Townships
Sefton

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

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1907

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66-74

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'Townships: Sefton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3 (1907), pp. 66-74. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41292 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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SEFTON

Sextone, Dom. Bk.; Ceffton, 1242; Sefton, 1292, and afterwards general; but Shefton (1300) appears at times. Sephton became a common spelling in the xvii cent.

This township has an area of 1,233½ acres, (fn. 1) with a population of 343 in 1901. The eastern boundary is formed by the River Alt, except where the present course of the stream has been restricted to the centre of Sefton meadows, the whole of these lying within the township. In time of frost they are flooded for the amusement of skaters. The church and the mill stand at the western edge. A few dwellings amid a clump of trees cluster round the church; there are also hamlets called Sefton Town, Buckley Hill, and Windle's Green. The moated site of the ancient house of the Molyneux family (fn. 2) lies to the south-east of the church, but nothing remains above the ground of the buildings finally dismantled in 1720. Part of it was standing till 1817. Close to the site, on the south, is a farmhouse, known as The Grange, retaining some seventeenth-century details, and a barn of late sixteenth-century date, though much patched with later work. The mill over the Alt is said to have been built in 1595, and has a four-centred doorway and chimney-piece which may well be of that date.

The geological formation consists of the lower keuper sandstone of the new red sandstone or trias, overlaid by sand and thick boulder clay and by alluvial deposit between the village and the River Alt. The soil varies; the subsoil is sand and clay. Wheat, barley, oats, and rye are grown, as well as potatoes; but cabbages are now the chief crop.

The principal road is that from Liverpool to Ormskirk; at Sefton Town the road to Thornton and Great Crosby branches off. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal crosses the southern part of the township.

Thomas Pennant, who visited the place in 1773, appears to have been pleased with its aspect, 'placed on a vast range of fine meadows, that reach almost to the sea and in a great measure supply Liverpool with hay. It is watered by the Alt, a small trout stream; but after the first winter flood is covered with water the whole season, by reason of want of fall to carry it away.' (fn. 3)

John Sadler of Liverpool, the inventor of a process of transferring patterns to earthenware, was buried here. (fn. 4)

The flail was till recently used in threshing. (fn. 5)
The township is governed by a parish council.
The churchyard cross has disappeared, but there are pedestals of others. The pinfold stood in Brickwall Lane; the stocks were renewed in 1725 and 1791; the ducking-stool is mentioned in 1728. (fn. 6)

About 1760 Sefton became the head quarters of a social club calling itself the Ancient and Loyal Corporation of Sefton. The members were in the main merchants and tradesmen of Liverpool, who assembled at the Punch Bowl Inn at Sefton every Sunday and regulated their proceedings after the customs of the borough corporation, the chairman being called the mayor and elected in October for a year, other officers being called bailiffs, recorder, town clerk, &c., while there were aldermen, common council men, and free burgesses. For a number of the members mock offices were provided, as: An African Committee Man, Governor of the Tantum Quarry on the Gold Coast, Prince of Anamaboe or Palaver Settler, Poet Laureate, Butter Weigher, and Contractor for Gunpowder. A lady patroness was also duly elected. They had their regalia, long preserved at the Punch Bowl Inn, consisting of two large maces and two small ones, a sword, wands, cocked hats, and gowns, and at one time a silver oar; the earliest mace bears the inscription, 'The gift of F. Cust, Esq., 1764.' They are now in the Liverpool Museum. (fn. 7)

MANOR

At the death of Edward the Confessor five thegns held SEFTON, which was assessed at one hide, and was worth 16s. beyond the customary rent. (fn. 8) It appears to have been granted about 1100 by Roger of Poitou to the ancestor of Richard de Molyneux (living in 1212), and was the chief place of a fee consisting of ten and a half ploughlands held by this family by the service of half a knight. (fn. 9) The family of Molyneux, the head of which may perhaps be considered to have been one of the 'barones comitatus,' have continued to hold the manor without interruption to the present day, and from it are derived the titles of Earl of Sefton and Baron Sefton borne by the head of the family.


Molyneux, Earl of Sefton. Azure, a cross moline or.

The ancestor mentioned was probably Robert de Molyneux, to whom about 1125 Stephen, count of Boulogne and Mortain, granted land in Down Litherland. (fn. 10) In the latter half of the century Richard de Molyneux, (fn. 11) sometimes called Richard son of Robert, held the estates; from him the descent of the manor is clearly established. (fn. 12)

His son and successor was Adam, who held the manors for about thirty-five years, and appears to have been one of the most prominent men in the district in his time. (fn. 13) He is sometimes described as a knight. (fn. 14) William his son followed; a number of his grants have been preserved, (fn. 15) and his name occurs as a witness down to 1275; (fn. 16) some traditional verses say that he was made a banneret in Gascony and died in 1289. (fn. 17) He certainly died before 1292, when his son Richard was in possession of Sefton, and concerned in various suits. (fn. 18) Richard died about 1320, having shortly before made a number of grants to his younger children by Emma, who was perhaps a second wife. (fn. 19)

William, the eldest son, succeeded. (fn. 20) In 1327 he was one of those charged to engage men in this hundred to serve in the Scottish war. (fn. 21) He died before 29 June, 1336, when the manor of Sefton was released to his son Richard, (fn. 22) who held it for nearly thirty years, dying on 6 April, 1363, (fn. 23) his son William having predeceased him in 1358. (fn. 24) The new lord of Sefton was William's son William, aged about eighteen years at his grandfather's death. (fn. 25) His tenure, however, was but short, for he died in 1372 after distinguishing himself in the wars in France and Spain. (fn. 26) There was again a minority, this time a long one, the son and heir Richard being in 1388 still a minor, (fn. 27) whose wardship was granted to a relative, Thomas de Molyneux of Cuerdale. (fn. 28)

Again there was a short tenure of the manors and a long minority, for Richard died 27 December, 1397, leaving a son and heir Richard, not quite fifteen months old. (fn. 29) The latter fought under Henry V in the French wars and was made a knight; (fn. 30) in 1424 occurred his quarrel with the Stanleys, which threatened to become a private war. (fn. 31) Henry VI, for services rendered and expected, granted him and his heirs the offices of master forester of the forest and parks of West Derbyshire, steward of this wapentake and of Salfordshire, and constable of the castle of Liverpool. (fn. 32) By his first wife, Joan, daughter and heir of Sir Gilbert Haydock, (fn. 33) he had several sons. (fn. 34)

Richard, the eldest son and heir, notwithstanding the feud with Stanley, had been married before 1432 to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Stanley, (fn. 35) by whom he had several children. (fn. 36) He is stated to have been killed at the battle of Blore Heath, 23 September, 1459, fighting on the Lancastrian side, (fn. 37) and was succeeded by his eldest son Thomas, who married Anne, a daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Dutton of Dutton, another of those who fell at Blore Heath. (fn. 38) Thomas Molyneux was sheriff in 1473 and later years, (fn. 39) and in 1475 accompanied Edward IV on his expedition to France; (fn. 40) in 1481 he received from the king a grant of the manor of Ulnes Walton, moieties of Eccleston, Leyland, Heskin and Kellamergh, and various other lands and rents in Lancashire for the service of one knight's fee and £100 rent. (fn. 41) He also purchased the advowson of Walton. (fn. 42) In 1482 he joined the expedition to Scotland, and was knighted at the recovery of Berwick. (fn. 43) He died 12 July, 1483, leaving as his heir his son Richard, then five years of age, (fn. 44) and other children.

