Townships
Westhoughton

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1911

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20-25

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'Townships: Westhoughton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 20-25. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=52993 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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WESTHOUGHTON

Westhalghton, 1292, and usually; Westhalton, 1302; the West is often omitted. Westhaughton and Westhoughton, xvi cent.

This township, the largest in the parish, has an area of 4,341 acres, (fn. 1) having an average breadth of over 2 miles from north-east to south-west, and an extreme length of nearly 3½ miles from northwest to south-east. The highest ground is that along the north-eastern border, over 480 ft. being reached in one place; the surface slopes generally downwards to the south-west, the lowest point, about 120 ft., being in the extreme southerly corner. Borsdane Brook separates it from Aspull; another brook divides it from Hindley, and joins a stream rising on the northern edge of Westhoughton and flowing south through Leigh to Glazebrook.

The road from Manchester to Chorley goes through the northern side of the township, passing the hamlets of Chequerbent, Wingates, and Fourgates. Westhoughton village is near the centre of the township, on the crooked road from Wigan, through Hindley and Hart Common, to Bolton. From the village roads go north to Wingates, east to Chequerbent, and south to Daisy Hill and Leigh; there are numerous cross roads. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway has several lines; the main line from Liverpool to Manchester crosses the township north-easterly, with a station, called Westhoughton, to the north of the village; a branch runs north to join the Bolton and Preston line, and has stations called Dicconson Lane and Hilton House; a second branch runs east to Pendleton, and has a station at Daisy Hill. The London and North-Western Company's Kenyon and Bolton line crosses the eastern corner of the township, with a station called Chequerbent.

The population in 1901 was 13,339.

Agriculture is still one of the principal industries of the township; the soil is clay, and oats and potatoes are the chief products. Cotton and other goods are manufactured, and there are coal mines. Bobbin spindle, and shuttle making, and nail manufacturing were engaged in in 1825. A once flourishing trade is now extinct.

It appears to have been at Westhoughton that Adam Banastre and others made their confederacy in October 1315. (fn. 2)

A battle was fought on the common in 1642 between Lord Derby's forces and the Parliamentary levies; (fn. 3) and Prince Rupert is stated to have mustered his troops there prior to the attack on Bolton in 1644.

A token was issued at Daisy Hillock in 1652. (fn. 4)

The hearths liable to the tax in 1666 numbered 98. The largest house was that of William Worthington, having six hearths; Ralph Brown and William Leigh had five each. (fn. 5)

A local board was formed in 1872. (fn. 6) In 1894 an urban district council was formed, having twelve members elected by four wards. In 1898 part of Over Hulton was added, Hulton ward returning three members to the council. Mr. Carnegie has given a library building.

Westhoughton gives its name to one of the Parliamentary divisions of South-east Lancashire.

Peter Dodd's Well was regarded as an indicator of the weather. (fn. 7)

Manor

It is difficult to trace the early descent of WESTHOUGHTON. The whole township seems to have been held of the lords of Manchester, chiefly by the Barton family, (fn. 8) but partly by the Pendleburys. The latter also held lands in the Barton portion. About the middle of the 13th century Sir Gilbert de Barton granted to Henry de Sefton, clerk, and his heirs or assigns the whole lordship of Westhoughton, with escheats, wardships, &c.; the homages of Roger de Pendlebury and others; escheats and liberties of the tenement of Thomas the Small; with all liberties of the lordship in pastures, woods, and plain, sor-hawks and deer, waters and pools, ways and paths, mill pools, and others. Further, he granted that Henry and his successors should be quit of all suit of the court at Barton as well for Westhoughton as for Aspull. (fn. 9)

Henry de Sefton quickly bestowed the lordship upon the abbot and canons of Cockersand, who had already come into possession of a considerable estate in the township by a series of grants beginning about 1200. Beside the lordship he granted them the third part of the vill, which he must have held in demesne, with all its appurtenances, including fishponds, honey, and hawks. For this the canons gave him 50 marks. (fn. 10)

BRINSOP, in the extreme north-western corner of the township, also came into the possession of Cockersand. In 1235 it was granted by Gilbert de Barton to Richard de Bracebridge, being reckoned as three oxgangs of land. (fn. 11) Probably it reverted to the Bartons and was included in the grant of Henry de Sefton. The manor-house of the canons seems to have been at this place.

In a suit of some seventy years later it was declared that in 1261–2 Adam, Abbot of Cockersand, had held half the oxgang at which the vill was assessed; and Roger son of Ellis de Westhoughton and John de Rylands each held a moiety of the remainder. In the year named the said Roger granted his fourth part to the abbot, so that three parts of the lordship were in the hands of the canons in 1334. (fn. 12) It is probable that the Rylands' share was subsequently acquired by the canons; but this family long afterwards continued to hold land in the township. (fn. 13) The Byrons also had lands in the township. (fn. 14) In 1320 the Abbot of Cockersand was said to hold the fortieth part of a fee in Westhoughton, paying 2d. for sake fee and 6d. for ward of the castle; (fn. 15) and the same tenure continued in 1473. (fn. 16)

As in the case of most monastic estates, possession by the canons was marked by few disputes or incidents of note. In 1272 they procured a delimitation of the boundary between Westhoughton and Lostock on the north. (fn. 17) The abbot made complaints in 1343 and 1359 concerning the cutting down of his trees. (fn. 18) An inquiry was made in 1385 concerning the surrender of lands to find a lamp to burn for ever in the choir of the abbey church. (fn. 19) A few years before the Dissolution disputes broke out between the abbot and his tenants as to the right of renewing their nineteen-year leases. (fn. 20) The manor was farmed to Sir Thomas Langton in 1538. (fn. 21)

Some years after the suppression the manor of Westhoughton was granted by the king to James Browne, citizen and haberdasher of London, for £1,035 11s. 8d., to be held by the tenth part of a knight's fee and a rent of £5 14s. 8½d. (fn. 22) His descendants continued to hold it for about a century. (fn. 23) They resided at Brinsop.

