that period, and rather 
earlier, it need only be said that -they presented little variation 
from those of other towns or villages similarly situated ; removed 
from the enervating and seductive temptations of a city, and 
forced, for the most part, to earn their bread under the broad 
canopy of heaven, it is not surprising to find that the people were 
a long-lived and vigorous race. Their feastings and merry- 
makings took place at fair-times, and at such other seasons as 
were universally set apart in rural districts for rejoicings and 
festivity, notably harvest gatherings and the first of May, the 
latter being especially honoured. On that day the causeways 
were strewn with flowers, and all things suitable for the festival 
were lavishly provided ; wine, ale, and sweetmeats being freely 
contributed by the gentry and others. The peasantry were 


clothed in sober suits of hodden grey, the productions of the 
" disty and wharl " or spinning wheel, without which no house- 
hold was considered complete, whilst their food was of the plainest 
kind, consisting mostly of barley and rye bread, with boiled 
parsnips and peas eaten in the pod, wheaten bread being reserved 
for the consumption of the more wealthy classes. The present 
station at the Breck, a name of Danish origin, and signifying an 
acclivity, stands either on, or in close proximity to, the site of the 
old ducking-pond, or rather brook, where the scolds of Poulton 
were wont in former days to have the 

" Venom of their spleen " 
copiously diluted and cooled by frequent immersions. 

A native of Poulton thus wrote of the town more than fifty 
years since, and if the present generation but emulates the virtues 
of its forefathers as herein stated, there are many places which 
would form, notwithstanding its protracted inertitia, less agreeable 
homes than the ancient metropolis of the Fylde : 

" Hail happy place, for health and peace renown'd, 
Though not with riches, yet contentment crown'd. 
Riches, the grand promoter of each strife, 
Content, God's first-best gift in human life. 
Here hospitality has fixed her throne, 
And discord's jars by name alone'are known ; 
The stranger here is always entertain'd 
With welcome smile and courtesy unfeign'd. 
Kind to each other, generous and free, 
Plain, yet liberal friends to charity." 

Sixty years since Poulton contained a manufactory for sacking, 
sail-cloth, and sheeting, belonging to a Mr. Harrison, who lived 
in the house now in the occupation of R. Dunderdale, esq., J.P., 
and had his weaving shed at the rear of those premises. That 
gentleman employed from thirty to forty hands regularly during 
the time he conducted the business a period of about fifteen 
years. An establishment connected with flax dressing and twine 
spinning, and employing several hands, was located in the house 
erected by Sir Alexander Rigby, of Layton ; and a currier and 
leather dresser had his works in Church Street. Of other trades 
and professions in the town at that date, there were four attorneys, 
two surgeons, seven butchers, nine bakers and flour dealers, three 
wine and spirit merchants, two maltsters, ten boot and shoe 


makers, five linen and woollen drapers, four tailors, three mil- 
liners, four grocers, three ironmongers, three joiners, two wheel- 
wrights, two coopers, two painters, three plumbers and glaziers, 
and two corn-millers. Subsequently Harrison's residence was 
used for parochial purposes, and formed the town's workhouse 
until the bill of Sir Robert Peel brought about the joint system 
of pauper relief and management under the name of Unions ; 
and at one time small looms were placed in the old shed behind 
the workhouse, for the purpose of providing remunerative occupa- 
tion for some of the inmates. Three fairs are held annually for 
cattle and cloth, and take place on the 3rd of February, the I3th 
of April, and the 3rd of November, whilst a general market, but 
very indifferently, if at all, attended, is appointed to be held each 
Monday. About the year 1840, when the Preston and Wyre 
Railway was completed and the Poulton Station erected, a dye- 
house of some considerable size, and one that had done a large 
business in the Fylde for many years, was taken down, and shortly 
afterwards the Royal Oak Hotel built on its site. About the 
same time the old brook, over which the cuckstool hung in earlier 
days, and whose waters had long been polluted by discharges from 
the dye-house, was arched over with brick and earth, and included 
in the station premises. The Railway Hotel was erected a little 
anterior to the inn just mentioned. The other hotels of Poulton, 
situated in the town itself, are ancient, and by their size and number, 
considering the smallness of the present population, are indicative 
of the former importance of its market and fairs, and intimate 
that its position as the centre of a wide district was the means of 
exciting and maintaining a large amount of commercial activity, 
such as would necessitate the frequent visits of business agents 
and others. Several private houses can be pointed out as having 
been in earlier days places of public entertainment, amongst 
which may be named one now used as a bakery and bread shop 
in Queen's Square, and which formerly bore the name of the 
Spread Eagle Hotel ; in Sheaf Street, also, there existed about 
half a century ago a small but respectable hotel, called the Wheat 
Sheaf Inn, with bowling green attached, but like other more 
pretentious establishments, it has been converted into a dwelling- 
house, whilst a handsome residence occupies the old bowling 


The Independents were the first section of the Dissenting 
community to erect a chapel for their members, which they 
accomplished in 1808. After being in use twenty or thirty years, 
this place of worship was closed, and not re-opened until -about 
ten years since. In 1819 a chapel was erected by the Wesleyans 
in Back Street, and in 1861 the building was enlarged. At the 
Breck there is a Roman Catholic chapel, which stands back some 
distance from the road leading to Skippool, and is approached by 
a long avenue of trees. The chapel is a plain brick building, with 
three unstained windows on each side ; and above the entrance 
has been placed a square stone inscribed with a verse from the 
Psalms " I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy House, and 
the place where thy Glory dwelleth," and the date of erection, 
"A.D. 1813." Within the edifice the pews are open and arranged 
in three rows, one running down each side, and a double set 
occupying the central portion of the body. The solitary gallery 
at the end opposite the altar is lined with seats, and contains a 
harmonium, whilst the altar itself is handsomely and suitably 
decorated. The chapel is dedicated to St. John, and on the east 
and south sides lies the burial ground, wherein may be seen a stone 
slab carved by an eccentric character of Poulton, named James 
Bailey, whose remains are now deposited beneath it. The upper 
surface of the stone is ornamented with the outlines of two coffins, 
recording respectively the demises of Margaret Bailey, in 1841, 
and James Bailey, her father, in 1853. Between the coffins, and 
severing their upper portions, is a cross, with a few words at the 
foot, on each side of which are the representations of a scull and 
cross-bones. Other specimens of the sculptural genius of Bailey are 
lavishly, if not tastefully, scattered over the remainder of the slab. 
The residence of the priest is attached to the chapel, and in 
Breck Road are the elegant Gothic schools connected with it. 
Until the opening, in 1868, of these schools, which have since 
been extended by the erection of a wing, a loft over an outbuilding 
facing the priests' house, received the Catholic children of the 
parish for educational purposes. 

We now come to speak of Poulton as a port, and in this 
respect our information, it must be acknowledged, is very scanty ; 
the harbours of Poulton were situated at Skippool and Wardleys, 
on opposite banks of the Wyre, and it was to the cargoes imported 


to those places that the custom-house of the town owed its 
existence. At what date it was first established cannot be 
discovered, but that it was in being nearly two centuries ago is 
proved by a paper on " The comparative wages of public servants 
in the customs," in which the following occurs : 

" We find that William Jennings, collector of the customs at Poulton, in the 
Fylde, received in 1708, during the reign of Queen Ann, for his yearly services 
thirty pounds per annum ; and five subordinate officers had seventy-five pounds 
equally divided amongst them." 

The chief traffic of the port was in timber, imported from the 
Baltic and America; and flax and tallow, which arrived from 
Russia. In 1825 Poulton was described by Mr. Baines, in his 
History of Lancashire, as a creek under Preston, and it is 
probable that such had been its position for a long time anterior 
to that date. In 1826 Poulton was made a sub-port under 
Lancaster, and later, when the town of Fleetwood sprang up at 
the mouth of the Wyre, the customs were removed from Poulton 
to that new port. 

Subjoined are the number of inhabitants of the township at 
intervals of ten years from 1801, when the first official census was 
taken : 

1801 769 1841 1,128 

1811 926 1851 1,120 

1821 1,011 1861 1,141 

1831 1,025 1871 1,161 

In 1770, during the reign of George III., an act of parliament 
was obtained by means of which a court was established in this 
town " for," according to the wording of the deed, " the more 
easy and speedy recovery of small debts within the parishes of 
Poulton, Lytham, Kirkham, and Bispham, and the townships of 
Preesall and Stalmine." A number of gentlemen engaged in 
commercial pursuits and residing in these several districts were 
appointed commissioners, any three or more of whom constituted 
a court of justice, by the name and,style of The Court of Requests; 
they were empowered to hear and determine all such matters of 
debt as were under forty shillings, further they were authorised 
and required, " to meet, assemble, and hold the said Court in each 
of the said Parishes of Poulton and Kirkham, once in every week 
at least, to wit, on every Monday ^at Poulton, and on every 
Thursday at Kirkham, and oftener if there should be occasion, in 


a Court-house, or some convenient place appointed in each of the 
said Parishes." Each commissioner on .being elected took the 
following oath : 

"I * * do swear That I will faithfully, impartially, and honestly, according 
to the best of my Judgement, hear and determine all such Matters and Causes as 
shall be brought before me, by virtue of an Act of Parliament, for the more easy 
and speedy Recovery of small Debts, within the Parishes etc. ; without Favour or 
Affection, Prejudice or Malice, to either Party. So help me God." 

Edward Whiteside and Simon Russell were elected, respectively, 
clerk and sergeant of this court, and James Standen, of Poulton, 
in consideration of having advanced money to pay the expenses of 
obtaining the act and providing suitable accommodation for its 
administration, had authority given to him and his heirs to 
appoint a person to be clerk or sergeant as often as either of 
those offices should become vacant, until the sum so advanced 
with lawful interest had been repaid ; after which the appoint- 
ments were to be filled up by a majority of votes at a special 
meeting of the commissioners, not less than eleven being present. 
For the better regulation of the proceedings it was enacted that a 
majority, amounting to five, of the commissioners assembled in 
court should have full power and authority to make, as often as 
occasion required, such rules and orders for the better manage- 
ment of the court as might seem necessary and conducive to the 
purposes of the act, provided always such rules or orders did 
not abridge or alter the scale of fees as at first arranged, and were 
consistent with equity and the true intent of the act. In the 
event of anyone neglecting to comply with an order from this 
court for the payment of money owing an execution was awarded 
against the body or goods of the debtor, if the former, the 
sergeant was, by a precept under the hand and seal of the clerk, 
" empowered and required to take and apprehend, or cause to be 
taken and apprehended, such party or parties, being within any 
of the parishes or townships aforesaid, and convey him, her, or 
them, to some common gaol, or house of correction, within the 
county palatine of Lancaster, there to remain until he, she, or 
they, had performed and obeyed such order, decree, or judg- 
ment, so as no person should remain in confinement upon any 
such execution, for any longer space of time than three months." 
In the case of goods the sergeant was similarly empowered 
" to levy by distress and sale of goods, of such party, being 


within the parishes or townships aforesaid, such sum and sums 
of money and costs as should be so ordered and decreed." 

One clause of the act stated that if any person or persons 
affronted, insulted, or abused, all or any of the commissioners, 
the clerk, or officers of the court, either during the sitting or in 
going to or returning from the same, or interrupted the pro- 
ceedings, or obstructed the clerk or sergeant in the lawful 
execution of their different offices, he, she, or they should be 
brought before a justice of the peace, who was hereby empowered 
to inflict on conviction a fine of not more than 403., and not less 
than 55. The jurisdiction of the court did not extend to any debt 
or rent upon any lease or contract, where the title of any lands, 
tenements, or hereditaments came in question ; nor to any debt 
arising from any last will or testament, or matrimony, or 
anything properly belonging to the ecclesiastical courts ; nor to 
any debt from any horse-race, cock-match, wager, or any kind 
of gaming or play ; nor from any forfeiture upon any penal 
statute or bye-law ; nor did it extend to any debt whatsoever 
whereof there had not been contract, acknowledgment, under- 
taking, or promise to pay within six years from the date of the 
summons, although any of the above mentioned debts should 
not amount to forty shillings. No attorney or solicitor was 
allowed to appear before the commissioners as attorney or advocate 
on behalf of either plaintiff or defendant, or to speak on any 
cause or matter before the court in which he was not himself a 
party or witness, under a penalty of five pounds for each offence. 
It was further enacted " that no action or suit for any debt not 
amounting to the sum of forty shillings, and recoverable by 
virtue of this act in the said Court of Requests, should be brought 
against any person or persons, residing or inhabiting within the 
jurisdiction thereof, in any of the king's courts at Westminster, 
or any other court whatsoever, or elsewhere, out of the said 
Court of Requests, and no suit which had been commenced in 
the said Court of Requests in pursuance of this act, nor any 
proceedings therein, should or might be removed to any superior 
court, but the judgments, decrees, and proceedings of the said 
court should be final and conclusive to all intents and purposes ; 
provided always, that nothing in this act should extend, or be 
construed to extend, to prevent any person from suing for small 


debts in any other court, where such suit might have been 
instituted before the passing of this act." The various fees to be 
paid to the clerk of the court were for entering every case, 6d. ; 
for issuing every summons, 6d. ; for every subpoena, 6d. ; for 
calling every plaintiff or defendant before the court, 3d. ; for 
every hearing or trial, 6d. ; for swearing every witness, plaintiff 
or defendant, 3d. ; for every order, judgment or decree, 6d. ; for 
a non-suit, 6d. ; for every search in the books, 3d. ; for paying 
money into court, 6d., if by instalments, 6d. in the pound more ; 
for every execution, 6d. ; for every warrant of commitment for 
misconduct in court, is. The fees to the sergeant were for 
every summons, order, or subpoena, and attending court with the 
return thereof, 6d. ; for calling every "plaintiff or defendant before 
the court, id. ; for executing every attachment, execution, or 
warrant, against the body or goods, is. ; for carrying every 
plaintiff, defendant, or delinquent to prison, 6d. more for every 
mile. Although this was purely a lay-court the commissioners 
possessed and exercised the power of placing the witnesses on 
oath previous to receiving their evidence. In 1847 the Court of 
Requests was superseded by a new court, for . the recovery of 
debts not amounting to twenty pounds, which held its first sitting 
on Monday, the 23rd of April in that year, under the presidency 
of John Addison, esq., a barrister and the appointed judge, in the 
room belonging to the Sunday school. This gentleman wore a 
silk gown, as prescribed to the judges of these courts, and Mr. 
Elletson, solicitor, the clerk, was also robed. At the first 
assemblage the Rev. John Hull, M.A., the vicar, and Giles 
Thornber, esq., J.P., were seated on each side of the judge. The 
cases for trial or arbitration only numbered seventeen, and were 
of little interest, so that the initiative sitting of the court was 
but of short duration. The circuits apportioned to the judges 
had an average population ranging from 202,713 to 312,220 
persons, and the salary paid to each of these officials was ^"1,200 
per annum. In the schedule of fees it was stated that for the 
recovery of debts not exceeding 205. the cost should be 35. ; under 
405., 55. ; under ^"5, 95. ; under ^"10, \ ; under ^"20, \ los. ; 
and injury cases 55. would be charged for the jurymen, while the 
other court charges would be a little increased. The powers of 
this court, now designated the County Court, have been con- 


siderably enlarged since its first establishment ; the following 
gentlemen are the officers at present connected with it : 

Judge William A. Hulton, esq. Registrar Mr. E. J. Patteson. 

High Bailiff Mr. J. Whiteside. 

Little Poulton is the name given to a district and hamlet lying 
on the east of Poulton township, and in it is situated the ancient 
manorial residence called Little Poulton Hall, and now used as a 
farm-house. The original mansion stood on the land immediately 
at the rear of the existing edifice, which was erected about one 
hundred and ten or twenty years ago. Until the occupation of 
the present tenant, Mr. Singleton, the foundations of the old Hall 
remained in the ground, but the indications afforded by them of 
its dimensions and appearance were not of any great utility. 
In 1570 Little Poulton Hall was occupied by George, the son of 
Bartholomew Hesketh, of Aughton, a grandson of Thomas 
Hesketh, of Rufford, but only in one of the junior lines. George 
Hesketh married Dorothy, the daughter of William Westby, of 
Mowbreck, and had issue one son, William, who inherited the 
estate and resided at the Hall. William Hesketh was living in 
1613, about forty years after the decease of his father, and had 
two children, William and Wilfrid, by his wife Elizabeth, the 
daughter of John Allen, of Rossall Hall. William, the eldest son, 
seems to have removed to Maynes, or Mains, Hall, and settled 
there during the lifetime of his father ; it is probable that his 
younger brother would remain at Little Poulton Hall, but of this 
we have no positive proof, and consequently can advance it 
merely as a conjecture. Little Poulton descended in the Heskeths, 
of Mains, until about 1750, but the name of that family was- 
changed, after the marriage of William Hesketh, of Mains Hall, 
(living in 1714), with Mary, the daughter of John Brockholes, of 
Claughton, by Thomas Hesketh, the eldest son of that union, who 
inherited the estates af his maternal uncle, and assumed the name 
of Brockholes. Thomas Hesketh-Brockholes died without off- 
spring, and the property passed, successively, to his younger and 
only surviving brothers, Joseph and James, both of whom adopted 
the name and arms of Brockholes, and died childless ; but by the 
will of Joseph, Little Poulton and the other estates descended to 
William Fitzherbert, the brother of his widow Constantia, the 
daughter of Bazil Fitzherbert, of Swinnerton. William Fitzherbert 


also assumed the title of Brockholes, and his descendant is the 
present proprietor. 

A family of the name of Barban preceded the Heskeths 
at the manor house, and Gyles Curwen, a descendant of the 
Cunvens, of Workington, in Cumberland, espoused, about 1550, 
the daughter and co-heiress of Barban, of Little Poulton Hall, 
having issue Thomas, Elizabeth, Grace, and Winefrid. Thomas 
Curwen died unmarried ; Elizabeth became the wife of Camden, 
by whom she had William Camden, Clarenceux king-at-arms ; 
Winefrid married and settled in London ; and Grace espoused 
Gilbert Nicholson, of Poulton, by whom she had issue Francis, 
Grace, and Giles. Francis Nicholson had six children Humphrey, 
Grace, Bridget, Thomas, Isabell, and Dorothy. Grace Nicholson 
married Thomas Braithwaite, of Beaumont, and was the mother 
of nine children in 1613, the eldest, Geoffrey, being fifteen years 
of age. 1 

On the south side of the Hall is a wood, covering about two 
acres of land, and freshly planted within the last half century. 
Until recent years, numerous decaying tree stocks were turned 
up out of the soil, and their size plainly evidenced the massive 
nature of the timber formerly growing there. There is a rookery 
in the modern wood, and it is surmised that there was one also 
amongst the branches of the ancient trees, and that a large 
quantity of bullets discovered in a field on its outskirts record 
the periodical onslaughts on the unfortunate rooks in days when 
marksmen were not so unerring as long practice and improved 
firearms have rendered them now. In the hamlet of Little 
Poulton there are, in addition to the Hall, three antique houses 
of considerable pretensions, which were erected and occupied by 
persons of good social standing. One of them, on the opposite 
side of the road, and a little removed from the old mansion, was 
built by a gentleman named Fayle, and on an oaken beam 
over a doorway, now bricked up, in an extensive barn, is the 
inscription, EF : IF : 1675, the initials of the erector and his 
wife, with the date when the edifice was completed. This 
E. Fayle was probably a relative, perhaps grandfather, of 
Edward Fayle, of the Holmes, Thornton, and afterwards of 

I. Visitation of St. George. 


Bridge House, Bispham, who married, about 1728, Susannah, 
the younger daughter of Edward Veale, of Whinney Heys, and 
co-heiress, with her sister, of the Rev. John Veale, of the same 
place, her only brother. Another respectable dwelling, but like 
the few other buildings around, becoming dilapidated through 
age, bears the initials of Henry Porter, and the date 1723, over 
the entrance. From sundry documents which have come to 
light, it seems that Henry Porter was a gentleman of influence 
and position in the neighbourhood, but beyond that no informa- 
tion can be gained concerning him or his descendants. The 
tenement he held was purchased by the Brockholes, of Claughton, 
in 1846. Close by the side of Porter's residence is another of 
the same model and size, apparently erected by A. Worswick in 
1741, but of this person nothing is known. The remainder of 
the hamlet is made up of a few old thatched cottages. 

A free school was established by James Baines, draper, of 
Poulton, in 1717, shortly before his death ; and by his will, dated 
that year, he bequeathed to Richard Wilson, Richard Whitehead, 
sen., Richard Johnson, and Richard Thornton, of Hardhorn-with- 
Newton, yeomen, to Richard Dickson, woollen draper, and 
Samuel Bird, yeoman, of Poulton, to Robert Salthouse, of 
Staining, yeoman, and to their heirs " all that Schoolhouse by 
me lately erected in Hardhorn-in-Newton, and the parcel of 
land whereon the same is erected, which is enjoyed therewith, 
and which by me was lately purchased from Thomas Ords, to 
remain, continue, and be a Free School for ever for the 
persons and purposes hereinafter mentioned. Item : I give and 
devise unto the seven said Trustees and their Heirs, all that 
messuage and tenement, called Puddle House, with the lands 
enjoyed therewith, about twenty-two acres, to the special end, 
intent, and purpose, that the rents and profits over ten shillings a 
year, (allowed for a dinner to the trustees, and their successors, on 
their meeting about the affairs of this School on the second of 
February, on which day they shall yearly meet for that purpose), 
and after all costs for repairs at the said Schoolhouse and ground 
it stands on be paid, the balance be given to such person as shall 
yearly and every year be named, chosen, and appointed, by the 
said seven Trustees, and their successors, or the major part of 
them, to act as Schoolmaster, to teach and instruct in writing, 


reading, and other school learning, according to the best of his 
capacity, all such children of the inhabitants of the townships 
of Poulton and Hardhorn-in-Newton as shall be sent to the said 
School, and behave themselves with care and good manners, 
without any other payment or reward, except what the said 
children or their parents shall voluntarily give." The testament 
then proceeds to direct that when any two of the seven trustees 
died, the five surviving should at the cost of the estate appoint 
two other of the " most able, discreet, and sufficient inhabitants 
in Poulton and Hardhorn within three months," and that such 
a practice should be observed as occasion required " to the end 
that the said charity may continue for ever according to the true 
intent and meaning of this Will." The Trustees were invested 
with power to dismiss any schoolmaster and appoint a successor, 
regarding whom there was the following clause : "All School- 
masters on appointment shall give bond with one or more sureties 
for good conduct, and be at duty from 7 a.m. to 1 1 a.m., and I 
p.m. to 5 p.m, except from the ist November to ist February, in 
which quarter alone shall they attend on all school days from 
8 a.m. to ii a.m., and I p.m. to 4 p.m. ; the afternoons of 
Thursday and Saturday to be holiday." 

The schoolhouse is a whitewashed building, a single story high, 
and has four windows in front, with one at each end. It stands 
in the township of Hardhorn-with-Newton, about half a mile 
from the town of Poulton, and has the annexed inscription fixed 
on the wall facing the main road : " This Charity School was 
Founded and Endowed by Mr. James Baines, of Poolton, who 
died the 9th January, 1717. Rebuilt 1818." The lands 
bequeathed by Mr. Baines have been exchanged for others of 
greater value across the river Wyre. The attendance at present 
is small. 

Mr. Baines also left ^~8oo to six trustees to be laid out in land, 
half the annual income or interest from which he directed to be 
devoted to the " maintenance, use, and best advantage of the 
poorest sort of inhabitants of the township of Poulton, which 
receive , no relief by the Poor-rate," and " for putting out poor 
children of the said township apprentices yearly though their 
parents receive relief by the Poor-rate." The other moiety he 
directed to be devoted to similar purposes in the townships of 


Marton, Hardhorn-with-Newton, Carleton, and Thornton. 

Jenkinson/s Gift or Charity consists of the rents of a small 
cottage with garden behind, and two detached crofts at Forton, 
in Cockerham parish, and amounts to about $ IDS. per annum, 
which is expended in the purchase of books for the scholars of 
Baines's school. 

Nicholas Nickson, of Compley, in Poulton, by will dated the 
1 2th of April, 1720, charged his estate with the payment, after 
the decease of his widow, Alice Nickson, of _^~ioo to the church- 
wardens and overseers of Poulton, in trust, to invest the sum 
and give half the interest to the vicar for the time being,' 
distributing the remainder amongst the poor house-keepers of 
the township not in receipt of parish relief. Until the bequest 
was paid, the heirs of Nickson, after the death of the widow, were 
ordered to disburse five per cent, interest on the money each year. 
In 1754 the trustees of this charity released the estate from all 
charges in consideration of 100, the legacy, paid to them ; and 
on the 1 8th of July, 1783, Joseph Harrison and the four other 
churchwardens of Poulton, together with William Brown and 
Paul Harrison, the overseers, purchased from James Standen, for 
^"120, a close in Poulton, called Durham's Croft, to hold the 
same in trust and divide the rents into twelve parts, whereof five 
were to be given to the vicar, five to indigent inhabitants not 
receiving relief, and two in aid of the poor's rates. 



J1HE site of the present town of Fleetwood was at no 
very distant period, less than half a century ago, a 
wild and desolate warren, forming part of the Rossall 
estate, and belonging to the late Sir Peter Hesketh 
Fleetwood, bart. At that date the northern side showed unmis- 
takable evidences of having at an earlier epoch been bounded by 
a broad wall or rampart of star-hills, continuous with the range 
until recent years visible near Rossall Point, or North Cape, as 
that portion of the district was locally called, but which has now 
been destroyed and levelled by the sea. Beyond the warrener's 
cottage and a small farm-house on the Poulton road, no habita- 
tions existed anywhere in the vicinity ; the whole tract of 
sandhills and sward had been usurped by myriads of rabbits, 
which were some little time, even after the erection of dwellings, 
before they entirely deserted the spot where for centuries they 
had found a home. During the stormy months of winter, and 
in the breeding season, immense flocks of sea-fowl made their 
way to these shores, and like the rabbits, were allowed to remain 
in undisputed and undisturbed possession of the domain they had 

Whether this district or locality was populated in the earlier 
eras of history by any of the aboriginal Britons, invading Romans, 
or piratical Danes, is a question difficult to solve, but the existence 
of a paved Roman road, discovered some depth beneath the sand 
when the trench for the sea-wall was being excavated opposite the 
Mount Terrace, and traced across the warren in the direction of 
Poulton, proves beyond a doubt that there was traffic of some 


description, either peaceful or war-like, over the ground at a very 
remote age. The road is commonly designated the Danes' Pad, 
from a tradition that these freebooters made use of it during their 
incursive warfare in the Fylde. 1 Evidence in support of the 
belief that this part of the coast was visited by the Danes or 
Northmen, as the inhabitants of Scandinavia were called, is to be 
found in " Knot End," the name by which the projecting point 
of land on the opposite side of Wyre has been known from time 
immemorial. In early days there were both the "Great and Little 
Knots," or heaps of stones, but the works carried out for the 
improvement of the harbour involved the destruction of the small, 
and mutilation of the big " Knot." Now arises the question, 
why were these round collections of boulder stones called 
" Knots ?" In answer to which it may be stated that the word 
"knot" is of pure Scandinavian origin, and in that ancient 
Northern language always marked a round heap, and we 
believe also a round heap of stones. This interpretation would 
be characteristic of what these knots or mounds of stones were 
before they were despoiled by the Wyre Harbour Company. 
Such an application of the word to rounded hills of stone is 
common at no great distance, and must have been applied by the 
same people to all these rocky elevations, as instance Hard Knot, 
Arnside Knot, and Farlton Knot, all of which indicate the name 
by the rotundity of their stony summits, and seem to confirm 
the opinion that the early inhabitants of Scandinavia visited the 
coast, suggesting also that they had some settlement in its 
immediate vicinity. 

As regards the Romans, the only traces of their presence 
which have been discovered in the neighbourhood of the town, 
consist of the road above mentioned, and a number of ancient 
coins which were found near Rossall, in 1840, by some labourers 
engaged in brick-making. These coins, amounting in all to about 
three hundred, were principally of silver, and bore the impresses 
of Severus, Sabina, Antonius, Nerva, etc. It is quite possible, 
however, that other relics belonging to that nation or the Danes, 
may still exist, hidden by the sand, and more deeply imbedded 
than it is necessary to sink when preparing for the foundations of 

I. For a full description of the direction taken by this road, see page 7. 


the houses, whilst many also may have been submerged by the 
encroaching waves as they have gradually inundated the north 
and west sides of the district. 

Doctor Leigh, in his Natural History of Lancashire, informs us 
that at the mouth of the river Wyre there was in his time a 
purging water which sprang up from out of the sand. " This, no 
doubt," says the Doctor, " is the sea-water which niters through 
the sand, but by reason of the shortness of its filtration (the 
spring lying so near the river), or the looseness of the sand, the 
marine water is not perfectly dulcified, but retains a pleasing 
brackishness, not unlike that which is observable in the milk of a 
farrow cow, or one that has conceived." 

To the lord of the manor, Sir P. H. Fleetwood, is due the 
credit of having first conceived the idea of converting the sterile 
warren into a thriving seaport. Situated at the mouth of a river, 
the security of whose stream had originated the proverb "As 
safe and as easy as Wyre water," and by the side of a natural and 
commodious harbour, sheltered from ever wind, the illustrious 
baronet foresaw a prosperous future for the place, could he obtain 
permission from parliament to construct a railway to its shores 
from the important town of Preston, thereby creating a communi- 
cation with the manufacturing and commercial centres of Lancashire 
and Yorkshire. In 1835, a number of gentlemen, denominated 
the Preston and Wyre Railway, Harbour, and Dock Company, 
having obtained the requisite powers, deputed Frederick Kemp, 
esq., J.P., of Bispham Lodge, then acting as agent to Sir P. H. 
Fleetwood, to purchase the land along the proposed route. 
Operations were commenced with little delay, the work pro- 
gressed with fair rapidity, and on the I5th of July, 1840, the line 
was declared open and ready for traffic. 

In the meantime dwelling-houses, hotels, and a spacious wharf 
had been springing into existence. In 1836 the earliest foundation 
was laid at the south-west corner of Preston Street by Robert 
Banton, of East Warren Farm. This farm was for a 
short season a licensed house and brewery, and is now, 
under the title of Warrenhurst, the private residence of J. 
M. Jameson, esq., C.E. The new erection, which still bears 
its original name of the Fleetwood Arms Hotel, made no further 
progress for about a year, when it was completed by Thomas 


Parkinson, the head carpenter at Rossall Hall. The first building 
finished and inhabited in Fleetwood was a beer-house at the 
south-west corner of Church Street, which was erected in 
1836-7, and is now a shop, owned and occupied by Richard 
Warbrick, outfitter. That small inn or licensed dwelling was in 
the occupation of a person named Parker, a stonemason, who a 
little later built the Victoria Hotel, in Dock-street, where he 
removed and resided for several months, until a sale of the 
property had been effected. 

The streets were marked out by the plough according to the 
design of Decimus Burton, esq., architect, of London, and so 
arranged that all the principal thoroughfares, with the exception 
of the main road of entrance to the town, converged towards the 
largest star-hill, now known as the Mount, on the highest point 
of which was placed a small decagon Chinese edifice, surrounded 
by a raised platform or terrace, whence an extensive view of 
the broad bay of Morecambe, the lofty ranges of Lancashire, 
Cumberland, aud Westmoreland, and a wide circuit of the 
neighbouring country could be obtained. The hollow on the 
south side of the mound was fashioned into the form of a basin, 
and a semicircular gravelled walk carried along the ridge of each 
side, leading with a gentle ascent from the entrance gates on the 
warren at the end of London Street to the summit, Avhilst the 
slopes were tastefully arranged and planted with shrubs, to impart 
a pleasing and ornamental appearance to the otherwise bare 
sward. These shrubs, as might have been foreseen, speedily 
withered and perished, owing to the bleakness of the site, and 
a lack of that indispensable moisture which the dry sandy soil 
could neither retain nor supply. In earlier days the Mount was 
commonly known as Tup, or Top, Hill, and formed a favourite 
resort for pic-nic parties from Blackpool, or some of the 
surrounding villages, which visited the place during the summer 
months, to admire the innumerable sea-fowl and their nests, the 
latter being scattered over the shore in endless profusion. 

Building proceeded with rapid strides ; house after house 
sprang up in the lines of streets, which had only lately received 
their first coating of shingle, and in 1841, one year after the 
opening of the railway, the town had assumed considerable pro- 
portions. Near the entrance from Poulton road were three or 


four double rows of cottages for the accommodation of the 
workpeople, and a Roman Catholic chapel. Preston Street 
contained but few houses in addition to the Fleetwood Arms 
Hotel ; thence, travelling eastward were Dock Street, with the 
Crown Hotel, as far as and including the Victoria Hotel ; the east 
side of Warren Street, the west side of St. Peter's Place, the 
church and Sunday school, both sides of Church Street, Custom 
House Lane, the Lower Queen's Terrace, the North Euston Hotel, 
and the bath houses. The Upper Queen's Terrace was in process 
of erection, but was not completed until 1844, after having been 
allowed, for some reason, to remain in a partially finished state for 
two years. 

The church, standing on a raised plot of ground in the centre 
of the town and surrounded by an iron palisading, is dedicated to 
St. Peter, and was first opened for divine service in 1841. It is 
a stone edifice with a square tower and octagonal spire at the 
west end, and was erected by voluntary contributions, the site 
being provided by Sir P. H. Fleetwood, who retained the right of 
presentation to the living. The interior of the building is neat, 
and contains sittings for about four hundred persons in the body, 
with additional accommodation for two hundred more in the 
gallery, at the end of which are the choir-pew and organ-loft, the 
latter being occupied by an instrument constructed by Gray, of 
London. Previous to the alterations, which were made seventeen 
years since, and consisted of the erection of a gallery and the 
convertion of some of the private pews into free seats, the family 
pew of the Fleetwoods stood in front of the organ-loft, and was 
the only one raised out of the body of the church. The chancel 
window is of stained glass, large and handsome, representing a 
central figure of St. Peter bearing the Keys of Heaven, below and 
on each side of which several scriptural subjects are illustrated. 
This window, purchased by subscription amongst the parishioners, 
was inserted in 1860 ; and in the previous year a handsome font 
of Caen stone was presented by Mrs. G. Y. Osborne. Two upright 
tablets, the gift of the late vicar, the Rev. G. Y. Osborne, illu- 
minated with the Ten Commandments, are placed, one on each 
side of the Communion table. Four other tablets are fixed against 
the walls of the church, the first of which was erected by a few 
friends as a tribute of respect to the memory of Dobson Ward, 



died 1859, aged 43 years, a humble but zealous worker in the 
Sunday school ; another was placed by the Rev. G. Y. Osborne, 
in loving memory of his deceased daughter ; the third, a handsome 
tablet, was erected at the entrance to the vestry, by parishioners 
and friends, to the memory of the Rev. G. Y. Osborne, "for 19 
years vicar of this parish, who died n November, 1871, aged 53 
years," 1 and the last is to the memory of Charles Stewart, esq., 
died 1873, aged 64 years, late of High Leigh, Cheshire, and 
Fleetwood. The living, endowed with the great tithes of 
Thornton and augmented by the pew rents, was originally a 
perpetual curacy, but during the ministry of the late Rev. G. Y. 
Osborne, a distinct district or parish for all ecclesiastical purposes 
was assigned to the church, and the title of vicar accorded to the 



Date of 


On whose 

Cause of vacancy. 


St. Vincent Beechey, 
G. Yarnold Osborne, 
Saml. Hastings, M.A. 

James Pearson, M.A. 

Sir P. H. Fleetwod 

Exrs. of the late Sir 
P. H. Fleetwood 

Resignation of St. 
Vincent Beechey 
Resignation of G. Y. 
Resignation of S. 

The burial ground connected with the church is part of the 
general cemetery, situated near the shore in the direction of the 
Landmark at Rossall Point, and about one mile distant from the 

The small building opposite the Church, now used for infants 
only, was for several years, until the erection of the Testimonial 
Schools, the ordinary Sunday school under the superintendence 
of the incumbent of St. Peter's. 

The Market Place, opened on the 7th of November, 1840, is a 
spacious, paved area, surrounded by a high wall of sandstone. 

I. The Rev. G. Y. Osborne resigned the living of Fleetwood on being 
appointed vicar of St. Thomas's, Dudley, which cure he held up to the date of 
his decease. 


The two entrances are closed by means of large wooden gates, 
and lead respectively into Adelaide and Victoria Streets. The 
central portion of the in-walled space is occupied by a square, 
wooden structure, covered over with a slated roof, in the interior 
of which are stalls for the goods of the different farmers and 
traders. Friday is the market day, and the following list com- 
prises the various commodities exposed for sale on Friday, the 
loth of July, 1846, the earliest recorded, with their prices : 

Oats, per bushel ... 33. lod. 

Meal, per load ... 365. od. 

Beans, per windle .. ... l6s. od. 

Butter, per pound is. id. 

Eggs, fresh 16 to 18 for is. od. 

Peas, per strike ... ... os. gd. 

Potatoes (new), per score is. lod. 

(old), per windle 8s. od. 

Beef, per pound 6d. to 7d. 

Lamb ... os. Jd. 

Mutton os. 6d. 

Salmon os. lod. 

Lobsters is. od. 

Since the date of the above quotations, Preston has gradually 
monopolised the chief portion of the grain trade, and consequently 
transactions in oats and other cereals are not of frequent occur- 
rence at the local markets of the Fylde. 

The Roman Catholic chapel; dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, 
was erected at the north end of Walmsley Street, continuous 
with the line of houses forming the east side of that street, and 
opened for divine worship on the ith of November, 1841. A 
few years since a more commodious edifice, which will be 
described hereafter, was erected on another and better site, whilst 
the old one was dismantled, and subsequently converted into 

The Crown Hotel, a handsome and substantial stone structure 
facing the Railway Station, was the third hotel erected in Fleet- 
wood, the Fleetwood Arms being the first, and the Victoria the 
second in point of completion. The original dimensions of the 
Crown have been considerably increased by the addition in recent 
years of ample stable accommodation, a large billiard room, and 
several sleeping apartments. 

The North Euston Hotel, which was opened almost 


simultaneously with the Crown Hotel, is a superb stone 
building in the form of a crescent, with a frontage of nearly 
300 feet. This edifice was sold to Government in 1859, and sub- 
sequently opened as a School of Musketry. The noble portico in 
front of the main entrance and the spacious hall within are sup- 
ported by massive stone pillars, whilst a handsome terrace, raised 
a little above the level of the street, encircles the whole length 
of the ground floor, and is protected by an ornamental 
iron railing. On its transfer to Government, quarters were 
provided for sixty officers and a staff of military instructors. 
There were three chief courses of instruction held during each 
year, but in addition to these were two of shorter duration, one 
being in the month of January for the adjutants of volunteers, 
and another a little later for the volunteers themselves. 
The curriculum was similar to that at Hythe. In 1867 the 
School of Musketry was discontinued, and after a short interval, 
in which fresh buildings were added, the whole structure 
was turned into barracks, and as such continues to be occupied. 
In the early days of the hotel a T-shaped jetty extended out from 
the steps on the shore opposite the principal entrance to the 
distance of low-water mark, and was used by the visitors as a 
short promenade and landing stage, but after standing a few 
years the erection was removed, being found to interfere with the 
course of the steamers and other vessels round that section of the 

The bath-houses, each of which contained a spacious sea-water 
swimming bath, were connected with the North Euston Hotel, 
and therefore became the property of Government on the transfer 
of the main building itself. Since that date their internal 
arrangements have undergone material alterations and modifica- 
tions to suit the requirements of the military, but their handsome 
stone exteriors and massive porticoes are still intact. 

The custom-house on the Lower Queen's Terrace is now a 
private residence in the occupation of Alexander Carson, esq., 
who is also the owner, and the offices have for many years been 
situated in a house of more modest pretensions in the same row. 

The two lighthouses, one of which is placed in Pharos Street 
and the other further north, on the margin of the beach, were 
also in existence in 1841, having been erected a short time 



previously. The former is a tall circular column of painted stone, 
having an altitude of about 90 feet above high-water mark. The 
base of the column is square, each of the sides being 12 feet high 
and 20 broad. The focus of the lantern is 104 feet above half- tide 
level, and outside the reflector is a narrow, circular, stone gallery, 
guarded by an iron fencing. The cost of the column was ^1,480. 
The other lighthouse is much smaller, and stands on a slightly 
elevated plot of ground. Each side of its base forms a recess, 
furnished with seats, and supported above by round stone pillars. 
The centre of the lantern is 44 feet above half-tide level. The 
whole fabric, which is built throughout of finely cut stone, was 
erected at a cost of ^"1,375. 

We have now reviewed the general appearance of the town in 
1841, including brief accounts of all the more important buildings, 
but accidentally omitting to state that gas works were amongst 
the early erections, and before proceeding with the history of its 
further progress and increase, it will be convenient to revert for a 
moment to the railway and matters connected with it, leaving, 
however, the harbour, wharf, and shipping for separate examina- 
tion towards the later pages of the chapter. The railway, 
consisting of a single line throughout the whole extent, was 
carried over a portion of the estuary of the Wyre, along an 
embankment and viaduct of huge wooden piles, running from 
Burn Naz^ to the west extremity of the wharf at Fleetwood, near 
to which the station is situated. In 1846 the traffic, both in 
passengers and goods, had increased so rapidly that the directors 
determined to have a double line without delay. Instructions for 
that purpose were accordingly issued to the engineer of the 
company, and at the same time he was directed that, in order to 
afford space and facilities for the construction of the proposed 
docks to the westward of the existing railway piling, the double 
line should diverge at Burn Naze, run round the Cops, and 
terminate as before. The programme here stated was not 
fully carried out, and the double line extended only as far as Burn 
Naze, from which point a single line ran along a semicircular 
embankment, lying west of the old one, to the terminus at 
Fleetwood. 1 This embankment was the means of rescuing from 

I. A second line was laid on this length in 1875 for the first time. 


the incursions of the tide about 400 acres of marsh land, which 
has since by drainage and cultivation been converted into 
excellent pastures and productive fields. The entire line was leased, 
under acts of 1 846, to the Lancashire and Yorkshire and London 
and North Western Railway companies, the former taking two 
thirds and the latter one third of the profits or losses. The terms 
agreed upon were a rent of 7 is. 6d. per cent., and \ 153. 4^d. 
per share on a total capital of ^"668,000, until the close of 1854, 
when the payments were raised to 7 175. 6d. per cent., and 
\ 195. 3^d. per share in perpetuity. In the month of July, 
1846, the electric telegraph in connection with the Preston and 
Wyre Railway was introduced into the town, and as its first public 
act was the interception, at Kirkham, of a defaulting steamship 
passenger, who had neglected to pay her fare, it may be 
concluded that the inhabitants welcomed the ingenious invention 
as a valuable ally in the protection of their commercial interests, 
as well as a rapid and convenient mode of friendly intercom- 
munion in cases of urgency. 

The- Improvement Act, for " paving, lighting, cleansing, and 
otherwise improving the town of Fleetwood and the neighbour- 
hood thereof, and for establishing a market therein," came into 
operation on the i8th of June, 1842. Meetings were appointed 
to be held on the first Monday in every month, at which any male 
person was empowered to sit as a commissioner on producing 
evidence that he was either a resident within the limits prescribed 
by the act, and rated to the poor-rates of the township of Thorn- 
ton for a local tenement of the annual value of ^"15, or possessed 
as owner or lessee or in the enjoyment of the rents and profits of 
a messuage, lands, or hereditaments, similarly situated and rated, 
for a term of not less than fifty years. In 1869 authority was 
obtained to repeal certain sections of the old act and adopt others 
from the Public Health Act of 1848, and the Local Government 
Act of 1858, the most important being that in future the Board 
of Commissioners should consist of twelve members only, having 
personally the same qualifications as before, but being elected by 
the ratepayers. The new regulations also ordained that one third 
of the commissioners should retire each year, and the vacancies 
be filled up by a general election. This act is still in force. 

It was not possible that the claims of a place so happily situated 


as Fleetwood for a summer residence could long remain unrecog- 
nised by the inhabitants of the inland towns. No sooner was free 
access given to its shores by the opening of the railway in 1840, 
than the hotels and lodging-houses were inundated with visitors, 
whose annual return testified to their high appreciation of its 
mild climate, firm sands, excellent boating accommodation, and 
lastly, the diversified and beautiful scenery of the broad bay of 
Morecambe. A number of bathing vans were stationed on the 
shore opposite the Mount, but were little patronised during the 
first two or three seasons owing to the proprietors demanding is. 
from each person using them, a sum exactly double that required 
at other watering-places. The injurious effects of this exhorbitant 
charge were speedily experienced, not only by the van owners, 
whose receipts were reduced to a minimum, but generally 
throughout the town, as visitors who greatly preferred Fleetwood 
were driven to other places on that account, and each year many 
who came with the intention of remaining during the summer 
left because their families were debarred from bathing, except at 
an excessive cost. The error of so grasping a policy being at last 
demonstrated to the proprietors by the small and diminishing 
patronage extended to their vans, it was resolved, in 1844, to 
reduce the charge to 6d. That year several newly-erected houses 
in Kemp Street were furnished and tenanted, whilst the hitherto 
unoccupied stone residences comprised in the Upper Queen's 
Terrace were fitted up with elegance and convenience for the 
wealthier class of sojourners, to whom they were let for periods 
varying from a few weeks to three or four months. The terrace 
of houses situated between the North Euston Hotel and the 
Mount, and bearing the latter name, was also completed that 
year. The prices at the North Euston Hotel were arranged as 
under : 

Sitting-room 33. 4<i. per day. 

Bed-room 2s. 3d. and 45. od. per day. 

Table d'Hote 45. per head. 

Breakfast or Tea 2s. od. and 2s. 6d. per head. 

During the Whit- week of 1844 the place was crowded with 
excursionists, many of -whom, amounting to 1,000 daily, were 
carried at half fare by the Preston and Wyre Railway, and came 
from the neighbouring towns and villages, whilst others arrived 


by sea in excursion boats from Dublin, the Isle of Man, Ulver- 
stone, Blackpool, and Southport. Festivities were entered into 
on the warren and slopes of the Mount, lasting three days and 
consisting of horse, pony, donkey, foot, sack, and wheelbarrow 
races, a cricket match, foot steeplechases, wrestling, and gingling 

In 1844 Fleetwood was reduced from a distinct port to a creek 
under Preston, and during the month of July the mayor of the 
latter town paid a state visit to the watering-place, arriving by 
sea in the small steamer " Lily." A series of misfortunes rather 
tended to upset the dignity and imposing aspect of the official 
cortege. A somewhat rough sea retarded their passage and 
rapidly converted the ship into a temporary hospital for that, 
perhaps, most distressing of all sicknesses ; nearing, at last, the 
lighthouse at the foot of Wyre, a large portion of the larboard gun- 
wale was carried away by the bowsprit of the steamer " Express," 
which had been sent out to meet and tow them into harbour, if 
necessary; and finally the unfortunate "Lily" stranded on a bank 
opposite the beach at Fleetwood, and the mayoral party, now 
pallid and dejected, in their gorgeous robes and liveries, were 
brought to land in small open boats, and having formed the 
following order, marched to the North Euston Hotel, where a 
banquet was prepared : 

Three Policemen. 
Two Sergeants-at-Mace. 

Mace Bearer. 

The Mayor in his Robes of Office. 
The Corporation Steward. Recorder of the Borough. 

The Aldermen of the Borough. 

The Members of the Common Council. 

Military Officers and Private Gentlemen. 

Town Crier and Beadle. 

This year the Preston and Wyre Railway Company, in con- 
junction with the line from Manchester and Bolton, commenced to 
run Sunday excursion trains to Fleetwood at reduced fares during 
the genial months of summer, and in August upwards of ten 
thousand pleasure-seekers were estimated to have been brought 
into the town by their means alone. These lines were amongst 
the first to try the experiment of cheap trains, and the immense 
success which attended their efforts on the above occasions soon 


induced them to extend the privileges to other days besides the 
Sabbath. The promoters of private excursions, also, were offered 
facilities to direct their course to this watering-place. During the 
summer of 1844 no less than 60,000 people in all, that is including 
both day excursionists and those who remained for longer 
periods, arrived, being considerably more than in any previous 
season. In July, 1846, the whole of the workpeople of Richard 
Cobden, esq., M.P., the great free-trade statesman, visited the 
town to celebrate the triumph of free-trade principles in parlia- 
ment, the entire expense of the trip being defrayed by that 
gentleman. Each of the operatives and others, numbering 
about 1,300, had a free-trade medal suspended by a ribbon 
from the neck ; and, having formed in procession, the large 
assembly paraded through the streets of Fleetwood, carrying 
banners adorned with such appropriate mottoes and inscriptions 
as " Free Trade with all the World," " Peel, Bright, and 
Cobden," etc. In the same year an immense Sunday school trip, 
bringing no less than 4,200 children and adults, arrived ; and 
after amusing themselves by rambling about the shore for a time, 
the youthful multitude formed a huge pic-nic party on the 
warren. This was without doubt the largest single excursion 
which ever visited these shores, and on its return, the enormous 
train of two engines and fifty-six carriages, many of which were 
cattle trucks provided with forms and covered in with canvas, was 
divided, each engine taking half, for fear of accidents and delays. 
In later times it was no uncommon circumstance to see the spacious 
wharf opposite the Upper and Lower Queen's Terraces, crowded 
with cheap trains during Easter and Whit- weeks. Hourly trips 
in the small steam tug-boats or pleasure yachts, pony and donkey 
rides, bathing, and mussel gathering on the bank opposite the 
Mount Terrace were the chief amusements of the day visitors, 
and innumerable were the exclamations of wonder and delight 
uttered by thousands, who for the first time beheld 

" The broad and bursting wave " 

at Fleetwood, for our readers may be reminded that at the date of 
which we are writing, railway fares, except on special occasions, 
were beyond the compass of the labouring populations of our 
manufacturing and agricultural districts, and consequently a visit 
to the, in many cases unknown, sea, was an event eagerly antici- 


pated and long remembered. 

In January, 1845, a general meeting of those who were 
interested in Fleetwood, or wished to testify their respect and 
admiration for the noble efforts of the founder of the town, was 
held at the North Euston Hotel, to determine upon the most 
suitable public testimonial to be erected in honour of Sir Peter 
Hesketh Fleetwood. Doctor Ramsay proposed that day schools 
for 200 children of the labouring classes, with a house for a 
master and mistress, having the name of the " Fleetwood Testi- 
monial Schools," open to all denominations of Christians and 
connected with the National Society, should be erected. This 
resolution was carried without a dissentient ; subscription lists 
were opened ; and on Wednesday, the 26th of August, 1846, the 
foundation stone of the building was laid by Charles Swainson, 
esq., of Preston. Large numbers arrived early in the morning to 
be present at the ceremony. The town, shipping, and river craft, 
decked out in bunting, presented quite a gala appearance as the 
officials and guests proceeded to the site in West Street. The 
procession marched as stated below: 

The Beadle. 


The Wesleyan Sunday School Children. 
The Independent Sunday School Children. 

The Church Sunday School Children. 

The Architect holding the Mallet and Trowel. 

The Contractors. 

The Clergy. 

Charles Swainson, esq. 

The Treasurer and Mr. Swainson's Friends. 

Rossall School. 
. The Gentry and Visitors. 

The Tradesmen. 

Independent Order of Oddfellows. 
The Rechabites. 

In the cavity beneath the foundation stone were enclosed a 
bottle containing coins of the present reign, a copy of the 
Fleetwood Chronicle of that date, printed on parchment, and 
another sheet of parchment inscribed thus : 

" The first stone of these schools, whfch are to be erected as the fittest Testi- 
monial to the benevolent founder of this town, Sir P. H. Fleetwood, Bart., M.P., 


was laid by Charles Swainson, Esq., of Preston, this 26th day of August, 1846. 
THE REV. W. LAIDLAY, B.A., Curate ; 

i Churchwardens ; 

THE REV. JOHN HULL, Vicar of Poulton, Chairman of 

the Committee. 

JOHN LAIDLAY, Esq., Treasurer of the Committee ; 
R. B. RAMPLING, Esq., Architect ; 
H. B. JONES, Esq., Secretary. 
Non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam." 

This scholastic institution is in the Gothic style of architecture, 
and the principal front, facing into West Street, extends over a 
distance of seventy-one feet. The interior of the building 
contains separate school accommodation for boys and girls ; and 
at the east end there is a comfortable residence for the mistress. 
The school is surrounded by an extensive play-ground, and 
enclosed by a brick wall, surmounted anteriorly by ornamental 
iron railings. Since the building was completed the provision 
for the reception of boys has been greatly increased by the 
erection of a new wing, by private munificence, abutting at right 
angles with the east end of the original structure. 

In .the spring of 1845 a handsome promenade and carriage 
drive was completed along the border of the shore from the North 
Euston Hotel to the west extremity of the Mount Terrace. The 
pathway, which ran on the inner side of the drive, was flagged 
throughout its entire length, whilst the outer margin of the road 
was connected with a substantial sea-wall of square-cut stone by a 
broad and well-kept grass plat. Subsequently this elegant walk 
was extended round the south side of the Mount, along Abbots' 
Walk, and so on by the side of the shore to the Cemetery Road. 
Very little of the portion first constructed is now to be seen, and 
that remnant is in such a dilapidated, condition as almost to be 
impassable. Huge stones which formerly protected the green 
sward and road from the waves are now lying scattered and 
buried about the beach ; whilst the westerly end of the promenade 
has not only suffered utter annihilation itself, but serious inroads 
have been made by the water into the ornamental gardens 
fronting the houses of the Mount Terrace. 

Strenuous efforts were put forth during the autumn of 1845 to 


prevent the visitors forsaking the town immediately the long 
evenings had commenced ; pyrotechnic displays took place each 
week on the plot of land lying to the north of the Upper Queen's 
Terrace, and designated the Archery Ground. Sea excursions to 
Blackpool, Southport, and Piel Harbour were liberally provided 
for by the steamers of the port ; a military, band was hired for 
several weeks, and played daily either on one of the pleasure 
craft or near the new promenade ; foot races, wrestling, and 
cricket matches were arranged and contested at short intervals. 
But all in vain, for towards the end of August the reflux of 
visitors had thoroughly set in, and by the middle of September 
the shores were almost deserted. During that brief period of 
excitement it was proposed amongst the inhabitants to erect a 
large public building to be ready for the ensuing season, which 
should combine all the advantages of a reading and news 
room, public library, bazaar, ball room, and theatre ; but either 
the ardour of the people cooled during the winter months or they 
failed to discern a fair prospect of dividends from the investment, 
for the summer of 1846 discovered that the idea had vanished 
with the closing year, and 

" Like the baseless fabric of a vision, 
Left not a wreck behind." 

Perhaps, however, it is going too far to assert that no trace or 
vestige of the comprehensive project remained after the first 
ebullition of enthusiasm had passed from the popular mind, for we 
find that, although no noble hall graced the town, a Mechanics' 
Institution was modestly established on the i8th of May, 1846, 
by the opening of a reading room in one portion of the Estate 
Office. This office formerly occupied the site of the present 
Whitworth Institute, and was a small, lightly constructed, Gothic 
edifice. Subsequently a larger and more convenient place for 
the purposes of the Institution was engaged in Dock Street ; a 
library was provided and arrangements made for lectures and 
classes to be held on the premises. In the report of the establish- 
ment, issued twelve months after its foundation, it was stated that 
the members at that date amounted to 184, being 138 full 
members, 20 females, and 26 youths and apprentices ; and that 
since its organisation 213 persons had availed themselves of the 
privileges offered by the society. A considerable number of 


cottage houses were erected in different parts of the town, and not 
only were these tenanted directly they were completed, but the 
demand for further building was still on the increase. A public 
abattoir, or slaughter-house, was constructed in 1846 on the 
outskirts of the town, and a notice issued, prohibiting the slaying of 
any cattle, sheep, or swine anywhere except within its walls, under 
a penalty of ^"5 for every offence. A Wesleyan chapel was also 
in course of erection in North Church Street, then open warren, 
and finished the following year, divine service being first con- 
ducted in it on Monday, the 24th of May, by the Rev. George 
Osborne, of Liverpool. As the town gradually developed in size 
and population, the attendants at this place of worship outgrew 
the space provided for them, and lately, in 1875, it became 
necessary to enlarge the edifice. The west gable-end was taken 
out and the main building extended in that direction. Galleries 
were placed along the two sides and across the east wall ; the old- 
fashioned pulpit was superseded by a platform situated at the 
centre of the west end, and extending to within six feet of the 
galleries at either side. The new sittings resemble the old ones 
in being closed pews, and not open benches. The chapel is now 
capable of containing double the congregation it could have held 
previous to the recent alterations. 

