||2,019 acres, including 46 of inland
water; Census Rep. 1901.
||The reference given is Strype, Mem.
iii (2), 147.
||He was 'a prelate entirely after
Elizabeth's own heart, for he alienated
much of the lands belonging to the see,
all to the profit of the queen and her
courtiers'; G. A. Poole, Peterborough
(Dioc. Hist.), 145.
||F. O. White, Eliz. Bishops, 158–61;
Dict. Nat. Biog.
V.C.H. Lancs. i, 288b.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), i, 125–6.
||This payment is recorded in 1262;
ibid, i, 230. It is called cowmale in
1297; ibid. 297.
||Ibid. 96. In another place (ibid.
125) the grant is stated to have been
made by Geoffrey de Gressingham.
Bernard the elder may be the Bernard
the Forester who, with William his
brother, were among the jury which in
1157–63 decided the boundary between
Furness and Kendal; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R.
Bernard the younger left a widow
Margery, who in 1222–6 held his 2
oxgangs of land; Lancs. Inq. and Extents,
||In 1193–4 he paid 100s. for having
the king's goodwill after taking part in
Count John's rebellion; Farrer, op. cit.
78. In 1203–4 he paid 1 mark, to the
scutage; ibid. 178. His heir paid half a
mark in 1205–6; ibid. 204.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 96; Adam
was to render a pound of pepper yearly.
Geoffrey de Gressingham, the king's
forester, about 1200–4 gave to Lancaster
Priory the homage and service (2s.) of his
nephew Richard son of Roger de Gressingham and the lands held by him, viz.
an assart called Ramessorm in Prestonholme with a croft and messuage in
Gremescherie, with such easements as by
the oath of the lawful men of the vill
should rightly suffice for the occupier
and his cattle; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc),
||Adam son of Adam (de Kellet) in
1205–6 proffered 25 marks and a palfrey
for the marriage of Alice daughter and
heir of Geoffrey de Gressingham, with
her whole inheritance, for the use of
his brother; Farrer, op. cit. 203.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 96.
Thomas son of Adam was living between
1216 and 1222 (ibid. 125), but Alice
died about that time, leaving a daughter
Christiana, for whose marriage her grandfather Adam de Coupmanwra offered the
king 100s.; ibid. 125. The offer may
not have been accepted, for her father
Thomas in 1227 gave 10 marks for her
wardship and marriage; Excerpta e Rot.
Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 155. Adam de
Coupmanwra and Thomas his son attested
a Gressingham charter; Lancs. Inq. and
Extents, 97. Thomas de Coupmanwra,
apparently the same as Thomas de Gressingham, occurs down to about 1270
(ibid. 158, 228), when he allowed the
monks of Lancaster to take two oaks
a year from his woods in Gressingham
and two more from Kellet; Lanc. Ch. 160.
||William de Burgh as lord of Gressingham gave to Lancaster Priory his
land called Priestcroft, lying between the
church land and the highway from the
church to the wood; ibid, i, 157 (before
Margaret widow of William de Burgh
was claiming dower in 1279–80 against
the Abbot of Cockersand and others, who
called John Gernet (of Caton) to warrant
in Gressingham and Adam de Burgh in
Kellet; De Banco R. 30, m. 26; 34,
m. 21; 38, m. 14.
Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 68.
||In 1289 Adam de Burgh, son and
heir of William de Burgh and lord of
Gressingham, confirmed the gifts of oaks
made by Thomas de Coupmanwra and
by Adam's brother William de Burgh;
Lanc. Ch. i, 162. This gift was made by
William as 'dwelling in Gressingham,'
and consisted of an oak a year from the
wood there and another oak from the
common wood of Gressingham and
Halton; ibid. 159. Another William de
Burgh was 'dwelling in Middleton' in
1265; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 233.
Adam de Burgh of Gressingham was
plaintiff in 1284; Assize R. 1268, m. 19.
He occurs again in 1297 and 1302; Lancs.
Inq. and Extents, i, 303, 311; Cal. Pat.
1292–1301, p. 481.