The Brothertons of Hey seem to have succeeded them. (fn. 24) The 'manor' was in 1836 said to be held by Lord Skelmersdale; but none is now claimed by Major Lionel Wilbraham, to whom this estate has descended. (fn. 25)

Brinsop Hall was in the first half of the 18th century in the possession of John Widdowes, who mar ried Margaret Roby. Their daughter Esther inherited it, and by marriage in 1749 conveyed it to her husband James Milnes of Wakefield; their son, also James Milnes, bequeathed it in 1805 to his cousin Benjamin Gaskell of Clifton in Eccles, whose grandson, Mr. Charles George Milnes Gaskell of Thornes House, Wakefield, is the present owner. (fn. 26)

The change of tenure from monastic to secular lords was accompanied by a number of lawsuits respecting the customs of the manor. (fn. 27)

The Pendlebury family, already mentioned, held SNYDALE of the lord of Manchester as early as 1212, (fn. 28) and appear to have retained it down to the end of the 16th century, (fn. 29) when it passed to the Worthingtons, who remained in possession for a century and a half. (fn. 30) On the bankruptcy of William Worthington in 1744 it was purchased by the Starkies of Huntroyde, who still retain it. No manorial rights are exercised. (fn. 31)


Starkie of Huntroyde. Argent a bend sable between six storks proper.

Other families holding land here were the Bradshaghs, (fn. 32) Hultons, (fn. 33) Leighs, (fn. 34) Reeves, (fn. 35) and Molyneuxes. (fn. 36) Many other names may be gathered from rentals and inquisitions. (fn. 37)

The only freeholders named in 1600 were James Browne, Robert Leigh, William Molyneux, and Thomas Richardson. (fn. 38) James Browne, James Worthington, and William Leigh contributed to the subsidy of 1622 as landowners. (fn. 39) In 1786 the principal owners were the Duke of Bridgewater, — Milne, R. Wilbraham Bootle, William Hulton, — Starkie, — Worthington, the Misses Molyneux, and Thomas Green. (fn. 40)

There was a dispute as to inclosures in 1631–2. (fn. 41) The inclosure award, with two plans, may be seen at Preston. (fn. 42)

Westhoughton was the scene of Luddite riots in 1812; four men were executed for joining in them. (fn. 43)

Church

The canons of Cockersand probably maintained a chaplain on their manor. A chapel existed in 1552. (fn. 44) It was a small thatched building, which in 1731 gave place to a brick church; (fn. 45) this again was replaced in 1869–70 by the present church, known as St. Bartholomew's, built at the expense of John Seddon. (fn. 46) There was 'no service' there in 1605, (fn. 47) but this may have been a temporary cessation. The Commonwealth surveyors recommended that it should be made a parish church, (fn. 48) but nothing seems to have been done until 1860, when a district chapelry was formed. (fn. 49) The income is given as £442. The vicar of Deane is patron. The following have been curates and incumbents:— (fn. 50)

oc. 1627John Ridgeley (fn. 51)
oc. 1630Alexander Horrocks (fn. 52)
1651John Isherwood (fn. 53)
oc. 1671John Edleston
1696— Wood
1700Joseph Leese, B.A. (Christ's College)
1720William Orme, B.A.
1732Robert Harvey, B.A. (fn. 54)
1755John Chisnall, B.A. (fn. 55)
1782Thomas Whitehead, M.A. (Glasgow) (fn. 56)
1788Thomas Heys, M.A. (Oxford) (fn. 57)
1816Chris. Bateson, B.A. (Pembroke Coll.)
1825Thomas Fogg, B.A. (St. John's College, Oxford) (fn. 58)
1842James Richard Alsop, B.A. (Brasenose College, Oxford) (fn. 59)
1868William Henry Rankin, M.A. (Corpus Christi College, Oxford) (fn. 60)
1869Kinton Jacques, M.A. (Brasenose College, Oxford) (fn. 61)
1890Christopher Cronshaw (fn. 62)
1908George Henry St. Patrick Garrett, M.A., B.D. (T.C.D.)

Also in connexion with the Established Church, St. John the Evangelist's, Wingates, was built in 1858, and had a separate district assigned to it in 1860; the vicar of Deane is the patron. (fn. 63) St. James's, Daisy Hill, was opened in 1881; the Bishop of Manchester presents to it. (fn. 64)

The Wesleyan Methodists have had a place of worship since 1785. The Primitive Methodists also have a chapel.

The Congregational Church at Westhoughton originated from preaching begun in 1811; a room was built in 1817, and another in 1826; after which a church was formed. In 1853 a chapel was built. (fn. 65)

The Society of Friends began meetings here in 1806; (fn. 66) the meeting-house was built in 1823. A graveyard is attached.

In 1586 the vicar of Deane presented that 'divers priests' were harboured at the house of Ralph Holme of Chequerbent, (fn. 67) but apart from this there seems no record of the survival of the old religion in the township. The church of the Sacred Heart was built in 1894, replacing one opened in 1873. (fn. 68)

A school was founded about 1740; another at Wingates in 1818.