There was once more a long minority, during which, as the Croxteth Deeds show, the widow, Dame Anne Molyneux, was a vigilant guardian, bent on increasing the family possessions. (fn. 45) William, a younger brother of Richard, became heir on the latter's death, attaining his majority about 1502. (fn. 46) He took part in three expeditions to Scotland, capturing two banners at Flodden, and receiving a letter of thanks from Henry VIII. (fn. 47) It was perhaps in his time that Croxteth became the principal residence of the family, as Leyland found it in 1535: 'Mr. Molyneux, a knight of great lands, two miles from Prescot, dwelleth at a place called Croxteth.' (fn. 48) In 1545 William Molyneux assigned certain lands to his son Richard to enable the latter to maintain hospitality within the manor place of Sefton. (fn. 49) He died in 1548. (fn. 50)

His son and heir Richard had special livery of his lands on 13 June in that year. (fn. 51) He was made a knight at the coronation of Queen Mary in 1553, (fn. 52) and was sheriff of Lancashire in 1566. (fn. 53) Before his death on 3 January, 1568–9, (fn. 54) having apparently shown some conformity to the established religion, 'he received absolution and did vow that he would take the pope to be supreme head of the Church.' (fn. 55)

The heir was his grandson Richard, son of William Molyneux, only ten years of age. (fn. 56) He was given into the guardianship of Sir Gilbert Gerard, Master of the Rolls, one of the stricter Protestants of the time, and eventually married his guardian's eldest daughter. (fn. 57) He was made a knight in 1586, (fn. 58) twice served as sheriff, (fn. 59) became receiver of the duchy, (fn. 60) and in 1611 was created a baronet, the second to hold the new dignity. (fn. 61) Although, as might be expected from his training, he remained outwardly a Protestant, and joined in the persecution of the Blundells of Crosby, (fn. 62) it was in 1590 reported that while he 'made show of good conformity,' many of his company were 'of evil note' in religion. (fn. 63) Consequently it is not surprising to find that his descendants in the freer time of the Stuarts reverted openly to the Roman Catholic faith. (fn. 64) He died 24 February, 1622–3, (fn. 65) and was succeeded by his eldest son, Richard, who five years later was raised to the peerage of Ireland as Viscount Molyneux of Maryborough. (fn. 66) He did not long enjoy his new honour, dying 8 May, 1636, at Croxteth, holding the hereditary offices of forester of West Derbyshire, steward within the wapentakes of Salford and West Derby, and constable of the castle of Liverpool; and possessed of the manors of Sefton, Netherton, and Lunt, with many other manors and lands. (fn. 67) His son and heir, Richard, seventeen years of age, was entrusted to the guardianship of James, Lord Strange, his father-in-law. (fn. 68) Lord Molyneux, with his brother Caryll, zealously espoused the king's side on the outbreak of the Civil War, taking part in the siege of Manchester in 1642, the capture of Lancaster and Preston, the battle of Newbury in the following year, and that of Ormskirk in August, 1644, (fn. 69) when he and Lord Byron, being forced to forsake their horses, hid themselves in the cornfields. (fn. 70) In May 1646, after the surrender of Ludlow, he came in, sent his petition to the Parliament, and took the National Covenant and Negative Oath on 20 August. (fn. 71) His estates were of course under sequestration, and from this time he appears to have lived at the mercy of the Parliament, with but a scanty allowance. He died early in July 1654, without issue. (fn. 72)

His brother Caryll succeeded as third viscount. By James II he was made lord lieutenant of Lancashire and admiral of the high seas, a grant which, on religious grounds, gave great offence and had to be revoked. (fn. 73) At the Revolution he was faithful to the king, seizing Chester Castle on his behalf; (fn. 74) in 1694 he was put on trial for participation in the 'Lancashire Plot.' (fn. 75) He died 2 February, 1699–1700, and was buried at Sefton. (fn. 76) He was succeeded by his third son, William, who in 1717, shortly before his death, as a 'Papist' registered his estate in the manors of Sefton, &c. as worth £2,352 a year. (fn. 77) He does not seem to have had any share in the rising of 1715. (fn. 78) His eldest son, Richard, succeeded and, leaving only two daughters, (fn. 79) was at his death in 1738 followed in turn by his brothers Caryll (fn. 80) and William. The latter, being a priest and a Jesuit, in charge of the mission at Scholes, near Prescot, on succeeding in 1745, resigned to his younger brother Thomas all his estates, the reason put forward being that he was 'old and had no intention to marry.' (fn. 81) It is said that on Thomas's death in 1756 Lord Molyneux was ordered to 'cease parish duty and appear in his own rank,' and that he accordingly did so until his death in 1759. (fn. 82)

His nephew, Charles William, son of the Thomas Molyneux just named, succeeded as eighth viscount. He was then only ten years of age. He conformed to the established religion on 5 March, 1769, (fn. 83) probably under the influence of his wife, Isabella, daughter of the earl of Harrington, a step which was rewarded by the grant of an earldom in the peerage of Ireland in 1771. (fn. 84) His son, William Philip, succeeded in 1794. He took an active part in politics on the Whig or popular side, and though unsuccessful at Liverpool was returned as member for Droitwich in 1816. Retaining his seat until 1831 he was by William IV created a baron of the United Kingdom, as Lord Sefton of Croxteth. (fn. 85) He died in 1838. (fn. 86)

His son Charles William, who died in 1855, (fn. 87) succeeded, and was followed by his eldest son William Philip (died 1897), (fn. 88) who in turn was succeeded by his eldest son Charles William Hylton (died 1901), and by his second son Sir Osbert Cecil Molyneux, the sixth earl, and present lord of the manor of Sefton. (fn. 89) See Pedigree next page.

No manorial courts are now held. Several fifteenth-century court rolls are preserved at Croxteth; the officers appointed were the constables, 'birelagh' men, ale-tasters, afferers, and layers of the mise. A 'view of the houses' taken in December, 1411, has also been preserved, recording the various dilapidations which had to be made good under penalties set forth.

