||1,967 acres, including 7 of inland
water; Census Rep. 1901.
||Wesham was later reputed to contain
two (or three) plough-lands and Medlar
one (or half). The former was probably
taken from Kirkham and the latter from
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs, and Ches.), i, 47; it was held by
Ellis de Hutton son of Roger in 1212.
||Ibid. She was living and in possession in 1212.
||Robert the Treasurer, Prior of the
Hospitallers in England, confirmed to
Gilbert (son of Roger) son of Reinfred
'the whole vill of Medlar, i.e. one ploughland with all its appurtenances, &c., which
we had by the gift of Cecily daughter of
Roger, formerly wife of Benedict Gernet.'
Gilbert and his heirs were to pay 12d. a
year to the knights on St. Oswald's Day,
half a mark as obit, and the 8s. a year
due to the king; Cockersand Chartul.
(Chet. Soc.), i, 170.
Ellis de Hutton confirmed his sister's
grant to the Hospitallers; ibid. 171.
||Ibid. 168; one plough-land in Medlar,
the mill of Greenhalgh and the service of
Adam de Cornay and his heirs. The
canons were to perform the service due to
the king. The grant was made in or
before 1216, when the king confirmed
Gilbert's grant to the abbey; Cal. Rot.
Chart. (Rec. Com.), 218.
Gilbert seems to have become the
abbey's tenant. He obtained a quitclaim
respecting Medlar from Maud de Stiveton,
daughter and beneficiary of Ellis de Stiveton, and had granted his whole tenement
to Reyner de Stiveton, guaranteeing also
to pay the 8s. service due to the king;
Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 440–2.
It was perhaps in consequence of this
grant that an Ellis de Stiveton claimed
Medlar in 1235, and on the Abbot of
Cockersand calling William de Lancaster
(son of Gilbert the benefactor) to warrant
him Ellis resigned his right on being paid
25 marks by William; Cockersand Chartul.
i, 169; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), i, 63.
Cockersand Chartul. i, 167; see p. 171
for the earlier agreement for 1s. 6d. rent.
The canons obtained 3 oxgangs of land
from Robert son of Ellis de Hutton, and
another in 1271 from Eda daughter of
Roger de Medlar, who had been enfeoffed
by her father in marriage; ibid. 172.
This last grant is probably that referred
to in a claim by Eda daughter of Roger
de Furness in 1292; she alleged that she
had demised an oxgang of land to the
abbot's predecessor for life in 1276, he
promising a robe yearly, which was withheld. The verdict was for the abbot;
Assize R. 408, m. 96 d.
||In 1324 the Abbot of Cockersand was
stated to hold Medlar in conjunction with.
Newbigging or Singleton Grange; Dods.
MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. In 1346 he held
half a plough-land in Medlar in thegnage
by a rent of 8s.; Survey of 1346 (Chet.
Soc), 52. A similar tenure was recorded
in 1445–6, but the abbot alleged that he
held in pure alms; Duchy of Lanc.
Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20.
In 1303 Adam son of Richard de
Mowbreck claimed a messuage and half
an oxgang of land in Medlar held by the
Abbot of Cockersand; De Banco R. 145,
m. 95 d.
The Cockersand rentals 1451–1537 are
printed in the Chartul. iii, 1264–5.
||Pat. 35 Hen. VIII, pt. ix, m. 11.
The grant included a close called Cornfield.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 38.
||William Westby was defendant in
1543 in various claims as to lands in
Medlar lately of Cockersand Abbey;
Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 80.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17.
A similar return is made in later inquisitions.
||Pat. 4 & 5 Phil, and Mary, pt. xiv.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi,
||Farrer, op. cit. 437.
||Farrer, op. cit. 439. The homage
and service of Alexander de Wesham was
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 48. Sabina
widow of Roger de Heaton had dower
from Wesham in 1203–4; Farrer, Lancs,
Pipe R. 181.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 231. The
value was 16s. a year.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17.
||In 1286 William de Hoton (Heaton)
was mesne tenant between Theobald le
Boteler and Adam de Bradkirk; Lancs.
