Townships
Much Woolton

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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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113-117

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'Townships: Much Woolton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3 (1907), pp. 113-117. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41306 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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MUCH WOOLTON

Ulventune, Uvetone, Dom. Bk.; Wlvinton, 1188; Wolventon, 1305, &c.; Wolvinton, 1341. The commoner form is Wolveton, with variants Wolfeton (1347) disclosing the local pronunciation, Mikel Wolveton, 1301; also Wlvetun, 1220, &c.; Wolton occurs from 1345; Wollouton, 1345; Woleton, 1350; Wlton, 1380; Miche Wolleton, 1429. Other D.B. name: Wibaldeslei. Brettargh appears as Bretharue and Bretarwe in the Whalley Coucher.

This township measures about a mile and a half in length by three-quarters across, and has an area of 795 acres. (fn. 1) It consists of park-like country on the southern slopes of a ridge which runs north-west and south-east. The village of Much Woolton with its residences, grounds, park, and golf-links occupies the greater portion of the township. The eastern portion is devoted to agriculture, crops of corn, potatoes, turnips, and hay thriving in the shelter of the wooded hillside. The good and wide roads are pleasantly shaded by trees. The bunter series of the new red sandstone or trias underlies the township; the upper mottled sandstones to a small extent in the eastern, the pebble beds in the remaining portion. The population in 1901 was 4,731.

The eastern and western boundaries lie along roads from Liverpool which meet at the south-eastern corner of the township, near the station (Hunt's Cross) of the Cheshire Lines Committee's railway from Liverpool to Manchester. A third road passes between them through the centre, and this is crossed at the village by the road to Garston.

A local board was formed in 1866, (fn. 2) and was succeeded by an urban district council of nine members in 1894. There are a free library, opened in 1890, and public baths, a village club and a mechanics' institution, this last dating from 1849.

A wake used to be held on the Green on Midsummer Day. A cross formerly stood in the centre of the village; the remains were standing until 1900, (fn. 3) and after displacement have been re-erected.

Two windmills are shown in a plan of 1613, but only one now exists, and that is in ruins. There is a fine sandstone quarry.

The Liverpool Convalescent Institution on the hill side was built from the surplus of the Liverpool fund for the relief of the Cotton Famine in 1862; it is intended chiefly for patients who have been treated at the Liverpool Hospitals, but there is a wing for private patients. The police forces of Liverpool and Bootle have an orphanage.

MANOR

The townships of MUCH and LITTLE WOOLTON having early come under the lordship of the Knights Hospitallers were said to contain five plough-lands in all. In 1066 there were here four manors, viz.: 1. Ulventune, with two plough-lands and half a league of wood; it was held by Uctred and worth beyond the customary rent the normal 64d. 2, 3. Uvetone, with one plough-land; held by two thegns for two manors and worth 30d. 4. Wibaldeslei, with two plough-lands; held by Ulbert and worth 64d. (fn. 4) Before the date of the Domesday Survey the whole had become part of the Widnes fee, and before 1212 had been granted out in alms as follows: Two plough-lands to the Hospitallers, by John, constable of Chester, who himself was a crusader and died at Tyre in 1190; three plough-lands to the abbey of Stanlaw by his son Roger, who died in 1211. (fn. 5) This latter grant was in Little Woolton.

The Hospitallers established a Camera at Woolton; in 1338 it had one messuage, fifty acres of land, five acres of meadow, a water-mill, and £8 of annual rent, and was let to farm for 20 marks. (fn. 6) The manor of Much Woolton had the Hospitallers' lands in South Lancashire attached to its jurisdiction, but was itself subordinate to the preceptory of Yeveley or Stidd in Derbyshire. A rent of 5s. a year for the five 'caryks' (plough-lands) was paid by the Hospitallers to the receiver of the honour of Halton. (fn. 7) The superior lordship was still supposed to reside in the barons of Halton; thus in the Halton feodary the two Wooltons are said to be held as part of the Widnes fee for five plough-lands and to pay the relief of half a knight's fee, that is £2 10s. (fn. 8) It descended in the earldom and duchy of Lancaster, and so to the crown. (fn. 9)

