Townships
Myerscough

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

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1912

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138-141

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'Townships: Myerscough', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7 (1912), pp. 138-141. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53201 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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MYERSCOUGH

Mirscho, 1258; Miresco, 1265; Mirescowe, 1297. It is pronounced locally Masca.

This township, lying between the parishes of Preston, Garstang and St. Michael-on-Wyre, has an area of 2,707 acres, (fn. 1) and the population in 1901 numbered 423. The surface slopes from east to west from about 120 ft. above sea level on the border of Barton to between 30 and 40 ft. at the other side. The Brock crosses the northern end on its way west to the Wyre; north of it are Myerscough House Light Ash and Stanzaker; to the south is Myerscough Hall, between the Brock and another brook flowing west. The latter is a two-story 18thcentury building with barred sash windows, hipped roof and deeply overhanging eaves, erected by William Greenhalgh, high sheriff in 1729, in the place of an older building of the same name. On the brook is the mill; near it is the Lodge, the former home of Sir Thomas Tyldesley. Badsberry is near the centre, and Midghalgh at the southern end of the township.

The great highway from Preston to Lancaster passes along the eastern boundary. There are several minor roads, including one passing westward near the hall, towards St. Michael's. The London and North-Western Railway crosses the south-east corner, and the Preston and Kendal Canal winds northward through the centre.

The population is agricultural. The soil is heavy, with subsoil of clay. Wheat is grown, and much of the land is in pasture.

The township has a parish council.

Henry Borron Fielding, son of Henry Fielding of Myerscough House, was a botanist of some note. He lived at Bolton near Ulverston and then at Lancaster, dying in 1851. (fn. 2)

Forest

MYERSCOUGH seems to have been part of one of the forests, possibly that of Amounderness, and then to have been joined to the forest of Lancaster. (fn. 3) The name does not occur in Domesday Book (fn. 3a) , and it is uncertain which of the neighbouring townships then contained it. (fn. 4) Unlike Fulwood it does not appear to have been styled a manor at any time. In 1297 the forest of Myerscough was worth 20s. a year to the Earl of Lancaster. (fn. 5) The Earls of Derby were once keepers of the park, (fn. 6) and the Tyldesleys of Wardley and then of Morleys were under-keepers. (fn. 7) About 1620 the latter had licence to inclose 90 acres of the Outwood of Myerscough. (fn. 8) James I stayed at their house, known as the Lodge, in 1617, (fn. 9) and Charles II in 1651. (fn. 10) Various grants were made by the Crown. (fn. 11) A survey is extant made in the Commonwealth time, (fn. 12) and a plan of the park in 1769. (fn. 13) There are 16thcentury Court Rolls at the Record Office, (fn. 14) and an old plan has been preserved. (fn. 15)

Leland, writing about 1536, thus refers to it: 'Ere I came to Garstang by a mile and a half I left Myerscough, a great park partly enclosed with a hedge, partly (all on the moor side) with a pale. On the right it is replenished with red deer. The Earl of Derby hath it in farm of the king.' (fn. 15a)

But few of the inhabitants occur in the records, (fn. 16) apart from the Tyldesley family, who made it their chief residence, probably for religious reasons. (fn. 17) The family have been noticed in the accounts of Morleys in Astley and Wardley in Worsley. Edward Tyldesley, the first of Morleys, was in 1587 (fn. 18) succeeded by his infant grandson and namesake, who died at Myerscough in 1621, when his son Thomas was about nine years of age. (fn. 19) The heir, the typical Lancashire Cavalier, (fn. 20) was about thirty years of age when the Civil War broke out; he at once took sides with the king (fn. 21) and was advanced to the rank of colonel, (fn. 22) and to knighthood in 1643. (fn. 23) He took part in the leading events of the conflict in the county, assisting in the siege of Manchester, (fn. 24) the capture of Lancaster, (fn. 25) and the storming of Bolton (fn. 26) ; he was defeated at Wigan (fn. 27) and Ormskirk, (fn. 28) and compelled to surrender Liverpool, (fn. 29) and Lichfield afterwards (fn. 30) ; still later he joined in the Duke of Hamilton's invasion of Lancashire, (fn. 31) and then in the Earl of Derby's attempt to lead reinforcements to Charles II at Worcester. In this attempt he fell, being killed in the battle at Wigan Lanc 25 August 1651 (fn. 32) ; he was buried in Leigh Church. (fn. 32a) His grandson Thomas, a strong Jacobite, died early in 1715, (fn. 33) and his son Edward joined the insurrection at the end of that year, but was acquitted on trial; 'his sword had a silver handle.' (fn. 34) He seems to have been the last Tyldesley of Myerscough, and his son James, who served in the Young Pretender's army in 1745, sold Morleys. (fn. 35)


