Townships
Worsley

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1911

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Pages

376-392

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'Townships: Worsley', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4 (1911), pp. 376-392. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41442 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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WORSLEY

Werkesleia, 1195; Wyrkedele, 1212; Whurkedeleye, c. 1220; Worketley, 1254; Worcotesley, Workedesle, 1276; Wrkesley, Wrkedeley, Workedeley, 1292; Wyrkeslegh, Workesley, 1301; Worsley, 1444; 'Workdisley alias Workesley alias Worseley,' 1581.

The ancient township of Worsley measures 4½ miles from east to west, the breadth varying from 1 mile to 4 miles; the area is 6,928 acres. (fn. 1) Land 300 ft. and more in height divides it from Clifton and Kearsley; the slope in general is towards the south. Ellenbrook in the west divides it from Tyldesley and Astley, while another brook, rising near the boundary of Clifton and flowing south to the Irwell, divides Worsley proper from Swinton on the east. Swinton has now grown into a small town, lying on the road from Manchester to Wigan; to the north and northeast are Newton and Hope Mill; to the south-east Deans and Lightbown Green; to the south Moorside, Sindsley, Broad Oak, and Dales Brow; Little Houghton, in the same quarter, has now disappeared from the maps; Drywood and Westwood occupy the south-west corner. The Worsley or western section of the township has Worsley Hall almost in the centre; to the west lie Booths Hall, part of Boothstown, Ellenbrook Chapel and Parr Fold; Walkden, now a town, and Linnyshaw occupy the north-west corner. Kempnough Hall, Daubhole, and Whittle Brook lie to the north of Worsley Hall; Hazelhurst, Roe Green, and Wardley are in the eastern portion. The southern half of this part of the township—the 100-ft. level being roughly the boundary—was formerly within Chat Moss, so that it has no ancient houses. To the south of the Bridgewater Canal and to the south-east of Hazelhurst, the Geological Formation consists mainly of the Pebble Beds of the New Red Sandstone. North of Boothstown and Winton the Coal Measures are everywhere in evidence. An intervening band of the Permian Rocks extends from Monton to Astley. In 1901 the population of Worsley was 12,462, and of Swinton 18,512.

The chief road is that from Manchester to Wigan, through Swinton, Wardley, and Walkden, along or near the track of a Roman road. From this a road branches off to go west through Worsley to Boothstown and Astley, and this has southerly branches from Swinton and Worsley to Eccles. There are numerous cross roads, including one from Worsley to Walkden. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's railway from Manchester to Hindley runs west through the northern part of the township, with three stations — Swinton, Moorside and Wardley, and Walkden. The London and North Western Company's line from Manchester and Eccles to Wigan, begun in 1861, has stations at Worsley and Ellenbrook; from it the Bolton line branches off at Rose Green, with a station at Walkden. There is also a single-line branch from Eccles to Clifton through Swinton. Down to 1860 passengers were taken from Worsley to Manchester by the canal.

In 1666 the hearth-tax returns show that Wardley Hall was the largest residence, having nineteen hearths; Worsley Hall and Booths had seventeen each. The total number of hearths in the township was 276, of which Worsley proper had 191. (fn. 2)

A century ago the collieries and the Duke of Bridgewater's canal were the notable features of the township, but the spinning and manufacture of cotton were also actively pursued. The same industries continue, the latter advancing. The south-west portion is agricultural.

In 1826 an archery society was established at Worsley.

Queen Victoria visited Worsley Hall in 1851 and 1857, and King Edward VII in 1869 when Prince of Wales.

At Worsley is a monument to the first Earl of Ellesmere, an octagonal shaft 132 ft. high. At Walkden an 'Eleanor cross' stands as a memorial to his countess. The Bridgewater Estate Offices are at Walkden. At Swinton is the Manchester Industrial School.

At Daubhole is a great boulder known as the Giant's Stone, the legend being that it was thrown from Rivington Pike by a giant.

A local board for Swinton and Pendlebury was formed in 1867. (fn. 3) The district was afterwards extended to include part of Barton township. (fn. 4) Since 1894 it has been governed by an urban district council of fifteen members. The remainder of Worsley, except a small part in the borough of Eccles, has also an urban council of fifteen members.

The lords of the manors have in many cases been men of distinction, as will be seen by the following record of them. Another 'worthy' of the place was Christopher Walton, 1809–77, of Wesleyan training, but ultimately a mystic or theosopher; his collections are in Dr. Williams's Library, London. (fn. 5)

MANORS

The earliest record of WORSLEY is in the Pipe Roll of 1195–6 in the claim of one Hugh Putrell to a fourth part of the fee of two knights in Barton and Worsley. (fn. 6) Worsley, as half a plough-land, was held of the king by the Barton family in thegnage, (fn. 7) and of them by a family which took the local name. The earliest known member of it is Richard de Worsley, who in 1203 was defending his right to twenty acres of wood in Worsley, (fn. 8) and as Richard son of Elias in 1206 gave a mark for a writ. (fn. 9) Six years later he held a plough-land of Gilbert de Notton and his wife Edith de Barton, half of the land being in Worsley. (fn. 10) It appears that Hugh Putrell had granted 'to Richard son of Elias de Worsley the manors of Worsley and Hulton, i.e. half a plough-land in Worsley, which was the whole of Worsley, and half a plough-land in Hulton, rendering for all services 10s. for Worsley and 6s. 8d. for Hulton,' these being the rents paid by Hugh to the king or chief lord. (fn. 11) The mesne lordships were very quickly ignored, and the Worsleys were said to hold directly of the Earls or Dukes of Lancaster. Richard was a benefactor to the canons of Cockersand, (fn. 12) and two other of his charters have been preserved. (fn. 13)

His son Geoffrey succeeded and was in possession in 1254; (fn. 14) he died before 1268, leaving a widow Agnes. (fn. 15) His son and heir Richard de Worsley made several grants and acquisitions of land, (fn. 16) and was still living in 1292. (fn. 17) He had many children, including Richard, who seems to have died about the same time as his father; (fn. 18) Henry, who succeeded, and held Worsley for about ten years, dying in or before 1304; (fn. 19) and Jordan, who had Wardley. Henry de Worsley was twice married, and left two sons, Richard and Robert; the latter, by the second wife, (fn. 20) had a share of the manor, known as Booths, assigned to him in 1323, so that in future, out of the free rent, he and his heirs were to pay 2s. to the chief lord, leaving 18s. to be paid by the lord of Worsley. (fn. 21) Richard, who was living in 1332, (fn. 22) was succeeded by his son Henry, dead in 1350; (fn. 23) and Henry in turn was followed by his grandson Sir Geoffrey de Worsley, son of Geoffrey. (fn. 24)

Sir Geoffrey de Worsley, who fought in the French wars, married Mary daughter of Sir Thomas de Felton, about 1376; but a divorce was procured in 1381, and Mary retired to a nunnery. (fn. 25) Thereon Sir Geoffrey married Isabel daughter and eventual heir of Sir Thomas de Lathom, but died shortly afterwards leaving a daughter by her named Elizabeth, only one year old. His former wife then left her convent, asserting that she had only entered it by compulsion, and as she also established the validity of her marriage, the infant daughter of Sir Geoffrey lost the inheritance as illegitimate, the manors of Worsley and Hulton passing into the hands of Alice sister of Sir Geoffrey and wife of Sir John Massey. (fn. 26)


Worsley of Worsley. Argent a chief gules.


Massey of Tatton. Quarterly gules and argent.

Sir John was the son of Hugh Massey of Tatton, who died about 1371, and by his elder brother's death succeeded to the paternal estates. (fn. 27) His marriage with Alice de Worsley took place in or before 1372. (fn. 28) He was sheriff of Cheshire in 1389. (fn. 29) He sided with Richard II in 1399 and was imprisoned in Chester Castle; (fn. 30) four years later he joined in the Hotspur rising and was killed at the battle of Shrewsbury. (fn. 31) Thomas his eldest son incurred forfeiture on the like account, (fn. 32) but was restored, and dying in 1420, was succeeded by his brother Geoffrey. (fn. 33) Their mother Alice died eight years later, Geoffrey being then forty years of age. (fn. 34) On his death in 1457 without lawful issue (fn. 35) the Worsley manors went to his nephew William son of Richard Massey. (fn. 36) William died eleven years later; (fn. 37) his son and heir Sir Geoffrey (fn. 38) left an only child Joan, who by her first husband, William Stanley, (fn. 39) also left an only daughter Joan, heiress of Worsley, aged eighteen at her mother's death in 1511. (fn. 40)

By John Ashton, her first husband, who died in 1513, Joan Stanley, the daughter, had no issue; but by her second, Sir Richard Brereton, a younger son of Sir Randle Brereton of Malpas, she had two sons and a daughter. (fn. 41) The eldest, Richard, died without issue, before his parents; (fn. 42) the second, Geoffrey, died in 1565, leaving an only son Richard, who at his grandfather's death in 1570 succeeded to Worsley. (fn. 43) He married Dorothy daughter of Sir Richard Egerton, of Ridley in Cheshire, but their only child Richard died in infancy. It was no doubt by Dorothy's influence that the Worsley manors were then granted by will to her father's illegitimate son, Sir Thomas Egerton, a distinguished lawyer, who rose to be Lord Chancellor, and was created Viscount Brackley in 1616. (fn. 44) Richard Brereton died in 1598; his widow Dorothy afterwards married Sir Peter Legh of Lyme, and dying in 1639 was buried at Eccles with her former husband. (fn. 45)

Shortly after Lord Brackley's death in 1617 his son John was created Earl of Bridgewater; (fn. 46) he succeeded to Worsley in 1639, as above, and died ten years afterwards, (fn. 47) being succeeded in turn by two namesakes, the second and third earls, who died in 1686 and 1701 respectively. Scrope, the son of the third earl, was created Duke of Bridgewater in 1720. He died in 1745, leaving three children—John, second duke, who survived his father but three years; Francis third duke, the great canal-maker, who died in 1803' and Louisa, who married the first Marquis of Stafford and whose son was the first beneficiary under the Bridgewater trust. On the death of the third duke the title of Earl of Bridgewater and part of the family estates passed to a cousin, Lieut.-General John William Egerton, seventh earl, (fn. 48) who died without issue in 1823, and was succeeded by his brother, the Rev. Francis William, eighth earl, originator of the Bridgewater Treatises. On his death without issue in 1829 the earldom expired. (fn. 49)

The second Earl of Bridgewater divided the Worsley and Tatton estates between two of his younger sons, Sir William and Thomas. The latter became ancestor of the Egertons of Tatton, but the former leaving no sons, Worsley reverted to the main line of the family. Sir William's widow married Hugh, Lord Willoughby of Parham, and they lived at Worsley Hall, though not happily. (fn. 50)

Scrope, first Duke of Bridgewater, devised a navigation system for Worsley, but it was not carried out. (fn. 51) His son Francis, the third duke, on breaking off his match with Elizabeth widow of the fourth Duke of Hamilton, devoted himself to carrying out his father's plans. He lived at the Brick Hall in Worsley, now pulled down, and limiting his personal expenses to £400 a year, employed the remainder of his income in canal-making. He obtained Acts of Parliament in 1758 and 1759 for the construction of a canal from his collieries in Worsley and Farnworth to Salford and to Hollinfare. Starting from the underground colliery workings, the canal reached the surface near the centre of Worsley, (fn. 52) and was carried, without locks, by a circuitous route and by the famous aqueduct over the Irwell, to Castlefield in the south of Manchester. The engineer was the celebrated James Brindley; John Gilbert, the duke's agent, also took an active part in the work. The subterranean canal extends nearly 6 miles in a straight line, its terminus being near Deane Church, 550 ft. below the surface of the ground; it has numerous branches intended to serve the collieries; and though no longer used for carrying coal, it is useful in draining the workings. Before the first canal was finished the duke, in 1761, obtained an Act for the construction of a more important one from Manchester to Runcorn, at which point a descent is made to the Mersey by a series of locks. By these undertakings the duke, who took the keenest personal interest in the works, rendered important help to the rapidly growing commerce and manufactures of the Manchester district, and enormously enriched himself. By his will he left his estates in Lancashire and Cheshire, and at Brackley, with Bridgewater House, London, its art treasures and valuable library, on trusts for the benefit of his nephew the Marquis of Stafford, afterwards Duke of Sutherland, with remainder to his second son, Francis Leveson-Gower, and his issue; he directed that in case Lord Francis or his issue should succeed to the marquisate of Stafford, the Bridgewater estates should pass to the next in succession. The trust came to an end in 1903, but in 1872 the canals had been transferred to a company, and were purchased in 1887 by the Manchester Ship Canal. (fn. 53)

Lord Francis in 1833, in accordance with the duke's will, took the surname and arms of Egerton, on succeeding his father as the beneficiary of the trust. He determined to reside at Worsley, conceiving, as he said, that 'his possessions imposed duties upon him as binding as his rights.' He found it 'a God-forgotten place; its inhabitants were much addicted to drink and rude sports, their morals being deplorably low. The whole district was in a state of religious and educational destitution; there was no one to see to the spiritual wants of the people, and teaching was all but nullity itself.' The women working in the coalmines were at once withdrawn, and helped to maintain themselves till they could find more suitable occupation. Churches and schools were built; a lending library instituted; the cottages of labourers and artisans repaired and rebuilt; and Lord Francis and his wife afforded a suitable example of life. He built Worsley Hall, rebuilt Bridgewater House, and added to its literary and artistic collections, and also made his mark in literature; nor did he neglect public duties, serving the state in Parliament and in office. He was created Earl of Ellesmere in 1846, refusing the offer to revive the earldom of Bridgewater. (fn. 54) Dying in 1857 he was succeeded by his son George Granville Francis, who only lived till 1862, being followed by his son Francis Charles Granville, born in 1847, the third earl, who in 1903, on the close of the trust, became not only the beneficiary, but the owner of the estates in Worsley and elsewhere.