In 1292 the prior of the Hospitallers was summoned to answer the king by what right he claimed waif, infangthief, outfangthief and gallows in Woolton, fines for breach of the assize of bread and beer, and to have the chattels of fugitives, condemned persons and other felons in Woolton, Linacre, La More, Bretharche, and about a hundred other places in the county, and to be exempt from common fines and amercements of the county and suits of county and wapentake courts. The prior in reply showed the charter of Henry III confirming all the possessions and franchises of his order, which charter had been duly confirmed by the king himself in 1280. The right of gallows was claimed in Woolton only. It was objected that in the case of lands more recently acquired the prior was liable to the king for the services rendered by previous tenants; and the jury very considerably limited the rights claimed. (fn. 10)

Probably the whole of the land was granted out in small tenements. (fn. 11) In 1327 the then prior made a claim against William the Woodward of Woolton for a reasonable account for the time he was bailiff in Woolton and receiver of his money. (fn. 12) Later there occurs a complaint concerning a rescue of the prior's cattle, taken for customs and services due. Gilbert le Grelle had with force and arms prevented their being taken to the pound and had rescued them. (fn. 13)

After the suppression of the English branch of the Hospitallers by Henry VIII the lordship of the manor remained in the crown for many years, (fn. 14) but was in 1609 granted by James I to George Salter and John Williams of London in part payment of money lent by London merchants. (fn. 15) It was soon transferred to the earl of Derby, and, descending in the same manner as Childwall, is now held by the marquis of Salisbury. (fn. 16)

The neighbouring families—Ireland of Hale, Norris of Speke, and others—appear in extant charters as holders of land in Woolton, as well as a number of smaller families, including one or more using the local surname. In 1301 Roger son of Alan of Much Woolton sued Richard son of Hugh le Fizorm in a plea of mort d'ancestor; (fn. 17) and William son of Adam son of Richard of Much Woolton appeared against William le Smale and his wife Alice in 1308–9. (fn. 18)

In Edward II's reign Nicholas son of Henry de Smerley had granted land in the New Branderth abutting on the Portway on the east and Carkenton on the west, to Henry de Garston, who transferred it to his son Adam; (fn. 19) and shortly afterwards Nicholas son of Henry le Rede of Smerley and Ellis his son, Henry de Garston, Alice daughter of Robert son of William the Reeve, Adam son of Robert del Brooks, and others were accused of having disseised Juliana, widow of William son of William the Reeve, of her tenement in Woolton—two messuages and an oxgang of land. (fn. 20) William the Reeve seems to have had three sons—William, John, and Robert. (fn. 21) The Brooks family was concerned in a large number of charters; the two principal members of it at the end of the thirteenth century were Robert and Alan. (fn. 22)

William de Laghok (fn. 23) occurs down to about the end of Edward II's reign; he was succeeded by his son Roger, living in 1345, and he in turn by William his son, with whom the direct line ends, the property in Woolton going to his relatives in Speke. (fn. 24)

The interest of the Irelands commenced in the time of Adam Austin. (fn. 25) His son John de Ireland acquired land from Adam son of William the Woodward in 1349, and made a grant to John son of Alan le Norreys of Speke. (fn. 26)

The Norris family had, however, before this begun to acquire lands in the township, Alan le Norreys of Speke being apparently the first to do so. (fn. 27) A younger son of Alan, John le Norreys, established himself at Woolton. (fn. 28) John's elder son John, who succeeded, is mentioned in the settlement made by Sir Henry le Norreys in 1367. (fn. 29) His marriage was arranged in 1382, when it was agreed that he should take to wife Anilla, daughter of John Grelley, deceased; for which Isabel Grelley, the widow, gave him 26 marks; besides which she was to provide for him and Anilla at her table for the first year after the espousals. William de Slene also gave 40s. to John le Norreys on the day of the marriage. John le Norreys occurs down to 1414. (fn. 30) John le Norreys and Anilla had three daughters, viz. Katherine, who married Roger Prestwich; Joan, wife of Henry Mossock; and Margery, wife of Thomas Bridge of Fazakerley. The last-named, in her widowhood, in 1433–4, relinquished all her inheritance to Joan Mossock. (fn. 31)

From 1329 to 1331 a number of grants were made to Richard de Alvandley, otherwise de Bold. (fn. 32) He was succeeded by a son Nicholas. (fn. 33) The Blackburnes of Garston also had land in Woolton. (fn. 34) The Charnocks of Charnock, (fn. 35) Lathoms of Allerton, (fn. 36) and Ormes (fn. 37) of Little Woolton were also landowners.