Tyldesley. Argent three molehills vert.

MYERSCOUGH LODGE was pulled down in 1888. It had long been used as a farm-house, and was described in 1848 (fn. 36) as containing an oak stair, case of spacious dimensions, the 'railing' of which was 'very beautiful.' In one of the rooms on the ground floor was an elaborately carved oak chimneypiece with eight panels, the four upper ones having the armorial bearings of the Tyldesley and Derby families together with the initials T. T., and those below medallion heads in strong relief. Two of the walls in the same room were panelled in oak, and at the east end of the house on the upper floor was a small semi-hexagonally roofed apartment called 'The King's Room,' (fn. 37) where according to tradition James I and Charles II slept during their respective visits here in 1617 and 1651. Over the stable door was a stone with the inscription 'Old Dog Lad 1714.' (fn. 38) The Lodge was in a dilapidated state immediately prior to its demolition, and the old oak had been removed some years before and taken to London. The modern house now called Myerscough Lodge stands about 40 yds. to the east of the site of the original building. (fn. 39)

The estates of William and Edward Butler (fn. 40) and some others were sequestered under the Common wealth, (fn. 41) and in 1715–17 other estates seem to have been confiscated or threatened. (fn. 42) William Butler was executed for taking part in the rebellion of 1715. (fn. 43)

The Old House at Badsberry was in 1718 bequeathed by John Cross to endow a school at Bilsborrow. (fn. 44) Mary Cross of Myerscough in 1889 founded a charity for the poor. (fn. 45) Midghalgh was early in the I8th century owned by a family named Lund, (fn. 46) and was a Roman Catholic mission station. (fn. 47) Anthony Lund, the heir of the family, was a Douay priest; he built the present chapel at Fernyhalgh. (fn. 48)