At the beginning of last century courts baron were held at Easter and Michaelmas. (fn. 55) They continued to be held regularly until 1856, but only two have been held since, in 1877 and 1888. Some court rolls are extant for the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries; the regular series begins in 1722. (fn. 56)

Worsley Hall is a large house built in 1840–6 by Lord Francis Egerton as above stated, Edward Blore being the architect. It stands on high ground looking southward over Chat Moss, and is a spacious stone building of florid Gothic style, with a skyline which from the lower ground is very imposing. It replaces Brick Hall, which was pulled down in 1845.

Worsley Old Hall, which was abandoned as the residence of the lord of the manor when the 18th-century house was built, yet stands in the park to the north of the modern mansion. It is a picturesque low two-storied building, partly of wood and plaster, and partly of brick, but has been so much altered that it has now little or no architectural interest. It makes a very charming picture, however, with its level lawns, ivy-covered walls, and contrast of colour in black and white work, red-brick chimneys, and grey-slated roofs. The house was originally built round three sides of a quadrangle, the fourth, facing north, being open; but the courtyard has now been almost entirely built over, and the interior of the building so much altered that little or nothing of the original disposition of the plan remains. There is nothing to indicate the date of the building, but it would not appear to be older than the 17th century. Parts of an older structure, however, are possibly incorporated in it, some of the roof-beams and principals in the south and south-east parts of the house appearing to be of earlier date. The cellars under the central portion of the house, however, are vaulted in brick, and are certainly not earlier than the 17th century. The principal front faces south, and is of timber and plaster, with gables at the ends, and two brick chimney stacks breaking the long line of the outside wall and roof. The timber work is of simple construction, being composed almost entirely of uprights and diagonal bracings, two quatrefoils near the garden entrance being the only enrichments. The timber construction is continued round the gable at the east side. The hall is said to have been moated, but no signs of a moat now remain. The three sides of the original courtyard are set at slightly different angles. In modern times a corridor was set along the side of the courtyard, connecting the two ends of the old wings, but this has disappeared in subsequent alterations. The courtyard was first encroached on at the east side by the erection of a wide entrance-hall, the principal entrance to the house being on the north side. The quadrangle was by this means reduced to a space of about 34 ft. square, and this was almost entirely covered in 1905 by the erection of a billiard-room. The north entrance front of the house is entirely modern; it carries out the picturesque half-timber character of the garden front, but the black and white work is chiefly paint and plaster. About the middle of the last century (after 1855) a new west wing was added alongside the old one, with a timber gable at each end. This was originally of one story, but was afterwards raised. Further alterations took place in 1891, when the morning-room in the east wing was extended and a new bay added on three sides of the house, and in 1906 a further addition was made by the erection of a small north-west wing. There was formerly a bell turret over the west wing, but this has disappeared.

For a long time before the new Hall was built, Worsley Old Hall was divided into tenements, and it was not till the Hon. Algernon Egerton came to live there in 1855 and the house was entirely renovated, that it was again used as a residence. At the end of the 18th century when the Duke of Bridgewater was constructing his canal, James Brindley, the engineer, lived for some time at Worsley Old Hall, where the duke often consulted with him. The hall is now the residence of Viscount Brackley.

The carved oak panels which were brought from Hulme Hall, Manchester, at the time of its demolition, to Worsley Old Hall, have been removed to the new mansion and are now in Lady Ellesmere's sittingroom. They consist of a series of spirited grotesques, allegorical subjects, and ornamental devices, and are apparently 16th-century work. (fn. 57)

The formation of the estate or manor of BOOTHS in 1323 has been narrated. (fn. 58) Robert son of Henry de Worsley, the original grantee, was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 59) and the latter by Robert de Worsley his son, (fn. 60) who died 28 March 1402, seised of 'the manor of Booths,' which was held of the king as Duke of Lancaster in socage and by the yearly rent of 2s.; it was worth 20 marks. His son and heir Arthur was then of full age. (fn. 61) As already stated, the father had planned the reunion of the whole manor through the marriage of Arthur with Elizabeth daughter and heiress of Sir Geoffrey de Worsley, but was balked by the success of the Masseys in proving her illegitimate.

Arthur Worsley was stated to have been an idiot from his birth. He was entrusted to the guardianship of John Booth of Barton, who in 1414 was accused of having caused waste in the possessions in his charge; (fn. 62) the guardianship had been transferred to John Stanley. (fn. 63) Arthur did not long survive, dying in December 1415, and leaving as heir his son Geoffrey, then about six years of age. (fn. 64) Geoffrey appears to have been succeeded by a brother named Robert. (fn. 65) About 1460 Robert Worsley was in possession, he and his son Robert, with other gentlemen and yeomen, being accused of complicity in the death of Robert Derbyshire; (fn. 66) and at the same time he charged William Massey, Sir Geoffrey Massey, and others, with the death of William Worsley his brother. (fn. 67) Robert Worsley the son is probably the Robert Worsley who died at the beginning of 1497, leaving a son and heir of the same name, thirty years of age. His possessions are described as the manor of Booths, held of the manor of Worsley; also messuages, land, and pasture called the Rakes in Heaton Norris, held of the king as Duke of Lancaster. The services were unknown. (fn. 68)

Robert Worsley recorded a pedigree in 1533; it shows that his eldest son Robert had married Alice daughter and co-heir of Hamlet Mascy of Rixton, and had left a son Robert, then married to Alice daughter of Thurstan Tyldesley. (fn. 69) The grandfather died later in the year, holding lands in Urmston, Hulme, Ashton under Lyne, Rusholme, and Farnworth; the manor of Booths was, as in the earlier inquisitions, found to be held of the king by a rent of 2s.; Robert, the grandson and heir, was twenty-one years of age. (fn. 70) He was afterwards made a knight, and acquired the lands of Upholland Priory; (fn. 71) but the family did not prosper, and though his son and heir Robert was appointed keeper of the New Fleet prison in Salford, while it was filled with recusants during the persecution which marked the latter half of Elizabeth's reign, (fn. 72) he sold the family lands, apparently piecemeal. (fn. 73) Afterwards little is heard of Booths as a manor. It was held by Charnock (fn. 74) and then by Sherington (fn. 75) in the 17th century. The house was in the latter part of the 18th century owned by the Clowes family. (fn. 76) It was eventually acquired by the Bridgewater Trustees, the Earl of Ellesmere being the present owner. (fn. 77)

WARDLEY

WARDLEY, the possession of Jordan de Worsley in the first half of the 14th century, has been mentioned above. Jordan held part of Wardley of the Hospitallers by a rent of 8d.; (fn. 78) he had other lands in Wardley and Worsley, held of the lord of Worsley. (fn. 79) He left an only daughter Margaret as his heir; she was a minor and in ward to Richard de Worsley. In November 1330 a number of the neighbours carried her off from Richard's house and married her to Thurstan son of Richard de Tyldesley. (fn. 80) She was still living in 1401, when in conjunction with her son Thomas she made a settlement with the Masseys regarding her estate in Worsley. (fn. 81) This descended to another Thomas Tyldesley, who died in 1495, (fn. 82) leaving as his heir a son Thurstan. By his first wife Thurstan, who died in 1554, (fn. 83) had a son Thomas, (fn. 84) succeeded two years later by his son Thurstan, (fn. 85) who died in 1582, having between 1562 and 1568 sold Wardley and other lands in Worsley to William and Gilbert Sherington. (fn. 86) This family did not hold them long, selling to Roger Downes, who was living at Wardley in 1609. (fn. 87) He had various public employments (fn. 88) and was twice married. The eldest son by the first marriage having died before his father, (fn. 89) the heir at the latter's death in 1638 was found to be Francis Downes, eldest son by the second wife. (fn. 90) Francis also seems to have died without issue, (fn. 91) the heir being his brother John, who took sides with the king in the Civil War and died in 1648, (fn. 92) leaving by his wife Penelope, a daughter of Sir Cecil Trafford, two children—Roger, born about the year named, and Penelope. (fn. 93) The son, after a short and dissipated career in London—Lord Rochester was one of his companions—died from a wound received in a brawl with the watch, (fn. 94) and his sister inherited the estate. By her husband Richard Savage, fourth Earl Rivers, (fn. 95) she had a daughter and heir Elizabeth, who in turn left a daughter and heir Penelope by her husband James Barry, fourth Earl of Barrymore. (fn. 96) Penelope married General James Cholmondeley, but was divorced for adultery, and died childless in 1786. (fn. 97) Wardley was sold by her in 1760 to Francis Duke of Bridgewater, and now forms part of the Earl of Ellesmere's estate in Worsley. (fn. 98)

Wardley Hall is a quadrangular building of great interest, which, though very much restored, yet preserves many of its ancient features and retains to a great extent its original arrangement of plan. The house is situated about a mile north of Worsley village, and stands on high ground at the head of a wooded hollow. Its immediate surroundings are yet of a rural character, though the workings of collieries have entirely changed the aspect of the district around.


Wardley Hall: The Gateway

The house was formerly surrounded by a moat, but of this only a portion remains on the west side, where it has been formed into a small lake, adding greatly to the picturesqueness of the building.

The date of the first house is not known, but the oldest part of the present structure, containing the great hall, may belong to the end of the 15th or first half of the 16th century. The building has been so much altered and restored in the course of the 19th century, however, that it is very difficult to affix a date definitely to any portion of it. At the beginning of the last century it was in a very dilapidated condition, and some repairs were effected about 1811. A further repair appears to have taken place about 1849; and in 1894, the hall having fallen into decay, a further and more complete restoration was carried out. For about twenty years before this time the house was unoccupied, with the exception of the east wing, which had been made into three cottages, tenanted by colliers. During that period it had only been so far repaired as to be kept weather-proof, and had suffered some damage from the coal-workings beneath it. The only two living-rooms were those now called the boudoir and the dining-room; the lower part of the hall was a washhouse, and its upper part divided into several rooms, and the minstrels' gallery used as a dovecote. The principal entrance to the house from the courtyard had been built up and a later one made on the west side near to the staircase bay. Other rooms were used as places for firewood and rubbish, and the whole structure had been most cruelly mutilated. The work aimed at restoring as much of the building as possible to something like its former state, and reconstructing the remainder.


Plan of Wardley Hall

The house is of two stories throughout, and the entrance is under a gatehouse on the north side of the quadrangle. Immediately opposite, and occupying the whole of the south side of the courtyard, is the great hall. The family apartments were no doubt originally in the west wing, and the servants' rooms in the east wing. The west wing now contains the dining-room, kitchen, and offices, while the east wing, which has been successively used as cottages and stables, was converted into a drawing-room and study in 1903.

The gatehouse was formerly approached over a bridge, and is so shown in Philips's view of the house made about 1822, (fn. 99) the moat at that time coming right up to the walls on this side, if this view is to be taken as correct. The ground is now levelled right up to the building. The elevation on this side is of brick, and is about 60 ft. in length, standing in front of the rest of the house. The roof, which was formerly lower on the east side of the gatehouse, is now of uniform height and pitch with overhanging eaves and a plaster cove. The appearance of the house on this side, relieved only by the central gateway with its single gable and two tall chimney-stacks, is plain and uninteresting, the end gables of the two side wings of the quadrangle standing too far back to enter into the composition of the north front. To the west of the gatehouse, the recess formed by the junction of the north and west wings is now occupied by a low one-story addition erected in 1895–6.

The courtyard is of irregular shape, none of its sides being square with the others, and measures about 45ft. by 35ft., the greater length being from west to east. The east and west wings, which converge slightly to the south, are said to follow the lines of two streams which fed the moat. (fn. 100) All the outside elevations, with the exception of the central portion of the south front, which is of timber, are of brick with stone dressings and with timber in some of the gables, and all the windows are new, both in the brick and timber portions of the house. Three sides of the courtyard are of timber on a stone base, the north or gatehouse side only being of brick. The roofs are covered with stone slates.