In the month of February, 1847, an extraordinary high tide, 
rendered more formidable by strong westerly winds, did great 
damage on the coast from here to Rossall ; the Landmark was so 
far undermined that its fall was hourly expected ; an embankment 
raised on the shore from that point to Rossall suffered severely, 
large portions being completely washed away; and the out-buildings 
of a farm called <( Fenny " were overthrown and destroyed, serious 
injury being done also to the land in the neighbourhood. The 
more immediate vicinities of the town escaped with comparatively 
little loss, the most important being that resulting from the 
inundation of several fields and gardens near the Cops, and the 
levelling of a few wooden sheds for labourers' tools and other 

A failure in the potatoe and grain harvests of 1846 spread 
fearful distress and famine throughout the United Kingdom ; 
bread riots and disturbances amongst the starving poor of Ireland 
were of frequent occurrence, and it was to assist in alleviating the 


sufferings of those unfortunate people that a subscription was started 
in Fleetwood during the latter months of that year. Donations 
purely from the inhabitants of the town were collected, and in 
January, 1847, the sum of ^"105 was forwarded to the sister 
country. In consequence of the severe national affliction, Her 
Majesty ordained that Wednesday, the 24th of the following 
March, should be observed as a general fast-day. On that date 
all the shops in the watering place, with one or two exceptions, 
were closed ; the public-houses and streets were quiet ; and 
stillness and solemnity everywhere apparent. The church was 
crowded to overflowing ; every seat was packed, and forms were 
brought in from the Sunday school and placed in the aisles 
to create extra accommodation, so excessive was the congre- 
gation which assembled to join in the special service for divine 

On Monday, the 2Oth of September, 1847, Her Majesty, 'Queen 
Victoria, accompanied by their Royal Highnesses, the Prince 
Consort, the Prince of Wales, and the Princess Royal, landed at 
Fleetwood en route from Scotland to London. The spot fixed for 
the debarkation of the royal party was near the north end of the 
covered pier, upwards of 100 feet of which were boarded off and 
converted into a saloon, a covered gallery being erected leading 
from it to the railway, where the special train was stationed. 
The floors of the saloon and gallery were covered with crimson 
drugget and at the entrance to the former a beautiful triumphal 
arch was formed of various coloured draperies, and adorned 
with the national flag and other emblems of loyalty. The 
walls of the saloon were hung with white and coloured 
draperies, festooned with evergreens, and British ensigns were 
suspended from the roof. This elegant apartment contained a 
gallery for ladies at the north end, and near to the entrance was 
a small octagonal throne, having an ascent of three steps, upon 
which a handsome gilded chair of state and a footstool were placed. 
Behind the two latter, draperies of crimson cloth were suspended, 
surmounted by the Arms of Her Majesty. On Sunday, the igth 
of September, the High-sheriff of the county of Lancaster, 
William Gale, esq., of Lightburne House, near Ulverston, who 
had arrived in order to receive Her Majesty on the following day, 
attended divine worship at St. Peter's Church, being driven there 


in his state carriage, drawn by four splendid greys and preceded 
by his trumpeters and twenty-four javelin men with halberds. 
Monday was ushered in with boisterous winds, a cloudy sky, and 
other indications of unpropitious weather, which fortunately for 
the thousands who crowded into the place from Yorkshire, 
Manchester, and intermediate localities, considerably improved 
as the day advanced. The ships in the harbour were draped with 
flags, and similar decorations floated from the windows of almost 
every house. A little after three o'clock in the afternoon the 
report of a signal gun announced that the royal squadron, 
consisting of the Victoria and Albert, the Black Eagle, the Fairy, 
the Garland, and the Undine, was in sight, and as the noble 
vessels steamed up the channel the North Euston Hotel and the 
Pier burst out into brilliant illuminations. As soon as the royal 
yacht, Victoria and Albert, had been safely moored to the quay 
opposite the triumphal arch, and the gangways adjusted, the High- 
sheriff, W. Gale, esq. ; Lieut. -General Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, 
K.C.B. ; Sir P. H. Fleetwood, bart. ; Major-General Sir William 
Warre ; John Wilson Patten, esq., M.P. ; the Rev. St. Vincent 
Beechey, incumbent of Fleetwood ; Henry Houldsworth, esq., 
chairman of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company ; 
George Wilson, esq., deputy-chairman ; and Thomas H. Higgin, 
esq., managing director of the Preston and Wyre district ; 
presented their cards, and explained to Captain Beechey the 
several arrangements which had been made for Her Majesty's 
conveyance to London. Afterwards Sir P. H. Fleetwood, the Rev. 
St. Vincent Beechey, Frederick Kemp, and James Crombleholme, 
esqrs., of Fleetwood ; and Daniel Elletson, esq., of Parrox Hall, 
were admitted to an interview with Lord Palmerston, who, on 
behalf of Her Majesty, received the subjoined address from the 
inhabitants of Fleetwood, printed in gold on white satin, and 
promised that it should be laid before the Queen : 



" May it Please your Majesty \ 

" We, the Inhabitants of the Town of Fleetwood, in the county of Lancaster, 
desire to approach your Majesty on this auspicious occasion, with the most sincere 


expression of our devoted loyalty and attachment to your Majesty, of our deep 
respect and esteem for your Majesty's august Consort, for his Royal Highness 
the Prince of Wales, and the other members of the Royal Family. 

"We beg to assure your Majesty that it is with feelings of the liveliest gratitude 
that we hail this Royal visit to our humble shores, now for the first time pressed 
by the foot of Sovereignty. 

" We rejoice to think that it has fallen to our happy lot to be the first to 
welcome the Queen of England to her own Royal Patrimony in the Duchy of 

"We hasten to lay at your Majesty's feet the dutiful allegiance of the inhabitants 
of the youngest Town and Port in all your Majesty's dominions, which dates its 
existence from the very year in which your Majesty first ascended the Throne of 
these realms ; and which, from the barren and uninhabited sands of the Fylde of 
Lancashire, has already obtained some importance for its town of 3,000 inhabitants, 
its Watering-place, Harbour, and Railway, together with its College for the sons 
of clergymen and other gentlemen. 

" We sincerely trust, that the natural facilities and local arrangements of this 
Port may be found such as shall conduce to the safety, comfort, and convenience of 
your Majesty in your royal progress. And we beseech your Majesty to receive 
our united and solemn assurance, that whatever progress our Harbour and Town 
may make in wealth and importance, it shall ever be our firmest determination 
and most earnest prayer, that we may never cease to boast of a loyal population, 
entertaining the same feeling of devoted duty and attachment to your Majesty and 
the Royal Family, which we experience at this moment, and which the grateful 
remembrance of this Royal visit must ever tend to keep alive in our bosoms. 
" Signed on behalf of the Inhabitants, 


" Incumbent of Fleetwood." 

To the foregoing address the annexed reply was received from 
London in the course of a few days : 

" Whitehall, 25th September, 1847. 

" SIR, I am directed by the Secretary, Sir George Grey, to inform you, that 
the Loyal and Dutiful Address of the Inhabitants of Fleetwood, on the occasion 
of Her Majesty's late visit, has been laid before the Queen, and that the same was 
very graciously received by Her Majesty. 

" I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant, 



" Rev. St. Vincent Beechey, Incumbent of Fleetwood." 
Early next morning the handsome saloon was occupied by the 
High-sheriff, the Under-sheriff, and a select number of gentlemen, 
and shortly after ten o'clock Her Majesty and the royal party 
proceeded from the yacht to the special train amid joyful 
acclamations which resounded from all parts of the shore. The 
moment Her Majesty set foot, for the first time, on her Duchy of 


Lancaster, the royal standard was lowered from the mast-head 
of the yacht, and instantly raised on the flag-staff at the custom- 
house of Fleetwood, where it received a salute of twenty-one guns. 
After another salute of a similar number of guns, as Her Majesty 
reached the end of the gallery, the royal party entered their 
saloon carriage, Mr., now Sir John, Hawskshaw, engineer to the 
Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, took his station on 
the engine, and the train moved slowly off, followed by the ringing 
cheers of at least ten thousand spectators. 

It should be mentioned that a loyal address, written in Latin, 
from the students of the Northern Church of England School, at 
Rossall, arrived too late for presentation, and was afterwards 
forwarded to London. 

In the month of July, 1847, Mr. Thomas Drummond, contractor, 
commenced the erection of the present Independent Chapel in 
West Street, and notwithstanding a serious delay through the 
destruction of the north gable and roof-framing by a heavy gale 
in September, the building was completed the same year. The 
edifice, which will contain about 600 persons, is a neat brick 
structure with side buttresses, and adorned with a castellated 
tower. Beneath the chapel are spacious school-rooms for boys 
and girls. The site was granted by Sir P. H. Fleetwood, and 
conveyed in trust for the use of the church and congregation. 

For two or three years little of special interest occurred in the 
progress or condition of the town. Each summer brought its 
assembly of regular visitors, upon whom many of the inhabitants 
depended for support, whilst Whit-week annually inundated the 
warren, streets, and shores with crowds of day-excursionists, for 
whose benefit sports, resembling those to which allusion has 
already been made, were instituted. Regattas also were added to 
the other attractions of the watering-place, but after existing for 
some little time they gradually died out, either because they 
failed to excite their former interest amongst the visitors, or the 
public spirit of the inhabitants was tardy in providing the funds 
necessary for their continuance. Houses in Albert Street, and in 
other parts of the town, were slowly increasing in number, but no 
large demand for dwellings bespoke a rapid rise in the prosperity 
or popularity of the place, like that to which we referred a little 
earlier. Trade, although comparatively steady, evinced no signs 


of enlargement at present, and as a consequence fresh families 
hesitated to venture their fortunes in the new land, until some 
more regular and reliable means of gaining a livelihood were 
offered them than the precarious patronage of uncertain visitors, 
many of whom, now that free access had been given to Blackpool 
and Lytham through the opening of branch lines, were already 
being seduced from their old allegiance to Fleetwood, and attracted 
to the gayer promenades of those rival resorts. 

In the month of December, 1852, and just at the Christmas 
season, a fearful hurricane swept over Fleetwood ; slates, chimney 
tops, and boardings were torn from their fastenings, and hurled 
about the streets ; indeed so terrific was the violence of this gale 
that at its height it was difficult for the pedestrian to avoid being 
forced along by its fury in whatsoever direction the huge gusts 
willed. During the storm a singular accident occurred in the 
harbour. The barque "Hope," which had arrived shortly before 
from America with timber, was lying in the river attached to one 
of the buoys, and by some carelessness the men employed in 
unloading her had neglected, on leaving their work, to close up the 
large square hole near the stem of the ship, through which the 
baulks of wood were discharged. The hurricane came on fiercely 
and suddenly from the west, and, to the dismay of the solitary 
watchman who had been left in charge of the vessel, heeled over 
her lightened hull so that the swollen and boisterous tide poured 
wave after wave through the unprotected aperture at her bows ; a 
few minutes only were needed to complete the catastrophe, for as 
the vessel settled in the deep, no longer waves but continuous 
volumes of water rushed into her, and with a heavy lurch she 
rolled over on her side, the masts and more than half her hull 
being submerged. Fortunately, however, the remnant of the 
cargo was sufficiently buoyant to prevent her from vanishing 
bodily beneath the surface. The luckless guardian, whose feelings 
must have been far from enviable, was quickly rescued from the 
perilous position he occupied on the floating portion of the ship ; 
but it was not until some weeks afterwards that they were able, in 
the words of the poet Cowper, 

" To weigh the vessel up." 

The " Hope," 415 tons register, was built up the river at the old 
port of Wardleys, being the only vessel of such dimensions 


constructed in the shipyard there. Ten years later, on the 27th 
of February, 1862, this ill-fated barque was abandoned on the 
high seas in a sinking condition. 

In 1854 sundry improvements were effected in the extent and 
condition of the place, and consisted in part of the erection 
of a row of model cottages in Poulton Road, near the entrance 
to the town, as well as a new police Station in West Street, 
comprising two dwellings for the constables and cells for 
prisoners. The streets were also put in better order, and efforts 
made to render the aspect of Fleetwood more finished and 
pleasing than it had been during the two or three previous 
seasons. A scheme for the partial drainage of the town was 
proposed at the assembly of commissioners, and arrangements 
were entered into for the work to be promptly carried out at an 
estimated cost of ^"1,200. Altogether a sudden spirit of activity 
seemed to have superseded the lethargy or indifference which 
lately had been too much visible amongst the inhabitants in all 
matters of public interest, and which had already exercised a 
serious and baneful influence upon the prospects of the place as a 
sea-side resort. In the ensuing year the body of Primitive 
Methodists, which had now become rather numerous, chiefly 
owing to the prosperity of the fishing trade attracting many 
followers of that calling to the port, most of whom were members 
of this sect, commenced and completed a chapel in West Street. 
Recently it has been found necessary considerably to enlarge the 
edifice, in order to furnish more accommodation for the increas- 
ing congregation. Although the erection of this chapel and of 
the other buildings mentioned above mark undoubtedly an era 
of progress in the history of the town, still we are constrained to 
admit that the wants they supplied were not brought about by 
the spread of Fleetwood's reputation as a watering-place. From 
the first little had been done to supplement its natural attractions 
by laying out elegant promenades, or improving the state of the 
Cops or Poulton Road, so as to render them agreeable rural walks 
for many who, after a time, grew weary of watching the eddies 
and dimples of the river's current 

" Play round the bows of ships, 
That steadily at anchor rode ;" 

or of daily rambling where the receding waves left a broad floor 


of firm, unbroken sands. True, a carriage-drive and foot-way of 
some pretensions to beauty had been constructed along the north 
shore in 1845, but the storms we have described, and other 
heavy seas, had torn breaches in its wall, and made sad havoc 
amongst its light sandy material, completely ruining the fair 
appearance of the shoreward grass-plat, and threatening the 
road with that very destruction which has since overtaken it 
through the continued negligence of the residents or governing 
powers. There was no public hall, such as that once contemplated, 
where a feeling of fellowship might be engendered amongst the 
visitors. The regattas instituted for the interest and amusement 
it was hoped they would excite amongst the spectators were, as 
previously stated, conducted in a desultory manner for a few 
years, and then abandoned ; whilst the land sports during the 
week of high festival were discontinued as the Whit-week 
excursion trains found other outlets more attractive than Fleet- 
wood for their pleasure-seeking thousands ; but it was not until 
the North Euston Hotel was opened for military purposes, that all 
hope of reviving the fading reputation of the town as a summer 
resort was finally relinquished. For some little time after the fore- 
going transfer, the bathing vans, as if to keep up the fiction of the 
season, re-appeared with uninterrupted regularity each year upon 
the beach, but even that last connecting link between the deserted 
town, as far as visitors were concerned, and its former popularity, 
was doomed shortly to be broken, for the ancient machines, never 
renewed, and seldom repaired, were at length unequal to the 
rough journey over the cobble stones, and crumbled to pieces on 
the way, expiring miserably in the cause of duty, from old age 
and unmerited neglect. 

In the early part of 1859, a lifeboat, thirty feet in length, was 
stationed here by the National Lifeboat Institution, and in the 
month of September in the same year, a neat and substantial 
house was built for it on the beach opposite the North Euston 
Hotel. After doing good service along the coast, in rescuing 
several crews whose vessels had stranded amidst the breakers on 
the outlying sand-banks, this boat was superseded, in 1862, by 
one of larger dimensions. In January, 1863, the erection on the 
beach was swept away by the billows during a heavy gale, and in 
the course of a few months the present structure in Pharos Street, 


far removed from the reach of the destructive element, was raised, 
and the lifeboat transferred to its safer keeping. 

The census of the residents taken in 1861 showed a total of 
4,061 persons, being an increase of 940 over the number in 1851, 
and of 1,228 over that in 1841. Hence it is seen that during the 
long period of twenty years, almost from its commencement to 
the date now under consideration, through fluctuating seasons of 
prosperous and depressed trade, the town had succeeded in adding 
no more than 1,228 individuals to the roll of its inhabitants, 
many of whom would be the offspring of the original settlers. 
Truly the foregoing picture is not a very satisfactory one to 
review when we call to mind the bright auspices under which the 
place was started, the early and ample railway accommodation, 
the short and well-beaconed channel, and the safe and spacious 
harbour ; but could we only add the extensive area of docks, the 
Fleetwood of 1871 would doubtless have presented a widely 
different aspect to that we are here called upon to portray. It 
is scarcely just, however, to lay all the burden of this slow rate of 
progress on the want of suitable berth provision for heavily-laden 
vessels coming to the harbour. Fleetwood had other means of 
extending its circle besides those derived from its happy situation 
for shipping trade. Its merits as a watering-place were allowed on 
every hand; eulogistic versions of its special charms were circulated 
through the public prints ; strangers flocked each summer to its 
shores, and were enchanted with their visits ; but after a while the 
refreshing novelty wore off, and the puny efforts made by those 
whose interests in the prosperity of the town were greatest, failed 
to fill the inevitable void the waning newness left in its train. In 
the meantime other season places, urged on by emulation, 
enhanced the beauties of nature by works of art ; promenades, 
walks, drives, and, at no distant period, piers, were con- 
structed to meet the popular demands, and in that way the 
tide of visitors was turned from the non-progressive and now 
over familiar attractions of Fleetwood to swell the annually 
increasing streams which overflowed the rising towns of Blackpool 
and Lytham. The year 1861 will ever be remarkable in the 
history of Fleetwood as being the date at which the town was for 
the first time practically diverted from that line of progress which 
its founder, in too sanguine expectancy, had early marked out for 


it. Its decadence as a summer resort had been too pronounced to 
allow of any hope being entertained that a revulsion was probable, 
or even possible, in the feelings and tastes of the multitude, which 
would again people its shores, during the warm months, with a 
heterogeneous crowd of valetudinarians and pleasure-seekers. The 
noble hotel which had been erected by Sir P. H. Fleetwood on 
the northern margin of the shore, in a style of architecture and at 
an expense which bore witness to the firm. confidence of the 
baronet in the brilliant future awaiting the infant town, had been 
sold to Government, as previously stated, in 1859, but it was not 
until two years afterwards that the first detachment of officers 
took up their quarters in the newly-established School of 
Musketry, and Fleetwood awoke to the novel sound of martial 
music and the reputation of being a military centre. Rumour, 
also, had for several months been active in circulating a report 
that the sward lying between the Landmark and the cemetery, 
and a field at the corner of Cemetery Road, had attracted the eye 
of Government as a suitable locality whereon to place barracks 
and lay out a rifle-practice ground ; and in February, 1861, doubt 
on the subject was no longer admissible, for the contract to carry 
out the fresh project was let during that month to the gentleman 
who had been engaged in the necessary alterations at the North 
Euston Hotel. The scheme involved the creation of residential 
accommodation in the field just indicated for a small force of 220 
men and 1 2 officers, some of the quarters being specially designed 
for married soldiers, in addition to which lavatories, a canteen, 
mess-room, magazine, and guard-house, were to be erected. The 
work was entered on without delay, and at no long interval, about 
ten months, or rather more, the whole of the buildings were com- 
pleted, and soon afterwards occupied. The practice-ground was 
marked out for range firing, and butts provided, where the 
targets were shortly stationed. A spacious hospital, it should be 
mentioned, was constructed almost contemporaneously with the 
main portion of the barrack buildings. 

On Monday, the 2oth of May, 1861, a mass meeting was 
convened to ascertain the opinion of the inhabitants with regard 
to a claim of exclusive use of the road over the Mount-hill, which 
had recently been set up by Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, who in 
order to establish his right had caused a cobble wall to be erected 


round that portion of the estate. The meeting, consisting of 
about three hundred persons, was held on the pathway in dispute, 
which crosses the highest point of the elevation. A platform was 
raised, and a chairman, elected by the unanimous voice of the 
company, ascended the rostrum, being accompanied by several of 
the more enthusiastic advocates of free-road, who in the course of 
earnest addresses declared that for twenty years the Mount had 
been dedicated to the public service, in consideration of certain 
sums paid annually to the lord of the manor out of the town's 
rates, and that having been so long the property of the people, 
Sir P. H. Fleetwood had now no moral or legal title to wrest it 
from them. The ardent language of the speakers aroused a 
sympathetic feeling in the breasts of the small multitude, and 
murmurs of discontent at the attempted deprivation of their 
privileges had already assumed a threatening tone, when a 
gentleman who happened to be visiting the neighbourhood, 
appeared upon the scene, and in a few spirited words urged the 
excited listeners to some speedy manifestation of their disapproval. 
Uttering a shout of indignation and defiance the crowd rushed at 
the enclosure wall, tore down the masonry, and quickly opened 
out a wide breach through the offending structure, after which 
they filled the air with triumphant cheers and shortly retired 
homewards in a comparatively orderly manner. In the course 
of a few months the vexatious question was settled between the 
representatives of the town and Sir P. H. Fleetwood, who on his 
part agreed only to retain to himself a plot of land fifty yards 
square, lying on the west side of the hill ; another piece one 
hundred yards square, extending from the base of the elevation to 
the sea ; the wooden edifice on the summit of the mound ; six 
square yards whereon to erect a look-out house for the Coast- 
guards ; and the gardens and cottage-lodges at the entrance. The 
remainder of the Mount, amounting to about three-fourths, was 
given up to the public, together with the right of footway through 
the cottages just mentioned, and over the east and west plots ; 
the commissioners engaging, on their side, to erect and maintain 
a suitable fence round the Mount, and to keep the hill itself in a 
proper manner for the benefit of the inhabitants or visitors, as 
well as binding themselves upon no account to raise any building 
on the site. The entire ground, with the buildings, has since 


been given, on much the same conditions, to the town. 

During the year 1862 the town, which for some time had lain 
dormant in a commercial point of view, evinced unmistakable 
signs of returning animation ; trade was more active, rumour once 
more hinted at the probable commencement of docks at an early 
date, and ninety-five houses of moderate size were erected. In 
the earlier half of the following twelve months no less than 
thirty-seven more dwellings were added to the town, the founda- 
tions of several others being in course of preparation. A branch 
of the Preston Banking Company was also opened for a few hours 
once in each week ; and during later years has transacted business 

On Tuesday, the 2oth of January, 1863, a storm and flood, such 
as has seldom been witnessed on this coast, arose suddenly and 
raged with fury for about twenty hours. The whole of the wall 
under the Mount, which had been brought to light by some gales 
in the previous November, after having been buried in the sand 
for long, was uttterly demolished, not one stone being left upon 
another. In addition, the breakers penetrated with destructive 
violence, several yards inland beyond the line of that barrier 
throughout its whole length, from the west end of the Euston 
Barracks to the further extremity of Abbot's Walk. A wooden 
battery of two 32-pound guns at the foot of the Mount, belonging 
to the Coastguards, 1 and used for training the Naval Volunteer 
Reserve, was undermined and so tilted that its removal became a 
necessity. The marine fence, which had been constructed at an 
immense cost, between the Landmark and Cleveleys, was almost 
entirely swept away, leaving the adjacent country open to the 
inundations of the sea, which rushed over and flooded all the land 
between the points just named, extending eastward even to the 
embankment of the Preston and Wyre Railway. Several of the 
streets at the west side of Fleetwood were under water, as also 
were the fields about Poulton road and the highway itself. The 
proprietor of the " Strawberry Garden," off the same road, and his 
family, were compelled to take refuge in an upper storey of their 

I. Coastguards were first located at Fleetwood in 1858, and consisted of six men 
and an officer. Their present station in Abbot's Walk was erected in 1864, and 
comprises cottage accommodation for six men, and another residence for the 
officer in command. 


dwelling until rescued in a boat, the following day, from their 
unpleasant, if not perilous, position. It was in this hurricane that 
the house erected on the shore for the reception of the life-boat 
suffered annihilation, and the boat itself narrowly escaped serious 
damage. Tuesday, the loth of March, in the same year was 
observed by the residents as a general holiday and gala day, in 
honour of the marriage of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, with the 
Danish Princess, Alexandra. Flags and banners floated from the 
windows of nearly every habitation, as well as from the roofs of 
many, while the steamships and other vessels in the harbour were 
gaily decorated with bunting, which waved in rich and varied tints 
from their masts, spars, and rigging. Triumphal arches of the 
"colours of all nations " were suspended across the streets at several 
points. A large procession of schools and friendly societies in full 
regalia, with their banners and devices, paraded the different 
thoroughfares, and were afterwards sumptuously entertained, the 
latter at their various lodges, and the former in the large area 
of a cotton warehouse, recently built on the quay by Messrs. B. 
Whitworth and Bros., of Manchester. The military stationed at 
the School of Musketry evinced their loyalty by discharging a 
feu de foie on the warren. In the following November a scheme 
was proposed for the construction of a coast railway between 
Fleetwood and Blackpool, to pass through Rossall and Bispham. 
A survey was made of the route, and according to the plans drawn 
out, the projected line was intended to have its Fleetwood terminus 
at the south extremity of Poulton Terrace, opposite the end of West 
Street, whence it was to run towards the new barracks, near the 
cemetery, then diverge to the south in the direction of Rossall. 
From Rossall its course lay towards Bispham and thence onwards 
to the Blackpool terminus, which would be located in Queen's 
street, adjoining the station already standing there. The stations, 
besides those at the two termini, were to be placed at the 
barracks, Rossall, and Bispham. At Fleetwood the promoters 
proposed to form a junction with the Preston and Wyre Railway 
near the old timber pond, for the purpose of passing carriages 
from one line to the other, whilst at Blackpool a similar object 
would be effected with the Lytham and Blackpool Railway by 
deviating eastward from Queen Street, so as to avoid the town, 
and establishing a junction with the latter line near Chapel Street. 


On an application being made to parliament for powers to carry 
out the design, strenuous opposition was offered by the represen- 
tatives of the Preston and Wyre Railway, who pledged themselves 
to erect additional stations along their track to accommodate the 
people residing at Rossall, Cleveleys, and Bispham, in consequence 
of which the bill for a coast-line was thrown out and the project 

On the 4th of December, 1863, the Lancaster Banking Company 
established a branch here ; and on the I5th of that month the 
Whitworth Institute in Dock Street was publicly opened. This 
handsome Hall was erected through the munificence of Benjamin 
Whitworth, esq., M.P., of London, who for long resided at Fleet- 
wood, and during that period, and afterwards, was instrumental in 
giving a marked stimulus to the foreign trade of the port by 
shipping each year, on behalf of the large firm of which he is the 
head at Manchester, numerous cargoes of cotton from America vid 
Fleetwood. The buiding is in the Gothic style of architecture. The 
walls are built of bricks with stone dressings, the principal features 
being the ten arcaded windows, with the stone balcony beneath 
running across the entire width of the front, and the elegant entrance. 
The interior comprises a spacious reading room and library, a 
smoking and coffee room, provided with chess and draughts, an 
assembly room, capable of containing 400 persons, and two billiard 
rooms. At the time of its presentation to the inhabitants the 
donor generously provided tea urns and other appliances necessary 
for holding soirees, in addition to having liberally furnished the 
whole of the building, including the gift of a choice and extensive 
selection of books, chess and draught-men, a bagatelle-board, and a 
billiard-table. The second billiard-table was added out of the surplus 
funds in 1875. The Institute is vested in trustees for the use of 
the town, and governed by a committee chosen from amongst the 

During 1864-5 building continued to progress, but not with 
that great rapidity which had characterised its advance in 1862 
and the earlier months of the following year. An act of 
parliament was granted in 1864 to certain gentlemen for the 
formation of a dock in connection with the harbour, confirming 
the rumour which had now agitated the place for the last two 
years, and bringing conviction to the hearts of many of the older 


inhabitants, whose past experience had taught them to look with 
eyes of distrust on all reports which pointed to such a happy 
realisation of their youthful dreams. The inaugural ceremony of. 
breaking the turf did not, however, take place for some time, and 
will be noticed shortly. On the iyth of May, 1866, the foundation 
stone of the present Roman Catholic church in East Street was 
laid by Doctor Goss, bishop of Liverpool, who performed the 
ceremony, attired in full ecclesiastical robes, and attended by a 
numerous retinue of priests and choristers. The sacred edifice 
was opened on Sunday, the 24th of November in the ensuing year. 
Its general style is early English of the I3th century. The 
building consists of a nave and two aisles, with an apsidal 
sanctuary at the east end ; it is about one hundred feet long, 
thirty-five feet wide, and fifty feet in height. The exterior is 
built of stone, the body of the walls being Yorkshire parpoints, 
whilst the dressings are of Longridge stone. Mr. T. A. 
Drummond, of Fleetwood, was the builder, and the design 
was drawn by E. Welby Pugin, esq., architect, the total cost 
being about ^"4,000. 

For many years, in fact ever since steamship communication 
had been established between this port and Belfast, large quan- 
tities of young cattle from Ireland were landed each season at 
Fleetwood, and carried forward by rail to the markets of Preston 
and elsewhere. For the benefit of the dealers, who would thus 
escape the railway charges, as well as for the convenience of the 
graziers and other purchasers residing in the neighbourhood, it 
was determined to open a place for the public sale of such live 
stock at Fleetwood ; the necessary authority was obtained from 
the Privy Council, and on the 2nd of April, 1868, the Cattle 
Market, lying on the east side of that for general produce, and 
consisting of sixteen large strong pens, arranged in two rows with 
a road between them, was used for its earliest transactions and 
much appreciated by those who were concerned in the traffic. 

Wednesday, the 2nd of June, 1869, will not readily be obliterated 
from the memories of the people of Fleetwood. On that day the 
first sod of the long expected dock was cut by H. S. Styan, esq., 
of London, the surviving trustee of the estate under the will of 
the late Sir P. H. Fleetwood, who died in 1866. The auspicious 
event was celebrated with universal rejoicing, in which many- 


coloured bunting played its usual conspicuous part. A large pro- 
cession of the clergy, gentry, schools, and friendly societies, 
enlivened by the band of the 8oth regiment of Infantry from the 
Euston Barracks, and gay with waving banners, accompanied 
Mr. Styan to the site where the important ceremony was 
performed, and sent forth hearty congratulatory cheers when the 
piece of turf had been duly dissected from the ground. With all 
apparent earnestness and eagerness, operations were at once 
commenced, and for two or three months the undertaking, under 
the busy hands of the excavators, made satisfactory progress, when 
suddenly several gangs of labourers were discharged, and the 
works partially stopped 

"While all the town wondered." 

Wonderment, however, was turned to a feeling of disappointment 
and chagrin, when it was discovered, a little later, that the closing 
year would put a period to the labours at the dock as well as to 
its own epoch of time, and that its last shadows would fall on 
deserted works and idle machinery. For some reason, which 
may fairly be conjectured to have been an incompleted list of 
shareholders, the Fleetwood Dock Company determined to 
suspend all operations barely six months after they had been 
begun, and it is scarcely necessary to inform our readers that the 
work was never resumed under the same proprietorship. Two 
years subsequently, in 1871, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Rail- 
way Company obtained an act of parliament to carry out, on a 
larger scale, the undertaking which their predecessors had 
abandoned almost in its birth. The dock, which embraces an 
area of nearly ten acres, being one thousand feet long, by four 
hundred feet wide, has already been in course of formation for 
more than two years, and although the labour is being pushed 
forward by the contractors, Messrs. John Aird and Sons, of 
Lambeth, with as much expedition as is consistent with good 
workmanship, the completion of this much-needed accommodation 
is not expected until some time in 1877. The dock walls are built 
with square blocks of stone, surmounted by a broad and massive 
coping of Cornish granite, and filled in behind with concrete, the 
whole having an altitude of thirty-one feet, and being placed on a 
solid concrete foundation fourteen feet wide. The walls them- 
selves vary in width as they approach the surface, being in the 


lower half of their distance \2\ feet, then 10^ feet, and in the 
highest section 8 feet wide. The lock entrance communicates 
with the north extremity of the dock, and is two hundred and 
fifty feet long by fifty feet wide, being protected at each end by 
gates, opening, respectively, into the dock and the channel now in 
process of excavation to the bed of the river Wyre. Lying to 
the south of the dock is the recently-constructed timber pond, 
covering an area of 14^ or 15 acres, and having a depth of 15 feet. 
The pond is connected with the dock by means of a gateway, so 
arranged in the southern wall of the latter that two feet of water 
will always remain in the former after the tide has ebbed below 
the level of its floor. The timber pond has no other entrance 
beyond the one alluded to. Sir John Hawkshaw, previously 
mentioned in connection with the visit of Queen Victoria to 
Fleetwood, is the eminent engineer from whose designs the dock 
is being constructed. 

The prospect, or indeed certainty, of materially increased trade 
when the dock is thrown open has not been without effect upon 
the town generally, but its stimulating influence is most remark- 
able in the large number of houses which, during the last few 
years, have sprung into being. Streets have been lined with 
habitations where recently not a dwelling existed, and others have 
had their vacant spaces filled in with buildings. Handsome 
shops have been erected in Dock Street, East and West Streets, 
and other localities, whilst many of the residences in Church 
Street have been remodeled and converted into similar retail 
establishments. Everywhere there is a spirit of activity visible, 
contrasting most pleasingly and favourably with the passive 
inertitia which pervaded the place for a considerable period previous 
to the commencement of the dock operations. In 1875 the com- 
missioners determined to do something towards protecting the 
northern aspect of the Mount from the devastations of the waves, 
whose boisterous familiarity had already inflicted serious injury 
on its feeble sandy sides, and seemed disposed, if much longer 
unchecked, to reduce the venerable pile to a mere matter of 
history. A public promenade, fenced with a substantial wall of 
concrete, was laid out at the base of the hill, extending from 
near the west extremity of the Mount Terrace to the commence- 
ment of Abbot's Walk. The damaged side of the mound itself 


has been levelled and sown with grass-seed, so that in course of 
time the marine walk will have a lofty sloping background of 
green sward, and form the prettiest, as it was doubtless the most 
needed, object in the neighbourhood. 

On the ist of January, 1875, a number of gentlemen, denomi- 
nated the Fleetwood Estate Company, Limited, and consisting of 
Sir Jno. Hawkshaw, knt., of Westminster ; Thos. H. Carr, J. M. 
Jameson, C.E., and Philip Turner, esqrs., of Fleetwood ; Capt. 
Henry Turner and Sturges Meek, esq., C.E., of Manchester ; 
Thomas Barnes, esq., of Farnworth ; James Whitehead, esq., of 
Preston ; Joshua Radcliffe, esq., of Rochdale ; Samuel Burgess, 
esq., of Altringham ; William Barber Buddicom, esq., C.E., of 
Penbedw, Mold ; and Samuel Fielden, esq., of Todmorden ; 
purchased the lands, buildings, manorial rights and privileges 
(including wreckage, market-tolls, and advowson of the church), 
of the late Sir P. H. Fleetwood, in and near this town, from the 
trustees of his property, for ^"120,000, subscribed in equal shares. 
Although negotiations were satisfactorily concluded in 1874, it 
was not until the month just stated that the actual transfer was 
effected, and the gentlemen enumerated became lords of the soil. 
We must not omit to name that portion a of the Fleetwood estate, 
amounting to about 600 acres, lying between the old and present 
railway embankments, had been acquired in a similar manner, for 
_^~2 5,000, in 1871, by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 
Company. Under the new proprietorship leases for building 
purposes are sold or let, as formerly, for terms of 999 years. 

In closing this account of Fleetwood as a watering-place and 
town, and before delineating its career as a seaport, it should be 
stated that the census of the inhabitants taken in 1871 yielded 
a total of 4,428 persons, of whom 2,310 were males, and 2,118 
females ; but in the limited period which has elapsed since that 
result was obtained the population has grown considerably, and 
the increase during a similar interval after any of the previous 
official returns cannot be taken as a criterion of the present 
numerical strength of the residents. 

Fleetwood was started in 1839 as a distinct port with customs 
established by an order of the Treasury ; subsequently in 1844 it 
was reduced to a creek under Preston ; then two years later 
elevated to a sub-port ; and finally in 1 849 reinstated in its first 


position of independence. The iron wharf was completed in 1841, 
and is constructed of iron piles, each of which weighs two and 
three quarter tons, driven seventeen feet below low water mark, 
and faced with plates of the same metal, seven or eight inches 
thick, which are rivetted to the flanges of the piles, and filled in 
at the back with concrete. The wooden pier, about 400 feet in 
length, and abutting on the north extremity of this massive 
structure, was finished in 1845, and roofed over shortly afterwards. 
On the 22nd of July in the ensuing year, the last stone of the 
wharf wall, erected by Mr. Julian A. Tamer, of Fleetwood, and 
extending fourteen hundred feet from the south end of the iron 
wharf in the direction of the railway, was laid ; and at the same 
time the coal-shoots connected with the new portion of the quay 
were approaching completion. 

The improvement of the harbour was entrusted to Captain 
Denham, R.N., F.R.S., under whose superintendence the seaward 
channel of the river was buoyed and beaconed, being rendered safe 
for night navigation by the erection of a marine lighthouse, in 
1 840, at the foot of Wyre, nearly two miles from the mouth of 
the river at Fleetwood. This lighthouse was the first one erected 
on Mitchell's screw-pile principle. The house in which the light- 
keepers lived was hexagonal in form, and measured 22 feet in 
diameter, from angle to angle, and nine feet in height. It was 
furnished with an outside door and three windows ; and divided 
within into two compartments, one of which was supplied with a 
fireplace and other necessaries, whilst the second was used purely 
as a dormitory. The lantern was twelve-sided, 10 feet in diameter 
and 8 feet in height to the top of the window, the illumination it 
produced being raised about 31 feet above the level of the highest 
spring-tide, and 44^ feet above jthat of half-tide. A few years 
since, in 1870, this lighthouse was carried away by a vessel, and 
for some time a light-ship occupied the station, but subsequently 
another edifice, similar in appearance and construction to the 
original one, was raised about two hundred yards south of the 
same site. 

Captain Denham, having accomplished his survey of the river and 
harbour, issued the following report in 1840 : 

" The river Wyre assumes a river character near Bleasdale Forest, in Lan- 
cashire, and after crossing the line of road between Preston and Lancaster, at 


Garstang, descends as a tortuous stream for five miles westward ; then, in another 
five mile reach of one-third of a mile wide, north-westward, sweeping the 
light of Skippool, near Poulton-le-Fylde, on its way, and bursting forth from the 
narrows at Wardleys, upon a north trend, into the tidal estuary which embraces 
an area of three miles by two, producing a combined reflux of back-water, equal to 
fifty million cubical yards, and dipping with such a powerful under-scour during 
the first half-ebb, as to preserve a natural basin just within its coast-line orifice, 
capable of riding ships of eighteen or twenty feet draft, at low water spring tides ; 
perfectly sheltered from all winds, and within a cable's length of the railway 
terminus, nineteen miles from Preston, and in connection with Manchester, 
Lancaster, Liverpool, and London. It is on the western margin of this natural 
dock that the town, wharfs, and warehouses are rising into notice, under the 
privilege of a distinct port, and abreast of which, the shores aptly narrow the 
back-water escape into a bottle-neck strait of but one-sixth the width of the 
estuary, so impelling it down a two-mile channel as scarcely to permit diminish- 
ment of its three and four-mile velocity until actually blended with the cross-set of 
the Lune and Morecambe Bay ebb waters. Thus, the original short course of 
Wyre to the open sea, is freed from the usual river deposit, its silting matter 
being kept in suspension until transferred and hurried forth at right angles by the 
ocean stream. It is, therefore, the peculiar feature and fortune of Wyre that, 
instead of a bar intervening between its bed or exit trough and the open sea, a 
precipitous river shelf, equal to a fall of forty-seven feet in one-third of a mile, 

The first steam dredger, of 20 horse power, was launched on 
the 2 ist of January, 1840, and the important work of deepening 
and clearing the channel at once commenced. 

At a meeting of the Tidal Harbour Commissioners held at the 
port on the 2ist October, 1845, it was stated that the harbour dues 
were for coasting vessels, id. per ton, and for foreign ships, 3d. per 
ton ; whilst the light charges were in all cases 3d. per ton. At the 
same time it was observed that the whole of the dues amounted 
in 1835 to ^"36 2s. od., and in 1845 to ^"528 95. 5d. (In 1855 the 
dues on similar accounts reached ^"1,520 ; and in 1875, 2 A 2 7-) 
The Walney light was reported to be a great tax on vessels 
coming to Fleetwood, as they were charged 3d. a ton per year, 
commencing on the 1st of January ; so that if a vessel arrived at 
the port on the 28th of December, a charge was made for the 
year just closing, and a further sum demanded from the craft on 
going out in the month of January. This was not the case with 
regard to similar taxes in other localities, where one payment 
exempted a ship for twelve months ; and consequently the 
regulation acted in some degree as a deterrent to traders, who 
might under a more liberal arrangement have been induced to 


have availed themselves in larger numbers of the facilities 
offered by the new haven. The total length of useful wharfage in 
1845 extended over 1,000 feet, being well supplied with posts and 
rings, and possessing no less than sixteen hand cranes, thirteen of 
which were for the purpose of unloading vessels at the quay. 
There was a depth of five feet at low-water spring tides from the 
marine lighthouse, at the foot of Wyre, to the wharf, and it was 
proposed to dredge until ten feet had been obtained. 

On examining the state of the shipping trade of the harbour 
during the year 1845, it is discovered that the imports and exports 
of foreign produce and home manufacture, respectively, far out- 
stripped those of any of the few preceding years. There had been 
vessels laden with guano from Ichaboe, sugar from the West Indies, 
flax from Russia, and timber from both the Baltic and Canada, 
making in all twenty-three ships of large tonnage, only two of which 
returned with cargoes, in far from complete stages of fulness, from 
the warehouses of Manchester, Preston, or other adjacent commer- 
cial towns. The coasting trade had also given earnest of its pro- 
gressive tendencies by a remarkable increase in the number of 
discharges and loadings over those of the previous twelve months, 
and notwithstanding the four hundred feet of extra wharfage, 
forming the wooden pier, just opened, the demands for quay berths 
could not always be supplied. 

New bonding warehouses were erected towards the close of 
1 845 at the corner of Adelaide and Dock Streets, the temporary 
ones previously in use being abandoned, and comprised three 
stories capable of providing accommodation for 400 hogsheads of 
sugar at one time, as well as spacious vaults and other con- 
veniences for duty-bearing articles. The goods allowed to be 
warehoused were wine, spirits, tea, tobacco, East India goods, 
and goods in general. 

In 1 846 prosperity continued to reward the efforts put forth by 
the authorities of the young haven. Twelve vessels arrived from 
America with timber, and nine similarly laden from the Baltic ; 
tobacco, sugar, and other commodities were imported in two ships 
from the Indies ; but the event which kindled the brightest 
anticipations in the breasts of the inhabitants and others interested 
in the success of the port was the arrival of the barque " Diogenes/' 
chartered by Mr. Evans, of Chipping, with the first cargo of cotton 


ever landed at Fleetwood. In it was welcomed an introduction to 
the chief trade of the county, and a happy augury of future 
activity in an import which would not only of itself materially 
assist the financial condition of the harbour, but would also be the 
means of spreading its reputation throughout the commercial 
world, and extending its field of action to a degree which could 
scarcely be foretold. How these pleasant visions have been fulfilled 
the reader is perhaps aware, but if not a glance at the tables of 
coasting and foreign trade, given a little later, will furnish the 
necessary information. On the I2th of February, immediately 
the novel consignment just referred to, which "afforded a suitable 
opportunity," had come to hand, a public dinner was given by 
their fellow-townsmen to Frederick Kemp and John Laidlay, 
esqrs., as a mark of respect for their assiduous efforts to develope 
the mercantile resources of the place. During the evening Mr. 
Laidlay remarked that " within a short period the trading inter- 
course of the port had extended to various and distant portions of 
the world, the products of Africa, the West Indies, and North 
America having been imported ; and stretching our arm still 
further, a cargo from the East Indies may be stated as almost 
within our grasp." Mr. Evans, in alluding to his transatlantic 
shipment, affirmed that in bringing it by way of Fleetwood, he 
had effected a saving of at least a farthing per pound ; and con- 
tinued, "When the order was given, it could not have been 
imported into Liverpool without loss." 

In the latter part of the year a testimonial was presented by the 
inhabitants of the town to Henry Smith, esq., of Fleetwood, 
manager of the North Lancashire Steam Navigation Company, as 
a tribute to his untiring and successful attempts to promote 
steamship traffic and advance the interests of the place, and in the 
course of a speech made on the occasion, Mr. Smith said : 
" In 1842 I first visited Fleetwood at the request of the London 
board of directors, it then presented a most gloomy aspect a 
splendid modern ruin, no shipping, no steamers, no passengers for 
the trains, and yet it required no very keen discernment to learn 
that all the facilities for trade and commerce existed here, but life 
was wanting ; here was one of the finest and safest harbours, 
certainly the best lighted and marked port on the west coast, 
being as easily made by night as by day, with that wonderful 



natural phenomenon, the Lune Deep, making it a safety port to 
take in fog by sounding a thing having no parellel in England. 
* What changes have we witnessed here since 
1842? I have seen your population without employment, and 
now there is more work than there are hands to perform the 
wages from one shilling a day have advanced to two shillings and 
sixpence and three shillings ; then indeed was your port without a 
ship, now there is a general demand for more quay room, although 
since then upwards of i ,000 feet have been added to the wharfage ; 
then your railway receipts were ^"100, this year they have attained 
^~i,5oo per week." This unfortunate gentleman was killed in 
the June following, through a collison on the London and 
North Western Railway ; and there can be no hesitation in 
affirming that, had his career of usefulness and activity not been 
thus prematurely cut short, the trade of Fleetwood would have 
developed, in the long period which has elapsed since his death, 
into something more important than it presents to day. 

The following authentic returns of the whole business of the port 
in 1846 forms a favourable comparison with those of 1840, the 
year in which the railway was opened, when they amounted to 
57,051 tons of imports, the exports being proportionately small: 



1846. January ... 59 ships 11,564 tons. 

February ... 60 , 11,25* 

March 72 , ",252 

April 63 10,971 

May 61 ",539 

June 61 10,637 

July 81 13,413 

August 80 13,194 

September... 94 13,5^5 

October 64 ",472 

November ... 63 II ,O94 

December ... 41 7,78$ 


799 ships 137,687 tons. 

. 24 6,935 

59 ships 11,875 tons. 






















not obtained. 

849 ships 135,677 tons. 

13 2,703 

Total 823 ships 144,622 tons. 862 ships 138,3801005. 

The animated appearance of the harbour was described in 1 846 
by a gentleman connected with the town, as here quoted : 


"With two Indiamen at their berths, the splendid steamers 
alongside, schooners, small craft innumerable dotting the river, 
wharfmen, porters, etc., removing merchandise from vessel to 
wagon, and vice versa, the cranes in constant operation, goods- 
trains arriving and preparing for departure, give the pier-head 
and harbour an air of bustle and activity, and are themselves a 
pleasing indication of what our commerce may become ; of the 
trade which vigilance, patience, and effort, may secure to the 
harbour and railway." 

The twelve months of 1 847 proved anything but a re-assuring 
time. The foreign imports suddenly fell off to six cargoes, four of 
which were timber from America, the two remaining being guano 
and timber from Hamburg. One left for Mexico and Hong Kong, 
laden with British goods, silk, wine, and spirits from the bonding 
warehouses. The coasting returns also showed a diminution of 
almost fifty discharges at the quay, as compared with the previous 
year, and a corresponding decrease in the exports ; but in spite of 
the sudden dispiriting experience, we find from the annexed extract 
out of the annual official report concerning the harbour, that the 
future was regarded hopefully : "There is every probability of the 
business increasing at this Port, as an extensive trade with the 
Baltic is expected, and most of the goods now in warehouse under 
bond will no doubt be taken out for home consumption during the 
present year." 1848 was marked by an increase of nine in the 
number of foreign importations ; and of the fifteen large vessels 
which arrived, one was from France with wines and spirits for 
re-exportation to Mexico, two were from the Baltic and Hamburg 
with timber, eleven from Canada with timber, and one from 
Russia with flax. The importers of timber carried on, and used 
sedulous efforts to extend, a healthy retail trade in the adjoining 
districts and in the west of Yorkshire. The export trade was still 
inconsiderable, although gradually increasing, but it was expected, 
from the convenient situation of the harbour to the manufacturing 
towns, and the local dues upon vessels and goods being much 
lower than at other ports, that both it and the imports would, 
before many years had passed over, become very extensive, more 
especially as the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company had 
recently acquired a right to the line between Fleetwood and 
Preston, and were offering every facility and inducement to 



shippers and manufacturers, with the view of making this haven 
the inlet and outlet for goods to and from the towns and villages 
on their several lines. During the twelve months eighteen small 
importations of paper from the Isle of Man took place, and it was 
necessary for the officers connected with the customs to keep a 
strict guard upon the wharf to prevent the smuggling of that and 
other dutiable articles by the numerous passenger and coasting 
vessels from the above island, as well as from Scotland and Ireland. 
In 1849 the foreign imports were more than doubled, the excess 
being chiefly due to the increase of timber-laden vessels. Six of 
the total number sailed outwards with cargoes of warehoused 
goods, and nine with coal and salt. The coasting trade underwent 
a most remarkable rise of about four hundred cargoes inwards, and 
two hundred outwards, the principal of the former being iron ore, 
pig iron, and, more occasionally, grain ; and of the latter, coal. 
The barque " Isabella " discharged 609 bales of cotton at Fleet- 
wood from America in July, 1850, being the second cargo landed 
here, and later in the year another consignment of 400 bales was 
brought by the same vessel. In 1851 the only novel feature was 
the arrival of a large shipload of currants ; the value of British 
goods exported amounted to ^"90,000, besides which there were 
considerable quantities of merchandise sent outwards from bond. 
The main foreign business in 1852 was in timber and dried fruits, 
but such importations were seriously diminished during the 
ensuing year by the high price of the latter and by a temporary 
misunderstanding between the railway company and one of the 
chief timber merchants, through which several consignments 
intended for the Wyre were diverted elsewhere ; in addition five 
large cargoes were lost at sea and not replaced. The coasting 
trade continued to expand until 1856, when its zenith was reached, 
since when it has been characterised by a gradual decline, and 
the last report, that of 1875, is as little encouraging as any, with 
one exception, of its degenerate predecessors. The fourth freight 
of cotton, consisting of 1,327 bales, made its appearance in the ship 
"Cleopatra," in the spring of 1857, and was consigned to Messrs. 
Benjamin Whitworth and Brothers, of Manchester, etc. Shortly 
afterwards, barely two weeks, the " Favourite " arrived with a 
further consignment for the same firm, and gave the signal for 
the real commencement of a prosperous trade in that commodity 


with America, which rapidly developed until the outbreak of 
civil war in the transatlantic continent brought it somewhat 
abruptly to a close in 1862. In a comparative statement of 
charges between Liverpool and Fleetwood, issued during that 
flourishing time, it was demonstrated that on a vessel of 500 tons, 
cotton in and coals out, the following saving in favour of this port 
could be effected : 

s. d. 

Charges on Ship 66 o o 

on Cargo inwards 96 8 4 

,, on Cargo outwards 868 

Total saving ^"170 15 o 

Supposing the cargo to have been consigned to parties in 
Preston, a further advantage, amounted to ^230 os. od. in car- 
riage would be gained, raising the entire saving to ^"400 153. od. 

During late years, the business firm just alluded to, whose 
interests in, and efforts for, the welfare of the port have so long 
been unflagging, has made a vigorous attempt to revive the 
American cotton importations. For the last few seasons several of 
their shipments, about ten, have annually arrived, and there is 
every prospect that when the dock is completed many more 
vessels will be chartered. A large shed for the reception of cotton 
was erected in 1875, in Adelaide Street, by Messrs. B. Whitworth 
and Bros., who have also established a permanent office in the 

In 1859 the trade between Fleetwood and Belfast had developed 
to such an extent that a larger covered area for the temporary 
warehousing, loading, and discharging of goods was urgently 
called for, and towards the close of that year a space of about 190 
feet in length, by 30 feet wide, was walled in and roofed over on 
the quay, adjoining the building then in use for the same purposes. 
Four years later, in 1863, two steam cranes were placed on the 
wharf by the North Lancashire Steam Navigation Company. 
Subsequently other cranes, working on a similar principle, have 
been added to those experimental ones, and gradually the old 
system of hand-labour at the quay-side has been superseded by 
the adoption of this more expeditious and economical plan. 
Shortly before the last-named facilities had augmented the con- 
veniences of the wharf, a fresh description of mooring appliance 


was laid down in the harbour, and consisted of two longitudinal 
ground chains of 1,000 feet each, attached at intervals of 50 feet to 
two sets of Mitchell's screws, which were worked into the clay in 
the bed of the stream. The bridle chains, shackled above to the 
mooring buoys, were secured below to the ground links between 
the attachments of the screws, the buoys being so arranged that 
each vessel was held stem and stern, instead of swinging round 
with the tide, or stranding with one end on the large central 
sandbank, as heretofore. 

From 1862 to the present date, the story of the haven, with 
the exceptions of the trawling fleet and the Belfast line, which 
will be treated of directly, is not one which will awaken envy in 
the breasts of those whose interests are bound up in rival ports, 
nor indeed can it be a source of congratulation to those whose 
interests might ordinarily be supposed to be best promoted by its 
prosperity. It is true that the foreign trade for seven years after 
1862 was in a state of fluctuation rather than actual decline, but 
the three succeeding years were stationary at the low figure of 
21 imports each, after which there was a slight improvement, 
raising the annual numbers to 24, 32, and, in 1875, 33, due more 
to the staunch allegiance of Messrs. B. Whitworth and Bros., 
whose cotton again appeared on the wharf, than to any induce- 
ments offered to them or others by increased facilities or more 
appropriate accommodation. The coasting trade has already been 
referred to, so that there is no necessity to recapitulate facts but 
just laid before our readers. It is proper, however, to mention a 
few statistics respecting the trade in exports of coal, the chief 
business, and below are given the numbers of tons shipped, mostly 
to Ireland, in each of the specified years : 

1855 31,490 1869 24,741 

1860 23,652 1870 43,653 

1865 16,225 1871 51,473 

1866 12,315 1872 54,794 

1867 10,912 1873 55,447 

1868 6,809 I8 74 56,939 

1875 71,353- 

The large and sudden increase from 1869 is mainly owing to 
several screw steamships having been extensively engaged in the 
traffic, and there is every probability, from the addition within 
the last few months of a new and handsome coal-screw, and 



other indications, that this branch of commerce will continue 
to develope with equal, if not greater, rapidity. Again, it 
should be remembered, when considering the falling off in the 
numerical strength of the coasting vessels trading here, that 
those now plying are of much greater carrying capacity than 
formerly, and consequently the actual exports and imports have 
not suffered diminution in anything like the same proportion 
as the ships themselves. A series of tabular statements of all 
the most important and interesting matters connected with the 
harbour from the earliest obtainable dates has been prepared 
from the official returns made to the custom-house during each 
twelve months, and subjoined will be found a list of the vessels 
retained on the register as belonging to the port at the end of the 
years indicated, with their tonnages and the number of hands 
forming the crews 














720 , 



c,6o . 















... -6,-j. . . . . 


. .. 196 






3 ... 

... 586 ... 

J** ' 

.. 35 - 

1 * T- A 

... 49 .. 

jjj / * 

.. 4933 ... 

... 267 


... 978 .... 

.. 52 ... 

.... 51 - 

... 5458 ... 

... 280 







4 ... 

... 968 .... 

* * T y 

.... / i ... 

,... 79 .-. 

... 8168 ... 


... 427 

4 .. 

... 968 .... 


.... 76 ... 

... 6930- ... 

... 392 


... 968 .... 


.... 84 ... 

... 12075 ... 

... 570 


... 1508 .... 

74 - 

.... 93 ... 

... 14760 ... 

... 640 


... 1249 ... 

.. 62 .. 

.... 89 ..T 

... 13957 ... 

... 602 

4 ... 

... 1249 .... 

.. 62 ... 

... 85 ... 

... 12147 ... 

... 567 

5 ... 

... 1355 .... 

.. 71 ... 

... 81 ... 

... 10338 ... 

... 513 

6 ... 






. ... 6 ... 


/ H- 


,* _ j , , . 

... 80 .... 

y / o t 



6 ... 

I77Q . 

/ *f 



6 ... 

I77Q . 

" y^ ' * * 


... // .... 

.. II226 

^3 X 



... 1239 .... 

. . y^ . . . 
.. 70 ... 