The Pepperfield in Sefton, comprising 6 acres of land lying next to the Hanecroft, was in 1294 given by Richard de Molyneux to his son Peter. (fn. 90) By Peter it was granted to Richard the Judge or Doomsman of Down Litherland in 1335; (fn. 91) and from Richard 'the Demand' of Ince—no doubt the same person— it passed by charter in 1344 to Robert his son and heir and Emma his wife. (fn. 92) The next step is unknown; but in 1395–6 Richard de Eves of Thornton gave to Henry Boys the 6 acres called Pepperfield, (fn. 93) and about fourteen years afterwards Richard de Eves and Maud his wife sold it to Nicholas Blundell of Little Crosby, Henry Boys, son of William Highson, releasing all his right therein. (fn. 94) Next Henry Blundell gave to Robert, son of John Molyneux of Melling, in 1454–5 a pound of pepper with the field called Pepperfield. (fn. 95)

The EDGE in Sefton is in one charter called a manor. (fn. 96) An estate here was granted in 1315 by Richard de Molyneux to his son Thomas, (fn. 97) whose mother Emma in 1334 made him steward of all her lands and commanded her tenants to render account of all matters to him; (fn. 98) two years later he released to her all his right to the marsh of Sefton and the heys and meadows there. (fn. 99) He died shortly after, for at the beginning of 1337, Cecily, widow of Thomas de Molyneux, acquired a lease of lands in Great Crosby. (fn. 100) His son Thomas appears to have acquired the manor of Cuerdale, and took his distinguishing title from it; (fn. 101) his widow Joan was at the beginning of 1388 put in possession of various lands of his, including the Edge in Sefton. (fn. 102) After her death his lands descended in the Osbaldestons of Osbaldeston, (fn. 103) until in 1589 the Edge and others were sold by Edward Osbaldeston and John his son to Sir Richard Molyneux, (fn. 104) since which time they have formed part of the Sefton estate of the Molyneux family.


Molyneux of Cuerdale. Azure, a cross moline or; in dexter chief a fleur de lis argent


MOLYNEUX OF SEFTON

MOLYNEUX OF SEFTON

In the seventeenth century a family named Baron held it of them. Lawrence Baron in 1652 petitioned for the restoration to him of a portion of the tenement, two-thirds of his late grandfather's estate having been sequestered for recusancy. (fn. 105) 'Mr. Baron of the Edge' is mentioned several times in Nicholas Blundell's Diary of the early part of the following century. (fn. 106)

Gorsthill and the family named from it have been mentioned; like the Edge it became the property of Thomas de Molyneux of Cuerdale. (fn. 107)

Some of the inhabitants seem to have taken Sefton as a surname; (fn. 108) but this was perhaps more commonly applied after they had left the township. (fn. 109)

Besides Lord Molyneux two other 'Papists' registered estates here in 1717, viz. Robert Shepherd, a leaseholder, and Mary Cornwallis of St. Giles in the Fields, London, daughter of Francis Cornwallis, who had an annuity of 100£. purchased from Caryll, Lord Molyneux. (fn. 110)

The parish church has already been described.

After the Reformation there are no records of the existence of the Roman Catholic worship in the township until the middle of the seventeenth century, when a chapel in the old hall was served by Benedictines or Carmelites down to 1792. In this year Dom Vincent Gregson, who had been there for nearly forty years, persuaded the earl of Sefton to grant him land at Netherton for a chapel and presbytery; the chapel, St. Bennet's, was opened in the following year, and is still served by a Benedictine father. (fn. 111)