A Norris of Speke rental compiled about 1460 has been preserved. At the end is a 'Rental of Much Woolton, taken out of all the old rentals that were made when it was first given to God and Saint John, of certain chief of all the freeholders with their obits.' (fn. 38)

About the beginning of Elizabeth's reign the Brettarghs of the Holt in Little Woolton acquired lands here. William Brettargh, who died in 1609, held a cottage in Much Woolton in socage by fealty and 1d. rent. (fn. 39) The family are said to have owned the site of Woolton Hall, which descended to the Broughtons, and in 1704 became the property of Richard, fifth Viscount Molyneux, whose widow died there in 1766. Soon after this it was purchased by a Mr. Booth and came into the possession of Nicholas Ashton in 1772. (fn. 40) He died in 1833, aged 91, having greatly improved the house and grounds. The following description is given of its amenities about 1800:—'Woolton Hall, about six miles from Liverpool, upon an eminence commands grand and extensive prospects, the two extreme points of view being the Cumberland and Westmorland hills to the north, and the Wrekin near Shrewsbury to the south; from thence also may be seen Blackstone Edge in Yorkshire and several of the Derbyshire and Staffordshire hills; to the eastward the rivers Mersey and Weaver join in view about four miles from this house, and very soon opening into a fine sheet of water, continue their course to the port of Liverpool. The prospect to the south-west is terminated by an irregular scene of Welsh mountains.' (fn. 41) Charles Ellis Ashton, son of Captain Joseph Ashton, and grandson of Nicholas, sold the house in 1865 to James Reddecliffe Jeffrey, of Compton House, Liverpool. It was afterwards purchased by Frederick Leyland, a Liverpool shipowner, and sold again upon his death, Mr. Peter McGuffie being the present owner. It is used as a hydropathic establishment.

The commoners at the passing of the Enclosure Act in 1805, included Bamber Gascoyne (one-ninth), the earl of Derby, Nicholas Ashton, James Okill, Thomas Rawson, John Weston, Joshua Lace, and William Slater. Among other matters the Act provided for the formation of Church Road. Some land in Quarry Street is said to belong to 'the poor of Dublin,' and rates are paid by a person representing them. (fn. 42)

For the Established worship the church of St. Peter was built in 1886–7 to replace that erected in 1826 on an adjacent site. (fn. 43) The bishop of Liverpool has the presentation and the incumbents are styled rectors. A mission church of St. Hilda has been founded as the result of a bequest by Lucy Ashton, granddaughter of the above-named Nicholas.

A grammar school now abandoned was in existence in the sixteenth century.

In the High Street are the new Wesleyan church (St. James's) and the Congregational church, built in 1864–5. An effort was made to establish a church in connexion with the Congregationalists as far back as 1822, but it failed. A second effort in 1863 proved more successful. (fn. 44) The old Wesleyan chapel, built in 1834, is now used for unsectarian services.

The Unitarian chapel at Gateacre, formerly called 'Little Lee' chapel, is the oldest ecclesiastical building in the township, having been licensed as early as October, 1700, for an English Presbyterian congregation already formed there. It is a plain stone building with a bell turret. The bell is dated 1723, and there is a 'cup of blessing,' dated 1703–4, and presented in 1746 by Joseph Lawton, minister for over thirty years. The building remains with very little alteration from its original condition. (fn. 45) It has various endowments, £6,000 having been paid by the Cheshire Lines Railway for land. (fn. 46) Among its ministers is numbered Dr. William Shepherd (1768–1847), author of a biography of Poggio Bracciolini. (fn. 47)