In 1314 Christiana widow of Adam de
Burgh claimed dower in Gressingham in
various messuages, water-mill, &c., held
by Roger son of William de Burgh and
Denise his wife, Alice daughter of John
de Caton the younger, John Balrig and
Matthew son of John de Caton (a minor);
De Banco R. 204, m. 192 d. It appears
that Roger de Burgh the younger and
Denise his wife were custodees of the heir
and that Denise herself held in dower;
ibid. 211, m. 17 d.; 218, m. 182 d.
In 1323 Christiana widow of Adam
de Burgh held a moiety of the manor,
rendering 3s. 4d. yearly, and Roger de
Burgh held a messuage, rendering 4d.;
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 122.
||In 1346 a total of 3s. 8d. was paid
by John de Harrington, William son of
William de Lockhaw, Thomas de Gressingham, William del Green, Alan
Hughson, Henry de Heybergh, Benedict
Adamson and Cecily de Southworth for
one plough-land in Gressingham held by
the eighth part of a knight's fee. In
addition John de Twisleton, Lawrence
Balrig and Cecily de Southworth held
I oxgang of land there by serjeanty of
the forests of Cawood and Quernmore;
Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 66. The
sheriff's compotus of 1348 records the
payment (given as 3s. 6d.), and omitting
the serjeanty, which paid nothing, adds
that the reeve of Skerton answered for
2s. 6d. cowmale.
Alan son of Hugh de Erghum (Arkholme) in 1337 was plaintiff against
William de Lockhaw, John his son,
Richard Baines of Whittington and John
his son respecting a small piece of land
in Gressingham; Assize R. 1424, m. 8.
Damages of 2d. were awarded him.
||Thomas de Harrington died abroad
in 1361 holding land, &c., in Gressingham
of Adam de Southworth and other lords,
which Sir James de Pickering occupied
after Thomas's death. The next heir
was Nicholas son of John de Harrington
of Farleton; Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III, pt. i,
An estate at Gressingham was in the
time of Henry VIII held by the Harringtons of Huyton of Lord Mounteagle;
Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 57;
viii, no. 41.
||See the account of Hornby. The
manor of Gressingham occurs in the
inquisitions as part of the Hornby fee.
John Penruddock of New Sarum in
1589 stated that he had obtained the
manor of Gressingham in 1582 (Pal. of
Lanc. Plea R. 250, m. 7) from John
Whitbrook, merchant of London, but that
some of the tenants resisted his possession.
John Thompson son of Oliver Thompson
said he held the capital messuage called
Nether Hall by inheritance, and other
lands he held of Lord Mounteagle by
tenant right. He had heard that Whitbrook and plaintiff had certain rights in
the Mounteagle land, and though he and
other tenants had so far paid their rents
to Lord Morley they were ready to pay
them to whomsoever the court might
direct; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz.
cxlvii, P 5.
End. Char. Rep. for Lanc. 1903,
||Farrer, op. cit. 178. Kettel had
several sons. In 1202 Siegrith widow of
Gilbert son of Kettel claimed dower in
Gressingham against John son of Finthor,
who allowed her one-third of two-thirds of
an oxgang of land in Scathekholme, Fite,
Holme, Eskrigg and the crofts towards
Ulvesthwaite; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), i, 12. Adam son of
Kettel de Gressingham gave to Cockersand Abbey half an oxgang of land, also
land in Bustocrigg; Chartul. (Chet. Soc.),
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 96. Of
the former possessor nothing is known,
but he gave land in Bustocrigg, Eskrigg
and Oakscroft to Cockersand; Chartul.
iii, 921. His father was no doubt the
Dolfin de Gressingham who in 1184 gave
1 mark to have his suit with Adam
respited; Farrer, op. cit. 50.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 125–6.
The three lords in 1230 were Thomas,
William and Benedict; Lanc. Ch. i,
Final Conc. i, 71.
||In 1291 Adam son of Benedict
de Gressingham complained that Thomas
son of Benedict and others had disseised
him of certain land; Adam (de Burgh)
was chief lord; Assize R. 1294, m. 9 d.;
408, m. 45. One Benedict de Gressingham was in 1292 fined for impeding the
court proceedings by talking in the hall
and making a great tumult; ibid. m. 8.