The entrance to the house by the courtyard is by the door at the north end of the passage behind the screen. The passage is still retained and on the side opposite the hall has its two doors to the east wing. This part of the house has been entirely modernized, what was probably the buttery being now a gun-room, and the passage to the kitchen now leading to a modern drawing-room and study. The great hall, originally about 40ft. long by 21ft., (fn. 101) was, at a comparatively early date, divided into two by a wall about 12 ft. from its west end. A floor appears to have been inserted at the same time, and the staircase in the south-west corner of the courtyard built. The appearance of the open timber-roofed hall may, however, still be realized in the upper room, the whole extent of the original roof having been exposed in the last restoration. The roof is divided by two principals into three bays, and is of a plain king-post type with curved and moulded pieces underneath the tie beam. It has a flat wooden ceiling with moulded ribs at the level of the tie beams. The arrangement of the great hall followed the usual type. The screens were at the east end, with a gallery over, and the room was lit on the north side by a range of windows to the courtyard. On the opposite side was the inglenook and a window to the garden. Beyond the fireplace at the west end to the right of the high table was the bay window with a projection and width of about 10 ft. All these arrangements may still be seen, but the greater part of the dais end of the hall together with the bay window is now a separate room (boudoir), and the masonry fireplace is a restoration. The fireplace in the upper hall, however, has its old stone arch reinstated after having been repaired. Both these fireplaces were discovered and opened up in 1895–6. At the north-west end of the hall is the staircase occupying a projecting bay in the south-west angle of the courtyard, and beyond this a corridor giving access to the rooms in the western wing. These rooms retain their ancient ceiling beams, and the dining-room had a fine masonry fireplace, now rebuilt. The dining-room ceiling is crossed by four moulded beams, with moulded joists between, the mouldings of the beams being carried down the walls on oak posts 10 in. thick. In the upper room over the kitchen there is a roof similar in style to that over the great hall.


Wardley Hall: Courtyard from North-east

The timber framing on three sides of the quadrangle and on the south side of the house preserves its ancient character, and consists principally of uprights with diagonal bracings. There has been a good deal of reconstruction on both the east and west sides of the court, however, and many of the timbers are new, replacing old ones. A former doorway and recess on the west side of the quadrangle on the ground floor have been destroyed, and the whole of that side made of uniform character. At the same time a new staircase bay and entrance were added in the north-west corner of the courtyard. In the original plan there was a smaller projecting bay in the south-east corner of the courtyard with a small gable facing north, forming a kind of balancing feature to the large gable of the staircase bay, but in the reconstruction this feature has been merged into the general arrangement of the east side of the house by the rebuilding and advancing of the east side of the quadrangle to the line of the former angle-projection and the continuing of the little gable as a second and smaller roof along the whole length of the east wing. The courtyard is paved with stone sets.

Over the gatehouse was formerly the date 1625, which though usually taken to indicate some alteration or addition to the building, probably refers to the year of the erection of the gatehouse, or at any rate to its facing in brick. There may have been a wooden building on the site before, but the timber front to the gatehouse shown in old drawings of Wardley Hall, which was so characteristic a feature of the house in the view from the north, was not timber at all, but only a painted plaster covering in front of the brickwork. The old brick walls have now been restored to their original appearance. The other brick elevations are, perhaps, more rebuildings than restorations, and have no special interest. The room east of the gatehouse upstairs is said to have been a chapel, but there appears to be no documentary evidence for this, and the building itself at the present time offers none. The position, however, would be a convenient and likely one for the purpose, and a former tenant of the hall is stated to have said that he formerly saw evidences of the apartment having been a chapel. (fn. 102)

In an inventory of goods in Wardley Hall dated 10 July 1638, the following rooms and places are mentioned:— (fn. 103)

'The little parler, the old yeaman's chamber, newe flored chambers, buttery chamber, maydon's chamber, gatehouse chambr, mattdd chamber, garden chamber, steare head chamber, yellowe chamber, corner chamber, inner corner chamber, chamber over hall, chappell chamber, cookes chamber, masters' chamber, inner chamber, chamber over pantry, greate parlor, grounde parlor, the hall, servantes chambr, oxe house chamber, garner chambr, mylne, stable chamber, brewhouse, back house, dry larder, wett larder, dryhouse, cheese chamber, kytchein, Mr. Millington's clossett, storehouse, washe house, buttery and sellor, mylne.'

A peculiar interest has long been attached to the house on account of a human skull being kept there. The superstition is that if the skull is moved from its place great storms will follow, to the damage of the dwelling. The skull is in a niche in the wall on the staircase landing, carefully protected by glass and a wooden outer door. Concerning it there are several legends and traditions, but it is now supposed to be that of the Ven. Ambrose Barlow, who served the private chapel at Wardley along with other places in South Lancashire, but was arrested on Easter Sunday, 1641, and executed in the September following at Lancaster. After his execution it is thought that his head may have been secured by Mr. Francis Downes, and preserved by him at Wardley Hall. (fn. 104) The story of the skull being that of the last Roger Downes (died 1676) has been disproved.

The Hollands of Denton held another part of the Hospitallers' lands in Wardley by a rent of 4d. (fn. 105)

Another ancient estate in Worsley was KEMPNOUGH, (fn. 106) granted early in the 13th century by Richard de Worsley to Roger his brother (or son) at a rent of 2s. (fn. 107) Richard son of Roger appears frequently as a witness to local charters and in other ways during the second part of the 13th century. (fn. 108) Probably he was the father of Robert the Clerk of Worsley, whose grandson Richard in 1346 made a settlement of his lands in Worsley upon his son Robert, with remainder to his daughter Ellen. (fn. 109) The last-named seems to have succeeded. She married Richard de Parr, and in 1408 a further settlement was made, Oliver being their eldest son. (fn. 110) Oliver married Emma daughter and heir of Margery, widow of Henry Tootill; she had lands in Tyldesley, which descended to their son and grandson, each named Richard. (fn. 111) The estate descended to John Parr, who in 1560 made a settlement. (fn. 112) His heir was his daughter Anne, whose marriage with Nicholas Starkie carried Kempnough into this family, (fn. 113) and their descendants, the Starkies of Huntroyde, retained possession until 1876, when it was sold to the Bridgewater trustees. (fn. 114)

Kempnough Hall is a small black and white timbered building on a stone base, much renewed with brickwork, and said to have been almost entirely rebuilt in comparatively recent times. Much of the old timber work has been preserved, though the greater part of the 'timber' front is paint on plaster. The house is a two-story building with a slightly projecting gabled wing at each end, and is now divided into three cottages. It lies, surrounded by trees, about half a mile north-east of Worsley, near to Roe Green, but presents no remarkable features. The roofs are covered with stone slates and the chimneys are of brick. Two gates, with piers, which in the early part of the 19th century stood in front of the house have now disappeared. There is a large stone chimney at the east end of the house, and the ceilings of the lower rooms are crossed by oak beams. The back of the house shows the original timber framing. For some time during the latter half of the last century (c. 1850–75), a room in the building was set apart and maintained by the Countess of Ellesmere as a free medicine dispensary for the Worsley tenantry.


Worsley: Kempnough Hall

In addition to Wardley the Hospitallers had an estate in SWINTON. (fn. 115) The abbey of Whalley also had a considerable estate in Swinton and LITTLE HOUGHTON, (fn. 116) the monks regarding it as part of their manor of Monton near Eccles. On the Suppression Swinton and other of the abbey lands were granted to Thurstan Tyldesley. (fn. 117) Hope in Swinton (fn. 118) and Stanistreet (fn. 119) were other estates or portions of Worsley named in the ancient deeds. Westwood also was among the lands of Whalley Abbey. (fn. 120) Little Houghton gave a surname to a resident family. (fn. 121) This estate seems to have passed by descent or purchase to the Valentines of Bentcliffe in Barton. (fn. 122)

WALKDEN

WALKDEN, down to the 15th century, appears to have had a wider meaning than at present, spreading into Farnworth and Little Hulton. (fn. 123) It also gave a surname to a local family. (fn. 124) Northdene in Worsley—probably 'the Deans' in Swinton, north of Little Houghton—was another estate. (fn. 125)

Many of the neighbouring landowners, as appears from the inquisitions, held estates also in Worsley and Swinton. (fn. 126) Until the end of the 17th century all the farms in the district were held on life leases; somewhat earlier it was customary for the leases to contain a provision that the tenants should rear one or more hunting dogs for the lord.

The principal landowner in 1786 was the Duke of Bridgewater, owning apparently over half the land; Samuel Clowes had a large estate at Booths, and the smaller owners included the Rev. Walter Bagot, James Hilton, and — Starkie. (fn. 127)

In 1686 an agreement was made as to the inclosure of Swinton Moor and Hodge Common in the parish of Eccles. (fn. 128) Walkden Moor, a great part of which is or was in Little Hulton, was inclosed about 1765. (fn. 129)

CHURCH

The chapel of ELLEN BROOK (fn. 130) owes its foundation to the lords of Worsley, and has remained to the present day a donative in their gift. The Abbot of Stanlaw, as rector of Eccles, between 1272 and 1295, granted his licence to Richard de Worsley to have a free chantry in his chapel of Worsley, provided that no loss was caused to the mother church, to which 6d. was to be paid yearly as oblations. (fn. 131) There is no continuous record of the chapel's existence, but in 1549 Sir Richard Brereton complained that his son Richard, among other lawless deeds, had recently taken a chalice from his chapel in the manor of Worsley, which chalice the inhabitants had purchased for use in divine service. (fn. 132) The fate of the chapel in the Reformation period is uncertain, but as the lords of Worsley appear to have conformed to the Elizabethan system without difficulty, service was probably continued in it with but little interruption. Dame Dorothy Legh in 1638 left the interest of £50 for its maintenance, and other small gifts were made; (fn. 133) but in 1650 it was found that there was no certain income, and that it sometimes had a preaching minister and sometimes not. (fn. 134)

In 1677 the Bishop of Chester made an order as to the payment of seat rents, the endowment of the chapel not exceeding £20 a year. (fn. 135) Lord Willoughby, on coming to live at Worsley about 1693, appears to have had a design to use this as a Nonconformist place of worship; he locked out the curate in charge and put a Mr. Cheney in as preacher, but was defeated by the feoffees, headed by Roger Kenyon, and the bishop. (fn. 136) In 1719 Bishop Gastrell found the income to be £23 6s. 3d., of which £17 was the rent or value of the house and ground attached to the chapel. (fn. 137) Though it was a donative the curates appear at times to have been licensed to it by the bishop. (fn. 138) The following are the names of some of them:— (fn. 139)

oc. 1610 — Hunt (fn. 140)
oc. 1617–26 Thomas Johnson (fn. 141)
oc. 1646 Roger Baldwin, M.A. (Edin.) (fn. 142)
1647 Hugh Taylor, M.A. (Edin.) (fn. 143)
1648 —Boate (fn. 144)
1650 James Valentine (fn. 145)
oc. 1654 James Bradshaw (fn. 146)
1657 William Coulburn, B.A. (fn. 147) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)
oc. 1664 Joseph Hanmer, M.A. (Trin. Coll., Camb.)
? 1669 Samuel Hanmer (fn. 148)
1682 Miles Atkinson (fn. 149)
1709 Thomas Chaddock, B.A. (fn. 150)
oc. 1725–48 John Key (fn. 151)
oc. 1769 John Crookhall, B.A. (fn. 152)
1792 John Clowes, M.A. (fn. 153)
1819 Wilson Rigg
1854 St. Vincent Beechey, M.A. (fn. 154) (Caius Coll. Camb.)
1872 Constantine Charles Henry Phipps, (fn. 155) Earl of Mulgrave
1890 Frederick Carslake Hodgkinson, M.A.
1907 Thomas Harrison

Since 1854 this chapel has been held with St. Mark's, Worsley, which was built by the first Earl of Ellesmere and opened in 1846; it has an effigy of the founder. St. Mark's is a vicarage, the Earl of Ellesmere being patron. Several other churches have been erected for the Established worship. St. Peter's, Swinton, built in 1869, replaces an older building erected in 1781; the vicar of Eccles is patron. (fn. 156) Holy Rood, Moorside, and the school-chapels of All Saints and St. Stephen, are also in Swinton. At Walkden is the church of St. Paul, opened in 1838, and rebuilt in 1848; the Earl of Ellesmere is patron. (fn. 157) St. John the Baptist's, Little Hulton, is also within Walkden, at Hill Top; it was built in 1874; the Bishop of Manchester is patron. (fn. 158)

There are Wesleyan chapels at Worsley, first built in 1801, and at Boothstown; also at Swinton and Walkden. The Primitive Methodists have two chapels at Swinton and one at Walkden. At Swinton there is also a Methodist Free Church. The Independent Methodists have a chapel at Roe Green, (fn. 159) and another at Swinton.

The Congregationalists have two churches at Swinton; also one at Sindsley Mount and another at Walkden. (fn. 160)

At Swinton is a Unitarian Free Church. (fn. 161)

The Swedenborgians built a church at Worsley in 1849.

At Swinton is the Roman Catholic church of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, opened in 1859.