Footnotes

1 The Census Rep. 1901 gives 2,708 acres, including 30 of inland water.
2 Dict. Nat. Biog.
3 See the account of the forest, V.C.H. Lancs. ii, 439, 448–9; Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 19.
Myerscough is not named in the early Pipe Rolls, or in the perambulation of the forest in 1228, but was an ancient forest 'beyond the memory of man,' in 1323; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc), ii, 449. The forest of Amounderness, as distinct from those of Wyresdale and Lonsdale, occurs in 1246–8; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches), i, 170. It formed part of the gift to Theobald Walter in 1194 (Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 435), but as late as 1337 Myerscough was not reckoned within it; ibid. 425. About 1322 ThurBtan de Northlegh farmed the herbage of the parks of Myerscough and Fulwood by demise of John Travers, keeper of the same; Coram Rege R. 254, m. 54 d.
3 a The township may be the lost vill of Aschebi, one plough-land in 1066.
4 Tithes were claimed in 1591 by the farmer of the rectory of St. Michael's, Myerscough being said to be part of the chapelry of Woodplumpton; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 261.
5 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 290.
The extent of 1346 appears to regard both Myerscough and Fulwood as appurtenances of Quernmore; Add. MS. 32103, fol. 148. The herbage of the park was then worth £8 a year. William de Holland and William his son had a cottage, &c., called Baggerburgh, next the park of Myencough, paying 7s. a year, also 1d. a day wages of a parker, and keeping up the park palings. Thomas Wambergh had a messuage and lands in Mygelhagh (Midghalgh), at a rent of 70s. Alice de Shireburne also had land there. Thomas and Robert de Haldeslegh had pannage, &c., in Myerscough and Bradshaw hey. 'Baggerburgh' is no doubt Badsberry.
Richard de Radcliffe had a lease of the foreign wood of Myerscough in 1360 at a rent of 18 marks; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 343.
6 Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 294–5. Thomas Bayton was master forester in the time of Elizabeth; ibid, iii, 331, 366.
7 Ibid, i, 148, 158, &c.; iii, 36. For a complaint by Thurstan Tyldesley in 1531 see Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 228.
8 Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 262, 294.
9 The king stayed there from 12 to 14 Aug. and hunted, killing several bucks; Assheton's Journal (Chet. Soc), 32–4.
10 On 13 Aug. on his way to Worcester; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc), 287.
11 In 1605 Rippon Park in Myerscough was granted to Charles Earl of Devon; Pat. 2 Jas. I, pt. vii.
Bannerhurst and Colthey, parts of Stanzacre by Myerscough Park, a watermill, a messuage and lands called Midghalgh, &c., were granted to Edward Bradley and others in 1623; Pat. 20 Jas. I, pt. iii.
Several leases of the herbage in the park are known; e.g. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1638–9, p. 62.
In 1809 Myerscough Park was leased to William Heatley for thirty-one years, and he in 1815 transferred to William Fitzherbert-Brockholes; D. at Claughton.
12 Lancs. and Ches. Rec. i, 43.
13 Ibid, i, 25.
14 Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 79, no. 1035–6.
15 Lancs. and Ches. Recs. i, 24.
15 a Itin. v, 98. The deer were destroyed about 1778; Assheton's Journal, loc. cit.
16 Leonard Helme in 1601 held two messuages, &c., in Myerscough, but the tenure is not stated; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xviii, no. 20.
The Richardson family appear at Over Wood and Nether Wood before 1530; Ducatus Lanc, ii, 43, 232. Thomas Richardson, son of William, held lands in Woodplumpton, &c., destined for the maintenance of the schoolmaster of Garstang; he had the reversion of a messuage, water corn-mill, &c., in Myerscough, where he died in 1637. His mother Janet was living. His son William was only a year old; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii, no. 76.
Elizabeth widow of Thomas Richardson afterwards married Hugh Kighley and then Thomas Jepson; being a recusant two-thirds of her lands were sequestered in. 1645, and a petition for the removal of the sequestration in 1654–5 seems to have failed. William Richardson was then living; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 29.
Walter de Myerscough occurs in 1262–5; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 229, 234. Families of this name are afterwards found at Lancaster and Penwortham; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 24; Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches), 42, 45.
17 Morleys is known to have been a Roman Catholic mission station. Myerscough was secluded and nearly 15 miles from. Lancaster parish church. Elizabeth Tyldesley (of Morleys) in 1628 compounded for her sequestration for recusancy by an annual payment of £15.