Footnotes

1 4,344, including 14 of inland water, according to the census of 1901.
2 Coram Rege R. 254, m. 52; the place is called Haulton, near Blackrod.
3 Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc), 125; the Parliament's men were beaten through their magazine exploding.
4 Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, 93; the initials H. D. M. may indicate Henry Molyneux.
5 Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9, Lancs. 'Nether Hulton,' with 103 hearths, was probably part of it, for Nathaniel Molyneux's house was there, with six hearths.
6 Lond. Gaz. 24 Sept. 1872.
7 Local N. and Q. (Manch. Guardian), no. 791.
8 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 54.
9 Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc), ii, 690; the consideration named for this grant is 'three marks of silver given me in my great need,' but no doubt there had been previous loans or assistance,
Thomas the Small, whose share is mentioned specially, afterwards killed a certain Thomas de Byron; he was outlawed, and his lands were taken into the king's hands, the abbot making fine and recovering the lands. In 1292 his son John claimed them from the abbot, who called Richard [de Ince] son of Henry de Sefton to warrant him, and John was non-suited; Assize R. 408, m. 26 d.
10 Cockersand Chart. ii, 688; for Henry de Sefton see further in the accounts of Ince and Aspull in Wigan. The abbot was to render 1½d. to the chief lord for all services and customs.
The Cockersand estate had been derived from various benefactions. Hugh son of William son of Nest granted 'the whole third part of the vill,' with the homages and services appurtenant, for which he received 31 marks; ibid, ii, 678. It is possible that this was the 'third part' afterwards held and surrendered by Henry de Sefton. William son of Nest had granted to Thomas son of Ellis de Pendlebury land in Ballesley, bounded by the road from Houghton to Aspull, Ridley brook, Green lache, and Aldersnape head, &c.; and Thomas, in turn, granted it to the canons; ibid. 679.
Thomas de Houghton, clerk, made several grants of land; between Well brook and Town brook, and between the latter and Ballsdean brook; in Birchley and by his grange at Conware; and all his land of Birchley and Sandeveshurst. Cecily his wife confirmed these grants; she appears to have received the lands from Austin de Houghton, being confirmed in them by Robert the rector of Winwick; ibid. 680–3. This may be the land of Thomas son of Swain for which Gilbert de Notton and Edith his wife also granted a confirmation; ibid. 687.
Roger son of Adam de Pendlebury gave all his lands in Westhoughton, except Snydale; ibid. 677. There were also donations from the Rylands family; ibid. 685. Ellis de Pendlebury granted the Priest's croft; its bounds followed the Town brook as far as the road to Aspull, then by a syke by Recingpool moss to the lache going into Bradley brook, across from this brook beyond the carr, and as far as the Town brook ford lying on the north side of Hugh's house; ibid. 688. Robert the mercer of [West] Derbyshire afterwards surrendered his claim to this croft; ibid. 687.
Several rentals of the abbey are known; ibid, iii, 1232, &c. In 1251 and 1260 the farms of Westhoughton amounted to 9s. 8½d.; Thomas de Whittleswick was the chief tenant. The rentals of 1451 and 1461 give long lists of tenants; John Rigby held Ballsdean; Thomas Laithwaite, Brinsop; and James Holden, Windyates.
11 Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 61. A service of four barbed arrows, or 1d., was due from it. The place is not named in the Cockersand Chartulary, though it occurs in the rentals; and the Cockersand manor seems always to have been reckoned as one oxgang.
12 Coram Rege R. 297, m. 121, printed in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 6. The rating of the township at one oxgang of hide land seems an instance of beneficial assessment; two plough-lands would have been more reasonable. It appears, indeed, that in 1296 Margaret widow of Ellis de Turton claimed against the Abbot of Cockersand dower in a messuage and plough-land in Westhoughton; De Banco R. 114, m. 86.
The abbot's moiety must have been the result of the grants recorded in the previous note; nothing is said in the suit as to his lordship of the whole vill granted by Henry de Sefton. Roger son of Ellis de Westhoughton granted to Cockersand all his claim in the waste in return for 8 acres lying near his land of Birchley and another 8 acres lying near his land of Rylands. This is the only grant in the Chartul. (691), and is no doubt that mentioned in the text.
John son of Thomas de Houghton in 1331 did not prosecute a claim he made against the abbot in Westhoughton; Assize R. 1404, m. 19.
13 An account of the family, with illustrative deeds, by Mr. J. Paul Rylands, was printed in the Gen. (1880), iv, 170–8. The fields now called 'Ryelands' lie to the south-west of the Quakers' meetinghouse on the road from Westhoughton to Hindley.
John son of Robert de Rylands granted to the canons of Cockersand all his land in Ballesley, and followed this by a surrender of his claim in the waste, founded on a charter by Adam de Pendlebury, in return for 14 acres by the Wallbrook and Warcock Hill; Chartul. ii, 685, 686.
In Fine R. 80, 10 E i, m. 10, he is called John del Rylondes de Halughton.
He was a juror at Manchester in 1282 to inquire into the value of knights' fees, &c.; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), i, 168.
The abbot and canons of Cockersand about 1280 leased to John the Jew the land which they had from Richard de Rylands in Westhoughton; John also held the land granted by John de Rylands, and another portion bought from William de Rylands; Cbartul. ii, 694.