Footnotes

1 Made up thus: Higher Worsley, 1,362½ acres; Lower Worsley, 3,319½ Boothstown, 1,120—5,802; Swinton, 634½; Little Houghton, 491½—1,126.
The Census Rep. of 1901 gives the area of Worsley as 5,412 acres, including 70 of inland water; and Swinton, 1,346, including 10 of inland water. Part of Pendlebury has been included with Swinton.
2 Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
3 Lond. Gaz. 26 Mar. 1867.
4 42 & 43 Vict. cap. 43.
5 a Dict. Nat. Biog.
6 Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 94.
7 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 65. The whole 14 oxgangs so held may have been—Worsley 4, Swinton, 4 (or 3), Monton 2 (or 3), and Hulton 4. This, however, makes Monton a thegnage estate, though situated in Barton, which was held by knight's service.
8 Curia Reg. R. 26; the plaintiff was Eda (or Edith) daughter of Matthew. The writ was found to require amendment, because her husband, Gilbert de Notton, was not named in it; and then because she had sisters, likewise not mentioned in it.
9 Lancs. Pipe R. 216. Nothing is known of Elias the father of Richard. The legendary founder of the Worsley family was an Elias the Giant, who lived in the time of the Conqueror, became a Crusader, 'fought many duels, combats, &c., for the love of our Saviour Jesus Christ and obtained many victories,' and died and was buried at Rhodes; Harland and Wilkinson, Lancs. Legends, 78.
10 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, loc. cit.
11 a Abstract among the Ellesmere deeds. Another deed shows that Lescelina, a sister of Edith de Barton and co-heir, gave to the same Richard a moiety of Swinton and Little Houghton; ibid.
Hugh de Nowell (sic) in 1324 is said to have held in Worsley and Hulton six oxgangs by the service of 20s. a year; this should perhaps have been amended to 'the assign of Hugh Putrell' and 'six oxgangs and half a plough-land'; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 37b. About the same time the receiver of the forfeited estates and offices of Sir Robert de Holland rendered account of '20s. of farm of land of Hugh de Menill, which William de Nevill and Gerard de Camvile formerly held in Worsley and Hulton'; L.T.R. Enr. Accts. Misc. No. 14, m. 76 d. For William and Gerard see Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 62, 65; they represented the heirs of Adam son of Sweyn in 1212.
In the sheriff's compotus of 1348 the rent of Henry de Worsley for 'the manor of Worsley' was returned as 13s. 4d.—that for Hulton being 6s. 8d., as above—so that the moiety of Swinton paid 3s. 4d.; the whole thegnage rent was 20s. The remainder of the 26s. payable by the Bartons in 1212 was contributed at the later date by the Abbot of Whalley for his tenement in Monton. In an extent made about 1445 it is recorded that Sir Geoffrey Massey held the manor of Worsley for half a plough-land in socage, rendering 13s. 4d.; the additional oxgang in Swinton was not reckoned, though the rent was paid; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, 2/20.
12 Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 717. The bounds were Scaithlache, Millbrook, Cartlache, Modibrook, Stanwall Syke, by Stanwall to Wolfpit Greaves, and by Peveril's Gate to the starting-point.
13 To Thomas de Fleckenhow, chaplain, one of the rectors of Eccles, he leased 14½ acres in Wardley for twenty years, beginning in Nov. 1218, at a rent of 4s., with one pig, 'if the said Thomas or his men dwelling on the said land shall have pigs fattened on the mastfall of the said vills' of Wardley and Worsley; Lord Ellesmere's D. no. 133. R. de Maidstone, Archdeacon of Chester, was a witness. In 1219 he came to an agreement with Richard de Hulton as to the six oxgangs in Hulton pertaining to Worsley; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i. 41.
As Richard son of Elias de Worsley he granted to Hugh the clerk, otherwise Hugh de Monton, his brother, the whole land of Hazelhurst and other land beside the brook flowing from Wardley Spring; Ellesmere D. no. 232. Half of Hazelhurst was afterwards given by Hugh's daughter Ellen, in her widowhood, to John son of Robert de Shoresworth, who had married her daughter Margery; ibid. no. 233. The whole appears to have been afterwards acquired by the Worsley family from Richard son of Hugh de Monton, Ellen de Hazelhurst herself (in 1276), Margery de Hazelhurst, and William son of Alice daughter of Ellen de Hazelhurst; ibid. no. 234–7. Hugh the clerk had been a benefactor of Cockersand; Chart. ii, 718.
Richard de Worsley took part in the inquiry as to the advowson of Flixton; Lancs. Pipe R. 355.
14 In that year he was one of the jury to inquire into certain trespasses on Thomas Grelley's parks; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 193. He occurs also in the Assize Roll of 1246 (R. 404, m. 7). He made grants in Hulton; Ellesmere D. no. 40, 45.
To his daughter Isabel, wife of Richard de Bolton, Geoffrey gave in free marriage certain land in Holeclough, with easements in Worsley, Mokenis excepted, the rent being a pair of white gloves; Ellesmere D. no. 115. This land Richard de Hulton in 1289 granted to his son Henry; ibid. no. 141.
15 The lands which Richard de Worsley and Hugh the clerk had granted to Cockersand were by Abbot Roger given to Geoffrey son of Richard de Worsley at a rent of 2s., half a mark being payable at the death of himself, his wife, or heirs; ibid. 110. 139. In 1268 Richard de Worsley was in possession, so that Geoffrey had died before this year; Cockersand Chart. ii, 718.
Agnes widow of Geoffrey de Worsley released to the Abbot of Stanlaw all claim to land in Little Houghton which her husband had sold to Richard de Byron; Richard de Worsley, her first-born, was a witness; Whalley Coucher, i, 55. She also released her claim to dower in lands in Monton and Swinton given to Geoffrey de Byron; Ellesmere D. no. 214.
16 To Geoffey de Byron he granted for life lands bounded as follows—from the brook flowing from the moss in Stanistreet, the hedge as far as Huntley Brook, across to the lower part of Linnyshaw (Lillyngeshald), to Holeclough, by the middle of the great moss to Leparslache, across to Tornedeheg, and so to the starting point; the rent was 12d.; Ellesmere D. no. 126. This grant was extended in 1271; no. 216. In the year named he came to an agreement with Gilbert son of Thomas de Lymme and Richard son of John de Hulton, respecting a portion of the waste in Worsley, lying between the king's way and the bounds of Farnworth, Wichshaw and Longshaw at one side and Orlinhead at the other being also limits; the land was for ever to be in common between the parties and their heirs and their men of the Wich; ibid. no. 136. In 1276 Robert Abbot of Stanlaw granted the land called Drywood-ridding to Richard de Worsley at a rent of 6d.; no. 137. The same abbot allowed him a free chantry; no. 127. Richard also secured lands in Hulton from Richard son of John de Hulton, and made a further agreement as to the Worsley six oxgangs with David son of Richard de Hulton; no. 46–7.
17 Assize R. 408, m. 32; he was defendant to a claim for common of pasture brought by Richard son of Roger de Worsley.
Richard married, probably as his second wife, Maud daughter of Alice daughter of William the clerk of Eccles; and on their marriage John de Wardley granted them all his land in Wardley (Worthley) in Worsley, with remainder to Robert the brother of Maud; Alice was still living; Ellesmere D. no. 161. John de Wardley and Alice are named in the Whalley Coucher, i, 65. Alice de Wardley was living in 1301; Assize R. 1321, m. 8 d. Richard son of John de Wardley gave his lands in Wardley in 1293 to Adam son of Richard and Maud; Ellesmere D. no. 143. Adam again occurs in 1316 and 1317; and his widow Cecily in 1331; ibid. no. 116, 117, 165; also De Banco R. 201, m. 5. John the son of Adam de Wardley was a plaintiff in July 1357; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 6, m. 4.
An Adam son of Wronou de Wardley occurs earlier; he held two oxgangs of land of Gilbert de Barton; de Trafford D. no. 194.
18 Richard son of Richard de Worsley attested a grant made to his father in 1293; Ellesmere D. no. 143. He had been defendant to a claim made in 1292, but it was shown that his brother Henry was in possession of the lands in dispute; Assize R. 408, m. 72 d.
19 Henry may have been the eldest son; he describes himself as 'son and heir of Richard formerly lord of Worsley,' in a charter of 1296; Ellesmere D. no. 218. His first wife Joan was dead in 1293, when he granted a pound of wax for the service of the high altar of Eccles Church for her soul and the souls of his father, ancestors, &c., Whalley Coucher, iii, 923. He then married Margaret, who survived him (1304) and became the wife of Robert son of Richard de Radcliffe in or before 1305; De Banco R. 149, m. 41; 153, m. 315 d.
In 1292 Henry de Worsley made a grant to Adam de Lever and his tenants in Farnworth of certain easements in Worsley by Walkden Brook; Ellesmere D. no. 142. He granted lands in Worsley to his brother Jordan, with remainder, in default of issue to the latter, to his own children by Margaret his wife; no. 130.
In another grant to Jordan he mentions his uncles John and Geoffrey; no. 131. He made yet another in 1299; and a little later Olive de Bolton released all her claim in these lands; no. 146, 148.
For a Roger de Worsley, indicted in 1299, see Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 305.
20 In 1299 Henry son of Richard de Worsley granted to Robert his son land in Worsley called Mokenis, the bounds beginning at Acornsyke, where it was met by the fall of Kronkysker, between Worsley and Astley; along the fall to Blackbrook, thence by the bounds of Astley and Irlam, across the moss to Ringand Pits, and thence going down to the Meadowyard; Ellesmere D. no. 147. This was perhaps the grant confirmed in 1301; Final Conc. i, 193. In 1322 Margaret, formerly wife of Henry, sold and released to Robert her son all her goods in Worsley, movable and immovable, for £40 sterling which he had paid her; Ellesmere D. no. 140.
21 Ibid. no. 162.
22 In 1295 Maud, Margaret, and Ellen, daughters and heirs of Robert son of John son of Meuric de Hulton, released to Richard son of Henry lord of Worsley and Margaret his wife all claim on the lands which their father had held of Richard de Worsley according to the charter in possession of the above-mentioned Richard and Margaret; Ellesmere D. no. 145. In 1299 Richard had a grant of land in Worsley from his father (Final Conc. i, 187); though Henry the father was still living at the time the sons Richard and Robert (see preceding note) were in the guardianship of one Robert de Ashton. Margaret, the wife of the son Richard, is mentioned in 1296; Ellesmere D. no. 51, 52, 218. In 1311 Roger the Barker of Salford, as trustee, granted the third part and the other two-thirds of the manor of Worsley to Richard and Margaret, with remainder to Henry son of Richard; Final Conc. ii, 11.
Jordan de Worsley, Richard's uncle, in 1305 granted him all his lands in the mill house in Worsley; Ellesmere D. no. 149. In 1307 Richard assigned dower to Margaret his father's widow in two granges &c. outside the hall gate on the eastern side by the road to Manchester, in the demesne lands, in the holdings of certain under-tenants, together with the mill of Worsley and its appurtenances; no. 151. Three days later Margaret and her husband Robert de Radcliffe demised these dower lands to Richard at a rent of £10, payable in Manchester Church; no. 152; also no. 157 (1317).
In 1310 William son of Richard de Radcliffe agreed with Richard son of Henry de Worsley that William's son and heir, Robert, should marry Ellen daughter of Richard; Ellesmere D. no. 257.
Henry's widow Margaret lived on until about 1363, when her will was made; ibid. no. 271. In the same year she gave her son Thurstan de Holland all her goods movable and immovable; ibid. no. 270. See further under Denton, and Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 150.
Richard de Worsley was returned as holding lands of £15 annual value in 1323; Palgrave, Parl. Writs, II, ii, 639. Four years later he was one of the commissioners of array for the Hundred of Salford, in anticipation of a war with Scotland; Rot. Scot. (Rec. Com.), i, 217. In 1331 he, as lord of Worsley, made a grant for life to Cecily widow of Adam de Wardley of a messuage and land previously held by Henry the Flecher, son of William de Tyldesley; Ellesmere D. no. 165. In the following year he contributed to the subsidy; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 39.
23 As early as 1305 Henry was one of the defendants to the claims for dower made by Margaret wife of Robert de Radcliffe; De Banco R. 156, m. 92. In 1323 Henry de Worsley joined with his father in the above-cited agreement with Robert de Worsley as to the 2s. rent for Robert's portion of the manor; Ellesmere D. no. 162. In 1332 he seems to have been living in Hulton; Exch. Lay Subs. 39. Two years later he had become lord of Worsley; Ellesmere D. no. 58.
In 1354 Alice widow of Henry de Worsley granted certain lands in Hulton to Thomas Thirlwind and Alice his wife; ibid. no. 59. Ten years later she gave to Henry her son an annual rent of 12s. from lands in Hulton held by William de Shakerley and Margaret his wife (no. 60); while in 1366 she granted to Henry de Worsley all her dower lands at a rent of 50s. 4d.; no. 166. Henry son of Henry de Worsley was defendant in a Worsley suit in July 1356; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 20.
24 In 1350 John de Harrington and Katherine his wife laid claim to the custody of the lands and heir of Henry de Worsley, the defendants being Gilbert de Haydock and Anabel widow of Geoffrey de Worsley; De Banco R. 363, m. 212. From the Legh of Lyme deeds it is evident that Anabel was the daughter of Gilbert de Haydock; she is named as early as 1335; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxxviii, 43, 165, 263, 146. Then, in July 1356, Geoffrey son of Geoffrey de Worsley was the first defendant to a claim for land in Worsley put forward by John son of Agnes daughter of Henry de Hulton; Gilbert de Haydock was another defendant; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 20. About the same time Geoffrey de Worsley proceeded against Richard de Kenyon of Worsley regarding waste; ibid. m. 9. It would appear therefore that Henry de Worsley died in or before 1350, leaving as his heir a minor, Geoffrey de Worsley the younger, who had come of age by 1356. On the other hand the jury in 1401 found that Geoffrey the son of Henry succeeded his father, and was in turn followed by his son Geoffrey; Ellesmere D. no. 203.