An Adam son of Benedict de Gressingham
was plaintiff in 1359; Duchy of Lanc.
Assize R. 7, m. 6 d.
John de Caton probably obtained one
of these oxgangs of land, as later possessors seem to have been his heirs. He
in 1292 purchased a messuage and land
from William de Furness and Clarice his
wife; Final Conc. i, 172. Matthew son
of John de Caton the younger, a minor,
in 1317 called upon William de Slene, as
custodee of Thomas son and heir of
Adam son of Richard de Burgh, to warrant
him; De Banco R. 218, m. 182d.
Richard Perce and Margaret his wife in
1335 made a claim against Matthew son
of John de Caton; ibid. 301, m. 18 d.
Survey, 66, quoted above.
||John de Twisleton and Helewise his
wife claimed in 1301 an acre in Gressingham against John son of John de Caton
and Denise his wife. Denise said she
had nothing except as John's wife, and he
held by gift of his father. The jury found
that the plaintiff held only as tenant at
will of John the father, and gave a verdict
for the defendants; Assize R. 419, m. 2 d.
From a plea already cited it appears that
Denise was in 1314 the wife of Roger de
In 1344 John de Twisleton (probably
another person) and Eve his wife claimed
a toft against Cecily de Southworth, an
acre against William the Tailor and three
messuages, &c., against Alice daughter of
John de Caton, in right of the said Eve,
of Alice widow of Roger son of John de
Burgh of Leck and of Christiana widow
of John Jopson the Geldherd; De Banco
R. 339, m. 258. In 1346 the same John
and Eve claimed the third part of six
messuages, two-thirds of a mill, &c.,
against John son of Sir Robert de Harrington, Cecily de Southworth and William
the Tailor. It appeared that Eve, Alice
and Christiana were the sisters and heirs
of Matthew son and heir of John de
Caton; ibid. 348, m. 533.
In 1552 William Thompson acquired
a messuage in Eskrigg, and in 1560 he
further purchased seven messuages, watermill, fishery, &c., in Gressingham and
Mickle Eskrigg from Robert Twisleton
and Agnes his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet
of F. bdle. 14, m. 127; 22, m. 23. This
estate was called Over Hall, as appears
from a complaint by the purchaser and his
son Richard in 1561, alleging that William
Twisleton, brother of the vendor, had
tried to disseise them. Robert Twisleton
was described as of Bramham in Suffolk,
son and heir of Thomas Twisleton formerly of Gressingham; Duchy of Lanc.
Plead. Eliz. 1, T 3.
In 1584 Robert Twisleton, son of the
above-named Robert, claimed Over Hall
as heir of his grandfather Thomas, who
had settled it on his wife Joan for life. It
had come into the hands of one Richard
Redman, who died about 1 579, and whose
son John conveyed to John Thompson
(son of Oliver son of William), who then
sold to Edmund Scambler, Bishop of
Peterborough and later of Norwich;
Duchy of Lane. Plead. Eliz. cxxxiv, T 2;
cxxxvii, T 8. The defendant Thompson
said that part of what was claimed, viz.
Snable, was held by his grandfather
William, who had died about eighteen
It will be seen that Over Hall was
afterwards acquired by the Crofts of
||From the Survey of 1346 already
cited it appean that Cecily de South
worth then had a share in each of the
two ancient divisions of Gressingham.
The origin of her title does not appear.