Richard son of John de Rylands (Duchy Misc. 3/9) was probably a clerk, as he is styled Master Richard in 1282; Assize R. 10 Edw. I (Rec. Soc. xlvii, 175). He is named in 1302; Assize R. no. 418, m. 2. He was the first witness to a settlement, dated at Hulton 3 Nov. 1338, of Adam de Hulton's lands in Westhoughton; Mr. Hulton's D. Richard de Rylands was a juror re Bradshagh in 1317. He had at least two sons, William de Rylands, named in Duchy of Lanc. Misc. 3/9 and Misc. R. div. 25, bdle. 2, no. 11, and John de Rylands, who married a kinswoman of Adam de Hindley, and in 1306 was wounded in an affray at Wigan; Assize R. no. 421, m. 1 d.
William and Robert de Rylands of Westhoughton contributed to the subsidy in 1327 and 1332.
In the Coram Rege Roll of 1334 (R. 297, m. 83) it is recorded that the Abbot of Cockersand successfully claimed 14 acres of wood against John son of John de Hulton, Robert son of Robert de Pendlebury, Richard de Bradshagh and Roger and Adam his sons, and William de Rylands. The jurors stated that the abbot was sole lord. In the same roll (m. 121), however, it is also recorded that William de Rylands and Agnes his wife claimed common of pasture in 100 acres of wood, and 200 acres of moss and pasture against the abbot, Robert de Rylands, and Roger Walet.
In this action William claimed as son of Thomas son of the above-named John de Rylands, the abbot admitting that in 1262 John de Rylands had held one-fourth part of the lordship, and that the same had devolved by descent upon William. It therefore appears that in the year 1334 the Rylands family still retained their right to one-fourth part of the lordship, and the finding of the jury was in accordance with the abbot's evidence. But it seems probable that they were in fact mesne tenants of the Abbot of Cockersand, though in all probability their tenure of their lands in Westhoughton commenced at a period anterior to the acquisition of the manor by the abbey.
In the De Banco Rolls of 1333 and 1334 (296, m. 387, and 300, m. 232) there are records of a dispute between Ellen and Margery, daughters of Maurice de Rylands, and Adam son of Richard de Bradshagh regarding a messuage and land in Westhoughton, from which it appears that Ellen and Margery were sisters and heirs of Richard de Rylands.
In 1348 Agnes widow of William de Rylands granted to her nephew (nepos) Adam son of Richard del Grange her part of a messuage, water-mill, and horse-mill, &c., held of the Abbot of Cockersand; Thomas Hodgeson de Rylands is mentioned; Chart. ii, 755 (Add. MS. 32107, fol. 190b).
In 1371–2 Robert de Maunton, chaplain, and John le Mort, executors of the will of William son of Robert de Rylands appeared against the Abbot of Cockersand claiming that 30 acres of land and 10 acres of wood demised by the abbot to William were unjustly held against the said executors; De Banco R. 443, m. 122.
The Abbot of Cockersand in 1395–6 leased to William Rylands and Thurstan and Thomas his sons a tenement 'upon condition that if they die within the term [19 years] the abbot may re-enter, and that they shall not alien without licence, and that they shall repair the houses during the term, and after the death of every one to pay 13s. 4d.'; and in the next year the abbot gave a reversion to Thomas, Lawrence, and John Rylands; Local Glean. Lancs. and Cbes. ii, 225, from Duchy of Lanc. Misc. R. div. 25, Z./11.
Lawrence de Rylands of Wexham Bucks., had protections on going into France in the retinues of Sir William Philip, Sir Thomas Beaumont, and others, between 1429 and 1439; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xlviii, App. The will of Alice Rylands of London, proved in 1442, contains a bequest to Wexham Church; Commissary of Lond. fol. 96.
Nicholas Rylands in 1474, when seventy-eight years of age, in Leigh parish church, swore upon a book that he had never made a feoffment to Thomas Stanley and Piers Legh, or to Roger Hulton of the Park, sen., of his lands, &c., within Westhoughton; nor had he made a feoffment to his son William of his father Robert's lands in Westhoughton, Lowton, and Pemberton; Gen. iv, 174. The MS. containing this is now in the Grosvenor Museum, Chester. Nicholas had, in 1430, married Margery daughter of Sir Thomas Gerard; ibid. 172.
Ralph Rylands in 1503–4 released to Anne widow of Geoffrey Shakerley, and Peter son and heir of Geoffrey, all claim on lands, &c., in the parishes of Winwick, Leigh, and Deane; ibid. 175.
Members of the Rylands family appear in the rentals of Cockersand as tenants of the abbey. In 1451 and 1461 Peter and Hugh Rylands each held a tenement, paying what was then a substantial rent. In 1501 Peter's tenement was apparently held by the wife of Geoffrey Shakerley, and Hugh's tenement by Humphrey Rylands; and the latter one was held by another Peter Rylands in 1537. Another Peter was living at Westhoughton in 1587; Co. Pal. Plea R. 29 Eliz. no. 261, m. 19.
Ralph Rylands of Westhoughton removed to Culcheth at the beginning of the 17th century, and his descendants subsequently settled at Warrington, with which town they are still identified. One of them, Mr. Peter Rylands, of Warrington, was the Parliamentary representative of that town in the latter part of the last century; Ped. in the Coll. of Arms.
Other members of the family continued to reside in Westhoughton and neighbouring townships. Peter Rylands of Daisy Hillock, Westhoughton, agent for sequestrations under the Parliament, died in 1663, leaving a son Peter, M.A. Trin. Coll. Dublin, who became treasurer and vicar-choral of Limerick Cathedral, and died without issue in 1695, having married Diana daughter of Sir Drury Wray, bart. who was remarried to Archdeacon Twigge of Limerick; Gen. iv, 177–8.
14 Geoffrey son of Geoffrey de Byron for 15 marks released to the canons of Cockersand all the land he had held of them at a rent of 12d.; and Richard son of Robert de Worsley gave a quitclaim also; Chart. ii, 690. In 1292 Richard du Boulton, Richard son of Roger de Worsley, William de Aintree, and others claimed a tenement in Westhoughton from the Abbot of Cockersand, but were non-suited; Assize R. 408, m. 46.