... 99 .... 

.. 12601 ... 

> 0*0 

... 5 8 7 

7 ... 

... 1797 .... 

.. 93 ... 

... 104 .... 

.. 12546 ... 

... 609 

7 ... 

... 1571 .... 

.. 81 ... 

... 115 .... 

.. 13642 ... 

... 690 


... 1571 .... 

.. 81 ... 

... 133 .... 

.. 15161 ... 

... 789 

7 ... 

.. 1994 .... 

.. 92 ... 

... 150 .... 

.. 19379 

... 947 

7 ... 

... 1994 .... 

.. 122 ... 

... 162 .... 

.. 22598 .... 

... 1045 


... 2671 .... 

.. 160 ... 

... 165 .... 

.. 22655 ... 

... 1061 




The foregoing tables, taken by themselves, would seem to 


imply that from the year 1868, the business of the place had 
been characterised by a rapid and most satisfactory increase, but 
unfortunately for such a deduction, the ships registered as 
belonging to any port afford no clue to the number actually 
engaged in traffic there, hence it happens that many vessels 
hailing from Fleetwood, as their maternal port, are seldom to be 
observed in its waters. 

The following are the annual records of the foreign and coasting 
trade of the harbour, in which the Belfast and all other steamships 
are included under the latter heading : 










.... I 

.. 436 

... 327 



.... 2 

.. 580 

.... 473 



.... 13 


.... 927 



.... I 

- 752 

.... 913 



.- 5 

.. 873 

.... 857 


36 ..... 

.- 15 

.. 1247 

.... 1059 



.... H 

.. 986 

.... 1014 



.... 13 


.... 932 



.... 12 

- 951 

.... 823 



.... 7 

... 1093 

.... 919 



.... 6 

,.. 1119 

.... 983 



..- 4 

... IIOI 

.... 971 



.... 4 

... 1181 

.... 1120 



.... 7 

.. 1130 

.... 1150 



.... 13 

.. I02O 

... 986 




... 1023 

.... 865 




... 1123 

.... 8I 3 


68 .... 

.... 28 

... 953 

.... 713 



.... 7 

,.. ' 884 

.... 560 


27 ... . 

.... IO 

- 795 

.... 6I 5 


35 - 


... 783 ... 

... 610 


29 .... 


... 868 

.... 623 




... 762 

.... 612 




... 737 

.... 573 


26 .... 

.. .- 3 

... 689 

.... 5" 




... 730 

... 5" 




... 694 

.... 573 




... 545 

.... 526 




... 697 

.... 621 


24 .... 


... 696 

.... 670 


32 .... 


... 703 

.... 587 


33 .-. 

. ... 2 

- 659 

.... 589 


The particulars given below, concerning the vessels belonging 
to Fleetwood, will form an interesting and useful accompaniment to 
the foregoing : 

New Vessels 1 Broken-up Transferred to 

Registered. Lost at Sea. (condemned). other Ports. 

Year. No. Tons. No. Tons. No. Tons. No. Tons. 



i ... 

83 ... 


i .. 

. 27 



... ... ... 

... .. 



... 199 

2 ... 

62 . 

... ... ... 

i .. 

. 44 



... 128 



... ... ... 

... 8 .. 

. 1003 



... 104 

I ... 


... ... ... 

... 5 

. 562 



... 484 

I ... 

23 ... 

... ... ... 

... 4 .. 




... 364 

I ... 

26 ... 

... ... ... 

... .. 



... 239 


1050 ... 

... ... ... 

... i .. 




... 97 

5 ... 


... ... ... 

... 3 

. 726 



... 865 



... I ... 29 ... 

... 2 .. 




... 1012 



... ... ... 

... 7 

. S i8 



- 534 

i ... 

416 ... 

... ... ... 

... 12 .. 

. 1844 



... 226 


1308 ... 

.. ... .. 

... 4 .. 

. 118 



... 201 

9 ... 

3363 ... 

... ... ... 

... 3 

. 666 



... 273 

i ... 

538 ... 

... .. ... 

... 2 .. 




... 520 

5 ..- 

1449 ... 

... i ... 16 ... 

... 2 ., 




... 439 

6 ... 

605 ... 

... ... ... 

... 2 .. 

. 214 



... 588 



... ... ... 

... .. 



- 512 

i ... 

518 ... 

... ... ... 

... ., 



... 1610 

2 ... 

683 ... 

... 2 ... 65 ... 

... I .. 




... 99i 



... ... ... 

... 2 .. 




... 1588 

3 ... 

427 ... 

... ... ... 

... I .. 

. 42 



... 2921 

6 ... 

1966 .., 

... ... ... 

... 2 ., 

. I2O 



... 2928 

5 - 

2304 .. 

... I ... 32 ... 

... ., 



... 2410 .... 

.. 4 ... 

2O2I ... 

... I ... 16 ... 

... 4 ., 

. 300 

Now that the dock is no longer a mere word and promise, but 
has at length a definite signification and a material existence, 
there is every appearance that those into whose hands the 
fortunes of the port may be said to have been entrusted have 
no intention of any dilatory action in furthering the interests 
of their charge. Already, in 1875, a powerful steam dredger 
has been purchased at a cost of ^"12,000 and set to its labours 
in the channel and harbour. This dredger, which has super- 
seded the older and much smaller one, launched in 1840 and 

i. Newly-built vessels registered for the first time, the other vessels belonging 
to the harbour being transferred from other parts and re-registered here. 


used until recently, was built by Simonds and Company, of 
Renfrew, on the Clyde, and is of loo-horse power, being capable 
of raising 250 tons of sand, shingle, etc., in an hour. In addition 
it is able to work in twenty-six feet of water, whereas the original 
one was obliged to wait until the tide had ebbed to fourteen feet 
before operations could be commenced, so that really the work 
which can be accomplished by the new machine is out of all 
proportion to that which its predecessor could effect. Several 
iron pontoons, or lighters, furnished with false bottoms to expedite 
the business of discharging them, formerly performed by hand 
and spade, have also been obtained ; and the bed of the river 
seaward from Fleetwood is rapidly being relieved of its super- 
abundance of tidal deposits and scourings, which is carried by 
the lighters beyond the marine lighthouse at the foot of the Wyre 
and deposited in the Lune. 

Steamboat traffic was, and is, the most important branch of 
shipping connected with the port, but notwithstanding the 
support and encouragement which has been so freely extended to 
the Belfast line, sundry attempts by the same company to 
establish sea-communications between Fleetwood and other places 
have invariably ended in complete failures. In the context we 
have endeavoured to trace a brief outline of the steamship trade 
of the harbour from its earliest days up to our time. The North 
Lancashire Steam Navigation Company was established in 1843, 
and commenced operations by running the " Prince of Wales" 
and the " Princess Alice," two large and fast iron steamships for 
that date, between this port and Belfast on each Wednesday and 
Saturday evening, the return trips being made on the Monday 
and Friday. In that year, however, the number of trips was 
increased to three per week, the fares for the single journey 
being, saloon, 155. ; and deck, 35. Another steamship the 
" Robert Napier," of 220 horse-power, sailed also from Fleetwood 
in 1843, every Friday morning, at 10 a.m. for Londonderry, 
calling at Portrush, and returned on Tuesday, the fares 
being, cabin, 2os. ; and deck, 55. In 1844 we find that commu- 
nications, through the exertion and enterprise of the above 
company, were open between Fleetwood and Belfast, Londonderry, 
Ardrossan, and Dublin, respectively. The Ardrossan line con- 
sisted of two new iron steamboats, "Her Majesty," and the "Royal 


Consort," each of which was 300 tons register, and 350 horse- 
power, the fares being, cabin, ijs. ; and deck, 45. The Dublin 
trip was performed once, and afterwards twice, a week each way, 
by the iron steamship "Hibernia," which called off Douglas, Isle 
of Man, to land passengers, but after a year's trial this communica- 
tion was closed. In the summer of 1845, an Isle of Man line was 
opened by the steamship " Orion," which ran daily, except 
Sundays ; and at the same season the Belfast boats commenced 
to make the double journey four days a week, whilst the London- 
derry route was abandoned. As early as 1840, on the completion 
of the Preston and Wyre Railway, a daily steam communication 
had been established to Bardsea, as the nearest point to Ulverston 
and the Lakes ; and in the month of September, 1846, on the 
completion of Piel Pier, it was transferred to that harbour, 
and continued by the steamship "Ayrshire Lassie," of 100 horse- 
power, the fares being, saloon, 2s. ; and deck, is. In the 
following year this boat was superseded by a new steamer, the 
" Helvellyn," of 50 tons register and 75 horse-power, which 
continued to ply for many years, in fact, almost until this summer 
line was closed, at a comparatively recent date, about eight or ten 
years ago. The Fleetwood and Ardrossan steamers discontinued 
running in 1847, and at the same time an extra boat, the 
<( Fenella," was placed on the Isle of Man route, whilst the Belfast 
trips were reduced to three double journeys per week. After a 
few years experience the Isle of Man line, a season one only, was 
given up ; but the Belfast trade, continually growing, soon obliged 
the company to increase the number of trips, and step by step to 
enlarge and improve the boat accommodation. We need not 
trace through its different stages the gradual and satisfactory 
progress of this line, but our object will be sufficiently attained by 
stating that the two steamships were shortly increased to three. 
Afterwards larger and finer boats, having greater power, took the 
places of the original ones, and at the present day the fleet 
consists of four fine steamers of fully double the capacity of the 
original ones, which cross the channel from each port every 
evening except Sunday. 

In the year 1874 the whole of the interests of Frederick 
Kemp, esq., J.P., of Bispham Lodge, in the Fleetwood and Belfast 
steam line were acquired by the Lancashire and Yorkshire and 


London and North Western Railway Companies, at that time 
owners of the larger share, and now practically sole proprietors. 
Up to the date of this transaction the vendor had been intimately 
and personally associated with the traffic as managing-owner 
from its first institution, in addition to which he was the chief 
promoter of the Ardrossan and Isle of Man routes. 

With the solitary exception of the service whose progress has 
just been briefly traced out, there is perhaps no single branch of 
industry which has assisted so ably in maintaining and stimu- 
lating such prosperity as the town of Fleetwood has enjoyed, 
throughout its chequered career, as the fishing traffic. In the 
earliest years of the seaport, shortly before the Belfast steamer 
communication was established, a second pilot boat, named the 
"Pursuit," arrived in the river from Cowes, but finding little 
occupation the crew provided themselves with a trawl-net and 
turned their long periods of vigil to profitable account by its use. 
This sensible plan of launching out into another field of labour 
when opportunities of prosecuting their more legitimate avocation 
failed them was not of long duration, probably no more than a 
few months, for on the Irish line of steamships commencing to 
ply the pilots secured berths as second officers, and their boat was 
laid up. The " Pursuit" soon became a tender to a government 
ship engaged in surveying ; and about ten or twelve months later 
was purchased by some gentlemen, denominated the Fleetwood 
Fishing Company, and, together with four more boats, hired from 
North Meols, Southport, sent out on fishing excursions. At the 
end of one year the hired sloops were discharged, and five 
similar craft bought by the company, thus making a fleet of six 
smacks belonging to the place, connected with the trawling trade. 
In the course of three or four years the whole of the boats were 
sold, as the traffic had not proved so remunerative a venture as at 
first anticipated ; and one only remained in the harbour, being 
purchased by Mr. Robert Roskell, of this place. Shortly after- 
wards a Scotch smack arrived from Kirkcudbright, and in about 
twelve months the two boats were joined by three or four from 
North Meols, owned for the most part by a family named 
Leadbetter, which settled here. Almost simultaneously another 
batch of fishing craft made its appearance from the east coast and 
took up a permanent station at Fleetwood. The success which 


attended the expeditions of the deep-sea trawlers was not long in 
being rumoured abroad and attracting others, who were anxious to 
participate in an undertaking capable of producing such satisfactory 
results. Year by year the dimensions of the originally small fleet 
were developed as new-comers appeared upon the scene, and added 
their boats to those already actively prosecuting the trade. To 
trace minutely each gradation in the prosperous progress of this 
line of commerce would be wearisome to the reader, and is in no 
way necessary to the object we have in view. It will be sufficient 
for the purpose to state that in 1860 the number of fishing smacks 
on the Fleetwood station amounted to thirty-two, varying in 
tonnage from 25 to 50 tons each and built at an average cost of 
^"500 each, the lowest being ^400 and the highest ^~i,ooo. The 
following will illustrate the plan by which men in the humble 
sphere of fishermen were enabled to become the proprietors of 
their own craft : A shipmaster supplied the vessel on the 
understanding that 100 was deposited at once, and the remainder 
paid by quarterly instalments,- no insurance being asked for or 
proffered regarding risk. The arrangement entered into by the 
smack-owners for the conveyance of fish to shore, when they 
were engaged out at sea in their calling was most simple and 
business-like. The boats kept company during fishing, and on a 
certain signal being given one of the number, according to a 
previous agreement, received the whole of the fish so far caught 
by her fellow craft and returned home, for which service her men 
were paid 2s. each by the other crews, who continued their 
occupation and arrived in harbour generally on Friday. For the 
next week another smack was selected, and thus all in turn 
performed the mid-week journey. At present there are no less 
than eighty-four sloops belonging to this port, pursuing the 
business of fishing, and the arrangements both for their purchase 
and the landing of the captured fish have undergone a revolution. 
All boats are now paid for when they leave the shipbuilder's yard, 
and the former custom of a mid-week relief, has been relinquished, 
each sloop returning and discharging as occasion requires. A 
fishing boat's crew usually consists of four men and a boy. In con- 
clusion it should be noticed that a special warehouse, about 90 feet 
long, was erected in 1859, solely for the use of the fishermen and 
agents, or dealers, connected with the trade. 



ORENTUM, or Thornton, was estimated in the time of 
William the Conqueror to contain six carucates of 
land fit for the plough, but this computation was 
exclusive of Rossall and Burn, which were valued 
at two carucates respectively, so that the whole townships held ten 
carucates, about one thousand acres of arable soil, or farming 
land, a large amount for those days, but insignificant indeed when 
we recall the nine thousand seven hundred and thirty acres 
embraced by the township at present, either in use for grazing 
and agricultural purposes, or forming the sites of town and village 

Thornton was held immediately after the Conquest by Roger 
de Poictou, and subsequently by Theobald Walter, after whose 
death it passed to the crown. 

During the reign of King John, Margaret Wynewick held two 
of the six carucates of Torentum, or Thornton, in chief from that 
monarch, and her marriage was in his gift. In 1214-15 
Baldewinus Blundus paid twenty marks to John for permission 
to espouse the lady and gain possession of her estate. 1 The 
request was granted conditionally on Blundus obtaining the 
consent of her friends ; and in this he appears to have been 
successful, for we learn from a writ to the warden of the Honor 
of Lancaster in 1221, that Michael de Carleton paid a fine of ten 

I. Rot. Lit. Glaus. 16 John, m. 7. 


marks to Henry III. at that date for having married Margaret, 
the daughter and heiress of William de Winewick, without the 
royal assent, and for marrying whom Baldewinus Blundus had 
formerly paid twenty marks to King John. 1 

In 1258, Margaret de Carleton still retained her lands in 
Thornton in her maiden name of Winewick, 2 and it is probable 
from that circumstance that her second husband was then dead, 
for the writ cited above expressly commanded that her inheri- 
tance should be handed over to Michael de Carleton, the penalty 
of ten marks for his disobedience having been received. 

According to the Testa de Nevil, Matilda de Thorneton, a 
spinster, whose marriage also lay in the king's gift, held lands in 
Thornton, of the annual value of twenty shillings ; and later, 
about 1323, a moiety of Thornton was held by Lawrence, the son 
of Robert de Thorneton, a member of the same family. In 1346, 
John, son of Lawrence de Thorneton, held one carucate of land 
in Thornton and Staynolfe, lately of Robert Windewike, in 
thanage, paying yearly at four terms thirteen shillings relief, 
and suit to the county and wapentake. 3 In 1421 John de Thorn- 
ton died, possessed of half the manor of Thornton and the 
Holmes, which descended to his son, William de Thornton, who 
died in 1429, aged thirty years, leaving four daughters Agnes, 
afterwards the wife of William Wodey ; Katherine, who married 
William Carleton ; Elizabeth, the wife of Robert Adlington ; 
and Johanna, who espoused Christopher Worthington. 4 Much 
as it is to be regretted, no more than the scanty information here 
given can be discovered concerning the Thorntons, of Thornton ; 
even tradition is silent on the matter of their residence or local 
associations, although it is very likely they occupied Thornton 
Hall, a mansion long since converted into a farm house, and 
consequently we are obliged to dismiss with this brief notice what 
under more favourable auspices would probably have proved one 
of the most interesting subjects in the township, In 1292 the 
king's attorney sued Thomas de Singleton for the manor of 
Thornton, etc., but the defendant pleaded successfully, that he 
only held a portion of the manor, Thomas de Clifton and 
Katherine, his wife, holding the third of two parts of twelve 

I. Rot. Finium 5 Henry III. rn. 8. 2. Escaet. 42 Henry III. n. II. 

3. Survey of Lancashire ending in 1346. 4. Visitation of St. George. 


bovates of the soil. 1 In the seventeenth year of the reign of 
Edward II., William, father of Adam Banastre, who granted 
certain concessions to the prior of Lancaster, held, half the vill of 
of Thornton, the other half being held, as before shown, by 
Lawrence de Thorneton. 

In an ancient survey of the Hundred of Amounderness, com- 
pleted in the year 1346, it is stated that the following gentlemen 
had possessions in the place called Stena, or Stainall, in Thornton, 
at the rentals specified : John de Staynolfe held four oxgangs of 
land, at four shillings and sixpence ; 8 Roger de Northcrope, one 
messuage and one oxgang, at sevenpence halfpenny ; Sir Adam 
Banastre, knt, five acres, at fourpence ; Thomas, the son of Robert 
Staynolfe, one messuage and one oxgang, at sevenpence half- 
penny ; William Lawrence, a fourth part of an oxgang, at sixteen 
pence ; Thomas Travers, a fourth part of an oxgang, at sixteen 
pence ; John Botiler, a fourth part of an oxgang, at sixteen 
pence ; and Richard Doggeson, five acres, at sixpence. William 
de Heton held one carucate of land at Burn, in Thornton town- 
ship, for which he paid yearly at two terms, Annunciation and 
Michaelmas, ten shillings relief, and suit to the county and 
wapentake. 8 

In 1521, during the sovereignty of Henry VIII., Thomas, earl 
of Derby, was lord of the manor of Thornton, which subse- 
quently passed into the hands of the Fleetwoods, of Rossall, who 
retained it until the lifetime of the late Sir Peter Hesketh Fleet- 
wood, bart, when it was sold. Thornton has for long been 
regarded only as a reputed manor. The largest land proprietors 
at present are the Fleetwood Estate Company, Limited, and the 
trustees of the late John Horrocks, esq., of Preston, but in 
addition there is a number of smaller soil-owners and resident 
yeomen. Burn Hall is a building of the fifteenth century, and 
was occupied in 1556 by John Westby, of Mowbreck, the owner. 4 
In 1323 the land of Burn was held by William Banastre at a 
rental of ten shillings per annum, and about 1346 one carucate of 
the same land was held, as already stated, by William de Heton 

1. Placit de Quo Warr. 20 Edw. I. Lane. Rot. I3d. 

2. An oxgang is as much land as an ox can plough in a year, something con- 
siderably less than a carucate, which is estimated at one hundred acres. 

3. Chethem Soc. Series, No. Ixxiv. p. 57. 

4 _For " Westby of Burn Hall" see Chapter VI. 


for a similar yearly payment. Within the residence of Burn was 
a domestic chapel, over the doorway of which stood a polished 
oaken slab or board inscribed " Elegi abjectus esse in domo Dei 
mei, magis quam habitari in tabernaculis peccatorum." 1 The 
walls were panelled with oak and carved with shields and foliage, 
whilst the ceiling was embellished with representations of vine 
leaves and clusters of grapes. Modern alterations have destroyed 
most, if not all, interesting relics of past ages. After the 
death of John Westby, of Burn Hall, a descendant of the John 
Westby before mentioned, in 1722, Burn passed to the Rev. J. 
Bennison, of London, who had married Anne, his fourth 
daughter. It is said that Mr. Bennison utterly ruined his pro- 
perty, by attempting a style of agriculture similar to that 
described by Virgil in his Georgics. Burn Hall is now, and has 
been for many years a farm-house, and the estate forms part of 
the large tract held by the representatives of the late John 
Horrocks, esq. The land lying towards the coast was formerly 
subject to occasional inundations of the sea, but an effectual barrier 
has been put by raising a mound round such exposed localities. 

The extensive area known as Thornton Marsh, was a free 
open common, used as a pasture by the poor cottagers of 
the township until 1800, when it was enclosed, together with 
Carleton Marsh, and has since by cultivation been converted into 
valuable and productive fields. 

A church and parsonage house were erected at Thornton in 
1835, the former being a neat whitewashed building in the early 
English style of architecture, with a low square tower, but 
presenting externally no special features of attraction beyond its 
profuse covering of ivy, which renders it a most picturesque 
object in the surrounding landscape. The churchyard also is 
well worthy of notice, if only for the luxuriance of its foliage, the 
beauty of its flowers, and the taste and elegance exhibited in 
several of the monuments. This, like the church and parsonage, 
is embosomed in trees. The sacred edifice has been named Christ 
Church, and a separate parochial district was assigned to it in 
1862, the title of vicar being accorded to the incumbent. 

I. " I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in 
the tents of wickedness." 




Date of 


Cause of vacancy. 


David H. Leighton. 


Edward Thurtell. 

Resignation of D. H. Leighton. 


St. Vincent Beechey, M.A. 

, E. Thurtell. 


Robert W. Russell. 

, St. V. Beechey. 


Isaac Durant, M.A. 

, W. Russell. 


Samuel Clark. 

, I. Durrant. 


Thomas Meadows, M.A. 

, S. Clark. 

Within the building there is a small gallery at the west end, and 
the private pews are arranged in two rows, one being placed along 
each side of the body of the church, whilst the central portion is 
filled with open benches, or forms, free to all worshippers. A 
marble tablet " To the memory of Jacob Morris, a faithful warden 
for 20 years, who died Oct., 1871," is fixed against the south wall, 
and over the mantel-piece in the vestry is a white-lettered black 
board stating that "This Church was erected in the year 1835, 
containing 323 sittings; and, in consequence of a grant from the 
Incorporated Society for promoting the enlargement, building, and 
repairing of churches and chapels, 193 of that number are hereby 
declared to be free and unappropriated for ever. David Hilcock 
Leighton, minister ; James Smith and Richard Wright, church- 
wardens." On the font is the following inscription : " Presented 
to Thornton Church by Elizabeth Nutter, of Rough Hall, 
Accrington, July I3th, 1874." 

Mr. James Baines, of Poulton, by will dated 6th of January, 
1717, devised to Peter Woodhouse, of Thornton, and six others, 
and their heirs, the school-house lately erected by him on Thornton 
Marsh, and the land whereon it stood, to be used for ever as a free 
school for the children of the township ; in addition he 
bequeathed to the same trustees several closes in Carleton, called 
the Far Hall Field, the Middle Hall Field, and the Vicar's Hey, 
amounting to about twenty-one acres, to the intent, that the 
annual revenue therefrom, less IDS. to be expended each year in a 
dinner for the trustees, should be devoted to the payment of a 
suitable master. In 1806, Richard Gaskell, the sole surviving 
trustee, conveyed by indenture to John Silcock, John Hull, 


Thomas Barton, of Thornton, Charles Woodhouse of Great 
Carleton, Bickerstaff Hull, and Thomas Hull, and the said Richard 
Gaskell, their heirs and assigns, the premises above-mentioned, for 
the purposes set forth in the will of the founder. 1 A further 
endowment of ^"500 was left by Mr. Simpson, with a portion of 
which farm buildings have been erected on the school estate. 
The school-house is situated on the east side of Cleveleys Station, 
and consists of a small single-storey building, having two windows 
and a central doorway in front. To the west end is attached a 
two-storey teacher's residence. The double erection was built 
some years ago, by subscription amongst the inhabitants, on the 
site of the original fabric at a cost of rather more than ^"100. 
The master is elected and, when necessary, dismissed by the 
trustees, who forego their claim on the IDS. left for an annual 
dinner. In 1867 the number of scholars amounted to eighty- 
eight, fifty-nine of whom were boys, and twenty-nine girls, 
presenting about an average attendance since that date. 

The small village of Thornton comprises only a limited cluster of 
dwellings and the old windmill. The Wesleyan Methodists had 
established a place of worship in the township as early as 1812, 
and about ten years later the Society of Friends opened a meeting- 
house here. 

The arable land of Rossall, in Thornton township, or Rushale, 
as it was written, is estimated in the Domesday volume at two 
carucates. At that time Rossall was included amongst the 
princely possessions of the Norman baron, Roger de Poictou, 
after whose banishment it passed, by gift of Richard L, to 
Theobold Walter, and again reverted to the crown in 1206, on his 
demise. King John, at the instigation of Ranulph de Blundeville, 
earl of Chester and Lincoln, presented the grange of Rossall to 
the Staffordshire convent of Deulacres, a monastic house founded 
by that nobleman ; and in 1220-1 Henry III. issued a writ to the 
sheriff of this county, directing him to institute inquiries by 
discreet and lawful men, into the extent of several specified places, 
one of which was the pasture of Rossall, recently, " granted by 
my father, King John, U> the abbot of Deulacres." 2 In 1227-8 a 
deed was drawn up between Henry III. and the abbot whereby 

I. Charity Commissioners' Report. 2. Rot. Lit. Clause 5 Henry III., p. 474. 



the grange was conveyed, or confirmed, to the latter 1 ; and twenty 
years subsequently a fresh charter appears to have been framed 
and to have received the royal signature, for in the following reign 
of Edward I., when that monarch laid claim to the land as a 
descendant of King John, the head of the Staffordshire convent 
produced a document of 31 Henry III. (1247), at the trial, granting 
"to God, the church of St. Mary, and the abbot of Deulacres and 
his successors for ever, the manor ofRossall with its appurtenances 
and with the wreck of the sea." 2 Sir Robert de Lathum, Sir 
Robert de Holaund, Sir John de Burun, Sir Roger de Burton, 
Sir John de Cornwall, Sir John de Elyas, and Sir Alan de 
Penyngton, knights ; Alan de Storeys, Robert de Eccleston, 
William du Lee, Hugh de Clyderhou, and Roger de Middleton, 
esquires, who composed the jury in the above suit, decided in 
favour of the abbot's title, but at the request of the king's 
attorney, judgment was arrested, and it was pleaded on behalf of 
the regal claimant that the abbot's allegations seemed to imply 
that the manor of Rossall was formerly held by the monks of 
Deulacres in bailiwick of Kings, John and Henry ; that thirty 
years at least of the reign of Henry had elapsed before the 
predecessors of the present abbot held any fee or free tenement 
in the manor, which was worth 100 marks per annum ; and 
that this rent had been in arrears during the whole of the time ; 
wherefore the king's attorney demanded that the accumulation 
of these arrears, amounting to 3,000 marks, or ^2,000, should 
be paid by the abbey to Edward I. The jury stated in their 
verdict that the manor had been held by the abbot's predecessors 
as pleaded by the king's attorney, but that during the last seven 
years of King John, and the first twenty-four years of Henry III., 
the manor was only worth 30 marks per annum, and in the 
remaining six years before the date of the charter put in as 
evidence by the abbot in the first trial, they valued the manor 
at 40 marks per annum, on which scales the abbey of Deulacres 
was condemned to pay the accumulated arrearages. In 1539, 
during the reign of Henry VIII., the grange was valued in the 
Compotus of the king's ministers at ^"13 6s. 3d. per annum. 
The site of the original Hall has long since been washed away 

I. Rot. Chart. 12 Henry III., m. 3. 2. Placit de Quo. Warr. 20 Edward I. 


by the waves, but in earlier years, before the sea had made such 
encroachments on the land, the foundations of red sandstone and 
the remnant of an old ivied Avail were visible near the edge of the 
cliff, all being sufficiently traceable to indicate that the mansion 
had been one of no mean dimensions. A coat of arms of the 
Fleetwood family, rudely engraven on a flat stone, some ornamental 
pinnacles, and other relics of the ancient edifice, have also been 
discovered at different times. Numerous foundations of large 
buildings were once scattered about the sandy soil of the grange, 
but most of them were removed eighty years since as impedi- 
ments to the course of the plough. In a plot of ground, known 
by the title of "Churchyard field," remains of a structure, running 
east and west, in length thirty and in breadth twelve yards, were 
taken up about half a century or more ago by a farmer named 
John Ball, who whilst removing them came upon some human 
bones. The fabric once standing there was conjectured to have 
been a chapel or oratory, and the bones to have been those of 
priests or others buried within its precincts. Harrison, in 
describing the course of the Wyre, says " that at the Chapell of 
Allhallowes tenne myles from Garstone it goeth into the sea," 
and Mr. Thornber suggests, in his History of Blackpool and 
Neighbourhood, that the foundations disturbed by Mr. Ball may 
have been the remains of the oratory alluded to by the ancient 
topographer ; but whilst admitting that the character of the relics 
discovered points to there having been at one time a religious 
edifice on the site, we cannot think that its claims to be the 
missing chapel are nearly so great as those of Bispham, which is 
now known, by an inscription on an old communion goblet, to 
have been actually dedicated to All-Hallows, or at least to have 
been commonly designated by that name in the seventeenth 

The Aliens appear to have held Rossall on lease from the abbot 
of Deulacres about a century after the dispute between that 
monastery and Edward I. had been decided, for in 1397, during 
the reign of Richard II., the name of " Allen of Ross-hall" was 
entered in the list of donors to the fraternities of the Preston 
Guild of that year. George Allen, of Brookhouse, Staffordshire, 
who held Rossall at the date of the Reformation, by virtue of a 
long lease granted to his ancestors by an abbot of Deulacres, is 


the earliest of this family to whom these tenants of the grange 
can be traced genealogically. The widow and daughters of the 
grandson of George Allen were ejected from Rossall in 1853, 
before the expiration of their lease, and despoiled of valuable 
documents and propety by Edmund Fleetwood, whose father had 
purchased the reversion from Henry VIII., at the time of the 
dissolution of monasteries. On that occasion a neighbour, Anion, 
seized and appropriated ^"500 belonging to the Aliens on pretence 
of remitting it to Dr. William Allen, at Rheims. Mrs. Allen 
made an attempt to recover possession of the grange, and a trial 
for that purpose took place at Manchester, but her case broke 
down through inability to produce the original deeds and papers, 
all of which had been either stolen or destroyed when the Hall 
was plundered during the ejection. 1 The estate, or grange, of 
Rossall, remained in the hands of the Fleetwoods until the 
death of Edward Fleetwood, when it passed to Roger Hesketh, 
of North Meols, who married Margaret, the only child and 
heiress of that gentleman in 1733.* The Heskeths, of Rossall, 
were descended from the Heskeths of Rufford, through Hugh 
Hesketh, an offspring of Sir Thomas Hesketh, of Rufford. Hugh 
Hesketh married the eldest daughter and co-heiress of Barneby 
Kytichene, or Kitchen, and thus acquired a moiety of the manor 
of North Meols. At the decease of Hugh Hesketh, in 1625, the 
the lands of North Meols descended to his son, Thomas Hesketh, 
then 56 years of age, whose son and heir, Robert Hesketh, 
was already married to the daughter of Formby, of Formby. 
The only child of Robert Hesketh was the Roger Hesketh, 
mentioned above, who also held Tulketh Hall and estate. The 
Heskeths continued to reside at Rossall until the lifetime of the 
late Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, bart. ; and under their pro- 
prietorship, at an early period, or in the latest years of their 
predecessors, the ancient Hall was pulled or washed down and 
another mansion erected more removed from the shore. 

In 1 843 the design of establishing a school for the education of 
the sons of clergymen and other gentlemen, under the direct 
superintendence of the Church of England, but .at a less cost 
than incurred at the public schools then in existence, was first 

1. See "Allen of Rossall " in Chapter VI. 

2. See " Fleetwood of Rossall " in ditto. 

ROSS ALL. 277 

promulgated by the Rev. St. Vincent Beechey, incumbent of 
Thornton and Fleetwood ; and mainly through the exertions of 
that gentleman a provisional committee for arranging details and 
furthering the object in view, was formed in the first month of 
the ensuing year. This committee consisted, amongst others, of 
the Rev. J. Owen Parr, vicar of Preston, chairman ; the Revs. 
Charles Hesketh, vicar of North Meols ; William Hornby, 
vicar of St. Michael's-on-Wyre ; John Hull, vicar of Poulton ; 
R. B. Robinson, incumbent of Lytham ; St. Vincent Beechey, 
incumbent of Thornton and Fleetwood, hon. sec./ro. tern.; and 
Messrs. Thomas Clifton, of Lytham Hall ; Daniel Elletson, of 
Parrox Hall, and T. R. Wilson-ffrance, of Rawcliffe Hall. At 
their first meeting it was decided that the management of the 
school should be placed in the hands of a committee of twenty- 
four of the principal clergy and laity in the neighbourhood, of 
whom fourteen should be clergymen and ten laymen, with power 
to fill up vacancies ; that the bishop of the diocese should always 
be the visitor ; that the provisional committee should be the first 
members of the council, with which should rest the appointment 
of the principal, who must be in holy orders, at such a liberal 
salary as would insure the services of one eminently qualified for 
so important a post ; that the council should have power to 
dismiss the principal ; that the internal management, subject to 
certain regulations, should be committed to the principal, who 
should have the appointment and dismissal of all the inferior or 
subordinate masters ; and that the system of education should 
resemble that in the school connected with King's College, 
London, and in Marlborough school, consisting of systematic 
religious instruction, sacred literature, classics, mathematics, 
modern languages, drawing, music, etc. 

With regard to the admission of pupils it was resolved that the 
school should consist of not less than two hundred boys ; that no 
child should be admitted under eight years of age ; that the 
mode of admission should be by annual payment, nomination, or 
insurance ; that any pupil should be admitted on the payment, 
half-yearly in 'advance, of ^"50 per annum for the sons of laymen, 
and ^"40 for the sons of clergymen ; that nominations might be 
procured, at the first opening of the school, in order to raise 
the required capital, whereby pupils could be admitted on the 


yearly payment of ^"40 for the sons of laymen, and ^"30 for the 
sons and wards of clergymen ; that a donation of ^"25, or the 
holding of two ^"25 shares, fully paid up, should entitle the donor 
or holder, to one nomination, and a donation of ^"50, or the 
holding of four shares of ^"25 each, should constitute the donor, 
or holder, a life-governor, entitled to have always one pupil in the 
school on his nomination ; that the shares should be limited to an 
annual interest of 5 per cent., and be paid off as soon as possible, 
the return of such capital, however, not to destroy the right of 
nomination during the life of a governor ; that clergymen should 
be able to provide for the admission of their children to the 
school at a reduced charge of ^"25 per annum, by paying, on the 
principle of life-insurance, small sums for several years previous 
to, or one large sum at, the date of entry of each child into the 
establishment, such payments to be regulated according to certain 
tables, and, of course, forfeited in case the child died. 

The committee stated that the outlay of capital required to 
erect a building expressly for the purposes of the school would be 
greater than they were likely to be able to meet at the low rate of 
nomination which it had been deemed expedient to adopt, and, 
therefore, it had been determined to take advantage of the offer 
of Rossall Hall by Sir P. H. Fleetwood, bart., the mansion being 
eminently adapted to the purpose, on account of its size and 
situation. It contained many suites of rooms, and an organ 
chamber, well suited for a chapel, and furnished with a fine 
instrument; and surrounding the Hall were meadows convenient 
for play-grounds, and very productive gardens. 

The title of the Northern Church of England School was given 
to the institution, and on Thursday, the 22nd of August, 1844, it 
was formally opened by the Head Master, Dr. Woolley, in the 
presence of the junior masters and from forty to fifty pupils, with 
their parents. At that date the school-buildings consisted of 
apartments in the old Hall for the principal, junior masters, and 
lady superintendent ; a dining room, 44 feet long and 20 feet wide, 
fitted with a general and masters' tables ; four dormitories, able to 
accommodate 100 boys ; and a chapel, formerly the organ-room 
above mentioned, having benches for the scholars and stalls for 
the masters, the school-house itself consisting of four lofty rooms, 
each about 34 feet long by 20 feet wide, being detached from the 

ROSS ALL. 279 

Hall, and fitted up with handsome oak desks and benches, 
fixed upon bronzed cast-iron standards. The play-ground com- 
prised many acres, and in addition there were convenient covered 
areas for the recreation of the boys in wet weather. 

The school was opened with only 70 pupils, but at the 
beginning of the second six months the number had increased 
to 115, and the establishment was self-supporting. 

The rules of the school have undergone some slight modifica- 
tions and additions since they were first framed by the provisional 
committee, and no pupils are now admitted under ten or over 
fifteen years of age, whilst the annual payments of all pupils 
have been raised 20 in each case. The insurance plan of 
entrance was never adopted. A donation of 50 guineas now 
entitles the donor to a single nomination, and one of 100 
guineas constitutes him a life-governor, with power to vote at 
all general meetings, and to have always one pupil in the school 
on his nomination. Other rules for the internal management 
and government of the school have been framed as the number 
of scholars has increased and their requirements become greater. 

There are three exhibitions connected with this institution, of 
^50 a year each, called respectively the Council, Beechey, and 
Osborne exhibitions, (the last two being named after the late 
Honorary Secretary and the late Head Master, through whose 
exertions the funds were mainly contributed,) tenable for three 
years at any of the colleges of Oxford or Cambridge ; and one of 
10 a year, in books, tenable for three years, and founded by 
Lord Egerton, of Tatton. Besides these there are about eight or 
ten entrance scholarships offered for competition every year, 
ranging in value from ^f 10 to ^"20 each. Of these seven were 
founded by George Swainson, esq., and one by the Bishop of 
Rupertsland. A number of other special prizes have been 
instituted by the present Head Master, the Rev. H. A. James, B.D. 

In 1850 the estate was purchased, and since then fresh buildings 
have been erected to provide accommodation for 400 boys. The 
old chapel, which was built to supersede the one in the organ- 
room, has of late years been converted into a library and class- 
room. A dining hall, schools, class-rooms for different branches 
of study, spacious dormitories, and a swimming bath have all 
been added ; whilst extensive enlargements and improvements 



have taken place in the sanatorium, kitchens, laundries, etc. The 
old school has been arranged and fitted up as a lecture-room and 
laboratory. The new chapel is a handsome edifice, containing 
stained glass windows and a richly decorated chancel ; it is 
dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It should be added that the 
original name, The Northern Church of England School, has 
been discontinued, and that of Rossall School, substituted, as a 
more comprehensive title for a great public school. 

Date of 


Cause of vacancy. 


Rev. John Woolley, D.C.L. 
Rev. William A. Osborne, M.A. 
Rev. Robert Henniker, M.A. 
Rev. Herbert A. James, B.D. 

Resignation of John Woolley. 
W. A. Osborne. 
R. Henniker. 

A preparatory school in connection with this college was 
successfully established during the reign of Mr. Osborne, about 
one mile distant along the shore, in a southerly direction, to 
which pupils are admitted at seven years of age, but not younger, 
and subsequently drafted into the higher institution. 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
617 ... 739 ... 875 ... 842 ... 1,014 ... 1,013 ... 1,023 ... 934 

CARLETON, anciently written Carlentun, is named in the 
Domesday Book as comprising four carucates of land ; and in 
the Black Book of the Exchequer, it is stated that during the 
reign of Henry II., 1154 89, Gilbert Fitz Reinfred held four 
carucates in Carlinton and another place. In 1254 the manor of 
Carleton in Lancashire belonged to Emma de St. John, and at 
that date there appears to have been some litigation concerning 
her right of proprietorship, but how settled we have no means of 
discovering. 1 In the Testa de Nevill it is recorded that Roger 
Gernet had the 24th part, and Robert de Stokeport the 48th, of a 
knights' fee in Little Carleton of William de Lancaster's fee. 

The earliest allusion to the local territorial family occurs in 
1 22 1 , when Michael de Carleton, as before stated under " Thornton," 

I. Placit. coram Consil. in Octab. S. Hyll. 38 Hen. III. Lane. Ror. 5, in dorso. 


paid a fine to Henry III. for having espoused Margaret Wynewick, 
or Winwick, a royal ward, without first obtaining permission from 
the king. It has been conjectured that Much Carleton received 
its peculiar title from this member of the family, and amongst the 
records of some ancient pleadings is one of 1557 concerning certain 
lands in Miche Carlton, a mode of writing the name which lends 
considerable support to the theory. Alyce Hull, widow, was the 
plaintive in the dispute. The Carletons, of Carleton, were 
connected with the neighbourhood for a very long period as 
holders of the manor ; Alicia, the daughter of William de Carleton 
married Sir Richard Butler, of Rawcliffe Hall, in 1281, and 
received the manor of Inskip as her dowry ; and in 1346 H. de 
Carleton possessed four carucates and a half in Carleton. 1 Thomas 
de Carleton held the manor of Carleton up to the time of his 
death in 1500, when he was succeeded by his son and heir George 
Carleton, aged 22, 2 who died in 1516, leaving an only child, 
William, then eleven years of age. 3 William de Carleton came 
into possession of the property on attaining his legal majority, 4 
and died in 1557, being succeeded by Lawrence Carleton, probably 
his brother. Lawrence Carleton, who had married Margaret, 
the daughter of George Singleton, of Staining, held the estate for 
barely twelve months, as he died in 1558 without issue, leaving his 
lands and tenements in Carleton, amounting to several extensive 
messuages and Carleton Hall, to his only surviving sister, Margaret, 
the wife of Thomas Almond. 5 Thus Lawrence Carleton was the 
last of the manorial family of that name connected with the 
township. Of the ancient Hall of Carlton, the seat of the 
Carletons for over three centuries, nothing can be learnt beyond 
the fact that it stood opposite the Gezzerts farm, and that almost, 
if not quite, within the recollection of the present generation some 
ruins of the once noble mansion were visible on its former site, 
long since enclosed and used for purposes of agriculture. In 1261 
the abbey of Cockersand held some property in Carleton, as 
appears from an agreement entered into at that date between the 
abbot of Cockersand and H. de Singleton Parva, by which the 
latter transferred a messuage in Carleton, by the side of other 

I. Due. Lane. vol. iii. n. 49. 2. Dr. Kuerden's MSS. vol. iv. c. I b. 

3. Due. Lane. vol. iv. n. 71. 4. Harl. MSS. cod 607, fol. 101 b. 

5. Dr. Kuerden's MSS. ibid. 


messuages already belonging to the abbey, to the abbot, in 
exchange for messuages and an acre of ground in the vicinity of 
Stanlawe abbey in Cheshire. 1 Stanlawe abbey itself had sundry 
possessions in Carleton shortly after its foundation in H75, 3 all of 
which were conveyed to the abbey of Whalley in 1296, when the 
two monastic houses were united, and thus it happened that this 
township was included amongst the localities in which Whalley 
abbey held lands at the time of its dissolution. 

Sometime during the reign of Henry VIII. the Sherburnes, of 
Stonyhurst, Hambledon, etc., became holders of soil in Carleton, 
and at a later period had acquired the manorial rights and 
privileges. In 1717 Sir Nicholas Sherburne, bart., bequeathed the 
manor of Carleton, amongst numerous other estates, to his only 
child and heiress, Maria Winifreda Francisca, the duchess of 
Norfolk, and two years later the duke of Norfolk had obtained a 
settlement by which he held a life interest in Carleton, Stonyhurst, 
and other places, the duchess, however, having reserved to herself 
the power to dispose of the reversion or inheritance by will or 
deed, executed in the duke's lifetime. The duchess of Norfolk 
bequeathed her real estate, including Carleton, on her death in 
1745, to her cousin Edward Weld, esq., grandson of Sir John 
Weld, of Lulworth Castle, Dorsetshire, whose descendant Edward 
Joseph Weld, esq., has disposed of most of his inheritance in 
the township to various purchasers, chiefly amongst the local 
yeomanry and gentry. 

The Bambers, of the Moor, in Carleton, were people of position 
in the township. Richard Bamber, during the latter half of the 
sixteenth century, married Anne, the daughter of Thomas 
Singleton, of Staining Hall, and consequently was the brother-in- 
law of John Leckonby, of Leckonby House, Great Eccleston, who 
had espoused Alice, another daughter of the same gentleman. 
It is impossible to affirm with certainty what children sprang from 
the union of Richard Bamber and Ann Singleton, but of one of 
them, Edward, who entered the Romish priesthood, we subjoin an 
interesting and tragic account, extracted from the <( Memoirs of 
Missionary Priests, by the Right Rev. Richard Challoner, D.D.": 

" Edward Bamber, commonly known upon the commission by the name of 
Reding, was the son of Mr. Richard Bamber, and born at a place called the Moor, 

I. Dr. Kuerden's MSS. 2. Whittaker's History of Whalley. 


the ancient mansion-house of the family, lying not far from Poulton, in that part 
of Lancashire called the Fylde. Having made good progress with his grammar 
studies at home, he was sent abroad into Spain, to the English college at 
Valladolid, where he learnt his philosophy and divinity, and was ordained priest. 
My short memoirs leave us much in the dark as to many passages and particulars 
relating to the life and labours of this good priest, as well as to the history of his 
trial ; but then short as they are they are very expressive of his zeal and indefatig- 
able labours, his unwearied diligence in instructing the catholics under his charge, 
disputing with protestants, and going about doing good everywhere, with a 
courage and firmness of mind almost above the power and strength of man. 
When, how, or where, he was apprehended, I have not found, but only this, that 
he had lain three whole years a close prisoner at Lancaster castle, before he was 
brought to the bar, where he stood with an air of fortitude and resolution of 
suffering in defence of truth. Two fallen catholics, Maiden and Osbaldeston, 
made oath that they had seen him administer baptism and perform the ceremonies 
of marriage ; and upon these slender proofs of his priesthood, the jury, by the 
judge's direction, found him guilty of the indictment. Whereupon the judge 
sentenced him to be hanged, cut down alive, drawn, quartered, etc., as in cases of 
high treason. It was on the 7th of August, 1646, that he, with two fellow priests, 
and a poor wretch, named Croft, condemned to death for felony, were drawn upon 
sledges to the place of execution at Lancaster. There Mr. Bamber exhorted 
Croft to repentance, and besought him to declare himself a Catholic, confess 
some of his more public sins, and be truly contrite and sorry for all ' and I, 
a priest and minister of Jesus Christ, will instantly in his name, and by his 
authority, absolve thee.' On hearing this the officers of Justice began to storm 
but Mr. Bamber held his ground, and finally absolved the man in sight and 
hearing of the crowd. As Mr. Bamber mounted up the ladder, he paused after 
ascending a few steps, and taking a handful of money from his pocket, threw it 
amongst the people, saying, with a smiling countenance, that ' God loveth a 
cheerful giver.' Mr. Bamber was encouring Mr. Whitaker, one of the other two 
priests about to suffer, who appeared not a little terrified at the approach of death, 
to be on his guard against the temptation to save his life by renouncing his 
creed, when the sheriff called out hastily to the executioner to. dispatch him 
(Bamber) ; and so he was that moment turned off the ladder, and permitted to 
hang but a very short time, before the rope was cut, the confessor being still alive; 
and thus he was butchered in a most cruel and savage manner." 

The two following verses, relating to his death, form part of a 
long ode or sonnet written at the time : 

" Few words he spoke they stopp'd his mouth, 

And chok'd him with a cord ; 
And lest he should be dead too soon, 

No mercy they afford. 
" But quick and live they cut him down, 

And butcher him full soon ; 
Behead, tear, and dismember straight, 
And laugh when all was done." 


The free school of Carleton was founded towards the close of 
the seventeenth century. On the iyth of May, 1697, Richard 
Singleton, John Wilson, John Davy, and six others recited in an 
indenture between them, that Elizabeth Wilson, of Whiteholme, 
by her verbal will of the 22nd of September, 1680, declare it to 
be her wish that the interest of a fourth of her goods, which 
amounted to ^"59 2s. od., should be used by the overseers of 
Carleton for the purpose of procuring instruction for so many of 
the poorest children of the town of Carleton as they should think 
proper ; and that one-quarter of her estate had been invested in 
land, and the annual revenue therefrom employed according to 
her last directions and desire. William Bamber, by will dated 
1 3th of October, 1688, bequeathed ^"40 to his wife Margaret 
Bamber, and Richard Harrison, vicar of Poulton, to the intent 
that they should lay out the sum in land or other safe investment, 
not to yield less than 405. per annum, half of which was to be 
given, at their discretion, amongst the most needful of the poor 
of Great Carleton, and the other moiety to be expended in 
purchasing books, or obtaining tuition for such poor children of 
the same place as they might select. After the deaths of the two 
original trustees, the will directed that the bequest should pass 
under the management of the vicar of Poulton, for the time 
being, and the churchwarden of Carleton. The money was 
invested on the nth of May, 1689, in a messuage and appur- 
tenances, a barn, and several closes, called the Old Yard, the Great 
Field, the Croft, the New Hey, the Two Carrs, and the third part 
of a meadow, named the Great Meadow, all being situated in 
Blackpool, and containing by estimation six acres and a half. 
The property was immediately leased to the vendor, John Gualter, 
at a rental of 405. a year. By an indenture, dated the 3ist of 
December, 1607, between Sir Nicholas Sherburne, of Carleton, 
Hambleton, and Stonyhurst, and John Wilson, with three others, 
of Carleton, it appears that Sir Nicholas leased to the latter, and 
their assigns, the school-house, newly erected at a place called 
the Four Lane Ends, in Great Carleton, and the site thereof, for a 
term of 500 years from the foregoing date, at the nominal rent of 
is. per annum ; and John Wilson, with his co-trustees, covenanted 
that the same should be used for no other purpose but that of a 
school, excepting that Sir Nicholas Sherburne and his heirs 


should have free liberty to hold the courts for the manor of 
Carleton within the building. Margaret Bickerstaffe, by her will 
of the i gth of April, 1716, left ^"20, the interest of which she 
directed to be employed by her executors in educating some of 
the poor children of Carleton. On the 2nd of February, 1737, 
Richard Butler and Richard Dickson, trustees for the sale of 
certain estates for paying the debts of James Addinson, conveyed 
to George Hull, John Sanderson, and others, and their heirs, in 
consideration of ^"42, a close in Thornton, formerly called Rushey 
Full Long Meadow, and now Wheatcake, comprising one acre, in 
trust, to hold the same and pay the annual proceeds to the master 
of the Four Lane Ends school " for his care and pains in teaching 
such poor children of Carleton as should be appointed each year 
by the chief inhabitants or officers of the township." The money 
seems to have been given by some persons not wishing to disclose 
their names, and who selected George Hull, John Sanderson, and 
five more, as their agents in the matter, and as first trustees of 
the charity. When five of the trustees had died, it was ordained 
that seven fresh ones should be elected, and the two remaining be 
relieved of their trust. John Addinson, in return for ^"20, given 
by some person, to the inhabitants of Carleton, conveyed to the 
same parties a close called the Rough Hey, in Thornton, contain- 
ing half an acre, to be dealt with and used as in the previous case. 
It is very likely that the 2 here concerned was the sum before 
mentioned as the legacy of Margaret Bickerstaffe. All the 
premises belonging to the school were vested in six new trustees 
by a deed, dated 3rd of June, 1777 ; and at the visit of the school 
commissioners in 1867, the attendance of boys was 50, and of 
girls 20, being somewhere about the usual average of later years. 
The trustees manage the school property, and appoint or dismiss 
the master. 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
269 ... 308 ... 356 ... 319 ... 378 ... 400 ... 363 ... 433 

The area of the township embraces 1,979 statute acres. 

MERETUN, or the town of the Mere, was estimated by the 
surveyors of William the Conqueror to comprise six carucates of 
arable land, and shortly afterwards Sir Adam de Merton held 
half of it, on condition that he performed military service 


when required. 1 Somewhere about 1200 William de Merton, a 
descendant of Sir Adam, was one of the witnesses to a charter, 
concerning a local marsh, between Cecilia de Laton and the abbot 
ofStanlawe. 8 In 1207-8 the sheriff of Lancashire received orders 
to give Matilda, widow of Theobald Walter, her third of the lands 
at Mereton, which her late husband had held up to the time of 
his death in 1206, at first for I2s. per annum, and subsequently 
for one hawk each year.* According to the Testa de Nevill, 
Henry III. held three carucates of the soil of Mereton for a few 
years, as guardian of the heir of Theobald Walter, and in 1249, 
during the thirty-third year of the reign of that monarch, Merton 
cum Linholme was in the possession of Theobald Walter, or 
le Botiler as he was afterwards called, the heir here mentioned. 4 
Marton descended in the Botiler, or Butler, family until the time 
of Henry VIII., when it was sold by Sir Thomas Butler to John 
Brown, a merchant of London, in company with Great Layton, 
of which manor it had for long been regarded as a parcel, although 
in 1323, Great Marton was alluded to as a distinct and separate 
manor held by Richard le Botiler. 5 Marton was purchased from 
John Brown by Thomas Fleetwood, esq., of Vach, in the county 
of Buckingham, whose descendants and heirs resided at Rossall 
Hall ; and after remaining in the Fleetwood family for many 
generations the manor of Layton, with its dependency Marton, 
was again sold, and this time became the property of Thomas 
Clifton, esq., of Lytham Hall, Sir P. H. Fleetwood, bart., being 
the vendor. 

Little Marton was held in trust by William de Cokerham, 
in 1330, for the abbot and convent of Furness, 8 but eight years 
afterwards, the manor of Weeton and Little Marton, were held by 
James, the son of Edmund le Botiler, earl of Ormond. 7 What 
claim James Botiler had to include Little Marton amongst his 
possessions in 1338, cannot now be ascertained, but it is certain 
that later, at the dissolution of monasteries, it passed to the crown 
as part of the fortified lands of Furness Abbey. Subsequently 
Little Marton passed to the Holcrofts, and from them, in 1505, to 

I. Testa de Nevill, fol. 403. 2. Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey. 

3. Rot. Lit. Clause 9 John, m. 16. 4. Escaet. 33 Henry III., n. 49. 

5. Escaet. 16 Edward II., n. 59. 6. Escaet. 4 Edward III., n. 100. 

7. Lansd. MSS. 559, fol. 36. 

MARTON. 287 

Sir Cuthbert Clifton, of Lytham Hall, by exchange. John Talbot 
Clifton, esq., of Lytham Hall, a descendant of Sir Cuthbert, and 
the son of the late Thomas Clifton, esq., of Lytham, is the present 
owner of Great and Little Marton. As the moss and mere of 
Marton, perhaps the most interesting objects in the township, 
have been fully described in an earlier chapter, devoted to the 
country, rivers, etc., of the Fylde, we refer our readers to that 
portion of the volume for more detailed information concerning 
them. In this place we must content ourselves by stating that 
the mere was at one time a lake of no inconsiderable dimensions, 
having a fishery of some value attached to it, and that from the 
number of trunks of trees, discovered on the clayey soil beneath 
the original moss, which extended six miles by one and a half, 
there is conclusive evidence that in ancient times the whole of the 
wide tract was covered by a dense forest, composed chiefly of oak, 
yew, and fir trees. So enormous were some of the trunks 
discovered that it was impossible for one labourer to grasp the 
hand of another over them. The hamlet of Peel, situated within, 
but close to the Lytham border of the township, contains in a 
field called Hall-stede, traces of the ancient turreted manorial 
mansion of the Holcrofts, of Winwick and Marton, 1 and the 
remains of a moat out of which about sixty years ago a drawbridge 
and two gold rings were taken. The old lake of Curridmere, 
mentioned in the foundation charter of Lytham priory in the 
reign of Richard I., was also located in this neighbourhood, the 
site being indicated by the soil it once covered bearing the name 
of the tarns. A little more than half a century since the tarns 
formed nothing but a trackless bog, and beneath its surface a 
husbandman discovered the remains of a small open boat, which 
had doubtless been used in earlier days on the waters of 

About 1625 the inhabitants of Marton petitioned, that in 
conjunction with " Layton, Layton Rakes, and Blackpool," 2 the 
township might be constituted a separate parish, stating in support 
of their prayer that the parish church of Poulton was five miles 
distant, and during the winter they were debarred by inundations 

I. Dodsworth's MSS., c. xiii., p. 161. These traces which were fairly evident 
forty years ago, have been in a great measure obliterated in more recent days. 
3. Parl. Ing. Lamb. Libr. vol. ii. 



from attending that place of worship. This reasonable request 
does not appear to have evoked a favourable response from the 
parliamentary commissioners, and it was not until more than a 
century and a half later that the district had its claims to the 
privilege desired practically acknowledged. The church of St. 
Paul, in Great Marton was erected by subscription in 1 800, and 
opened by license the same year, but was not consecrated until 
1804. It was a plain, unpretending structure with front and side 
galleries, but having neither chancel nor tower, and capable of 
holding upwards of 400 worshippers. In 1857 the increase of the 
population rendered it necessary to lengthen the church at the 
east end, and at the same time a neat and simple tower was added. 
Within the tower is the vestry, above which a number of seats 
were raised for the Sunday school children, many of whom had 
previously, for want of space, occupied forms in the aisles. A 
porch was built over the entrance of the church about 1848, and 
in 1871 a chancel was erected. Three bells were purchased by 
the parishioners, and placed in the tower in 1868, whilst the 
present reading desk and pulpit, were the gift of Miss Heywood, 
the daughter of Sir Benjamin Heywood, bart., who formerly had 
a handsome marine residence at Blackpool. Previous to 1845 the 
musical portion of the service was accompanied by two bassoons 
and another wind instrument, but about that date they were 
abolished, and a barrel organ substituted, which continued in force 
until a few years ago, when it was succeeded by the more modern 
key organ at present in use. The church of Marton has now an 
ecclesiastical district of its own, but was originally a chapelry 
under Poulton. A little anterior to the erection of the church 
divine service was conducted in the school-house of Baines's 
Charity, Mr. Sawyer being the first appointed minister. 


