The parish of Flixton

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

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1911

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42-45

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'The parish of Flixton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 42-45. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=52997 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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FLIXTON

Flixton; Urmston

The parish of Flixton, (fn. 1) a compact area of three plough-lands ancient assessment lying in the tongue between the Irwell and Mersey, appears to have been cut off from Barton; the boundary between them is a straight line running east and west, while the eastern boundary is merely a part of that between Barton and Stretford, also a straight line running south from the boundary of Whittleswick to the Mersey. Similarly the division between the component townships of Flixton is a straight line running southwards. The area is 2,581 acres, and the population in 1901 was 10,250. The geological formation consists of the Upper Mottled Sandstone (Bunter series) of the New Red Sandstone.

From its position the parish has had a quiet and uneventful history. It lies out of touch with the old main roads from Manchester to Warrington and to Chester, and only one of its local gentry has taken any prominent part in the movements of the day, namely Peter Egerton of Shaw, an active partisan of the Parliament during the Civil War.

To the ancient 'fifteenth' Flixton paid 14s. 6d. and Urmston 8s. 6d., the hundred in all paying £41 14s. 4d. (fn. 2) For the county lay of 1624 Flixton was assessed at £3 7s. 5¼d. when the hundred paid £100, the townships of Flixton and Urmston contributing in the proportions of seven and four. (fn. 3)

The parishioners of Flixton making the Protestation in 1641 numbered 171, being headed by the two squires and the curate. (fn. 4)

To the hearth tax of 1666 eighty-nine hearths were found liable in Flixton, where the only house with more than four hearths was that of Leonard Egerton, with eleven; and sixty hearths in Urmston, where the chief houses were those of Roger Rogers and Richard Starkie, with nine and six hearths respectively. (fn. 5)

There are at present 863 acres of arable land in the parish, 813 devoted to permanent grass, and 3 to woods and plantations.

Church

The church of ST. MICHAEL stands at the east end of the village on high ground about 250 yds. north of the River Mersey with a very extensive view from the churchyard southward over Carrington Moss. It consists of chancel 27 ft. by 17 ft., with north vestry and organ chamber, nave 36 ft. 6 in. by 17 ft. 6 in. with north and south aisles, and west tower 13 ft. square. These measurements are all internal. The south aisle extends the whole length of the nave and chancel, and is 61 ft. 4 in. long by 12 ft. 3 in. wide. The north aisle is the same width and 37 ft. 10 in. in length. Though the foundation is a very ancient one, and a church is known to have existed here since the 12th century, the present structure retains so little ancient work that little or nothing can be said of the development of the plan. Two fragments of what appear to be 12th-century stones with lozenge ornament are built into the east wall on the outside, but apart from these the oldest work in the building is contained in the chancel, which, in something of its present form, dates from the 15 th century. It has been so much rebuilt, however, that little or nothing of the original work remains except in the reconstructed walling, the lower part of which appears to be old or entirely rebuilt of ancient masonry.

The 15th-century church apparently occupied pretty much the same area as at present, with the exception of the north vestry, and stood in all probability till the 18th century. In 1731 the parish rebuilt the tower (fn. 6) in the style of the day, and in 1756 the nave and aisles. The chancel had to be partly rebuilt in 1815, when one of the piers gave way and the wall fell in. (fn. 7) In 1851 the north-east vestry was built; and in 1863, the tower, of which there had been a partial restoration in 1824, was declared unsafe, and the ringing of the bells was stopped. A general restoration took place in 1877, when the galleries which had been erected in the 18th century were removed, the ceiling opened out, new seats put in, and two doors, one at the west end of the north aisle and the other at the east end of the south aisle, were built up. In 1888 the tower was entirely rebuilt and the ringing of the bells resumed. The church is built of red sandstone, the roofs of the chancel, nave, and aisles being covered with stone slates, and that of the vestry with green slates.