Footnotes

1 The census of 1901 gives 1,231 acres, including 9 of inland water.
2 In 1666 it had thirty-three hearths; Lay Subs. Lancs. 250–9.
3 Downing to Alston Moor, 27.
4 See Trans. Hist. Soc. vii, 184–8; Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Catholics, v, 463.
5 Caröe and Gordon, Sefton, 52.
6 Ibid. 120–3, quoting the churchwardens' accounts. On the remains of the crosses see H. Taylor in Trans. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 184–5.
7 Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiii, 223; xxxiv, 25; and Caröe and Gordon, Sefton, 132– 486. The members assembled at Sefton in the morning, went in procession to the church, styled by them 'the cathedral,' where they had a special pew at the west end with three rows of seats for the burgesses and a separate square box for the mayor. Then they had an early dinner in a room called the Mansion House, part of the old Church Inn, attended the afternoon service, and spent the rest of the time in amusing themselves, or as they expressed it, 'spending the afternoon with the usual festivity and closing the day with the utmost harmony.' Politics were usually excluded, but on one occasion (in 1784) a halter was voted to Charles James Fox, and the freedom of the corporation to William Pitt. The heroes of the time were toasted and much loyalty was exhibited, as, for instance, on the king's restoration to health in 1789. In the same year resolutions were passed 'to show the corporation's indignant sense of the ridiculous motion for abolishing the slave trade proposed by Fanatic Wilberforce.' The meetings continued till about 1810, but in the later years were in the winter held at the Coffee House, Bootle—Sefton being probably difficult of access at that season.
8 V. C. H. Lancs. i, 284a. It should be observed that in later times Sefton was rated as five plough-lands only.
9 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lanc. and Ches.), 12. The 10½ ploughlands seem to have been made up thus: Sefton, 6; Thornton, 1; half Down Litherland, 1½; Cuerden, 2.
10 Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 427; see also the account of Litherland.
Robert received a plough-land in Thornton from Pain de Vilers, lord of Warrington; Inq. and Extents, 7.
The surname is derived from Moulineaux (Molinelli) in the department of the Seine Inférieure; see Rot. Normanniae (Rec. Com.) i, passim. It has shown a great variety of spellings, e.g. Mulineals, 1181; Molinell, 1193; Mulinas, 1212; de Mulinellis, 1226; Mulyneus, 1242; Molyneaus, 1249; Molyneus, 1256; Molyneux, 1337. The more ancient and correct form of the name was 'de' Molyneux, but by the fourteenth century 'le' Molyneux had become usual.
11 Perhaps there were two Richards in succession, the earlier appearing in 1164; Lancs. Pipe R. 375.
12 Robert, the father of the Richard of 1212, made several grants recorded in the survey, which at the date named were held by his nephews; and Richard himself had also made some grants; Inq. and Extents 12–14. One of these was to Simon his brother of land called Hagenecroft in Sefton; the bounds are of interest: In length from the syke of the Yitefelt to the syke nearest Hagenecroft at the road from Sefton to Thornton; and in breadth from Pepper-field to the next road, which goes from Crosby towards the church. The rent was to be 2s. a year. At the end of the witnesses are the names Vivian de Molyneux and Robert his brother, probably sons of the grantor. The charter is at Croxteth, but the seal is missing; Croxteth D. X, bdle. iv, n. 2. This land appears to have reverted to the lord, for in 1249 William de Molyneux gave half or the whole of it to Robert de Molyneux of Thornton; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 110.
Richard de Molyneux appears in the Pipe Roll of 1181–2 as offering 20s. for leave to agree with the men of Singleton; Lancs. Pipe R. 46. Shortly afterwards he attested a charter by Albert Bussel; ibid. 377. In 1194 he rendered account of 100s. for securing the king's good will after implication in the rebellion of Count John; ibid. 77. From this time his name occurs frequently as contributing to scutages, &c.; ibid. 133 et seq.
He granted land in Larbreck to Cockersand Abbey; and he and his brother Robert were witnesses to a grant to William Blundell of Ince; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), i, 185; Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 498.
Richard de Molyneux married, it is supposed, a daughter of one of the Gernets, for Roger Gernet, master forester from about 1140 to 1170, gave him Speke in marriage, and Adam, Roger, and Vivian soon appear among the Molyneux names; Inq. and Extents, 43.
A Vivian de Molyneux was witness to a Furness charter in the last years of the twelfth century; Cal. Doc. Scotland, i, 41.
13 On 24 November, 1213, Adam de Molyneux made fine with the king for 40 marks to have his father Richard's lands; Lancs. Pipe R. 246.
Adam paid 6s. sakefee in 1226, and was still holding the Sefton fee in 1242; Inq. and Extents, 137, 147. He died between Oct. 1246 and Feb. 1249; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 104, 109. In 1228 he was one of those commissioned to decide what parts of the forest in Lancs. should be disforested; Lancs. Pipe R. 420.
14 The title 'Dominus' is prefixed in Whalley Coucher, ii, 497 et seq.
An Edwin de Molyneux occurs about 1230; ibid. ii, 527.
15 As William de Molyneux, son of Adam, he granted to Henry, son of Thomas the Reeve, a portion of the demesne of Sefton; and to Richard Fox and his heirs several portions of land in territory of the vill; to William, son of Simon de Gragnethe, he gave a part of the demesne lands upon the Gorsthill and a messuage and curtilage in Little Sefton; and to his brother Roger's son William he made another grant upon the Gorsthill; Croxteth D. Ec, 1; Ee, 3, 4, 6; Ee, 5; Genl. i, 2. Speke he granted to his daughter Joan on her marriage with Robert Erneys of Chester; Norris D. (B. M.), n. 480 *.
He had a brother Richard to whom he was heir; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 12, m. 27b.
16 Blundell of Crosby D. K. 278.
17 Gisborne Molineux, Memoirs of the Molineux Family, 3. No reference is given, but it is possible that these lines were once inscribed on a tomb in Sefton church.
18 Assize R. 408, m. 36d. 100d. In the former of these suits Margery, widow of Robert de Molyneux, unsuccessfully claimed certain tenements in Sefton. In the latter Richard himself was plaintiff in conjunction with William de Walton, they alleging that William de Aintree and others had carried away a cross from a place called Hosyere Cross between Sefton and Walton, probably obscuring the boundary; the cross was ordered to be replaced. An arbitration in 1300 respecting the bounds of Aintree and Sefton was perhaps a result of this litigation; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 4.
19 One of the most notable of his grants was made to Thomas his son in 1315, being a quitclaim of all his right in Little Salton and other lands in the Lothians which formerly belonged to Vivian de Molyneux, 'whose heir I (Richard) am'; Lancs. Pipe R. 428, from Dods. MSS. lxi, fol. 114. It is possible that Vivian de Molyneux, who has been mentioned in a previous note as living about 1200, was an elder brother of Adam, who succeeded to Sefton in 1213.
To Peter his son Richard de Molyneux in 1311 granted a plot of his meadow lying in the Little Hesteholm; and four years later to Thomas his son, with remainder to Peter, Richard granted land in Sefton lying between Sefton and Thornton, another piece on the Edge and three acres in the Hesteholm—now Estham in Sefton meadows; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 6, 7.
At the end of 1318 and beginning of 1319 there were a number of grants and re-grants between the father on one side and Peter and Thomas on the other; ibid. Genl. i, 8–14. Emma, it appears from them, was the mother of these sons, if not of the heir. Emma was still living in 1336; ibid. Genl. i, 22. In a claim by her for dower will be found the names of a number of the tenants; De Banc. R. 240, m. 394 b.
20 In July, 1320, William son of Richard de Molyneux inspected various charters of his father granting lands to Peter de Molyneux, and confirmed them; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 16–19. In 1321 he demanded from Emma, his father's widow, and from Peter and Thomas, three charters and three bonds; De Banc. R. 238, m. 53.