The first Roman Catholic church of St. Mary was built in Watergate Lane in 1765, the mission having previously been served from Woolton Hall. (fn. 48) A new cruciform church was built in 1860 in Church Street. The English Benedictines are in charge. From about 1782 to 1818 Dr. John Bede Brewer, one of the ornaments of this congregation, was in residence; it is said that he was on very friendly terms with Dr. Shepherd, of Gateacre. (fn. 49) From 1765 to 1807 a community of English Benedictine nuns from Cambrai was established in the village. They are now at Stanbrook, near Worcester. Richard Roskell, bishop of Nottingham from 1853 to 1874, was born at Gateacre. (fn. 50)

Footnotes

1 The Census Report gives 792; no inland water.
2 Lond. Gaz. 17 July, 1866.
3 Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 201; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xi, 236. In one of the Norris D. (B.M.), dated about 1600, is mentioned 'a certain stone cross now standing at the north end of the town of Much Woolton.'
4 V.C.H. Lancs. i, 284a.
5 Inqs. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 41, and see the notes there. John, constable of Chester, also gave the Templars a plough-land, but its position is unknown.
6 Hospitallers in England (Camd. Soc.), 111.
7 Norris D. (B.M.), dated 11 March, 1515–16.
8 Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 708.
9 In 1324 Thomas earl of Lancaster was found to have held Much Woolton for five plough-lands (where ten plough-lands made a knight's fee) as part of the fee of Widnes, in right of his wife Alice, daughter and heir of the earl of Lincoln; and the prior of the Hospitallers was said to hold Little Woolton without service, so that Much Woolton bore the whole; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 33, 35b.
In 1346 the king was lord as heir of Alice countess of Lincoln; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 38.
To the aid of 3 Henry IV, the Lords of Much and Little Woolton paid 6s. 8d. as for a third of a knight's fee; the feodary of 9 Henry VI shows that the king as heir of Alice countess of Lincoln held five plough-lands here, while that of 1483 states that the prior of the Hospital of St. John had a third of a fee.
10 Plac. de quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 375, 376.
11 Some early charters granted by the priors are extant. One dating from about 1180 is by Ralph de Diva, prior of the brothers of the hospital of Jerusalem in England, who granted to Ralph the Cook and his heirs two oxgangs in Woolton which the brethren had by the gift of John, constable of Chester; they were to be held in hereditary right by the service of 4s. annually paid to the Hospitallers' house, and the third part of the chattels at death.
Three by Prior Garner de Neapoli (Nablous) grant respectively an oxgang to Gilbert the Cook and his heirs, viz., one of the two oxgangs which Hugh de Beaupeinne formerly held, for 12d. yearly; an oxgang to Orm son of the widow of Woolton, rendering 2s. yearly; and an oxgang to Andrew de Woolton, for 12d. annual rent. These charters are dated 1187, 1188, and 1189 respectively. Orm of Woolton occurs among the witnesses to a Garston charter (c. 1215–20); Whalley Coucher, ii, 570.
Prior Hugh de Alneto or Danet (probably between 1216 and 1220) gave Fulk de Woolton an oxgang on which the tenant had already built, for 12d. yearly; and Prior Robert de Diva (about 1230) granted to Thomas de Woolton an oxgang which the brethren had received from Henry de Walton, who had held it of them for a rent of 2s. a year; Norris D. (B.M.), 285–90. On these charters see the essay (with facsimiles) by Mr. Robert Gladstone, jun. in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xviii, 173.
12 De Banc. R. 269, m. 51d.
13 Ibid. 363, m. 127d.; 364, m. 10d. (24–5 Edw. III).
14 It was restored to the Hospitallers in 1558, but again confiscated on the accession of Elizabeth.
15 Pat. 7 Jas. I, pt. xvi.
16 See R. Gladstone, op. cit. 'The Lord of the manor of Childwall' [and Much Woolton], wrote Perry in 1771, 'is entitled to certain small dues formerly paid to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, who had a house at Great Woolton upon the heath, where has lately been discovered the foundation of its round tower. These acknowledgements, paid at the rate of 1d. or 2d. each person, amount to about £20 per annum'; Enfield, Liverpool, 115.
17 Assize R. 419, m. 4d.