The chancel of two bays is open to the nave without structural division and has an east window of late 15th-century style, of three cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred head in modern stonework. Its east wall stands slightly in front of those of the vestry and south aisle, and has diagonal buttresses at the angles. On the north are the vestry and organ chamber, and on the south an aisle. Before the building of the vestry the north wall was solid, with an external buttress, (fn. 8) but has now an arcade of two low arches of two chamfered orders springing from an octagonal shaft and responds with moulded capitals. The west respond is built against a 3 ft. length of old walling which marks the extent of the north aisle. The vestry and organ chamber are built in 15 th-century style, and are separated from the aisle by an arch constructed when the east wall of the aisle was taken down. On the south side the chancel has an arcade of two pointed arches of two chamfered orders, the crowns of which come immediately under the wall plate. They spring from octagonal shafts 21 in. in diameter with moulded capitals and chamfered bases, and are probably a modern copy of the original 15th-century arcade, erected after the accident of 1815. The height of the pillars to the top of the capitals is 7 ft. 9 in., but on the north side the pier to the new arcade is only 5 ft. 3 in., and the arch above of corresponding height, leaving a wide extent of wall space above, which has lately been decorated with a frieze of painted figures. This difference in height is accounted for by the roof of the vestry being considerably lower than the roofs of the chancel or aisle. The nave arcade of the 15th-century church was a continuation westward of that on the south side of the chancel, but in the 18th century it was swept away and the present classic nave and aisles erected between the newly-built tower and the older chancel. The nave has three semicircular arches on each side, springing from circular stuccoed columns of the Tuscan order standing on pedestals 3 ft. high. There are three columns on the north side and two on the south, with a half column against the upper part of the octagonal stone pier at the east end. The junction of the 18th-century work with that of the chancel is clumsily effected, and indicates the evident intention to carry the rebuilding eastward. The spacing of the bays on the north and south is unequal, the columns not coming opposite each other, and on the north the beginning of a fourth semicircular arch butts against the wall at the west end of the chancel. The north aisle extends slightly further westward than the south, and is lighted by three high roundheaded windows on the north side and one at the west, with moulded sills, architraves, imposts, and keystones. The south aisle is lighted along its side by four similar windows and one at each end. In the south-west corner is a semicircular-headed doorway with pilasters and pediment, and a smaller round-headed window over. The nave and aisles have open timbered roofs of plain king-post type


Flixton Church: South-East View

The tower, as previously stated, is a modern rebuilding of the 18th-century one, and has a round arch towards the nave. It is of three stages marked by string-courses, with a vice in its south-west corner entered from the outside, and is a mixture of classic and 18th-century Gothic detail of no particular architectural interest, but a fair example of its kind. The angles, like those of the aisles, have drafted quoins, and at the corners of the embattled parapet are urn ornaments. The lower stage has a round-headed west doorway with a three-light debased Gothic window breaking the string-course above, and over it the inscription recording the rebuilding of the tower in 1731. The upper stage on each side has a roundheaded three-light window with stone louvres and label over. The window head has a keystone round which the cornice above breaks, and which is carried up as an intermediate pilaster in the middle of the parapet surmounted by an urn. In the second stage on the north side is an inscription to the effect that the tower was rebuilt in 1888 in commemoration of Queen Victoria's Jubilee. There is a clock presented in 1889 in the second stage on the north and east sides.

There is a 17th-century oak chest in the vestry, but generally speaking all the fittings of the church are modern, mostly dating from 1877 or later. The font is under the tower, and an oak screen separating the baptistery from the nave was erected in 1903.

At the west end of the south aisle was formerly a brass to the memory of Richard Radcliffe of Newcroft (died 1602), but during a recent decoration of the church it has been removed to the vestry. It bears the figures of Radcliffe in armour and his two wives, kneeling at each side of a book desk, with the three sons of the first wife, and the two sons, three daughters, and three infants (swaddled) of the second. The first wife Bridget (Caryll) widow of W. Molyneux, kneels with her three sons opposite to Radcliffe, while the second wife and her children kneel behind him. Over the desk is a shield with the arms of Radcliffe of Ordsall with helm, crest, and mantling and on each side a shield with the arms of Radcliffe impaling those of his wives. (fn. 8a)

There is no ancient stained glass.

Until 1806 there were four bells, of which one, known as the poor folks' bell, was subscribed for by the villagers. Three of them bore the motto 'Jesus be our speed,' and the fourth 'Leonard Asshawe, Peter Egerton, Esq. 1624.' (fn. 9) These were recast in 1806 by John Rudhall of Gloucester, and four new ones added by public subscription, the first peal being rung on 25 January 1808. On arrival at Flixton the tenor bell was placed mouth upwards in a field and ten guineas' worth of double strong ale put in for the populace to regale themselves with. (fn. 10) Some of the bells were recast by Taylor of Lough borough in 1887.