Inq. and Extents, i, 265.
Two plough-lands in Wesham and
Mowbreck were included in the Earl of
Ormond's estate in 1346; Survey (Chet.
Soc), 52–4. The two plough-lands may
have been composed thus: Wesham, one;
Mowbreck, half; Bradkirk, half.
||Sir John Stanley held the Boteler
estate in 1431; Feud. Aids, iii, 95.
The Derby rental (at Lathom) for 1522
shows that 4s. was paid to the king as the
free rent of the vill of Wesham. The
tenants at will paid 44s. a year and eight
hens (each worth 1½d.). The 4s. paid to
the Crown in 1557 by William Westby
was no doubt the same rent, he being
||In 1292 Thomas son of William de
Greenhalgh claimed the third part of
certain moor and turbary in Wesham
against John de Sotehill and Denise his
wife, William le Boteler of Warrington
and others. Denise replied that she held
in dower, of the inheritance of Christiana,
daughter of Roger de Heaton, and that
plaintiff had common of pasture and
turbary. The father of the plaintiff
married Alice daughter of Roger de Heaton
(called Hoghton) and Roger gave her in
marriage 3 oxgangs of land out of the 8
he held in the vill; Assize R. 408, m. 45.
From another pleading it appears that
Denise was the widow of Roger.
Thomas de Greenhalgh, John de
Marays and John son of Roger de Bradkirk brought a claim against William de
Heaton and others in 1334, but did not
prosecute it; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 122.
James Greenhalgh died in 1559 holding
messuages, &c., in Wesham of John
Westby in socage, by a rent of 18d. yearly;
Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xii, no. 23.
The rent was the proportion of the 4s.
due for 3 oxgangs. George Greenhalgh
grandson of James succeeded.
William Westby in 1547 complained
that James Greenhalgh and others had
made encroachments on the waste of
Wesham lordship; Ducatus Lanc, i, 231.
||Richard Mason in 1564 purchased a
messuage, &c., in Wesham from George
Greenhalgh and Agnes his wife; Pal. of
Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 28, m. 266.
Gregory Mason purchased a messuage—
perhaps the same—from Hugh Mason,
Anne his wife and Margaret Mason
widow in 1571; ibid. bdle. 33, m. 13.
Gregory died in 1581 holding his land,
&c., of John Westby by the rent of 18d.
Cuthbert his son and heir was thirteen
years old; his widow was Ellen Pleasington; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv,
no. 55. Cuthbert secured his inheritance,
or made a further purchase, by agreement
with James Greenhalgh in 1585; Pal. of
Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 47, m. 104.
Peter Mason 'of Wesham' was a
recusant in 1607; Cal. S. P. Dom.
1603–10, p. 383. Ralph son of Peter
Mason 'of Lathom' in 1612 held, in
addition to his father's lands, a messuage
and 40 acres of land, &c., in Wesham of
Thomas Westby in socage by 18d. rent;
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), i, 237. His heirs were two
daughters. The estate may have passed
to the Fleetwood family.
||The local surname was used. John
son of Roger de Wesham was a free tenant
in 1330; Final Conc, ii, 78. In 1350
Roger son of John de Wesham granted to
Cecily daughter of Richard le Spencer of
Newton, whom he married, an oxgang
of land in the place for life; Towneley
MS. C 85 (Chet. Lib.), Edw. III, no. 11.
William Aspinwall purchased a messuage, &c., in Roseacre and Wesham from
the Earl of Derby and Lord Strange in
1591; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 53,
m. 209. Edward Aspinwall died at Toxteth
Park in 1632 holding an estate in Roseacre and Wesham of the king as of his
duchy, by knight't service; Duchy of
Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii, no. 1. It seem
to have descended to Edward Aspinwal
of Hale in 1698; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of
F. bdle. 240, m. 116.
Thomas Hesketh of Rufford in 152
held land in Wesham, but the tenure was
not known; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m.
v, no. 16.