25 Sir Geoffrey de Worsley in a petition for redress endorsed by the Commons stated that he had served in the wars and took the order of chivaler at the battle in Spain; he had entrusted his wife to the care of Thomas Pulle, who had abused the trust, and then induced her to seek a divorce. Sir Geoffrey and Thomas afterwards met at Reading, and after high words came to blows, Thomas being wounded, so that when he died his friends tried to make Sir Geoffrey responsible. He, however, averred that Thomas had been cured of his wounds, and had espoused the said wife; Anct. Pet. P.R.O. 103/5109. Mary entered religion among the Minoresses in London, but after Sir Geoffrey's death appealed to the pope, who issued a commission; ibid. 146/7276. These references are due to Mr. Francis Worsley.
26 A full statement of the descent is given in the deed last quoted, the record of a search made in 1593 for the account of the trial of 1401, when Robert de Worsley of Booths and Arthur his son sought the manor of Worsley as the right of Arthur's wife Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir Geoffrey.
In 1374 Sir Geoffrey de Worsley granted his manors of Worsley and Hulton with their appurtenances, as also his lands in Salford and Manchester; the feoffees were to settle the same upon him and his issue, with remainder to his sister Alice, wife of Sir John Massey of Tatton; ibid. no. 121. Two years later the feoffees regranted the manors to Sir Geoffrey and Mary his wife, daughter of Sir Thomas de Felton; no. 167, also no. 122, and Final Conc. iii, 4. A further feoffment and fine were made in July and Aug. 1381; Ellesmere D. no. 169, and Final Conc. iii, 12. The proceedings for divorce had already begun at Chester. It was stated that in 1374, in the chapel of Sir Thomas de Felton's mansion-house in Candlewick Street in London, his daughter had married Sir Thomas Breton, and that in 1376 in the parish church at Leamington she had married Sir Geoffrey de Worsley, her former husband not dying till Nov. or Dec. 1380, in Aquitaine. On this account the second marriage was declared null; Ellesmere D. no. 268.
For the subsequent proceedings see Sir Peter Leycester's account in Ormerod's Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 441. The above-cited record of 1401 merely states that Geoffrey had married Mary de Felton, by whom he had no issue, and then, during her life, had taken to wife Isabel daughter of Sir Thomas de Lathom, by whom he had a daughter Elizabeth; Ellesmere D. no. 203. In 1401 John de Stanley and (the same) Isabel his wife released to John Massey and Alice his wife all their interest in the manors of Worsley and Hulton; no. 175.
In 1376 the sheriff was ordered to arrest Sir Geoffrey to answer for 6,000 marks he had acknowledged due to Sir John Massey and others. Not finding him, the sheriff took a full account of his possessions. The manor of Worsley had a house with hall, chamber, chapel, kitchen, &c.; there were a forcellettum called the Peel, a water-mill, and various lands, messuages, and wood, &c. The free rents amounted to 60s. 8d.; a profit in Worsley, for digging and selling sea-coals, was worth 15s. a year. Among the out-goings were 18s. a year paid to the Duke of Lancaster for the tenements in Worsley, and 5 marks a year from Hulton to 'one Anabel, who was the wife of John Comyn'—no doubt Anabel mother of Sir Geoffrey. The sheriff handed all manors, &c., to the petitioning creditors; De Banco R. 462, m. 98 d.
The story of the refeoffment of Sir Geoffrey in his manor of Worsley is told in Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 540. After that he went abroad, it is stated, and died there fully seised.
He died on the Thursday before Easter (30 Mar.) 1385, his daughter and heir Elizabeth being about a year old. The manor of Worsley was held in socage by a rent of 13s. 4d., worth 40 marks clear; the manor of Hulton, three parts of the vill, also in socage, by a rent of 6s. 7d., and worth 12 marks; tenements in Salford in free burgage by a rent of 12d. for each burgage, and worth 40s.; Ellesmere D. no. 172 (a copy), and Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 23, 46. Elizabeth was regarded as heiress of the Lathoms in 1389, and was then five years of age; ibid. i, 35. It appears that a life interest in the manor of Worsley had been secured to her; ibid. i, 118. She proved her age and had livery of her lands in 1401; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 2. She was born at Worsley on the Friday after St. Matthew, 1383, and baptized at Eccles by John de Craunton, vicar, her godparents being Thomas de Worsley and Emma de Hindley; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1499. The widow, Isabel de Lathom, had married Sir John de Stanley before the end of 1385; Parl. R. iii, 204, 205.
27 Ormerod, Ches. i, 441.
28 Alice daughter of Geoffrey de Worsley was wife of Sir John Massey in 1372; Raines MSS. xxxviii, 238.
Immediately after the death of Sir Geoffrey de Worsley his trustee, Richard de Worsley, chaplain, granted to Alice the manors of Worsley and Hulton; Ellesmere D. no. 171. Yet about three years later, when in the chapel at Deane, he was induced or compelled, as he afterwards confessed, to enfeoff Robert de Worsley or his representatives of the manors; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 540.
29 Ibid. App. 329.
30 Ibid. 332. In 1373 Sir John Massey had had an annuity of 50 marks from Edward the Black Prince, he to serve the prince at all times, and during war with an esquire; this was confirmed in 1377 by Richard as Prince of Wales; ibid. 329.
31 Ibid. 333; Ormerod, Ches. i, 442, where his and other Massey inquisitions are printed.
32 Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 334; a grant to Alice, the widow, of a third of Sir John's possessions forfeited by the rebellion of himself and his son. In 1401 Sir John Massey of Tatton, Alice his wife, and Thomas, Geoffrey, and Richard their sons, had joined in a grant to Elizabeth wife of Arthur de Worsley, the dispossessed daughter of Sir Geoffrey; Ellesmere D. no. 177, 178.
33 Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 516; Thomas Massey had died on 24 Aug. 1420, and Geoffrey his brother and heir was thirty years of age. A statement of the descent, drawn up at this time, will be found in Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 29.
34 Ibid. xxxvii, 517
35 Sir Geoffrey made feoffments of his manors in 1429 and 1441; in the latter Margery his wife was a beneficiary; Ellesmere D. no. 185, 186.
In the White and Black books among Lord Ellesmere's muniments is a copy of an extent of the manor made in 6 or 16 Hen. VI. It describes the manor-place with its moat, the chapel, great barn, &c., the wastes of Walkden Moor and Swinton Moor. The value of the lands in the lord's holding was £38 8s. 6d. The free tenants paid 17s. 5d. as follows: The Abbot of Whalley for Swinton, Monton, and half of Houghton, 7s. 11d.; Robin Langley for Northdene, a pair of iron spurs, and for Droilsdene two iron arrows; Nicholas Halghton for half Hulton 13d. and for Ollerfordehurst (now Alderforest in Worsley) 3s. 4d., and for Walwerk 12d.; Oliver Parr, 2s.; Perkin Worsley for Stanistreet, 8d.; Thurstan Holland for Wardley, 9d.; Thomas Tyldesley, 6d.; William Lever, James Hulton, Richard Prestall, Alison Redford, and Ralph Astley, 1d. each for Walkden Moor; Richard Farnworth for Tasker Place and common of pasture on Walkden Moor, 1d.; Denis Warton, a pair of gloves. The tenants at will paid £30 6s. 10d. a year, and gave various services; thus one tenant's 'average' was a plough, harrow, turf delver, turf cart, 'worthing' cart, a mower, seven days' 'shearing,' six hens, with a 'takke' of 16d.; and three tenants paid 6s. 8d. each for the 'cole mole.'
Sir Geoffrey in his will dated 25 Sept. 1457 desired to be buried in the 'new chapel' he had made on the south side of the chancel of Eccles Church, and left £40 for the establishment of the chantry therein; 20 marks for an 'overlay of marble' above his body, with two images of copper and 'ayregild' representing himself and his wife, a suitable inscription, and four escutcheons. Apprehending that his heir William would create trouble he bequeathed to Thomas Lord Stanley 'all the glazen windows, clock bells,' &c. at Worsley and Tatton, with a request that he would see that his said wife 'might be at her liberty to demean herself and not constrained against her will, disseised, spoiled, nor robbed of her lands nor goods, nor in likewise the said John' his son. He protested that he was in debt to no one, though 'informed that certain untrue and false people, because they supposed he was greatly diseased with sickness, slandered and noised in the country' that he owed them debts. Printed in Wills (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 12.
In addition to the above-named John he had a son Hugh, ancestor of the Masseys of Whittleswick.
36 In 1452 William Massey son and heir of Richard, brother of Sir Geoffrey Massey, released his claim to manors, lands, services, &c. in Worsley, Hulton, Salford, Manchester, Tatton, Ollerton, Leigh, Northwich, Knutsford, and Rostherne, then in the hands of his uncle's feoffees; Ellesmere D. no. 187, 262.
37 Ormerod, loc. cit.
38 Sir John Boteler in July 1457 received 6 marks from Sir Geoffrey Massey towards the maintenance of Geoffrey son and heir of William Massey, who had married Isabel daughter of Sir John; Ellesmere D. no. 275. In 1466 William Massey of Worsley and Geoffrey his son and heir, leased to Henry Buckley land in Nether Acres at the south end of Manchester at a rent of 2s.; ibid. no. 125. As Sir Geoffrey Massey of Worsley, he made a lease of Hulton Hey in 1484; no. 71. Sir Geoffrey is frequently named in the Chester Recognizance Rolls from 1475 to 1489; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 526–8.
Sir Geoffrey died 28 Sept. 1496, and his daughter and heir Joan, widow (1499) of William Stanley, was then twenty-four years of age. The manor of Worsley was found to be held of the king as Duke of Lancaster by knight's service and the yearly rent of 10s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, 68.
39 The marriage took place in or before 1480, for in a charter of that year the remainders are to Joan daughter of Sir Geoffrey Massey and her issue by William son and heir apparent of Sir William Stanley; Ellesmere D. no. 190. This Sir William was the brother of the first Earl of Derby, afterwards executed for high treason, all his lands being forfeited. A further settlement was made in 1488; ibid. no. 191.
Joan was left a widow in or before 1499; she married Sir Edward Pickering shortly afterwards, and after his death about 1503 she married Sir John Brereton, who was living in 1510; Ellesmere D. no. 211, 280, 284. There was a recovery of the manors of Worsley and Hulton in 1501, Sir Edward Pickering and Joan his wife being tenants; Towneley's MS. CC (Chet. Lib.), no. 705. Sir John Brereton and Dame Joan his wife were defendants in a case relating to the Massey chantry at Eccles in 1510; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 49.
40 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, 95 (now illegible). An old abstract states that Dame Joan with William Pickering held the manor of Worsley and Hulton, with lands, wood, &c., rents of 30s., a pair of spurs, two arrows, a pair of gloves in the same, in socage by a rent of 18s. The value was £60 a year. She also held lands, burgages, &c. in Salford, Wigan, Manchester, Kearsley, and Farnworth. Joan wife of John Ashton was her daughter and heir.
41 Ormerod, Ches. i, 442.
42 An annuity for Dorothy, Richard's widow, was settled in 1560 by Joan Brereton, widow, and Geoffrey her son and heir; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 22, m. 146. Dorothy Brereton adhered to 'the old religion,' and was accordingly in trouble in 1584; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 227 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. clxvii, 40).
43 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xii, 5. Richard Brereton paid 11s. 4d. to the Duchy for Worsley, 6s. 8d. for Middle Hulton; the other 2s. of ancient rent was paid by Robert Worsley for Booths; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1868), i, 447.
44 Ormerod, loc. cit. See Foss, Judges; G.E.C. Complete Peerage, and Dict. Nat. Biog. He was created Baron of Ellesmere in 1603. As to his religious position his contemporary Fr. John Gerard states that 'he had been a Catholic; but went over to the other side, for he loved the things of this world'; Morris, Life of Gerard, 185. He was one of the feoffees in a settlement of the manors in 1577; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 39, m. 6.
In Nov. 1599 Sir Thomas Egerton and Dorothy Brereton, widow, stating that Richard Brereton had died in the previous December, recited that he had about 1593 conveyed his manors of Worsley, Hulton, and Bedford with other lands in Lancashire to the use of himself for life, then of the said Dorothy for life, and then of Sir Thomas and his heirs male; and his Cheshire manors and lands to the use of Sir Thomas. After Richard's death Anne Davenport, widow of Sir William Davenport, George Legh of High Legh and Anne his wife, Henry Cocker of High Legh, and Richard Swerton had entered upon the lands, claiming as the next of kin; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. clxxxviii, E2; cxcvii, E5; ccx, E7. Anne Davenport was the aunt of the deceased Richard Brereton and next of kin; she had married (1) John Booth of Barton, their daughter and co-heir Anne being the wife of George Legh, and (2) Sir William Davenport of Bramhall; Earwaker, East Ches. i, 437; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 179.
After the death of Viscount Brackley it was found that his heir male was the Earl of Bridgewater, but an elder son had left two daughters—Mary wife of Sir Thomas Leigh, and Vera wife of William Booth; Chan. Inq. p.m. II, v, 396, 151.