The curfew is rung between 29 September and 25 March, and a bell, locally called the 'Pudding bell,' is rung every Sunday at one o'clock and again at two, the origin of which is said to have been to let the people of Carrington know that there would be service at Flixton in the afternoon.

The plate consists of a flagon, 1776 (the gift of William Allan, esq., Davyhulme), a chalice and two patens, and a large almsdish, 1875.

The registers begin in 1570. There is a loose leaf of the churchwardens' accounts for the year 1690–91, but the account books do not begin till 1707. (fn. 11)

Additions to the churchyard were made in 1868 and 1887. The oldest gravestone is dated 1669, and there is a pedestal sundial on the south side of the church with the names of the churchwardens and maker (James Sandiford, a Manchester clock-maker), and the date 1772.

Advowson

The advowson of the church belonged to the Grelley moiety of Flixton, and was granted with it to Henry son of Siward. On the foundation of Burscough the church was granted to the priory, (fn. 12) and appears to have remained in its possession till far on into the 13th century. (fn. 13) Then, by some unknown means, the rectory was acquired by Bishop Roger Meuland about 1290 and transferred to the cathedral of Lichfield, becoming the portion of one of the prebendaries, who took his title from it. (fn. 14) William Burnell died possessed of the prebend of Flixton in 1303, (fn. 15) but nothing is stated as to any appropriation in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas in 1291, when the annual value was returned as £4 13s. 4d. (fn. 16) The prebendaries, who leased out the tithes, &c., (fn. 17) appointed a resident curate, this system continuing until the patronage was about 1860 transferred to the Bishop of Manchester, as representing the Bishop of Lichfield, who had collated to the rectory-prebend. (fn. 18) The incumbents are styled rectors, and have the tithe rent-charge and glebe. (fn. 19) The value of the ninth of the wool, &, in 1341 was £4. (fn. 20) In 1534 the prebend was valued at £7 or £10. (fn. 21) The Commonwealth surveyors in 1650 found that the farmer of the tithes, Peter Egerton of Shaw, had assigned a house to the curate, worth £20 a year, and also, by order of the Committee of Plundered Ministers, paid him the £16 rent due to the prebendary. (fn. 22) Bishop Gastrell, about 1717, recorded that the lessee paid the curate £30 a year, and surplice fees and other dues amounted to £4 more. (fn. 23) The present income is £300 with a house. (fn. 24)

The following have been curates (fn. 25) and rectors:—

oc. 1541Nicholas Smith (fn. 26)
oc. 1547Ralph Birch (fn. 27)
oc. 1552–4Edward Smith (fn. 28)
oc. 1563Robert Radcliffe (fn. 29)
1565Richard Smith (fn. 30)
oc. 1588Nicholas Higson (fn. 31)
oc. 1604William Hodgkinson (fn. 32)
c. 1610— Jones (fn. 33)
oc. 1613George Byrom (fn. 34)
oc. 1622Edward Woolmer, (fn. 35) B.A. (Oriel College, and All Souls, Oxford)
1660Thomas Ellison (fn. 36)
oc. 1663— Barrett (fn. 37)
oc. 1664, 1691John Isherwood, B.A. (fn. 38)
oc. 1709Edward Sedgwick (fn. 39)
1723John Jones, M.A. (fn. 40)
1752Samuel Bardsley, B.A. (fn. 41)
1756Humphrey Owen, B.A. (fn. 42) (St. John's College, Oxford)
1764Timothy Lowten, M.A. (fn. 43) (St. John's College, Cambridge)
1771Thomas Beeley (fn. 44)
1807Samuel Stephenson, M.A. (Trinity College, Cambridge)
1816Henry Burdett Worthington, (fn. 45) M.A.
1823William Asteley Cave Brown Cave, (fn. 46) M.A. (Brasenose College, Oxford) (fn. 47)
1842Arthur Thomas Gregory, (fn. 48) B.A. (Lincoln College, Oxford)
Rectors
1863Charles Barton, (fn. 49) B.A. (Dublin)
1873Richard Marsden Reece, (fn. 50) B.A. (St. John's College, Cambridge)
1906Arthur William Smith