Date of 


Cause of Vacancy. 

About 1762 
In 1814 
,, 1843 

George "Hall. 
Thomas Bryer. 
James Cookson, M.A. 

Death of G. Hall. 
Resignation of T. Bryer. 

MARTON. 289 

The old parsonage stood on the same site as the present one, 
and consisted simply of two cottages united to form one small 
residence. In 1846 this house was pulled down, and another, 
elegant and commodious, erected in its place, being completed the 
following year. Attached to the parsonage are eleven acres of 
glebe land. 

James Baines, of Poulton, by will dated 6th of January, 1717, 
devised unto John Hull and six others, of Marton, their heirs and 
assigns, the school-house lately erected by him in Marton, the 
land whereon it stood, a messuage or tenement in Warbreck, 
containing about six acres, a messuage or dwelling-house in 
Hardhorn-with-Newton, with the smithy and two shippons 
thereto belonging, and several closes of land in the same town- 
ship, called the Sheep Field, the Croft, the Garden, being about 
three acres ; also the Many Pits, the Debdale, the Cross Butts, 
the Wradle Meadow, and the field adjoining its north-west end, 
and the Carr, containing twelve and a half acres, to the intent 
that the rents arising from the foregoing should after the deduc- 
tion of IDS. for an annual dinner to the trustees, be directed to the 
maintenance of a master to instruct the children of the township 
in the above-mentioned building. The revenue of the school was 
greatly impoverished for many years by the expenses of a chancery 
suit about 1850, which arose on the question whether the school 
should be continued as formerly or be divided, and part of its 
income be devoted to the establishment and support of a similar 
institution in the adjoining district of Little Marton. The whole 
of the funds were defrayed out of the funds of the charity. A 
scheme for its regulation was framed in 1863 by the Master of the 
Rolls, providing amongst other matters that the school should be 
open to Government inspection, but in no way interfering with 
its gratuitous character. The commissioner of 1869 reports : 
"Sixty-three children were present on the day of my visit, 
of whom fifty-two were girls, who are taught in the same 
classes as the boys, and are with them in play hours. The school 
being free, no register of attendance is kept. In arithmetic, six 
boys (average age u), and four girls (average age io|), did fair 
papers ; the questions of course were simple ones. Grammar and 
geography, in which subjects I examined the highest class, were 
tolerably good. The girls read well ; the boys (as usual) less so ; 



spelling was up to the average. The girls are taught to write a 
bad angular hand ; the master says that it is to please the parents. 
He has been in his present position five years, and receives a 
salary of ^"50 a year." The school property consists of forty 
acres of land, producing a gross annual income of about ^"130. 
Both a playground and gymnasium are attached to the school. 
There are now two masters. The vicar of Poulton and the vicar 
of Marton, ex officio, and five other trustees self-electing, residing 
within the township, appoint and dismiss the masters, admit and 
expel scholars, appoint an examiner, and regulate the studies. 
The chief master must be a member of the Church of England, 
and is not permitted to take boarders. 

Margaret Whittam, widow, by will dated 26th of July, 1814, 
bequeathed to Edward Hull, Richard Sherson, and John Fair, 
of Marton, and her brothers, their executors and administrators, 
the sum of ^"40, duty free, in trust, the interest to be applied to 
the benefit of the Sunday school in Marton so long as it should 
continue to be taught, and in the event of its being abolished, to 
use the same income for the relief of such necessitous persons of 
the township as received no alms from the poor rate. The 
Sunday school established in 1814 is still kept at Marton, and the 
master paid, in part from the interest of the legacy, and the 
remainder from subscriptions. About twenty years ago between 
200 and yx> were obtained by means of a bazaar, and 
expended in the erection of a school building on a piece of waste 
land in Marton, for the purpose of providing for the education of 
children, both male and female, under the superintendence of a 
mistress. At Marton Moss there is another school, used also as a 
church, being served from South Shore, which was built a few 
years since through the munificence of Lady Eleanor Cicily 
Clifton, of Lytham Hall ; and at Moss Side, a small Wesleyan 
Chapel was erected by subscription about 1871. 

Edward Whiteside, of Little Marton, sailor, bequeathed by will, 
dated 22nd December, 1721, as follows : "It is my will, that my 
ground be kept in lease, according as my executors shall see fit, 
and what spares it is my will that they buy cloth and give it to 
poor people that has nothing out of the town ; it is my will that 
it be given in Little Marton, and if there be a minister that 
preaches in Marton, that they give him something what they 

MARTON. 291 

shall see fit : It is my will, that if they can buy land, that they sell 
my personal estate, and buy as much as it will purchase : It is 
my will, that two acres, which my father hath now in possession, 
that when it falls into my hands and possession, that it go the 
way above named : It is my mind and will, that my executors 
give it when they shall see fit, and I hope they will choose 
faithful men, who will act according to themselves ; and I 
make my well-beloved friends, Anthony Sherson and Thomas 
Grimbalson, executors of my last will." 

William Whiteside left by will, dated 1742, 100 to be invested, 
and the annual proceeds to be spent in furnishing clothing to 
the poor of Marton, not in receipt of parish relief. John Hull, 
Thomas Webster, and Robert Bickerstaffe, were the original 
trustees of this charity. 

John Hodgson, by will dated 25th of September, 1761, devised 
his messuage and lands in Marton, and his personal estate, to 
John Hull and Richard Whittam, their heirs and assigns, in 
trust, -to dispose of the same, and after paying his debts and 
funeral expenses, to lay out at interest the remainder of the 
money so acquired, and devote the yearly income therefrom to 
the purchase of meal for poor housekeepers of Great Marton, not 
relieved from the town's rate. The meal to be distributed 
annually on the 25th of December. The net amount of the 
legacy was 100. 

Edward Jolly, of My thorp, by indenture, dated 1 3th of February, 
1784, conveyed to James Jolly, James Sherson, and Thomas Fair, 
their executors and assigns, the sum of ^~6o, to the intent that it 
should be placed on good security, and one shilling of the yearly 
income derived be expended weekly in bread, to be distributed each 
Sunday to those poor persons who had attended divine service in 
the morning at the chapel of Great Marton. The deed directed 
that the dole should be given at the door of the chapel immediately 
after morning service, by the clerk or some other authorised 
person, and that in the event of Marton Chapel, which was then 
unconsecrated and supported by subscription, being closed for four 
successive Sundays, or converted into a Dissenting place of 
worship, the bread money should be transferred to the townships 
of Great and Little Singleton, and Weeton-cum-Preese ; and the 
weekly allowance of food be distributed as above at the parochial 


chapel of Great and Little Singleton. The dole, however, had to 
return to Marton chapel as soon as service, according to the 
Church of England, was again conducted there. The chapel 
alluded to was Baines's school-house, where it had been the custom 
of Edward Jolly to distribute bread each Sunday for several years 
previously, and it was with the intention of rendering this practice 
perpetual, that the indenture was made. No re-investment of the 
money can be legally made without the approval of the minister 
of Marton church. 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
972 ... 1,093 ... 1,397 ... 1,487 ... 1,562 ... 1,650 ... 1,691 ... 1,982 

The area of the township amounts to 5,452 statute acres, 
inclusive of the sheet of water called Marton mere. 

HARDHORN-WITH-NEWTON contains within the limits of its 
township the three hamlets or villages of Hardhorn, Newton, and 
Staining, of which the last only is alluded to in the Domesday 
Survey, where Staininghe is mentioned as comprising six 
curucates of land in service. The Coucher Book of Whalley 
Abbey furnishes much valuable and interesting information 
relating to the district of Staining, and from it we find that 
sometime between 1175 and 1296 John de Lascy, constable of 
Chester, "gave and by this charter confirms to God and the 
Blessed Mary, and to the abbot and monks of the Benedictine 
Monastery (Locus) of Stanlawe the vill of Steyninges, with all 
things belonging to it, in the vill itself, in the field, in roads, in 
footpaths, in . meadows, in pastures, in waters, in mills, and in all 
other easements which are or can be there, for the safety of my 
soul and those of my antecessors and successors. To be held and 
possessed in pure and perpetual gift without any duty or exaction 
pertaining to me or my heirs, the monks themselves performing 
the service which the vill owes to the lord King." The monks 
of Stanlawe retained possession until 1296, when their monastic 
instition, with all its property, including Staining, was united to, 
or appropriated by, the abbey of Whalley, shortly after which, in 
1 298, an agreement was arrived at between the prior of Lancaster, 
who held Poulton church, and the abbot of Whalley, concerning 
the tithes of Staining, Hardhorn, and Newton. "At length," says 
the record, " by the advice of common friends they submitted the 


matter to the arbitration of Robert de Pikeringe, Elbor. Official," 
who decided that the abbot and convent of Whalley, formerly of 
Stanlawe, should receive in perpetuity the major tithes of every 
and all their lands within the boundaries of Staining, Hardhorn, 
and Newton, whether the harvests were cultivated by the monks 
themselves or by their tenants ; but the minor tithes, personal 
and obligatory, whether of the abbey tenants or of the secular 
servants, were adjudged to the vicar of the church of Poulton and 
the prior and monks of Lancaster. The abbot of Whalley was 
also directed to pay to the prior of Lancaster at the parish 
church of Poulton an annual sum of eighteen marks, as an 
acknowledgment, half at the festival of St. Martin and the 
remainder at Pentecost. The Coucher Book contains several 
deeds of arrangement touching marsh-land in the vicinity of 
Staining. Cecilia de Laton, widow, gave to the abbot and convent 
of Stanlawe, all her marsh between certain land of Staining and a 
long ditch, so that the latter might mark the division between 
Staining and Little Layton, the witnesses to the transfer being 
William de Carleton, William de Syngleton, and Alan, his son, 
William de Merton, and Richard de Thornton ; Cecilia de Laton 
also quitclaimed to the same monastery all her right to the 
medietyof a marsh between "Mattain.smure" and Little Carleton. 
William le Boteler exchanged with the Stanlawe brotherhood all 
the marsh between the ditch above mentioned and the land of 
Staining for a similar tract beyond the trench towards Great 
Layton, stipulating that if at any time a fishery should be 
established in the ditch, which was doubtless both wide and deep, 
the monks and he, or his heirs, should participate equally in the 
benefits accruing from it. Theobald Walter granted power to the 
abbot of Stanlawe to make use of his mere of Marton for the 
purpose of conducting therefrom a stream to turn the mill at 
Staining, belonging to the monastery, care being taken that the 
fish in the said mere were not injured or diminished. Within the 
grange of Staining a chantry was in existence, and its services 
were presided over by two resident priests, whose duty it also was 
to superintend the property held by the convent of Stanlawe, and 
subsequently by the abbey of Whalley, in the neighbourhood. 
The following is a list of the conventual possessions and rentals 
in Staining at the date of the Reformation : The house of 


Staining 6s. od. ; Scotfolde close, held by Lawrence Richardson, 
55. od., also Cach Meadow, of one acre, is. 8d.; a messuage, 30 acres 
of land, held by Lawrence Archer, i los. 4d; a messuage, 16 acres, 
held by Thomas Salthouse, i6s. od. ; a messuage, 15 acres, held 
by John Johnson, i8s. 2d. ; a fishery, held by Richard Whiteside, 
1 8s. 4d. ; a messuage, 15 acres, held by Richard Harrison, i8s. 
lod. ; a messuage, 18 acres, held by William Salfer, i8s. 2d. ; a 
messuage, 8 acres, held by William Hall, los. 4d. ; a house and a 
windmill, held by Lawrence Rigson, 2 os. od. ; a messuage, 1 8 
acres, held by Robert Gaster, 1 8s. 2d. ; a messuage, 30 acres, held 
by Constance Singleton, widow, \ 135. od. ; a messuage, 20 acres, 
held by Thomas Wilkinson, \ os. od. ; a messuage, 10 acres, 
held by John Pearson, los. od. ; a messuage, 10 acres, held by the 
wife of William Pearson, los. od. ; a messuage, 6 acres, held by 
Robert Walsh, 6s. 8d. ; a messuage, 13 acres, held by Thomas 
Dickson, 135. 4d., and 4 hens ; a messuage, 20 acres, held by John 
Sander, \ os. od. and 6 hens ; a messuage, 10 acres, held by 
William Hey, los. od. and 3 hens ; a messuage, 6 acres, held by 
Ralph Dape, 75. 6d. and 3 hens ; a messuage, 8^ acres, held by 
the wife of Richard Dane, ys. 6d. and three hens. In Hardhorn 
the abbey possessed a messuage, 10 acres, held by William 
Lethum, at los. per annum ; a messuage, 20 acres, held by Robert 
Lethum, i os. od. ; a messuage, 10 acres, held by Henry ffisher, 
los. ; a messuage, 10 acres, held by William Pearson, los. od. 
and 3 hens ; a messuage, 10 acres, held by John ffisher, los. od. 
and 3 hens : a messuage, 10 acres, held by William Silcocke, ios- 
od. and 3 hens ; a messuage, 10 acres, held by Richard Hardman 
until " ye time that Richard Hardman, son of William Hardman, 
come to ye age of 21 yeares," ios. od. ; a messuage, 10 acres, held 
by Richard Hardman, junior, ios. od. and 3 hens ; a messuage, 10 
acres, held by Robert Silcocke, ios. od. ; a messuage, 12 acres, 
held by Robert Whiteside, 125. 6d. and 3 hens ; a messuage, 12 
acres, held by Richard Bale, 125. 6d. and 3 hens ; a messuage, 7 
acres, held by Henry ffisher, junior, 73. 6d. and 2 hens ; a messuage, 
2 acres, held by John Allards, 2s. od. and 2 hens ; a messuage, 10 
acres, held by John Walch, ios. od. and three hens ; a messuage, 
10 acres, held by Robert Crow, ios. od. and 2 hens ; a messuage, 
20 acres, held by Richard Garlick, i os. od. and 6 hens ; a 
messuage, 10 acres, held by John Ralke, ios. od. and 3 hens ; a 


messuage, 10 acres, held by Edmund Holle, los. od. In Carleton 
the abbey owned a close named Whitbent, which William Carleton 
rented at is. 6d., a year ; and in Elswick, a barn and 3 acres of 
land, held by Christopher Hennett, for an annual payment of 33. 
4d. In the Coucher Book of Whalley Abbey, from which the 
foregoing information has been obtained there occurs the following 
notice, relating to the Hall, apparently written when the above 
survey was made : " The house of Stayning is in length xxvii. 
yards, and lofted ou'r and slated ; ye close called ye little hey 
contains by estimation halfe an acre, and ye said house payeth 
yearly, 6s." Sir Thomas Holt, of Grizlehurst, appears to have 
been the first proprietor of the conventual lands of Staining after 
they had been confiscated to the crown at the dissolution of 
monasteries ; and from him they were purchased, either towards 
the end of the reign of Henry VIII., or at the commencement of 
that of Edward VI., by George the son of Robert Singleton, by 
his wife Helen, daughter of John Westby, of Mowbreck. The 
Singletons, of Staining, resided at the Hall until the close of the 
seventeenth century, and during that long period formed alliances 
with several of the local families of gentry, as the Carletons of 
Carleton, the Fleetwoods of Rossall, the Bambers of Carleton, 
and the Masseys of Layton. On the death of George Singleton, 
the last of the male representatives of the Singletons of Staining, 
somewhere about 1790, the estates descended to John Mayfield, 
the son of his sister Mary, and subsequently, on his decease 
without issue, to his nephew and heir-at-law, William Black- 
burne. Staining Hall, now the property of W. H. Hornby, 
esq., of Blackburn, is a small and comparatively modern residence, 
presenting in itself nothing calling for special notice or comment 
from an antiquarian point of view. Remains of the old moat 
however, are still in existence round the building, but beyond this 
there is no indication of the important station the Hall must have 
formerly held in the surrounding country, both as the abode of 
some of its priestly proprietors, of Stanlawe and Whalley, and the 
seat of a family of wealth and position, like the Singletons would 
seem to have been. 

The township of Hardhorn-with-Newton contains the free 
school erected and endowed by Mr. James Baines, which has 
already been fully noticed in the chapter devoted to Poulton. 


In the hamlet of Staining a chapel and school combined was 
erected by private munificence in 1865, the former building used 
for such purposes being both inadequate and inappropriate. The 
foundation stone was laid by Mrs. Clark, the wife of the late 
vicar of Poulton, on a site given by W. H. Hornby, esq., of 
Blackburn and Staining. The ceremony took place on the 26th 
of May, 1865, and on the 3rd of December in that year service 
was first performed in the edifice by the Rev. Richard Tonge, of 
Manchester. The building is of brick, with stone dressings, and 
comprises a nave, apsis, and tower of considerable altitude, con- 
taining a fine toned bell. 

On the ist of February, 1748, Thomas Riding re-leased to John 
Hornby and Thomas Whiteside, a dwelling-house and certain 
premises for the remainder of a term of 1,000 years, to be held in 
trust by them and their heirs for the use and benefit of the poor 
housekeepers in Hardhorn-with-Newton township, in such 
manner as directed by the will of Ellen Whitehead. The 
property of this charity in 1817 consisted of half an acre of 
ground, and three cottages and a weaving shed standing upon 
it, together with ^"40 in money, out at interest. It cannot be 
ascertained either who Ellen Whitehead was or when she died. 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
3" 324 392 49 358 386 389 436 

The area of the township extends over 2,605 statute acres. 



|ISCOPHAM was the appellation bestowed on the 
district now called Bispham at and before the era of 
William the Conqueror, in whose survey it appears 
as embracing within its boundaries eight carucates of 
arable land. The original name is simply a compound of the two 
Anglo-Saxon words Biscop, a bishop, and Ham, a habitation or 
settlement, the signification of the whole being obviously the 
' Bishop's town,' or ' residence.' Hence it is clear that some 
episcopal source must be looked to as having been the means of 
conferring the peculiar title on the place, and fortunately for the 
investigator, the annals of history furnish a ready clue to what 
otherwise might have proved a question difficult, or perhaps 
impossible, of satisfactory solution. In a previous chapter it has 
been noted that for long after the reign of Athelstan Amounderness 
was held by the See of York, and nothing can be more natural 
than to suppose, when regarding that circumstance in conjunction 
with the significance of the name under discussion, that the 
archbishops of the diocese had some residence on the soil of 
Bispham. It is quite possible, however, that there may have been 
merely a station of ecclesiastics who collected the rents and 
tithes of the Hundred on behalf of the bishopric, acting in fact as 
stewards and representatives of the archbishop for the time being, 
but in either case it is evident that the name and, consequently, 
the town, are of diocesan origin, doubtless associated with the 
proprietorship above mentioned. The presence of priests in 
residence within the manor of Bispham would necessarily lead to 
the establishment there of some chapel or oratory, and the absence 


of any allusion to such a structure by the investigators of William 
I. seems, at the first glance, a serious obstacle to the episcopal 
theory, but Bispham was located between the two Danish colonies 
of Norbreck and Warbreck, a people whose hostility to all religious 
houses was almost proverbial, and hence it is scarcely likely that 
a church so conveniently situated, as that of Bispham would be, 
could long escape spoliation and destruction after the prelates of 
York had removed their protection from the neighbourhood, at 
some date anterior to the arrival of the Normans in England. 
The ravages of the Danes indeed, throughout the Hundred of 
Amounderness are usually the reasons assigned why the district 
was relinquished by the See of York, so that the non-existence of 
a sacred pile of any description at the period of the Domesday 
Survey, is in no way contradictory of such a building having been 
there, at an earlier epoch. At the close of the Saxon dynasty the 
number of acres in cultivation in the manor of Bispham exceeded 
those of the five next largest manors in the Fylde by two hundred, 
thus Staining, Layton, Singleton, Marton, and Thornton, each 
contained six hundred acres of arable soil, whilst Bispham had 
eight hundred in a similar condition. About thirty years after 
the Norman Survey, Geoffrey, the sheriff, bestowed the tithes of 
Biscopham, upon the newly founded priory of St. Mary, in 
Lancaster, being incited thereto by the munificent example of 
Roger de Poictou. In this grant no allusion is made to any 
church, an omission which we should barely be justified in 
considering accidental, but which would rather seem to indicate 
that the edifice was not erected until later. The earliest allusion 
to it is found in the reign of Richard I., 1189 1199, when 
Theobald Walter quitclaimed to the abbot of Sees, in Normandy, 
all his right in the advowson of Pulton and the church of 
Biscopham, pledging himself to pay to the abbey ten marks a year 
during the period that any minister presented by him or his heirs 
held the living. 1 In 1246 the mediety of Pulton and Biscopham 
churches was conveyed to the priory of St. Mary, in Lancaster, an 
offshoot from the abbey of Sees, by the archdeacon of Richmond ; 
and in 1296 the grant was confirmed to the monastery by John 
Romanus, then archdeacon of Richmond, who supplemented the 

I. Regist. S. Mariae de Lane. MSS. fol. 77. 


donation of his predecessor with a gift of the other mediety, to be 
appropriated after the decease of the person in possession, 
stipulating only that when the proprietorship became complete 
the conventual superiors should appoint a vicar at an annual 
salary of twenty marks. At the suppression of alien priories the 
church of Bispham was conveyed to the abbey of Syon, and 
remained attached to that foundation until the Reformation of 
Henry VIII. 

The original church of Bispham, subsequently to the Norman 
invasion, was built of red sandstone, and comprised a low tower, a 
nave, and one aisle. A row of semicircular arches, resting on 
round, unornamented pillars, supported the double-gabled roof, 
which was raised to no great altitude from the ground ; whilst 
the walls were penetrated by narrow lancet windows, three of 
which were placed at the east end. The pews were substantial 
benches of black oak. In 1773 this venerable structure was 
deprived of its flag roof and a slate one substituted, the walls at 
the same time being raised to their present height. During the 
alterations the pillars were removed and the interior thoroughly 
renovated, more modern windows being inserted a little later. 
There is a traditional statement that the church was erected by 
the monks of Furness, but beyond the sandstone of which it was 
built having in all probability come from that locality, there 
appears to be nothing to uphold such an idea. Over the main 
entrance may still be seen an unmistakable specimen of the 
Norman arch, until recent years covered with plaster, and in 
that way retained in a very fair state of preservation. 

In 1553 a commission, whose object was to investigate 
" whether ye belles belongynge to certayne chapelles which be 
specified in a certayne shedule be now remayning at ye said 
chapelles, or in whose hands or custodie the same belles now be," 
visited Bispham, and issued the following report : " William 
Thompson and Robert Anyan, of ye chapell of Byspham, sworne 
and examyned, deposen that one belle mentioned in ye said 
shedule was solde by Edwarde Parker, named in ye former 
commission, unto James Massie, gent., for ye some of xxnis. ivd." 
Nothing is known respecting the number or ultimate destination 
of the peal alluded to. The belfry can now only boast a pair 
of bells. 


Formerly there were many and various opinions as to the 
dedication of the church, Holy Trinity and All Saints having 
both been suggested, but the question is finally set at rest by a 
part, in fact the sole remnant, of the ancient communion service, 
the chalice, which is of silver gilt, and bears the inscription : 
" The gift of Ann, Daughter to John Bamber, to ye Church of 
Allhallows, in Bispham ; Delivered by John Corritt, 1704." 
Within the building, fastened to the east wall, and immediately to 
the right of the pulpit, are four monumental brasses inscribed as 
under : 

" Here lyes the body of John Veale, late of Whinney Keys, Esq., who dyed the 
2Oth Jan., 1704, aged sixty." 

" Here lyes the body of Susannah, wife of the late John Veale, Esq., of 
Whinney Heys, Esq., who departed this life the 2Oth of May, 1718, aged 67 

" Here lyes the body of Edward Veale, late of Whinney Heys, Esq., who 
departed this life the nth of August, 1723, aged 43 years." 

" Here lyes the body of Dorothy Veale, eldest daughter of John Veale, late of 
Whinney Heys, Esq., who departed this life the gth day of January, in the year of 
our Lord, 1747, and in the 77th year of her age." 

Beneath these tablets, the only ones in the church, was the 
family vault of the Veales, of Whinney Heys, now covered over 
by pews. During the year 1875 the nave was re-seated, and at the 
time when the flooring was taken up numerous skulls and bones 
were found in different parts of the building, barely covered with 
earth, plainly indicating that interments had once been very 
frequent within the walls, and causing us to wonder that no mural 
or other monuments, beyond those just given, are now visible, or, 
indeed, remembered by any of the old parishioners. None of the 
stones in the graveyard are of great antiquity, and the most 
interesting object on that score is a portion of an ancient stone 
cross, having the letters I.H.S. carved upon it, on the broken summit 
of which a sun-dial has been mounted. Tradition has long affirmed 
that Beatrice, or Bridget, the daughter of Oliver Cromwell, who 
espoused General Ireton, and after his death General Fleetwood, 
lies buried here, but this is a mistake, probably arising from the 
proximity of the Rossall family, having the same name as her second 
husband ; the lady was interred at Stoke Newington on the 5th 
of September, 1681. There are no stained glass windows, and the 
walls of the church are whitewashed externally. 




Date of 


On whose 

Cause of Vacancy. 

Before 1559 

Jerome Allen 

Abbey of Syon 

About 1649 

John Fisher 

In 1650 

John Cavelay 

Resignation of J. 


Before 1674 

Robert Brodbelt 

Death of J. Cavelay 


Robert Wayte 

i> I6 9i 

Thomas Rikay 

Death of R. Wayte 

In 1692 

Thomas Sellom 

Richard Fleetwood 

Death of T. Rikay 

About 1715 

Jonathan Hayton 

Before 1753 

Christopher Albin 

Edward Fleetwood 

In 1753 

Roger Freckleton 

Roger Hesketh 

Death of C. Albin 


Ashton Werden 

Roger Hesketh 

Death of Roger 


ii 1767 

John Armetriding 

Roger Hesketh 

Death of A. Werden 

ii 1791 

William Elston 

Thomas Elston 

Death of John 


,, 1831 

Charles Hesketh, 

Sir P. H. Fleetwood 

Death of W. Elston 


ii I8 37 

Bennett Williams, 

Rev. C. Hesketh 

Resignation of C. 



,. 1850 

Henry Powell, M.A. 


Resignation of B. 


., I8 57 

W. A. Mocatta, M.A. 


Resignation of H. 



James Leighton,M.A. 


Resignation of 

W. A. Mocatta 

,, I 8 74 

C. S. Hope, M.A. 


Resignation of J. 



Francis John Dickson 


Resignation of C.S. 


The living was a perpetual curacy until lately, when it was 
raised to the rank of a vicarage. The Rev. Charles Hesketh, 
M.A., of North Meols, has been the patron for almost half a 
century. Divine worship, according to the ritual of the Roman 
Catholics, was last celebrated in Bispham church during 
March, 1559, immediately after the death of Queen Mary, when 
her protestant successor, Elizabeth, ascended the throne. The 
pastor, Jerome Allen, a member of the Benedictine brotherhood, 
assembled his flock at nine in the morning of the 25th of that 
month, and previous to administering the holy sacrament, 
addressed a few words of farewell and advice to his congregation. 
" Suffused in tears," records the diary of Rishton, " this holy and 


good man admonished his people to obey the new queen, who 
had succeeded Mary, the late one, and besought them to love God 
above all things, and their neighbours as themselves." It is said 
that after vacating his cure at Bispham, the Rev. Jerome Allen, 
retired to Lambspring, in German}', where he spent the remainder 
of his life in the strictest religious observances enjoined by his 
creed. In 1650 the following remarks concerning Bispham 
were recorded by the ecclesiastical commissioners of the Com- 
monwealth : " Bispham hath formerly been a parish church, 
containing two townships, Bispham-cum-Norbreck and Layton- 
cum-Warbreck, and consisting of three hundred families ; the 
inhabitants of the said towns desire that they may be made a 
parish." In the survey of the Right Rev. Francis Gastrell, D.D., 
bishop of Chester, the annexed notice occurs : " Bispham. Certif. 
% os. od., viz., a parcell of ground, given by Mr. R. Fleetwood, 
worth, taxes deducted, $ per year ; Easter Reckonings, ^"3. 
Richard Fleetwood, esq., of Rossall Hall, settled upon the church 
in 1687 a Rent Charge of 10 per ann. for ever. Bispham-cum- 
Norbreck, and Layton-cum Warbreck, for which places serve four 
Churchwardens, two chosen by the ministers and two by the 
parish." In 1725 Edward Veale, of Whinney Heys, gave 200 
to augment the living, and a similar amount was granted from 
Queen Anne's Bounty for a like purpose. Three years later ^"400 
more were acquired, half from the fund just named, and half 
from Mr. S. Walter. The parish registers commence in 1599. 
. William le Botiler, or Butler, held the manors of Layton, 
Bispham, and Warbreck, according to the Duchy Feordary, in 
the early part of the fourteenth century, and in 1365 his son, Sir 
John Botiler, granted the manors of Great and Little Layton and 
Bispham, to Henry de Bispham and Richard de Carleton, chap- 
lains. Great Bispham probably remained in the possession of the 
church until the dissolution of the monasteries. Norbreck and 
Little Bispham appear to have belonged to the convent of Salop, 
and were leased by William, abbot of that house, together with 
certain tithes in Layton, to the abbot and convent of Deulacres, 
by an undated deed, for eight marks per annum, due at Martin- 
mas. 1 In 1539 the brotherhood of Deulacres paid rent for lands 

I. Dugd. Monast. vol. v. p. 630. 


in Little Bispham and Norbreck, and an additional sum of 2s. 
to Sir Thomas Butler, for lands in Great Bispham. 1 After the 
Reformation, Bispham was granted by Edward VI., in the sixth 
year of his reign, to Sir Ralph Bagnell, by whom it was sold to 
John Fleetwood, of Rossall ; and in 1571, Thomas Fleetwood, 
the descendant of the last-named gentleman, held Great and Little 
Bispham and Layton. 2 The manors remained invested in the 
Rossall family until the lifetime of the late Sir P. H. Fleetwood, 
by whom they were sold to the Cliftons, of Lytham, John Talbot 
Clifton, esq., of Lytham Hall, being the present lord. 

The subjoined account of a shipwreck on this coast is taken 
from the journal of William Stout, of Lancaster, and illustrates 
the uses to which the church was occasionally put in similar 
cases of emergency : 

" Our ship, Employment, met with a French ship of some force, bound to 
Newfoundland, who made a prize of her. The French were determined to send 
her directly to St. Malo ; when John Gardner, the master, treated to ransome her> 
and agreed with the captors for 1,000 sterling. The French did strip the sailors 
of most of their clothes and provisions ; and coming out of a hot climate to cold, 
before they got home they were so weak that they were scarce able to work the 
ship, and the mate being not an experienced pilot, spent time in making the land, 
and was embayed on the coast of Wales, but with difficulty got off, and then made 
the Isle of Man, and stood for Peel Fouldrey, but missed his course, so that he 
made Rossall Mill for Walna Mill, and run in that mistake till he was embayed 
under the Red Banks, behind Rossall, so as he could not get off ; and it blowing 
hard, and fearing she would beat, they endeavoured to launch their boat ; but 
were so weak that they could not do it, but came to an anchor. She struck off 
her rudder, and at the high water mark she slipped her cables and run on shore, 
in a very foul strong place, where she beat till she was full of water, but the men 
got well to land. But it was believed if they had been able to launch the boat 
and attempted to land in her, the sea was so high and the shore so toul, that they 
might have all perished. This happened on the 8th month, 1702, and we had 
early notice of it to Lancaster, and got horses and carts with empty casks to put 
the damaged sugars in, and to get on shore what could be saved, which was done 
with much expedition. We got the sugar into Esquire Fleetwood's barn, at 
Rossall, and the cotton wool into Bispham chapel, and in the neap tides got the 
carpenters at work, but a storm came with the rising tides and beat the ship to 
pieces. The cotton wool was sent to Manchester and sold for 200." 

In the early years of this century Bispham contained a 
manufactory for the production of linsey-woolsey. The building 
was three stories in height, and employed a considerable number 

I. Monast. Anglic, vol. v. p. 530. 2. Due. Lane. vol. xii., Inq. n. 2. 


of hands. Subsequently it was converted into a ladies' school, and 
afterwards pulled down. Two or three residences in the township 
near the site of the old manufactory still retain the names of 
' factory houses,' from their association with it. There is a small 
Nonconformist place of worship in the village, surrounded by a 
wall, being partially covered with ivy and overshadowed by trees. 
This edifice is called Bethel Chapel, and a date over the doorway 
fixes its origin at 1834. In 1868 a Temperance Hall, comprising 
a reading room, library, and spacious lecture and assembly room, 
was erected here by subscription, and forms one of the most 
striking objects in the village. The Sunday school connected 
with the parish church, and situated by its side, was erected also 
by subscription, in 1840, and rebuilt on a larger scale in 1873. 
The hamlet of Norbreck is situated on the edge of the cliffs 
overhanging the shore of the Irish Sea, and consists of several 
elegant residences tenanted by Messrs. Swain, Burton, Harrison, 
Wilson, and Richards. None of the houses present any features 
calling for special comment, but appear, like others at no great 
distance, as Bispham Lodge, the seat of Frederick Kemp, esq., J.P., 
to have been built within comparatively recent years as marine 
retreats for the gentry of neighbouring towns, or others more 
intimately associated with the locality. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 

254 297 323 313 371 394 437 556 

The area of the township includes 2,624 statute acres. 

The Free Grammar School was established in 1659, when 
Richard Higginson, of St. Faith's, London, bequeathed unto the 
parish of Bispham sundry annual gifts in perpetuity, and 
especially the yearly payment of ^"30 for and towards the 
support of a school-master and usher at the school of Bispham, 
lately erected by him. From a subsequent deed it appears that 
the annual sums were made chargeable on two messuages in 
Paternoster Row, London, belonging to the dean and chapter of 
St. Pauls, but as the interest Higginson possessed in such 
property was acquired at the sale of the dean and chapter lands 
during the Commonwealth, it followed that on the restoration 
of Charles II., the rentals forming his bequest were not forth- 
coming. Further, the document recites that John Amburst, 


of Gray's-inn, esq., and Elizabeth, his wife, who was the widow 
and sole executrix of Richard Higginson, being desirous that 
the object of the founder should be carried out, paid to John 
Bonny and others in trust ^200, to be invested in land and the 
annual income thereof devoted to the maintenance of an able and 
learned schoolmaster at the before-mentioned school of Bispham. 
The costs of a chancery suit in 1686 reduced the donation to ^"180, 
but the trustees made up the sum to the original amount and 
reimbursed themselves by deducting $ per annum from the salary 
of the master for four years. In 1687, Henry Warbreck conveyed 
in consideration of ^"200, to James Bailey and five other trustees 
of the charity, elected by a majority of the inhabitants, the closes 
known as the Two Tormer Carrs, the Two New Heys, the Great 
Hey, the Pasture, the Boon Low Side, the Little Field, and 35 
falls of ground on the west of the Meadow Shoot close, amounting 
to about 14 acres, and situated in Layton, "for the above-named 
pious use ; and it was agreed, that when any three of the five 
trustees, or six of any eight which should hereafter be chosen, 
should happen to die, the survivors should convey the premises to 
eight new trustees to be chosen, two out of each of the respective 
townships of Layton, Warbreck, Bispham, and Norbreck, by the 
consent of the major part of the inhabitants of those townships, 
and that the said trustees should from time to time employ the 
rents for and towards the maintenance and benefit of an able and 
learned schoolmaster, to teach at the school at Bispham." 1 In 
1817, Thomas Elston, and George Hodgson, of Layton, Robert 
Bonny, and William Bonny, of Warbreck, William Butcher 
junior, and James Tinkler, of Bispham, and Thomas Wilson, and 
Joseph Hornby, of Norbreck, were appointed trustees at a public 
meeting convened by William Bamber and William Butcher, the 
two surviving trustees. The newly elected governors were directed 
"to permit the dwelling-house and school to be used as a residence 
for the schoolmaster and a public school for the instruction of the 
children of the parish of Bispham-with-Norbreck, in reading, 
writing, arithmetic, English grammar, and the principles of the 
English religion, gratuitously, as had been heretofore done, and to 
hold the residue of the premises upon the trust mentioned in the 

I. Charity Commissioners' Report. 


last deed." 1 The commissioner who visited the school in 1868 
remarked : " The building is an old house, through whose 
thatched roof the rain penetrates in winter, dropping all over the 
desks, and gathering in pools upon the floor ; the room is very 
small, 30^ by 14^ feet and 7^ feet high to the spring of the roof, 
and the air being so foul that I was obliged to keep the door open 
while examining the children." The use of the dilapidated 
structure here alluded to has been discontinued, and the scholars 
assemble in a room in the Temperance Hall until a fresh school- 
house has been erected. 

LAYTON-WITH-WARBRECK is the second of the two townships 
comprised in the ancient parish of Biscopham or Bispham. 
The Butlers, barons of Warrington, were the earliest lords of 
Layton. In 1251, Robert Botiler, or Butler, obtained a charter 
for a market and fair to be held in " his manor of Latton." The 
estate descended in the same family with some interruptions, until 
the reign of Henry VIII., when it was sold by Sir Thomas Butler 
to John Brown, of London, who on his part disposed of it, in 1553, 
to Thomas Fleetwood. The manor was retained by the Fleetwoods 
up to the time of the late Sir. P. Hesketh Fleetwood, of Rossall, 
by whom it was conveyed, through purchase, to the Cliftons, of 
Lytham. The following abstract from the title deed touching the 
transfer of the property from John Brown to Thomas Fleetwood 
will not be without interest to the reader : 

" By Letters Patent under the Great Seal of England, bearing date the igth day 
of March, in the first year of the reign of Queen Mary. After reciting that Sir 
Thomas Butler, Knight, was seized in fee of the Mannour of Layton, otherwise 
Great Layton, with the Appurtenances, in the county of Lancaster, and that his 
estate, title, and interest therein by due course of Law, came to King Henry the 
Eighth, who entered thereon and was seized in fee thereof, and being so seized 
did by his letters patents under the seal of his Duchy at Lancaster, bearing date 
the $th day of April, in the thirty-fourth year of his Reign, (amongst other things) 
give, grant, and restore unto the said Sir Thomas Butler, his heirs, and Assigns, the 
said Mannour and its Appurtenances, by virtue whereof the said Sir Thomas 
Butler entered and was seized in fee thereof, and granted the same to John Brown, 
Citizen and Mercer of London, his heirs and assigns, and that Brown entered and 
was seized thereof in fee, and granted and sold the same to Thomas Fleetwood, 
Esq., his heirs and Assigns, and that the said Thomas Fleetwood entered thereon 
and was at that time seized in fee thereof. And further reciting that the said Sir 
Thomas Butler held and enjoyed the said Mannour, with its Appurtenances, from 

I. Charity_Commissioners' Report. 


the time of making said Grant until he sold and conveyed the same to the said 
Brown without disturbance, and that the said Brown held the same until he sold 
and conveyed to the said Thomas Fleetwood without disturbance, and that the said 
Thomes Fleetwood had held and enjoyed the same for near four years without 
disturbance, and was then seized in fee thereof. But because it had been doubted 
whether the said Letters Patent and Grant made by King Henry the Eighth to 
Sir Thomas Butler were good and valid in the Law, because they were under the 
Seal of the Duchy of Lancaster, and not under the Great Seal, and because it 
appeared unto her said Majesty, that the said King Henry the Eighth, her Father, 
had promised that the said Sir Thomas Butler, should have the said Grant either 
under the Great Seal or the seal of the Duchy of Lancaster, She willing to perform 
her Father's promise and to remove all doubts, and for greater security of the said 
Mannour, unto the said Thomas Fleetwood and his heirs, and in consideration of 
the faithful services done by the said Thomas Fleetwood to her said Father, and 
to her Brother King Edward the Sixth, and to her, did give, grant, and confirm 
unto the said Thomas Fleetwood, his heirs and assigns, the Mannour of Layton, 
otherwise Great Layton, with its rights, members, and Appurtenances, in the said 
county of Lancaster, and all and singular the Messuages, Houses, Buildings, Tofts, 
Cottages, Lands, Tenements, Meadows, Feedings, Pastures, &c. &c. c., Fishing, 
Wrecks of the Sea, Woods, Underwoods, &c. &c. &c., commodities, emoluments and 
Hereditaments whatsoever, with their Appurtenances, situate, lying, and being in 
the Vi.ll, Fields, or Hamlets of Layton, otherwise Great Layton, aforesaid, which 
were of the said Thomas Butler, and which the said John Brown afterwards sold 
to the said Thomas Fleetwood as aforesaid, To hold the same unto the said 
Thomas Fleetwood his heirs and assigns for ever." 

Reverting to the market and fair above-mentioned we find that 
in 1292 Sir William le Botiler was called upon to show upon what 
right he laid claim to free warren in Layton, and two other places. 
In proving his case, the knight stated that his privileges extended 
to markets, fairs, and assize of bread and beer, in addition to which 
he affirmed that wreck of the sea had been the hereditary rights of 
his ancestors from the accession of William the Conqueror. The 
jury acknowledged the title of Sir William in each instance, 
ordaining that the same markets, fairs, etc., should continue to be 
held or exercised as aforetime. It would appear that the market 
took place each week on Wednesday, the chief merchandise offered 
for sale being most likely cattle and smallware. There are now 
no remnants of the market, which must at one era have been an 
assembly of no mean importance, beyond the names of the market- 
house and the market-field. The cross and stocks have also 
succumbed to the lapse of years, the latter being a matter of 
tradition only, with all, even to the oldest inhabitant. 

In 1767 a petition was presented to the House of Parliament, 


setting forth that within the manor of Layton and parishes of 
Poulton and Bispham there was situated an extensive tract of land 
containing about 2,000 acres, called Layton Hawes, and begging 
on the part of those concerned, for permission to enclose the whole 
of the common. The document states " that Fleetwoocl Hesketh, 
Esquire, is Lord of the Manor of Layton aforesaid ; and Edmund 
Starkie, Esquire, is Impropriator of the Great Tythes arising within 
that part of the Township of Marton called Great Marton, within 
the said Manor of Layton and Parish of Poulton, and of One 
Moiety of the Great Tythes arising in that part of the Township 
of Bispham called Great Bispham, within the said Manor and 
Parish of Bispham ; and Thomas Cross, Esquire, and others, his 
partners, are proprietors of the other Moiety of the Great Tythes 
arising within Great Bispham aforesaid ; and Ashton Werden, 
Clerk, present Incumbent of the Parish Church of Bispham afore- 
said, and his Successors for the time being, of the Great Tythes, 
arising within the Township of Lay ton- with- Warbreck, within the 
said Manor and Parish of Bispham. Also that the said Fleetwood 
Hesketh, Thomas Clifton, and other Owners and Proprietors of 
divers ancient Farms, situate within the Manor of Layton, and the 
towns of Great Marton, Little Marton, Black Pool, and Bispham, 
have an exclusive Right to turn and depasture their Beasts, Sheep, 
and other Commovable Cattle, in and upon the said Waste or 
Common, called Layton Hawes, at all Times of the Year ; and the 
Parties interested are willing and desirous that the said Waste or 
Common should be inclosed, allotted and divided, and therefore pray 
that the said Waste or Common called Layton Hawes, lying 
within the Manor of Layton, maybe divided, set out, and allotted 
by Commissioners, to be appointed for that purpose and their 
Successors, in such manner, and subject to such rules, orders, 
regulations, and directions, as may be thought necessary." Leave 
to carry out the object contained in the prayer was granted to the 
petitioners, and within a comparatively short time the work of 
dividing and apportioning the soil accomplished. 

The greater part of the township of Layton-with-Warbreck 
being now absorbed in the borough of Blackpool, to which the 
ensuing chapter will be devoted, there is little further to notice 
beyond the ancient seats of the families of Rigby and Veale. 
Layton Hall was probably the residence of the Butlers, of Layton, 


previous to the opening of the seventeenth century, when it was 
sold to Edward Rigby, of Burgh ; at least that gentleman was the 
first of the Rigbys whose Inq. post mortem disclosed that he held 
possessions in Layton. The Hall remained in the ownership and 
tenancy of the Rigbys until the lifetime of Sir Alexander Rigby, 
who married Alice, the daughter of Thomas Clifton, of Lythatn, 
and died about I yoo. 1 The original edifice, \vhich was taken down 
and a farm-house erected on the site about one century ago, was a 
massive gabled building. At the bottom of the main staircase 
was a gate, or grating, of iron, the whole of the interior of the 
Hall being fitted with oak panels, etc., in a very antique style. 

Whinney Heys was held by the Veales from the time of Francis 
Veale, living in 1570, until the death of John Veale, about two 
hundred years later, when it passed to Edward Fleetwood, of 
Rossall Hall, who had married the sister and heiress of John 
Veale. 2 The Hall of Whinney Heys was embosomed in trees and 
presented nothing of special moment to the eye, being simply a 
large rough-cast country building of an early type. It was 
partially taken down many years since and converted to farming 

"The village affords," says Mr. Thornber, 3 "an example of 
covetousness seldom equalled. John Bailey, better known by 
the name of the Layton miser, resided in a cottage near the 
market-house. His habits were most frugal, enduring hunger 
and privation to hoard up his beloved pelf. Once, during every 
summer, his store was exposed to the beams of the sun, to undergo 
purification, and he might be seen, on that occasion, with a loaded 
gun, seated in the midst of his treasure, guarding it with the eyes 
of Argus, from the passing intruder. Notwithstanding all this 
vigilance, upwards of ^"700 was stolen from his hoard ; and this 
ignorant old man journeyed to some distance to consult the wise 
man in order to regain it ; his manoeuvre to avoid the income-tax 
also failed, for although he converted his landed property into 
guineas, concealing them in his house, and then pleaded that he 
possessed no income, but a capital only, the law compelled him to 
pay his due proportion. In the midst of his savings, death smote 

1. See ' Rigby of Layton Hall,' in Chapter vi. 

2. See ' Veale of Whinney Heys,' in Chapter vi. 

3. History of Blackpool and Neighbourhood. 


this wretched being, and even then his ruling passion was strong 
in the very agony of departing nature. His gold watch, the only 
portion of his property which remained unbequeathed, hung 
within his reach ; his greedy eye was riveted upon it ; no he could 
not part with that dear treasure and, with an expiring effort, he 
snatched it from the head of his bed, and it remained clenched in 
his hand and convulsed fingers long after warmth had forsaken his 
frame. Alas ! His hidden store, all in gold, weighing 65^, was 
discovered at the close of a tedious search, in a walled up window, 
to which the miser had had access from without, and was carried 
home in a malt sack, a purse not often used for such a purpose." 



[LACKPOOL is situated in the township of Layton- 
with-Warbreck, and occupies a station on the west 
coast, about midway between the estuaries of the 
rivers Ribble and Wyre. The watering-place of 
to-day with its noble promenade, elegant piers, handsome hotels, 
and princely terraces, forms a wonderful and pleasing contrast to 
the meagre group of thatched cabins which once reared their 
lowly heads near the peaty pool, whose dark waters gave rise 
to the name of the town. This pool, which was located at the 
south end of Blackpool, is stated to have been half a mile in 
breadth, and was due to the accumulation of black, or more 
correctly speaking, chocolate-coloured waters, 1 from Marton Mere 
and the turf fields composing the swampy region usually designated 
the " Moss." It remained until the supplies were cut off by 
diverting their currents towards other and more convenient 
outlets, when its contents gradually decreased, finally leaving no 
trace of their former site beyond a small streamlet, which now 
discharges itself with the flows of Spendike into the sea, opposite 
the point where the Lytham Road branches from the promenade. 
The principal portion of the town stands a little removed from the 
edge of a long line of cliffs, whose altitude, trifling at first, 
considerably increases as they travel northwards ; and from that 
broad range of frontage streets and houses in compact masses 

I. The following is extracted from a paper, written by Mr. Henry Moon, of 
Kirkham, about 1783, and refers to this pool : " The liquid is of a chocolate or 
liver colour, as all water must be which passes through a peaty soil, so that the 
place might, with as much propriety, bear the name of Liver-pool, as Black-pool.' 1 


run backwards towards the country, covering an annually 
extending area. 

One of the oldest and most interesting relics of antiquity is still 
preserved in the Fox Hall Hotel, or Vaux Hall, as it is sometimes, 
but we opine, for reasons stated hereafter, incorrectly written, 
although its name, site, and long cobble wall are nearly the only 
mementoes that time and change have failed to remove. It was 
here in the reign of Charles II. that Edward, the son of the gallant 
and loyal Sir Thomas Tyldesley who was slain at the battle of 
Wigan-lane in 1651, having been led to expect a grant of the 
lands of Layton Hawes, or Heys Side, from the king, after the 
restoration, in return for his own and his father's staunch adherence 
to the royal cause, built a small sequestered residence as a summer 
retreat for his family. Modest and unpretending as the dimensions 
appear to have been, no doubt at that time it was regarded as a 
stately mansion, and looked upon with becoming respect and 
admiration by the inhabitants of the few clay-built and rush-roofed 
huts which were scattered around it. The house itself was a 
three gabled structure with a species of tower, affording an 
extensive survey over the neighbouring country ; there were four 
or five rooms on each story, and one wing of the building was 
fitted up and used as a chapel, the officiating priest being most 
probably the Rev. W. Westby, the " W. W." of the diary kept by 
Thomas Tyldesley during the years he resided there. The chapel 
portion of the old house was at a later period, when the remainder, 
after experiencing various fortunes, had fallen into decay, converted 
into a cottage. Over the chief entrance Edward had inscribed 
the words " Seris factura Nepotibus," the motto of an order of 
Knighthood, called the Royal Oak, which Charles II. contemplated 
establishing when first he regained his throne, but afterwards for 
certain reasons 1 altered his mind, as he also appears to have done 
in regard to the Hawes property, for it never passed into the 
possession of the Tyldesleys by royal favour, or in any other way. 
A fox secured by a chain was allowed to ramble for a short distance 
in front of the doorway, and whether the presence of that animal, 
together with the use of the Hall as a hunting seat, as well as a 
summer retreat, originated its name, or its first title was Vaux, 

I. For a list of the Knights of the Royal Oak, and other matters concerning 
that Order see page 72. 


and by an easy and simple process of change became altered to 
Fox, the reader must decide for himself ; but after he has perused 
the following extract from the Tyldesley Diary, in which the 
priest already mentioned is alluded to as " W : W.," he will, we 
venture to think, have little difficulty in concluding that the 
cognomen Vaux is merely a modern adaptation when applied to 
this Hall : 

" May 14, 1712. Left Lan r about ffive ; p d 3d. ffor a shooe at Thurnham 
Cocking, having lost one. Thence to Great Singleton to prayers, and ffrom thence 
to Litham to din r , ffound Mr. Blackborne, of Orford ; stayed there 1 1 at night. 
Soe to ffox hall. Gave W : W : is." 

Edward Tyldesley surrounded the Hall with a high and massive 
wall of cobble stones, strongly cemented together, as a protection 
very needful in those times of turmoil and persecution. A large 
portion of the wall still exists in an almost perfect state of pre- 
servation, notwithstanding the fierce gales and boisterous tides 
that have, at intervals, battered against it for more than two 
centuries. This, with the additional safeguards that nature had 
provided by means of the broad sea to the front, a small stream 
running over swampy, almost impassable, ground to the south, 
and a pool 1 under its east side, rendered the house a secure 
asylum for those who were constrained to practise 

" The better part of valour," 

and remove themselves for a season from the eyes of the world 
and their enemies. Over the high gateway at the south end of the 
enclosure he placed a stone carved with the crest of the Tyldesley 
family a pelican feeding its young encircled by the loyal and 
patriotic motto " Tantum valet amor regis et patrise" : for long 
the roughly finished piece of carving was visible in the wall of an 
outbuilding, from which, however, it has recently been removed. 
Fox Hall was not without its plot of garden ground, a considerable 
space, being devoted to the useful products, was known as the 
kitchen garden, whilst another space was devoted to an apiary, 
and flowers must be supposed to have been an accompanyment of 
bees. It also boasted a bowling green and an ancient fig tree. 

Thomas, the son of Edward Tyldesley, born in 1657, succeeded 
to the family estates on the death of his father, and later married, 
as his second wife, Mary, sister and co-heiress, with Elizabeth 

I. Black-pool. 


Colley, of Sir Alexander Rigby, knt., of Layton Hall, High-sheriff 
of the county of Lancashire in 1691, whose father had erected a 
monument to the memory of Sir Thomas Tyldesley near the spot 
where he was slain. 

During the year 1690, when the dethroned monarch James 
II. invaded Ireland in the hope of regaining his crown, 
Thomas Tyldesley prepared a secret chamber for his reception 
in the interior of the Hall. The closet or hiding-place was 
afterwards known as the King's Cupboard. The Pretender, 
also, was reported to have been concealed for some time within 
Fox Hall, and although it is certain that this aspirant to the 
British throne was never within its friendly walls, still the secret 
recesses, called " priests' holes," with which it appears to have 
been liberally provided, formed excellent refuges for the clergy 
and other members of the Romish Church, who on the slightest 
alarm were enclosed therein, and so secluded from the prying eyes 
of their hostile countrymen until the danger had passed. These 
latter incidents did not take place until after the decease of 
Thomas Tyldesley, who died in 1715, shortly before the outbreak 
of the rebellion, and was buried at Churchtown, near Garstang. 
His son Edward, who succeeded him, was arrested for taking part 
with the rebels, and escaped conviction and punishment only by 
the mercy or sympathy of the jury, who after returning their 
verdict of acquittal were severely censured by the presiding judge 
for their incompetency and disaffection. Edward Tyldesley died 
in I725- 1 At what date Fox Hall passed out of the hands of the 
Tyldesleys, it is impossible to trace, but it is doubtful whether the 
Edward here named ever resided there, as he is always described 
as of Myerscough Lodge, another seat of the family. Mary 
Tyldesley, the widow of his father, whom it will be remembered 
he married as his second wife, was living there as owner in 1720, 
and from that circumstance we must infer that the Blackpool 
house was bequeathed to her by her husband Thomas Tyldesley, 
and that the other portion only of the estates fell to Edward, the 
son of his first marriage and his heir. Poverty seems to have 
overtaken the family with rapid strides ; their different lands and 
residences were either mortgaged or sold, and whether Fox Hall 

I. See ' Tyldesley of Fox Hall ' in Chapter VI. 


descended to the children of Mary Tyldesley, or returned again 
into the more direct line, it is certain that not many years after 
the death of Thomas Tyldesley it had ceased to be one of their 

Thus, the annals of the founders of this solitary mansion carry 
us back to the period between 1660 and 1685, that is from the 
restoration to the death of Charles II., but certain entries in the 
register of Bispham church show that there must have been 
dwellings and a population, however thinly scattered, on the soil 
anterior to that period, sometime during the sixteenth century, 
and it was doubtless the descendants of these people who inhabited 
the neighbourhood when Edward Tyldesley appeared upon the 
scene and erected Fox Hall. The primitive structures forming 
the habitations of these aborigines were built of clay, roughly 
plastered on to wattles, and thatched with rushes more frequently 
than straw, the whole fabric being supported on crooks driven 
into the ground. About the epoch of Thomas Tyldesley drainage 
and cultivation began to render the aspect of the country more 
inviting, and fresh families were tempted to come down to the 
coast and rear their humble abodes under the wing of the great 
mansion, so that after a while a small hamlet of clustering huts 
was formed. It is more than probable that the morals and 
conduct of the dwellers in these huts were influenced in some way 
or other by the sojourners at the Hall, but whether for good or 
evil we are unable to say, as the time is now so hopelessly remote 
and no records of their habits and doings are extant, so that in 
the absence of any proof to the contrary, it is only fair and 
charitable to surmise that their lives were as simple as their 

Whether the Tyldesleys were induced to locate themselves on 
this spot solely by a prospect of possessing some of the territory 
around, or were actuated also by a desire to have a retreat far 
removed from the scenes of disturbance with which the different 
factions were constantly vexing the land, is a matter of little 
importance, but to their presence it was due that the natural 
beauties of Blackpool were brought before the people at an early 
date. There can be no doubt that the priests and others, who had 
fled to the Hall as a harbour of refuge, would, on returning to 
their own districts, circulate glowing and eulogistic accounts of 


the place they had been visiting of the glorious beauty of the 
sea, the endless stretch of level sands, and the bracing purity of 
the breeze. In such manner a desire would readily be implanted 
in the bosoms of their auditory to become personally acquainted 
with the new land, which had created such a deep and favourable 
impression on the minds of men, whose positions and education 
warranted the genuineness of their statements and enhanced the 
value of their opinions. There is one other circumstance worthy 
to be mentioned as having in all likelihood aided considerably in 
bringing the place into notice, and that is an annual race meeting, 
held for long on Layton Hawes. The proximity of the site to the 
residences of so many families of wealth and distinction, as the 
Aliens of Rossall, the Westbys of Burn Hall, the Rigbys of Layton 
Hall, the Veales of Whinney Heys, the Heskeths of Mains, the 
Cliftons of Lytham, and the Tyldesleys of Blackpool, must have 
rendered the assembly one of no mean importance, and we may 
picture in our minds the gay and brilliant scene presented each 
year on the outskirts of the present town, when our ancestors in 
their antique and many-hued costumes congregated to witness the 
contests of their favourite steeds, and the level turf echoed to the 
fleet hoofs of the horses as the varied colours of their riders flashed 
round the course. 