15 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 71.
16 Mamecestre (Chet. Soc), 480. It appears, however, that the abbot paid a rent of 13s. 4d. to the lord of Manchester; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals and Surv. bdle. 5, no. 2.
17 Chart. ii, 675–6. The bounds followed Bishop's lache to Buckshaw brook, up this brook to its head, then along Mother lache, between the rushy land and the deep moss, to Winyates carr and then to the head of Redshaw, crossing the moss from this point in a straight line to the syke between Rumworth and Suynul (? Snydale).
18 Assize R. 430, m. 6d.; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 7, m. 1 d.
19 Sir John de Ipre and John de Titterington, vicar of Mitton, desired to give a messuage and 40 acres in Westhoughton, held of the Abbot of Cockersand, for the purpose named. The premises paid a rent of 2d. a year to the abbot, who held them of Sir John La Warre as of the fee of the barony of Manchester in free alms, and by the service of 1d. yearly; Chan. Inq. p.m. 8 Ric. II, no. 69.
20 Some of the tenants it appeared had held their lands without taking the trouble to renew their leases; but in 1530 it was ruled that they must renew at the expiration of the term, paying a penny to the abbot as 'earnest penny,' or 'God's penny,' and another penny to the steward as 'entry penny,' according to the custom; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 192–4.
About 1520 Richard Urmston, who had married Ellen daughter of Nicholas Holden, claimed on her behalf a tenement in Westhoughton. The actual holder, Peter Williamson, claimed in right of his wife, who was a widow and married him without the abbot's consent, whereby, it was alleged, her right was forfeited; ibid, ii, 150. The claim of Ellen Gorton, made about the same time, has some interesting details; ibid, i, 99.
21 Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 181.
22 Pat. 37 Hen. VIII, pt. 4, m. 24.
The lands of the monastery of Cockersand, including the manor of Westhoughton, were recovered in 1821, Richard Dashwood being vouchee; Pal. of Lanc. Assize R. Lent, 2 Geo. IV, rot. 12.
23 It was found in 1588 that James Browne at his death in 1587 had held the manor of Westhoughton and various lands of the queen by the twentieth part of a knight's fee; its value was £10 a year. In 1562 he had granted it to his son Robert, who had married Anne daughter of John Langtree, with remainder to Robert's son James; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, 37.
Anne daughter of William Banaster married — Browne of Brinshope; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 25. Anne wife of James Browne, and Mary wife of James Browne, both of Westhoughton, were recusants in 1619; Manch. Sess. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 82.
In 1622 James and Robert Browne made a settlement of the manor of Westhoughton and seventy messuages, &c., 1,000 acres of land, 300 acres of meadow, &c., in the township; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 101, no. 6.
James Browne held the manor by the twentieth part of a knight's fee at his death in 1633; Robert his son and heir was forty years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, no. 2. The will of James Browne was proved at Chester in 1633.
In 1636 Robert Browne of Brinsop and Richard Browne his son and heir conveyed to Christopher Anderton certain messuages on the north side of the king's highway between Manchester and Chorley; Anderton D. no. 116. In 1655 Westhoughton was counted among the Anderton of Lostock manors, but does not appear later; ibid. no. 123.
In 1665 Ralph Browne obtained a verdict against James Browne for depasturing; Exch. of Pleas, Hil. 16 & 17 Chas. II, m. 39. The will of Ralph Browne of Brinsop was proved at Chester in 1689.
Kuerden about 1690 speaks of the Browne of Ince near Wigan being brother of the Browne of Brinsop; Local Glean. Lancs. and Ches. i, 214.
The deforciants in 1650 were Sir Thomas Smith, Dr. Edmund Mainwaring, and Peter Leycester, all Cheshire men, and probably trustees; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 149, m. 103.
24 Recovery at the Lent Assizes, 1812; William Brown Brotherton and wife, and Thomas William Brown Brotherton, vouchees.
Disputes concerning the inclosing of the commons had occurred in the 17th century between Atherton and Brotherton; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. ii, 247, 293.
25 Baines, Lancs. iii, 49, and information of Mr. William Roper. The Wilbraham estate consists of a number of farms acquired in various ways.
26 Information of Mr. Milnes Gaskell.
27 Numerous references to these suits will be found in the Ducatus Lanc.
In 1553 James Browne complained that William Reeve and others had forcibly entered two messuages and 100 acres of land, parcel of his manor of Westhoughton, 'by reason of a feigned custom they call tenant right.' The defendants claimed common of pasture and turbary for fuel to be burnt in their tenement. William Pendlebury deposed that his father Nicholas had had a messuage and land for the 'town's term' of nineteen years, paying to the Abbot of Cockersand 14s. 10d. He had succeeded his father, and paid an 'earnest penny or God's penny,' and an entry penny, and was one of those affected by the settlement between the abbot and his tenants already mentioned. Others said that plaintiff was 'very covetous, cumbersome, insatiable, and extreme' with his tenants and farmers, and was trying to evade or upset the settlement. Plaintiff, who lived at Brinsop, denied this, and said that defendants, acting on bad advice, were troubling him needlessly. One of them had admitted that a scholar in his house, since gone to Cambridge, had advised him to say that 8s. he had paid was for a fine for his house, whereas it was for arrears of rent. Ralph Browne, brother of James, acted as his bailiff; Duchy Plead. iii, 145–51.