18 Assize R. 423, m. 5 d. It would appear that Alice was plaintiff's cousin, for there is extant a charter of Adam son of Richard de Woolton to John son of John son of Fulk and Alice his daughter by Adam's sister Agnes, granting ¼ oxgang in the vill of Woolton; Norris D. (B.M.) 292.
Alice widow of William le Smale granted to Robert son of Elias, land in the Pilot field in Much Woolton, stretching from the Ache butts to the Long Shot, for the rent of a red rose; to John son of Robert del Brooks land in the Pughol field and elsewhere, including a selion in Harecroft abutting on Carketon; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 46, 52. To William son of Adam son of Beatrice of Hale, she gave all her part of Carketon; and her husband had formerly with her consent granted land in the Cross field and in Carketon to William the Woodward; Norris D. (B.M.), 306–7. Among the Norris deeds are a large number relating to Woolton; those quoted here are intended to illustrate the place names.
Pughol has a great number of spellings: Pycyl, Puckel, Pyghill, Pyhol. 'Pulloc field' and Pilot field seem to be perversions of the same. See Engl. Dial. Dict. Carkington is below Doe Park.
Fulk, ancestor of Alice, was probably the Fulk named in Prior Hugh's grant, previously cited. Richard Fouke was in 1329 plaintiff concerning various tenements in this township, but did not appear at the day of trial; Assize R. 247, m. 3 d.
19 Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 55, 61; Norris D. (B.M.), 305.
20 Assize R. 425, m. 1; m. 2 d.
21 For some grants by them see Norris D. (Rydal Hall), fol. 48; Norris (B.M.), 297, 312.
22 Alan son of Alan del Brooks granted to his brother Henry half an oxgang of land in Woolton which had descended to him from his father, reserving a house and part of his windmill, all held of Sir Peter de Dutton, of Warburton; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 47, 54; Norris D. (B.M.), 300. Prior Garner, in 1187, granted two oxgangs in Woolton to Adam de Dutton, great-grandfather of Sir Peter; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xviii, 184.
John son of Robert del Brooks had a grant from Hugh son of Roger de Woolton, of land in the Nether Branderth; and in 1334 his son William had from the same Hugh land below Carketon, stretching as far as the Pughel, and in the Hare Butts. John del Brooks acquired from John son of Fulk de Woolton land in the New Branderth, lying partly by the Out Lane, and from Robert Brown land in the Middlegate field abutting on: Carketon and on the Poughel, and in the Long Farthings stretching from the Broadgate to the Puahel field. In 1317 he had a grant from John son of Richard, of Much Woolton, of land near the Swynne gates abutting towards the Crossfield and in Pughel; from Robert son of John, son of Alan, of land in the Blake Branderth, abutting towards the Pilote field, and towards the Portway, and in Aclaw field Branderth, abutting towards Aclaw field and towards the Portway; and from Alice daughter of Adam son of William, a plot in the New Branderth, abutting towards the Pughel and towards the Portway. Norris D. (B.M.), 304, 309, 314, 317; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 50, 56, 72; Hornby chapel deeds. Aclaw field is probably represented by Acre field.
An earlier grant is that from William son of John of Much Woolton, to Richard, son of William del Brooks, of a portion of land extending 'from the great street to the corner of the hedge,' and abutting on the Out Lane ditch; also land in Akelou field on the higher side of the street; 'and let it be known that Richard son of William and his heirs are bound by agreement to make the enclosure from the Balschae to Akelouysfeldiseynde for the said William [grantor] in perpetuity'; Norris D. (B.M.), 291, 311; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 41.
One member of the Brooks family seems to have taken Punchard as a surname, for Hugh Punchard del Brooks makes a grant to John son of Adam of Much Woolton, in 1319; while John Punchard occurs in 1328 and 1330, and Henry Punchard in 1366; Norris D. (B.M.), 324, 332, 359, 373.
23 Law-oak, a name possibly derived from the celebrated oak in Allerton, where the sheriff's tourn may have been held.