Although these incidents must have greatly tended to give 
publicity to Blackpool, its early advances towards popularity were 
dilatory, but this is to be attributed rather to the unsettled state 
of the times than to a tardy appreciation of its advantages by 
those who had enjoyed them or heard them described. During 
the reign of George I., 1714-1727, a mere sprinkling of visitors 
seems to have been attracted each summer to the hamlet, but a 
few years later, about 1735, they had become sufficiently numerous 
to induce one Ethart a Whiteside to prepare a cottage specially 
for their reception and entertainment. Common report whispers 
that he was further prompted to the venture by being the 
fortunate possessor of a wife whose skill in cookery far excelled 
that of any of her neighbours, but be that as it may, whether he 
espoused the Welsh maiden because her culinary accomplishments 
were an additional recommendation to him in the sphere in which 
he had embarked, or whether the lodging house was a cherished 
dream only converted into a reality on their discovery after 


marriage, one thing is certain, his speculation prospered, and at 
the end of fifty years he retired on what at that era was considered 
a fortune. The house in which he had laboured for half a century 
was situated in the fields now occupied by General Street and the 
neighbouring houses, on the site of what not long ago was a ladies' 
school ; in appearance, it was a very ordinary cottage with the 
usual straw thatch, somewhat oblong in form and possessing few 
attractions to tempt the stranger to prolong his stay, but in spite 
of all its disadvantages, the fascination of the sea and the novelty 
of the surroundings filled it with guests summer after summer. 
This dwelling claims the honour of having been the first ever fitted 
up and arranged as a lodging house in Blackpool. On the retirement 
of Whiteside, who a few years afterwards died at Layton, it passed 
into the hands of a noted aboriginal, called Tom the Cobbler, 
who appears to have held more ambitious views than his 
predecessor, and converted the cottage into an inn, or at least 
embellished its exterior with a rude lettered sign, and procured a 
license to supply exciseable commodities within. Those who had 
been accustomed to the scrupulous care and cleanliness of 
Whiteside and his thrifty wife, must have experienced a consider- 
able shock from the eccentricities of the new proprietor ; each day 
at the dinner hour he entered in working costume amongst the 
assembled guests, and with grimy fingers produced from the depths 
of his well rosined apron the allotted portion of bread for each. 
How this peculiarity was appreciated by his visitors there are no 
means of ascertaining, but as his dwelling did not develope in the 
course of years into a modern and commodious hotel like the 
other licensed houses which sprang up about that time and a little 
later, we are inclined to fear that some internal mismanagement 
caused its collapse. 

In 1769 the whole hamlet comprised no more than twenty-eight 
houses, or more correctly speaking hovels, for, with the exception 
of four that had been raised to the dignity of slate roofs and a small 
inn on the site of the present Clifton Arms Hotel, they were little 
if any better. These were scattered widely apart along the beach, 
and one of them standing on the ground now occupied by the 
Lane Ends Hotel, and adjoining a small blacksmith's shed, was 
a favourite resort of visitors in search of refreshment. Turf stacks 
fronted almost every door, and the refuse of the household was 


either carelessly thrown forth or else accumulated in putrifying 
heaps by the sides of the huts, so that nothing but their isolated 
situations and the constant currents of pure air from the sea 
sweeping over and around them could possibly have prevented 
the outbreak of some infectious and fatal disorder. 

Bonny's Hotel, then known as old Margery's, and standing in 
the fields to the south, some distance from the sea, sprang up a 
little anterior to this time and received its share of patronage ; 
later it was converted into a boys' school and during recent years 
has been divided into cottages, etc. The Gynn House, erected 
northwards near the extremity or apex of a deep and wide fissure 
in the cliffs, formed another popular haunt during the season ; the 
landlord at that hostel created much amusement by his oddities, 
and especially by his quaint method of casting up the reckoning 
on a horse-block in front of the door and speeding the <( parting 
guest" with " and Sir, remember the servants." A true 
and remarkable anecdote is related about the old inn ; 
sometime during the summer of 1833 a sudden and terrific 
storm burst over the western coast of this island, many 
vessels were lost and the shore off Blackpool was strewn with 
the battered fragments of unfortunate ships, which had either 
foundered in the deep or been dashed to pieces as they lay help- 
lessly stranded on the outlying sandbanks. In the night as the gale 
raged with its utmost fury, a Scotch sloop was beating off the 
coast, vainly endeavouring to battle with the hurricane, and 
driven by the force of wind and wave nearer and nearer to the 
precipitous cliffs. When all hope had been abandoned and 
destruction seemed inevitable, some thoughtful person placed a 
lighted candle in the window of the Gynn House ; guided by this 
faint glimmer, the vessel passed safely up the creek, and the 
exhausted sailors were rescued from a dreadful death. Next 
morning a sad and harrowing scene presented itself along the 
coast ; no less than eleven vessels were lying within a short 
distance of each other, with their torn rigging and shattered spars 
hanging from their sides ; brigs, sloops, and schooners, the short 
but fearful gale had left little of them beyond their damaged hulls. 
Nor were these the only victims of the storm, for as the tide 
receded to its lowest the masts of two others rose above the surface 
of the water ; and during the next few days three large ships 


drifted past the town in an apparently waterlogged condition. 

About that date, 1769, several heaps of mortar and other 
building materials, lying on the road which separated the front of 
the village from the edge of the cliffs, showed that more were 
anxious to follow in the footsteps of Whiteside and his earlier 

Some idea may be formed of the class of people who visited 
Blackpool at that period from the charges made at Bonny's Hotel 
and the Gynn, the two principal inns, for board and lodging ; at 
the latter eightpence per day satisfied the modest demands of the 
host, while at the former the sum of tenpence was exacted, with 
a view no doubt of upholding its superior claims to respectability. 
In drawing our conclusions from these facts we must bear in mind 
that a shilling in those days represented much greater value than 
it does at present, so that the charges may not have been really so 
inadequate as they now appear. The village contained neither 
shop nor store where the necessaries or luxuries of life, if such 
things were ever dreamt of by the people, could be purchased, and 
large 'quantities of provisions had to be laid in at one time. 
Occasionally a sudden and unexpected influx of visitors occurred 
inopportunely, when the larder was low, and as a consequence the 
hungry guests were forced to wait, temporising with their 
appetites as best they could, until a journey had been made to 
Poulton and fresh supplies procured. 

Ten years later the hamlet had grown somewhat in size, and 
the annually increasing numbers who flocked to its shores showed 
that its popularity was steadily gaining ground. Intercourse with 
the world beyond their own limited circle seems, however, to have 
had anything but an elevating or civilising effect upon the inhabi- 
tants, for we find amongst them at that time a band of professed 
atheists, whose blasphemous conduct called forth no rebuke or 
opposition from the rest, but was quietly tolerated, if not indeed 
approved. Each fortnight during the summer fairs were held on 
the Sabbath to provide refreshment and amusement for the 
visitors, who came in crowds to witness the magnificence of the 
highest spring tides. These gatherings usually terminated in 
disgraceful scenes of revelry and debauchery. Smuggling was 
carried on between the coast opposite the Star-hills and the Isle 
of Man, but never to a great extent or for any lengthened period. 


These huge mounds of sand, much more numerous than in 
our day, formed excellent store-houses for the contraband goods, 
generally spirits, which were packed in hampers, and so overlaid 
with fish that their presence was never even suspected. The 
illicit cargoes were brought across the channel in trading vessels, 
from which they were landed by means of light open boats, and 
at once secreted in the manner just indicated, until a suitable 
opportunity occurred for their removal to one of the neighbour- 
ing towns. The success attending these ventures induced the 
smugglers to construct a sloop of their own, with the intention of 
prosecuting so profitable a trade on a larger scale, but information 
of their proceedings having been conveyed by some one to official 
quarters, a detachment of soldiers was promptly despatched to put 
an end to the nefarious practices. So thoroughly did these men 
effect .their purpose, that, although no capture is recorded as 
having taken place, the whole band was dispersed, and from that 
date no more offences of this character have been known on the 
coast. " 

In 1788 the houses of Blackpool had increased to about thirty- 
five, and these were arranged in an irregular line along the edge 
of the cliffs ; the intervals between the habitations being with 
few exceptions so wide that this small number stretched out from 
north to south, over a distance of quite a mile. One group of six 
was especially remarkable as presenting a more respectable and 
modern exterior than any of the others, most of which still retained 
a great deal of their original defective appearances, as though their 
owners were unwilling or unable to adapt themselves and their 
abodes to the improved state of things springing up around them. 
The company during the busiest part of the season amounted to 
about four hundred persons, and a news-room had been established 
for their use in the small cottage, before mentioned, on the site of 
the Lane Ends Hotel, the smith's shop adjoining having been 
converted into a coffee-room and kitchen, at which a public 
dinner was prepared each day during the summer, and served at 
a dining-room erected across the way. There were now four 
additional inns in the village, named respectively, Bailey's, For- 
shaw's, Hull's, and the Yorkshire House. The first of these had 
sprung up on the cliffs towards the north, and was kept by an 
ancestor of its present proprietor ; the second was the nucleus 


from which has grown the Clifton Arms Hotel, whilst the third 
stood on the site of the Royal Hotel. The roads leading to the 
hamlet were in such an unfinished state that after heavy falls 
of rain they could be travelled only with the greatest difficulty, 
and often with considerable danger both to the vehicle and its 
occupants ; so that under these circumstances most people 
deemed it more prudent and expedient to perform the journey on 
horseback, some of them in the pillion fashion usual at that 
era. In an earlier part of this chapter we spoke of the troubled 
state of the times and the unsettled and harassed condition of the 
people as being the most probable causes why Blackpool was so 
long neglected by many who must "have been well cognisant of its 
beauties in the days of the Tyldesleys, and with equal probability 
may we now conjecture that the dilapidated and frequently 
unsafe state of the highways had a serious effect in preventing 
numbers from visiting the place at this period. Regarding the 
matter from another point of view, we are led to infer that the 
four hundred composing the company of 1788, were people 
who, either in search of health or recreation, had willingly under- 
gone the discomforts of a dreary and sometimes hazardous journey 
in order to make but a brief sojourn by the shores of Blackpool. 
Here, then, there is evidence of the great estimation in which the 
place was held at that early date by the dwellers in the inland 
towns, and of the rapidity with which its good fame was increasing 
and extending throughout a large section of the county. As may 
be naturally supposed, the large influxes of visitors and their 
turn-outs during the height of the season very much overtaxed the 
accommodation provided for them by the inhabitants, but that 
difficulty was easily surmounted by turning the horses loose into 
a field until their services were again required, whilst the surplus 
health or pleasure-seekers were lodged in barns or any out- 
buildings sufficiently protected from the weather. The village 
possessed two bowling greens of diminutive size, one of which 
occupied the land at the south-west corner of Lytham Street 
whilst the other was in connection with the Yorkshire House, 
afterwards the York Hotel, and since purchased by a company of 
gentlemen, who razed it to the ground in order to erect more 
suitable buildings on the site. There was also a theatre, if that 
will bear the name which during nine months of the year existed 


under the more modest title of a barn ; rows of benches were 
placed one behind another, and separated into a front and back 
division, designated respectively pit and gallery. This house is 
said to have been capable of holding six pounds, the prices of 
admission being one and two shillings. At that period bathing 
vans were scarce, the majority of bathers making use of boxes, 
which were placed for their convenience along the shore, and as 
the mode in which they secured privacy and a proper separation 
of the sexes during indulgence in this pastime was both ingenious 
and entertaining, we will give a brief sketch of their arrange- 
ments. At a certain hour each day, varying according to the 
changes of the tide, a bell was rung when the water had risen 
almost to its highest. On hearing the signal, the whole of the 
gentlemen, however agreeably occupied, were compelled, under a 
penalty of one bottle of wine for each offence, to vacate the shore 
and betake themselves to their several hotels or apartments, whilst 
the ladies, after sufficient time had elapsed for any stray member 
of the sterner sex to get safely and securely housed, emerged 
singly or in small groups from the different doorways, and, hurry- 
ing down to the edge of the sea, quickly threw off their loose 
bathing robes, and in a moment were sporting amid the waves 
like a colony of nereids or mermaids. When these had finished 
their revels and duly retired to their homes, the bell rang a second 
time, and the males, released from durance vile, made their way 
to the beach, and were not long in following the example of their 
fair predecessors. 

Mr. Hutton, in his small pamphlet descriptive of Blackpool in 
1788, says : "The tables here are well supplied ; if I say too well 
for the price I may please the innkeepers, but not their guests. 
Shrimps are plentiful ; five or six people make it their business to 
catch them at low water, and produce several gallons a day, which 
satisfy all but the catchers. They excel in cooking, nor is it 
surprising, for forty pounds and her maintenance is given to a 
cook for the season only. Though salt water is brought in plenty 
to their very doors, yet this is not the case with fresh. The place 
yields only one spring for family use ; and the water is carried by 
some half a mile, but is well worth carrying, for I thought it the 
most pleasant I ever tasted." 

The prices at the inns and boarding-houses had risen as the 


accommodation they offered had improved in quality and 
increased in extent, so that it was no longer possible to subsist on 
the daily expenditure of a few pence as in former times. In 
hotels of the first class y>. qd. per day, exclusive of liquors, was 
the charge for board and lodging ; dinner and supper being 
charged is. each to the casual visitor, and tea or breakfast 8d. 
In those of the second-class and some of the lodging-houses, 
2s. 6d. per day covered everything with the exception of tea, 
coffee, sugar, and liquors ; whilst the smaller lodging-houses, 
generally crowded with visitors who were either willing or 
compelled to content themselves with the more frugal fare 
provided, charged only is. 6d. per day for each guest. 

A promenade, six yards wide, carpeted with grass and separated 
from the road by white wooden railings, ran along the verge of 
the sea bank for a distance of two hundred yards, and was 
ornamented at one end with an alcove, whilst the other terminated 
abruptly at a rough clayey excavation, afterwards used as a brick 
croft. " Here," says the topographer already quoted, " is a full 
display of beauty and of fashion. Here the eye faithful to its 
trust, conveys intelligence from the heart of one sex to that of the 
other ; gentle tumults rise in the breast ; intercourse opens in 
tender language ; the softer passions are called into action ; 
Hymen approaches, kindles his torch, and cements that union 
which continues for life. Here may be seen folly flushed with 
money, shoe-strings, and a phaeton and four. Keen envy sparkles 
in the eye at the display of a new bonnet. The heiress of eighteen 
trimmed in black, and a hundred thousand pounds, plentifully 
squanders her looks of disdain, or the stale Belle, who has outstood 
her market, offers her fading charms upon easy terms?' 

This parade was extended some years later by means of a bridge 
thrown from its south extremity over the road leading down to 
the shore, and on to the cliffs of the opposite side. Riding or 
walking, for those who were not fortunate enough to possess a 
horse or equipage, on the sands or promenade, and excursions into 
the country as far as the " Number 3 Hotel," where many of the 
company amused themselves with drinking " fine ale," were the 
favourite pastimes during the day, varied, however, with an 
occasional practice at the butts for bow and arrow shooting, the 
diurnal bathe, and contests on the bowling greens, to which we 


have already alluded ; in the evening or during unfavourable 
weather cards and backgammon, or the theatre, were the means 
with which the visitors beguiled the wearisomeness of the quiet 
hours. The " Number 3 Hotel " above-mentioned stood behind 
the present building bearing that name, at the corner of the 
Layton and Marton roads. 

Mr. Hutton relates several somewhat startling instances of the 
curative properties of the sea at Blackpool ; amongst them that of 
a man, by trade a shoemaker and a resident of Lancaster, who 
having become, through some unexplained cause, totally blind, 
visited this watering-place for six weeks, during which he drank 
large quantities of the marine element, daily bathing his eyes in the 
same, and at the end of that time had so far recovered his sight 
that he could readily distinguish objects at a distance of two miles. 
Another case was that of a gentleman, who, having been seized 
with a paralytic attack, which deprived him of the use of one 
side, was ordered by his physican to Bath, but finding, after a fair 
trial, that he derived no benefit from the combined action of its 
climate and waters, he determined to travel northwards and make 
a short sojourn at Blackpool. Whilst there the invalid was daily 
carried into and out of the sea, and even after this process had been 
only twice repeated he had lost the violent pains in his joints, 
recovered his sleep, and in some considerable degree the muscular 
power of the affected side, but of his further progress there is 
no account. 

The following lines, written by a visitor a few years after the 
incidents we have just narrated, also show in what great estimation 
the climate and sea of the village were held as remedial and 
invigorating agents : 

" Of all the gay places of public resort, 
At Chatham, or Scarbro', at Bath, or at Court, 
There's none like sweet Blackpool, of which I can boast, 
So charming the sands, so healthful the coast ; 
Rheumatics, scorbutics, and scrofulous kind, 
Hysterics and vapours, disorders of mind, 
By drinking and bathing you're made quite anew, 

As thousands have proved and know to be true." 


At this time Blackpool was not only without a church, but in 
the whole place there was no room where the inhabitants or 


visitors were accustomed to assemble together for divine worship, 
and it was not until 1821 that the sacred edifice of St. John was 
completed and opened. In 1789 a subscription was started for 
the purpose of erecting a church, but was soon closed for want of 
support, barely one hundred pounds having been promised. 
Some years later a large room at one of the hotels was used as a 
meeting house on each Sabbath, the officiating ministers being 
obtained alternately from Bispham and Poulton, and occasionally 
from amongst the visitors themselves. 

In 1799, the poorer inhabitants of Blackpool and its neighbour- 
hood suffered severely, in common with others, from a failure in the 
grain and potato harvests. They, like most members of the 
working classes at that date, relied almost entirely upon good and 
plentiful crops of these important articles of diet, to furnish them 
with the means of sustenance throughout the year, so that a small 
yield, raising the prices exorbitantly, became a matter of serious 
moment to them, and in most instances, meant little less than 
ruin or starvation. After the cold and inclement approach of 
winter had banished the last stranger from their midst, the sums 
demanded for their accustomed provisions soon swallowed up the 
little these people had saved during the summer, and such 
occasional trifles as could be earned on the farm lands around 
whenever extra services were required. Their condition, deplorable 
from the first, gradually grew worse, until, reduced to the deepest 
distress, they became dependent for the bare necessaries of existence 
upon the charity of those whose positions, although seriously 
affected by the failure, were not placed in such great jeopardy as 
their own. After this precarious and pitiable state of things had 
lasted some time without any signs of amelioration, and it seemed 
difficult, if not impossible, to conjecture how the remaining months 
were to be provided for until the returning season brought fresh 
assistance to their homes, an unexpected, and, to them, providential 
occurrence relieved their sufferings. A large vessel laden with 
peas was wrecked upon the coast, and the cargo, washing out of 
the hold, was strewn upon the beach, supplying them with 
abundance of food until better days shone upon the impoverished 
village once more. 

Reviewing the appearance of Blackpool at the opening of the 
nineteenth century we find that the whole hamlet was comprised 


between the Gynn to the north, and the ruins of the once 
aristocratic mansion of Fox Hall to the south. The houses with the 
exception of Bonny's Hotel and a few scattered cottages, had all 
been erected along the sea bank, the great bulk lying to the south 
of Forshaw's Hotel, and amounting to about thirty, whilst the 
space north of that spot as far as Bailey's Hotel was only occupied 
by one or two dwellings of very humble dimensions. These with 
the Gynn and a few habitations standing south of it on Fumbler's 
Hill, made up the number of houses to about forty. A 
detailed description of the different erections at that epoch is 
impossible, but we may state generally that those of modern origin, 
especially the hotels, although unpretending externally, were so 
arranged and provided that the comforts of the guests were fully 
insured, and in every way the accommodation they offered was 
immensely superior to any that could have been obtained thirty 
years before. The few old buildings that still remained had for 
the most part undergone considerable alterations, and been rendered 
more suitable for the purposes to which they were now devoted. 

In 1801 the first official census of the inhabitants of the township 
of Layton-cum-Warbreck, in which Blackpool is situated, was 
taken, and furnished a total of 473 persons. 

At that period many people attracted by the rising reputation of 
the watering-place were anxious to invest their capital in the 
purchase of land by its shores, and in the erection of houses 
adapted for the reception of visitors, but the proprietors of the 
hotels were the owners of a large portion of the soil, and fearing 
that the introduction of substantial and commodious apartments 
would interfere with the patronage of their inns, refused to dispose 
of any part of their lands, or at least placed such obstacles in the 
way of the would-be purchasers that bargains were seldom 
concluded. Had it not been for the energy and foresight displayed 
by one resident, Mr. H. Banks, who built several cottages and 
fitted them up with every convenience and requisite for summer 
dwellings, the prosperity of the village would have received a 
sudden check and doubtless a serious injury, for the provision 
made would have fallen far short of the requirements of an ever- 
increasing throng of visitors, and thus repeated disappointments 
would in the end have led to disgust and the absence of many 
when the following seasons rolled round. The probability of such 


a disastrous result seems at length to have been realised by the 
landlords themselves, who discovered that the plan to enlarge their 
own business was not to drive visitors away from the place by 
limiting the accommodation, but to offer them every inducement 
to come, and to have a sufficiency of houses ready to receive them 
when they had arrived. Under this new and more liberal 
impression greater facilities were offered both to purchasers of land 
and builders, so that the early error into which they had fallen 
was rectified before any great amount of harm had been done. 

During the summer of 1808 the Preston volunteers were on 
duty at Blackpool for two weeks, and on the 4th of June cele- 
brated the seventieth birthday of His Majesty George III. with 
many demonstrations of loyalty and rejoicing. 

The small town now boasted five good class hotels, which, in 
their order from north to south, were named Dickson's, Forshaw's, 
Bank's, Simpson's, and the Yorkshire House. Simpson's, formerly 
Hull's, is now the Royal Hotel ; Bank's the Land Ends Hotel, and 
Dickson's was the one already mentioned as Bailey's Hotel. 
"Adjoining Forshaw's Hotel," writes a gentleman who visited 
Blackpool about that date ; " there are two or three houses of 
genteel appearance, compared with the many small cottages 
leading thence to the street, which is the principal entrance from 
Preston. There is a promenade with an arbour at the end of it, 
and beyond it nearer to Dixon's Hotel stands a cottage used as a 
warm bath. Beyond Dixon's there is a public road where two 
four-wheeled vehicles can pass each other." At a later period 
both the road and cottage alluded to had succumbed to the 
unchecked power of the advancing sea ; and here it will be con- 
venient to mention other and much more serious encroachments 
made by the same element in the course of years now long gone 
by. We can scarcely conceive, when gazing on the indolent deep 
in its placid mood, that at any time it could have been possessed 
with such a demon of fury and destruction as to swallow up 
broad fields, acres upon acres, of the foreland of the Fylde, and in 
its blind anger sweep away whole villages, levelling the house 
walls and uprooting the very foundations, so that no trace or 
vestige of their former existence should remain. History, how- 
ever, points to a hamlet called Waddum Thorp, which once stood 
off the coast of Lytham, fenced from the sea by a broad area 


of green pasture-land, now known as the Horse-bank ; and in 
more recent years a long range of star-hills ran southward from 
opposite the Royal Hotel, protecting a highway, fields, and four 
or five cottages from the waves, whilst a little further north a 
boat-house afterwards a shoemaker's shop, stood in the centre of a 
grassy plot, all of which have vanished, and their sites are now 
covered and obliterated by the sand and pebbles of the beach. 
The several roads, which had been formed at different seasons, 
leading over the cliffs to Bispham, were sapped away and 
destroyed so rapidly by the incursions of the tide that one more 
inland and circuitous was obliged to be made. On the sands, 
about three miles to the north of Blackpool, and so far distant 
from the shore that it is only visible when the water has receded 
to its lowest ebb, stands the famous Penny-stone. Near the spot 
marked by the huge boulder, tradition affirms that in days of yore 
there existed a small road-side inn, celebrated far and wide for its 
strong ale, which was retailed at one penny per pot, and that 
whilst the thirsty traveller was refreshing himself within, and 
listening to the gossip of " mine host," his horse was tethered to 
an iron ring fixed in this stone. It is stated that documents 
relating to the ancient hostelry are still preserved, but as the 
assertion is unsupported by any evidence of its veracity, we are 
prohibited from accepting it as conclusive proof that the inn owes 
its reputed existence to something more substantial than the 
lively imaginations of our ancestors. There is, certainly, one 
thing which gives some colouring of possibility, or perhaps, out of 
veneration for the antiquity of the tradition, we may advance a 
step and say, reasonable probability, to the story, and that is 
the historic fact, that at no very great distance from the locality 
there stood a village called Singleton Thorp until 1555, when it 
was submerged and annihilated by a sudden and fearful irruption 
of the sea. Several other boulders of various sizes are lying about 
in the neighbourhood of Penny-stone, bearing the names of Old 
Mother's Head, Bear and Staff, Carlin and its Colts, Higher and 
Lower Jingle, each of which is covered in a greater or less degree 
with shells, corallines, anemonies, and other treasures of the 

In 1811 the census of the persons residing in the township 
before specified, was again taken, and amounted to 580, showing 


an increase of 107 in the number of inhabitants during the 
preceding ten years. 

The year 1816 is remarkable as being the first in which public 
coaches ran regularly between Preston and Blackpool. Previously 
the chief communication between the village and outlying places 
had been by means of pack-horses, carts, and private vehicles, with 
only occasional coaches. 

The following description of Blackpool about the year 1816 
was furnished by one of its oldest inhabitants, and, although 
unavoidably entailing some repitition of what has been mentioned 
before, will, we trust, be interesting in itself, as well as useful in 
confirming the earlier parts of this history, which have neces- 
sarily been compiled from previous writings on the subject, and 
not from the evidence of living witnesses. The Gynn House 
formed the most northerly boundary of the village, and, passing 
from that hostelry in a southerly direction, the next dwelling 
arrived at was Hill-farm, which still exists, and is at present used 
as a laundry for the Imperial Hotel. A few gabled cottages stood 
on the eminence called Fumbler's Hill, near the site of Carleton 
Terrace : 

" Old Ned, and Old Nanny, at Fumbler's hill, 
Will board you and lodge you e'en just as you will." 1 

These cottages faced the south, as indeed did all the other 
dwellings at that time, with the exception of two or three of the 
hotels and a few of the more recent buildings. Bailey's, or rather 
Dickson's, Hotel was built in blocks of two and three stories, and 
possessed one bay window. It must be remembered that the 
stories of that day were much lower than those with which 
modern improvements have made us familiar. The next hotel 
was Forshaw's, similar in its construction, but unadorned with 
even one bay window ; between these two large inns were two or 
three small thatched, cottages. Continuing our survey southwards 
were Dobson's Row, consisting of several slated cottages, with a 
circulating library and billiard room ; and the Lane Ends Hotel, 
containing three bay-windows, built, like the others, in 
parts of two and three stories each. In Lane Ends Street there 

I. A couplet extracted from some lines descriptive of Blackpool and its 
accommodation, etc., in 1790, written by a visitor about that date. 


was a general shop and lodging house combined, tenanted by a 
person named Nickson. The Royal, then commonly called 
the Houndhill Hotel, comes next in order, and a little distance 
behind it on the rising ground was a small thatched cottage for 
the reception of visitors. South Beach contained only a few 
thatched cottages, and on the site of the present Wellington Hotel 
stood a circular pinfold, built of cobble stone. Considerably west 
of the present line of frontage, and south of the pinfold, stood two 
rows of cottages almost on the edge of the shore ; the last of these 
habitations was washed away or pulled down in 1827. Beyond the 
Yorkshire House and its bowling green was the dilapidated 
remains of Fox Hall, part of which had been converted into a 
small farm-cottage, in the occupation of a person named Wignall. 
Between Fox Hall and the Yorkshire House, but further removed 
from the beach, was a thatched cottage adjoining a stable, in which 
Mr. Butcher, of Raikes Hall, kept two or three racehorses, the field 
now occupied by the Manchester Hotel being used as an exercise 
ground for them. Chapel Street contained a small farm-house 
and several cottages, in addition to Bonny's Hotel, which was 
situated in a field at the lower end of this lane. In Church Street 
there were only three or four cottages, two of which, standing at 
the south-west corner, were slated and used as shops. A few 
other cottages, whose exact sites could not be recalled with 
accuracy, were scattered here and there, but the above will furnish 
the reader with a fairly correct idea of the extent and appearance 
of Blackpool about the year 1816. 

The National Schools, at Raikes Hill, were the first provision 
made for the education of the young, and were built in 1817, 
chiefly through the exertions of Mr. Gisborne, then a temporary 
resident. They consist of two schools, for boys and girls respec- 
tively, with a teachers' home between. The accommodation has 
since been considerably enlarged and the institution is now under 
government inspection. 

The parish church of St. John, in course of erection in 1820, 
was built with bricks from a croft situated on the cliffs between 
Dickson's Hotel and the promenade. This place of worship, 
originally an episcopal chapel under Bispham, with a perpetual 
curacy attached, was consecrated to St. John on July 6th, 1821, 
by Doctor Law, bishop of Chester. In 1860 a special district was 


assigned by order of Council to St. John's, which in that manner 
became, under Lord Blanford's Act, the parish church of Blackpool. 
The district thus cut off from the wide parochial area of Bispham, 
and constituted a distinct parish for all ecclesiastical purposes, was 
included between the Spen Dyke to the south and the central line 
of Talbot road to the north. The cost of the sacred edifice, 
which consisted, externally, of a plain brick structure, having a 
low embattled tower with pinnacles at the angles, amounted 
to ^"1,072, the whole of which was defrayed by voluntary 
subscriptons, the following individuals being the principal con- 
tributors : 

Mrs. Dickson 100 Mr. John Forshaw 100 

Mr. Robert Banks loo Robert Hesketh 50 

,, H. Banks 100 ,, Fielding 50 

John Hornby loo Jonathan Peel 50 los. 

A Friend 100 ,, Bonny 50 

The interior of the church, plain and neat, was lighted by small 
lamps for evening service during the winter, and contained a font 
which had once belonged to the old Roman Catholic chapel of 
Singleton ; and, a few years later, an organ built by Wren, of 
Manchester. In 1832 this building was enlarged by drawing out 
the east end, into which a plain window was inserted. The still 
increasing popularity of the watering place demanded another 
enlargement, which took place in 1847 ; but it was not until 1851 
that the present chancel, containing a handsome stained glass 
memorial window to H. Banks, esq.,who died in 1847, was added. 
The window embraces representations of Christ, the four 
evangelists, and the infant Jesus, with Joseph and his mother, etc., 
below which is the following inscription, surmounted by a coat of 
arms and motto : " In memoriam Henrii Banks de Blackpool 
patris, et unius ex hujus yEdis patronis, tres sui liberi hanc 
fenestram fieri fecerunt." In 1862 it was thought desirable that 
further improvements should be made, and an open domed roof of 
pitch-pine was substituted for the old ceiling ; the floors of the 
pews, previously covered with asphalt, were boarded ; new 
windows of ground glass, and a fresh pulpit and reading desk were 
added to the church ; whilst a substantial iron railing was erected 
round the yard in place of the cobble wall, which had stood since 
the opening of the edifice, and in the same year the burial space 



was increased by including the plot of land lying to the west of 
the church, and now abutting on the houses of Abingdon Street. 
Four years later, in 1866, a new and larger tower, furnished with a 
clock and a peal of eight bells, was completed on the site of 
original one, which had been pulled down for this purpose. The 
interior of the church contains, in addition to the memorial 
window already alluded to, mural tablets in memoriam of Robert 
Banks, gent., died May 27th, 1838, aged 76 years, " Ever mindful 
of the calls of general duty, he was also a liberal promoter of the 
erection and endowment of this church, and by will bequeathed the 
sum of ^"100, for the perpetual support of the national school " ; 
Edward, the son of Henry and Margaret Banks, died August 8th, 
1845, aged 35 years ; the Rev. Thomas Banks, " who was for 
thirty-five years incumbent of Singleton church, and an eminent 
instructor of youth," died 1842, aged 73 years. 


Date of 


On 'whose 

Cause of Vacancy. 


James Formby, B.A. 



G. L. Foxton, B.A. 


Resignation of J. 



Wm. Thornber, B.A. 


Resignation of G. L. 



W. T. Preedy, B.A. 


Resignation of W. 



Alfred Jenour, M. A. 


Resignation ofW.T. 



Norman S. Jeffreys, 


Death of A. Jenour. 


The present patrons of St. John's church are the Rev. C. 
Hesketh, of North Meols ; the Vicar of Bispham ; J. Talbot Clifton, 
esq., of Lytham Hall ; and the Raikes Hall Park, Gardens, and 
Aquarium Company. 

In 1821 the census returns of the population of Layton-with- 
Warbreck showed a total of 749 persons. On the igth of July 
in that year the coronation of George IV. was celebrated by the 
inhabitants and visitors of Blackpool " in a manner most grateful 
to every benevolent heart." A handsome subcription, we are told 


by the gentleman whose words have just been quoted and who 
was present on the occasion, was expended in procuring one day's 
festivity for the poor and needy, the aged and the young. About 
ten in the morning, the children of the township, amounting to 
one hundred and thirty-nine, assembled at the national school, 
erected near the church, where they were each presented with 
a coronation medal. Afterwards they paraded the beach, headed 
by two musicians, and sang the national anthem at all the 
principal houses, followed by ringing cheers ; returning to 
the school-house, each child was regaled with a large bun, and 
spiced ale and coppers were distributed amongst them. When these 
had been dismissed to their homes, upwards of thirty old people 
met in the same room, where they sat down to an ample and 
excellent dinner, at the conclusion of which they each drank the 
king's health in a pint of strong ale. The same kind-hearted 
ladies who had superintended the children in the procession, 
waited on this venerable company, and had their generosity 
rewarded by witnessing the amusing spectacle of three old women, 
upwards of seventy, who had probably danced at the coronation 
of George III., go through a Scotch reel, which they accomplished 
in excellent style. 

On the 2ist of March, 1825, the first stone of a small Independent 
chapel, situated at the lower end of Chapel Street, and lying on 
the south extremity of the village, was laid by the Rev. D. T. 
Carnson, and on the 6th of the ensuing July it was opened 
for public worship by the Rev. Dr. Raffles. 

The summer of 1827 is remarkable as having been an excep- 
tionally prosperous season for Blackpool ; vast numbers of carts 
and other vehicles laden with their living freights arrived from 
Blackburn, Burnley, Colne, Padiham, and the borders of York- 
shire, and during the month of August so crowded was the place 
that many were lodged in stables and barns, whilst others sought 
refuge at Poulton. The following year a fine gravel promenade 
was tastefully laid out on the sea bank to a considerable distance, 
occupying a large portion of the site of the old road. A beautiful 
green turf walk was constructed from the beach to the church, 
leading through pleasant fields, and furnished at intervals with 
covered seats. The Albion Hotel was also erected at the north- 
west corner of Lane Ends Street. 


Mr. Whittle, in his publication descriptive, amongst other 
resorts, of Blackpool in 1830, and entitled "Marina," says: 
" Blackpool is furnished with excellent accommodation, although 
it is a pity but what there had been some kind of uniformity 
observed, as all sea-bathing stations ought to have their houses 
built upon a plan entirely unique. Four assemblies have been 
known to take place in one week during the bathing season, 
extending from July to October. In fact the rooms at the hotels 
are very extensive. Bank's is the most commodious. The 
inhabitants seem to have no taste for ornamenting their door- 
ways or windows with trellis work or verandahs, or with jessa- 
mines, woodbines, or hollyhocks, similar to those at Southport, 
and many of the sea-bathing situations in the south. It is not to 
be wondered at that there are here frequently at the flux of the 
season, from eight hundred to a thousand visitors. Blackpool has 
most certainly been honoured since its commencement as a 
watering-place by persons of distinction and fashion. The hotels 
and other houses of reception are scattered along the beach with 
an aspect towards the Irish Sea ; and in the rear are the dwellings 
of the villagers. The cottages on the beach have of late years 
considerably increased, and they serve, with the hotels in the 
centre, to give the place, when viewed from the sea, a large and 
imposing appearance." 

The ball and dining-room at Nickson's Hotel, (the Clifton Arms,) 
was of large dimensions, and contained a neat orchestra at one 
end, whilst the following notice was suspended in a prominent 
position against the inner wall : 

" The friends of Cuthbert Nickson will please to observe that the senior person 
at the hotel is entitled to the president's chair ; and the junior to the vice-presi- 
dent's. Also the ladies to have the preference of the bathing machines." 

Placards, similar in their import to this one, were to be seen 
in both Dickson's and Bank's Hotels. 

The new promenade was improved in 1830 by the addition of a 
wooden hand-rail along its entire length, whilst comfortable seats 
were placed opposite the hotels of Banks and Nickson. The fairs, 
to which we have already alluded, continued to be held every second 
Sunday during the season, but a few years later they were 
abolished by the action of the more respectable portion of the 
residents. Letters arrived at half-past eleven in the morning, and 


were despatched at noon, daily in the summer months, but only 
three times a week during winter. Mr. Cook, an American, was 
the originator of the post, which he commenced some time before 
by having the letters carried to Kirkham three times a week 
during the season. At that day the arrival of the letter-bag was 
made known to the anxious public by exposing a board on which 
was written or painted, "The post is arrived." This ingenious 
device proclaimed, on reversing the board, " The post is not yet 
arrived ;" so that by a proper use of the signal the postmaster 
was enabled to save himself much trouble in answering the frequent 
inquiries of expectant visitors. Mr. Cook, who is described as 
having been the " Beau Nash" of Blackpool, died in 1820, and 
was buried at Bispham. The charges at the best hotels were 
6s. per day in private and 55. in public, with an addition of is. 
each night for a front, or 6d. for a back, bedroom.* At Bonny's 
the price was 45. 6d. per day ; and at Nickson's and the Yorkshire 
House 33. 6d. per day at the first table, and 2s. 6d. at the second, 
subject to an additional charge for extra attendance if required. 

The. census returns of 1831 showed that the population of the 
township had increased to 943 persons since 1821, when, the 
reader may be reminded, the total amounted to 749. 

In 1835, a Wesleyan chapel, calculated to hold between 250 
and 300 persons, was erected and opened in Bank Hey Street. 
This building, having in the course of time become inadequate 
for the accommodation of its increasing congregation, was 
pulled down, and the corner stone of the present edifice laid by 
W. Heap, esq., of Halifax, on Friday, November ist., 1861. The 
chapel, which occupies a site near the old one, was opened for 
service on the 4th of July, 1862, and is capable of seating 760 
persons. The total expenditure for the erection and other 
incidental expenses connected with it, amounted to ^"3,500. An 
organ, built by Mr. E. Wadsworth, of Manchester, at a cost of 
^"320, was obtained in 1872. 

During 1836 great improvements were made in the appear- 
ance of the town ; shops were beautified and increased in 
number ; many of the cottages were rendered more ornamental, 
whilst others were constructed on modern principles, and on a 
moderate calculation it may be estimated that two hundred 
beds were added to the existing accommodation. Sir Benjamin 


Heywood, bart., of Claremont, purchased an extensive plot 
of land, now occupied by the Prince of Wales's Market and 
Aquarium Buildings, on which he shortly afterwards raised 
a handsome marine family residence, called West Hey. 
Numerous and copious springs of fine fresh water were found at 
a depth of fifteen yards from the surface ; until which fortunate 
discovery, water for drinking purposes had been collected in 
cisterns dug out of the marl. Public Baths were also erected on 
the beach adjoining the Lane Ends Hotel. 

The following year, 1837, the Victoria Terrace and Promenade, 
erected at the north-west corner of Victoria Street, were completed. 
This block of buildings was formed of seven shops, above them 
being the Promenade, a room thirty-two yards long, which 
opened through folding windows upon a balcony six feet wide ; 
attached to it were a news-room, library, and billiard table. The 
Promenade acquired its distinctive title from being first used on 
the 24th of May, 1837, when the Princess Victoria, the present 
Queen, attained her legal majority ; on that day the principal 
inhabitants of Blackpool assembled there to celebrate the important 
event with a sumptuous dinner, and from the subjoined extract, 
taken from an account of the gathering in a public print, we 
learn the great estimation in which the saloon was then held : 

d*** dinner and excellent wine provided by Mr. C. Nickson, to which 
fifty-two gentlemen sat down, in the splendid Promenade Room newly erected by 
Doctor Cocker, who was highly extolled for his taste in the architectural design 
and decorations of the building, which is of the chaste Doric order, and for his 
spirited liberality in providing the visitors of this celebrated resort with so spacious 
and magnificent a saloon, where, as in a common centre, they may meet each other 
and enjoy the social pleasures of a conversation whenever they please ; thus 
evincing his wish to promote a more friendly intercourse amongst the strangers 
collected here from all quarters of the kingdom during the summer season this 
has hitherto been a desideratum at Blackpool." 

For long afterwards balls and all public meetings were held in 
this assembly room, which still exists in its original condition, 
although the other parts of the block, especially the shops, have 
recently been improved and beautified. 

From 1837 to 1840 the progress of the place was steady, but 
not rapid, as compared with more recent times. In the latter 
year the opening of the Preston and Wyre Railway to Poulton, 
initiated a mode of travelling until then unknown in the Fylde 


district, and by its means Blackpool became nearer in point of 
time to Preston, Manchester, and many other large towns already 
possessing railway accommodation, a great accession of company 
being the immediate result. Omnibuses, coaches, and other 
carriages met every train at Poulton station, and the four miles of 
road were scampered over by splendid teams in less than half an 
hour. Then it was that the jolting, homely vehicles, and the 
through coaches, which had for long been the dashing wonders of 
the country roads, were driven off, and a greatly multiplied 
number of visitors brought into the town daily by the more 
expeditious route, at a less cost and with greater personal con- 
venience than had been possible in earlier days. More accom- 
modation was soon called for and as readily supplied by the 
spirited inhabitants, who erected numerous houses at several 
points, which served, at no distant period, as the nucleus for new 
streets and terraces. The census of the township in 1841 had 
risen to 2, 1 68. In 1844 the erection and opening of a Market House, 
evinced the growing importance and prosperity of the watering- 
place ; this building has lately, since 1872, been enlarged by lateral 
extension to quite double its original capacity, whilst the extensive 
unprotected area opposite, used for similar trading purposes and 
occupied by stalls, has been covered over with a transparent roof. 
Talbot Road was opened out and the lower end formed into a 
spacious square, (furnished wi th an elegant drinking fountain in 1 8 70) 
by the removal of a house from its centre. These improvements 
were effected at the sole cost of John Talbot Clifton, esq., of 
Lytham, the owner of the soil. The Adelphi and Victoria Hotels, 
which had sprung into being, were altered and enlarged ; the 
former by raising it a story, and the latter by the addition of a 
commodious dining room, two sitting rooms, and sundry bedrooms. 
Several spacious residences were finished on South Beach, and 
a handsome terrace of habitations stretching south from Dickson's 
Hotel, was also erected about that time. 

In 1845, several houses on a larger scale, including the Talbot 
Hotel, were built, and great improvements and additions made to 
many former establishments. 

The opening of the branch line from Blackpool to join the main 
railroad at Poulton, on the 2gth of April, 1846, gave another marked 
impetus to the progress of the town ; by its formation direct steam 



communication was completed with the populous centres of Lan- 
cashire and Yorkshire, and many, who had previously been 
deterred from visiting Blackpool by its comparative inaccessibility, 
now flocked down to its shores in great numbers ; building in- 
creased, and dwellings arose, chiefly on the front, and in Church 
and Victoria Streets. 

During the ensuing year the first meeting of the Blackpool Agri- 
cultural Society was held on the grounds of a recently built inn, 
the Manchester Hotel, at South Shore ; the attendance was both 
numerous and respectable, including many of the most influential 
gentlemen, yeomen, and farmers of the neighbourhood, and several 
from the remoter localities of the Fylde. Cows, horses, and pigs 
appear to have been the only stocks to which prizes were awarded. 
The first Lodge of Freemasons held their initiatory meeting in 
that year at the Beach Hotel, another house of entertainment 
which had risen shortly before, on the site of some furnished 
cottage facing the beach. 

A new Independent Chapel was commenced in Victoria Street, 
to supersede the small one erected in Chapel Street in 1825 ; the 
edifice was finished and used for divine service in 1849. Serious 
differences seem to have arisen a few years later between the pastor 
of that date, the Rev. J. Noall, and a limited section of his congre- 
gation, who were anxious to deprive him of his charge, and even 
went so far, in 1860, as to publicly read in the chapel, after 
morning service, a notice convening a meeting for that purpose. 
This act, being repeated on the ensuing Sabbath, led to retaliation 
on the part of the partizans of the minister, who, unknown to 
that gentleman, paraded three figures, intended to represent the 
three principal opponents to the continuance of his pastorate, sus- 
pended from a gibbet, which had been erected in a cart, through 
the streets of the town, and afterwards gave them up to the flames 
on the sands. The Rev. J. Noall was shortly afterwards presented 
with a testimonial of esteem by a number of sympathisers. 
Schools, in connection with the chapel, were built in 1870. 

Two years subsequently, the watering-place had grown, without 
the fostering care of a public governing body, into a large and 
prosperous town, boasting a resident population of over two 
thousand persons, but this very increase and popularity had 
rendered it impossible for private enterprise to provide the 


requisite comforts and conveniences for such a mixture of classes 
as visited it during the summer. Acting under this necessity and 
for the welfare of the resort a Local Board was formed, composed 
of gentlemen elected from amongst inhabitants, into whose hands 
was entrusted the government and regulation of all matters con- 
nected with the place. An accession of power was sought in 1853, 
and on Tuesday, the i/].th of June, the Blackpool Improvement 
Act received the royal assent. The Board originally consisted 
of nine members, but in 1871 the number was increased to 

One of the earliest acts of the new commissioners of 1853 was to 
provide for the proper lighting of the town by the erection of Gas 
Works, which they accomplished in their first year of office ; for 
some time it had been evident that the season was seriously curtailed 
by the absence of any illumination along the promenade and 
thoroughfares during the autumn evenings, but private speculation 
had for some reason held aloof from so important an under- 
taking, although the question had been much discussed amongst 
the inhabitants. Here it may be stated, in order to avoid revert- 
ing to the subject again, that in 1863 there were 650 consumers 
of gas; in 1869, 1270 ; and in 1875, no less than 2,000 ; the 
miles of mains in those years being respectively 5, 7, and 12. 

In 1856, the promenade, which had suffered much injury from 
frequent attacks of the sea, and perhaps from some amount of 
negligence in not bestowing due attention to its proper mainten- 
ance, was put in better order and extended from its northern ex- 
tremity, opposite Talbot Square, along the front of Albert Terrace 
as far as Rossall's, formerly Dickson's Hotel. Four years later a 
portion of this walk opposite Central Beach was asphalted and 
sprinkled over with fine white spar. The Infant School-house in 
Bank Hey Street, was opened in 1856. 

The Roman Catholic Church, situated in Talbot Road, was 
erected in 1857, from the design of Edwin W. Pugin, Esq., and at 
the sole expense of Miss M. Tempest, sister to Sir Charles Tempest, 
Bart., of Broughton Hall, Yorkshire. It is in the Gothic style, 
the exterior being built with Yorkshire flag in narrow courses, 
hammer dressed and tuck pointed. The church comprises a 
chancel, north and south transepts, two sacristies, confessionals, 
nave, aisles, south porch, and central western tower. The chancel, 


which is separated from the nave and transepts by a richly 
decorated and moulded arch, contains four side windows in addition 
to a large one at the east end. The nave is divided into five bays 
of fifteen feet each, with massive arches ornamented with deeply 
cut mouldings. The tower is of great solidity, and rises to a 
height of one hundred and twenty-four feet. Almost the whole 
of the windows are filled with richly stained glass ; and the altar 
within the chancel is beautified with elaborately carved groups, 
designed by J. H. Powell, of Birmingham, of the " Agony in the 
Garden," and the " Last Supper ;" whilst that in the lady chapel 
is adorned, from the pencil of the same artist, with illustrations of 
the " Assumption of the Virgin," and the " Annunciation," all of 
which are exquisitely carved by Lane. This church is dedicated 
to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, and was the first one ever 
erected in Blackpool for members of the Roman Catholic Faith, 
service having been previously celebrated in a room in Talbot 
Road. In 1866 an excellent peal of cast steel bells was added to 
the tower ; and ten years afterwards a magnificent organ was 
' opened in the main building. Attached to the church, and within 
the same enclosure, were placed day and Sunday schools, as well 
as a residence for the officiating priests. The cost of this 
magnificent pile, without the internal decorations, amounted to 

The foundation stone of the Union Baptist Chapel, in Abingdon 
Street, was laid on the 9th of April, 1860, and on Good Friday 
in the following year it was opened for divine worship by the Rev. 
Dr. Raffles. The main building, 80 feet long by 49 feet wide, is 
of brick, and finished with moulded and polished stone dressings 
in the Grecian style of architecture. The principal or west front 
is surmounted by a bold cornice and pediment, and contains the 
two chief entrances, which are approached by a long range of 
steps and a spacious landing. The interior is fitted with substantial 
open pews of red pine in the body, and similar seats are placed in 
the two end galleries, the whole being capable of providing 
accommodation for about 650 persons. The communion floor, 
under a portion of which is the Baptistry, is enclosed with an 
ornamental balustrade. The edifice is well supplied with light 
through plain circular-headed windows. A Sunday school was 
added in 1874, and an organ also purchased during that year. 


From 1858 to the completion of the chapel the Baptists 
worshipped in the room formerly used by the Roman Catholics 
in Talbot Road. 

In 1 86 1, the progress and improvement of the town was well 
shown by three events which occurred at that date the first sod 
of the Lytham and Blackpool coast line was cut at Lytham Park, 
on the 4th of September ; a large Market Hall, raised on South 
Beach, by Mr. W. Read, for the sale of useful and fancy articles 
was completed ; and the original Christ Church was opened on 
Sunday the 23rd of June, by the Rev. C. H. Wainwright, M.A. 
This church, which stood until the erection of the present one, 
was built of iron by Mr. Hemming, of London, at a cost of ^1,000, 
which was advanced by eight gentlemen, who were subsequently 
reimbursed by contributions from the public and collections from 
the congregation at various times. 

The population of Lay ton- with -Warbreck in 1861 amounted to 
3,907 persons, of which number Blackpool contributed 3,506. 

The passenger traffic on the Blackpool and Lytham Railway 
commenced on the 6th of April, 1862, and between that date and 
the 3<Dth of June over 35,000 persons had taken advantage of the 
line and been conveyed between the two watering-places. In 
1862 a handsome Police Station and Court-House sprang into 
being in Abingdon street, including residences, lock-ups, offices, 
magistrates' room, etc. 

The streets of Blackpool no longer presented the meagre and 
broken lines of earlier days, but were in most instances well filled 
on each side with compact blocks of houses. In December, 1861, 
a few of the townpeople assembled at the Clifton Arms Hotel to 
consider the advisability of erecting a pier, to extend westward 
from the promenade opposite Talbot square ; and on the 22nd of 
January, 1862, the memorandum of association was signed with a 
capital of ^"12,000, being immediately registered. Plans were 
examined on the loth of February, and the design of E. Birch, 
esq., C.E., selected, that gentleman being also appointed engineer. 
In April, the tender of Messrs. Laidlaw, of Glasgow, to construct 
the pier for ^11,540 was accepted ; and a grant of the foreshore 
required for the undertaking having been obtained from the 
Duchy of Lancaster for ^"120, and 7 paid to the Crown for the 
portion beyond low-water mark, the first pile of the North Pier 


was screwed into the marl on the 27th of June, 1862, by Captain 
Francis Preston, the chairman of the company. A violent storm 
in the ensuing October damaged the works to some extent, and 
induced the company to raise the deck of the pier three feet above 
the altitude originally proposed, at an expense of ^"2,000. On the 
2ist of May, 1863, the pier was formally opened by Captain 
Preston, the auspicious event being celebrated by general 
rejoicings throughout the town and a procession of the different 
schools and friendly societies. The dimensions of the erection at 
that date were : Approach, 80 feet long ; abutment, 1 20 feet long 
and 45 feet wide ; main portion, 1,070 feet long and 28 feet wide ; 
and the head, 135 feet long and 55 feet wide, giving a total length 
of 1,405 feet available as a promenade The entire superstructure 
was placed upon clusters of iron piles, fixed vertically into the 
ground by means of screws, those at the abutment and main body 
being wholly of cast, and those at the head partly of cast and 
partly of wrought iron. The largest of the cast-iron columns 
measured 12 inches in diameter, and i inch in thickness, each 
column being filled in with concrete. The piles were arranged 
in clusters at intervals of 60 feet, and firmly secured together 
longitudinally, transversely, and diagonally, by rods and braces. 
The main girders, of the sort known as plated, were ri vetted on 
the clusters in lengths of 70 feet, and formed parapets, presenting 
a pleasing appearance and constituting a most efficient wind 
guard to the pier. The tops of the girders were turned to useful 
account by converting them into a continuous line of seats. Next 
to the chief girders were fixed transverse wrought iron girders, 
upon the top of which the planking of the deck was laid, being 
arranged in longitudinal and transverse layers, so that no open 
spaces were left to admit the passage of wind or spray. The head 
of the pier, rectangular in form, was raised 50 feet above low- 
water mark, and leading from it to ample landing stages below, 
was a flight of steps 10 feet wide. The limits of the pier shore- 
wards were defined by ornamental iron gates with lamps, 
immediately inside which were the toll houses. Upon the main 
portion of the pier were erected several ornamental shelter and 
refreshment houses of an octagonal shape, and standing on side 
projections. Another ornamental shelter house of much larger 
dimensions was placed, within a few months, on the head. Lamps 


were provided along the entire length of the pier. In 1867 the 
directors determined to erect an iron extension or jetty, and in 
less than two years the work was accomplished at a cost of ^~6,ooo. 
During the month of May, 1869, a tender for the formation of the 
present entrance for ^2,700 was accepted, and the agreement 
promptly carried out by Messrs. Laidlaw, of Glasgow. In 
October, 1874, tne company arranged with the same contractors 
to enlarge the pierhead by putting out two wings, from the 
designs of E. Birch, esq., C.E., at an expenditure of ^"14,000. On 
the north wing it is intended to build a pavilion, 130 feet long by 
90 feet wide, in an eastern style of architecture, and estimated to 
hold 1,200 persons seated. The edifice, around which there will 
be a promenade, is to be supplied with an orchestra, refreshment 
rooms, etc., and used as a concert room and fashionable marine 
lounge. The south wing, which is about 130 feet long, contains 
a bandstand, capable of holding 30 performers, at the further 
end, and on the east and west side two other buildings 62 
feet by 27 feet each, the former being designed for the purposes 
of a restaurant, and the latter for the sale of fancy goods and 
other commodities. The unoccupied space, nearly 100 feet by 80 
feet, will be provided with seats in the centre, the remainder 
serving as a promenade. The contract for the foregoing erections 
was let in 1875, to Messrs. Robert Neill and Sons, of Manchester, 
for nearly \ 2,000. In 1863, the capital of the company was 
raised to ^"15,000 ; in 1864, to ^20,000; in 1865, to ^25,000 ; 
in 1874, to ^40,000 ; and in 1875, to ^"50,000. 