In 1324 he obtained from William, son of Robert the Fowler, certain lands lying on the Moiedge in Sefton, towards Great Crosby; ibid. X, i, 4.
Beside his heir he seems to have had a son Robert and a daughter Emma; Duchy of Lanc. Assize, R. 4, m. 11; De Banc. R. 274, m. 16 d.
In 1324 Richard de Molyneux is given as holding Sefton by the service of half a knight's fee, 6s. sakefee, and 5s. castle ward; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 34. This probably refers to William's father, in error.
21 Rot. Scotiae (Rec. Com.), 218.
22 Croxteth D. Genl. i, 26; by this Richard de Molyneux, rector of Sefton, appointed Richard del Lund, clerk, to deliver to Richard, the son of William de Molyneux, deceased, the manor of Sefton with the appurtenances, and the homage and service of the free tenants, &c. This Richard seems to have immediately refeoffed the rector; ibid. i, 27.
In 1332 he was defendant in a suit respecting houses and land in Sefton brought by William son of Hugh de Standish; and plaintiff in another case; De Banc. R. 291, m. 185; 292, m. 554 d.
23 Inq. p. m. 42 Edw. III, n. 40 (1st Nos.); he had held the manor of Sefton and the advowson of the church, with remainder to his son William and heirs male, of the duke of Lancaster, by homage and suit at the wapentake of Derby from three weeks to three weeks. The value was about £55 a year, made up, £20 from the rents of tenants at will, and the rest from the estimated worth of the capital messuage and its appurtenances, 140 acres of arable land at 2s. an acre, and 80 acres of meadow at 5s. an acre. He had also held the manors of Down Litherland and Thornton.
In 1346 he was found to hold five plough-lands in Sefton, one in Thornton, and two in Cuerden by the service of half a knight's fee and by paying yearly 11s. for sake fee and ward of Lanc. Castle, doing suit to county and wapentake by his tenant Thomas the Demand; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 32. Litherland is given separately, and said to be held in socage.
He was twice married—to Agatha and to Isabel—and nine sons and daughters are mentioned, viz. William, Richard, John (who had sons Thomas and Nicholas), Robert, Thomas, Peter, Simon, Ellen and Joan; see Croxteth D. Bb, i, 3, and Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. p. 346.
In 1337 the manor of Down Litherland was settled on Richard, son of William de Molyneux, and Agatha his wife, and their sons William, Richard, and Thomas; and seven years later to Gilbert de Scarisbrick Richard granted a rent of 40 marks for the life of Agatha his wife; Croxteth D. G. i, 8; Ee, 19.
In October, 1361, the feoffees gave to Richard de Molyneux and Isabel his wife the lands and tenements in Sefton, Thornton, &c., which they had had from Richard. At the beginning of the following year Richard de Molyneux enfeoffed Thomas del Hall and others of his manor of Sefton and the advowson of the church, and Thomas, son of Richard, released all his right in the same; ibid. Genl. i, 35, 31–3. At the same time the father released all his right in the same to his son Richard; ibid. 34.
Isabel survived her husband and is mentioned in charters of 1365 and 1369; ibid. Y. i, 8 and Genl. i, 37. In 1368 she, as widow of Richard, made a claim against William de Molyneux for a third part of the manor of Sefton. In the pleadings it is stated that William was son of William the son of Richard by his first wife Agatha; De Banc. R. 431, m. 29.
24 Inq. p.m. 33 Edw. III, n. 99 (2nd Nos.); on his marriage with Joan, daughter and heir of Robert de Holland of Euxton and Ellel, William had received from his father the manor of Larbreck. He died on 1 October, 1358, at Château Neuf en Thimerais, a district to the north-west of Chartres, his son William being then stated to be twelve years of age. A later inquisition (Inq. p. m. 36 Edw. III, pt. i, No. 120) makes the same statement, but he was about two years older.
An agreement was made in 1359 as to the wardship and marriage of William son of William son of Richard de Molyneux, between Richard son of William de Molyneux, and John de Winwick, rector of Wigan: the right of wardship was in dispute, the king claiming it; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. p. 346.
25 He did homage to the duke of Lancaster 29 Sept. 1366, and had livery of his lands; Inq. p. m. of his grandfather Richard.
26 He is called a knight in the inquisition after his son's death. The tradition is that he was made a banneret in 1367 after the battle of Navarette, but there is no confirmation to be found in the Chronicles. He is further stated to have been buried in Canterbury Cathedral, on his return from abroad, but Weever, who gives the inscription from a document at Croxteth, states that there was no sign left of the tomb. The inscription, stating that the deceased had been loved by Edward as a friend, and that he had fought in France and Navarre, gives the date of his death as 1372, which seems to be correct. See Weever, Fun. Mon. (ed. 1631), 234; and Fuller, Worthies. His widow Agnes received her dower on 7 March, 1372–3, from the manor of Sefton, a moiety of the manor of Litherland, rents of the free tenants of Thornton and Linacre, the manor of Euxton, a moiety of the manor of Larbreck, a third part of the manor of Ellel, and lands in Newsham; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 38. She afterwards married Sir Richard de Balderston; Abram, Blackburn, 414.
27 Lancs. Inq. p. m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 29; also mentioned as a minor in 1376; ibid. i, 5. He was probably of age in June, 1389, when he became surety for Matthew de Cantsfield; ibid. i. 16.
In the same month also Geoffrey, son of Hugh de Warburton, granted the Sefton lands, &c., of which he had been enfeoffed by William, son of Matthew de Rixton, to Richard, son of Sir William de Molyneux; Croxteth D. X. i, 19.
Livery of his lands was granted to Richard, son and heir of Sir William Molyneux on 3 Feb. 1389–90; Pal. of Lanc. Warrants (Privy Seals), n. 33.
28 For Thomas see the account of Edge below. The wardship of Richard de Molyneux of Sefton was granted to him and Matthew de Ashton, clerk, in August, 1372, 400 marks being paid; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xiii, m. 79b. In 1378 Thomas sold to Edmund Lawrence all his right in the marriage of Richard, son and heir of Sir William; deed at Croxteth.
29 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 70. This states that Richard had in 1394 enfeoffed Master Richard de Winwick and others of his manor of Sefton and other manors and lands.
He was appointed sheriff at the beginning of 1397; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xliii, App. 367; and was knight of the shire in 1396–7; Pink and Beavan, Parl. Rep. of Lancs. 44.
He married Ellen de Urswick, afterwards wife of Sir James de Harrington and Sir John Savage; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 712; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 51. Besides the heir he had another son, Robert, who in 1440 was tenant of Altcar under the abbot of Merivale; Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiv, 126. This son is sometimes identified with the Robert de Molyneux for whose ransom from the Turks an indulgence was offered in 1448; see Raines, Lancs. Chantries (Chet. Soc.), 110; Worc. Epis. Reg. Jo. Carpenter, fol. 58; also with the Robert who married the daughter and heir of Sir Baldwin Lestrange; see Cal. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.); and thirdly, with the Robert who was brother and heir of Adam Moleyns or Molyneux, bishop of Chichester from 1445 to 1450. For Sir Richard and Adam see the Dict. Nat. Biog. The bishop's arms are given by Dallaway as 'Azure a cross moline or.'
30 See Dep. Keeper's Rep. xli, pp. 711, 715 et seq. These show that Sir Richard was serving in France in 1418. He is not named in Sir H. Nicolas's Agincourt, and appears to have returned to Lancs. about 1420. In June 1421 he received from the feoffees the manors of Sefton and Euxton, &c.; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 47; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. p. 23.
31 See the account of Liverpool.
In 1437 a general pardon was granted by the king to Sir Richard; Croxteth D. i, 52.