'Mr. Robert Fleetwood of Wessum'
was buried at Kirkham 19 March 1641–2;
Reg. A 'Mr. Fleetwood' was buried
there 21 Oct. 1665 and Mrs. Mary
Fleetwood 22 Aug. 1667; ibid.
Richard Fleetwood of Rossall held
Wesham Hall and the demesne lands in
1696; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 252,
quoting R. 5 of Geo. II at Preston.
||In 1249 the land of Theobald
le Boteler in Mowbreck and Bradkirk
rendered 4s. yearly; Lancs. Inq. and
Extents, i, 172, 265.
||Ibid. 265. In 1276 Denise widow
of Roger de Heaton complained that
William de Heaton, Adam de Bradkirk
and John de Goosnargh had broken her
grange at Mowbreck; De Banco R. 15,
A year later William de Heaton complained of waste by Denise in Wesham
and Mowbreck; ibid. 21, m. 74.
Final Conc, ii, 78. This fine confirmed a charter dated at Mowbreck in
1326; Memo. R. (L.T.R.), 128, m. xv.
In 1334 Thomas de Greenhalgh, John
del Marsh and John son of Roger de
Bradkirk were tenants; Coram Rege R.
297, m. 122.
||One William Westby and Ellen his
wife had lands in Lancaster and Urswick
in 1413; Final Conc, iii, 71. Ellen
Westby, probably a widow, held Burn in
Thornton in 1445–6; Duchy of Lanc.
Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. The
William named in the text was probably a
later member of the family; for him see
the pleadings of 1517–18 printed in Fishwick's Kirkham (Chet. Soc), 172–4. It
appears that John Westby died about
1511, and that his son William was then
Writs of diem cl. extr. after the death
of William Westby, probably the grandfather, were issued on 11 Mar. 1515–16
and 1 Apr. 1517; Towneley MS. CC
(Chet. Lib.), n. 754, 787.
The surname Westby is derived from
a place of that name in Gisburn, held
of the Percys; Adam de Westby occurs
in 1258; Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc),
||The agreement was made in 1531;
Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle, 11, m. 102.
William Westby was plaintiff, and Lawrence Preston and Beatrice his wife were
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17.
In addition to Mowbreck he held lands
in Medlar, Wesham, Kirkham, Newtonwith-Scales, Burn in Thornton, Heaton
and Urswick. Elizabeth his wife survived him.
William Westby's will is printed in
Richmond Wills (Surtees Soc), 90. He
desired to be buried in his pew and under
his form in Kirkham Church. He left
the manor of Mowbreck to his son John,
his wife having been provided for by the
assignment of Burn Hall to her.
||Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 205, from
S. P. Dom, Eliz, xxxvi, 2.
A pedigree was recorded in 1567;
Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 47.
||In 1586 he was liable to the fine of
£260 a year; Gibson, op. cit. 238. In
1582 his house had been one of the
resorts of one of the missionary priests,
a nephew of his; ibid. 222, quoting
S. P. Dom. Eliz. cliv, 76. It is related
that on one occasion he 'was glad to
stand for a whole winter's day almost
in a pit of water up to the ears, and often
forced to duck under the water lest he
should be espied of the persecutors';
Allen, True, Sincere and Modest Defence of
Engl. Caths. 173–4 (quoted in Month, civ,
||This was a special tax on recusants.
||Gibson, op. cit. 235, quoting S. P.
Dom. Eliz. clxxxvii, 51. The petitioner had a wife and four children, of
whom the eldest was under six years.
He had elder daughters by a former
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xv, no. 6.
