||The census report of 1901 gives
1,4.60 acres, including 18 of inland water.
The increase is accounted for by the
extension in 1894.
Stanley Papers (Chet, Soc), iii, p.
||E. Butterworth, Middleton, 57.
||Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9, Lancs.
||Loc. Govt. Bd. Order 31671; the
extreme western end of Elton was the part
Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), ii,
733. The bounds were—Murbrook from
the deep moss, Mucklebrook, and the syke
||e.g., Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 105.
||On the partition of the Middleton
and Radcliffe estates about 1780. The
land tax returns of 1787 (at Preston)
show that then Lord Grey de Wilton
owned the greater part of the township.
||See the account of the manor of
William son of Robert de Ainsworth,
about the end of the reign of Henry III,
granted an oxgang of land here to Roger
de Barlow; and added another oxgang, as
well as a toft, with houses and meadows
belonging thereto; Harl. MS. 2112, fol.
171/208. Maud, the sister of William
de Ainsworth, released her claim in the 2
oxgangs to the same Roger de Barlow;
Robert de Ainsworth in 1324 gave land
in Ainsworth to Robert his son and heir
on his marriage with Isabel daughter of
Richard de Woolston; Towneley MS.
GG, no. 1690. Robert son of Robert de
Ainsworth occurs in 1353; Towneley
MS. DD, no. 2219. John son of Robert
de Ainsworth and Maud his wife received
land at Stakehill in 1342; GG, no. 1755.
It is perhaps a different John son of Robert
who, with Agnes his wife, is mentioned in
1398–9 ; DD, no. 2207–12.
John son of John de Ainsworth and
Robert de Pilkington (who had married
the younger John's daughter Katherine)
in 1383 became bound to James de Radcliffe; a warning had been published from
the pulpit of Walton Church; GG, no.
1840. The younger John, who lived at
the Peak, by his wife Ellen (no. 1843,
2055) had a son Alexander; and Alexander in 1419 made a settlement of lands
at Mellor in Derbyshire on his son (by
Margaret 'Walklate') Hector, who married Margaret daughter of William de
Clayton; no. 2007, 1784, 2064. Hector, probably illegitimate, afterwards sold
his lands to Richard son of Robert de
Pilkington; no. 2033.
Another Robert de Ainsworth attested
a Droylsden charter about 1250; Byron
Chartul. no. 25/5. John de Ainsworth
was among the witnesses of a Farnworth
grant in 1295; Lever Chartul. no. 54.
Ellis son of John de Ainsworth was defendant in a claim by John de Barton and
Agnes his wife in 1324; De Banco R.
252, m. 43 d. Ellis de Ainsworth contributed to the subsidy of 1332; Exch.
Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 36.
Ellis Ainsworth is named in 1411;
DD, no. 2216. James Ainsworth of Middleton occurs in 1443; Pal. of Lanc. Plea
R. 5, m. 6b. Lawrence Ainsworth in
1460 complained that Nicholas Longford
and others, including Hugh, Geoffrey and
Robert Ainsworth, had disseised him of
his free tenement in Ainsworth; Pal. of
Lanc. Writs of Assize.
Robert Ainsworth in 1543 complained
that the lands called the Wood and
Marled Earth, through which ran 'a
brook and other little pirls' of water,
had been damaged by certain persons—
Lawrence Bradshaw of Breightmet, Joan
widow of Thomas Ainsworth of Breightmet, &c.—having diverted the water
courses; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs.
and Ches.), ii, 176. Robert Ainsworth
appears as plaintiff or defendant in other
suits about the same time; Ducatus Lanc.
(Rec. Com.), ii, 82, 77; i, 232, 262.
Giles and Thomas Ainsworth occur in
1580; ibid, iii, 87. Giles and Robert
Ainsworth were freeholders in 1600;
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 248.
||Thomas Ainsworth of Pleasington,
who died 1613, held three messuages, 60
acres of land, &c., in Ainsworth of Sir
Richard Assheton in socage and by 9d.
rent; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs,
and Ches.), i, 247.
A Richard Ainsworth died in 1629,
holding lands in Pleasington and Ainsworth; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet.
||Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 50,
m. 29; the transaction included twentyseven messuages, a water-mill, 200 acres
of land, &c. Thomas Ainsworth died at
Ainsworth 26 May 1594, holding messuages and land there of Richard Assheton
of Middleton in socage by a rent of 18d.
His heir was his nephew Robert son of
his brother Peter Ainsworth, aged twentyseven; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xvi, 8.
The fine is recited in the inquisition.
The purchaser or mortgagee was the
son of Ralph Booth, who died in 1567,
holding three messuages, &, in Ainsworth, partly of the queen by knight's
service, and partly of Richard Assheton by
a rent of 2s. yearly. Alice widow of
Ralph, father of Ralph Booth, died in
1580; while Anne widow of Ralph died
in 1574; Ralph, the son and heir, was
twenty-two years of age, probably in
1584, when the inquisition was taken;
Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xiv, 75.
Thomas Ainsworth, vendor or mortgagor, died at Ainsworth on 26 May 1594,
holding seven messuages, &, in Ainsworth, and fourteen messuages, watermill, &c., in Breightmet and Harwood;
the former of Richard Assheton in socage,
by a rent of 18d. yearly, and the latter of
the queen. His heir was his nephew
Robert son of Peter Ainsworth; Duchy
of Lane. Inq. p.m. xvi, 8. See an
entry in Pat. 7 Jas. I, pt. 26, for lands in
Ainsworth, Breightmet, and Harwood.
||Roger Booth died at Ainsworth in
1622, holding three messuages, &, of
Ralph Assheton of Middleton, by a rent of
2s. and a pair of gloves; and 11 acres of
the king by the 300th part of a knight's
fee. The heir was his nephew Geoffrey
Lomax, son and heir of Alice Holt, the
sister of Ralph, then aged thirty-six;
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), iii, 306.
||John Aspinall of Ainsworth was a
freeholder in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc.