45 Brereton monument in Eccles Church; and Funeral Cert. (Chet. Soc.), 80. The will of Dame Dorothy Legh, with inventory, is printed in Piccope's Wills (Chet. Soc.), iii, 201–12. She desired to be buried in the tomb of her former husband, made a large number of bequests to the Egertons and others, and to servants; to the poor in Worsley 20 nobles, to those in Eccles 40s., in Middle Hulton 40s., and about Deane Church 20s. &c.; to twelve old persons her tenants in Worsley and Hulton a black coat or gown; 'there is armour in the armour house at Worsley which belongeth to the late tenants of my former husband, Mr. Brereton, both in Cheshire and Lancashire; my will and desire is to have it kept and preserved for use.' By a codicil she gave 10s. each to 'the workmen in or at the coal pits and cannel pits in Middle Hulton.'
Her ghost was said to haunt an ash tree near the hall, and an account of its laying by seven clergymen of the district is given in Manch. Guardian Notes and Queries, no. 805. A live cock chicken was offered to appease it but a human life should have been offered; hence the spirit was allowed to appear at Worsley Hall once a year in the form of a swallow.
46 This sketch of the descent is from Ormerod's Cheshire, and the Peerages. There are lives of several in Dict. Nat. Biog.
47 He married Frances daughter and coheir of Ferdinando, fifth Earl of Derby. The chief residence of the family was at Ashridge, Herts., and the monumental inscriptions in Little Gaddesden Church are in Collins's Peerage. According to them the first earl 'was a profound scholar, an able statesman, and a good Christian; he was a dutiful son to his mother the Church of England, in her persecution as well as in her great splendour; a loyal subject to his sovereign in those worst of times when it was accounted treason not to be a traitor.' His estates do not seem to have been interfered with by the Parliament. An extent of the holdings of the Worsley tenants of John, Earl of Bridgewater, made in 1653, is in the Exch. of Pleas (Cal. W. 238).
48 Son of John Egerton, successively Bishop of Bangor, Lichfield, and Durham, who died in 1787, and who was son of Henry Egerton, brother of the first Duke of Bridgewater, and Bishop of Hereford 1724–46. By the will of the third duke he had the family estates in Herts., Bucks. and Salop. By the seventh earl's will these have become the possession of Earl Brownlow; G.E.C. Complete Peerage.
The Duchy rents of 18s. for Worsley and 2s. for Booths were paid in 1779; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 14, no. 25.
49 He gave his collection of manuscripts, known as the Egerton MSS., to the British Museum. See Dict. Nat. Biog.
50 Sir William Egerton was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles II in 1661. The grant of Worsley to him in tail male was made in 1674; Ellesmere D. He died in 1691 and was buried at Hemel Hempstead. His wife was Honora, sister of Thomas Lord Leigh of Stoneley; their only son died young, while of four daughters one married; Collins, Peerage. For Lady Honora and her second husband see Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 417–21.
Sir William's daughter Honora married Thomas Arden Bagot of Pipe Hall, Staffs., whose descendants own land in Worsley and Hulton.
51 The Irwell and Mersey Navigation was begun by Act of Parliament in 1720 (7 Geo. I, cap. 15); it effected improvements in the waterway between Manchester and Warrington. In 1737 the Duke of Bridgewater procured an Act (10 Geo. II, cap. 9) for making Worsley Brook navigable from Worsley Mill to the River Irwell.
Two settlements of the Worsley manors by Scrope, Earl and Duke of Bridgewater, are recorded—in 1703 and 1739; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 250, m. 17; Plea R. 549, m. 6.
52 In the formation of the canal this order was no doubt reversed, the canal being driven in underground till a seam was reached; the coal was then worked and carried away by the canal, the mines and canals progressing together; note by Mr. Holme.
53 From an account in the Times of 25 Aug. 1903, derived from one in the Quarterly Rev. of Mar. 1844, by the Earl of Ellesmere.
A pamphlet describing the Bridgewater Navigation was published in 1766, with later editions in 1769 and 1779; it contains a map of the canals and gives an abstract of the Act of Parliament. There are early notices of the canals by A. Young, Six Months' Tour (1770), iii, 251, and Aikin, Manchester (1795), 112–16; see also Dict. Nat. Biog. and Smiles, Engineers. For a note on the portraits of the duke, see Pal. Note Bk. ii, 130.
54 From a Guide to Worsley (Eccles, 1870): also G.E.C. Complete Peerage, and Dict. Nat. Biog. The earl was the first president of the Camden Society, and wrote a Guide to Northern Archaeology.
One of his sons, the Hon. Algernon Egerton, M.P., resided at Worsley Old Hall, and was superintendent of the Bridgewater Trust for many years. After his death in 1891 a memorial fund of £1,100 was raised, the interest of which is given in exhibitions or scholarships to pupil teachers proceeding to college.
55 Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 145.
56 Information of Mr. Strachan Holme. In 1877 the bounds were perambulated. The officers of the manor used to be the moss reeves, moor drivers, burley men, affeerers, constables, and pinfold keepers.
57 They are engraved in Baines, Hist. of Lancs. (1st ed.), iii, 144.
58 Final Conc. i, 193; also Ellesmere D. no. 147, 162, quoted above.
59 In 1350 Agnes widow of Robert de Worsley claimed her dower in twenty-one messuages and various lands in Worsley and Heaton Norris. William son of Robert, in defending, denied Agnes's marriage, but she averred that it took place on the Wednesday after 29 Aug. 1346, at the door of St. Mary's Church, Deane; De Banco R. 363, m. 78 d. William son of Robert de Worsley occurs again in 1353; Assize R. 435, m. 9 d. William de Worsley had licence for his oratory in 1360, 1362, and 1366; Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 4, 8, 15.
60 Robert de Worsley and Isabel his wife in 1376 claimed dower in certain lands in Blackrod; Isabel was the widow of John de Worthington; De Banco R. 462, m. 235. Robert had licence for his oratory in the manor of Booths in 1378; Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 31b. In 1401 Robert son of William de Worsley had a release from the Masseys of all claim to Booths and Stanistreet; Ellesmere D. (Black Bk.). Robert de Worsley was knight of the shire in 1386 and 1391; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 43–4. He complained that in order to ruin him the Masseys and others had accused him of treason in 1387, so that he had been imprisoned for some time in the Tower; Parl. R. iii, 445.
61 Towneley MS. DD, no. 1448; an inquisition taken at Manchester on 3 Oct. 1402. The writ had been issued 6 Aug. 1402; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 2, where the date seems to be 1401. In the inquiry as to the sanity of Arthur de Worsley, however, Robert's death is said to have happened on Easter Sunday, 1403; and it is recorded that he held the Rakes in Heaton Norris, in addition to 'certain lands and tenements called the Booths' in Worsley.
62 The first inquiry as to Arthur's sanity was made in Sept. 1413, and the next at Bolton a year later; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. i, 24, 24a, 24b. Richard Worsley had had the custody of the lands for two years from the death of Robert; then John Booth of Barton the elder had had it for eight years—see the grant to him dated 18 Dec. 1403 in Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 531—and had caused waste by felling and carrying away eighty oaks, worth 6s. 8d. each, in a certain wood called Mokens, parcel of the tenements in Worsley; also forty saplings in the Rakes, and forty more in Winlehurst in Worsley; he had also damaged the hall and chapel at the Rakes and the 'manor place' of the Booths.
63 The grant to John Stanley was made on 20 Nov. 1413, shortly after the former inquiry; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 118; but see Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 11, for a renewal of the grant to Booth.
64 Lancs. Inq. loc. cit.; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 2, m. 24b. Besides the Booths and the Rakes he had held the manor of Worsley, except the site and certain lands, for the life of his wife Elizabeth. There seems to have been a further inquiry in 1417; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 14.
65 In 1432 Robert son of Arthur Worsley and Edmund Worsley granted to feoffees lands in Withington, Heaton Norris, Urmston, Barton, Ashton under Lyne, and Stanistreet in Worsley; Ellesmere D. no. 26.
66 Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 28, m. 9 d. The other defendants included Hamlet and William Atherton of Bickerstaffe.
67 Ibid. The other defendants were Thomas Tyldesley, Richard Prestall, Nicholas Massey, Gilbert Parr, and John son of William Massey the elder. Another William Worsley, Dean of St. Paul's, 1479–99, is supposed to have been of the Booths family; Dict. Nat. Biog.
68 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, 50.
69 Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc.), 81.
70 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, 5; a settlement of 1524 is recited.
71 See the account of Upholland.
Thurstan Tyldesley says in his will (1547): 'Notwithstanding that my son-in-law Sir Robert Worsley knight is married to Margaret Beetham, his wife yet living, yet I remit and pardon to him £7 10s., upon condition that he give yearly unto my daughter Alice his wife £5 or more for her exhibition during her absence from him, or upon condition that he take his said wife into his company and entreat her as he ought to do'; Piccope, Wills (Chet. Soc.), i, 101. The bigamous union mentioned probably accounts for the three illegitimate children in the pedigrees.
Deer were kept at Booths in 1547; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Com.), iii, 2.
Sir Robert Worsley in 1563 made a settlement of the manors of Booths and Upholland and his estates there; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 25, m. 21.
About 1570 quarrels broke out between Sir Robert and his son Robert, and by the arbitration of Gilbert Sherington of Gray's Inn it was agreed that the son should occupy certain lands called the New Ridd, Mokens Wood, &c., in Booths Park; the son to pay the father a rent of £14 6s. 8d. in Ellenbrook Chapel. The father afterwards asserted that the agreement had not been kept; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. xcvi, W. 9.
Sir Robert was buried at Eccles in Dec. 1585; Reg.
72 Peck, Desiderata curiosa, bk. iii, no. 52, &c.
73 In 1582 Robert Worsley sold 120 acres in the Booths and Worsley to Robert Hindley; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 44, m. 4; and in 1587 he and Thomas his son and heir apparent sold various messuages and lands in Stanistreet in Worsley to Francis Sherington; ibid. bdle. 49, m. 51. In the following year Robert Worsley was deforciant in a fine relating to a messuage, mill, dovecote, 300 acres of land, &c., in the Booths and Worsley, the plaintiffs being Robert Hindley and John Ashton; ibid. bdle. 50, m. 3. For the later history of the family see Foster, Yorks. Pedigrees (North Riding), and the baronetages. The manors of Coulston, Holthorp, and Hovingham in the county of York were in Sir Robert Worsley's possession in 1563, when he made a settlement; Piccope, quoting Dods. MSS. cxlvi, fol. 59.
A letter in favour of Robert Worsley, the son of Sir Robert, is printed in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 18.
Some arrangement for the benefit of the younger children of Robert Worsley seems to have been made in 1596, when a fine concerning messuages and lands in Stanistreet, Worsley, and Bedford was made, John Egerton and George Leycester being plaintiffs, and William Gerard, John Willard, and John de Cardenas deforciants; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 59, m. 90.
In Aug. 1648 Thomas Worsley of Hovingham prayed for relief against Thomas Charnock, heir and executor of Robert Charnock, respecting the manor of Booths, which had been mortgaged and sold by petitioner's father; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. vii, App. 41.
74 Robert Charnock of the Booths was a freeholder in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 246. He appears also in 1613; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 232. Thomas Charnock had lands in Worsley in 1622; Misc. ut sup. i, 152.
75 a An account of the Sheringtons of Wardley and then of Booths is given in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 31. Gilbert Sherington of Wardley died in 1597 (see under Wardley below) and was succeeded by his brother Francis, who died three years later. Francis Sherington, of Wardley 1606, and Booths 1636 and later—perhaps there were two of the same name—followed; from papers in the Clowes deeds it seems he died between 1677 and 1681.
Francis Sherington took part in the defence of Lathom House in 1645; Royalist Comp. Papers, i, 265. He, called a 'delinquent,' owned Booths in 1648; Cal. Com. for Advance of Money, ii, 965. He had to pay a fine of £373; two-thirds of his estate had been sequestered for his recusancy; Cal. Com. for Compounding, ii, 1191. In 1660 his son John was heir apparent. Gilbert Sherington, another son, aged eighteen in 1670, was fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and died there in 1683; Foster, Alumni. Francis Sherington of Eccles occurs in 1688; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 195. A John Sherington was living at Claughton in 1734; Fishwick, Garstang (Chet. Soc.), 126.
76 'The manor and hall of Booths were settled by act of Parliament about 1789, in exchange for other lands, upon the younger children of Samuel Clowes of Manchester and his wife Martha, daughter of John Tipping of Manchester'; Raines in Gastrell's Notitia, ii, 51. In a recovery of the manor of Booths in 1799, Samuel Clowes the elder and Samuel Clowes the younger were vouchees; Pal. of Lanc. Aug. Assizes, 39 Geo. III, R. 6.
77 Samuel Clowes in 1810 sold the manor of Booths and the estate there to Robert Haldane Bradshaw of Worsley, the first superintendent under the Duke of Bridgewater's will. He contracted to sell his properties in the neighbourhood to the first Earl of Ellesmere, and his executors carried the contract out in 1836. The trustees of the Earls of Ellesmere held the estate till 1900, when it was sold to the Bridgewater Trustees; in 1903 it was transferred, with the other properties, to the Earl of Ellesmere.