In addition to lands in Lancashire he also
had the manors of Holmes, Duffield and
Westby in Yorkshire, with lands there
and in Gargrave, Thorpe, Settle, Gisburn
and York. The tenures of Mowbreck,
&c., were recorded as before. His will
(recited in the inquisition) names his
youngest son William, daughters Ellen
and Mary and cousin William Haydock
Anne his widow was a recusant in
1593; Gibson, op. cit. 261.
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs,
and Ches.), i, 33–6. The tenures of the
manors of Mowbreck, &c., are recorded
Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 90. Two of his
sons, John and Thomas, were safely taken
to Douay in 1623, but the attendant was
captured at Dover on his return; Cal.
S. P. Dom. 1623–5, p. 6.
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.),
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii,
no. 42. The tenures of Mowbreck and
Wesham were recorded as before. John
Westby was aged twenty-nine.
||It is said that six of the brothers
fought for the king; Misc. (Cath. Rec.
Soc), i, 128. In the 1664 pedigree it is
recorded that one brother, Thomas, was
killed at Preston on that side. This was
'the popish doctor, Dr. Westby,' killed
in 1643; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc),
Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2634; Index
of Royalists (Index Soc), 44. Mowbreck
and other manors were purchased by
Thomas Wharton and James Lowd.
Though most or all was recovered, the
family were impoverished.
Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3124.
||Ibid, iv, 3138. George Westby of
Rawcliffe was ancestor of the later
Westbys of Mowbreck. In this way
White Hall in Rawcliffe became the
principal seat of the family.
||Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 331.
Most of the details as to later descents
in the text and following notes are from
the pedigree in Foster's Lancs. Peds.
||He was one of those charged in the
'Lancashire Plot' of 1694; Jacobite Trials
(Chet. Soc), 16, 30, 33. He died in
1699. Three of his sisters in 1681 sent
40s. to the receiver of recusants' estates,
'which is' (they state) 'according to what
we always paid since this charge was laid
upon us'; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App.
In 1688 John Westby son and heirapparent of Thomas Westby of Mowbreck
was contracted to marry Jane daughter of
Christopher Parker of Bradkirk; Piccope
MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 202, quoting
2nd-3rd Roll of Geo. I at Preston.
||Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 147, 318. John Westby died in
John Westby was succeeded by his
brother Thomas, who died in 1729, and
was followed by Robert. In 1731 a
Private Act was obtained (4 Geo. II, cap.
29) by which the manor of Burn and
lands in Thornton and Carleton were to
be sold for the discharge of debts, &c.
Several family deeds are recited in it.
||Foster, ut sup. The co-heiresses were
Catherine wife of Alexander Osbaldeston
(of Sunderland), Mary wife of Rev.Thomas
Alderson, Anne wife of Rev. John Benison
and Bridget wife of William Shuttleworth,
whose only child and heir (Margaret)
married Thomas Westby of Rawcliffe in
In 1740 Robert Westby, having no
male issue, settled his estates with remainders to the right heirs of Thomas
his father; Piccope MSS. iii, 194, quoting
Roll 9 of Geo. I at Preston. Another
deed (1756) states that Catherine mother
of Alexander Osbaldeston was a daughter
and co-heir of John Westby; Robert, the
brother, is named; ibid. 370, from Roll
32 of Geo. II. An indenture of 1769
respecting lands, &c., in Wesham and
Medlar was enrolled in the Common
Pleas Hil. 10 Geo. III (R. 15); see also
ibid. Mich. 13 Geo. III, m. 3 for the
manor of Mowbreck.
||The descent is thus given: John
Westby (d. 1638) -s. George (Rawcliffe)
-s. John -s. John- s. Thomas, who had a
brother George, as below.
||John, who died in 1811, and Thomas,
who died in 1829, both unmarried.
||Thomas Westby, son of George,
||The pedigree in Burke's Commoners,
i, 597, after stating that George Westby
had held office in Honduras, recorded
that the family 'is one of those ancient
Catholic houses still numerous in Lancashire which through good and bad repute
adhered to the faith of their forefathers.'