24 Robert Brown, in 1316, granted to Roger son of William de Laghok a messuage in Much Woolton; land under the Cliff, abutting towards Allerton and towards the windmill; and his part of Carkington greves, as much as belongs to the quarter of an oxgang; and in the next year he made a further grant of land in the Crossfield, abutting at one end towards the windmill; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 57, 58.
In 1384 William de Laghok of Speke had a rent-charge of 2s. 2½d. granted him by Roger de Walton, payable from lands in Woolton; and in 1435 William de Laghok and William the Webster settled upon William son of Roger de Coldcotes, and Katherine daughter of John de Fazakerley, and their heirs, a messuage and three roods of land which had been acquired from Roger de Bold by the said Roger de Coldcotes; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 96; Norris D. (B.M.), 388.
This John de Fazakerley was the agent in the same year in a settlement of the lands of Ellen and Isabel, daughters and heirs of Thomas de Woolton; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 95, 97. In 1483 Thomas, son and heir of Roger Fazakerley, of Derby, granted to John, brother of Thomas Norris, of Speke, 19 acres of his land in the vill and fields of Much Woolton, in Glest field, under Carkington (by Harecroft), in the Crossfield, Sandfield, Middlefield, Heath, Branderth, and Accleyfield; ibid. F. 100.
25 One grant was made to him in 1318 by John son of Richard Fychet, of two butts in Harecroft, 'as they lie in landoles,' abutting on Carketon on the west and the highway on the east; Norris D. (B.M.), 293, 296, 322.
26 Norris deeds (B.M.), 358, 396. In the sixteenth century John Ireland of the Hutt held a messuage and 6 acres by a rent of 12d.; his cousin, John Ireland of Lydiate, also held lands of the prior of St. John; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p. m. vi, 75; iv, 16.
27 Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 45, 69, 70, 73; ibid. (B.M.), 349, 356.
In 1421 Sir Henry le Norreys, of Speke, was appointed seneschal of the manors of Much and Little Woolton, by grant of brother Henry Crounhale, preceptor of Egle and deputy of the prior of St. John in England, and proxy of brother John Etton, preceptor of Yeveley and Bargh (Barrow); all other lands, tenements, rents, services, and sodality (confrariam) and appurtenances between Ribble and Mersey, except entries of tenants at will, were included, but Sir Henry was to discharge all the burdens upon the manors, and to pay a rent of 38 marks annually; Norris D. (B.M.). Sir William Norris in 1544 acquired the Ireland of Lydiate lands by exchange; there were two occupying tenants, each paying a rent and 6d. as 'average'; Norris D. (B.M.).
28 In 1349 John son of John Gilleson, gave John son of Alan le Norreys, lands in the Crossfield, the Crofts, and the Portway shot; and Simon de Walton granted him for life two acres on the Heath previously held by William son of John Dobson. Thomas son of Robert del Yate in 1350 further gave land in the Watergate, the Blake branderth, the Meadow doles, and in Aclow field near the Low. Other lands were acquired. See Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 78, 76, 75; ibid. (B.M.), 396, 350, 359, 360, 362.
It was this John le Norreys (called 'of Speke') who was concerned in some violent proceedings regarding the manor of Huyton. He appears to have married Katherine, one of the claimants; but the manor was passed to his brother Sir Henry, who sold it very quickly; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 138, 145; De Banc. R. 358, m. 110d. A memorandum, dated 1372, is preserved stating that 'Sir John le Norreys, Knight [of Speke] received from Nicholas de Liverpool, clerk, five score and fifteen charters concerning the inheritance of John le Norreys, of Woolton, and of Thomas del Forde, of Roby, which are in the keeping of the prior of Holland by the delivery of the aforesaid Nicholas'; Norris D. (B.M.), 378–9.
29 See the account of Speke. The elder John le Norreys seems to have died before 1368, in which year Adam son of William the Woodward and Emma his wife, sued John son of John le Norreys, for a third part of 2 messuages and 4 acres in Great Woolton; De Banc. R. 431, m. 38d.
30 Norris D. (B.M.), 574, 390, 630; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 91. In 1394 Robert de Walton leased to John son of John le Norreys 20 acres in Woolton for twenty years at an annual rent of half a mark; Norris D. (B.M.), 397. In the Inq. p. m. of Robert de Walton (3 Hen. IV, n. 27) it is stated he held 20 acres of land in Much Woolton from the prior and hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Smithfield, in socage by the service of half a mark; the clear value was 10s.