32 Croxteth D. W. 2, 3, 4. These grants were made 28 July, 1446, upon Sir Richard surrendering previous patents. They were excepted from the acts of resumption of 1450 and 1455; Parl. Rolls, v, 194a, 315b. Sir Richard Molyneux probably died between these years, as he is named in the former year, while in the latter 'Richard Molyneux, esquire, one of the ushers of the king's chamber,' was the privileged person. Sir Richard in 1431 exchanged lands in the Mysthacre in Sefton for the mill pool and other lands with a road, belonging to Robert del Riding; Croxteth D. X. i, 26. The constableship of the castle of Liverpool was by a conviction for recusancy lost at the end of the seventeenth century; the stewardship of Salford hundred is held by the present earl of Sefton as heir male of Sir Richard.
33 Her tomb is in Sefton church; she died 17 January, 1439–40.
34 Of the sons William was steward of West Derby in 1444, and is mentioned in 1453; Croxteth D. W. 1; Blundell of Crosby D. K. 58. John and Henry became rectors of Sefton. Thomas founded the family of Molyneux of Hawton, Notts.; a deed of his concerning the chantry founded at Walton by his brother John is at Croxteth; Visit. of Notts (Harl. Soc.), p. 72; Croxteth D. Ee. 30. For descendants see G.E.C. Complete Baronetage, i, 47.
35 Croxteth D. Genl. i, 51. Richard Molyneux began to acquire lands in Sefton before his father's death; ibid. X. i, 28–31.
36 Thomas, James, and Margaret occur. James became rector of Sefton. Margaret married John, son and heir of Sir Thomas Dutton, and then William Bulkeley of Eaton near Davenham; she founded a chantry in Sefton church; see Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiv, 130.
37 This statement is perhaps merely a family tradition: it is borne out to some extent by the date of the writ Diem clausit extr. viz. 1462; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. p. 176. He is described as 'knight.' There is a notice of him in the Dict. Nat. Biog.
38 The marriage dispensation was granted 11 July, 1463; Lich. Epis. Reg. x, 160b, quoted in Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 649. For the settlement of the inheritance see Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. p. 197.
39 P.R.O. List, p. 72.
40 On this occasion he made a will which has been printed in Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiv, 138.
41 By letters patent dated 22 May, 1481; the rent of £100 was remitted by Richard III in August, 1483; Croxteth D. The earliest grant of Croxteth Park was made in 1473, to Thomas Molyneux; ibid. F. 1.
42 The acquisition is mentioned in the will already cited. See also Croxteth D. Genl. i, 61.
43 Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 7. It is said that his uncle, Thomas Molyneux of Hawton, was also made a knight at the same time by Richard, duke of Gloucester; Gisborne Molineux, op. cit. 32. A note of Dods. (MSS. 1. 98) appears to state that Lord Stanley made Thomas Molyneux a banneret.
44 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 117. Richard did not live long.
45 Dame Anne Molyneux died 22 October, 1520; Sir William is called fortytwo years of age, which would make him older than Richard, if the latter had been only five in 1484; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. p. 197; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, n. 39. Her will has been printed in Lancs. and Ches. Wills (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 162.
46 Richard Molyneux was patron of Sefton in 1489.
Early in 1500 William Molyneux was described as 'son and heir' of Sir Thomas, showing that Richard had died in his minority; Croxteth D. N. 5. On 24 September, 1502, the representative of his father's feoffees granted various premises to William Molyneux; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v. n. 39.
47 See the inscription on his brass in Sefton church. The letter is at Croxteth, as are the summonses to be ready in 1536 to join the earl of Shrewsbury (no doubt against the Pilgrimage of Grace), and in 1542 to advance against the Scots; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 73, 75, 76, 78.
For a fuller account of him see Dict. Nat. Biog. and Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. v, 71.
The printed Visits. begin at this time (Chet. Soc.); the Molyneux of Sefton pedigrees will be found as follows: 1533, p. 135; 1567, p. 103; 1613, p. 131; 1664, p. 204.
48 Itin. vii, 48.
49 Croxteth D. Genl. i, 80.
50 Brass at Sefton church. His will, dated 1547, is among the Croxteth Deeds; Genl. i, 81. The inquisition preserved says nothing of his Sefton lands; it concerns only the Clifton estates which he held in right of his second wife, and which descended to his son by her, Thomas Molyneux, then over twenty-one years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, n. 6. Thomas dying without issue they went to his sister Anne, wife of Henry Halsall of Halsall; Visit. of 1533, p. 135.
51 Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. p. 557.
52 Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 109; the second quarter of the arms recorded is peculiar.
53 P.R.O. List, 73.
54 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiii, n. 35. This states that he held the manor of Sefton and the patronage of the church there, and various lands in Sefton, Netherton, and Lunt of the queen as of her manor of West Derby in socage, by fealty and doing suit at the wapentake of West Derby from three weeks to three weeks; it was worth £50 3s. 6½d. Also he held five plough-lands in Sefton of the queen as of her duchy of Lanc. for the twelfth part of a knight's fee, the value being 10s. This statement is repeated in later inquisitions, e.g. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 389; but there is nothing to show how the 'manor' of Sefton came to be separated from the 'five plough-lands' (instead of the six of Domesday Book) and the two portions to be held in socage and by knight's service respectively.
Sir Richard had acquired Altcar and various other lands.
His brass is in Sefton church. By his first wife he had a numerous offspring. The inquisition states that he married his second wife, Eleanor Eyves, widow, on 30 September, 1565, and that five unmarried daughters were living at Croxteth— Alice, Anne, Ellen, Mary, and Eleanor. Eleanor was still living in 1602; Ducatus Lanc. iii, 468.
The eldest son William died before his father, on 11 June, 1567, and was buried at Standish; Dods. MSS. v, fol. 61. The other sons were Richard, of Cunscough in Melling; John, of Alt Grange and New Hall in West Derby; Anthony, and Alexander. Of these the first three held constantly to the Roman Catholic religion, Anthony being shipped off to the West Indies in 1586 for his recusancy (Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Catholics, v, 72; will in Gisborne Molineux, op. cit. 142); but Alexander embraced the new order and became rector of Walton.
55 Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 211 (quoting S.P.Dom. Eliz.xlviii, n. 35). Sir Richard's son John, and his daughters Anne, Joan, and Alice made the same vow.
56 Inq. p.m. above cited. The marriage covenant of William, son and heir apparent of Sir Richard Molyneux, and Bridget, daughter of John Caryll and sister of Thomas Caryll, is dated 2 June, 1558; Croxteth D. Genl. i, 85. A further arrangement was made in 1561; ibid. ii, 1.
57 The Visit. of 1567 gives him a daughter of Lord Strange as bride; p. 104.
58 Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 136. In 1589 he purchased Edge and other Osbaldeston lands in the parish of Sefton; Croxteth D. X. iii, 4.
59 In 1588 and 1596; P. R. O. List, 73. He represented the county in Parliament in 1586, 1592, and 1603; Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 66, 68, 69.
60 Cal. S. P. Dom. 1603–10, p. 364.
61 G. E. C. Complete Baronetage, i, 3.
62 Crosby Rec. (Chet. Soc.), 23.
63 Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 243 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, n. 4).
64 The most distinguished of his sons was Sir Vivian Molyneux, for whom see Wood's Athenae, and Gillow, op. cit. v, 70. Both Richard, the eldest, and Vivian were sent up to Oxf.; Foster, Alumni.
65 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 383–91. The manor of Tarbock was a fresh acquisition. The son and heir, Richard, was then aged twentynine and more. Their race-horses were kept at Walton; Assheton, Journ. (Chet. Soc.), 79.
Sir Richard's will is printed in Gisborne Molineux, op. cit. 142.
66 G. E. C. Complete Peerage, v, 326. He had been made a knight in 1603 (Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 164); and had served as knight of the shire in 1625 and 1628; Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 70. During his father's lifetime in 1614 he had sat for Wigan; ibid. 224.