The tradition seems to have been ended
by George Westby's act, for 'his widow,
a recent convert, went to reside with her
young family in London. Here she relapsed, and the children were not educated
in the faith of their forefathers'; Gibson,
op. cit. 205.
||Mr. Westby married in 1863 Matilda
Harriett daughter and co-heir of H.
Hawarden Fazakerley of Gillibrand Hall,
near Chorley, and then assumed the name
Fazakerley in addition to his own.
||Inform, of Mr. Windham E. Hale,
who adds that a century ago the Mowbreck estate was held by four lords, all
Westby descendants. On a division authorized by a Private Act in 1857 the
hall and 331 acres became the property of
J. T. Westby. The former estates of the
family are now held chiefly by Lord
Derby and the representatives of the late
John L. Birley of Kirkham.
||The name was commonly spelt
||a The land of Bradkirk had before
1189 been granted by Hervey Walter and
Theobald his son to Roger son of Augustine de Heaton; Farrer, op. cit. 437. In
1249 the land of Bradkirk and Mowbreck
had paid 4s. yearly to Theobald le Boteler;
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 172, 265. This
rent was in later times paid by Mowbreck
||Adam de Bradkirk about 1230 gave
lands in Elswick in marriage with his
daughter Amabil; Whalley Coucher (Chet.
Soc), ii, 459. He in 1235 purchased an
oxgang of land in Wesham from Ellen
widow of Richard de Rimington for which
he was to render 6d. a year; Final Conc.
i, 72. He (or his son Adam) had also
land in Greenhalgh in 1242; Lancs. Inq.
and Extents, i, 152. Adam de Bradkirk
was living in 1262, Roger in 1286 and
another Adam in 1293; ibid. 231, 264,
277. Adam de Bradkirk and Adam his
son attested a charter c. 1260–70; Dods.
MSS. liii, fol. 85, no. 24. Adam son of
Adam de Bradkirk about 1250 confirmed
land in Elswick to the monks of Stanlaw; Whalley Coucher, ii, 464. John son
of Adam de Bradkirk made a grant in
1281; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 86b, no. 45.
Another John was a free tenant of Wesham
in 1328–30; Final Conc. ii, 78.
John de Bradkirk and Alice his wife
had a grant from Lytham Priory in 1327;
they had a son John, who was succeeded
before 1344 by his brother Edmund and
he by another brother Adam; see the
account of Lytham.
A little light is thrown on the descent
by pleadings of 1349, in which Adam (son
of John) de Bradkirk produced the charter
granting his land, made by Roger son of
Augustine de Heaton, to Adam the clerk
son of Richard. This last-named Adam
was great-grandfather (? ancestor) of the
former, who then had a dispute with his
superior lord as to the tenure, he alleging
that he held by the service of 4s. only,
while Edmund son of William de Heaton
alleged that he held by the fourth part of
a knight's fee; De Banco R. 349, m.
209 d.; 356, m. 353.
||Inq. p.m. 28 Edw. III (2nd nos.),
no. 1b. Adam also held land in Greenhalgh, Newton-by-Freckleton, Whittingham and Poulton.
John died in or before 1363, when the
wardship of the heir (his brother Adam),
under age, was in dispute; De Banco R.
413, m. 81 d.; 420, m. 257 d. An Adam
de Bradkirk was verderer for Amounderness till 1384; Def. Keeper's Rep. xxxii,
App. 356. Adam de Bradkirk (with
Olive his wife) occurs in 1390 and 1398;
Final Conc. iii, 35; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet.
Soc), i, 70.
In 1401 John de Bradkirk granted to
Robert son of John the Smith of Kirkham part of his burgage in that town;
Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xiv, 137.
There are other Bradkirk deeds in the
same volume. John de Bradkirk was
living in 1420; Final Conc. iii, 86.