James Browne was again plaintiff in 1556, Adam Hulton and others being defendants. He claimed to have succeeded the Abbots of Cockersand as lords of the manor, and of the waste. Many approvements had been made, cottages and mills built, mostly long before the Dissolution. The abbots had held courts, taken perquisites and profits, and appointed constables and other officers. The defence attempted was that the lord of Manchester was the true lord of the manor and of the wastes, and that the Abbot of Cockersand had paid a chief rent of 18d. a year for his lands in Westhoughton; Duchy of Lanc. Dep. lxxiv, B. 2.
Probably as a consequence of this the jury at Manchester Court Leet in 1557 found that a rent of 18d. was due from the township of Westhoughton, but had been withheld; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. i, 35. Nothing further is heard of this claim, James Browne having no doubt justified his title. The constables of Westhoughton were summoned to attend the Manchester court down to the end of the 17th century, but had ceased to appear; ibid, vi, 254.
From a summary of depositions made in 1588 it appears that the manor-house had been the grange of the Abbots of Cockersand. The decrees previously made against the alleged 'tenant right' were recited, and it was stated that the old name was 'town term.' Against the claim of custom the following reasons were alleged:—Most of the tenants had taken leases from James Browne the grandfather of the James Browne of 1588; a great part of the tenants were not the heirs in blood of the old tenants; many of the tenements had been inclosed from the waste; some tenants had assigned their tenements without the leave of the lord; most of them had committed waste; and many of the wives of deceased tenants and their heirs had not taken up their tenements within the prescribed twelve months; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. bdle. 3, no. 9.
28 Snydale has taken many forms. Albert Grelley, jun. gave Ellis de Pendlebury 'Sliuehale' by 12d. or by a sorhawk a year, and Ellis held the land in 121 2; Inq. and Extents, i, 58. From its position it appears to be the Suynul or Suinhul (? Sniuhul) of the Cockersand Cbar. (ii, 676–7), which Roger son of Adam de Pendlebury excepted from his grant to the abbey.
It should be noticed that the Pendleburys had lands also in Halliwell, of which there is a part called Smithills.
In 1320 Robert de Pendlebury held 'Smythell' for one sparrow-hawk or 12d.; Mamecestre, 290.
Isabel Hulton and Katherine her daughter in 1449 received £39 from the lands called Snydale in Westhoughton for the marriage of Katherine, from Sir Geoffrey Massey of Worsley and Margery his wife; Ellesmere D. no. 221.
Henry son of Robert de Pendlebury and Joan his wife had in 1363 and later years disputes with Hugh de Leigh, John de Leigh, and John son of Richard de Leigh, concerning messuages, &c., in Westhoughton; De Banco R. 413, m. 100; 418, m. 315 d.; 438, m. 209 d.
In 1532 Roger Pendlebury of Westhoughton was murdered in his house. An inquest was held, but, as his brother and heir William averred, by the favour and contrivance of Ralph Bradshagh the coroner, the jury found the crime had been committed in self-defence; Duchy Plead. ii, 51.
29 Adam son of Roger Pendlebury in 1531 granted a lease of Snydale to Adam Hulton of the Park; Towneley MS. RR, n. 58.
In 1574 a settlement was made of a messuage, windmill, 40 acres of land, &c., in Westhoughton, by Roger and Ralph Pendlebury; after these the remainders were to William, Nicholas, Adam, Richard, and Lawrence Pendlebury in succession; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 36, no. 83.
A sequel to this arrangement is given in Duchy of Lanc. Plead, clxv, P. 8. William, a son of Robert Pendlebury of 'Snythyll,' in 1595, alleged that Roger Pendlebury, the son and heir of Robert, had been seised of the capital messuage called 'Snythull,' with barns, orchards, fishings, &c., in the parish of Deane. Having no sons, Roger settled the estate on his brothers successively—Ralph, William (plaintiff), Nicholas, Adam, Richard, and Lawrence. Ralph having died, Roger sold to Christopher Anderton the marriage of his daughter Anne, afterwards wife of James Worthington, with the reversion of the estate should Anne die childless. In 1613 James Worthington of Sneithell and Anne his wife had a son Ralph, twelve years of age; Visit. of 1613 (Chet. Soc), 126; also Visit. of 1567 (Chet. Soc), 28.
There was a recovery of Snydale in 1585, Christopher Anderton being tenant and Roger Pendlebury vouchee; Anderton D. no. 48. The marriage of Anne Pendlebury the daughter had been granted in 1580 as appears by an exemplification at the request of James Worthington; ibid. no. 74.
30 The sale, or more probably mortgage, referred to in the last note, was made in 1584, ten years after the settlement, when Christopher Anderton acquired from Roger Pendlebury and Anne his wife the capital messuage called Snythell, with lands in Westhoughton and Golborne; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 46, m. 190.
James Worthington, of 'Snithell' and Barnard's Inn, a younger son of Lawrence Worthington of Crawshaw, married Anne, daughter and sole heir of Roger Pendlebury; Visit. of 1613 (Chet. Soc), 126. He contributed to the subsidy as a landowner in 1622; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 160.
His son and heir Ralph was twelve years of age in 1613. Ralph Worthington of 'Smithells' was a member of the Presbyterian classis in 1646; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1868), i, 227.
In 1690 William Worthington and Ralph, Peter, and John Worthington made a settlement of the 'manor of Westhoughton' and of messuages and lands there and in Thornton; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 225, m. 53.