78 The prior of the Hospitallers called upon Gilbert de Barton to warrant him in 1246; Assize R. 404, m. 13. Wardley (Wordelegh) is named among the Hospitallers' lands in 1292; Plac. de Quo War. (Rec. Com.), 375. In 1329 the prior alleged that Richard de Worsley (4 acres), Jordan de 'Worleye' (20 acres), and Ellen daughter of Adam de Worleye (2 acres) had withheld their due services; De Banco R. 279, m. 180 d; 280, m. 294 d.
About 1540 the Hospitallers' tenants were Thurstan Tyldesley, who paid 8d. rent, and Richard Holland (of Denton), who had Little Wardley and paid 4d.; Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84.
79 A grant has been quoted in a previous note; see also Final Conc. i, 190, 202, for lands in Worsley and Hindley. In 1301 Richard son of Roger de Worsley demanded common of pasture in 300 acres of wood and 100 acres of moor which Henry lord of Worsley had approved from the waste; Jordan brother of Henry was the tenant. It was shown that plaintiff had sufficient pasture, and the verdict was against him; Assize R. 321, m. 8.
80 Assize R. 430, m. 16; in one place Thurstan is called 'son of Henry de Tyldesley'; Henry was the father of Richard. Thurstan occurs in 1357; Final Conc. ii, 151. He had a licence for an oratory at Wardley in 1361; Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 6.
81 Final Concs. iii, 62; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 2. Wills of Thomas Tyldesley of Eccles and of St. Giles, Cripplegate, 1410, are in P.C.C.
The succession from this point is not clear. Hugh de Tyldesley held Wardley of the Hospitallers in 1420; Ellesmere D. no. 184. James de Tyldesley of Worsley occurs in 1444; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 6, m. 1b; Thomas Tyldesley, senior, about twenty years later; ibid. R. 28, m. 9 d. Adam son of Thomas Tyldesley in 1457 bequeathed money to the church of Deane and the chapel of Ellenbrook; Towneley MS. HH, no. 972. In 1471 Hugh Tyldesley, perhaps of Wardley, contracted his son and heir Thomas to marry Ellen daughter of Richard Bruche; Ellesmere D. no. 263.
82 Harl. MS. 2112, fol. 146.
83 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, 44. He held Wardley Hall, with messuages, water-mill, and lands, of the king and queen (in right of the prior of the Hospitallers), in socage by a rent of 8d.; the annual value was 20 marks. He also held lands in Tyldesley of the lord of Warrington; in Swinton, Little Houghton, Westlackes, Kidpool (Kitepool), Westwood, and Moorland in Worsley of the queen in chief by the tenth part of a knight's fee and a rent of 35s. and other lands in Amounderness. Thomas his son and heir was forty-three years of age.
The will of Thurstan Tyldesley, with inventories of his goods at Wardley and Myerscough, is printed in full in Piccope's Wills, i, 97–114. He mentions his son Thomas and grandson Thurstan; also a brother Richard, who had been a monk at the Shene Charterhouse. Referring to his long service under the Earl of Derby and his father he declared that, so far as he knew, there was 'nothing comen into his hands or possession of the lands, rents, fines or ingressions, rewards, or other things but such as he had truly paid for and put in his book of accounts, without fraud or coven and without corrupt con-science or advantage to himself.'
For the pedigree see Visit. of 1567 (Chet. Soc.), 44.
84 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, 27; the lands are described as in the last-quoted inquisition. Thurstan the son and heir was twenty-four years of age.
85 A settlement was made in 1558, the remainders being to Hugh, Richard, George, Thomas, Gilbert, and James, brothers of Thurstan; then to Edward Tyldesley, and to Ralph Barton; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 19, m. 61.
86 In 1566 William and Gilbert Sherington purchased from Thurstan Tyldesley six messuages, a water-mill, dovecote, and lands; ibid. bdle. 28, m. 278; and three years later Gilbert Sherington purchased twelve messuages, &c., in Worsley and Swinton from Thurstan and Hugh Tyldesley; ibid. bdle. 31, m. 124.
The Sheringtons, lawyers and moneylenders, appear to have been much disliked by their Worsley neighbours; reference to the Ducatus will show that they had many quarrels and disputes in consequence of their acquisitions. In 1568 Gilbert Sherington, of Gray's Inn, stated that Thurstan Tyldesley had about six years before sold Wardley to William Sherington, brother of Gilbert; and afterwards he sold his lands in Swinton and Worsley to Gilbert. Edward Norris, Edward Tyldesley, and Thomas Tyldesley, brother-in-law, uncle, and son of Thurstan, had with others assembled at Morleys, thence going to Wardley and taking possession; and Gilbert was unable to recover; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. lxxvii, S. 8. Two years later Robert Worsley of Booths, Christopher Anderton of Lostock, and Gilbert Sherington of Gray's Inn, complained that Thurstan Tyldesley and Hugh his brother had forged a deed of feoffment to the use of Thurstan, and disturbed the quiet possession of Wardley and other lands; ibid. lxxxiv, W. 10.
Gilbert Sherington died at Wardley 23 Aug. 1597, holding the capital messuage called Wardley Hall and lands there by the tenure already stated, also monastic lands in Swinton, &c.; his heirs were the daughters of his elder brother William, viz., Susan wife of James Bankes of Winstanley, Hester wife of John Andrewes of Cambridge, and Sarah wife of Denis Hartridge of Macking, all over twenty-four years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, 86.
87 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 172; he was the son of Roger Downes, supposed to have been of the family of Downes of Shrigley in Cheshire, who married Elizabeth sister and co-heir of Ralph Worsley of Pemberton, and had the Worsley estate in that township. He recorded a pedigree in 1613; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 133.
88 He represented Wigan in Parliament in 1601 and 1621; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 223–4. In 1625 he was appointed vice-chamberlain of Cheshire; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 102. It was perhaps his father who was feodary of the county in 1603–4; Lancs. Inq. p.m. i, 2, 29.
89 He was living in 1613.
90 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, 54. This shows that Roger Downes had in 1620 married as his third wife Mary widow of Adam Eccleston. The hall of Wardley and lands in Worsley and Swinton were held of the Earl of Derby in right of the dissolved hospital of St. John; lands in Monton were held of the king. Lands in Barton and Farnworth, and the Worsley estates in Pemberton, &c., also appear in the inquisition. Francis the son and heir was thirty years of age. He had represented Wigan in the two Parliaments of 1625; Pink and Beaven, op. cit. 224.
The will of Roger Downes, dated 1637 and proved in 1638, mentions his brother Francis as married, his sons Francis and John, and his daughter Jane, then wife of Ralph Sneade; his cousin Bessie Halliwell; and John Preston and Arthur Alburgh, who had married his sisters.
In his later years Roger Downes appears to have been reconciled to the Roman church, and his sons adhered to the same faith. John Downes, the younger son, stayed a week in the English College at Rome in 1638; Foley, Rec. S. J. vi, 616.
91 A settlement by Francis Downes in 1642 is mentioned in Exch. of Pleas, Cal. of D. enrolled, L. 124.
Francis died 5 Mar. 1648, and his wife Elizabeth 9 Mar., John following in May; The Month, xcviii, 379, &c. (from information of Mr. Joseph Gillow).
The will of Francis Downes, 'being a member of the Catholic Church,' dated 1642 and proved 1650, is transcribed in Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxv, 245. His books were to be an heirloom at Wardley according to his father's desire. He desired to be buried at Wigan in the burial place belonging to the hall of Worsley (in Pemberton) near his father Roger. He names his brother John and his sister Jane.
92 Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 51.
93 Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 100.
94 His monument in Wigan Church states that he died 27 June 1676, aged twenty-eight; Bridgeman, Wigan Ch. (Chet. Soc.), 713. The account of his death may be seen in the Hatton Corres. (Camden Soc.), ii, 133 (quoted by Mr. W. Axon).
95 For this dissolute nobleman see G.E.C. Comp. Peerage, vi, 373. He was one of the first to join William III on his landing in 1688, and had many public offices and honours. He married Penelope Downes in 1679, and died in 1712. Penelope died before 1688.
96 Ibid. i, 253, 254; Elizabeth was his second wife and died in 1714.
97 Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), iii, 638. The separation was made in the Bishop of London's court in 1737. In 1741 a fine relating to a settlement of the estates was made, George Lewis Scott being the plaintiff; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 327, m. 80. In 1738 they had been leased to James Earl of Barrymore.
98 a A History of the hall has been published by Capt. Hart-Davis and Mr. Strachan Holme. It contains views and plans, including one of part of the estate about 1600 (p. 79), a rental of the estate in 1678 (p. 113), and other documents as well in the text as in the Appendix.
99 Henry Taylor, Old Halls in Lancs. and Ches. 47.
100 Ibid.
101 40 ft. including the screen, 34 ft. without.
102 Taylor, op. cit. 68 n.
103 a Printed in H.V. Hart-Davis's Hist. of Wardley Hall, Lancashire (1908), 120–35.
104 An authoritative account will be found in Hart-Davis's and Holme's Wardley Hall, 153. See also Harland and Wilkinson, Lancs. Legends, 65–73; Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. i, 31–8; xvi, 143; Month, xcviii, 379.
105 Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 146.
106 Kempenhalgh and other variations of spelling occur.
107 Towneley MS. DD, no. 948. The bounds began at Peverelsgate, went by Haysbrook to Holclough across to Hankechirche, by Hulteley Brook to Millbrook, along this to Scaythelache, and so to the starting point. The grantor must have been Richard son of Elias de Worsley, for Roger de Worsley made a grant of land in Swinton in 1231; Ellesmere D. no. 215.
Richard de Worsley gave to Roger his son an oxgang and a half in Swinton; Whalley Couch. iii, 904. As filio improves the pedigree, seeing that Roger's son Richard lived till the end of the century, fratri may be an error in transcription. Cecily de Rivington was Roger's widow; ibid. 905.
108 In 1278 he claimed the common of pasture pertaining to 80 acres of arable land in Worsley against Richard son of Geoffrey de Worsley, Agnes widow of Geoffrey, and many others, in virtue of a grant made by plaintiff's 'ancestor,' Richard de Worsley, to Roger; Assize R. 1238, m. 34d. Richard was still living in 1292; ibid. 408, m. 32.
In 1334 Thomas son of Richard son of William de Bowdon claimed a messuage, &c., in Worsley against Richard son of Richard son of Roger de Worsley and Ellen his wife; De Banco R. 300, m. 244.
109 Richard son of Robert the Clerk of Worsley gave his lands in Worsley to his son Richard, with remainder to another son Robert; DD, no. 291. The witnesses include Richard lord of Worsley and Alexander his brother. In 1334 Richard son of Robert de Worsley claimed common of pasture against Alexander son of Richard de Worsley; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 120. Alexander de Worsley attested a grant made in 1345 or 1346 by Richard de Worsley to his father Richard son of Robert the Clerk; DD, no. 950. At the same time or a year later the settlement named in the text was made; DD, no. 952. This Alexander de Worsley may have been the ancestor of the Worsleys of Pemberton.
110 Final Conc. iii, 64. In addition to Oliver seven sons and a daughter are named.
111 From an abstract of title, c. 1480; DD, no. 959. In 1484 Hugh son and heir of Richard son of Richard Parr was contracted to marry Constance sister of Thomas Tyldesley; Richard the father had married an Elizabeth, and his father Richard had married Margaret, afterwards the wife of Henry Undskoles; Huntroyde D. T. 8.
112 The pedigree in the Visit. of 1567 (Chet. Soc.), 120, states that John Parr was the son of Thurstan son of Hugh son of Richard Parr. Anne, the only child of John, was at that time wife of Thurstan Barton of Smithills. See also Topog. and Gen. iii, 359. In the fine of 1560 the estate is described as sixteen messuages, a dovecote, 40 acres of land, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 22, m. 73. The family is noticed also in the account of Cleworth in Tyldesley.
113 In 1578 a further settlement was made of nine messuages, a dovecote, 300 acres of land, &c. in Worsley and Tyldesley, the deforciants being John Parr, Nicholas Starkie, and Anne his wife; Nicholas and his wife were sole deforciants five years later; ibid. bdle. 40, m. 11; 45, m. 61.
In 1580 Richard Brereton of Worsley stated that he had inherited a parcel of waste called Roe Green, and a parcel of turbary and moss ground called Linnyshaw Moss, but Nicholas Starkie and Anne his wife had made various encroachments thereon, besides destroying twenty wagon loads of turf taken from the moss. Starkie replied that he and his wife had entered by inheritance after the death of John Parr, her father; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. cxv, B 8.
114 Information of Mr. Daniel Howsin, of Padiham.
115 Plac. de Quo War. (Rec. Com.), 375.
Gilbert de Barton gave to William de Swinton two parts of the land which Ellis son of Godwin de Swinton held of the Hospitallers, in exchange for an oxgang in Chadderton; Ellesmere D. Roger de Worsley granted to Richard son of Geoffrey de Byron half of Swinton—being all he held—except 12 acres given to the Hospitallers; Whalley Couch. iii, 905. There are other allusions to the Hospitallers' holding; ibid. 929, 934. The prior of the Hospitallers in 1329 made a claim against Elota the widow and Richard the son of Alexander de Swinton; De Banco R. 297, m. 180 d.
In 1325 it was found that Joan wife of William de Multon held, among other properties, the third part of an estate at Swinton, which her former husband, William de Holland, had held of the Hospitallers by a rent of 12d. a year; Inq. p.m. 19 Edw. II, n. 96.
About 1540 the Hospitallers' tenants were Thomas Holland, paying 5¼d., William Chapman, for half of Little Scholecroft, 7d., and James Eckersall, 2½d.; Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84.