The ecclesiastical history calls for little comment. There were no chantries, and the curate appears to have been the only resident ecclesiastic. At the Reformation the prebendaries of Flixton were conformists, (fn. 51) but the curates seem to have changed with each visitation. The church was fairly well provided with 'ornaments' as late as 1552. (fn. 52)

In 1592 the only charges against the curate and wardens were that no collectors for the poor were appointed and that the 12d. fine for not attending church was not levied. (fn. 53) In 1641 the curate reported that there were no 'delinquents' in the parish, the people 'being all protestants and no papist' among them. (fn. 54) The curate in 1680 was suspended for three years for refusing to read the prayer for the queen, the Duke of York, and the royal family. (fn. 55)

Land for a schoolhouse was leased in 1643, but the school seems to have been built in 1662 upon a patch of land by the roadside. (fn. 57) It was sold in 1861. (fn. 58)

Charities

Each of the townships in the parish has some small charitable endowment, the total income being £11 11s. 8d., of which £ 15s. 2d. is for the poor. A few old benefactions have been lost. (fn. 59)

Footnotes

1 For map of this parish, see Eccles.
2 Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 18.
3 Ibid. 15, 22.
4 Richard Lawson, Hist, of Flixton (1898), 148, 149. This work, containing a large amount of information regarding the parish, has been freely drawn upon in the present account. A similar work, published in the same year by David Herbert Langton, has also been used.
5 Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9.
6 Inscription on tower 'This steeple was rebuilt at ye sole charge of ye Parish Anno Domini 1731.'
7 Baines, Lancs. (1836), iii, 164.
8 See drawing of building in 1731, in Lawson, Hist, of Flixton, 5.
8 a The inscription is as follows: 'Here lyeth ye bodie of Richard Radclyff Esquire of Newcroft, yongest sonne to Sr William Radclyff of Ordsall, whoe in his life was Captaine over CC. foote at ye siege of Leeghte, & at ye rebellion in ye north, hee had first to wife Brigett ye daught: of Thomas Carell of Warnam in ye County of Sussex ye widowe of W. Mollynex sonne & heyre of Sr Richard Mollinex and had issue by her 3 sonnes. He had to his 2 wife Margret ye daught: & heyre of John Radclyffe of Foxdenton, & had issue by her 2 sonnes & 6 daughters whereof 5 daughters are deceased. He being of the age of 67 years departed this life the 13th of Ianuaire in An[n]o. Dom[ini]. 1602.' The two last lines have been renewed in modern lettering on a separate strip of brass. They formerly read 'where of v daughters are deceased. He beinge of the age of 67 years, deceased the 13th of lanuarie in An[n]o. Dom[ini] 1602.'
9 In 1558 Leonard Asshawe left money in his will for the purchase of bells for the church. His intention seems to have been carried out and the bells recast in 1624 at the expense of Peter Egerton of Shaw.
10 Manch. Guard. Local N. and Q. no. 1095, 1108.
11 Lawson, Flixton, 24, 43; the accounts for 1708 and 1724 are printed in full. Copious extracts will be found also in Langton, Flixton, 53–71. For briefs, p. 24; and for the constables' accounts, see Lawson, op. cit. 64. The register for 1688–9 is printed in Pal. Note Bk. iii, 28.
12 Documents relating to it are printed in the Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxv, App. 35; and ibid, xxxvi, App. 200; also in Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 350–5. From these it appears that Robert son of Henry de Lathom granted the church of Flixton and its appurtenances to the priory about 1189. A little later Roger son of Henry and Henry son of Bernard granted the church in pure alms to Henry the Clerk, son of Richard, for his life. This presentation appears to have been opposed by the canons, but by a local inquiry it was found that Henry son of Siward had last presented in the time of peace, and that Roger and Henry were his heirs. Henry the Clerk, of the Tarbock family, about 1230 resigned all his claim to the prior and canons, receiving a pension of 2 marks, payable by Master Andrew the physician, the rector.
13 Flixton Church was included in charters of confirmation received from William, Bishop of Lichfield, in 1216; and from his successor Alexander in 1232, the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield and the Prior and Convent of Coventry assenting; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxv, loc. cit.
Robert de Hulton released his claim to the patronage, but in 1269 the Prior of Burscough asserted his right to the patronage against Jordan de Hulton; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, loc. cit.; Curia Regis R. 194, m. 36; 196, m. 10; 215, m. 5.