From William Worthington the tithes of 'Snydle or Snythill,' &c., were purchased in 1726–7 by William Leigh; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 234, from Rolls 1 & 2 of Geo. II at Preston.
William son of William Worthington of Bolton matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford, in 1739, being fifteen years of age; he proceeded to the B.A. degree; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
William Worthington was vouchee in a recovery of the manor in 1745; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 560, m. 8 d.
31 Information of Mr. Daniel Howsin of Padiham.
32 Adam son of Richard de Bradshagh in 1331 acquired a messuage and land; the remainders were to his brother Henry, and to Richard son of John de Bradshagh; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 80.
33 In 1311–12 Richard son of Richard de Hulton released to the abbey of Cockersand all his claim to wastes and pastures within Westhoughton, reserving common of pasture and reasonable estovers for himself and his tenants; Hulton Ped. 6.
Ellen daughter of John de Hulton granted to Hugh de Hulton and Agnes his wife her toft and croft called the Park and her meadow with appurtenances in Westhoughton; Towneley MS. RR., no. 103.
John son of Adam de Heaton in 1337 claimed a messuage and lands against Adam son of Richard de Hulton. The defendant said he held jointly with Roger his son, not named in the writ. The claim was not pursued; Assize R. 1424, m. 9; 1425, m. 2.
In later times lands in Snydale in Westhoughton were held also by the Hultons of Farnworth; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 26.
An agreement was made in 1521 between Adam Hulton of Hulton and William Hulton of Farnworth respecting lands in Westhoughton, Manchester, Barton, Lever, and Bolton; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 132, m. 6.
Adam Hulton, a tenant in 1556, mentioned in a previous note, was son of William and grandson of Adam Hulton. In 1597 Adam Hulton and Alice his wife made a grant of their messuage, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 58, m. 275.
34 Kuerden has preserved short notes of some deeds of this family, but they are very unsatisfactory, dates being seldom given and no details of the lands concerned; iii, H. 4. Among them are grants from Hugh de Leigh to John his son and Margery daughter of Henry de Ainsworth, — Edw. III (no. 1); from Henry son of Laucoc son of Ranne (?) de Westhoughton to Richard son of John de Leigh, 12(?) Edw. III (6); from Mabel de Leigh to John de Leigh of Cheetham and his son Richard de Leigh of Westhoughton (9); from Robert de Pendlebury of Westhoughton to Richard de Leigh, 9 Hen. VI (16); from the trustee to Richard de Leigh, with remainders to his sons James, William, Roger, Thomas, Thurstan, and John, 23 Hen. VI (18); from the trustees to James Leigh, with remainders to Agnes daughter of Henry Hindley, for her life, and to Robert son and heir of John Leigh, ? Hen. VII (21, 22); from John Leigh, senior, to Robert his son and heir, 6 Hen. VIII (27); from Robert son and heir of John [Leigh] to trustees, with remainder to John his son (29); Robert Leigh was living in the reign of Philip & Mary (35).
From the Cockersand rentals it may be seen that Richard Leigh was a free tenant in 1451, his rent being 21d.; James Leigh in 1461; and John Leigh in 1501 and 1536. John Leigh of Westhoughton, aged sixty and more, was witness in a tenant-right dispute in 1521; Duchy Plead. i, 108.
Robert Leigh son of John Leigh, and John Leigh grandson of John Leigh, were among the defendants in the dispute of 1556.
In 1571 ten messuages and land in Westhoughton, Duxbury, Chorley, and Hindley were the subject of a fine, the deforciants being John Leigh and Robert his son and heir, the latter's wife being named Anne; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 33, m. 49.
John Leigh of Westhoughton, who died in 1618, held lands of the lord of Westhoughton in socage by 12d. rent, the estate being six messuages, a water-mill, &c.; he also had lands in Hindley, Duxbury, and Chorley. William Leigh, his son and heir, was twenty-seven years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 133.
This son was afterwards rector of Standish, and ancestor of the Leighs of Singleton Grange; Dugdale, Visit. 183. A later William Leigh occurs in 1686; Exch. Dep. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 67.
35 James Reeve of Westhoughton, aged fifty-four, was a witness in 1521; Duchy Plead. i, 101. William Reeve, as already stated, was a defendant in 1553; ibid. iii, 145. Robert Reeve was frequently a juror in the time of James I; Lancs. Inq. p.m. i, 36, &c. He is probably the Robert Reeve who died in 1640, holding a messuage, &c., in Westhoughton of the lord of the manor, and another at Penketh; Richard his son and heir was fifty-three years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, 37.
36 From the Rentals it appears that in 1451 John Sale was one of the free tenants, paying 6s. 10d.; the wife of John Sale held the same in 1461; the wife of John Molyneux in 1501; and Henry Molyneux in 1536.
Robert Molyneux, who died in July 1545, held one messuage, &c., of James Browne as of his manor of Westhoughton, by services unknown, and another of the same by a rent of 6s. 10d.; he had married Anne daughter of Thomas Makand, and left a son and heir William, about four years old. Robert's father, William Molyneux of Mouldsworth, Cheshire, had held the above tenement, and another called Warcock Hill, which he sold to Roger Urmston of Lostock; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 32. In a later inquisition (1561) the service is called 'knight's service and the rent of 6s. 10d.'; Anne, the widow, was then living at Haigh, and William the son was nineteen years old and more; ibid, xi, no. 50.