About the period when the North Pier was constructed, and 
for years previously, the visitors to Blackpool could certainly 
complain of no lack of ordinary amusements during their brief 
residence by the sea. Horses, donkeys, and vehicles were ever 
in readiness to administer to their entertainment, either by 
conveying them for short drives to explore such objects of 
interest as the country afforded, or translating them for the day 
to the seaport of Fleetwood, or the neighbouring resort of 
Lytham. Bathing machines abounded on the sands, and during 
suitable states of the tide were busily engaged in affording ready 
access to the briny element to numbers, who were anxious to 
experience the invigorating effects of a bath in Neptune's domain. 
In the evenings theatrical representations were frequently held, 


since 1861, in the spacious room of Read's Market. The Crystal 
Palace, formerly the Victoria Promenade, was also devoted to 
similar purposes, having long been diverted from the use for 
which it was first intended. The Number 3 Hotel, under its old 
name, but in a more modern building than that described by Mr. 
Hutton at the close of last century, still flourished, and proved 
equally attractive, not so much, however, on account of its " fine 
ale " as the wealth of strawberries and floral beauties adorning its 
gardens. Carleton Terrace was built in 1863; and on the loth of 
March in that year the marriage of the Prince of Wales and the 
Princess Alexandra of Denmark, was celebrated with many 
manifestations of loyalty and joy. Flags, banners, and ensigns 
were suspended from the windows of almost every house, whilst 
sports of various kinds were held on the sands during the 
morning, after which the school children, belonging to the 
different denominations, and a body of Oddfellows, amounting in 
all to 900 persons, assembled in Talbot Square, and sang the 
national anthem, previous to forming a procession and parading 
the streets of the town. Subsequently the children were regaled 
with tea, buns, etc. The Preston Banking Company established 
a branch at Blackpool during 1863 ; and in the month of January 
a party of gentlemen purchased the whole of the land lying 
between the site of Carleton terrace and the Gynn, for the 
purpose of laying it out in building plots and promenades, the 
main feature to be a large central hotel standing in its own 
grounds. The contracts were let by the company in October, 1863, 
for embanking, sewering, and forming the necessary roads and 
promenades on their estate, and shortly afterwards an agreement 
was entered into for preparing the foundation of the hotel, the 
work in both instances being promptly commenced. The 
magnitude of the scheme far exceeded that of any undertaking 
which had ever yet been attempted in Blackpool, but undisturbed 
by the speculative character of their venture the proprietors 
carried the enterprise through its various phases with a liberal 
and vigorous hand, succeeding in the course of time in creating 
an acquisition of incalculable beauty and benefit to the town. 
The Imperial Hotel has its station on the highest point of the 
land, now called Claremont Park, and is a palatial edifice, 
surrounded by elegant lawns and walks, walled off from the park 


outside. In 1876 an extensive enlargement, consisting of a south 
wing, containing 39 bedrooms and 6 sitting-rooms, was made to 
the establishment. The cliffs fronting the estate, formerly rugged 
and uneven, were sloped and pitched to form a protection from 
the inroads of the tide, whilst a broad marine promenade was 
made along the whole length of the park, about a mile, and fenced 
with an iron railing on its open aspect. The main promenade of 
the town was continued round the west side of the park as far as 
the Gynn, but on a lower level than the walk just indicated. 
Shrubs were planted and toll houses, with gates, fixed at the 
entrances to the estate, all of which was enclosed with railings. 
The splendid residences denominated Stanley Villas, Wilton 
Parade, Imperial Terrace, and Lansdowne Crescent were not 
dilatory in rearing their several heads in a locality so congenial to 
their aristocratic proclivities, the foundations of the last being 
prepared in 1864. 

In 1864 the Lane Ends Hotel was levelled to the ground, and 
the present handsome structure, in the Italian style of architecture, 
raised on the site, being re-opened again two years later. The 
foundation stone of the United Methodist Free Church was 
laid in Adelaide Street on the 3oth of March, in the year specified, 
by James Sidebottom, esq., of Manchester, service being held in 
the building in the course of a few months ; whilst the newly- 
arrived lifeboat was launched, and the first supply of the Fylde 
Waterworks Company passed through their pipes to Blackpool 
on the 2Oth of July. The station of the lifeboat, named the 
"Robert William," is situated near the beach at South Shore, 
close to the Manchester Hotel ; and here we may mention that 
this boat, under the skilful and intrepid management of its crew 
and coxswain, has been instrumental on several occasions in 
affording aid in time of shipwreck. Amongst these instances may 
be noted the rescue of a crew of fourteen persons belonging to 
the barque " Susan L. Campbell," wrecked on Salthouse Bank on 
the nth April, 1867, assistance being rendered also to the barque 
"A. L. Routh "; and the rescue of the crew of the schooner 
"Glyde," stranded on the South Beach on the same eventful 
morning. The annual expense incurred in the support of this 
valuable institution is defrayed by voluntary contributions. 

The unflagging efforts of the inhabitants to promote the comfort 


of their visitors in matters of household convenience and accom- 
modation, and to render their sojourns by the shore productive of 
pleasurable, as well as healthful, sensations, were manifestly well 
appreciated by those for whose benefit they were intended. The 
daily crowds parading the recently-erected pier were satisfactory 
evidence of the high estimation in which that elegant addition to 
the attractions of the place was held, whilst the thronged 
thoroughfares during the heat of summer bore witness to the 
growing affection which Blackpool was gaining for itself in the 
hearts of the million. Active exertions were necessary on the part 
of the builders to keep pace with the ever-increasing demand for 
more extended residential provision, houses being scarcely com- 
pleted before the eager tenants had established themselves in their 
new domiciles. The greater portion of the Clifton Arms Hotel 
was pulled down in the autumn of 1865, and rebuilt on an 
enlarged and improved scale, being finished and ready for occu- 
pation in the ensuing spring. On the 2Oth of June, 1865, the 
first members of the Blackpool Volunteer Artillery Corps, 
amounting to about 60 men, took the oath customary on enrol- 
ment, and at the same meeting appointed their officers. Ten 
years later a commodious drill-shed was erected for their use. 

In 1866 the temporary iron church, to which allusion has been 
made in a late page, was superseded by the existing substantial 
one in Queen Street, bearing the name of its predecessor. The 
edifice was opened for divine service on Thursday, the 3rd of 
May, by the Rev. E. B. Chalmers, M.A., of Salford, but was not 
consecrated until 1870. The architecture is an early and simple 
style of decorated Gothic, with thick walls and prominently pro- 
jecting buttresses. The east and west ends are lighted respectively 
by four and five-light traceried windows and lancets. The steeple, 
which is well buttressed, has in its upper stage a belfry for six 
bells, and is surmounted by a vane. Until recent additions were 
made, the church contained sittings for 1,000 persons. The 
building originally comprised a broad nave, with a central aisle 
and two side passages giving access to the seats, all of which were 
open benches with sloping backs ; north and south transepts 
with galleries, lighted by bay windows; a spacious chancel, with 
north and south aisles, the former being fitted up as a vestry, and 
the latter used as the organ-chamber ; a spacious porch at the 


west end, with a wide double door ; a west gallery extending over 
the porch, and approached by a stiarcase along the basement of 
the tower ; and a baptistry covered with a separate hipped roof. 
The alterations just alluded to were carried out in 1874, and con- 
sisted of the erection of north and south aisles to the nave, 
providing accommodation for about 300 more worshippers. The 
district assigned to Christ Church in 1872 was converted into a 
parish in 1874, and the title of vicar given to the incumbent. 
The Rev. C. H. Wainwright, M.A., to whose exertions the new 
structure mainly owes its existence, was the first incumbent, and 
is the present vicar. The schools connected with the church are 
situated in Queen Street, and were built in 1872. 

During the year 1866 the Lancaster Banking Company and the 
Manchester and County Banking Company each opened a branch 
in Blackpool, and like the Preston Bank, previously referred to, 
now transact business daily. 

In July, 1867, the Prince of Wales Arcade on Central Beach 
was finished and opened, comprising a block of building, with 
extensive market accommodation, assembly rooms, etc., erected 
on the site between the Beach and Royal Hotels in an imposing 
and ornamental style of architecture ; and on the igth of 
December, the corner stone of the Temperance Hall in Coronation 
Street was laid by the Rev. R. Crook, and in the following July the 
erection was completed and opened. The temperance movement 
had been commenced in Blackpool four years anterior to that 
date, when a Band of Hope in connection with the United 
Methodist Free Church was formed, and the number of its 
members increased so rapidly in the intervening time that it was 
considered advisable to build the present Hall for their meetings, 
and for those of others who were interested in the same cause. 

The marked success which had attended the construction of 
the North Pier induced a company of gentlemen to erect a similar 
one, running seaward from the margin of the promenade at the 
south of Blackpool. The first pile was screwed in July, 1867, 
and on the 3Oth of May, 1868, the South Pier and Jetty were 
thrown open to the public without any inaugural ceremony. It 
is built of wrought iron and timber, and has the following 
dimensions : Total length 1,518 feet, the main promenade being 
1,1 1 8 feet, and the lower promenade or jetty 400 feet ; the entrance 


is on an abutment 60 feet wide, where there are gates, toll-houses, 
waiting and retiring-rooms ; the pier head is rectangular in form, 
and composed of strong timber, containing an area of 8,120 super- 
ficial feet. The chief promenade is furnished with seats on each 
side throughout its whole length, together with twelve recesses, 
on which are shops for the sale of fancy articles and refreshments. 
On the head of the pier are placed two large waiting and refresh- 
ment rooms, as well as a commodious shelter and wind guard. 
At the extremity of the jetty is a beacon and light as required by 
the authorities at Trinity House. 

In 1868 a magnificent pile of buildings, erected in Talbot 
Square, and called the Arcade and Assembly Rooms, was com- 
pleted. This structure contains a basement and arcade of very 
elegant shops, a restaurant, refreshment and billiard rooms, 
together with a handsome and spacious saloon, surrounded within 
by a gallery, and furnished with a neat stage for theatrical repre- 
sentations and other entertainments. Several sleeping apartments 
were added in 1874, and a certain section of the edifice arranged 
as a private hotel. 

The promenade had always been esteemed so much the property 
of the house and land owners on the front of the beach that to 
them was delegated the onerous duty of maintaining in repair such 
portions of the hulking as ran before each of their possessions, 
the walk itself being kept in order and supported by subscriptions 
amongst the visitors and residents generally. Under this arrange- 
ment although the embankment was ensured from being carried 
away by the waves, there was no certainty that its upper surface 
would invariably present that neat and finished appearance so neces- 
sary to the success of a marine promenade. Voluntary contributions 
are in most instances but a precarious support on which to rely 
exclusively, and at Blackpool their unfortunate characteristic was 
prominently exemplified, more particularly during the earlier years 
of the watering-place, when visitors, whom the summer had drawn 
to the coast, too frequently discovered their favourite lounge in a 
state far from attractive to the pedestrian. Recently there had 
been comparatively little cause for complaint as to the condition 
in which each opening season found the promenade, but it was 
felt on all sides that the day had arrived when a new and much 
more extensive walk should be laid out, and that the respon- 


sibility of maintaining both it and the fence in proper order 
should devolve upon the town, from the funds, or rather 
borrowing powers, of which it was proposed to carry out the 
undertaking. In 1865 a special act of parliament had been 
obtained with this object by the Local Board of Health, at a cost 
of ^"2,159, by which permission to borrow up to ^30,000 was 
granted, but no active steps were then taken, and three years later 
a supplemental act was procured to borrow up to an amount 
which, when added to the amount already in hand under the 
former act, would not exceed altogether two years' assessable 
value, the whole to be repaid within a period of fifty years from 
the date of receiving the loan. There were other difficulties to 
encounter, notwithstanding that the Board had the power .of 
compulsory purchased granted, in the buying of land to prosecute 
the purpose of the act. These were ultimately overcome by 
arbitration in cases where disputes had arisen. A supplemental 
act in 1867 allowed the board to amend and curtail several 
clauses in the original act, the first of which was to abridge the 
dimensions of the proposed work, the second to empower the 
levying of rates according to the act of 1865 on the completion of 
each section of the undertaking, and the third to extend the time 
for the compulsory purchase of land from three to five years. 
According to the act the commissioners gained a right to collect 
tolls for the usage of the promenade from all persons not assessed 
or liable to be assessed by any rate leviable by the Local Board of 
Health, with the exception of those crossing to the piers. This 
power, it may be stated, was not intended to be, and never has 
been, put in force. The promenade proposed to be made would 
reach from Carleton Terrace to the further end of South Shore, a 
distance of about two miles ; and the work was divided into three 
sections, the first of which, begun in 1868, was let to Mr. Robert 
Carlisle, contractor, for ^"16,043, and extended from South Shore 
to the Fox Hall Hotel. The storm which occurred on January 
3ist, 1869, washed away 350 yards of the newly-constructed sea 
fence and carriage-drive, with about 16,000 cubic yards of embank- 
ment, and about 6,000 square yards of pitching. Another storm 
which took place on the 28th of February, added considerably to 
the damage just stated, by tearing down a length of 250 yards, 
which was entirely completed, so that the total injury inflicted by 


the waves during the gale represented 600 lineal yards of sea fence, 
carriage-drive, and promenade, comprising 21,000 cubic yards of 
embankment, all of which had to be replaced from the shore at 
a considerable expense, in addition to 9,500 square yards of 
pitching, etc., connected therewith. No. 2 section, running from 
the Fox Hall Hotel to the New Inn, was contracted for by a 
Manchester gentleman at ^"3,964, but in consequence of his not 
not being able to carry out the work, it was re-let, and Mr. 
Chatburn succeeded him on the increased terms of ^"4,942. No. 
3 section, stretching from the New Inn to the southern extremity 
of Carleton Terrace, was also constructed by Mr. Robert Carlisle, 
at a cost of ^"10,356. The whole of the ironwork was supplied 
by Mr. Clayton, of Preston, and necessitated an expenditure of 
^"3,275. The sea fence consists of a sloping breastwork, pitched 
with stones on a thick bed of clay puddle, the interstices between 
the stones having been filled in with asphalt or cement concrete. 
The slope is curvilinear, and one in four on an average. Next to 
the breast is the promenade and carriage-drive. The promenade 
is seven yards wide, and has an even surface of asphalting, being 
separated from the carriage-drive by a line of side stones. In order 
to obtain space between the houses and the sea for the promenade 
and carriage-drive, a part of the shore was regained by an embank- 
ment along South Shore, and along the northern district by an 
iron viaduct, which projects considerably over the sea fence, and 
encircles the marine aspect of Bailey's Hotel. The floor of the 
viaduct is formed with patent buckled plates, filled in with 
concrete, and finished with asphalt. The plates are fixed to rolled 
joists, and supported on neat cast-iron columns, screwed down 
into the solid. The west front of the promenade is guarded by 
an iron railing, and furnished at intervals with seats of the same 
material, situated on the embankment to the south, and on pro- 
jecting ledges of the viaduct along the northern length. The 
carriage-drive, twelve yards wide, runs parallel with the 
promenade throughout the entire extent, and is formed of 
shingle, clay, and macadam. It has a footway along the 
frontages of the adjoining property, the whole being well drained 
and lighted with gas. The complete structure was finished and 
formally opened to the public on Easter Monday, i8th of April, 
1870, by Colonel Wilson-Patten, M.P., the present Lord Win- 


marleigh. The town was profusely decorated with bunting of 
every hue ; triumphal arches of evergreens and ensigns spanned 
many of the thoroughfares, notably Talbot Road and along the 
front ; whilst an immense procession, consisting of the Artillery 
Volunteers, Yeomanry in uniform, trades with their emblems, 
friendly societies, schools, etc., headed by a band, and comprising 
in its ranks no less than twelve mayors from important towns of 
Lancashire, conducted Colonel Wilson-Patten to that portion 
of the promenade opposite Talbot Square, where the ceremony of 
declaring the walk accessible for public traffic was gone through. 
During the evening the watering-place was illuminated, and the 
eventful day closed with a large ball, held in honour of the 

The wisdom of the authorities in having Blackpool provided 
with a marine promenade and a frontage unrivalled by any on the 
coasts of England was soon evinced by the increase in the stream 
of visitors poured into the place during the summer months. 
Fresh houses for their accommodation were being rapidly erected 
in many parts of the town, and everywhere there were ample 
evidences that prosperity was dealing liberally with the town. 
The wooden railings, which heretofore had been deemed suffi- 
ciently ornamental fences for the residences facing the sea, were 
removed, and elegant iron ones substituted, apportioning to each 
habitation its own plot of sward or garden. The proprietor of 
Bailey's Hotel hastened to follow the example which had been set 
by those who were interested in the Clifton Arms and Lane Ends 
Hotels, and commenced a series of levellings and rebuildings, 
under the superintendence and according to the designs of Messrs. 
Speakman and Charlesworth, architects, of Manchester, which 
extended over several years, and have now rendered the hotel one 
of the most imposing and handsome edifices in the watering-place. 
Further alterations, consisting in the erection of shops on a vacant 
piece of land lying on the north side of the hotel, in the same 
style of architecture, and continuous with it, were carried out in 

In 1871 a project was launched for purchasing Raikes Hall 
with the estate belonging thereto, situated on the east aspect of 
Blackpool, and converting the latter into a park and pleasure 
gardens. In that year a company was formed, entitled 


the Raikes Hall Park, Gardens, and Aquarium Company, 
and the land obtained without delay. Vigorous operations 
were at once commenced to render the grounds of the old man- 
sion suitable for the purposes held in view, whilst the building 
itself speedily underwent sundry alterations and additions 
in its transformation into a refreshment house on a large 
scale. A spacious terrace, walks, promenades, and flower beds 
were laid out, and an extensive conservatory constructed with all 
haste, and in the summer after gaining possession of the estate, 
the works had so far progressed that the public were admitted at 
a small charge per head. Since that date a dancing platform has 
been put down, an immense pavillion erected, and many other 
changes effected in the wide enclosure. Pyrotechnic displays, 
acrobatic performances, etc., are held in the gardens, which com- 
prise about 40 statute acres, during the season, whilst agricultural 
shows and other meetings occasionally take place within its 
boundaries. An extensive lake was formed in 1875, and an 
excellent race-course marked out. Raikes Hall has a brief history 
of its own, and was erected about the middle of the eighteenth 
century by a Mr. Butcher, who resided there. Tradition affirms 
that this gentleman sprang suddenly into an ample fortune from 
a station of obscurity and poverty, giving rise to a supposition 
that he had appropriated to his own uses a large mass of wealth 
asserted to have been lost at that time in a vessel wrecked on the 
coast. It is probable, however, that the foregoing is merely an 
idle tale, utterly unworthy of credence. Mr. Butcher, who was 
succeded by his son, died in 1769, at the ripe age of 80, and was 
interred in Bispham churchyard, the following words being 
inscribed on his tombstone : 

" His pleasure was to give or lend, 
He always stood a poor man's friend." 

The mansion and estate were purchased by William Hornby, 
esq., of Kirkham, shortly before his death in 1824, and by him 
bequeathed to his brother John Hornby, esq., of Blackburn, who 
married Alice Kendall, a widow, and the daughter of Daniel 
Backhouse, esq., of Liverpool. Daniel Hornby, esq., the eldest 
son of that union, inherited the property on the decease of his 
father in 1841, and took up his abode at the Hall until the early 
part of 1860, when he left the neighbourhood. Raikes Hall then ' 


became the seat of a Roman Catholic Convent School, which 
continued in possession for several years, until the new and 
handsome edifice standing on a rising ground in Little Layton 
was erected and ready for its reception. Shortly after the 
removal of the school the land and residence were purchased by 
the company above named, and their aspects began to undergo 
the changes already indicated. The census returns of the 
township collected in 1871, furnished a total of 7,902 persons, 
all of whom, with the exception of an insignificant proportion, 
were resident in Blackpool. 

In consequence of a letter from the Secretary of State, giving 
notice that the burial ground in connection with St. John's 
Church must be closed after the 3ist of December, 1871, the 
responsibility of providing a suitable place for interments was 
thrown upon the authorities, and the members of the Local 
Board of Health formed themselves into a Burial Board, their 
first meeting being held on the 2Oth of June in the year just 
specified. A committee was appointed, and in the ensuing 
August purchased for ^"1,759 an eligible site of 8^- acres, 
lying by the side of the New Road, into which the entrance 
gates of the cemetery now open. The plans for the requisite 
erections were prepared by Messrs. Garlick, Park, and 
Sykes, architects, of Preston, and the work of preparing the 
ground commenced in October, the contract for the chapels and 
lodge being let in December. As such a brief interval had to 
elapse before the order for closing the churchyard would be put 
in force, the Board applied, successfully, for permission to keep 
it open six months longer. The cemetery, however, progressed 
so tardily that it was necessary to renew the application on two 
future occasions, and the churchyard continued in use until the 
3 ist of May, 1873. Five acres of the land were laid out from 
plans supplied by Mr. Gorst, surveyor to the board, and were 
divided into nine sections, four of which were apportioned to the 
Church of England, three to the Nonconformists, and two to the 
Roman Catholics. The cemetery was enclosed from the highway 
by stone palisadings and boundary walls, having massive iron 
railings. The approach to the grounds is through a spacious 
entrance, with a double iron gate in the centre, and a single gate 
on either side, hung to stone pillars. Inside the gate is the lodge, 



built of stone and comprising a residence for the keeper, offices, 
etc. The mortuary chapels, which are all of stone, have an 
elegant appearance, that of the Church of England being stationed 
in the middle, with the Nonconformists' and Roman Catholics' 
edifices lying respectively west and east of it. The style of the 
buildings is Gothic of the first pointed period. The roofs are 
open-timbered, high-pitched, and covered with Welsh slates in 
bands of different colours, being also crested with tiles. Entrance 
to the chapels is gained by a porch, and there is a vestry attached 
to each. The floors are laid with plain tiles of various tints. 
Evergreens, shrubs, and forest trees have been planted on the 
borders of the grounds, whilst the walks are wide and well cared 
for. The Nonconformists were the first to take possession of their 
portion, which was dedicated to its solemn uses by a service held 
on the yth of February, 1873, exactly one week after which an 
interment took place, being the earliest not only in their land but 
in the whole ground. On the 2nd of August in the same year 
the Right Rev. Dr. Fraser, bishop of Manchester, consecrated the 
division set apart for the Church of England, which had been 
licensed for burials in the previous May. The Roman Catholics 
deferred their ceremonial until the month of June, 1874, acting 
under license during the interval. 

On the 26th of August, 1872, the Blackpool Sea Water 
Company was registered under the limited liability act, with a 
capital of ^~ 10,000, in shares of 10 each, for the purpose of 
supplying water from the deep, together with the requisite 
appliances for conducting it to the houses and elsewhere, to the 
inhabitants of Blackpool ; and rather more than two years later 
a main of pipes had been laid along the front from the Merchants' 
College in South Shore as far as their steam pumping works in 
Upper Braithwaite Street. 

In 1874 the watering-place had developed so rapidly during 
past years that the members of the Local Board of Health felt 
that the powers appertaining to a body of that description were 
no longer adequate to the proper government of the town, and a 
public meeting to ascertain the opinion of the ratepayers on the 
subject of incorporation was called on Tuesday, the 6th of 
November, 1874. After considerable discussion, it was proposed 
by the Rev. N. S. Jeffreys : " That a petition be drawn up and 


signed by the chairman on behalf of the meeting, praying that a 
Charter of Incorporation be granted for the town of Blackpool, 
and that the same be forwarded to the proper authorities ; and 
that the necessary steps be taken to obtain such Charter." The 
proposition was adopted without a dissentient ; and at the 
ensuing assembly of the Local Board of Health on Tuesday, the 
loth of November, a similar motion was brought forward by 
W. H. Cocker, esq., J.P., with an equally successful result. The 
prayers were forwarded to the appropriate official quarters in 
London, and on the 26th of May, 1875, Major Donnelly, R.E., 
the commissioner appointed by Her Majesty's Privy Council, 
attended at the Board-room to hold an inquiry as to whether the 
importance and necessities of the place warranted a favourable 
answer to the request. In the course of the examination, it was 
stated, amongst other things, that the rateable value of the 
proposed borough was in 1863, ^"17,489 ; 1866, ^35,175 ; 1869, 
/45,755 5 1872, /55,653_5 1874, 63,848 ; and in 1875, /73,Q35- 
Also that the town contained three churches, seven chapels, three 
rooms used for religious services, two markets under the Local 
Board, other markets owned by private individuals, four public 
sea-water baths, three banks, an aquarium, public gardens, etc. 
On the 1 6th of the following July information was officially 
conveyed to W. M. Charnley, esq., the law-clerk of the board, 
that the lords of the Privy Council had determined to accede to 
the prayer of the town, and that the borough should consist of 
six wards, with one alderman and three councillors for each. A 
draft of the scheme of incorporation was prepared by the law- 
clerk, and forwarded to London. On the 22nd January, 1876, 
the charter, having passed through the necessary forms, obtained 
the royal assent, being received by W. M. Charnley, esq., two 
days later. The document, after quoting several acts of parlia- 
ment, proceeds to " grant and declare that the inhabitants of the 
town of Blackpool and their successors, shall be for ever hereafter 
one body politic and corporate in deed, fact, and name, and that 
the said body corporate shall be called the Mayor, Aldermen, and 
Burgesses of the Borough of Blackpool, who shall have and 
exercise all the acts, powers, authorities, immunities, and privi- 
leges which are now held and exercised by the bodies corporate 
of the several boroughs" similarly created. Further, the deed 


"grants and declares that the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Bur- 
gesses and their successors shall and may for ever hereafter use a 
common seal to serve them in transacting their business, and also 
have armorial bearings and devices, which shall be duly entered 
and enrolled in the Herald's College ;" also shall they have power 
" to purchase, take, and acquire such lands, tenements, and 
heriditaments, whatsoever, situate, lying, and being within the 
borough, as shall be necessary for the site of the buildings and 
premises required for the official purposes of the corporation." 
The Council was ordained to consist of " a Mayor, six Aldermen, 
and eighteen Councillors, to be respectively elected at such times 
and places, and in such manner" as those of other boroughs 
existing under the same acts, in common with which they " shall 
have, exercise, and enjoy all the powers, immunities, and privi- 
leges, and be subject to the same duties, penalties, liabilities, and 
disqualifications" appertaining to such positions. The first 
election of councillors was directed to be held on the eleventh 
day of April, 1876, followed by another on the ist of November, 
at which latter date one-third part of the councillors should go 
out of office each year, and the vacant seats be refilled as specified ; 
the councillors to retire in the November, 1876, being those who 
had obtained the smallest number of votes, and in November, 1877, 
those with the next smallest number of votes. The first aldermen 
of the borough " shall be elected and assigned to their respective 
wards on the igth day of April, 1876, and the councillors imme- 
diately afterwards shall appoint who shall be the aldermen to go 
out of office upon the 9th day of November ensuing," and in 
subsequent years those so retiring to be aldermen who have 
retained their seats for the longest period without re-election. 
The first mayor of the borough u shall be elected from and out 
of the aldermen and councillors of the said borough, on the igth 
day of April, 1876," the earliest appointment of auditors and 
assessors being made on the igth day of the following month. 
The subjoined extent and names of the wards are also taken from 
the charter : 


" Commencing at the Sea beyond the Gynn, at the junction of the old existing 
township boundary, thence running inland along the same boundary across the 
fields, across Knowle-road, behind Warbrick and Mill Inn, across Poulton-road to 
the centre of the Dyke at Little Layton, thence along the Dyke to the centre of 


Little Layton Bridge, thence westward along and including the north side of 
Little Layton-road, north side of New-road, north side of Talbot-road, to Station- 
road, thence along and including the east side of Station-road to Queen-street, 
thence along and including the north side of Queen-street, Queen's-square, across 
the Promenade to the sea. 


" Commencing at the Sea opposite the centre of Queen's-square, thence along 
and including the south side of Queen's-square, south side of Queen-street to 
Station-road, thence running along and including the west side of Station-road to 
Talbot-road, thence along and including the south side of the upper portion of 
Talbot-road, south side of New-road, the south side of Little Layton-road to the 
centre of Little Layton Bridge, thence along the Dyke to the old township 
boundary, thence south-east by the township boundary to the centre of Dykes- 
lane, thence westward along and including the north side of Dykes-lane, the north 
side of Layton-road, the north side of Raikes-road, the north side of Raikes Hill, 
the north side of Church-street to Abingdon-street, thence along and including the 
east side of Abingdon-street to Birley-street, thence along and including the north 
side of Birley-street, the north side of West-street, across the Promenade to the 


" Commencing at the Sea opposite the centre of West-street, thence along and 
including'the south side of West-street, the south side of Birley-street to Abingdon- 
street, thence along and including the west side of Abingdon-street to Church- 
street, thence along and including the south side of Church-street to Lower King- 
street, thence along and including the west side of Lower King-street to Adelaide- 
street, thence along and including the north side of Adelaide-street, the north side 
of Adelaide-place, across the Promenade to the Sea. 


" Commencing at the Sea opposite the centre of Adelaide-place, thence along 
and including the south side of Adelaide-place, the south side of Adelaide-street to 
Lower King-street, thence along and including the east side of Lower King-street 
to Church-street, thence along and including the south side of Church-street, the 
south side of' Raikes Hill, the south side of Raikes-road, the south side of Layton- 
road, the south side of Dykes-lane to the existing township boundary, thence 
along the same boundary beyond the Whinney Heys, around the Belle Vue 
Gardens, southward of Raikes Hall Gardens to the centre of Revoe-road, thence 
along and including the north side of Revoe-road, the north side of Chapel-street, 
across the Promenade to the Sea. 


"Commencing at the Sea opposite to the end of Chapel-street, thence along and 
including the south side of Chapel-street, the south side of Revoe-road to the 
existing township boundary, thence south-westerly, and thence south-easterly 
along the same boundary to the centre of Cow Gap-lane, thence west along and 
including the north side of Cow Gap-lane to Lytham-road, thence along and 
including the east side of Lytham-road to Alexandra-road, thence along and 
including the north side of Alexandra-road, across the Promenade to the Sea. 



" Commencing at the Sea opposite the centre of Alexandra-road, thence along 
and including the south side of Alexandra-road to Lytham-road, thence along and 
including the west side of Lytham-road to Cow Gap-lane, thence eastward, along 
and including the south side of Cow Gap-lane to the existing township boundary, 
thence south-easterly, along the same boundary on the easterly side of Hawes 
Side-road, the north side of Layton-lane, across the Blackpool and Lytham 
Railway to the Sea at Star Hills. 

The election of councillors took place at the date specified in 
the charter, under the superintendence of Mr. William Porter, 
of Fleetwood and Blackpool, who had been nominated by the 
authorities of the town as returning officer. On the igth of 
April the gentlemen elected assembled in the old board-room and 
appointed aldermen and a mayor from amongst themselves, the 
vacancies thus created being supplied by another appeal to the 
burgesses of those wards whose representatives had been elevated 
to the aldermanic bench. The first completed town council of 
Blackpool consisted of 

Alderman William Henry Cocker (the mayor) Bank Hey Ward. 

Thomas McNaughtan, M.D Claremont 

Thomas Lambert Masheter Talbot 

John Hardman Foxhall 

Francis Parnell Waterloo 

J. E. B. Cocker Brunswick 

Councillor John Braithwaite 1 

William Bailey \ Claremont 

Leslie Jones, M.D J 

T. Challinor ) 

R. Marshall L Talbot 

John Fisher j 

John Coulson 1 

George Ormrod I Bank Hey 

Henry Fisher J 

George Bonny \ 

Robert Mather \ Brunswick 

John William Mycock J 

James Blundell Fisher 1 

Alfred Anderson | Foxhall 

Robert Bickerstaffe, jun j 

Francis Parnell \ 

Richard Gorst L Waterloo 

Lawrence Hall J 

William Mawdsley Charnley, esq., solicitor, town-clerk. 

From the time when the subject of incorporation was first 
beginning to dawn upon the inhabitants as something to which 
the rapid extension and growing importance of their town was 


tending with no tardy pace, up to the present year of 1876, 
buildings have increased at a rate unparalleled in any former 
period of Blackpool's history. No longer solitary erections, or 
even small groups, but whole streets have been added to the 
expanding area of the place, consisting of handsome and spacious 
edifices, of, indeed, notwithstanding their being situated to the rear, 
exteriors which would, not many years ago, have been deemed 
highly ornamental to the beach itself. In 1874 the south 
section of the noble market-hall, on Hygiene Terrace, was being 
arranged and fitted up with roomy tanks to form an aquarium on 
a fairly large scale by W. H. Cocker, Esq., J.P., who had recently 
acquired the proprietorship of the entire pile. The open space in 
front of the building was fenced in, and furnished with three tanks 
for seals, and other novel features to render it attractive and 
pleasing. The walls of the interior were adorned with landscapes 
in the spacious saloon, where the main tank, divided into 
numerous compartments, each being supplied with a variety of 
fish differing from its neighbours, occupies a central position. 
Subsidiary tanks, filled with curious specimens of animated nature 
from the " vasty deep," stand in the entrance hall and recesses. 
The aquarium was opened to the public on the I7th of May, in 
the ensuing year. 

On the 22nd of May, 1875, the foundation stone of a Primitive 
Methodist chapel was laid in Chapel Street by Mr. J. Fairhurst, 
of Wigan. Heretofore the members of that sect had met for 
religious purposes in a mission room located in Foxhall Road. 
The earliest service in the new chapel was conducted by the 
resident minister, the Rev. E. Newsome, on Sunday, the 2gth 
of the following August. The Unitarians have a chapel in Bank 
Street, which was formally opened by the Rev. J. R. Smith, 
of Hyde, also in August, 1875. During the same month a 
number of influential gentlemen purchased the estate of 
Bank Hey from W. H. Cocker, esq., J.P., for ^23,000, with the 
intention of converting it into Winter Gardens. Possession was 
gained, according to agreement, on the ist of October. The 
design of the company is to place on the land a concert room, 
promenades, conservatories, and other accessories calculated to 
convert the estate into a pleasant lounge, especially desirous 
during inclement days. 


Although South Shore is now intimately connected and 
associated with Blackpool as one town, there was a period, and 
not a very remote one, when it flourished as a separate and 
distinct hamlet, widely divided from its more imposing neighbour. 
The first house of South Shore was erected in 1819 by Mr. 
Thomas Moore, who speedily added about ten more to the 
solitary edifice. The growth of the village in earlier years was not 
characterised by any great rapidity, and in 1830 the whole of the 
buildings comprised no more than a thin row of respectable 
cottages overlooking the sea, with a lawn or promenade in front. 
In 1836 a church was built, partly by subscription and partly 
from Queen Anne's Bounty, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. 
Twenty-two years afterwards, owing to the development of South 
Shore through the number of regular visitants who preferred the 
quietude of its beach to the greater animation which prevailed 
at Blackpool, the building was enlarged by the erection of 
transepts and a new chancel, alterations which supplied further 
sitting room for about 380 worshippers. The church is of brick, 
and contains a handsome stained-glass east window, representing 
the baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist, another ornamental 
window being inserted in the south wall. The mural tablets are 
in memory of William Wilkinson, " who for twenty-five years was 
an indefatigable teacher in the Sunday Schools of Marton and 
South Shore, he served his country in the battles of Talavera, 
Busaco, Albuera, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nive, Nivelle, and Toulouse," 
died nth September, 1853, aged 66 years ; and of James Metcalf, 
"curate of South Shore, who departed this life July 24th, 1875, 
aged 42 years, and was interred at the Parish Church of Bolton- 
le-Sands." The font is of grey stone, massive and carved. The 
first organ obtained by the congregation was purchased in 1847. 
In 1872 a tasteful lectern was forwarded to the church by the 
Rev. j. B. Wakefield, to whom it had been presented by his 
parishioners, as a token of esteem, about the close of his ministry 
amongst them in 1870. The burial ground encircling the church 
of Holy Trinity contains no monuments of special interest, if we 
except a stone pedestal, surmounted by a broken column, erected 
by public subscription to the memories of three fishermen, 
drowned off Cross-slack, whilst following their avocation on the 
nth of October, 1860. 



Date of 


On whose 

Cause of Vacancy. 


G. F. Greene, M.A. 

J.Talbot Clifton, esq. 


John Edwards 


Resignation of G. F. 



C. K. Dean 


Resignation of J. 



T. B. Banner, M.A. 


Resignation of C. K. 



J. B. Wakefield 


Resignation of T. B. 



J. Ford Simmons, M.A. 


Resignation of J. B. 


There is now an ecclesiastical parochial district attached to the 
church, of which the incumbent is the vicar. 

On Thursday, the 24th of March, 1869, the corner stone of a 
Wesleyan chapel in Rawcliffe Street, built at the sole expense of 
Francis Parnell, esq., of South Shore, who subsequently added 
the schools, was laid by Mrs. Parnell, wife of the donor. For 
four or five years the members of this denomination had met on 
the Sabbath in a small room in Bolton Street, originally designed 
for a coach-house, and the necessity for more suitable and 
extended accommodation through growing numbers had of late 
pressed urgently upon the limited and not over wealthy assembly, 
so that the generous offer of their townsman was gratefully 
appreciated. The structure is in the Gothic style of architecture, 
about fifty feet in length and forty feet in width, with brick 
walls and stone facings, and will contain upwards of three 
hundred persons. Service was first held in the new place of 
worship, styled the Ebenezer Wesleyan Chapel, on Thursday, the 
2nd of September, 1869, the officiating minister being the Rev. 
W. H. Taylor, of Manchester. The room in Bolton Street was 
subsequently converted into a Temperance Hall, and remained in 
that capacity until the 3Oth of March, 1873, when it was appro- 
priated as a meeting-house by the Baptist sect. The progress of 
South Shore has not until the last two or three years been 
marked by that wonderful rapidity which has already been 



noticed whilst delineating the prosperous career of Blackpool. 
Nevertheless a steadily-increasing patronage was always extended 
to the milder climate of the village under consideration, from its 
earliest existence. Terraces of pretty and commodious residences 
arose at intervals along the marine frontage, whilst elegant villas 
have been erected both opposite the sea and nearer to the Lytham 
Road. Building is at present (1876) being pushed forward with 
great activity, houses springing up in endless succession along the 
sides of thoroughfares but recently mapped out. 



j]HE township of Kirkham was probably the earliest 
inhabited locality in the Fylde district ; and although 
it is impossible to assert that the very site of the 
present town was a spot fixed upon by the Romans 
for erecting their habitations, still as the road formed by those 
people passed over it, and many remnants of their domestic 
utensils, funereal urns, and other relics have been discovered in 
the surrounding soil, there is strong presumptive evidence that 
an ancient settlement was at least close at hand. Amongst the 
traces of the old warriors disinterred in this neighbourhood may 
be mentioned a large quantity of stones prepared for building 
purposes, and numerous fragments of urns, ploughed up about 
half a mile from Kirkham. The Mill Hill Field has also disclosed 
frequent witnesses to the former presence of the Romans, notably 
abundant specimens of their pottery and coinage, but perhaps the 
greatest curiosity found in the vicinity is the boss or umbo of a 
shield, wrought in brass, which was removed from a brook in the 
field specified during the year 1792. In form the shield is some- 
what oval, having its central portion semi-globular, whilst the 
outer rim is flat. The entire diameter is about eight inches, of 
which the embossment supplies five. The horizontal and 
encircling part is perforated in four separate places, apparently 
for the passage of thongs or rivets. The highest surface of the 
boss holds the representation of a human figure seated, with an 
eagle to the left, the sides being adorned with an athlete 


respectively. Birds, swords, diminutive shields, etc., complete 
the decorations. 

From the year 418, when the Romans vacated the island, up 
to the compilation of the Domesday Book by William the Con- 
queror in 1080-86, a period of over six and a half centuries, history 
preserves no record of any matter or event directly connected 
with the town, as distinct from the Hundred in which it is 
situated. Nevertheless it is obvious that Kirkham must have 
sprung into being some time during that protracted era, insomuch 
as it appears amongst the places existing in Amounderness in the 
Norman survey just indicated. The name is a compound derived 
from the Anglo-Saxons and Danes, and although the syllable 
" Kirk," coming from the latter, and signifying a church, could 
not have been in use until those pirates first invaded the land in 
787, and probably was not applied until the mistaken policy of 
Alfred the Great allowed them to colonise this and other parts of 
Northumbria, one hundred years later, still it would scarcely be 
justifiable to conclude that there was no dwelling or village here, 
as the Anglo-Saxon " ham " implies, anterior to that date. The 
location of the place on the margin of an open thoroughfare, and 
the former establishment of the Romans within or near to its 
boundaries, incline us rather to the opinion that from the earliest 
arrival of the Anglo-Saxons they had selected this site for the 
foundation of a small settlement, and that the " ham " or hamlet 
so created bore a purely Saxon title until the advent of the Danes, 
under whose influence the orthography became altered by the 
substitution from their vocabulary of the word " kirk " for the one 
originally bestowed upon it. 

Some idea of the condition of Kirkham at the Norman Con- 
quest may be gleaned from the report concerning the Fylde in 
the Domesday Book, in which it is stated that of the 840 statute 
acres comprised in the township, only 400 (four carucates) were 
under cultivation, the rest being waste, that is, untilled, but very 
possibly in service as forage ground for swine. At that period 
the town undoubtedly possessed a church, one of the three men- 
tioned in the record above-named, as standing in Amounderness, 
but the era of its erection is conjectural merely. The name of 
Kirkham, however, the church hamlet, is manifestly of 
ecclesiastical origin, and the Danish derivation of " kirk " 


implies that some religious building existed there, very likely 
about the year 900, when that nation colonised the district, but 
that a sacred edifice of some description had been constructed 
long before may be deduced from the fact that Christianity had 
been pretty generally embraced by the Anglo-Saxons dwelling in 
this locality about the middle of the seventh century. 

From the commencement of the Norman dominion the history 
of Kirkham rises out of the mist which has obscured its earlier 
ages, and we are enabled from the disclosures of ancient 
documents, to follow out its career in a more satisfactory manner. 
The church and tithes of Kirkham were presented amongst other 
possessions, as a portion of the Hundred of Amounderness, by 
William the Conqueror to the baron Roger de Poictou, and were 
conferred by that nobleman about the year noo, on the priory of 
St. Mary's, Lancaster, 1 a monastic institution founded by him 
from the Abbey of Sees in Normandy. This priory retained 
possession of the church for only a few years, when it reverted to 
its former owner, and was bestowed by him on the convent of 
Shrewsbury, as shown by the charter of William, archbishop of 
York, as follows : 

" The monks of Salop in the day of my ancestors were often making complaints 
that their church was unjustly robbed ot the church of Kirckaham, because it had 
been legally bestowed upon it by Roger, count of Poictou, and confirmed by 
Thomas, archbishop, by authority of grants under seal. At length they have come 
before us to state their complaints ; and we, thus constrained and by the command 
of lord Henry, legate of the apostolical see, committed their cause to be laid before 
the synod of York." 

The archbishop Thomas here mentioned died either in uoo or 
1113, whilst William, the writer of the charter, died in 1154. 
The York tribunal decided, after seeing the writings touching 
the confirmation of the grant of the church of Kirkham to the 
Shrewsbury convent, which the monks of Salop had sealed with 
the seal of Thomas, the archbishop, that " the aforesaid church 
should be restored to the church of Peter of Salop." 

In 1 195 "a great controversy arose between Theobald Walter, on 
the one part, and the abbot of Shrewsbury, on the other, concerning 
the right of patronage of the church, which was thus settled : a 
certain fine was levied in the king's court that the abbot and his 

I. Regist. S. Marise Lane. MS. 


successors should receive from the church of Kirkham a pension 
of twelve marks a year, and Theobald himself should for ever 
remain the true Patron of the said church." 1 

After the death of Theobald Walter, king John, who had the 
guardianship of that nobleman's heir, gave two parts of the church 
to Simon Blund, 2 and later, in 1213, he bestowed the church upon 
W. Gray, chancellor, for life. 8 Edward I. conferred the advowson 
of the church of Kirkham upon the abbey of Vale Royal, a 
monastic house founded by him in Cheshire ; but the grant was 
not made without strenuous opposition on the part of Sir 
Theobald Walter or le Botiler,* a descendant of the Theobald 
specified above, who maintained that the king had no legal 
right to the advowson, which belonged to him as heir-at-law and 
descendant of Theobald Walter, the first. A council assembled 
to investigate the rival claims, and Edward, having asserted that 
his father, Henry III., had granted the advowson to his clerk by 
right of his crown, and not through any temporary power he 
had as guardian of Theobald Walter's heir, a statement which 
Le Botiler's attorney either could not or would not gainsay, the 
advowson was adjudged to him, and Sir Theobald lay under 
mercy. 8 This dispute probably occurred in the 8th year of 
Edward's sovereignty, 1280, for we find from the Rot. Chart, that 
at that date the advowson was granted by the monarch to the 
abbey of Vale Royal. 

In 1286 Sir Otto de Grandison, who was ambassador at the 
apostolic see, obtained a bull from the pope, Honorius IV., by 
which the advowson of Kirkham was conferred upon the abbey 
of Vale Royal for ever, and on the 27th of January in the ensuing 
year, Edward I. confirmed his former grant. 7 

In the fifty-fourth year of the reign of Henry III., 1269, power 
was granted by royal charter to the manorial lord of Kirkham to 

I. Harl. MSS., No. 2064, f. 27. 2. Testa de Nevill, fol. 371. 
3. Rot. Chart. 15 John. m. 3, n. 15. 

4. Theobald Walter, the 2nd, adopted the surname of Botiler, or Butler, on 
being appointed chief Butler of Ireland ; this titular surname was retained by his 

5. This account occurs in the Register of Vale Royal, and is endorsed " Of the 
church of Kyrkham, how the king had conferred it upon this monasterie," etc. 

6. Monast. Anglic, vol. II. p. 925. Ellis' edit. Harl. MSS. No. 2064. f. 27. 

7. Rot. Chart., 15 Edw. I., Np. 8, ra. 3. 


hold a market and fair, 1 and as such privileges were allowed at 
that time to only a few other towns in the whole county of 
Lancashire, we must conclude that even at such an early date 
Kirkham possessed some special advantages or interest to be able 
so successfully to press its claims to this signal favour. That such 
important powers as the holding of markets and fairs were not 
allowed to be exercised without due and proper authority 
is proved by a warrant which was issued twenty-three years 
later, in the reign of Edward I., against the abbot of Vale 
Royal, to which convent the manor of Kirkham belonged, to 
appear before a judicial court to show by what authority he held 
those periodical assemblies of the inhabitants. He pleaded that 
the right had been first conceded to his predecessors by Henry III., 
and that subsequently the grant had been confirmed by the 
present monarch, Edward I., in the fifteenth year of his dominion. 
These assertions having been verified, the abbot was exculpated 
from all blame, and orders were issued to the justices itinerant in 
this county to the effect that they were in no way to interfere 
with the exercise of those privileges, which were to be continued 
exactly as they had been heretofore. 2 From a copy of a document 3 
framed four years later, in 1296, in which the whole of these rights 
are embodied amongst other interesting matters, we learn that the 
manor of Kirkham was granted to the abbot and convent of Vale 
Royal in frank-al-moigne, that is, a tenure by which a religious 
corporation holds lands for themselves and their successors for ever, 
on condition of praying for the soul of the donor ; that power was 
given or confirmed to hold a fair of five days duration at the 
Nativity of St. John the Baptist ; that the borough of Kirkham, 
which had been incorporated by the name of the burgesses of 
Kirkham in the year 1282, the tenth of the reign of Edward L, 
was to be a free borough ; that the burgesses and their heirs were 
to have a free guild, with all the liberties which belonged to a free 
borough ; that there was to be in the borough a pillory, a prison, 
and a ducking stool, and other instruments for the punishment of 
evil doers ; and that there were to be assizes of bread and ale, 
and weights and measures. Continuing the perusal of this 
document we find that the abbot of Vale Royal consented that 

I. Placito de Quo Warranto, Lane. Rot., rod. 2. Ibid. 

3. Discovered in the old chest at Kirkham amongst the archives of the bailiffs. 


the burgesses should elect two bailiffs from amongst themselves 
annually, and that these should be presented and sworn ; on the 
other hand, however, the convent reserved to itself the perquisites 
arising from the courts, stallage, assizes of bread and ale, etc., and 
annual rents due at the period of festival legally appointed as 
above. The names of the following gentlemen are appended to 
the deed as witnesses : Radulphus de Mouroyd, William le 
Botyler, Robert de Holonde, Henry de Kytheleye, John Venyal, 
William de Clifton, Thomas Travers, and others. 

In 1327 an edict was published by the dean of Amounderness 
in the church of Kirkham on behalf of the archbishop of York, 
which commanded that the abbot or some one connected with the 
convent of Vale Royal, should appear before that prelate at the 
cathedral of his see on " the third lawful day after the Sunday on 
which is sung Quasi modo genite vira et munimenta" 1 to show by 
what right and authority the Cheshire convent held the church 
just mentioned. In answer to this summons a monk, named 
Walter Wallensis, from Vale Royal, appeared before the arch- 
bishop on the day named, in 1328, and produced in proof of 
the title of his monastery to the church, the charter of Edward 
I., the bull of the pope, and letters from several archdeacons, 
recognising the proprietorship of the convent. In addition he 
brought four witnesses, viz., William de Cotton, advocate in the 
court of York, who stated that for eighteen years the abbot and 
convent of Vale Royal had supplied the rectors to the church of 
Kirkham ; John de Bradkirk, who said that he had known the 
church for forty years as a parishioner, and had on many occasions 
seen the charter confirming the grant of the advowson, etc., to 
Vale Royal, as for fifteen years he had been in the service of that 
monastery, and at the time when the present archbishop of York 
farmed the church of Kirkham, twelve years ago, from the 
convent of Vale Royal, had been the bearer of the money raised 
from this church to that dignitary at York ; Robert de Staneford, 
of Kirkham, who gave similar evidence, and bore witness to the 
existence of the charter of Edward I., which he had seen ; and 
Robert de Blundeston, of Vale Royal, who gave evidence as to the 
genuineness of the documents produced having been admitted by 

I. That is, the Sunday after Easter. 


Roger de Nasynton, public notary, etc. The result of these 
attestations was that the case was dismissed against the abbot of 
Vale Royal, and his right to the church of Kirkham, with all its 
chapels, fruits, rents, etc., allowed to have been fully proved. 1 

In 1334 a mandamus was issued by Edward III., at York, to 
Robert Foucher, the sheriff of Lancashire, stating that, contrary 
to a charter of Edward I., which prohibited the sheriffs from 
making distraints on the rectors of churches or on estates with 
which the churches had been endowed, he had u under pretext of 
his office lately entered into the lands and tenements near Kirk- 
ham, which are of the endowment of that church, and had 
heavily distrained the abbot of Vale Royal, parson of that 
church"; and ordering the said sheriff to abandon the claim, and 
to make restitution of anything he might thus have illegally 
obtained, and "by no means to attempt to make any distraint in 
the lands and tenements which are of the endowment of the 
aforesaid church," at any future time. 2 

Somewhere about the year 1332 a monk, named Adam de 
Clebury, who held the temporalities of Shrewsbury Abbey, sued 
Peter, the abbot of Vale Royal, for five hundred marks, which he 
declared were the accumulated arrears of twelve marks, ordered to 
be paid annually by Theobald Walter, to the former monastery, 
out of the funds of the church of Kirkham, according to the 
issue of a trial in the king's court, between Theobald and the 
convent of Shrewsbury, respecting the advowson, etc., of that 
church in 1195. Peter is said, in the Harleian manuscript, from 
which this account is taken, to have " redeemed that writ and 
many others from the sheriff of Lancashire," from which it may 
be understood that he had paid the sum demanded, or in some 
conciliatory way settled the case during his lifetime, for we hear 
no more of the matter until shortly after his death in 1342, when 
an action to enforce a similar payment was brought against his 
successor, Robert de Cheyneston. This ecclesiastic, however, is 
said to a have manfully opposed the abbot of Shrewsbury," and 
to have journied up to London to hold an interview with him on 
the subject, at which, after " many allegations on each side, he 
gave to the abbot of Shrewsbury 100 to pay his labours and 

I. Harl. MSS., No. 2064, f. 25 and 2$b. 2. Harl. MSS., No. 2064, f. 27. 



expenses," and in that manner the dispute was brought to a 
termination about the year 1343. 

In 1337 Sir William de Clifton, of Westby, made an offer to 
the abbot of Vale Royal to purchase certain tithes from him for 
twenty marks, and on the ecclesiastic refusing to entertain this 
proposition, the indignant knight became most unruly and 
outrageous in his conduct, as shown by the following charge 
which was that year preferred against him by the abbot, who 
stated : 

" That he had thrust with a lance at a brother of the monastery in the presence 
of the abbot and convent ; that he had retained twenty marks which he was 
pledged and bound to pay to the abbot, in order to weary him with expenses and 
labours ; that it was the custom, from time immemorial, for the parishioners of 
Kirkham to convey their tithe-corn to their barns, and there keep it until the 
ministers of the rector came for it ; but that he (Sir William Clifton), in contempt 
of the church, had allowed his tithes and those of his tenants to waste and rot in 
the fields, and very often by force and arms had driven away the tithe-collectors ; 
he also had compelled a cart of the rector, laden with hay, to remain on his land 
for upwards of a month, and in derision had made the rector's mare into a hunting 
palfrey ; he also had neglected to keep the tithes of his calves, pigeons, orchards, 
huntings, and hawkings, and would not allow the procurator, under threat of 
death, to enter his estate, but he and his satellites had irreverently burst into the 
sanctuary of God, where they had assailed the priests and clerks, and impeded 
them in the discharge of their duties. Moreover the aforesaid knight would not 
permit any of his tenants who were living in flagrant sin, to be corrected or 
punished by the ordinaries." 1 

In concluding the above list of misdemeanours, the abbot com- 
plained that Sir William had ordered a severe flagellation " even 
to the effusion of blood," to be inflicted on Thomas, the clerk, in 
the town of Preston, and that this scourging had taken place as 
directed, in the presence of the under-mentioned gentlemen, who 
seemed to have been well pleased with the vigorous measures 
adopted by the knight, and to have rendered him willing assist- 
ance when called upon : 

Richard de Plumpton, Richard de Tresale, 

Nicholas Catford, Henry de Tresale, 

William the provost, William Sictore, 

William Jordan, junr., William Sictore, junr., 

John Dence, Adam de Scales, 

Robert Carter, Richard Walker, 

John Garleigh, John Mydelar, 

I. Fishwigk's History of Kirkham from the Harl. MSS, 


Henry Thillon, Thomas Adekoe, 

William Randell, Adam del Wodes, 

John de Reste, William de Mydelar, 

William de Morhouse, Thomas de Wytacres, 

And several others, including Adam, the harper. 