18 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 10. He was buried at Leigh. By his wife Anne, the daughter and heir of Thomas Leyland, he had not only Morleys but a number of small estates scattered over the county, e.g. in Preston, Chipping and Lancaster. Myerscough is not named in any of the inquisitions, perhaps because it was held in right of a subordinate office. The heir was Edward Tyldesley son of Thomas son of Edward deceased, aged two years.
Two inquisitions were taken respecting the estates of Thomas Tyldesley, father of the heir; ibid, xv, no. 30, 37. It appears that he died at Myerscough on 23 Feb. 1585–6. He was buried at Leigh. One of his daughters, Elizabeth, was Abbess of Gravelines in Flanders.
19 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 261–9. Elizabeth Tyldesley widow of Thomas (the father) and Elizabeth Tyldesley widow of Edward were living at Myerscough. Edward's will is in Stanley Papers (Chet. Soc), iii, p. cccxxxi.
20 There are numerous references to him in Civil War Tracts, Lancs. War and Stanley Papers (all Chet. Soc.); a memoir in Dict. Nat. Biog.
There is no question as to Sir Thomas's religion, but at the beginning of the struggle a leading Parliamentarian told Sir Gilbert Hoghton and Mr. Tyldesley 'he could like them well if they were not so familiar with Papists'; Civil War Tracts, 21. Another of the same side wished the Parliament to 'send for this Tyldesley, for he is a captain, one of the commission of array, and doth more harm than any man I know'; ibid. 23. A more generous opponent wrote: 'In Amounderness among the Papists there were several companies raised under the leading of Mr. Thomas Tyldesley of Myerscough as colonel, a man much esteemed in the country; most were willing to comply with him. All the captains raised by him were Papists,' except one; they included William Butler of Myerscough. 'There was not a man in all the county more zealous and fervent for the king's part than Colonel Tyldesley was, not the Earl of Derby himself, for it was thought he forwarded the earl more than he would have been. He was a noble, generous-minded gentleman. His zeal for the king's cause put him on so that having many well affected to him to follow him, besides many of the freeholders' band whom he allured or commanded to march with him to Warrington, and when he had them there would not suffer any of them to return home, but compelled and forced them to march with him after the king, then returning from Chester, and so to Kineton field and Edgehill battle, whence most of them never returned again'; War in Lancs. 19.
The Earl of Derby addressed him affectionately as' Thom'; Stanley Papers, iii, p. clxxiii, &c.
21 Civil War Tracts, 13.
22 Ibid. 47 (Sept. 1642). He was afterwards described as major-general to the Earl of Derby; ibid. 303.
23 He gained it by commanding the cavalry in a desperate charge over the thirty-sk arches of Burton Bridge in July; ibid. 99. He was accompanying the queen on her way from York to join the king in Warwickshire.
24 Ibid. 46, 51, From the lodge at Aldport 'Tyldesley with a drake played fiercely against the town at that end called Deansgate, but did no execution worth memory'; War in Lancs. 7.
25 Civil War Tracts, 85. On the subsequent capture of Preston 'Master Tyldesley was much busied about Mr. Edmund Werden's house,' i.e. in plundering; War in Lancs. 30. Then (May 1643) he accompanied the Earl of Derby in his unfortunate excursion to Whalley; 33.
On 23 Oct. the same year ' was sequestered Mr. Thomas Tyldesley's estate of Myerscough, being the first that was sequestered within Amounderness Hundred, and the very life of all that acted against the Parliament within it'; ibid. 44. It appears that his mother Elizabeth (Westby) was in possession of a large part of the family estates, and that two-thirds were sequestered for her recusancy. She survived her son, dying about 1652, so that Sir Thomas's property was probably small. See the petitions, &c., in Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2568–9. Sir Thomas's estates were declared forfeit for treason and ordered for sale by an Act passed in July 1651; Index of Royalists (Index Soc), 1.
26 Civil War Tracts, 197; May 1644. In the subsequent plundering 'some of the soldiers of the Fylde country, who had been abroad from home much of a year, brought cloth from them [the Bolton people] to their wives and families which served them many years after'; War in Lancs. 52. The same day the Parliamentary soldiers, taking prisoners to Lancaster Castle, stayed ' at the Lodge in Myerscough, Colonel Tyldesley's house'; ibid. 49.
27 Civil War Tracts, 98; Apr. 1643.
28 Ibid. 206; Aug. 1644.
29 Ibid. 104; June 1643.
30 Ibid. 214; July 1646. This surrender was by the king's general orders to the commanders of castles, &c., still held for him.