31 Mossock D. (Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 230 on). John le Norreys and Anilla seem to have made numerous settlements of the property about 1416, and in the following year arranged for the succession to Joan, wife of Henry Mossock, and in default of heirs to her sister Katherine; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 5, m. 33.
Near the end of the sixteenth century Henry Mossock's lands in Woolton were held of the queen in socage; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p. m. xvi, n. 28.
32 He is elsewhere styled 'son of Robert son of Robert the Mercer of Bold'; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 244.
Richard son of Robert del Yate gave him a half-acre in the Branderth, with remainders to Richard, Nicholas, and Simon, sons, and Thomas, Henry, and John, brothers of the grantee; Norris D. (B.M.), 333–8. John son of William of Much Woolton, also granted an acre 'under the Cliff' to Richard and his sons by Anilla de Walton; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 62–5.
33 In 1333 Ellen, daughter of Margery, daughter of Dobbe, granted to Nicholas son of Richard de Alvandley of Bold a messuage which she had of the gift of Richard, son of John Fouke her father, along the 'town' to the 'styway' on the west; and in 1350 William, son of Robert del Low of Speke, granted him all his lands in Much Woolton; Norris D. (B.M.), 341, 361.
34 John de Blackburne of Garston, who died in 1405 (Inq. p. m. 6 Hen. IV), held a messuage and 5 acres in Woolton of the prior of St. John in socage; the clear value was 3s. 4d.
35 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii, n. 28.
36 Ibid. v, 7.
37 The Orme family appear frequently in the Norris charters of Much Woolton, from 1426 onward. At the court of Much Woolton held on 12 February, 1542–3, it was found that Thomas Orme had died seised of a messuage there, paying to the lord 6s. 1d. per annum, and that Richard Orme, aged fifteen, was his son and heir; he paid his fine, and was admitted tenant according to the custom of the manor. Norris D. (Rydal), fol. 104.
38 These names are: Thomas Norris, Randle Charnock, Edward Lathom, Joan wife of Henry Mossock, heir of Richard de Parr ('now Sir Piers Leigh'—later note), Cicely wife of Sir William Torbock, Peter Warburton, John Ireland, William Corker, Richard Primrose, priest, William Fazakerley, Lawrence Ireland, John Crosse of Liverpool, Thomas Gill, Roger Wainwright, Richard Melling and Katherine his wife, Hugh Orme, Richard Jenkinson, Richard Bushell, John Tomlinson, John Harrison, William Webster, William Brown, John Norris, John Richardson, and Richard Orme.
The seven following paid double the rent at death as an 'obit': William Corker, Roger Coldcotes, John Harrison, John Faux, William the Webster, Richard Bushell, and John Bushell.
The 'obits' were the third part of the chattels or other 'succession duty' levied by the Hospitallers as lords of the manor.
39 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 139, 140.
40 Enfield, Liverpool (1773), 115. The will of Thomas Broughton, of Much Woolton, was proved in 1686.
41 Quoted in Gregson's Fragments from Watts' Select Views, pl. 76.
42 End. Char. Rep. The enclosure map is at Preston.
43 The first stone was laid 22 July, 1825, by Edward Geoffrey Stanley, afterwards earl of Derby. The building was in its time described as 'a handsome structure in the Grecian style.' The parish was formed in 1828 (Lond. Gaz. 4 July), and declared a rectory in 1868, having been endowed with a tithe rentcharge of £26; ibid. 23 Aug. 1867; 21 Jan. 1868.
The present building is in the Perpendicular style, with a tower containing eight bells.
44 Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. vi, 208–9.
45 Ibid. vi, 192–207. It was built at the cost of William Claughton, John Gill and others, on land which had been acquired from John son of Henry Whitefield, to whom it had been let in 1658 by Gilbert Ireland of Hale. Reynold Tetlaw bequeathed books to it in 1746; Wills (Chet. Soc. New Ser.), i, 185.
46 End. Char. Rep.
47 Dict. Nat. Biog.; Nightingale, op. cit.
48 Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 150–3.
49 He died at Woolton 18 April, 1822. Gillow, Bibl. Dict. i, 291.
50 Ibid. v, 450.