This charge was laid before the lord abbot of Westminster by 
the abbot of Vale Royal, and the former, after hearing the state- 
ment of offences, commanded that Sir William de Clifton and others 
enumerated therein, should appear before him to answer for their 
misdeeds ; but as neither Sir William nor any of his friends and 
abettors took the least notice of the summons, it was decided that 
an endeavour should be made to arrange the quarrel by arbitration. 
To this the knight seems to have been favourable, and nominated 
William Laurence, John de Crofton, and Robert Mareys to act 
as his arbitrators ; whilst those of the abbot were William 
Baldreston, rector of St. Michael's-on-Wyre ; Robert Baldreston, 
his brother, and a rector also ; and Richard de Ewyas, a monk 
of Deulacres. The decision of the court thus constituted was that 
Sir W-illiam de Clifton should acknowledge his guilt, and ask 
pardon and absolution for the same from the abbot, unto whose 
will and grace he should submit himself ; in addition the knight 
was ordered to pay a fine of twenty marks, and make good to 
the abbot the tithes which he had destroyed or refused to pay. 
Sir William accepted the verdict, and bound himself to fulfil its 
conditions by oath ; the rest were required to enter into a promise 
to abstain in future from making any attempt to injure the church 
of Kirkham, or anything connected with it, and to provide a large 
wax candle, which was paraded round that church on the feast 
of palms, and afterwards presented as a peace-offering to St. 
Michael. 1 

In 1357 Cardinal John Thoresby, archbishop of York, made a 
new ordination of the vicarage of Kirkham, by which it was 
decreed that, instead of the secular vicar appointed aforetime, the 
abbot and convent of Vale Royal should select some one from 
their own monastery to fill the office whenever a vacancy occurred. 
By this fresh regulation the abbot and convent of Vale Royal were 
bound to pay to the vicar forty marks per annum, and he on his 
part was pledged to keep the parsonage house in proper repair and 

I. Vale Royal ledger. 


perform all ecclesiastical duties. Three years afterwards a vicar of 
Kirkham was charged and convicted of having been guilty of 
maladministration in his position as dean of Amounderness, but 
subsequently he received a full pardon from King Edward III. 

In the year 1401, during the reign of Henry IV., the right to 
hold a market and fair was again confirmed to the abbot and 
convent of Vale Royal ; subjoined is a translated copy of the 
grant, which bore the date of the 2nd of July : 

" The king to all men greeting : We have inspected a charter made by our 
progenitor, Lord Edward, formerly king of England, in these words : ' Edward, 
by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, to 
the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, provosts, 
ministers, and to all his bailiffs and subjects, health. Know that we have granted 
and by this our present charter confirm to our beloved in Christ the Abbot and 
Convent of Vale Royal, that they and their successors for ever shall have a market 
in each week on Thursday at their manor at Kirkham in the county of Lancaster, 
and also in each year a fair at the same town of five days duration, that is on the 
vigil, on the Day, and on the morrow of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, and 
on the two days succeeding ; unless the market and fair be found injurious to 
neighbouring markets and fairs. Therefore we desire and firmly enjoin, both for 
ourselves and our heirs, that the aforesaid Abbot and Convent and their successors 
for ever shall have the aforesaid market and fair at the aforesaid manor with all 
the liberties and free customs appertaining to similar institutions, unless such 
market and fair be detrimental to neighbouring interests as aforesaid. 

" ' These being witnesses : The venerable fathers Robert Bath and Wells, John 
Winchester, and Anthony Durham, bishops ; William de Valence, our uncle ; 
Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln ; master Henry de Newark, archdeacon of 
Richmond ; master William de Luda, archdeacon of Durham ; master William de 
Cornere, dean of Wymburne ; John de St. John ; William de Latymer ; and others. 

" ' Given under our hand at Bourdeaux on the 2 1st of January, in the I5th year 
of our reign.' 

" Holding the aforesaid charter and all matters contained in it as authentic and 
acceptable both for ourselves and our heirs, as far as our power extends, we accept, 
approve, grant, and confirm to our beloved in Christ, the present Abbot and 
Convent of the aforesaid place and their successors that the aforesaid charter be 
considered just, also we affirm that the same Abbot and Convent and their 
predecessors legally had and held the said market and fair before this date. 

" In testimony thereof, etc. Witness the king at Westminster on the 2nd of 
July." 1 

At the dissolution of monasteries the manor of Kirkham, 
together with the advowson of the church, was transferred by 

I. Pat. Rolls. 2. Hen. iv., p. 3, m. 5 n. (Duchy Office.) 


Henry VIII. from the abbot and convent of Vale Royal to the 
dean and chapter of Christ Church, Oxford. 

In 1560 Queen Elizabeth ratified and confirmed by letters 
patent all former charters concerning Kirkham by a deed bearing 
the date of July 2nd; and later, in 1619, the iyth year of the 
reign of James I., a record of the Duchy Court of Lancaster states 
that the bailiffs and burgesses of Kirkham presented a petition 
praying that they might elect into their government some men 
of account dwelling near the town, and that it might be declared 
that the bailiffs had lawful power and authority to correct 
all malefactors and offenders according to the laws and liberties of 
the town, and to do and perform all other duties appertaining to 
their office. They prefaced their prayer by asserting that " the 
town of Kirkham had been used as an ancient market town and 
that the inhabitants thereof had time out of mind been accounted 
a Corporation, incorporated by the name of Bailiffs and Burgesses, 
and that of late owing to some of the bailiffs being but simple and 
weak men, and the inhabitants but poor and numerous, it had been 
found" impossible to govern in a proper and satisfactory manner 
the large confluences of people at fair and market seasons," for 
which reason they were desirous of gaining an extension of their 
existing powers as set forth in the plea. The court decreed that 
"the then Bailiffs of Kirkham and the Burgesses of the same, and 
their successors, for ever, should and might from thenceforth have 
and enjoy their ancient usages and liberties by the name of the 
Bailiffs and Burgesses of the Town of Kirkham, and that the 
Bailiffs should yearly be chosen out of the Burgesses according 
to the said usages, or as they in their discretion should think meet, 
for the better government of the said Town and the people there- 
unto resorting, also that the Bailiffs, Burgesses, and Inhabitants 
should be guildable, and have in the said Town a prison, etc., as 
had been heretofore, and that the Dean and Chapter and 
their successors, farmers, and tenants, should and might from 
henceforth have all their fairs, markets, liberties, privileges, 
jurisdictions, Court Leets, Court Barons, Courts of Pleas, and the 
Fair Court, as heretofore had been." The foregoing was ordered 
to be read in the parish church on the ensuing sabbath, and also 
in the market place. 

From the following ancient and somewhat lengthy document 


or lease, much interesting matter may be gleaned, and for that 
reason it was deemed better to give it unabridged : 

" To all Christian people to whom this present writing shall come the Dean 
and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of Christ of King Henry the eighth's 
foundation do send greeting in our Lord God everlasting : Whereas we the said 
Dean and Chapter by our Indenture of Lease, sealed with our common Seal, 
bearing date the sixteenth day of July, in the three and fortieth year of the reign 
of our sovereign lady Elizabeth (1601), late Queen of England, &c., did, as much 
as in us was, demise, grant, and to farm, lett unto Thomas ffleetwood, of Caldwich, 
in the County of Stafford, esquire, all our Court Leets and view of franchpledge 
within our parsonage and manor of Kirkham, in the County of Lancaster, or in 
either of them, or to, or with them, or either of them used, occupied, incident, 
or belonging appertaining, with all and every thing (singular) there appertaining, 
also the keeping of the Court Barons there, and all waifs, strays, treasure 
trove, deodands, felons' and outlaws' goods, forfeitures, fines, amercements, 
serving and executing of writs and processes, and all royalties, liberties, 
perquisites and profits of Court Leets, all commodities and advantages 
whatsoever to the same Court Leets incident, due, or in any wise belonging, 
or which heretofore have been, or of right ought to have been, had and 
enjoyed by us, the said Dean and Chapter, or any of our predecessors, or 
any other person or persons by or by means of our estate, right, or title to 
the same or any part thereof, in as large and ample manner as we, the said 
Dean and Chapter, or our successors, may or ought to have or enjoy, together 
also with the Stewardship, office of Steward, or authority for appointing 
the Steward for the keeping of the said Courts ; And also the profits of all and 
each of our fairs and markets to be kept at or within the said manor and par- 
sonage of Kirkham ; The Courts of Pipowder ; And all manner of Toll and 
Stallage That is to say, Turne-toll, Traverse-Toll, and Through-Toll, and all 
manner of payments, fines, forfeitures, fees, sums of money, with all other kind 
of profits and commodities whatsoever, which do or may lawfully accrue, arise, 
come, or be due, unto us, the said Dean and Chapter, our successors, or assignees, 
by reason of any fair or market, or fairs or markets, which hereafter shall be kept 
within the manor or parish of Kirkham aforesaid; And half an Oxgang of Land, 
called by the name of the old Eworth,with so much of the late improved Common 
in Kirkham aforesaid as was allotted, used, or occupied, or ought to be used, 
allotted, or occupied to or with the said half Oxgang ; One Burgage house with 
the appurtenances in Kirkham aforesaid, now in the tenure, holding, or occupa- 
tion of one Thomas Singleton and William Kitchen, or the one of them ; One 
Croft called the hemp garden, certain grounds, called the Vicar's Carrs, set, lying, 
and being in Kirkham aforesaid ; One house built upon the waste in Kirkham 
aforesaid, commonly called or known by the name of the moote hall, with all 
shops underneath the said moote hall, and all the tythes of the new improvements 
not formerly demised within the said manor or parish of Kirkham, or within the 
liberties thereof ; And all encroachments within the same manor That is to say, 
all such arable lands, meadow, pasture, woodlands, furzeland, heath, and marsh- 
land, and all other such vacant and waste land, as is or hath been heretofore by any 


man encroached or taken to his own use by the making of any hedge, pale, wall, 
ditch, or other mound, out of the lands belonging to the manor of Kirkham 
aforesaid, without the special license of the said Dean and Chapter, with all and 
every ways, booth-places, stall-places, liberties, easements, profits, commodities, 
and advantages to the said messuages, lands, tenements, houses, grounds, 
encroachments, tythes, hereditaments, and also the premises or any of them 
belonging or in any wise appertaining (except as in our said Indenture of Lease 
is excepted and reserved). To have and to hold the said Court Leets and the 
keeping of the Court Barons, profits of fairs and markets, messuages, lands, 
tythes, and all and every other the before-recited premises by that our said 
recited Indenture of Lease demised, or mentioned, or intended to be demised, 
with their and every of their appurtenances (except as is aforesaid) from the feast 
day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary last past before the date 
thereof, for and during the tenure and unto the end and term of one and twenty 
years then next following, fully to be completed and ended. In our said Indenture 
of Lease (amongst other things therein contained) it is provided always that it 
shall not be lawful to nor for the said Thomas ffleetwood, his executors, adminis- 
trators, or assignees, to lett, set, or assign over to any person or persons the 
demised premises herein contained and specified, or any part or parcel of them 
without the special license of us, the said Dean and Chapter, or our Successors, 
in writing under our common Seal thereunto first had and obtained. The estate, 
right, tythe, interest, and term of years yet in being of the said Thomas ffleetwood, 
are now "lawfully come unto the hands and possession of S r Richard ffleetwood, of 
Caldwich, knight baronet, and baron of Newton, within the said County of 
Lancaster, son and heir, and also executor of the last will and testament of the 
said Thomas ffleetwood, lately deceased. Know ye now that we, the said Dean 
and Chapter, of our common assent and consent have licensed and granted, and 
by these presents for us and our Successors do license and grant that from hence- 
forth it shall and may be lawful to and for the said S r Richard ffleetwood, knight 
baronet, his executors, administrators, or assignees, or any of them, to lett, set, or 
assign over the said demised premises and every one of them and any or every 
part or parcel of them with the appurtenances unto John Clayton, James Parker, 
and John Wilding, of Kirkham, in the County of Lancaster, yeomen, their 
executors, administrators, or assignees for and during all the residue of the said 
term of years yet in being, to come, and unexpired, the said proviso, or anything 
else, in our recited Indenture of Lease contained to the contrary, Provided always 
that all and every other covenant, clause, article, exception, reservation of rent, 
payment, condition, and proviso, in that our recited Indenture of Lease comprised 
shall stand, remain, continue, and be in its, and their, full power, force, and 
effect, as ii this our present license or deed in writing had never been, had, nor 
made. In Witness whereof we, the said Dean and Chapter, have hereunto put 
our common Seal. Proven in our Chapter house at Oxford the fourth day of 
December in the years of the reign of our sovereign lord James, by the Grace of 
God king of England, Scotland, ffrance, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. 
That is to say, of England, ffrance, and Ireland the eleventh, and of Scotland the 
seven and fortieth." 1 

I. Original lease in Bailiffs' Chest. 


There is an old deed in the bailiffs' chest, bearing the date 1725, 
and evidently a summary of charters, powers, etc., drawn up in 
order to be submitted to the inspection of some legal authority, 
whose opinions on different points are appended, from which it 
appears that from the earliest incorporation of the town it had 
been governed by two bailiffs and twelve burgesses in common 
council assembled, who were annually chosen within the borough, 
and that they " usually assessed such persons, not being free 
burgesses in the same borough, as had come into and exercised 
trades within the borough (whether they had served apprentice- 
ships to such trades or not), in and with such reasonable annual 
payments to the Corporation as the bailiffs and burgesses thought 
fit " ; persons born in the borough were treated in a similar 
manner. The bailiffs inflicted penalties on all breakers of the 
peace, the amount of fine imposed being regulated according 
to the condition of the offender, thus an esquire was mulcted 
in 405., a gentleman ios., and anyone of an inferior grade 55. 
Profane cursing and swearing also came under their jurisdiction. 
The collection of freedom money from traders commencing 
business in Kirkham was a somewhat questionable act on the 
part of the local rulers, and indeed they themselves were 
evidently troubled with doubts as to their right to levy the tax, 
for the muniment chest contains several opinions of eminent 
counsel as to the validity of such a course. In 1738 a person 
named William Marsden started as a tanner in Kirkham, and 
obstinately refused to purchase his freedom or close his premises, 
but, at the end of twelve months, the assembled bailiffs and 
burgesses instructed and authorised the town or borough serjeant 
to collect and levy the sum of two shillings and sixpence upon 
the goods and chattels of William Marsden, by distress and sale. 
This impost was abolished during the latter half of the eighteenth 
century. The bailiffs formed part of the Court Leet held annually 
in the seventeenth century and were elected from amongst the 
jurors. Subjoined are a few extracts from the minute book of the 
" Court leet of frank pledge of y e foundation of Henry VIIL," as it 
is styled in one place : 

"Oct. 1681. 

The court leet houlden at Kirkham y day above written by Tho. Hodgkinson 


" Juriars 

James Smith, junior. John Hanson. Geffery Wood. 

James Lawson. Tho. Tomlinson. Alex. Lawder. 

John Dickson. Henry Smith. Charles Fale. 

Will. Butler. James Hull. Will. Hornby. 

James Clayton. George Whiteside. Tho. Shardley. 

" Bayliffes 

ThaTorllinson. } John Coll y' ser J eant " 
James Hull, constable. 
(Here follow the ' Gauldlayers,' ' Barleymen,' ' Prizards,' ' Leather searchards,' 

and ' Flesh and Fish viewards ') 

" W m Hunt fined is. for keeping his geese in the loanes " 
" John Wilding for keeping a greyhound not being qualified " (Punishment ?) 


" Presented that the earl of Derby, Mr. Westby, of Movvbrick, Mr. Hesketh, of 
Mains, were constantly called at the court leet for the borough of Kirkham and 
anciently did either appear or some assign for them, but now of late they do not 
appear nor any assign for them." 

"4 May. 1683. 

" Rec d of Richard Riley for his fredom within the borow of Kirkham l6s. 
" May the 4th day Rec d of Rodger Taylor for his freedom in Kirkham i. 
" Oct. igth. Rec d of Thomas Sherdley for his freedom 2s. 
" Ordered that no person shall set or let any house or shop to Richarde 
Blackburne or his wife that stands within the liberties in Kirkham in pain of 
2 os. od." 


" Ralph Rishton paid to John Wilding and Thomas Hankinson, the bailiffs, 
for his freedom to trade in Kirkham ^"4." 

12 Oct. 1686. 

" Prudence Cardwell, presented for not making her bread sufficient in goodness 
and weight, and fined in I2d." 

Nov. 17. ' ; It is ordered that Nicholas Wilkinson shall pay unto the bailiffs 
135. 4d. for one year's trading in the town." 

30 April 1692. 

" Ordered that if any hereafter suffer their swine to ly out in the night time 
they shall forfeit for every night 35. 4d." 

26 April 1699. 

" Ordered that neither W m Boone nor Rowland Roberts maltmakers nor any 
as they employ shall dry any malt or weete upon the Sabbath day for the time 
to come in the pain of 2os." 

13 Oct. " We present these persons for want of their appearance at court & so 
fine every one of them I2d. 

" Will. George Ric. Earl of Derby. 

" Tho. Westby, esq. Thos. Hesketh, esq. 

" John Walker, esq. Jennet Thompson, widow. 

and Thomas Dickson." 


22 Aprill 1707. 

" Every person that shall carry away any fire thro' the street to cover the same 
close on penalty of IDS. 

April 1713. 

" No person to water any sort of cattle at the bucket belonging to the town 
well nor wash any skins at the trough." 

10 May 1715. 

" We find Charles Hardy for harbouring and lodging of vagrants and beggars 
in this town in 135. 4d." 

22 May 1726. 

" Mem. That the town of Kirkham was summonsed from house to house and 
the inhabitants unanimously agreed to the setting up of a workhouse." 

30 Nov. 1728. 

" Ordered that a lamp should be fixed up in the middle of the borough of Kirk- 
ham in some convenient place, and that the charge of it together with oyl necessary 
for it be paid out of the town's stock." 

" All persons refusing to clean or cow (rake) the streets opposite their respective 
houses to be fined 6d. after notice from the serjeant with his bell." 

The official notice concerning the last resolution is still pre- 
served, and ran as under : 

" To the Inhabitants of the Burrough of Kirkham. 

" You are hereby required forthwith to cleanse the Streets over against your 
Dwelling Houses, Outhouses, and all other Buildings, together with all Front- 
steads whatsoever, on Penalty of Sixpence tor each default. 

"You have also hereby notice to remove all the Dung-hills out of the Streets in 
a month's time or otherwise they will be removed for the use of the Burrough. 

" Likewise all the Rubbish out of the Streets on such Penalties as the Bayliffs 
and Common Council shall think fit to inflict. Given under our Common Seal of 
the Towne this first Day of December, 1728." 

At a later period the burgesses neglected to choose and appoint 
bailiffs for many years, or to use their privileges; and apprehensive 
at length that such remissions were tantamount to a forfeiture of 
their charter by their own act, they determined to take legal 
advice as to the most expeditious way to resume their powers. 
It was given as follows : 

" If any of those acting Burgesses are alive I would advise them to assemble at 
their former Gild or usual Place of meeting, and then and there choose other 
Burgesses, after which they may elect from among them Two Bailiffs and make 
an entry of such choice in one of the Old Books, and then proceed as formerly to 
act in their corporate capacity ; and let their first Punishment be inflicted on some 
person unlikely to dispute their authority, for instance a woman drunkard may be 
set in the stocks. 

" Having done as above directed they may for the better Government of the 
town make some Byelaws, and enter them {fair into a Book to be kept for that 
purpose, but let none of these new Laws be put in Execution till they are con- 


firmed by the Chancelour, and that will be some foundation ffor a petition to that 

" But if all the Burgesses are dead I can see no Remedy whatsoever but by 
obtaining a new Charter, which will be very Difficult if not Impracticable." 

A statement as to manorial extent of Kirkham at the latter 
part of the seventeenth century is preserved amongst the records 
of a court, further reference to which will be made anon, and 
reads as here given : u The lands lying within the manor of 
Kirkham, belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, 
in Oxford, and to the burgesses inhabitants of the borough of 
Kirkham, are bounded east by the lands of Edward Robinson and 
George Brown, lying within Newton and Scales ; westward by 
the lands of Sir Thomas Clifton, within Westby, and the lands of 
Christopher Parker, esq., lying in Ribby with Wrea ; northwards 
by the lands of Mrs. Dor y - Westby, of Mowbreck, and the lands of 
Mr. Edward Fleetwood, of Wesham ; and southwards by the lands 
of Mr. George Sharpies, of Freckleton." 

It has already been shown that the manor was conveyed by the 
authorities at Oxford to Thomas Fleetwood as fee-famer in 1601, 
and that the lease was subsequently renewed or confirmed to his 
son and heir Sir Richard Fleetwood. Before 1700, however, 
probably about 1650, from the contents of a petition presented by 
the inhabitants to the dean and chapter in 1705, the Cliftons, of 
Lytham, had the manor in a tenure similar to that of their pre- 
decessors, and held each year, in the month of June, a court leet, 
at which the two bailiffs were elected. The late Thomas Langton 
Birley, esq., of Carr Hill, Kirkham, acquired the lordship by 
purchase a short time previous to his death in 1874, when it 
descended to his son and heir, Henry Langton Birley, esq. 
Bailiffs still continue to be annually appointed, and have in their 
hands several charitable bequests, the interest arising therefrom 
being devoted to the service of the poor of the township, either in 
the form of alms, or in maintaining some useful convenience, as 
the parish pump, for their benefit. The property at present 
belonging to the bailiffs consists of one meadow, situated behind 
the Roman Catholic church; a garden in front of the same edifice; 
a plot in the field called the " Iron Latch " ; and a pew in the 
parish church of Kirkham. In 1676 the bishop of Chester acceded 
to a petition from the minister and churchwardens that a wainscot 


might be placed so as to enclose the bailiffs' pew, " which seat, for 
want thereof, was pressed into and thronged by others to the 
disturbance of the said officers." 1 

The Moot Hall, in which all business relating to the town was 
transacted, stood in the Market-place until about the year 1790, 
when it was accidentally burnt down. This building was erected 
in two stories, the upper of which was divided into a small room, 
used for flax dressing at the time the Hall was destroyed, and a 
larger one, devoted to court meetings and other public matters, 
which was separated from the remainder of the edifice insomuch 
as it could only be entered from the outside by means of a flight 
of stone steps. The ground floor or lower story was converted 
into shops in the occupation of tradesmen of the town. The 
original borough seal, which still exists, although somewhat 
defective, represents a dove bearing an olive branch in its beak. 
Notwithstanding that Kirkham was made a borough, during the 
last years of the thirteenth century, it never appears upon any 
occasion to have returned a Member of Parliament, and it may 
safely be conjectured that no writ for that purpose was ever 
issued to the burgesses, as the sheriffs exercised a discretionary 
power in such matters, and consequently only those boroughs, 
whose inhabitants seemed affluent enough to support the expenses 
of an election, were selected for the honour, amongst which it is 
scarcely likely Kirkham would be classed. 

A market cross stood in the centre of the town, near to the 
ancient Moot Hall, about the beginning of this century, but has 
now, like the stocks, which originally had their place in the 
churchyard and afterwards were removed to a more public site, 
been long numbered amongst the memories of a past and less 
refined age. There is no allusion to a whipping post in any of 
the old documents, but we have the authority of a gentleman who 
witnessed the spectacle, that a man was publicly whipped in the 
Market-place fifty years ago. 

The "Thirty Sworn men of Kirkham" was the name given to a 
council which took cognizance of parochial affairs, and of certain 
matters connected with the church, amongst other things 
appointing the churchwardens. This assembly was composed of 
representatives from the different sections of the parish, two 

I. Paper in Bailiffs' Chest, dated 2$rd October, 1676, and signed John Cestriens. 


persons being elected from each of the fifteen townships as 

under : 

"Thirty Sworn Men in 1570. 
" Kirkham : Warton : 

James Baine. Wm. Platon. 

James Clayton. Robt. Fletcher. 

" Clifton : Bryning : 

William Porter. Robt. Croke. 

Tho. Cardwell. John Croke. 

" Freckleton : Ribby : 

Hen r y Colbron. Benson. 

Rich. Browne. Henry Shaw. 

" Singletons : Wesham : 

James Davy. Robt. Hornby. 

W m Smith Henry Johnson. 

" Larbrick : Treales : 

Robt. Johnson. W Swarbrick. 

Will. Fletcher. Tho. Porter. 

" Thistleton : Hambleton : 

Joh. Smith. Robt. Bradshaw. 

Robt. Cornay. W m Bamber." 

The- oath taken by the " Sworn men " was administered by the 
civil authorities, and their tenure of office was for life, or until 
they thought proper to resign. The origin of "Sworn men," or 
at least of the name, dates from the fourteenth century, and the 
institution itself seems to have been common in this part of 
Lancashire ; Preston, Lancaster, Garstang, and Goosnargh, having 
had assemblies bearing similar titles and performing similar duties, 
but consisting only of twenty-four men each. 

In 1636 a serious dispute arose between the Thirty-men and the 
vicar, the Rev. Edward Fleetwood, owing to the latter requiring 
the council to subscribe to the following conditions : 

" 1st. They shall lay no gauld themselves without the consent of the vicar. 
" 2nd. That the vicar shall have a negative voice in all their proceedings, and 
that they shall determine nothing without the consent of the said vicar. 

" 3rd. They shall not put or elect any new 3o-men without the vicar's consent. 
" 4th. They shall not meet in the church upon any business whatever, unless 
they acquaint the vicar before. 

" 5th. If there be any turbulent or factious person, that the rest of the company 
shall join with the vicar and turn him out." l 

On the Thirty-men refusing to comply with his request, the 
vicar excluded them " by violence " from their usual meeting- 

i. Records of the "Thirty-Men." 


place in the church, and on the 5th of November, 1638, when 
they were called upon by the churchwardens to attend there in 
order to lay the necessary taxes for the repair of the sacred 
edifice, then much decayed, Mr. Fleetwood "locked himself in 
the church, as before he had many times done," and compelled 
them to conduct their business without the building. 

Incensed at the persistent hostility of the vicar an appeal against 
his conduct was made by the " men " to the archbishop of York, 
and by him referred to the bishop of Chester, who replied : 
" That the corporation or company of 3O-men, not having any 
warranty from the king, was nothing in law ; but if the parish or 
township did delegate the power, to the 3O-men as to church 
matters, then their acts relating thereunto were as effectual and 
binding as if they had the king's sanction ; and wishing to know 
the affection of the parishioners on this head, he issued an order on 
22 Nov. 1638, that public notice sh d be given in the church for 
all the parishioners to meet and give their voices whether they 
chose that the custom of the 3O-men representing the whole parish 
two for every township, should continue, or they should be 
dissolved." 1 

Mr. Fleetwood having ignored this order, the churchwardens 
took upon themselves the duty of calling a general conference of 
the parishioners ; a great multitude assembled in the churchyard, 
where the meeting was held, the vicar having locked the church 
door, and declared in favour of their ancient custom being con- 
tinued and preserved to their posterity as it had come down to 
them, freely giving " their power and strength to the said 3O-men, 
to confer and determine all church matters." 

To this resolution were appended the signatures of four 
hundred and ninety-four persons, amongst whom were Thomas 
Clifton of Westby and Clifton, John Westby of Mowbreck, 
Thomas Hesketh of Mains, Edward Veale of Whinney Heys, 
John Parker of Bradkirk, and Edward Bradley of Bryning. 

The bishop of Chester, having received an official report of the 
result of the meeting, communicated with the archbishop of 

York, as below stated : 

" Chester palace, 14 Dec. 1638. 
" Seeing the vicar (whom I have used with all gentleness and lenity), continues 

I. Records of the " Thirty-Men." 


still in his contempt, and addeth daily more forwardness thereunto, I must return 
the petitioners to my lord's grace of York, to be ordered by the high commissioner 
according to his grace's intimation signified in his * * * . I wish well to 
the sillie wilful man, but he makes himself incapable thereof. 

" John Cestriensis." 1 

This effort to obtain redress for their grievances does not 
appear to have been attended with a success equal to the expecta- 
tions of the " thirty," for a little later they instituted a suit in 
the consistory court at Chester against the vicar, " and, having 
proved their practice good, had sentence against him and 
2 ys. 6d. allowed towards their expenses." 2 The " Thirty-men " 
were admitted into the church on Easter Tuesday, 1639. 

During the period that Edward Fleetwood was vicar of Kirkham 
an event occurred in the parish which furnishes a forcible example 
of the superstitious feeling in religious matters existing amongst 
all ranks of the people at that time. The whole of the details of 
the circumstance are embodied in a pamphlet entitled " Strange 
Signs from Heaven," and by way of an introduction, the tract 
contains this certificate, u under the hand of Mr. Edward Fleet- 
wood, minister of Kirkham parish in Lancashire, concerning the 
monster brought forth by Mrs. Haughton, a papist, living in that 
parish : 

"As we must tell no lie, so we should conceal no truth ; especially when it tends 
to God's glory : There was a great papist, and of great parentage, within the 
parish of Kirkham, and his wife's mother, being of the same religion, did usually 
scoff and mock the Roundheads, and, in derision of Mr. Prinne and others, cut off 
the cat's ears, and called it by his name : But behold an example of the justice 
and equity of God in his judgements ; as Adonibezec was repaid in his 'own kind ; 
Haman hanged upon the same gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai ; and 
Pharoah and all his host drowned in the sea, into which he had thought to have 
driven the Israelites. And likewise one of the popish prelates, who said he 
would not dine till Ridley and Latimer were burnt, was burnt in his own 
entrails. So it fell out with this man's wife, a popish creature, who being great 
with child, when the time of her delivery came, she brought forth a monstrous 
child without a head, ugly and deformed, myself eyewitness thereof. 

Edward Fleetwood, pastor. 
W. Greenacres, midwife. 

The tract itself informs us that in the course of a conversation 
with some gentlemen, Mrs. Haughton observed with great 
warmth that u the Puritans and Independents deserved all to be 
hanged," and concluded her uncharitable remarks by uttering a 

I. Records of the Thirty-Men. 2. Ibid. 


fervent wish that neither she nor any one belonging to her might 
ever become Roundheads ; upon which "answer was made to her, 
that her children, if she had any, might (if God so pleased) have 
their eyes opened, and see that good which she was ignorant of. 
Mrs. Haughton retorted in these words : / pray God that 
rather than I shall be a Roundhead, or bear a Roundhead, I 
may bring forth a child without a head." In course of time, as 
we learn from the pamphlet, she was delivered of a monster child, 
being attended in her confinement by "widow Greenacres, the 
midwife, formerly wife to Mr. Greenacres, some time vicar of this 
parish," who, " being a godly woman, could not be eased in her 
mind until she had discharged her conscience in making it known 
to Mr. Fleetwood." "For better satisfaction Mr. Fleetwood 
caused the grave to be opened, and the child to be taken out and 
laid to view, and found there a body without a head, as the 
midwife had said, only the child had a face on the breast of it, 
two eyes near unto the place where the paps usually are, and a 
nose upon the chest, and a mouth a little above the navel, and 
two ears, upon each shoulder one." 

The certificate of the vicar relating to this discovery, together 
with a manuscript account of the circumstances connected with 
it, were " brought up to London by Colonel Moore (of Liverpool) 
a member of the House of Commons, and shewed to divers of the 
House ; who commanded the tract to be printed so that all the 
kingdom might see the hand of God therein ; to the comfort of 
his people, and the terror of the wicked that deride and scorn 
them." 1 ^ 

In the context are enumerated a few records of the " Thirty 
men," in order that the reader may have a clearer conception of 
their duties, and gain some information, not devoid of interest, 
respecting the more common-place matters associated with the 
history and regulation of parochial and church affairs in the 
town : 


" Nov. 2. Rec d for burial of a child of Mr. Veale (of Whinney Heys) in the 
church XI Id. 

I. According to the Parliamentary Chronicle, " Mistress Haughton was the wife 
of Master William Haughton of Prickmarsh in Kirkham, the Fylde," and the 
child was born on the 2oth of June, 1643. 


" Paid for a scholar verifying the ch'wardens' acct. 8 

" The great bell taken down this year and a new one put up." 


" The churchwardens were ordered by the vicar and 30-men to continue in 
office another year, by way of punishment, because they had not repaired the bells 
or levied the gauld of x s per township." 


" Charge of the churchwardens for making the vicar a seat xii d - 
"An order that each householder having a youth with a plough having 4 beasts 
shall pay iv d 

" Every one that married with another iia, and every cottage i d ." 


" The churchwardens charged xii d for tarrying with Mr. vicar when he gave 
warning to all housekeepers not to sell ale during the time of service." 


" Rushes to strew the church cost ix s vi<J. The churchwardens went through 
the parish to warn the people to come to church." 

" P d to Isabel Birley 3 weeks diet for 3 slaters at iii s iv d per week, xxx s ." 

" The church was flagged this year." 


" P d for slating M r Clifton's quire i 5s. 3d., and for organ pipes which had 
been pulled assunder by the souldiers, 35. ^d. 1 The churchwardens were 
demanded to attend the prime sessions at Weeton. 12 June they were ordered 
by the captains and other officers to make presentment of all recusants in the 
parish. In August they were employed several days at the parish cost about the 
covenant, and giving notice through the parish for them to take the covenant." 

" Spent on going perambulations on Ascension day, is. 6d." 

" The bishop ordered a bone-house to be built." 


" Spent upon the ringers upon the gth of Sept., being thanksgiving day for his 
majesty's deliverance from the fanatick plot 2s. 6d.' 2 

" Paid for whip to whip dogs out of church, 2s. o^d. 
" Paid for magpies and sparrow heads 10 I2s. 4d." 


" 28 March. Paid for hiding registers, vestments, plates, etc., at the rebels 
coming 2s. 6d. ; same day paid for ringing when the Duke of Cumberland came 
to Preston, and when he retook Carlisle, 6s." 

I. During the war between King and Parliament. 2. The Rye-house Plot. 




" Apr. 18. Ordered that the curates of Lund, Warton, Ribby, and Singleton 
shall not exceed 2 qts. of wine each day they administer the sacrament until 
further orders." 

The first church of Kirkham is commonly said .to have been 
erected by the Saxons on Mill Hill, and subsequently rebuilt on 
its present site, but as this statement is unsupported by any more 
reliable evidence than tradition, we give it simply for what it is 
worth. The earliest authentic word of Kirkham church is in 
1512, when the edifice was in part rebuilt ; and at that time, and 
doubtless for centuries before, it occupied the same situation as 
to-day. After the alterations and renewals had been completed, 
the building comprised a nave, chancel, and side aisles, separated 
by stone pillars, on which rested pointed arches. At the west 
end of the church, throughout its entire width, was erected a 
gallery, another of less extent being placed at the east end for 
the accommodation of the organ. The north aisle contained a 
small gallery belonging to the ffrance family, the private chapel 
of the Westbys of Mowbreck, and a spacious room or vestry, in 
which the "Thirty-men" held their meetings. In the south aisle 
was located the private oratory of the Cliftons, of Westby and 
Clifton. The chancel extended the width of the nave and south 
aisle, and in 1780 the Clifton chapel was, with the consent of its 
proprietor, enclosed within the communion rails. The reading 
desk stood against the central pillar of the north side of the nave, 
and immediately above it was placed the pulpit. The north wall 
was low, and contained several large windows. The whole of 
the building, with the exception of the chancel, which possessed a 
double-gabled roof, was covered in by a single roof, which slanted 
from the south to the north wall, and was pierced at each end 
with dormer windows. The main entrance was protected by a 
massive porch. 

The tower was probably erected but little later, if not, indeed, 
at the time the church was rebuilding, as appears from the will 
here quoted, bearing the date 29th of July, 1512 : "I, Cuthbert 
Clifton, Squyer, desire to be buryed at Kirkham in the tombe 
where Rychard Clifton, my great grandfather was buryed ; I 
bequeath ^"6 1 35. 4d. towards buyldyng of the steple of the saide 


This tower was embattled with a short pinnacle at each corner, 
and stood about sixty feet high ; on a stone in one of the but- 
tresses were carved the arms and name of Cuthbert Clifton. In 
the inside wall of the present tower there is fixed a stone bearing 
traces of an inscription, and it is probable, from the remnant of a 
name still discernible upon it, that this is the stone here referred 

From the records of the "Thirty-men" are learnt several things 
of interest with regard to the church, and amongst them, that 
during the seventeenth century the edifice was used occasionally 
for scholastic purposes, thus : 


" 6 Jan. It was agreed (by the " Thirty-men ") that no scriffener be suffered to 
teach in the church, unless he procure some honest townsmen of Kirkham to 
pass their word that whatsoever his scholars do, either in breaking glass or in 
abusing men's seats and that they meddle not with the bells he shall make 
good what they abuse." 

In 1662 a font was erected at a cost of 2 53. 4d., and most 
likely is the one now stationed in the tower entrance to the 
church. A bone house was built in 1679 in the recess or corner 
formed by the west wall of the north aisle and the north side of 
the tower, in obedience to the order of the bishop of the diocese, 
In 1724 gates were placed at the entrance to the churchyard, and 
in 1799 the old tithe barn which formed the westerly boundary of 
this plot of ground was blown down and destroyed ; the stone for 
the gate pillars was obtained from Ribchester. The following 
lists of persons buried in the Clifton and Westby chapels, or 
quyres, as they were called, were given in an old document which 
was copied in 1790 by Mr. W. Langton, who described it as 
<( much defaced and torn :" 

" In the Clifton Quire 

" T 597) s ' r Geo Cowbrone and Mr. Cuthbert Clifton ; 1598, Henry Colbron of 
Frekleton ; 1601, Mr. Skillicorne ; 1604, ould Dorothie Skillicorne, Mr. Skilli- 
corne's daughter ; 1602, Mr. Skillicorne, his wiff, Mr. Skillicorne, his son, and 
Henry Brown of Scales ; 1604, Lawrence Cowbrone, eldest son of above ; 1616, 
Henry Porter of Treales ; 1621, Mrs. jane Anderton, died at Westby; 1625, 
Mr. John Sharpies, of Frekleton ; 1630, uxor Arthur Sharpies, and Matthew 
Colbron of Frekleton." 

" In the Westby Quyre. 

" 1605, Mr. Westby and Mr. John Westby (Mr. Thos. eldest brother); 1622, 
ould Mr. Hesketh ; 1623, Mr. Hesketh of Maines." 

In a note we are told that when Mr. Skillicorne died in 1601, 


"and was to be buried, Seth Woods of Kirkham and another 
with him stood at Mr. Clifton's quyre dore to keep them from 
making a grave, and William Hull of Singleton did run at the 
door with wood and break it open how it ended is forgotten, 
but he was buried there." 

In 1822 the nave of the church was pulled down and rebuilt by 
aid of a rate imposed on all the townships ; an inscription 
commemorating this event was placed over the arch of the old 
chancel. The tower and spire as they now exist were erected in 
1844, whilst the present chancel was built in 1853. The spire 
and tower together have an altitude of one hundred and fifty feet, 
and the foundation stone of the latter was laid by Thomas Clifton, 
esq., of Lytham, on the 2ist of November, 1843. The tower 
contains a peal of eight bells, but none of them are of ancient 
date, those alluded to in the records of the "Thirty-men" having 
been sold and replaced by fresh ones. The modern church of 
Kirkham, which, like its predecessor, is dedicated to St. Michael, 
is a large and handsome structure, built of Longridge stone, and 
capable of holding about eighteen hundred persons ; the chancel 
is ornamented with a castellated parapet and fluted cornice. A 
stone coffin, which may be seen outside the church at the east, 
was taken out of the ground when the chancel was rebuilt. In 
1725 the sum of ^500 was left in trust by William Grimbaldson, 
M.D., to be expended in the purchase of land and other property, 
the income from which had to be devoted to providing a suitable 
person or persons to read prayers twice every day of the week 
except Sunday, in the parish church of Kirkham ; in the event 
of this condition of the bequest not being fulfilled, it was decreed 
by the will that the annual interest of the money should be 
distributed amongst the poor housekeepers of Treales ; so far, 
however, the requirement of the trust has been conformed to, and 
prayers are still read twice daily in the church. 

Within the ancient church of Kirkham, doubtless in the Clifton 
chapel, was a chantry founded during the fifteenth century by 
Richard Clifton, of Clifton, who married Alice, the daughter of 
John Butler, of Rawcliffe Hall ; and called the chantry of the 
" Holy Crucifix," as well as that of " Our Blessed Laydy." The 
commissioners of Henry VIII. issued the following report con- 
cerning it : 


" The Chauntrie in the paroche Church of Kirkeham. 

" Thomas Prymbet preyst Incumbent there of the foundation of the antecessors 
of S r Thomas Clifton, knight, to celebrate there for their sowles and all crysten 

" The same is at the altar of our lady w l hin the paroche church of Kirkham, 
and the said Incumbent doth celebrate there accordinglie." 

Sum totall of the rentall 6 os. lid., 

" Whereof 

" Payde to Sir Henry ffarington, knight, as farmour to the kynge, our Sovereigne 
lord, of Penwarden- fee, for chief rente goynge forthe of the lands in ffryklyngton, 

by yere 4d. 

" Payde to the Kinges Majestic, to the handes of the receyvour of his late 
Monasteyre of Vale Royall, goynge forthe of the burgages in Kirkeham, by yere, 

in Christenmes and Mydsomur, 7 s - 6d. 

" Sum of the reprises 7s lod. 

<! And so remayneth $ 133. id. 

This chantry was in existence in 1452, for in that year, when 
the abbot and convent of Vale Royal presented Dom. Edmund 
Layche to the vicarage, the archdeacon instructed John Clarke, 
the chaplain of the chantry, to induct him. 1 Thomas Prymbett, 
the officiating priest, was sixty years of age in 1548, and at that 
date the town and parish of Kirkham contained 1700 "houselinge 
people." Five years later Thomas Prymbett received a pension of 
$? His death occurred in 1564. 

At the dissolution of monasteries, the chantry of Kirkham 
church was mulcted in an annual rent of 6s. 2d., which was 
ordered to be paid to the receiver of the Duchy. A lease of the 
lands appertaining to the chantry was granted to Lawrence 
Pembroke for a term of sixteen years. 

In 1291 the living of Kirkham church was estimated in the 
Valor of Pope Nicholas at^i6o per annum, but at the dissolution 
aforesaid it was valued at no more than 21 is. o^d. per annum. 

In 1586 the advowson of the church was leased to James Smith, 
yeoman, of Kirkham ; and in 1591 it was granted for a period of 
twenty-one years by the authorities of Christ Church, Oxford, to 
John Sharpies, of Freckleton. 3 

Within the church are several inscriptions, the oldest and 
most curious of which is to be seen on a stone forming part of the 

1. Canon Raine's Hist, of Lane. Chantries. 

2. Willis's Hist. Mitr. Abb. vol. ii., p. 108. 

I. Records of the Dean and Chapter, Christ Church, Oxford. 


floor of the vestry, and covering the grave of vicar Clegg : 

" R<: Clegg came : V : M. : J666. 
Began poo r loaves : E : J67O. 
Ux r Jennet nup 1 E : J672. 
Mary n* g r : j&73 : nup 1 , FEE : 96. 
Doro n l . M. j&75 : ob. j6?7. 
Abraham, n* J : J677 : ob. J677. 
Doro : n l : S : J678. 
Henerey n* : J : j68o. ob. J683. 
Eliz : n* : M : j68s. nup* Feb. 1713. 
R d Clegg V. ob J720. jEt. 85. 
W : Jennet ob : J7 . . . ^Et . . 

Others are in memoriam of Thomas, the son of Sir Thomas 
Clifton, of Lytham, died 1688, aged 20 years ; the Rev. John 
Threlfall, B.A., for " 56 years head-master of Kirkham School," 
died 1 80 1, aged 84 years ; the Rev. Phipps Gerard Slatter, M.A., 
" head-master of the Free School," died 1815, aged 25 years ; the 
Rev. Charles Buck, M.A., for 27 years vicar of the parish, died 
1717 ; the Rev. Humphrey Shuttleworth, vicar of Kirkham, died 
1812, aged 76 years ; Richard Bradkirk, esq., of Bryning Hall, 
died 1813, aged 60 years ; Henry Rishton Buck, B.A., " lieutenant 
33rd Regiment, who fell in battle at Waterloo, June 18, 1815," 
aged 27 years ; and James Buck, lieutenant 2ist Light Dragoons, 
died January 7, 1815, aged 19 years. 

In the church yard there are sundry inscribed stones, which, 
although little interesting on the score of antiquity, are worthy 
of mention as marking the burial places of persons of note in the 
parish at one time ; as James Thistleton of Wrea, the founder 
of Wrea school, who was interred on the 27th of February, 1693 ; 
William Harrison of Kirkham, gent., interred January I2th, 
1767, aged 60, who " left an ample fortune to poor relations, and 
^140 to be vested in land, the yearly income to be distributed in 
pious, books to the poor of Kirkham, Little Eccleston, and 
Larbrick : may the trustees dispense with integrity and effect the 
sacred dole"; Edward King, esq., fourth son of the Very Rev. 
James King, D.D., dean of Raphoe, "formerly bencher of the 
honourable society of Gray's inn, and for above twenty years 
vice-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster " ; the " Rev. Charles 
Buck of Kirkham, A.M., died 4 Jan. 1808. Aged 54," also his 
two sons ; the Rev. Robert Loxham, vicar of Poulton, died in 
1770, aged 80 years ; and John Langton of Kirkham, died in 
1762, aged 71 years ; also many other members of the same family. 




Date of 


On whose 

Cause of Vacancy. 


Dn's Will de Ebor 

Duke of Cornwall 

Between 1272 

Simon Alley 

Convent of Vale 

and 1307 



William de Slayteburn 


William Boulton 


Phil de Grenhal 

Dn's Roger Dyryng 

About 1377 

Robert de Horneby 


Dn's Will Torfet 


Dn's John Cotun 


John Hardie 


Edmund Layche 

Convent of Vale 



Thomas Smith 


James Smith 


James Smith 

James Smith 


James Sharpies, B.A. 

Christ Church, 



Nicholas Helme, M.A. 

John Sharpies 

Death of J. Sharpies. 


Arthur Greenacres, 

Cuthbert Sharpies 



John Gerrard, M.A. 

Christ Church, 



Edward Fleetwood, 

Exchange with 

John Gerrard 



John Fisher 


Richard Clegg, M.A. 

Christ Church, 

Death of J. Fisher 



William Dickson,B.A. 


Death of R. Clegg 


Charles Buck, M.A. 


Death of W. Dickson 


Humphrey Shuttle- 


Death of C. Buck 

worth, M.A. 


James Webber, D.D. 


Death of H. Shuttle- 



George Lodowick 


Death of J. Webber 

Parsons, M.A. 


Will. Law Hussey, 


Death of G. L. 




George Rich. Brown, 


Death of W. L. 




Hen. William Mason, 


Death of G. R. 



The parish registers furnish us with the subjoined information, 
which has been arranged in a tabular form : 


1600 1601 17001701 1800 1801 

Baptisms 91 103 106 IOO 149 139 

Marriages 20 19 15 25 40 45 

Burials 69 44 103 86 157 112 

Respecting Kirkham's less antiquated days it may be stated 
that Messrs. Thomas Shepherd, John Birley, and John Langton 
were the earliest to commence manufacturing on 'any large scale 
there, which they accomplished during the first half of the 
eighteenth century by establishing conjointly the flax spinning 
mill still existing, but with many additions, as the firm of John 
Birley and Sons. John Langton was descended from John 
Langton, of Broughton Tower, through his fourth son, John, 
who resided at Preston, and of whom Cornelius Langton, of 
Kirkham, was the third son. On the 3ist of March, 1696, 
Cornelius Langton paid 305. for his trade freedom in Kirkham, 
where he married Elizabeth, daughter of Zachary Taylor, M.A , 
head-master of the Grammar School, by whom he had issue 
John, Abigail, Zachary, and Roger. Abigail died in 1776 ; 
Zachary entered the church, and espoused the daughter of 
Alexander Butler, of Kirkland ; Roger died in 1727 ; and John, 
the eldest, opened, in conjunction with the two gentlemen just 
named, a mercantile house in Kirkham, and left issue by his wife 
Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Brown, of Ashtree Hall, Kirkham, 
Anne, Sarah, Cornelius, Thomas, of Kirkham, and five other 
children. The children of Thomas Langton, by his wife Jane, 
the eldest daughter of William Leyland, of Blackburn, were 
Elizabeth, Leyland, Cornelius, Zachary, Cicely, and William, of 
Kirkham, born 1758, died 1814. John Birley was the son of John 
Birley of Skippool, and the ancestor of the large families of 
Birley, at Kirkham, Manchester, etc. The mills at present 
standing in the neighbourhood of Kirkham are the flax mill of 
Messrs. John Birley and Sons, employing about 1,600 hands ; 
the weaving shed of Messrs. Walker and Barrett, 400 hands ; the 
cotton mill of Messrs. Harrison and Company, 1 50 hands ; the 
cotton mill of Messrs. Richards and Parker, 180 hands ; the 
weaving shed of Messrs. Richards Brothers, 84 hands ; and the 
Fylde Manufacturing Company in Orders Lane, a newly- 
established concern. John Langton, who started in business at 
Kirkham as a flax spinner, purchased, in company with Ann 


Hankinson, in 1760, two years before his death, two closes of 
land, with their appurtenances, in Freckleton, called Bannister 
Flatt and Freckleton Croft, containing by estimate i^ acres, and 
1 2 beast-gates upon Freckleton Marsh, all of which they conveyed 
by indenture in four months to John Dannet, Thomas Langton, 
and William Shepherd, in trust for the educating, teaching, and 
instructing, free from all charge, of such young girls within the 
township of Kirkham, as they in their discretion should make 
choice of, to read, knit, and sew ; and that they should for that 
purpose meet twice a year, on the 25th of December and the 24th 
of June, at Kirkham, to make choice of proper subjects, and keep 
a book, wherein should be entered the accounts of the receipts 
and disbursements. During the ten years which elapsed after 
1760 additional benefactions were received amounting to ^"440. 
By indenture, dated 2nd of March, 1772, Joseph Brockholes and 
Constantia, his wife, conveyed to William Shepherd and Thomas 
Langton, trustees of the school, their heirs and assigns, for the 
sum of ^"425, two cottages, with appurtenances, in Freckleton, 
with a garden containing 36 perches ; a parcel of ground in a 
meadow in Freckleton, called Birl Brick Meadow, embracing 30 
perches ; one cowgate in Freckleton Marsh ; five closes in Freckle- 
ton, named the Two Baker Meadows, the Two Lamma Leaches, 
and the Bank, holding six acres of customary measurement. 
From 1772 to 1813 further donations (^"130) were received. The 
trusteeship of the school appears to have descended in the 
Langton family, and was held by the late Thomas Langton 
Birley, esq., whose father, Thomas Birley, had married Anne, the 
daughter and co-heiress of John Langton, of Kirkham. Clothing, 
as well as education, is supplied gratuitously to the scholars, who 
usually amount to 40, or thereabouts. A new building for the 
purposes of the school was erected on a fresh site a few years ago, 
in place of the former one, which had stood since 1761. 

The Roman Catholics, through the munificence of the Rev. 
Thomas Sherburne, built a magnificent church at the Willows in 
1844-5. The edifice comprises a nave, side aisles, chancel, south 
porch, and an elegant spire, having an altitude of no feet. On 
the south side of the chancel is the lady chapel, and opposite to it 
that of the holy cross The high altar is beautifully sculptured in 
Caen stone, and the reredos and tabernacle are covered with rich 


guilding. The walls contain several noble windows of stained 
glass. This church superseded one which had been erected in 
the same locality in 1809, anterior to which the chapel attached 
to Mowbreck Hall had been used by the Romanists of the neigh- 
bourhood for their celebrations and services. The Independents 
and Wesleyans also have places of worship in the town, situated 
respectively in Marsden and Freckleton Streets. The chapel of 
the Independents was constructed about 1793, and rebuilt in 1818, 
but that of the Wesleyans is of more recent origin. At the 
Willows, it should be mentioned, there is a school, open to all 
denominations, but under Roman Catholic supervision, which 
was established about 1828. Kirkham was first illuminated with 
gas in 1839. It contains a County Court House 1 and the Work- 
house of the Fylde Union, 2 in addition to several other public 
buildings, as a Police Station, Waterworks' Office, National and 
Infant Schools, etc. The town is governed by a Local Board of 

No papers have so far been discovered throwing any light upon 
the origin of the Free Grammar School, and the earliest intima- 
tion of its existence is in 1551, when Thomas Clifton, of Westby, 
bequeathed " towards the grammar scole xx 8 ." Thirty-four years 
later it was arranged amongst the " Thirty-men " that " 403. taken 
out of the clerk's wages should be paid to the schoolmaster, and 
that 4 of the 3O-men in the name of the rest should take posses- 
sion of the school-house in right of the whole parish, to be kept 
in repair by it and used as a school-house ; " also that " Richard 
Wilkins, now schoolmaster," should be retained in his office for a 
year or longer. In 1589 the above assembly " agreed that the IDS. 
a year p d by Goosnargh to the church sh d in future be paid to the 
schoolmaster, and for every burial (except one dying in childbed) 
he sh d have such sum as was agreed by the 3O-men, and 
also such sum as hath heretofore been paid for the holy loaf, 
which is of every house 3d., every Sunday successively towards 
repairs of the schoolhouse and help of his wages." In 1592 this 
order, as far as regards the holy-loaf contributions, was rescinded, 
the money as in former times going to the vicar. 

The following is from the copy of an ancient manuscript 

I. See Court of Requests page 209. 2. See Chapter XVI. 


account of the school, from 1621 to 1663, formerly in the posses- 
sion of Thomas Martin, esq., of Lincoln's Inn : 

" Isabell Birly, wife of Thomas Birly, born in Kirkham, daughter of John 
Coulbron, an alehouse keeper all her life, and through that employment attayned 
to a good personall estait above most in that towne of that calling, being moved 
with a naturall compassion to pore children shee saw often in that towne, was 
heard to say dyvers tymes she would doe something for their good, and in the 
yeare 1621, having gotten a good stock of money in her hands, was moved to put 
her sayings into action. The 3O-men of the parish being assembled at the church, 
she, with ^30 in her apron, came to them, telling them she had brought that 
money to give it towards the erecting of a free schole for pore children to be 
taught gratis, whose parents were not able to lay out money for their teaching, 
wishing them to take it and consider of it. They were the men especially trusted 
by the parish for the common benefits of the church, and therefore were the most 
like persons to move their severall townships to contribute every one something 
towards the accomplishment of so charitable a work, and not doubting that their 
good examples in their contributions would be a strong motive to excite others. 
This gift was thankfully accepted, and wrought so with them that every one was 
forward to promote it, especially Mr. Jno. Parker of Bredkirk, an eminent man in 
the parish and one of that companie, being at that tyme one of the earl of Derbie's 
gentlemen and somewhat allied to the said Isabell ; he forwarded it very much, 
sparing neither his paynes of his bodie nor his purse ; for that end he travelled all 
the parish over to every particular towne and house earnestly persuading them to 
contribute to so good an use. Sir Cuthbert Clifton gave 20, Maister Westby of 
Moulbreck 10, Mr. Parker ^5, Mr. Langtree of Swarbreck $, Mr. Hesketh of 
Maines 405., Mr. Greenacres, vicar of Kirkham, 4, and the several townships in 
the parish gave as followeth : Kirkham near ^"30, but not out; Ribby and Wray 
$ 8s. 6d. ; Westby and Plumpton i6s. 4d. ; Weeton 7 2s. ; Singleton i 135. 6d.; 
Little Eccleston and Larbrick 43. 4d. ; Greenall and Thistleton 4 i6s. ; Roseacre 
7 2s. ; Wharles i 135. ; Treales ^8 45. ; Medlar and Wesham i 53. ; Hamble- 
ton 45. 6d. ; Salwick 3 $s. ; Clifton $ 7s. ; Newton and Scales ^3 55. ; Freckle- 
ton & ; Warton i 8s. ; Bryning and Kellamer 4. 133. in the whole ^170 145.*' 

When the time came for the selection of a suitable person to 
undertake the charge and education of the pupils, it so happened 
" that at that instant a young man, an honest, able scholar of good 
gifts and parts, having a lingering sickness upon him, was come 
over to Kirkham to Mr. William Armesteed (the curate of Kirk- 
ham), his cozen, for change of air, his name being Thomas Arme- 
steed, and he was moved by some of the towne whether he would 
accept to be schole master if suit were made to the 3O-men to 
elect him ; he, in regard to the weakness of his bodie then yielded 
to the motion, otherwise he was a man well qualified for the 
ministery and a moving preacher." 1 

I. Ancient Manuscript. 


At the meeting of the " Thirty-men " to fill up the appointment 
there were two candidates, Mr. Armesteed and Mr. Sokell, but 
the former was elected. About the year 1628, when this gentle- 
man resigned, Mr. Sokell was elected to the vacancy after a 
contest. Until 1628 the management of all matters connected 
with the school had rested with the " Thirty-men," but at that 
date the Roman Catholic gentlemen, who had been most liberal 
in their contributions, came to the conclusion that " it was not 
for their reputation altogether to leave the care of it to others 
and they to have no hand in it, therefore they took upon 
them to have a hand about it, and upon their doing so the 30 
men, being tenants most of them to some of them, or dependant 
someway upon them, left it to them ; only Mr. Parker was not 
bound to the gentlemen, and he joined in with them." 1 

Isabell Birley and others had brought out a candidate, named 
Dugdall, at the recent election of schoolmaster, and were so 
incensed at his defeat by Mr. Sokell, a Romanist, that they drew 
up a petition to the bishop of Chester, complaining that " the 
gentlemen of the parish, being recusants all saving Mr. Parker, 
had intruded themselves to order all things" about the free school, 
and begging his lordship to issue an order how the future election 
of feofees for the school should be made, which he accordingly 
did, as follows : 

" Apud, Wigan, 31 July, 1628. 