He had been taken prisoner in Sept. 1644 near Montgomery; ibid. 206.
31 Ibid. 255; Aug. 1648. He was left by the main body to attack Lancaster Castle, but upon the duke's defeat he retreated to Appleby, where he surrendered, on condition of going beyond sea; ibid. 273–5. He is said to have gone to Ireland and afterwards joined the Earl of Derby in the Isle of Man.
32 Ibid. 298–9; War in Lancs. 72, 76. His monument was erected by Alexander Rigby, formerly his cornet, near the spot where he fell; Stanley Papers, iii, p. ccexxxiii. His portrait is in Baines' Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 610. It was his saying that ' he would follow his business close, to the end that he might the more enjoy his pleasures'; Blundell Cavalier's Note Bk. 121. Three of his daughters became nuns in the Augustinian convent at Paris.
32 a His son Edward succeeded, being under age; Cal. Com. for Comp. loc. cit He obtained the place of bow-bearer of Myerscough Chase, and was also made steward and forester of Myerscough, Wyresdale and Quernmore in 1660; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1660–1, p. 145. He recorded a pedigree in 1664; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 302. He was living in 1679, when being 'a reputed though not convicted popish recusant' he had licence to travel to Lancaster, returning within ten days; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 111. He and his son Thomas were among the 'popish recusants' destined to exile in 1680; Cavalier's Note Bk. 166. He seems to have been anxious to avoid a formal conviction in 1682; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 143. He is supposed to have died soon afterwards.
33 Thomas Tyldesley was accused of participation in the so-called 'Lancashire Plot' of 1694; Jacobite Trials (Chet. Soc), 16, &c, He was buried at Garstang as 'Thos. Tinsley, esq., of Lodge,' 26 Jan, 1714–15. His Diary, 1712–14, was printed, with notes, by Messrs. Joseph Gillow and Anthony Hewitson in 1873. It contains a pedigree of the family.
34 R. Patten, Rebellion of 1715 (ed. 3), 116.
Edmund Tyldesley of the Lodge in 1717 as a 'Papist' registered an estate (leasehold) at Myerscough, and in a moiety of the manor of Holcroft, valued at £720 a year; Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 155.
35 Tyldesley Diary, 14.
36 Canon Raines' Notes to Nicholas Assheton's Journ. (Chet. Soc. xiv).
37 Hewitson, Northward, 29.
38 The stone is now built into one of the outbuildings. The inscription is said to refer to Mr. Tyldesley.
39 Hewitson, op. cit. 28.
40 Edward Parkinson of Myerscough died in 1631 holding a messuage and land there of the king as of his manor of Enfield. His daughters Cecily and Isabel had died before him, leaving issue William Butler, aged sixteen, and Anne Shireburne, aged seventeen and more; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, no. 57. He gave lands to this grandson (William Butler), who left a daughter Cecily, with remainder to William's brother Edward; Royalist Comp. Papers, i, 258, 263. William Butler (note 20) was killed in the battle of Newbury fighting for Charles I.
William son of Edward Butler of Myerscough was a burgess of Preston in 1682; Preston Guild R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 182. Myerscough House, the estate of William Butler, was advertised for sale in 1700; Pal. Note-bk. iii, 283.
41 The cases of Sir T. Tyldesley and Elizabeth Jepson have been mentioned.
John Parker, recusant, in 1653 desired to compound for two-thirds of his estate sequestered; Col. Com. for Comp. iv, 3174. Thomas Pierson of Newcastle was allowed to compound for his estate in Myerscough, though it had been ordered for sale; ibid, iv, 2958. Andrew Thistleton of Myerscough House had his estate sold in 1653; ibid. 3145. These estates and that of Francis Westby were ordered to be sold under the third Act, 1652; Index of Royalists, 44.
42 The estates of John Parkinson and John Edsforth, 'Papist,' seem to have been forfeited; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. i, 174–5. The following 'Papists' registered estates in 1717: Anne Baine, James Brand, Robert Cardwell of Barton, William Catterall, Elizabeth Crookall of Badgebury (Badsberry) within Myerscough and Francis Malley 5 Estcourt and Payne, op. cit.
43 Gillow, Bibl. Diet, of Engl. Cath. i, 366.
44 End. Char. Rep. (Lanc), 1903, p. 115.
45 Ibid. 117. The gross income is £8 16s., which is given annually to nine or ten persons in gifts of money. Miss Cross, who founded many other charities (see the Preston report), died in 1896.
46 Anthony Lund the younger registered his estate as a 'Papist' in 1717; Estcourt and Payne, op. cit. 151.
47 Gillow, Haydock Papers, 62–4.
48 Gillow, Bibl. Diet, of Engl. Cath. iv, 350. He died in 1811, having sold Midghalgh.