Few names of the earlier rectors are known. Master Andrew is named in the last note. In 1246 William, rector of Flixton, claimed Gilbert de Nutchil and Adam the Earl as his 'natives,' but did not appear in court; Assize R. 404, m. 7. Adam the Earl (comes) attested several Barton Charters.
14 Le Neve, Fasti (ed. Hardy), i, 602. The most notable name in the list of prebendaries which is given is that of William de Wykeham, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, who exchanged this stall for other preferment in 1361.
In 1387 the king claimed the right of presentation to the church of Flixton, then vacant. This probably refers to the prebend; William Boule was the defendant while William de Borel is given as prebendary by Le Neve; Coram Rege R. Hil. 10 Ric. II, pt. ii, m. 2 d.
15 Le Neve, Fasti.
16 Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249.
17 See Ducatus Lane. (Rec. Com.), iii, 312, 513. Sometimes the right to nominate a curate was included in the lease.
18 'In 1756 the nomination of the incumbent was claimed by the Warden and Fellows of Manchester, but without sufficient title'; Raines, in Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 56.
19 In 1863 the benefice was endowed with the tithe rent-charge formerly pertaining to the prebend of Offley with Flixton in Lichfield Cathedral; and three years later it was declared a rectory; Lond. Gaz. 20 Nov. 1863; 3 April 1866.
20 Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 39. Flixton answered for 53s. 4d. and Urmston for 26s. 8d.
21 Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 132; V, 226.
22 Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 16. The commissioners approved of the situation of the church 'about the middle of the parish, very convenient for the parishioners to resort unto.' The tithes were worth about £42 a year; and those of Urmston about £27. Peter Egerton had secured a lease for three lives from the late Stockett Lutwich, prebendary. See also Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 37, 63, 87.
23 Notitia Cestr. ii, 55; the total value of the prebend seems to have been £65 a year. In 1673 the church had three wardens and three assistants.
24 Manch. Dioc. Dir. In 1833 the endowment was stated to be £600 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £1,400 Parliamentary grant.
25 John del Wood of Flixton, chaplain, occurs in 1367; P.R.O. Anct. D. C. 1196.
26 Clergy List (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 13; he was paid by Mr. Nicholas Darington, the prebendary.
27 Visit. List of 1548 in the Chester Dioc. Registry, Birch's name is erased, and 'Edward Smith, curate,' inserted. This may have been done in preparation for the next visitation.
28 Ibid. 1554; also Ch. Gds. 1552 (Chet. Soc), 10, and Piccope, Wills (Chet. Soc), iii, 57.
29 Visit. List, 1563. A Robert Radcliffe was made subdeacon at Bishop Scott's last ordination, 1558; Ordin. Bk. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 113.
30 Visit. List, 1565; T. Jerman, the prebendary, is duly given as rector.
31 Buried at Flixton 9 July 1588; Reg.
32 Buried 12 Feb. 1603–4.
33 Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 12; he was 'a preacher.' Possibly the John Jones who about this time was made vicar of Eccles.
34 From a list prepared by the late Mr. Earwaker.
35 He was 'lecturer' at Flixton in 1622; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), i, 66; curate in 1634–6; ibid. 95. He took the Parliamentary and Presbyterian side, and signed the ' Harmonious Consent' of 1648. In 1647 he was accused of celebrating 'clandestine marriages'— i.e. possibly according to the Prayer Book form; Manch. Classis (Chet. Soc.), i, 79. About the same time the churchwardens were ordered to remove the font; ibid, i, 46. Woolmer was described as 'an able and godly minister' in 1650; Commonwealth Ch. Surv. 17. He remained in charge till his death, just before the Restoration, being buried 8 May 1660.
36 Manch. Classis, iii, 342–7 ; afterwards rector of Ashton under Lyne.
37 Named by Baines.
38 He signed the registers as minister in 1664. He was 'conformable' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 229. He appears in the Visitation List 1691. He was buried at Eccle3 as 'late minister of Flixton,' 8 May 1715.
39 Buried at Flixton, Oct. 1722; see also Notitia Cestr. ii, 56 n. One of these names was of Jesus College, Cambridge; B.A. 1685.
40 He died 8 Sept. 1751, having been more than twenty-eight years the ' faithful and diligent pastor' of the place; M.I. The Church Papers at Chester begin with him.