" At which day and place diverse of the Town and Parish of Kirkham appeared 
about the ordering of a schole master thereof for the time to come. At their 
request it is therefore ordered that the whole parish, or as many as shall appear at 
some day prefixed, after public notice given the Sunday before, shall elect six or 
nine lawful and honest men feofees for that purpose, whereof a third part to be 
chosen by the towne of Kirkham, and the two other parts by the parishioners 
generally, of which feofees Isabell Wilding's (late Birley) husband and her heirs, 
because she gave ^30 to the schole maister, shall be one. 

" Johannes Cestrensis. Edw d Russell." 

The command of the bishop to call a public meeting was carried 
out, and in answer to the summons, read in church as directed, 
only seven persons presented themselves in (( the parlour of Mr. 
Brown the curate," viz., Sir Cuthbert Clifton, knt., Mr. Thomas 
Westby, Mr. Thomas Hesketh, Mr. Langtree, Mr. John Parker, 
gentleman, and of the parishioners, "not one man saving Richard 

I. Ancient Manuscript. 


Harrison of Freckleton, and John Wilding of Kirkham ; and 
then and there the gentlemen elected themselves feofees, as also 
they elected Mr. Edward Fleetwood, the vicar." 1 

After the death of John Wilding in 1634, as his widow, Isabell, 
found herself growing more infirm, she waited on the feofees with 
the intention of supplementing her original donation of ^30 with 
an additional one of equal value, if she found them "favourable to 
her in something she willed of them, whereas Mr. Clifton gave 
her harsh words and such as sent her home with much discontent 
and passion." When she died in 1637, it was discovered, as the 
manuscript from which we have been quoting informs us, that 
she had " left the ^"30 by will to buy land with, and the yearly 
rent to be divided to the poor of the town and parish of 

During the struggles between king and parliament, the school 
was closed for several years, and re-opened with fresh governors 
or feofees. At that epoch the inhabitants were kept in a state of 
constant excitement and alarm by visits from either the royal or 
parliamentary forces, but fortunately no collision ever took place 
in the neighbourhood. 2 

By the will, dated 1655, of Henry Colborne, of London, a native 
of Kirkham, his trustees were requested to purchase the lease of 
the rectory of this town, and invest the profits, with the exception 
of 100 per annum, for sixteen years, in lands for the benefit of 
schools ; the purchases were to be settled on the Drapers' Com- 
pany of London. In 1673, ^"69 ics. was obtained for the school, 
being the rent of lands bought in the metropolis by the Colborne 
trustees, ^"45 of which sum had to be paid to the head master, 
who was required to be "a university man, and obliged to preach 
once a month at least in the parish church or in some of the 
chapels ;" ^"16 i6s. of the remainder was apportioned to the 
second master ; and ^"8 to provide an usher. 8 

In 1673 it was decreed by the Court of Chancery that the 
expense and duty of preserving the school-house in proper repair 
should devolve upon the township of Kirkham, whilst the election 
of masters should rest exclusively with the Drapers' Company. 4 

I. Ancient Manuscript. 2. See pages 61, 63, and 66. 

3. Charity Commissioners' Report. 4. Ibid. 


In that year also lands, etc., at Nether Methop in Westmoreland 
to the value of ^"530 were purchased, according to the directions 
of the will of the Rev. James Barker, rector of Thrandeston, 
Suffolk, which required his executors to buy lands sufficient to 
yield an annual rent of ^30, and to settle such property on ten 
trustees, elected by the bailiffs and principal burgesses of Kirkham; 
the trustees were ordered to apply the rental to the following 
uses : 10 yearly to the schoolmaster ; \2 yearly in half-yearly 
instalments, as an " exhibition or allowance to such poor scholer 
of the towne as shall then be admitted to the university," such 
exhibition to be open to any pupil born in Kirkham and educated 
at the school, and in case no scholar was ready and fitted to take 
advantage of it the sum was to be used in binding out poor 
apprentices ; $ for the purpose of binding apprentices ; and the 
remainder to be expended in defraying the cost of an annual 
dinner for the trustees when they met to " enquire concerning the 
demeanure of the scholler at the univerty," in whose case it was 
appointed that if they should find him " to be riotously given, or 
disordered and debauched, they should withdraw the exhibition." 

In 1701, the Drapers' Company issued the following order 
touching the admission of girls to the benefits of the charity : 
" From henceforth no female sex shall have any conversation, or 
be taught, or partake of any manner of learning whatsoever in 
the free school at Kirkham, any former custom to the contrary 

In 1725 ^"400 was bequeathed to the trustees of the school by 
William Grimbaldson, M.D., to be invested in lands, and the 
rental to be added to the stipend of the head-master, if "he 
should be a scholar bred at Westminster, Winchester, or Eton, 
and a master of arts," but if not the rental to be devoted to 
binding apprentices, for which purpose it is used at present. In 
addition this physician left ^"50 to be similarly invested, and the 
income to be spent in buying classical books for the school. The 
management of the schocl has been in the hands of trustees from 
the time of Barker's bequest. 

Since the establishment of the exhibition under Barker's trust 
twenty-eight youths have been assisted in their university careers 
by its means. 




Date of 


By whom appointed. 

1801 to 1806. 

Rev. Thos. Stevenson. 

pro. temp. 

Company of Drapers. 

In 1806. 

Jas. Thos. Halloway, D.D. 

)i ii 


Rev. Henry Dannett, B.A. 

ii ii 


Rev. Phipps Gerard Slatter, 


i) ii 

,t 1815. 

Rev. Jas. Ratcliffe, M.A. 

11 ii 

Before 1837. 

Rev. Rich d MartindellLamb, 


pro. temp. 

11 ii 

In 1837. 

Rev. Geo. Thistlethwaite, 

i) ii 


,, 1845. 

Rev. S. E. Wentworth, M.A. 

ii ii 


Rev. Jno. Burrough, M.A. 

n ii 


Rev. J. Young, M.A. 

ii n 

From the vestry book of Kirkham, we learn that the charity 
known as "Bread Money" originated from the vicar and "Thirty- 
men," who, on the 5th of April, 1670, "with the consent and 
countenance of some of the gentlemen and of the present church- 
wardens, with some neighbours of repute in the respective 
townships," held a meeting, at which it was unanimously decided 
to raise ^~8o, such sum to be laid out on good security, and the 
interest to be expended in providing " a dozen penny loaves for 
every Sunday in the year, Christmas and the king's birthday, and 
for every other holiday, to be given to so many of such poor as 
shall use to frequent the church and to those of distant town- 
ships." The resolution continued : " These loaves shall not be 
given to strangers or vagabonds, nor to children that shall but 
play about the church till sermon be passed, and then come in for 
a loaf, nor to any of the town of Kirkham in summer, but only 
in winter." In order to raise the fund agreed upon, it was 
resolved that " what could be got by contribution of the com- 
municants at Easter should be thus employed;" vicar Richard 
Clegg promised ^"5, and stated that if he remained at Kirkham 
during the rest of his life, and had the means, he would at some 
future time give \$ more for the same object, an intention 
which appears subsequently to have been carried out by his 
daughter, Mrs. Mary Nightingale, who some years after his 
decease, contributed 20 towards the fund. ^5 given for the use 


of the poor by Jane, wife of John Clifton ; arrears of rent due from 
Goosnargh ; and funeral doles were all devoted to this purpose. 
In 1867 the fund amounted to 102 2s., yielding an annual 
income of ^"5 133. 3d. 

A sum of 12 was given by vicar Clegg, the interest to be paid 
to the clergyman preaching a sermon in Kirkham church on 
Easter Tuesday. 

Richard Brown, by indenture dated 1639, conveyed for a term 
of 999 years a close called New Moor Hey with appurtenances, in 
Kirkham, to James Smith, upon condition that he, his heirs and 
executors, should pay the yearly rent of 2os. at Martinmas. " It 
is witnessed, that the said Richard Brown, in consideration of the 
good will he bore to the town of Kirkham, and the inhabitants 
thereof, and out of his zeal to God, and the charitable relief of the 
poor, needful and impotent people within the said town, granted 
to William Robinson and three others, their heirs and assigns, 
the said yearly rent of 203., to hold the same upon trust, and to 
dispose of it amongst so many of the people of the said town, as 
the bailiffs thereof for the time being should, in their discretion, 
think most needful, on St. Thomas's day." 1 

By indenture, dated 1734, Joseph Hankinson, of Kirkham, in 
consideration of ^"45 released and conveyed to Robert Hankinson, 
and four others a close in Kirkham, called Swarbreck's Old Earth, 
containing, by estimate, i^ acres, to hold the same to themselves 
and their heirs for ever ; and in the deed it was declared that the 
consideration money belonged to the poor of the township, and 
that the grantees were only trustees of the same, and had laid it 
out by direction of the inhabitants for the benefit of the poor 
according to the wish of the benefactors. The indenture is 
endorsed : " Conveyance of Swarbreck's Old Earth, for the use 
of the poor of Kirkham, purchased by monies given by Mrs. Clegg, 
widow of the Rev. Richard Clegg, vicar, and Mrs. Phoebe Sayle, 
wife of Mr. Charles Sayle, to wit ^20 by the former, and ^"20 by 
the latter." 

Thomas Brockholes, by an indenture of 1755, conveyed for ^50 
to John Langton and William Shepherd, their heirs and assigns, 
a close called Moor Hey, with appurtenances ; and subsequently 

I. Indenture in Bailiffs' Chest. 

KIRKHAM. 4 01 

in 1768 William Shepherd conveyed the close then denominated 
the Bailiffs' Moor Hey to Henry Lawson, yeoman, of Kirkham, who 
in the following year being moved by " divers good causes and 
considerations " sold to the Rev. Charles Buck, vicar of Kirkham, 
and twelve others, all of Kirkham, gentlemen, for the sum of five 
shillings, two plots of land in Kirkham township, one of which, 
called Moorcroft, contained a rood and four perches, and the other, 
Swarbreck's Old Earth, comprised an acre and an half. The 
conditions were that all profits or income accruing from the lands 
should be used for the relief of the poor of the aforesaid township. 1 

On the ist of December, 1739, a legacy of //p was bequeathed 
to trustees by Elizabeth Brown, to be invested, and the interest 
applied to the relief of the poor and necessitous widows of 
Kirkham, or the neighbouring townships, at Michaelmas. 

The sum of ^"140 was received under the will, dated 1767, of 
William Harrison of Kirkham, to be invested, and the interest to 
be expended in Common Prayer books, Bibles, etc., two-thirds of 
which were to be given to the poor of this town, and the 
remainder to the poor of Little Eccleston and Larbrick. 2 

In 1816 Mrs. Mary Bradkirk placed ^320 in the navy, five per 
cents, in her own name and that of Zachary Langton, esq., of 
Bedford Row, London ; and subsequently trustees of this fund 
were appointed, whose duty it was to distribute the interest as 

follows : 

That of /ioo amongst five necessitous persons in the township 
of Kirkham for life, and each vacancy to be filled up immediately 
after the death of the former recipient. 

That of 20 to Joseph Brewer, then parish clerk of Kirkham, 
for life, and after his demise to the person filling the office of 
sexton at the same place. 

That of /ioo to five poor persons of Ribby-with-Wrea, and 
that of the last 100 to five poor persons of Bryning-with- 
Kellamergh, the vacancies to be treated as in those of Kirkham. 

The only requirement on the part of the pensioners being that 
they should be members of the Church of England. The income 
of this charity, which amounts to more than \o a year, like 
those of the five preceding it, forms part of the bailiffs' fund. 

I. Deed in Bailiff's Chest. 2. Report of Charity Commissioners, 1824. 




fN the Domesday Book Freckeltun is stated to contain 
four carucates of arable soil. During the reign of 
Henry III. Richard de Freckleton, Allan de Singleton, 
and Iwan de Freckleton, with three others, held land 
in Freckleton from the earl of Lincoln. In 1311 the heirs of 
Adam de Freckleton held Freckleton from Alice, the daughter 
and heiress of the earl of Lincoln, shortly after which Ralph de 
Freckleton was lord of the manor. Gilbert de Singleton had. a 
house with 12 acres of land and a mill there in 1325. In 1349 
the manor was held under the earl of Lancaster as follows : 
Robert de Freckleton, I messuage and 3 bovates ; Nicholas le 
Botiler, I messuage and 1 1 bovates ; the heirs of Robert Sher- 
burne, 2 bovates ; the heirs of Sir Adam de Banastre, 2 bovates ; 
and Thomas de Singleton, I bovate. During the first half of the 
1 6th century the Botilers or Butlers retained property in Freckle- 
ton, whilst the Sherburnes held estates there until the early part 
of the iyth century. Hugh Hilton Hornby, esq., of Ribby Hall, 
is the largest territorial proprietor at present, but there are several 
resident yeomen. 

In 1834 a temporary episcopal chapel was erected, and 5 years 
later the existing church was built, being a neat brick edifice, 
with a spire at the west end, and containing an ancient pulpit 
from Kirkham church. The Rev. G. H. Waterfall, M.A., was 
the earliest incumbent, and the Rev. Walter Scott, appointed in 


1 86 1, is now in charge. In 1718 a Quakers' burial ground was 
opened, but was closed in 1811. A meeting house was also 
established by the same sect in 1720, and pulled down after 
standing nearly a century. A Wesleyan chapel was erected in 
1814 ; and in 1862 the Primitive Methodists opened another. A 
National school was built in 1839, and is supported mainly by 

The village is long and irregular, but contains sundry better 
class houses, and a cotton manufactory, belonging to Mr. Sower- 
butts, holding 320 looms. The inhabitants are chiefly employed 
ployed in making sacking, sailcloth, ropes, etc. There is also a 
shipbuilding yard, of which Mr. Rawstorne is the proprietor, 
where vessels, mostly for the coasting trade, are constructed. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
561 701 875 909 995 968 879 930 

The township comprises 2,659 statute acres. 

Andrew Freckleton and two more gave, about 1734, certain 
sums of money for the poor of Freckleton, the interest from which, 
together with IDS. per annum left by Lawrence Webster for the 
same object, amounts to 2 5s. a year. The township shares in 
a bequest of $, with Clifton and Newton- with-Scales, from 
Elizabeth Clitherall, of Clifton, for the use of the poor. 

WARTON. Wartun is entered in the survey of William the 
Conqueror as comprising four carucates, and later, when in the 
fee of the earl of Lincoln, the township was held by the manorial 
lord of Wood Plumpton. During the reign of King John, 
Thomas de Betham had the third of a knight's fee in Warton. 
Sir Ralph de Betham held Warton in the time of Edward III., 
and in 1296 Edmund Crouchback, earl of Lancaster, had a rent 
charge of 33. 4d. there. Gilbert de Singleton was possessed of a 
messuage with six bovates of land in the township about 1325. 
The manor was held by Johanna Standish and Richard Singleton 
in 1515. John Talbot Clifton, esq., of Lytham Hall, is now the 
most extensive owner of the soil. 

The church of Warton, dedicated to St. Paul, was completed in 
1722, but not consecrated until 1725. Within recent years it 
has been apportioned a distinct parochial district under Lord 
Blandford's act, 

4 o 4 



Date of 


Cause of Vacancy. 

Before 1773. 
In 1789. 
,, 1790. 

Wilfred Burton. 
Charles Buck, M.A. 
James Fox. 
James Fox, B.A. 
George Wylie, M.A. 
Thos. Henry Dundas, B.A. 

Resignation of C. Buck. 
J. Fox. 
J. Fox. 
G. Wylie. 

Warton school was built many years ago at the cost of the 
township, and in 1810 the sum of ^"277 was raised by subscription 
as an endowment. In 1809, William Dobson, of Liverpool, 
bequeathed ^"500 to the trustees, and another sum of ^"500 was 
also bequeathed by Mrs. Francis Hickson. In 1821 a new school- 
house was built. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
376 445 468 531 522 473 446 444 

The area of the township contains 3,939 statute acres. 

BRYNING-WITH-KELLAMERGH. The earliest allusion to this 
township occurs in 1200-1, when Matilda Stockhord and others 
held two carucates in Briscath Brunn and one carucate in 
Kelgmersberg. A few years later Robert de Stockhord had the 
fourth of a knight's fee there. In 1253 Ralph Betham held 
Brininge, Kelgermsarche, etc. ; and during the reign of Edward 
III. Sir Ralph de Betham possessed the fourth of a knight's fee 
in the same places, at which time John de Damport also held an 
eighth of a carucate. In 1311 John Baskerville had 3^ bovates, 
and Thurstan de Norley 4 bovates, in the hamlet of Kilgremargh. 

In 1479 Sir Edward and William Betham had land in Bryning 
and Kellamergh ; and two years afterwards half of the manor was 
granted by Edward IV. to Thomas Molyneux and his heirs. 
Thomas Middleton held both Bryning and Kellamergh in 1641. 
The Birley, Langton, Cross, and Smith families are now the chief 
landowners in the township. 

Bryning Hall and Leyland House are the only places of interest 
amongst the scattered habitations. The Hall, now a farm-house, 
was formerly the seat of the Bradkirks, whilst Leyland House, 

RIBB Y- WITH- WREA . ' 45 

also converted to farm uses, was the residence of the Leylands, 
of Kellamergh, during the i?th and part of the i8th centuries. 1 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
105 131 145 164 152 126 116 115 
The area of the township in statute acres is 1,043. 
RIBBY-WITH-WREA. In Domesday Book Rigbt, for Ribby, is 
entered as comprising six carucates. Roger de Poictou gave the 
tithes of " colts, calves, lambs, kids, pigs, wheat, cheese, and butter 
of Ribbi and Singletone" to the priory of Lancaster to serve as food 
to the monks who celebrated mass in that monastery. This grant 
was afterwards confirmed by John, earl of Moreton. 2 In 1 201 Adam 
and Gerard de Wra paid two marks to King John in order to gain 
protection from the sheriff, who, it seems, was in the habit of 
unjustly molesting them in their tenements. 3 The manors of 
Preston, Riggeby, and Singleton were presented by Henry III. to 
Edmund, earl of Lancaster, who in 1286 became engaged in a 
dispute with the abbot of Vale Royal, which ultimately led to a 
mandate being issued by Edward I., at Westminster, to the 
sheriff of Lancaster, commanding him to draw a proper and just 
boundary line between the lands of the disputants, because 
the abbot complained that the earl had taken more territory 
than he was legally entitled to by his fee, thereby encroaching 
on the conventual possessions in Kirkham parish. 4 In 1297 earl 
Edmund's rents from Ribby- with- Wrea amounted in all to /ig 
igs. 5 per annum. 

During the life of the first duke of Lancaster, Ribby contained 
twenty houses, and twenty-one and three-fourths bovates of land 
held by bondsmen at a rental of /ig i6s. 4d. ; and at that time 
there were the following tenants in Ribby and Wrea : Adam, 
the son of Richard the clerk, who held five acres, and paid 46. 
per annum ; Adam, the son of Jordani, one acre for I2d. ; Roger 
Culbray, three acres for gd. ; Richard de Wra, half a bovate for 
5d. ; Adam de Kelyrumshagh, half a bovate for 4d. ; William de 
Wogher, six acres for 2d.; John de Bredkyrke, half a bovate for 

I. For " Leyland of Leyland House " see Chapter VI. 

2 Regist. S. Marise Lane. MS. fol. I and 4. 3- Rot. Cancell. 3 John. m. 5. 

4. Harl. MSS. No. 2064. 5. Escaet. 25 Edw. I. n, 51. 


gd. ; William le Harpour, one bovate for I5d.; Giles, two acres 
for iod.; John de Bonk, one bovate and one acre for iod.; John 
le Wise, eleven acres for yd. ; and Adam de Parys, two bovates, 
which were those of John le Harpour, for 33., of free farm and two 
marks. After the demise of a tenant it was the recognised custom 
for his successor to pay double rent. 1 The rent days were the 
feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary and of St. 
Michael. H. H. Hornby, esq., of Ribby Hall, is the present 
lord of the manor. 

The remains of the ancient manor house on Wrea Green are 
now used as a cottage ; Ribby Hall, the seat of the Hornbys, is a 
modern mansion, and was erected rather more than half a century 
ago. The church of Ribby-with-Wrea owes its origin to the 
trustees of Nicholas Sharples's charity, who purchased a piece of 
ground on Wrea Green in 1721, and, having subscribed sufficient 
funds amongst themselves, erected a small chapel upon it. The 
following year they obtained a license to hold divine service in 
the building, and on the 2Oth of June, 1755, it was consecrated 
by the bishop of Chester. At that date the church was endowed 
with ^"400, half of which came from Queen Anne's bounty, and 
the other in equal portions from the charities of Thistleton and 
Sharpies. In 1762 the whole of this fund was invested in land in 
Warton, and other sums amounting to ^~6oo, including a legacy 
of ^"100 under the will of Thomas Benson in 1761, and further 
donations from the Royal bounty before mentioned, were 
expended in the purchase of land at Thistleton. 2 

In 1846 the township of Westby, with the exception of Great 
and Little Plumptons, was joined, by order of Council, to that of 
Ribby-with-Wrea, and the whole converted into an ecclesiastical 
district. In 1869 the title of the incumbent was changed from 
that of perpetual curate to vicar. 

The old church was pulled down and the foundation stone of 
the existing structure laid in 1848, by the Rev. G. L. Parsons, 
vicar of Kirkham. On the 23rd of September in the ensuing 
year, it was opened for worship, but remained unconsecrated until 
the 4th of May, 1855. The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas. 

I. Lansd. MSS. No. 539. f. 15. 2. MS. Church Records. 




Date of 


Cause of Vacancy. 


Before 1733. 

Robert Willacy. 

I. *756. 

Samuel Smith. 


James Anyon. 

In 1770. 



John Thompson. 

About 1823. 
In 1845. 

James Fox. 
George Thistlethwaite, M.A. 
Steph 11 Exuperius Went worth, 
M A 

Resignation of J. Fox. 
Death of G . Thistlethwaite . 


Ralph Sadleir Stoney, M.A. 

S. E. Wentworth. 

The Rev. George Thistlethwaite was the son of the Rev. T. 
Thistlethwaite, incumbent of St. George's, Bolton-le-Moors, and 
in 1837 officiated pro. temp, as head master of Kirkham Grammar 
School. The Rev. S. E. Wentworth held the headmastership of 
the same school from 1845 to 1860, as well as his curacy. 

The free school of Ribby-with-Wrea owes its existence to the 
frugality and benevolence of a tailor, named James Thistleton, of 
Wrea, who, although his daily wages averaged no more .than 4d. 
and his food, managed, by great care and self-denial, to accumulate 
a sufficient fund to establish a school at his native place, an object 
to which he had in a great measure devoted his life. At his 
death in 1693, it was found that, after a few small legacies, one 
being "los. to Mr. Clegg, vicar, to preach at my funeral," and 
another 6s. 8d. to each of the townships of Kirkham, Bryning, 
and Westby, for the use of the poor, he had bequeathed the 
remainder of his property "towards the making and maintaining 
of a free school in the township of Ribby-cum-Wrea for ever," 
stipulating only that his surviving sister should receive annually 
from the profits of his estate a sum of money sufficient for her 
support during the rest of her life. The executors appointed 
were Thomas Benson, Richard Shepherd, and Cuthbert Bradkirk, 
whilst the money designed for the foundation of the school 
amounted to 

The work thus commenced by Thistleton received, a few years 
later, substantial assistance under the will, dated loth September, 
1716, of Nicholas Sharpies, who is described as a "citizen and 


innholder of London." The bequest in this instance amounted 
to ^"850, and the two executors, Richard Wilson and Robert 
Pigot, were directed, " with all convenient speed to apply such 
sum of money towards the building or finishing of a school-house 
for educating of boys and girls in Ribby-cum-Wrea," and in the 
purchase of land for the benefit of such establishment, and the 
remuneration of the master, "for educating such a number of boys 
and girls as nine of the most substantial men, chosen and elected 
out of Ribby-cum-Wrea for governors or elders, or the major 
part of them, shall think fit ;" also that his name should be 
inscribed in some prominent place on one of the school walls. 1 

In 1 780 a girls' school was established in a building separate 
from that of the boys, but in 1847 the trustees of the foundation 
gave the " materials of the boys' school " and the plot of land as 
a site for the new church, and in return the ecclesiastical party 
erected, according to agreement, another school-house on a piece 
of ground adjoining the girls' school. 8 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
307 398 $00 482 442 406 444 446 

The area of the township amounts to 1,366 statute acres. 

Clifton held the manor about 1280, and subsequently his son 
William de Clifton was in possession about 1292. During the reign 
of Edward III. John Fleetwood was lord of Little Plumpton, 
and in 1394 his descendant, John Fleetwood, resided there. John 
Talbot Clifton, esq., of Lytham Hall, whose ancestor was the 
Gilbert de Clifton just mentioned, holds the manor of Westby 
with Plumpton, by right of inheritance. 

Bowen, the geographer, who wrote in 1717, alludes to a spa in 
Plumpton, and states that it was impregnated with sulphur, 
vitriol, ochre, iron, and a marine salt, united with a bitter purging 
salt. The site of the spa has been lost in the lapse of time. 

Westby Hall, the seat of the Cliftons, has been supplanted by a 
farm-house. The old chapel connected with it was opened in 
1742 to the Romanists of the district, but closed about a century 
later. The present Catholic chapel was built in 1861. In 1849 

I. Vestry Book. 2. Ibid. 



school, free to all denominations, was established by Thomas 
Clifton, esq., of Lytham, but there seems to have been such an 
institution existing before, as Ann Moor, of Westby, bequeathed, 
in 1805, ^40 to Plumpton school, and the interest of /2O to the 
poor of Great Plumpton. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 

623 692 771 686 643 707 601 535 

The area of the township is 3,426 statute acres. 

WEETON-WITH-PREESE. On the arrival of the Normans 

Weeton contained 300 acres of arable land. In the 9th year of 

King John, Matilda, wife of Theobald Walter, obtained certain 

inheritances in Weeton, Treales, and Rawcliffe. Theobald le 

Botiler, or Butler, held Weeton in 1249; and in 1339, James, 

son of Edmund le Botiler, earl of Ormond, had possession of it, 

together with Treales, Little Marton, and Out Rawcliffe. The 

manor descended in the same family until 1673, when it passed 

to the 9th earl of Derby on his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter 

of Thomas Butler, the Lord Ossory. The present earl of Derby 

is now the lord of the soil, and holds a court baron by deputy. 

There is a fair for cattle and small wares on the first Tuesday after 

Trinity Sunday. 

Preese is the Pres of Domesday Book, and comprised at that 
time two carucates. Henry, duke of Lancaster, held Preese at his 
death in 1361. In the reign of Henry VIII. the manor was in 
the hands of the Skilicornes, who for many generations were the 
coroners of Amounderness. Preese Hall, the ancient seat of this 
family, was much damaged by a fire in 1732, which destroyed the 
private chapel. In 1864 that portion of the mansion, which had 
survived the conflagration and been repaired, was pulled down. 
The site is now occupied by a farm-house, belonging to T. H. 
Miller, esq., of Singleton, who owns a large amount of the land. 

The church of Weeton is dedicated to St. Michael, and was 
built in 1843 by subscription, to which the late earl of Derby 
contributed generously. In 1852 the edifice was enlarged, and in 
1 86 1 the township of Weeton-with-Preese was united with the 
Plumptons and Greenhalgh, to form an ecclesiastical parish. The 
Rev. William Sutcliffe, when curate at Kirkham, performed the 
duties at Weeton church, and was appointed incumbent there in 


1 86 1. In 1862 he was succeeded by the present vicar, the Rev. 
William Thorold. A National school was erected by subscription 
and a grant from the National Society of ^"30, in 1845. A 
Wesleyan chapel was built about 1827. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 

384 58 473 477 545 4&S 465 433 

The area of the township is 2,876 statute acres. 

MEDLAR- WITH- WESHAM. The abbot and brethren of Cocker sand 
Abbey became possessed of this township at an early date, and 
retained it until the dissolution of monasteries, when the manor 
of Medlar passed, by gift or purchase, to the Westbys, of 
Mowbreck Hall. The estates of the Westbys were confiscated 
by the Commonwealth, and only redeemed on the payment of 
/"i,ooo. The estate and Hall of Mowbreck are still held by 
the same family. 1 The mansion preserves many evidences of its 
great antiquity, including the old chapel and priests' room. 

Bradkirk, in Medlar, belonged to Theobald Walter in 1249, but 
in the reign of Edward III. it was held by a family bearing the 
name of Bradkirk, a title acquired from the estate. The Bradkirks 
resided there as proprietors until somewhere about the opening of 
the 1 7th century, when the earl of Derby had obtained the soil. 
In 1723 Bradkirk was bought by John Richardson, of Preston, 
from Thomas Stanley, of Cross Hall, in Ormskirk parish, who 
held the manor by right of his wife Catherine, sister and heiress 
of Christopher Parker, of Bradkirk, deceased, unmarried, a few 
years before. 2 From John Richardson the manor passed succes- 
sively by will to William Richardson, Edward Hurst, of Preston, 
and James Kearsley, of Over Hulton, by the last of whom it was 
sold in 1797 to Joseph Hornby, esq., of Ribby, and his descendant, 
H. H. Hornby, esq., of Ribby Hall, is the present holder. The 
original Bradkirk Hall, the seat of the Bradkirks and Parkers, has 
long since disappeared, and the edifice now bearing the name was 
erected or rebuilt by Edward Hurst in 1764. 

In 1864 an Independent Day and Sunday school was built by 
Benjamin Whitworth, esq., M.P., of London, on land given by 
R. C. Richards, esq., J.P., of Kirkham, and presented to the 

I. For "Westby of Mowbreck " see Chapter VI. 
2. For " Parker of Bradkirk " see Chapter VI. 


trustees of the chapel belonging to that sect at Kirkham. The 
railway station and several weaving sheds and cotton mills are 
situated in this township. 


1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 

216 230 215 242 209 170 563 860 

GREENHALGH-WITH-THISTLETON. Greenhalgh is stated in the 
Domesday Book to contain three carucates of soil. The township 
was held by the Butlers of the Fylde at an early epoch, and 
retained until 1626 at least, when Henry Butler, of Rawcliffe, was 
lord of Greenhalgh and Thistleton. During the sovereignty of 
Edward I. the abbot of Cockersand had certain rights there, 
including assize of bread and beer. 

Henry Colbourne, of London, bequeathed, in 1655, $ IDS. to 
establish a school at Esprick in this township, but his wishes were 
not properly carried out before 1679, at which date his legacy was 
supplemented by gifts from 41 yeomen in the neighbourhood, and 
a school erected to provide free education to the children of 
Greenhalgh and Thistleton. Further endowments of ^~6o in 
1766 from John Cooper, and ^~8o a little later by subscription, 
were given to the institution ; and in 1805 Mary Hankinson left 
^"200, and Richard Burch, of Greenhalgh, ^"200, to the same object. 
The original school-house, formed of clay and thatched with 
straw, has been pulled down, and a fresh one built. Subsequent 
donations have been received under the wills of the Misses 
Ellen and Hannah Dewhirst, the former of whom left ^"200, 
in addition to a gift of ^"100 during her lifetime, and the latter 
the residue of her estate. 

The interest of ^"20, bequeathed for that purpose by a person 
named Lawrenson, is distributed annually to the poor of 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
378 403 409 408 371 362 383 365 

The township embraces 1,821 statute acres. 

Singletun contained six carucates of arable land, the lord of the 
manor being Roger de Poictou, who gave the tithes at the close 
of the eleventh century to the priory of St. Mary's, Lancaster ; 


this grant was subsequently confirmed by John, earl of Moreton. 1 
During the reigns of kings John and Henry III., Alan de Single- 
ton held a carucate of land in the township by serjeanty of the 
wapentake of Amounderriess. 2 In 20 Edward I. (1292) Thomas 
de Singleton, a descendant of Alan, proved to the satisfaction 
of a jury, when his right to certain offices was called in question, 
that the manor of Little Singleton had belonged to his family 
from time immemorial, and that the serjeanty of Amounderness 
with its privileges and duties, was annexed and appurtenant to 
that manor. Thomas de Singleton admitted, however, when 
called upon by the king's attorney to show by what title he held 
the manors of Singleton, Thornton, and Brughton, the same 
having been amongst the possessions of Richard I. at his death, 
that he did not hold the whole of Singleton, as Thomas de Clifton 
and Caterina his wife had one third of two bovates there ; and 
urged this fact as a plea why he could not be summoned to answer 
the demand as made on behalf of Edward I. His objection was 
allowed. 8 In 1297 Edmund, earl of Lancaster received annually 
2\ from Singleton and 205. from Singleton Grange. At the 
opening of the fourteenth century Little Singleton had passed 
into the hands of the Banastres, for the "hamlet of Singleton 
Parva " was one of the estates of William Banastre at his death 
in 17 Edward II. (1323-24).* Towards the end of the reign of 
Edward II. Thomas, the son of the notorious Sir Adam Banastre, 
held little Singleton and the serjeanty of Amounderness, and by 
the latter of these had a right to the services of two bailiffs and a 
boy to levy executions within the wapentake. 5 

The following notice of Singleton in the time of Henry, duke 
of Lancaster, who died in 1361, occurs amongst the Lansdowne 
manuscripts : 

"In Syngleton there are 21 messuages and 26 bovates of land held by bondsmen, 
who pay annually at the feasts of Easter and St. Michael 21 95. 3d. And there 
are II cottages with so many inclosures, and one croft, and one piece of land in 
the hands of tenants-at- will, paying annually 2 is. 6d. All the aforesaid bonds- 
men owe talliage, and give marchet and heriot, 8 and on the death of her husband 
a widow gives one third part of his property to the lord of the manor, but more 
is claimed in cases where the deceased happen to be widowers. And if any one 

I. Regist. S. Marise, Lane. MS. fol. 1-4. 2. Testa de Nevill. fol. 372. 

3. Placita de Quo Warr. 20 Edw. I. Lane. Rot., I3a. 
4. Escaet. 17 Edw. II. n. 45. 5. The Birch Feodary. 6. Ancient feudal taxes. 


possesses a male fowl it is forbidden to him to sell it without a license. The 
duke of Lancaster owns the aforesaid tenements with right to hold a court. It is 
to be noted that each of the above mentioned bovates of land is to pay at first 
2s. 7d. per annum, with work at the plough and harrow, mowing meadows in 
Ryggeby, and carrying elsewhere the lord's provisions at Richmond, York, 
Doncaster, Pontefract, and Newcastle, with 12 horses in Summer and Winter. 
But afterwards the land was freed from this bondage, and paid per bovate 
143. 3d. ob." 

The lands of Thomas Banastre, before named, in " Syngleton 
Parva, Ethelswyk, Frekulton, Hamylton, Stalmyn," etc., were 
escheated to John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, in 1385, after the 
death of Banastre. 1 

Edmund Dudley, who was attainted in 1509 and afterwards 
executed, held Little Singleton, as well as lands in Elswick, 
Thornton, Wood Plumpton, Freckleton, etc.; 2 and 'in 1521 
Thomas, earl of Derby, held the manor of Syngleton of 
Henry VIII. 3 

In the reign of James I. Great Singleton appears to have 
belonged to the crown, for amongst a number of estates purchased 
from the crown by Edward Badbie and William Weldon, of 
London, for the sum of ^"2,000, is the " manor or lordship of 
Singleton, alias Singleton Magna," the annual rent of which is 
stated to have been^*i6 175. od. Subsequently the manor passed 
to the Fanshaws, and from them to the Shaws ; William Cunliffe 
Shaw, of Preston, esq., sold it to Joseph Hornby, of Ribby Hall, 
esq., and afterwards it was purchased by Thomas Miller, esq., of 
Preston, who greatly improved the property by draining the low 
lying lands known as Singleton Carrs, which in former days were 
frequently in a state of partial or complete inundation. Thomas 
H. Miller, esq., the present owner and eldest son of the late Thos. 
Miller, esq., has recently erected a noble mansion on the estate, 
where he resides during most of the year. 

The earliest notice to be discovered of Singleton Grange is in 
an old schedule of deeds, in which the land is mentioned 
as having been granted by King John in 1215. In 1297, during 
the reign of Edward I., Edmund Crouchback, earl of Lancaster, 
received yearly the sum of 2os. from the estate. Subsequently the 
Grange passed into the possession of the abbot and convent of 

I. Duchy Rolls. 2. Due. Lane. vol. iv. Inq. n. 13. 3. Ibid, vol. v. n. 68. 


Cockersand ; l and at the dissolution of monasteries it became the 
property of Henry VIII., who in 1543 granted it to William 
Eccleston, of Eccleston, gentleman. 2 The Grange descended to 
Thomas, the son, and afterwards to Adam, the grandson, of 
William Eccleston. Adam Eccleston died sometime a little later 
than 1597. The estate after his decease passed through several 
hands in rapid succession, and in 1614 was sold by William 
Ireland, gent., to William Leigh, B.D., clerk in holy orders and 
rector of Standish. Theophilus Leigh, the eldest son of that 
gentleman, resided at Singleton Grange, and married Clare, 
daughter of Thomas Brooke, of Norton, Cheshire, by whom he 
had one son, named William. William Leigh succeeded to the 
Grange on the death of his father in 1658, and espoused Margaret, 
daughter of Edward Chisenhall, of Chisenhall, Lancashire, and 
had issue, Charles and Edward. 

" Charles Leigh, the elder of the two sons, became celebrated as 
a physician and student of natural history and antiquities. He 
was born at the Grange in 1662, and at the age of 21 graduated 
as B.A. at the University of Oxford ; afterwards he removed to 
Cambridge to study medicine, and in 1690 obtained the degree of 
M.D. In 1685 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. 
He married Dorothy, daughter of Edward Shuttleworth, of 
Larbrick, and practised as a physician both in London and in the 
neighbourhood of his birthplace, on one occasion, according to his 
own version, performing a wonderful cure on Alexander Rigby, 
of Lay ton Hall. His published works were Physiologia Lan- 
castriensis, in 1691, and the Natural History of Lancashire, 
Cheshire, and the Peak of Derbyshire, with an account of the 
British, Phoenician, Armenian, Greek, and Roman Antiquities in 
those parts, in 1 700, of which latter Dr; Whittaker remarks : 
"Had this doctor filled his whole book, as he has done nearly 
one-half of it, with medical cases, it might have been of some 
use ; but how, with all possible allowances for the blindness 
and self-partiality of human nature, a man should have thought 
himself qualified to write and to publish critical remarks on a 
subject of which he understood not the elementary principles, 
it is really difficult to conceive." 8 

I. Baines's Hist, of Lancashire. 2. Duchy Records. 3 History of Whalley. 


Somewhere before the commencement of the eighteenth 
century, the estate of Bankfield was separated from the Grange, 
which, during the latter portion, at least, of the lifetime of Dr. 
Leigh, who died shortly after the publication of his u Natural 
History,)!(was held by a person named Joseph Green. In 1701 
the executors of Joseph Green sold a portion of Singleton 
Grange to Richard Harrison, of Bankfield, yeoman. The 
remainder of the Grange land was held by widow Green until 
her death, when it passed by her will, dated 1716, to her two 
sons, Richard and Paul Green. 1 

Richard Harrison, of Bankfield, obtained the whole of Singleton 
Grange in 1738, and left it on his decease to his son Richard, 
from whom it descended about 1836 to his only surviving child, 
Agnes Elizabeth, the wife of Edwards Atkinson, of Fleetwood, 
justice of the peace for the county of Lancaster. Mrs. Atkinson 
died childless in 1850, and bequeathed Singleton Grange to her 
husband, who in his turn entailed the estate upon his eldest son, 
Charles Edward Dyson Atkinson, still a minor, the offspring of a 
second marriage, with Anne, daughter of Christopher Thornton 
Clark, of Cross Hall, Lancashire, by whom he had issue two sons 
and a daughter, Ann Elizabeth Ynocensia, John Henry Glad- 
stone, and the present heir. The old Hall of Singleton Grange 
has been modernised and converted into a farm-house. 

It is very probable that there was a chapel in Singleton 
during the earlier years of the fourteenth century, for in 
1358-59, Henry, duke of Lancaster, granted to John de Estwitton, 
hermit, the custody of the chapel of St. Mary, in Singleton ; 
and in 1440 a license was granted to celebrate mass to the 
inhabitants of Singleton in the chapel at the same place for 
one year. Twelve years afterwards another license was granted 
by the archdeacon of Richmond for an oratory to be established 
in the ehapel for the use of the people of the township ; 
and in 1456 the license was renewed by archdeacon Laurence 
Bothe to John Skilicorne, of Kirkham. The chapel, with 
all its appurtenances, passed to the Crown at the Reformation ; 
and in the report of the Commissioners of Edward VI., it is 
stated that "A Stipendarye is founded in the Chapelle of 

I. Title Deeds. 


Syngleton, in Kirkeham, by vertue of a lease made out of the 
Duchie to S r Richarde Houghton, knight, the 26th day of 
Februarie, in the ffirst yere of the raigne of our soveraign 
lorde the kinge, that nowe is (1547), unto the ende of 21 yeres 
the next following ; wherein the said S r Richarde covenanteth 
to pay yerely duringe the said time to a Pryest celebrating 
in the said Chapelle the sum of 493. The said Chapelle is distant 
from the parishe Church of Kirkeham 4 myles ; Richarde Godson, 
the Incumbent, of the age of 38 yeres, hath the said yerely salarie 
of 495." Thomas Houghton, of Lea, the son of the knight, 
appears to have had some difficulty in inducing sundry of the 
Singleton tenants to recognise his right of proprietorship after 
the death of his father, for we find him pleading in the duchy 
court in 1560-61 that he held the "lands of the late kynge in 
Singleton, also a house called the chapell house, with three 
acres of land in the tenure of W m Yede, a chapell called Singleton 
chapell, in Singleton aforesaid, with the chapell yarde thereunto 
belonging, one house or cottage called Corner-rawe, and a wind- 
mill ; and that the tenants thereof, Robert Carter and James 
Hall, had never paid any rent, and refused to do so." 1 

In 1562 the Charity Commissioners of Edward VI. founded a 
" stipendarye in the Chapelle of Syngleton in Kyrkeham." 

At the archiepiscopal visitation of the diocese of Chester in 
1578, the following list of charges was brought against the curate 
of Singleton : " There is not servyse done in due tyme He 
kepeth no hous nor releveth the poore He is not dyligent in 
visitinge the sycke He doth not teach the catechisme There is 
no sermons He churcheth fornycatours without doinge any 
penaunce He maketh a donge hill of the chapel yeard, and he 
hath lately kepte a typlinge hous and a nowty woman in it." 2 

From that time we hear no more of the old chapel of Singleton, 
but the chapel-house, alluded to above, was at a later period 
flourishing as an inn, and bearing the same name ; at the 
Oliverian survey, in 1650, it was stated that there was a newly 
erected chapel at Singleton, but that it had no endowment or 
maintenance belonging to it, and that the inhabitants prayed that 
it might be constituted a parish church with a " minister and 

I. Record Office. Pleadings, 3 Eliz. 2. Church Presentments at York. 


competent mayntenance allowed." 1 It is probable that after 
the decline of the Commonwealth this chapel fell into the 
hands of the Catholics, for Thomas Tyldesley, of Fox Hall, 
a Romanist, in his diary of 1712, 13 and 14, speaks several times 
of going "to Great Singleton to prayers"; and doubtless it is 
the one alluded to in the following indenture, bearing the date 
sgth August, 1749 : "William Shaw, esq., lord of the manor of 
Shingleton in y e parish of Kirkham, gave a chapel belonging 
to him at Shingleton aforesaid, then used as a popish chapel, to 
be used for y e future as a chapel of ease to y mother church of 
Kirkham, for y e benefit of y e inhabitants of Shingleton and of the 
adjacent townships ; and that the said W m - Shaw proposed to give 
200, to be added to a similar sum from Queen Anne's bounty, 
for y e endowment of y e said chapel, in consideration whereof 
Samuel, lord bishop of Chester as ordinary, the dean and chapter 
of Christ Church, Oxford, as patrons, and Chas. Buck as incumbent, 
by virtue of an act of George I., grant and decree that y e said 
William Shaw and his heirs and assigns for ever shall have y e 
nomination to and patronage of y e said chapel, as often as it is 

This chapel was dedicated to St. Anne, and in 1756 it was 
agreed " by all pa.rt.ies that the chapel of Singleton should be 
always considered a place of public worship according to the 
liturgy of the Church of England, and the chapel yard always 
appropriated to the burying of the dead and the support of the 
minister " ; further, the chapel living was declared a perpetual 
curacy, separate and independent of the mother church of 
Kirkham, "save and except" that the curate must assist the vicar 
of the latter place on Christmas day, Easter day, Whitsunday, 
Good Friday, and each sabbath when it is customary to administer 
the sacrament ; also the tythes, Easter dues, funeral sermons, and 
all other parochial rights and duties belonged to the vicarage of 
Kirkham." 2 

The above is an authentic record of the way in which the 
chapel of Singleton passed out of the hands of the Romanists into 
those of the Protestants, but the Rev. W. Thornber, to whom 
this document was evidently unknown, has given in his History 

l. MSS. Lamb library. 
2. Records of the dean and chapter of Christ Church, Oxford. 




of Blackpool and its neighbourhood, a different version of the 
matter. He states, with apparently no greater authority than 
tradition, that after the suppression of the rebellion of 1745, the 
protestants of the village celebrated the 5th of November more 
zealously than usual, raising contributions of peat at every house, 
and amongst the rest had even the presumption to call at that of 
the priest. The refusal of the ecclesiastic to provide his share of 
fuel so incensed the villagers that they ejected him both from his 
house and the church ; and the lord of the manor seized this 
opportunity to convert the chapel into a protestant place of worship. 
Singleton chapel was a low building with a thatched roof, the 
eaves of which came within a short distance of the ground ; the 
priest's house was attached to the chapel and communicated with 
it by a door into the sacristy. In 1806 this ancient building, 
having become much dilapidated, was pulled down and replaced, 
through the liberality of Joseph Hornby, of Ribby, esq., by a neat 
gothic structure, having a square tower at one end, in which was 
placed a peal of six bells ; in 1859 the latter edifice was levelled to 
the ground, and the present handsome and commodious church 
erected on the site, chiefly through the munificence of the late 
Thomas Miller, esq. The few mural monuments within the 
church are not of any great antiquity, and are in memonam of 
the Harrisons and Atkinsons, of Bankfield. There are no inscrip- 
tions of interest in the churchyard, beyond those on the stones 
surmounting the vault belonging to the Bankfield families just 
named. In 1869 a separate district or parish was assigned to this 
cure, and the present incumbent of the church acquired the title 
of vicar. 


Date of 


Cause of Vacancy. 

About 1545. 
ii 1562. 
In 1651. 

,, 1749- 
About 1809. 
Before 1843. 
In 1543. 

Richard Godson. 
Thomas Fieldhouse. 
Cuthbert Harrison, B.A. 
John Threlfall, B.A. 
Thomas Banks. 
William Birley, M.A. 
Leonard C. Wood, B.A. 

Resignation of W. Birley. 


The Rev. Cuthbert Harrison was the son of Richard Harrison, 
of Newton, in Kirkham parish, and appears to have been the 
progenitor of the Harrisons, of Bankfield, being the first of the 
name on record as holder of that property. It is doubtful 
whether this minister was ejected from Singleton, as generally 
believed, or not, for in 1662, the date of the Act of Uniformity 
which drove so many of the clergy from their cures, he was in 
Ireland, holding the office of minister at Shankel, near Lurgan ; 
so that if his ejection ever did take place from Singleton it must 
have been anterior to, and consequently unconnected with, the 
obnoxious Act. According to a letter from his son, however, he 
was ejected from Shankel, and it is probably that circumstance 
which has given rise to the supposition and assertion that he was 
one of those who suffered in the Fylde for conscience's sake in 1662. 
After leaving Ireland he opened a meeting-house at Elswick in 
1672 by royal license, for the use " of such as do not conform to 
the Church of England and are of the persuasion commonly 
called Congregational." This place of worship was closed shortly 
afterwards by a decree of parliament, and Cuthbert Harrison, to 
escape persecution, was compelled to hold his services "very 
privately in the night " in his own house, or in one belonging to 
some member of his congregation. " He practysed physic," says 
his son, " with good success, and by it supported his family and 
gained the favour of the neighbouring gentry. He baptized his 
own children, with many others." 

Vicar Clegg, of Kirkham, seems to have grown very wrathful 
at what he doubtless regarded as the presumption of Cuthbert 
Harrison, in taking upon himself the right to baptize children and 
solemnize matrimony, and presented him before the ecclesiastical 
court on a charge of "marrying one James Benson, of Warles, and 
baptizing a child of his." The inquiry resulted in both Harrison 
and Benson being excommunicated ; but the former was not 
deterred by this ban from repairing to the church of Kirkham, 
much to the indignation of Mr. Clegg, who on one occasion was 
so much disturbed on seeing the irrepressible excommunicant in 
the chancel, whilst he engaged with the sermon, that he lost the 
thread of his discourse, and being unable to find the place 
amongst his notes, " was silent for some time." Smarting under 
the additional annoyance the vicar ordered the churchwardens to 



eject Mr. Harrison from the building at once, but that gentleman 
refused to leave unless Mr. Clegg in person performed the duty of 
turning him out ; incensed at his show of obstinacy, the vicar 
appealed to Christopher Parker, esq., of Bradkirk Hall, a justice 
of the peace, who was seated within six feet of Mr. Harrison, to 
remove him, but the magistrate refused to act in the matter, and 
Mr. Clegg was obliged to descend from the pulpit and undertake 
the unpleasant task himself. He walked up to the offender, and, 
taking him by the sleeve, desired him to go out from the church ; 
Mr. Harrison went peaceably with the vicar, but had no sooner 
passed out through the chancel door than he exclaimed in a loud 
voice " It is time to go when the devil drives." 

Shortly after this episode Mr. Clegg sued Cuthbert Harrison for 
the sum of 1203., being a fine of 205. per month extending over 
six months, for non-attendance at the parish church. The 
defendant pleaded that when he had attempted to attend the 
service at Kirkham he had been ejected from the church by the 
plaintiff himself, and the judge who summed up the evidence in 
favour of the defendant, remarked " There is fiddle to be hanged 
and fiddle not to be hanged." The verdict went against Mr. 
Clegg, who reaped only the payment of his own and defendant's 
costs from this piece of persecution. 

Cuthbert Harrison died in 1681, and "a great entreaty," writes 
his son, " was made to Mr. Clegg to suffer his body to be buried 
in the church ; he was prevailed with, and Mr. Harrison was 
interred a little within the great door, which has since been the 
burial place of the family." The first epitaph below is said, by 
his son, to have been fixed upon " Cuth. Harrison's grave by Mr. 
Clegg"; the second one is a retaliation, reported to have been 
substituted by some local rhymester, after effacing the original 
one : 

I 2 

" Here lies Cud, Here lies Cud, 

Who never did good, Who still did good, 

But always was in strife ; And never was in strife, 

Oh ! let the Knave But with Dick Clegg, 

Lie in his grave, Who furiously opposed 

And ne'er return to life." His holy life." 

In 1768 another chapel was erected by the Romanists at 
Singleton by subscription, and almost immediately the officiating 


priest, the Rev. Father Watts, renounced his creed, publicly 
recanting at Kirkham ; he died in 1773, when minister at the 
episcopal chapel of Wrea-green. According to Mr. Thornber, the 
priests of Singleton could seldom assign a better reason for 
desiring a removal to another sphere of labour, than that they 
were surfeited with wild ducks from the " carrs." The chapel was 
rebuilt subsequently, but closed when the present one at Poulton 
had been completed and opened a few years. 

Mains or Maynes Hall is situated in the manor of Little 
Singleton, and appears on ancient maps as Monk's Hall. The 
original Hall was built in the form of a quadrangle, the chapel 
being on the right and the kitchen on the left ; the latter, taken 
down rather more than half a century ago, was roofed with tiles, 
about six inches square, piled thickly upon one another, and 
contained several secret recesses or hiding places, one of which 
was situated near the mantel-piece, and another, entered from the 
floor above by means of a ladder, showed manifest evidences of 
having been occupied. The present Hall is less antique in its 
construction and arrangements than its predecessor. In 1745 a 
party of Scotch rebels feasted there ; and George IV., when 
Prince of Wales, is said to have been an occasional visitor at the 
mansion. The mantel-piece of the drawing-room was formerly 
adorned with a family painting of the Howards, dukes of Norfolk; 
and adjoining that spacious apartment is a small room, which 
appears to have been an oratory, containing relics of distinguished 
saints. The outside wall of the old chapel bears the date 1686, 
and within are a gilded altar in a state of dilapidation, a large 
picture of the ' Virgin and Infant,' a coat of arms, and various 
scraps of scriptural texts and ordinances of the church of Rome. 1 

Cardinal Allen, of Rossall Hall, the brother-in-law of William 
Hesketh, who was living at Mains Hall at the opening of the 
seventeenth century, is said to have frequently secreted himself 
in the hiding places there, during the time he was engaged in 
endeavouring to alienate the loyalty of the catholics of this 
district, and induce them to assist the invasion of Philip of Spain, 
whose forces were expected to land at Peel in Morecambe Bay. 

The Heskeths were the first tenants of Mains Hall of whom we 
have any notice, and the above William was the first of the family 

I. This description is of Mains Hall forty years ago, as seen by Mr. Thornber. 


to reside there ; a full account of the descent and intermarriages 
of the Heskeths of Mains will be found in the chapter on ancient 
families of the Fylde. 

The Hall and estate are now the property of Thomas Fitzherbert 
Brockholes, of Claughton, esq. 

1801. l8ll. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
325 396 501 499 391 293 338 317 
The area of the township comprises 2,860 statute acres. 

LITTLE ECCLESTON-WITH-LARBRICK. The Testa de Nevill records 
that Adam de Eccleston and William de Molines, with three oth ers, 
had part of a knight's fee in Eccleston and Larbrick, about 1300. 
In 1 500 Richard Kerston had 60 acres in Little Eccleston , a 
portion of which passed on his death in 1546 to John ffrance, who 
had married one of his daughters. The ffrances retained their 
possessions until 1817, when they were bequeathed by the last of 
the line to Thomas Wilson, of Preston, who adopted their sur- 
name. 1 Larbrick was held in 1336 by William de Coucy, of 
Gynes, but in 1358 it belonged to Sir William Molyneux, of 
Sefton, in whose family it remained until about 1601, at which 
date William Burgh, of Burgh, near Chorley, died, holding it. 
Subsequently the manor passed, through the daughter of 
William Burgh, to Edward Shuttleworth, of Thornton Hall, 
who had espoused her grand-daughter. The last proprietor 
here named died in 1673, and the estate was divided, a 
moiety going to Dr. Charles Leigh, who had married one of 
his two daughters and co-heiresses, and the second mediety 
to Richard Longworth, who was the husband of the other. Dr. 
Leigh mortgaged his share, which eventually was obtained by 
Richard Harrison, of Bankfield ; whilst that of Richard Long- 
worth, passed, about 1700, to the Hornbys, of Poulton, and after- 
wards to the Pedders, of Preston, who held it for more than a 
century. Mr. Whiteside, who purchased it from the Rev. Jno. 
Pedder, is now owner. Larbrick Hall, for long a seat of the 
noble house of Molyneux, is at presented represented by a farm- 
house. Dr. Leigh mentions an extremely cold well in Larbrick, 
in which fish were unable to survive beyond a few seconds. 

I. For " ffrance of Little Eccleston" see Chapter VI. 



In 1697, William Gillow left ids. a year, the rental of some 
land, to be given to two or more poor persons of the township at 
Christmas, and in 1720, a further annual sum of 2OS. was left for 
the same object by George Gillow. 

1801. 1811. 1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 
178 192 224 230 199 215 209 192 

The area of the township is 1,198 statute acres. 

CLIFTON- WITH-SAL WICK. As early as noo William de Clifton 
had lands in Clifton and Salwick, and from that date to the 
present time, with one short interval, the manors have descended 
in the same family, of which Jno. Talbot Clifton, esq., of Lytham, 
is the head. 1 Clifton and Salwick Halls,