67 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, n. 59; Croxteth D. Genl. iii, 10. The estates of the family had by this time attained their greatest extent, and the following brief view may be given: The manors of Sefton, Netherton, and Lunt, the 'five plough-lands' being described as a twelfth part of a knight's fee; various lands in the same; the manors of Thornton, Hulmore, and Ince Blundell, and lands there; the manor of Down Litherland, with lands there and in Linacre, Ford, and Orrell; the manor of Little Crosby, Moorhouses and Great Crosby— the manor of Great Crosby itself, recently granted, is not meant by this; the manor of Aintree and lands there; the manors of Walton and Fazakerley and the advowson of the church of Walton; various tenements in Kirkdale; threequarters of the manor of Maghull; the manors (or parts) of Melling, Aughton, Eccleston and Heskin, Euxton (with lands there and in Cuerden, Whittle-le-Woods, Farington, and Leyland), Lydiate, Fishwick (and lands, &c. in Fishwick, Ribbleton and Brockholes), Tarbock, Northend [in Ince Blundell], and Kirkby; also various burgages and lands in Liverpool, Charnock Richard, West Derby, Ashton in Makerfield, Preston, Toxteth and Smithdown, Gorehouses in Altcar, Heath Charnock, Whiston, Heapey, and Cronton; and a rent of £7 19s. from Hulme Walfield in Cheshire; with fisheries, views of frankpledge, free warren, &c.
He had in 1628–9 procured an Act of Parliament for altering the settlement of the manor of Tarbock; Croxteth D. Genl. iii, 7.
There are notices of the first three viscounts in the Dict. Nat. Biog.
68 See Cal. S. P. Dom. 1637–8, p. 224; 1640, p. 200; also R. D. Radcliffe's full account of the second viscount and his child-marriage to Henrietta Maria, daughter of Lord Strange, in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), vii-viii, 245. This marriage was never completed, Lord Strange apparently objecting. Lord Molyneux, on 28 October, 1652, married Lady Frances Seymour, eldest daughter of William, marquis of Hertford, afterwards duke of Somerset; Croxteth D. Genl. iv, 2; but Henrietta Maria did not marry until after her affianced husband's death, when she became countess of Strafford; G. E. C. Complete Peerage, vii, 264.
There is a notice of the second viscount in Gillow, op. cit. v, 64.
69 R. D. Radcliffe, loc. cit. 255–60. Lord Strange does not seem to have found him of much assistance; Stanley Papers (Chet. Soc.), III, iii, B. 8.
70 Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 204. There is a notice of Lord Molyneux's part in the campaign in the Lancs. War (Chet. Soc.), 37–9.
71 Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 149, &c.; the houses at Croxteth and Sefton had been plundered in the time of the wars, and many evidences, as the counterparts of leases, had been taken away or destroyed; p. 161. It should be noticed that this Lord Molyneux is not described as a recusant, though his brother Caryll was one.
72 Ibid. 165. Provision for the widow's jointure was made in Sept. 1654; Croxteth D. Genl. iv, 6.
73 Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 187, 212; among other acts Lord Molyneux appointed some of the gentry to be deputy-lieutenants, who were, like himself, convicted recusants. The lieutenancy was restored to Lord Derby in Sept. 1688; ibid. 198. A private Act was passed after the Restoration (15 Chas. II, c. 7) voiding conveyances by Caryll, Lord Molyneux 'in the late times.'
74 Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 248.
75 Kenyon MSS. 293 seq; Jacobite Trials (Chet. Soc.), 44, 62.
76 Sefton Reg; Gillow, op. cit. v, 57.
The marriage contract of his eldest son Richard with Mary Herbert, eldest daughter of William, Lord Powys, was dated 29 January, 1671–2; Croxteth D. Genl. v, 5. Richard was buried at Sefton, 22 May, 1672.
77 Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 113, where a copy of the certificate of his marriage to his second wife, Mary Skelton, is given. This took place at Warrington, 22 July, 1716, before a Dominican priest, Thomas Worthington. She died in London in 1765.
He made a vigorous effort to recover the constableship of Liverpool Castle and its valuable appurtenances, but failed; Croxteth D. W. 29–37.
78 Perhaps his age prevented it, he being then sixty. His son Caryll died in 1745. None of the family seem to have been implicated in the Jacobite risings.
79 Richard had in 1717 registered an annuity of £1,100 and a house at Much Woolton; Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 151. His son William died during his father's lifetime, in 1707; he is described as 'papist' in the Sefton register. The daughters were Mary, who died in 1752, and Dorothy, who was living in 1740. The former married Thomas Clifton of Lytham, and had issue; afterwards she married William Anderton of Euxton, being buried at Sefton as his widow in 1753; there is also a statement that she married Nicholas Tempest of Tong Hall (Gent. Mag. 1737), but it appears to be a mistake. Dorothy married John Baptist Caryll (who died in 1788), of West Grinstead; Gillow, Bibl. Dict. i, 421.
In 1729 an Act was passed (2 Geo. II, cap. 9) for selling part of the settled estate of Richard, Lord Viscount Molyneux, for raising money to discharge his father's incumbrances thereon, and likewise for making provision for his brothers and sisters, and for the payment of his own debts. In accordance with this Eccleston in Leyland and other manors, which had in 1705 been settled on the marriage of Richard with Mary, daughter of Lord Brudenell, were sold to discharge the various liabilities detailed in the Act. Lord Molyneux's own debts are set down as £7,440, but this includes a mortgage of £3,000 on Woolton. Nine years later an Act was passed for explaining and amending a certain trust and power contained in the settlement made on the marriage of Richard, Lord Molyneux; 11 Geo. II, cap. 5.
The will of Richard, Lord Molyneux, dated 28 July, 1738, is enrolled at Preston; twelfth roll of Geo. II.
80 His will, dated 19 July, 1744, is enrolled at Preston; twenty-first roll of Geo. II.
81 Foley, Rec. S. J. vii, 514–16. Here is corrected the error in the ordinary pedigrees, by which Caryll the fifth viscount is made the father of Richard (who has been doubled), William and Thomas Molyneux, whereas he was the younger brother of Richard and the elder brother of the others. The descent is given rightly in G. E. C. Complete Peerage.
The expression quoted is from the Sefton Abstract of Title, p. 7, in the indentures dated 13 July, 1746, concerning the marriage between Thomas Molyneux and Maria, widow of John Errington.
82 Foley, op. cit. vii, 516. His will, and that of his sister Bridget, who kept house at the Scholes, are at Stonyhurst; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. x, App. iv, 190–1.
83 The certificate is at Croxteth. He had been educated at St. Omers; Gillow, op. cit. v, 61. His guardians were his mother, the duke of Beaufort (and after his death the earl of Lichfield), and William Prujean of Gray's Inn. His mother survived him, dying 14 August, 1795. In 1759 an Act was passed to enable the guardians to lease; Abstract of Title, 7–8.
84 The marriage covenant was dated 26 Nov. 1768, Lord Molyneux being then twenty years of age.
A step in the peerage appears to have been considered the proper reward for such conformity, as in the cases of Lords Fauconberg and Waldegrave. In Lord Sefton's case it had been determined on as early as May, 1770; though the patent is dated 30 Nov. 1771; Cal. Home Off. P. 1770–2, pp. 35, 404; G.E.C. Complete Peerage, vii, 101.
Lord Sefton showed no antipathy to the religion he had renounced, granting lands at Gill Moss and Netherton for chapels to serve the missions which had been served from Croxteth and Sefton.
He represented the county in Parliament for a few years (1771–4) as a Whig; Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 85.
In 1772 Lord Sefton came to an agreement with Henry Blundell of Ince concerning an exchange of some of the latter's lands in Aughton, Maghull, and Lydiate for lands of equal value in Ince Blundell belonging to the former; this was confirmed by an Act of 12 Geo. III; Abstract of Title, 15–18.
85 G.E.C. Complete Peerage, vii, 101.
86 So far as the estates were concerned the great event of his tenure was the sale of 1798, by which the manors of Great Crosby, Melling, Maghull, Lydiate, and Aughton were disposed of, also a great amount of land, in order to pay off mortgages and make provision for various claims; Abstract of Title, 36.