William Molyneux, perhaps his son, was frequently a juror in the time of James I; Lancs. Inq. p.m. i, 28, &c.
Henry Molyneux of Westhoughton was in 1646 a member of the Presbyterian classis; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1868), i, 227. His will was proved at Chester in 1662.
A number of allusions (about 1690) to Nathaniel Molyneux of Daisy Hill in Westhoughton and some of his letters will be found in Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv). He used 'to exchange broad money for narrow' (p. 174), according to an informer. His son Thomas matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1683, and entered Gray's Inn; Foster, Alumni. He was afterwards knighted. He married Margaret More, heiress of the Mores of Loseley, and died in 1719; see G.E.C. Complete Baronetage, ii, 176. His son, Sir More Molyneux, knighted in 1724, entered Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1709, aged nineteen; became a commissioner of excise, and died in 1769. His son, Thomas More Molyneux, of Wadham College, died in 1776; Foster, Alumni Oxon. In 1750 John Probyn purchased from Sir More Molyneux, Richard Wyatt and Susannah his wife, and Jane Molyneux, spinster, twelve messuages, 50 acres of meadow, &c., in Westhoughton and Great Bispham, and the manor and rectory of Westleigh; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 345, m. 85. For the later descents of the More Molyneux family see Burke, Landed Gentry.
37 There were nine free tenants in 1251. In 1451 there were only five— John Sale, Richard Leigh, Richard Hodgkinson, Henry Isherwood, and Margery Chaddock. This arrangement was unaltered down to the Dissolution. Deeds of Richard Hodgkinson, in 1457, are recorded in Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 175.
The inquisitions post mortem of Isabel Harrington (1519), Alexander Osbaldeston (1543), Roger Downes of Worsley (1639), and Ralph Holden (1634) show that they had had some lands in the township, but the tenures are not stated; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 2; xxvii, no. 54; xxvii, no. 39. The heir of the last-named was his nephew James Holden, son of Richard; but Ralph had a son William. Francis Locker was in 1631 found to have held a messuage and lands of the king by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee; Francis, his son and heir, was just of age; Janet, the widow, was living at Chorley; ibid. xxv, no. 40.
Some particulars of the Hart family's holding are given in Duchy Plead. ii, 157.
38 Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 246–9.
39 Ibid, i, 160.
40 Land-tax returns at Preston.
41 Pleas of Crown, Lanc. bdle. 330.
42 The Inclosure Act is 11 Geo. I, cap. 32.
43 See Lancs. and Ches. Hist. and Gen. Notes, iii, 80; Manch. Guardian N. and Q. no. 638, 660.
44 The Royal Commissioners in 1552 found at the chapel 'a chalice and other ornaments for a priest to say mass in'; Ch. Gds. (Chet. Soc.), 27. The building itself was redeemed from the king's hands for 13s. 4d. or 20s.; Baines, Lancs. Chantries (Chet. Soc.), ii, 277–8.
In Mary's reign tenants of Westhoughton complained that James Browne had caused an interruption of the service in the chapel; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 296.
45 Gastrell, Notitia (Chet. Soc), ii, 45. Bishop Gastrell found the certified income to be only 41s. 6d.; about £50 stock belonged to it, and the contributions had been as much as £20 a year. In 1719 it was augmented with land to the value of £200, taken from the common at inclosure; and there was a good house for the curate.
46 Bolton Journ. 7 May 1887.
47 Visit. P. at Chester.
48 Commonwealth Cb. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 38; £40 a year had been appropriated to it from the tithes of Deane sequestered from Mr. Anderton.
49 Lond. Gaz. 25 Jan. 1860; for endowments, ibid. 3 May 1844, and 14 Nov. 1873.
50 The Church Papers at Chester Dioc. Reg. only begin in 1700. There was a curate summoned to the Visitation of 1562, but he had disappeared by 1565. There was 'a minister' there in 1635; his name is not recorded, but he would be Alexander Horrocks; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 112.
51 Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 200; he was 'unlicensed and illiterate, and would not allow a Common Prayer book to lie in the chapel.'
52 Calling himself 'minister of the Gospel at Deane' he subscribed the 'Harmonious Consent' in 1648. Two years later he was described as a 'godly, orthodox divine'; Commonwealth Ch. Surv. ut sup. He is often said to have been vicar of Deane, but this seems to be a mistake; he was curate of Westhoughton (and Deane) and lecturer at the parish church. He died at Turton in 1650. See a notice of him, with his will, in Pal. Note Bk. iii, 23.
53 Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 104. After the Restoration James Bradshaw, formerly rector ofWigan and expelled from Macclesfield in 1662, used to preach in Westhoughton Chapel occasionally; Bridgeman, Wigan Ch. (Chet. Soc.), 470.
54 Will proved at Chester, 1755. He left £100 for the benefit of the township; this was applied to the school. He was curate of Horwich for part of the time.
55 He had been curate of Walmsley in Turton and lecturer at Bolton; Scholes and Pimblett, Bolton, 330.
56 He also had been lecturer at Bolton; ibid.
57 Was curate also of Culcheth (q.v.), but resided at Westhoughton.
58 Afterwards incumbent of Hornby.
59 Author of Faith and Practice, &c.; afterwards vicar of Bednall.
60 Rector of Meysey Hampton, 1869.
61 Afterwards rector of Brindle.
62 Previously vicar of St. Matthew's, Bolton.
63 Lond. Gaz. 31 Mar. 1860.
64 Ibid. 10 Feb. 1882 for district.
65 Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iv, 123.
66 Life of Jos. Buckley, 97.
67 Baines, Lancs, quoting Harl. MS. 360, fol. 32.
68 Kelly, Engl. Cath. Missions, 425.