116 Whalley Couch. iii, 877–936; see further in the account of Monton in Barton. In 1331 Richard Hunewyn granted to the abbey all his lands in Swinton in Worsley, his eldest daughter Alice confirming it; ibid. 926–28.
Paulinus de Halghton granted to Cecily daughter of Iorwerth de Hulton the third part of the vill of Little Houghton; ibid. i, 59; this seems to have been given to the abbey; ibid. i, 55. An oxgang and a half in Little Houghton was among the lands of Robert and Jordan de Hulton in 1253; Final Conc. i, 151. Geoffrey de Byron gave half the vill to his brother John, who gave it to the monks; Whalley Couch. 57, 58; see also iii, 901.
The abbey lands were largely derived from the benefactions of Geoffrey de Byron, who in 1275 accused Richard de Worsley of a burglary at Swinton; Coram Rege R. 15, m. 12 d. A year or two later Geoffrey and the abbot were defendants in claims made by the Smith family; Assize R. 1238, fol. 31, 31b; 1239, fol. 39. Later the abbot had disputes with the Boltons. In 1292 he recovered damages from Adam de Rossendale and others, who had cut and felled timber without licence, for the use of Ellen de Bolton, but Ellen herself was acquitted; and at the same time Richard de Bolton, Richard son of Roger de Worsley, and others, were non-suited in a claim against the abbot for eight messuages, two mills, land, &c.; ibid. 408, m. 102 d., 100, 101, 23 d. More interesting was the claim by Olive de Bolton for common of pasture in 100 acres of moor and heath as belonging to her free tenement, formerly held by Richard de Worsley. The jury found that John de Worsley (probably of Little Houghton), who had enfeoffed Olive, had in the time of Geoffrey de Byron, lord of Swinton, been accustomed to common in the pasture. After Geoffrey had granted his lands to the abbot the latter refused common until John impleaded him in the king's court. It was accordingly ordered that Olive should recover seisin and damages of half a mark; ibid. m. 17.
Grants to and from Henry de Worsley and Olive de Bolton are among the Ellesmere D. no. 148 (dated 1300), 256. In 1327 Henry son of Richard de Bolton granted his land in Holclough heys in Worsley to his son John, who granted the same to Richard de Worsley; ibid. no. 163, 164.
117 Pat. 32 Hen. VIII, pt. 4. The grant included Swinton, Little Houghton, Westlakes, Kitpool, Westwood, and Marland (or Moorland).
Generally speaking, there was little disputation during the tenure of the monks. After the Dissolution a long quarrel was waged between the Sheringtons, as representing the Tyldesleys, and others. A precept to keep the peace with Thurstan Tyldesley of Wardley was issued in 1566 to Sir William Radcliffe, Edward Holland, Thomas Valentine, Robert Chapman, and others; Agecroft D. Many references will be found in the Ducatus Lanc. Richard Brereton of Tatton, son of Geoffrey son of Joan Brereton, as lord of Worsley, in 1581 claimed the waste grounds called Swinton Moor and Walkden Moor, and the moss called Pendleton hey. Gilbert Sherington then held the last-named ground, and Sir John Radcliffe claimed Swinton Moor as representing Whalley Abbey; John Gawen occupied an inclosure from the moor as tenant of Gilbert Sherington; and John Derbyshire had a barn in the Stanistreet; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. cxv, B 4. Ten years later Gilbert Sherington claimed an inheritance in Swinton Moor as part of his manor of Swinton. He stated that the moor on the east extended to Hendene Brook, dividing Swinton from Pendlebury, and on the west to a brook near Wardley wall; and that parcels of it had been improved by Geoffrey de Byron in the time of Edward I, by the Abbot of Whalley about 1460–80, and by Thurstan Tyldesley, Thomas his son, and Thurstan his grandson, more recently. A witness stated that the tenants of Roe Green had had common of pasture on Swinton Moor. The moor included Pendleton (or Pelton) hey and moss and the White Moss; ibid. clv, S 9. In 1594 Richard Brereton complained of the inclosures of Gilbert Sherington adjoining Linnyshaw Moss at the head of a mere called Howclough; ibid. clxii, B 9.
For a plan of Worsley and Linnyshaw see Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 24.
118 Whalley Couch. iii, 889, 916, 917, 921. It is now within the borough of Eccles.
119 Ibid. iii, 886.
120 a Ibid. iii, 907–15.
121 Paulinus de Halghton has been mentioned; he is also called 'de Barton' in a grant by his widow Beatrice; ibid. i, 55. Thomas son of Robert de Halghton in 1276 released to the Abbot of Stanlaw all his right in the new inclosures of the Hope in Swinton made by Geoffrey de Byron; ibid. iii, 921.
John de Halghton was one of the defendants in a Worsley suit in 1301; Assize R. 1321, m. 8. Robert son of John de Halghton was a defendant in July 1356; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 40. Nine years later the Abbot of Whalley took proceedings against Robert de Halghton for waste; De Banco R. 419, m. 203. Robert de Halghton in 1373 made a settlement of his estate—a moiety of Little Halghton and the Solinhurst—in favour of himself and his wife Margery, with remainders to his son John and grandson Robert son of John; Valentine deeds among the Ellesmere muniments. From another of these deeds it appears that this estate had been originally granted by Richard, lord of Worsley—probably Richard son of Geoffrey—to his son John; John son of Richard de Worsley occurs in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 11 d.
John de Halghton in 1413 sold to Geoffrey Massey the lands called Old Houghton (Valentine D.); while in 1458–9 the Abbot and convent of Whalley came to an agreement with Nicholas Halghton as to the division of certain lands in Worsley which they held in common; ibid.
122 a Thomas son of John Valentine of Bentcliffe in 1516 recovered against Joan Langtree various lands in Eccles, Barton, Little Houghton, Worsley, and Bedford; ibid. The Valentine lands in Little Houghton and Hazelhurst were held of the lord of Worsley by the rent of a pair of white gloves or 1d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, 31.
Another estate in Worsley held by a like rent may be mentioned. In 1292 William de Waverton (or Warton) demanded from John de Chelworth acquittance of the service demanded by Edmund Earl of Lancaster for a tenement consisting of a messuage and 20 acres, held by fealty and the service of a pair of white gloves yearly. The earl had distrained plaintiff to find puture for all his servants and also to find a 'witness man.' The jury decided that John de Chelworth, as mesne lord, must discharge these services; Assize R. 408, m. 71. John de Chelworth is otherwise unknown, but the Warton family long held land in the district.
123 See the account of Farnworth. In 1404 Richard son of Henry de Farnworth of Charnock granted to feoffees 'a piece of land . . . called Walkden, lying in Farnworth, a hamlet of Barton, between the common of Worsley on the one side and Walkden brook on the other, 'tenanted by William the Tasker; Ellesmere D. no. 3.
124 e.g. Robert de Walkden attested a charter in 1394; ibid. no. 2.
125 In 1722 William Chapman, senior, of Northdene Bank in Worsley, fustian weaver, settled his estate there in favour of his son William; it was leasehold of the Duke of Bridgewater; Manchester Free Lib. D. no. 114. Among copies of the Chapman deeds in the Ellesmere muniments are the following: 1358—William son of Roger the Barker and Margaret his wife, daughter of Richard de Swinton, granted land in Swinton to Robert Morsell of Monton; the original deed is at Agecroft. 1371–2—Robert Morsell purchased other land in Swinton from Thomas de Eccles (who had it from Henry son of Henry de Cliveley), and gave it to his son Richard. 1440–1—Alice widow of Robert Chapman settled the land on her son William. It seems to have been held in 1471 by William Chapman, and in 1495–6 by Robert Chapman.
126 The inquisitions of the 16th and 17th centuries show the following: William Hulton of the Park, who held of Lady Joan Brereton in socage in 1556; Leonard Asshaw of Flixton; Thomas Fleetwood of Norbreck, who in 1576 held of the heir of Geoffrey Massey by a rent of 4s.; Ralph Assheton of Lever, who held of Richard Brereton; James Sorocold; Thomas Mort of Little Hulton; Andrew Norris of West Derby; also in Swinton the Daunteseys of Agecroft and Hollands of Clifton.
In 1824 a pair of spurs with leathers was paid by the owner of Agecroft to the lord of Worsley as a chief rent for lands on Swinton Moor; Agecroft D. no. 268.
Ralph Sorocold in 1586 and 1587 purchased lands in Worsley and Tyldesley from John Gregory and Richard his younger son, and from John Gregory and Alice his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 48, m. 96; 49, m. 91.
127 Land tax returns at Preston.
128 Agecroft D. no. 158. The parties to the agreement were Sir William Egerton, K.B., lord of the soil of the said commons, on the one part, and on the other the charterers, Richard, Lord Colchester (afterwards Earl Rivers) and Penelope his wife; Sir Robert Coke, bart., John Dauntesey and John Starkie, esquires; Richard Valentine (by Thomas Sorocold his guardian), James Chetham, and Henry Coulborne, gentlemen; Richard Edge, John Peake, John Lomas, and George Ormerod.
129 a For a dispute about Walkden Moor in 1505 or thereabouts see Duchy Plead. i, 37.
An inclosure award, with plan, is preserved at the County offices, Preston.
130 The dedication is now given as St. Mary the Virgin.
131 Ellesmere D. no. 127. The chaplain to be provided was to be presented to the abbot at Eccles and swear fidelity and obedience to the abbot and the church, and thus receive the ministry of the chapel.
132 Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Edw. VI, xxv, B, 15. Though the chapel is called Sir Richard's the gift of a chalice by the people is evidence that it was not a private chapel at Worsley Hall.
133 End. Char. Rep. Eccles, 1904, pp. 6, 34; Dame Legh in 1638 gave £400 for charitable uses to trustees, one of whom in 1654 deposed that 'her intention was that it should go for the maintenance of a minister at the chapel of "Ellenborough," so that the bishop should have no hand in the putting in, placing or displacing of the minister there . . . and for so long time as the Lord Bridgewater should suffer the chapel to stand.'
134 Commonw. Ch. Surv. 140. It appears that £40 a year had in 1646 been ordered to be paid to the minister at Ellenbrook out of Christopher Anderton's sequestered tithes, but the order had to be renewed in 1650; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 88, 252.
135 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 104.
136 Ibid. 275, 289, 290 ('Perhaps if you told my Lord Bridgewater of the Lord Willoughby's designing to make Ellenbrook Chapel into a barn, to conventicle it, it might do good service'), 417, 418. The endowment is stated to have been then £33 a year.
137 Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 53.
138 Ibid. 54; nominations in 1669 and 1709 are mentioned to the 'free chapel' of Ellenbrook.
139 This list is due in part to the late Mr. Earwaker.
140 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 12; he was 'a preacher.'
141 Piccope, Wills, iii, 207; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 54, 66, where he is called 'curate' and 'lecturer.' He was presented in 1622 for not wearing the surplice; Visit. P. at Chester.
142 Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 265. According to Calamy he became vicar of Penrith, and losing this at the Restoration, was afterwards minister of the Nonconformist congregation at Monks' Hall, Eccles.
143 Ibid.; Manch. Classis (Chet. Soc.), i, 53.
144 Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 260, 266.
145 Ibid. i, 88, 242.
146 Manch. Classis, iii, 419; ejected from Hindley in 1662; life in Dict. Nat. Biog.
147 Manch. Classis, ii, 266; iii, 423. He conformed in 1662.
148 There was a vacancy in July 1668; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 82.
149 Visit. List of 1691. He was 'comformable' in 1691; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 229. It was he who was locked out in 1697 by Lord Willoughby, and Roger Kenyon, writing to the Bishop of Chester, says: 'Mr. Atkinson has been our minister, I think, at least a dozen years, and his local licence was exhibited and allowed at your Lordship's late visitation, as it had often been before; but he now saith he is willing to resign when your Lordship and the minister of the parish and the feoffees have a person such as they approve of, ready for the place.' Lord Willoughby had put in 'one Cheney, who, as is said, never saw an university, but has been a justice of the peace his clerk, and proving a gifted brother, used to preach to all the conventicling barns about him, and now frequently uses so to do'; ibid. 417.
150 Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 54. He became vicar of Eccles in 1721, and died three years later.
151 End. Char. Rep. Eccles, 7.
152 Vicar of Eccles 1768–92; probably held Ellenbrook chaplaincy also.
153 Vicar of Eccles 1792–1818.
154 Previously vicar of Fleetwood; one of the founders of Rossall School.
155 Now Marquess of Normanby; canon of Windsor. He revived the May Day festivities at Worsley; Pal. Note Bk. ii, 131.
156 For district assigned in 1865, see Lond. Gaz. 10 Jan.
157 An Anglican Sunday School was opened as early as 1784, but after thirty years fell into the hands of the Wesleyans. St. Paul's Chapel was a foretaste of the great public benefactions of the first Earl of Ellesmere. An Act was passed in 1840 to enable the Bridgewater Trustees to endow it, and it was consecrated in 1841. There is a churchyard. For district see Lond. Gaz. 28 July 1863, and 20 Feb. 1877.
158 For district, ibid. 20 Feb. 1877.
159 A manufacturer named Richard Clarke turned part of his house into a small chapel; when the Independent Methodist chapel was built it absorbed the congregation already formed there; information of Mr. Holme.
160 A Congregational chapel was built in 1824 in Hilton Lane, Worsley, but it failed about 1840. Preaching at Swinton began about 1825, from Pendlebury, and Trinity Church, built in 1882, represents the old congregation of Pendlebury. The church in Worsley Road began in 1861 through the efforts of some men of a local mill; the building was raised in 1870; Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. v, 20–4.
161 Built 1825 (or 1829); rebuilt 1857.


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