Adam de Southworth and Alice his wife
occur in 1352 (note 33). In 1405 the
escheator was ordered to give livery of a
messuage, &c., to Richard de Southworth,
son and heir of Alice widow of Adam de
Southworth; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii,
App. 5. Alice had died in Nov. 1404
holding by the thirty-secondth part of a
knight's fee; Richard her son was thirtyfour years old; Towneley MS. DD,
no. 1502. Richard and his wife Alice
made a settlement of lands in Elswick in
1413; Final Conc. iii, 72. John Southworth died in 1480 holding of the king
as duke by the thirty-secondth part of a
knight's fee and the payment of 3s. 4d.;
also 2s. for cowmale. His son and heir
was Nicholas, aged forty; Lancs. Inq.
p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 113. The tenure
seems to indicate the holding of Bernard
son of Bernard in 1212.
||Pleadings already quoted show that
Nether Hall was in 1589 held by John
Thomoson, as son and heir of his father
Oliver (d. 1571), who was son of William
Thompson of Claughton (d. 1566). The
inquisition states that William held his
lands, &c., in Gressingham of the queen
as of her duchy and Oliver of Lord
Mounteagle by knight's service; Duchy
of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 32; xiii,
||Edward Croft in 1591 purchased
four messuages, &c., in Gressingham and
Mickle Eskrigg from John Thompson
and Ellen his wife, and made a further
purchase in 1595; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of
F. bdle. 53, m. 213; 57, m. 156.
William Croft of Claughton died in
1606 holding Over Hall, Swine Strings,
&c., which Gabriel Croft had recently
purchased from the Bishop of Peterborough, and which were held by the
serjeanty of being forester in Cawood
and Quernmore; Lancs. Inq. p.m.(Rec.
Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 50–6. Edward
Croft (brother of William and Gabriel)
died in 1614 holding similarly; ibid. ii, 90.
Elizabeth Croft of Gressingham in
1630 paid £9 a year as composition for
the two-thirds of her lands which should
have been sequestered for her recusancy;
Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xxiv, 174.
||In 1655 Lancelot Pickering and
Margaret his wife obtained from Lawrence Croft and Mary his wife a moiety
of the manor of Gressingham; Pal. of
Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 157, m. 47. Three
years afterwards William West purchased
the manor from Lancelot Pickering,
Margaret his wife, Christopher Harper,
Jane his wife; Miles Barber, Janet his
wife, Stephen Greenhood and Margaret
his wife; ibid. bdle. 162, m. 176. There
was a further fine in 1701, William
West v. Henry West and Martha his
wife; ibid. bdle. 247, m. 89.
A later fine (1745) refers perhaps to a
different estate: Edward Wilson v.
Francis Wilson and Anne his wife, respecting a mansion-house and lands at
Gressingham, Eskrigg and Snabb; ibid.
332, m. 51.
||William del Green was one of the
tenants in 1346, as already shown. In
the same year a pardon was granted to
Thomas del Green; Cal. Pat. 1345–8,
Matthew del Green in 1352 complained that Adam de Southworth and
Alice his wife had taken his cattle at
Eskrigg. He was grandson of Benedict
de Gressingham, who had held of Adam
de Gressingham by 12d. rent; Alice de
Southworth was this Adam's granddaughter; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1,
Thomas Green in 1441 complained of
depasturing by James Thornton, Thomas
Twisleton and others; Pal. of Lanc
Plea R. 3, m. 13b.
William Green in 1479 granted his
manor of Gressingham to his brother
John; Add. MS. 32108, no. 1422.
William Green died in 1499 holding
the manor of Gressingham Hall, measuages, &c., and a close next the park
called Iparsclose of the king as of his
duchy by services unknown. His heir
was his granddaughter Elizabeth (daughter
of John Green), then aged ten, but
married in 1501 to Edward Parker;
Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 31, 84.
William Parker was in possession in
1586; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii,
167. He died in 1622 holding a capital
messuage, water-mill, &c., of the king as
duke by the sixtieth part of a knight's
fee and 12d. rent. Edward his son and
heir was forty years of age; Lancs. Inq.
p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii,
391. In 1631 Edward Parker compounded for declining knighthood; Misc.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 221.
||In 1312 Roger son of Roger de
Lancaster summoned John son of Roger
de Lancaster to warrant him; De Banco
R. 195, m. 273 d. John de Hornby the
younger claimed 22 acres against the
same Roger son of Roger in 1320; ibid.
R. 236, m. 130.
||Robert Washington of Warton died
in 1483 hold.ng land in Gressingham by
services unknown; Lancs. Inq. p.m.