William Bradkirk was described as of
Greenhalgh in 1477; Pal. of Lanc. Writs
Proton, file 17 Edw. IV. In 1492–3
Philip son of William Bradkirk was
ordered to hold with Sir Thomas Wolton
a convention as to the manor of Bradkirk
with messuage and land there, &c.; ibid.
Ric. III and Hen. VII. In 1479 was
issued a writ of diem cl. extr. after the
death of Roger Bradkirk; Add. MS.
32103, no. 1417.
||a It does not appear when the estate
was acquired by the Earl of Derby. It is
not named in the rental of 1522, but
was owned by Edward, the third earl, in
1570; Add. MS. 32104, fol. 415.
||John Parker of Bradkirk held by
lease of the Earl of Derby in 1625. He
was a recusant, and his estate was sequestered by the Parliament and put in the
act of sale, 1652, but as he wag dead his
infant grandson and heir William Parker
(son of William) petitioned for discharge
in 1652; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2445;
Index of Royalists (Index Soc), 43. It
was perhaps the same John Parker ol
Radholme Laund in Yorkshire whose
estate was sequestered for delinquency and
recusancy in 1643.
His son Christopher was in 1650 described as 'of Bradkirk'; Cal. Com. for
Comp. loc. cit. He was son of John by a
wife Margaret, daughter of Anthony
Parker, and had come of age in 1649,
and, his father being dead, claimed
A pedigree was recorded by Christopher
Parker of Bradkirk in 1664. It shows:
William Parker, d.c. 1612 -s. John, d.
1649 -s. (by second wife) Christopher -s.
Anthony, aged seven; Dugdale, Visit.
(Chet. Soc), 227.
||This, like Mythop, Swarbreck and
other lands in the neighbourhood, formed
part of the forfeited estates of the seventh
earl sold by the Parliament; Cal. Com.
for Comp. ii, 1117. The purchaser
agreed with Charles Earl of Derby to
receive from him an absolute conveyance
on paying three years' value to him;
Piccope MSS. iii, 126. From other
deeds in the same volume (114–32) it
appears that Christopher Parker made hit
will in 1693, and that the estate descended
by 1710 to a son of the same name, who
made a settlement of Bradkirk in that
year. His sister and heir Catherine wife
of Thomas Stanley of Cross Hall in
Lathom in or about 1723 sold to Townley
Rigby of Middleton in Goosnargh, and he,
though a Quaker, claimed a seat in Kirkham Church in 1726 in right of Bradkirk.
||The details are recorded in Fishwick,
Kirkham (Chet. Soc), 178–80. It appears
that the real purchaser in 1723 was John
Richardson of Preston, and Bradkirk
descended in 1767 to Edward Hurst,
whose initials 'E. H. 1761,' and 'E. H.
1764,' appear on the buildings. He
devised it to his sister Margaret and her
husband James Kearsley, the vendor in
Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc.
Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 261.
||Estcourt and Payne, Eng. Cath. Nonjurors, 135.
||As in other cases practically nothing
is known of the 17th-century history.
The existence of the mission in 1669 is
proved from the report to the Bishop of
Chester already given in the account of
Kirkham Church. For convicted recusants c. 1670 see Misc. (Cath. Rec.
Soc), v, 202.
Robert Westby (d. 1762) is described
in an anniversary book now at Kirkham
as the founder of the chapel at Mowbreck,
and a priest is known to have resided
there in 1727. In 1774 there was also a
private school. Ten years later Bishop
Gibson confirmed fifty-five persons at
Mowbreck, and the number of communicants was said to be about 180. See
Liverpool Cath. Annual (Willows); Gillow,
Haydock Papers, 68, 79.
In 1769 was printed at Manchester
'The Recantation of William Gant, late
a clergyman of the Church of Rome and
for many years the officiating priest at
Mowbreck near Kirkham; with some of
the causes which brought on his conversion to the Church of England.' The
recantation itself was read in Kirkham
parish church before the vicar, &c.;
Preston Guard, Loc. Notes, no. 320.
Liverpool Cath. Annual.