Lanes, and Ches.), i, 250.
||John Harper was a defendant in
1549 touching common of pasture on
Cockey Moor; Ducatus Lane. (Rec. Com.),
i, 232. A later John Harper died in
1638, holding a messuage, &c., in Ainsworth of Ralph Assheton of Middleton in
socage; John his son and heir was thirty
years of age; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m.
||About 1480 Richard Openshaw, 'heir
of the Shaw,' took an encroachment on
Cockey Moor, which twenty years later descended to his son John. After John's death
his brother James occupied the same, for
John's son, another John, was 'out of the
country at the wars,' and did not for some
years appear to claim it; Cockey Moor
Exam. 18. The house of John Openshaw in 1515 was beside the meeting of
the boundary of three parishes-Middleton, Bury, and Bolton; ibid. 9. Lamwell Openshaw of Ainsworth was a freeholder in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lanes,
and Ches.), i, 250.
||Ibid, i, 215.
||The depositions are printed in full in
Raines' Examinations touching Cockey Moor
(Chet. Soc. Misc. ii). It was shown that
the people of Ainsworth were considered
to be parishioners of Middleton, and paid
tithes and other dues to it. John Hasnall, seventy-five years of age, had often
been at 'the driving of the moor,' and the
Radcliffe men had never claimed any
right upon it. On the other hand it was
shown that there had been disputes in
former times between the lords of Radcliffe
and Middleton concerning the moor.
||Returns at Preston.
||In accordance with the Act 49 Geo.
III, cap. 8.
Cockey Moor Exam. 12. The chapel
is mentioned in 1544; Ducatus Lanc.
(Rec. Com.), ii, 77, 82.
||It was but scantily furnished in 1552;
Ch. Gds. (Chet. Soc), 12. In 1580
there was a dispute as to a water corn
mill, 'late of the chantry of Cockey chapel';
Ducatus, iii, 63. Camden speaks of it as
' a chapel built of timber, beset round
about with trees'; Britannia (ed. 1695),
745. It is named as 'a chapel of ease'
about 1610; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv,
App. iv, 12.
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.),
i, 54, 66 ; Mr. William Rathbone. He
was silenced by the Bishop of Chester for
nonconformity ; Oliver Heyvvood was one
of his pupils; Heywood, Diaries, i, 29,
157. An earlier minister was a Mr. Hibbert ; ibid, i, 20. The chapel was ' vacated
by the ejection of an Episcopal clergyman
about the year 1640, on the ground of his
being "scandalous and ignorant," but really
on his refusal to take the Covenant';
Raines in Gastrell's Notitia Cestr. (Chet.
Soc), ii, 105. This seems to be an error
of Canon Raines. Richard Goodwin,
M.A., was minister, seemingly in succession to Rathbone, from 1641 to 1647;
Peter Bradshaw, ' an orthodox, able minister,' from 1647 to 1653; Nightingale,
Lancs. Nonconf. iii, 119; Commw. Ch. Surv.
(Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), 27.
||Ibid. The commissioners recommended that it should be made a parish
church; but nothing seems to have been
done till 1659, when further inquiry was
recommended; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec.
Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), ii, 305. The
ministers were—Taylor, 1654–7; Peter
Bradshaw, 1657 to 1660; and John
Lever, 1660 (?); Nightingale, op. cit.
||See the extract from the Bishop of
Chester's Act book in Notitia Cestr. ii, 105.
||Various Nonconformist ministers
preached in it as opportunity offered—e.g.
Oliver Heywood, Henry Newcome, and
others; O. Heywood, Diaries, ii, 51, 87,
103 ; H. Newcome, Autobiography (Chet.
Soc.), 160. The Prayer-book service was
'occasionally performed on stated Sundays
in the afternoon, by the rector of Middleton'; Notitia, ut sup. John Loxam was
the curate, 1677–86; Visit. Lists at
Chester. In 1683 Justice Greenhalgh
had 'grown unreasonable, fining people
for going to Cockey chapel, though bell
was rung, prayers read, &c.'; O. Heywood, Diaries, ii, 223. John Compton
was the certified 'Presbyterian parson ' of
'Cockey chapel' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com.
Rep. xiv, App. iv, 232. Warden Wroe
in 1706 reported to the bishop that 'the
chapel was in the hands of the Dissenters';
Notitia, ut sup. There was, however, a
Notitia, ut sup.
||Bishop Gastrell records £2 15s. arising from the 6 acres of inclosed land; this
land was then and still is in possession of
the Nonconformists. Also the interest
of £20 for preaching two sermons; in
1724 £100 was given by the rector, and
£100 by the Dean of St. Paul's; Notitia.
Lond. Gaz. 21 May 1867.
||The Church P. at Ches. Dioc. Reg.
begin with this curate.
||Afterwards rector of Middleton.
||Perpetual curate of Slaley, Northumberland, 1831–48; of Otterford, Somerset, 1851–5; vicar of St. John's Park,
Sheffield, 1855; also simultaneous curacies; published sermons, &c. He was
suspended for drunkenness, &, in 1842;
Church P. at Chester.
||There is a full account of it in Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iii, 115–27, with
notices of the ministers, and a view of
the building. A 'new built house on
Cockey Moor' was licensed in 1672;
ibid. 121. The chapel has endowments
of over £250 a year; details are given in
the Endowed Charities Report for Middleton, 1901, pp. 32–6.