41 Probably the Samuel Bardsley of University College, Oxford, B.A. 1748; Foster, Alumni.
42 Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 102. Also rector of St. Mary's, Manchester, 1756–89; died 1790.
43 Scott, Admissions St. John's C. iii, 150. He graduated as second wrangler in 1761, and afterwards settled in America; Baines, Lancs, (ed. Croston), iii, 308. 'There appears to have been some difference of opinion between Mr. Lowten and some of the parishioners, according to an undated copy of a document I have seen, and which appears to be a petition . . . that as Mr. Lowten, to end the matter, was willing to resign, Mr. Beeley might be his successor. Mr. Lowten was evidently the possessor of a large amount of land in Davyhulme, as £1,070 was yielded from the sale of it in 1769'; R. Lawson, Flixton, 20.
44 Died 25 Feb. 1807, aged 69; M.I. Probably the Thomas Beeley of Stockport, who matriculated at Oxford (Trinity College) in 1760, aged 21, but did not graduate; Foster, Alumni. For notice of John Sudlow, curate about 1794, see R. Lawson, 20.
45 Became vicar of Grinton, Yorkshire, in 1822.
46 Son of Sir William Cave, ninth baronet; born 1799.
47 Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford; M.A. 1824; rector of Stretton en le Field, Derbyshire, 1843; died 1862.
48 Exchanged Flixton for the rectory of Trusham, Devon.
49 Previously incumbent of Bromborough, 1850; and rector of Trusham 1860. Exchanged for Cheselbourne, Dorset, in 1873.
50 Rector of Cheselbourne, 1872. Inhibited 17 June 1884, the church being served by curates in charge.
51 They were Nicholas Darington 1530–53 (?), and Thomas German 1553– 68; Le Neve.
52 Ch. Gds. (Chet. Soc), 9, 10. There were two bells in 1552; the number was afterwards doubled, two of the bells bearing date 1624 and 1633; ibid. 11.
53 Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xiii, 63. A piper and his host were censured for playing in a house at evensong on a holiday and giving the sworn man 'bad words.'
54 R. Lawson, op. cit. 149.
55 Ibid, quoting ' Raines MS.'
57 Lawson, Flixton 48; Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 57. James Birch was licensed as the master in 1684; Stratford's Visit. List.
58 Endowed Charities Rep. Flixton, 1900, p. 5.
59 An official inquiry was made in Dec. 1899; the report, issued the following year, includes a reprint of the report of 1826. The following is a summary:—
For Flixton Peter Warburton in 1769 left £60, half for the schoolmaster and half for the poor. This was laid out on the workhouse at Flixton, and in 1826 the overseers paid £3 as interest, £1 10s. going to the poor. On the sale of the workhouse in 1861 the guardians paid £60 to the official trustees; the interest, now only 35s. 8d., is paid to the national school. The workhouse building still exists in Moorside Road. Three other benefactions of £10 each, made at the end of the 17th century, were lost by 1807; and £30 for the school by John Wood in 1779 was lost in 1815 in law expenses.
Peter Gregory, before 1786, left £10 for bread for the Urmston poor; land, now called Manchet Field, was purchased with it, and in 1828 the rent of £2 a year was distributed according to the benefactor's wishes under the superintendence of the minister of the parish and the churchwarden for Urmston. In 1870 a portion was sold to the railway company in consideration of a rent-charge of £1 15s., and the remainder produces £4. a year. A monthly distribution of bread is made at the church; attendance at the service is not required, but the recipients are supposed to be members of the Established Church. The balance is distributed at Christmas. A later bequest for the same purpose had been lost before 1826. David Higginson in 1854 left £250 in augmentation of this charity; only about, £40 was realized, which was paid in 1890 to the minister and churchwardens of Urmston, but nothing had been done with it up to 1899, as it was thought that no further distribution of bread was required.
Richard Newton in 1800 left £100 towards the education of ten poor children of Urmston; the capital is now represented by £107 consols, and the income, £2 18s. 8d., is paid to the Urmston National School. Some other bequests for education have been lost. A charge of 20s. for this purpose, recognized by the owner of Newcroft in 1826, was repudiated after the sale of the Shawtown school in 1861.
Two other charges on the Newcroft Estate—2s. 6d. for a sermon and 2s. 6d. for ringing the bells on 5 Nov.—have also ceased to be recognized.


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