In addition to his political fame the second earl was known as a 'bon vivant' and sportsman; Ross, House of Sefton, 8–10; also the note in G.E.C.
87 Ross, 10–11. He also was a Whig, and represented South Lancs. from 1832 to 1834; Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 95. He was appointed lord-lieutenant of the county in 1851.
88 In politics a Liberal, becoming a Unionist in 1886. He was appointed lord-lieutenant of Lancs. in 1858.
89 The peerages give information as to the other descendants of the second and later earls; see Crisp, Modern Visit.
90 Blundell of Crosby D. K. 30.
91 Ibid. K. 41.
92 Ibid. K. 24. It is here described as 'six acres in Sefton, viz. Pepperfield.'
93 Ibid. K. 44.
94 Ibid. K. 40, K. 39. Other lands besides 'Pepperfield next Hanecroft' seem to have been included in this sale. The matter was concluded by a fine; ibid. K. 45.
95 Ibid. K. 42. It may be noted that Richard de Molyneux, living in 1212, had granted to Richard de Thornton a 'cultura'—whether in Sefton or not is unrecorded—for 1 lb. of pepper by the year; Inq. and Extents, 14.
The payment in the text seems to be the result of the grant of a pound of pepper and 2s. rent from the Pepperfield, made by William de Molyneux in 1249 to his relative Robert de Molyneux of Thornton; Final Conc. i, 110.
96 It may be the 'alia Sefton' of the Fifteenth roll.
97 Croxteth D. Genl. i, 7, quoted above. Thomas seems to have been known as 'of Sefton' or 'of the Edge,' indifferently.
The grant did not include the whole of the Edge, for in 1338 Robert de Riding's share of 3 acres here was exchanged for land belonging to William de Hokelaw in Thornton; ibid. Y. iii, 14.
98 Croxteth D. Genl. i, 29. Emma's family name is unknown; the seal appended to this grant shows 'Per bend two roundels counterchanged.'
99 Ibid. i, 22.
100 Ibid. D. i, 1. Cecily appears to have been living in 1348; Kuerden MSS. iv, K. 13.
Several of Thomas's children are known: Thomas, Richard, Henry, and Emma.
Richard's wife was named Lettice; it appears that she was the widow of John de Rigmaiden of Wyresdale; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 181. Lettice was living at the Edge in 1376, and claimed damages from Thomas le Boteler of Marton for breaking into her close; he was a creditor; De Banc. R. 457, m. 186d., &c. Lettice was also defendant in a Chesh. suit in 1369; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 451 note. There was a son Thomas, who had a burgage in Bank Street, Liverpool, in 1381–2, and who is named in the will of his uncle Thomas de Molyneux of Cuerdale; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 257, 256b, and Final Conc. ii, 136.
Richard was dead in 1368; his widow was living in 1378; ibid. fol. 249, 257b.
Emma was in 1340 contracted to marry Richard, son of Nicholas Blundell of Little Crosby; the agreement between Nicholas and Cecily provides that the former shall sustain his son and his betrothed, and that part of Great Crosby shall be her portion; ibid. fol. 257.
101 Thomas de Molyneux of Cuerdale was killed at the battle of Radcote Bridge, 20 Dec. 1387; his lands in Sefton called the Edge were said to be of the clear annual value of 100s.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 29. A fuller account of him will be given under Cuerdale. He was called Thomas de Molyneux del Edge in 1349; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 256.
102 Croxteth D. Genl. i, 41. Four years later Henry Blundell and others certified that Thomas de Molyneux of Cuerdale had enfeoffed Gilbert de Halsall and others of 'the manor of Edge' and other lands in Sefton; ibid. i, 42–43. Joan made a feoffment of her lands in 1401; ibid. i, 46.
103 In Oct. 1461 Geoffrey Osbaldeston granted to his son John and Elizabeth his wife 'a messuage with the meadows, feedings, pastures, and appurtenances called the Edge in Sefton,' and all his other lands, &c., in Sefton, Walton, Thornton, and Ince, and tenements elsewhere; Croxteth D. X. iii, 2.
104 Ibid. X, iii, 3, 4; also Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 51, m. 39.
105 Royalist Comp. P. i, 145. From the documents here printed it appears that the grandfather's name was Lawrence also; he had a lease of the Edge in 1620 from Sir Richard Molyneux, for the lives of Lawrence himself, William his eldest son and Alice his wife, who was the daughter of Richard Tatlock. The house was divided, one half being assigned to Lawrence and his wife Ellen, and the other to William and his wife.
A detailed description of the house follows, with its upper and lower floors, garrets, and farm buildings; and several field names, including the Coningre or Warren and the Hemp-yard. The 'Edge Hest holm at the South side' repeats words in the grant by Richard de Molyneux in 1315.
Lawrence Baron the grandfather died in Sept. 1652; two-thirds of his estate had been sequestrated for recusancy in 1643. The son William's death is not mentioned; Alice his wife appears to have married again, as she is called Alice Allison.
From the Crosby Rec. (Chet. Soc.) it appears that the above-named Ellen Baron, wife of the grandfather, 'together with divers other Catholics … were committed to prison in the Castle of Chester' in 1598; p. 23. The only recusant in 1628 who paid double to the subsidy was Peter Hurdes; Norris D. (B.M.); but in 1641 is a long list of recusants in the township, headed by Lawrence Baron, senior; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 236. As no mention of the younger Lawrence's religion is made in 1653 it is probable that he had become a Protestant. The sequestration was removed and arrears allowed; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3060. In 1666 Lawrence Baron and Alice his mother paid for six hearths; Lay Subs. Lancs. 250–9.
The elder Lawrence had another son, John, who became a Jesuit. His account of himself, given on entering the English College at Rome in 1625, is of much interest: 'I was born in Lancashire and am in my twenty-second year. My parents are Lawrence Baron and Ellen his wife, of the middle class of life. I have an only brother and one sister, who, with my parents, are Catholics. I made my humanity studies under a Jesuit father in the house of a certain nobleman, and was never more than forty miles from my father's house before I took my journey hither'; Foley, Rec. S.J. i, 660. The word 'nobleman' does not imply a title; the school referred to was perhaps that at Scarisbrick, where a priest was stationed before 1620. John Baron, known as Burton, was ordained, and in 1632 sent on the English mission to 'a country place among poor Catholics'—possibly Sefton. After a short time he was recalled to the Continent and died at Watten in 1638; Foley, op. cit. vi, 307; vii, 33.
There was at Over Darwen a family named Baron, tenants of the Osbaldestons; Abram, Blackburn, 501.
106 Diary, 135, 147, 161: 'Lawrence Baron of Sefton, gentleman,' was one of the jurors inquiring into the Altcar riot of 1682; Kenyon MSS. 137.
107 The earliest mention of the place is in an undated deed by which Roger, son of Adam son of Beatrice of Sefton, granted to Adam his father half his land on the Gorst hill; Croxteth D. X. iv, 1.
In 1375 Adam Hodgson and Emma his wife sold the latter's life interest in a messuage and twelve acres in the Gorst hill to Thomas de Molyneux and Lettice, widow of Richard de Molyneux; it was the inheritance of Thomas del Gorsthill, Emma's former husband; ibid. X. i, 17. Ten years later Alan del Gorsthill sold all his lands in that place, together with the reversion of those held by Adam Hodgson and Emmota his wife, to Thomas de Molyneux of Cuerdale; ibid. i, 18.
108 Richard de Molyneux in 1343 leased land in Sefton to Henry of Sefton and Alice his wife; ibid. Ee. 17.
109 There were Seftons at Liverpool from an early time; see Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 80. In 1354–7 Richard de Sefton of Liverpool acted as the feoffee of Richard de Holland in a settlement of the latter's estate in Sefton; the remainders were to John, Joan, and Agnes, children of Richard de Holland; Croxteth D. X. iv, 8, 9.
110 Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 108, 98. The will of Mary Cornwallis, dated 1727, was proved in 1730; Payne, Rec. of Engl. Cath. 25.
111 These details are from a paper in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 146, 147. It is there stated that 200 persons were in 1774 confirmed by Bishop Wilson at Sefton.