(Chet. Soc), ii, 116.
||Edward Middleton died in 1524
holding messuages and land in Eskrigg
and Gressingham of the king as duke by
3d. rent. Oliver Middleton, his son and
heir, was twelve years old; Duchy of
Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 59.
||William Redmayne of Little Ursvick
died in 1536, having granted his messuage in Gressingham (held of the king)
to Maud widow of his son James for
life; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii,
||Thomas Eskrigg the elder in 1561
made a settlement of lands, &c., in Gressingham, Stubb and Overburrow. The
remainders were to his wife Alice for
life and then to his sons Roger, Thomas,
Robert, Stephen, Richard and Lawrence;
Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 23, m. 123.
||In addition to charters already cited
John de Hoton (Hutton) gave land in
the Standis; Cockersand Chartul. iii, 923.
William de Burgh was then lord of
Gressingham. The lands were granted
to Richard Pimond with others in Caton
in 1544. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. ix.
||Lands formerly of the priory of
'Crosston' were in 1600 granted to
Henry Birt and others; Pat. 42 Eliz.,
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.),
Cal. Com. for Comp. iii, 2037.
||The invocation of the ancient chapel
||A brief was directed in that year to
Milnrow Cliurch for the collection of
money for the restoration of Gressingham
Church; Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc. iv
(new ser. 1898), 258–66, from which
the description of the church which follows
is largely taken.
||The doorway is illustrated in ibid.
||It is first mentioned in an arbitration
before 1195 between the Prior of Lancaster
and the rector of Melling; Round, Cal.
Doc. France, 239.
Lanc. Ch. i, 20; the rectors of
Melling were to take oath on their institution to make no claim to the chapel.
Melling was then part of the Hornby fee.
||Ibid, 153. The date seems to be
fixed by another reference to the consecrator, the Bishop of Man and the Isles;
||In 1527 Edmund Wingreave was
incumbent of the free chapel at the will
of the vicar of Lancaster. He had been
there twenty-eight years, and the value of
the chapel was £4. a year; Duchy of
Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 15. The
Chester visitation lists show that James
Baines was curate 1548–62; in the latter
year he appeared and subscribed. A list
of the church goods in 1552 has been
printed; Chet. Misc. (new ser.), i, 17.
The will of John Fawcett, clerk, curate
of Gressingham, was proved at Richmond
Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv,
8; his name was Greenup and he was
Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), 127. The reason for
adding Arkholme was it was 'separated
from Melting, its parish church, by the
River Lune, which they cannot pass
without danger of life.' The minister
at that time was John Sill, 'a painful
preacher,' who had been a member of the
classis from 1646. A grant of £10 had
been made in 1646 out of Lord Morley's
estates, quickly increased to £40, the
regular maintenance being stated as £2 a
year; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), i, 22–3. No minister
was named in the grant. John Sill
died in 1651 (ibid, no), leaving a widow
Hannah, and Henry Kidson was in charge
in 1652–4; ibid. 248, 142. He had
been at Hornby (ibid. 238), and was
promoted to Claughton in 1659.
||Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.),
ii, 440; there was one chapel-warden.
||Lewis, Topog. Dict.
||This name is in the visitation list
at Chester, but it is not said that he was
||Also at Leek. He was 'conformable' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv,
App. iv, 229. He was still curate in
1691; Visit. List.
||The Church Papers at Chester
Diocesan Registry begin with him. The
vacancy in 1725 occurred 'by the death
of the late curate, Mr. Thompson.'
||Also rector of Claughton.
||He resigned Gressingham, probably
to become rector of Gate Burton, to
which one of the same name was instituted in 1808.
||In 1808 Mr. Davies of Wrington
near Bristol wrote for licence of nonresidence, stating that he was engaged in
a classical school, which had till then
been the only source of support of himself,
his wife and ten children, and that he
served a church in the neighbourhood,
belonging to Mr. Manby, vicar of Lancaster; Ch. P. at Chester. He resigned
||Master of Over Kellet School.