HOUSE OF PREMONSTRATENSIAN CANONS
THE PRIORY OF WARBURTON
There was a short-lived cell (fn. 1) of the Premonstratensian abbey of Cockersand (Lancs.) at Warburton on
the Mersey border of Cheshire and Lancashire. Some
canons may have been established there during the
1190s when the Cockersand canons were involved in a
dispute with Leicester abbey. (fn. 2) After the death of John
the Constable in 1190 Adam de Dutton gave the
moiety of the vill of Warburton, which he had
acquired with his wife Agnes, daughter of Roger, son
of Alfred de Cumbray, to the church of St. Mary and
St. Werburgh of Warburton and the Premonstratensian canons there. (fn. 3) The grant was made for the benefit
of the souls of Adam's son, John, who was buried at
Warburton, and of John the Constable, and for the
bodies and souls of Roger the Constable and his wife,
who were evidently alive at the time. (fn. 4) Adam de
Dutton and Geoffrey, another of his sons, witnessed a
grant by their friend and associate, Gralam de Lostock, to the canons at Warburton of lands in Lostock
Gralam whose bounds they had marked with crosses
and also of pasturage for 40 cows and 20 mares for
three years and for 60 sheep for one year. (fn. 5) Adam de
Dutton was seneschal of Halton for the constables of
Chester and in the closing years of the 12th century
and the early years of the 13th some small grants of
land across the Mersey in Lancashire were made to the
canons at Warburton by those who held lands which
formed part of the Widnes fee of the barons of Halton.
Richard of Tarbock, the brother of Robert of Lathom
who founded Burscough priory (Lancs.), granted land
in Tarbock in Huyton; (fn. 6) Amabel, the widow of Robert
of Lathom, gave land in Knowsley in Huyton; (fn. 7) her
step-son, Richard, made a grant of land in Allerton in
Childwall which was increased by Richard of Allerton
and his son, Robert. (fn. 8) Sigerth of Sutton made two
grants of land in Sutton in Prescot to the prior and
canons of Warburton, one of which was witnessed by
the three brothers, Adam, Hugh, and Geoffrey de
Dutton; after her death, however, the lands were
re-granted to Cockersand abbey. (fn. 9) In the same way
Alan de Halsall, who held part of Maghull in Halsall
from Roger the Constable, confirmed to Cockersand
the grant of an assart which had originally been made
to the brethren at Warburton by one of his subtenants. (fn. 10) Those grants and re-grants indicate that the
community at Warburton had failed to establish itself,
and before 1216, Roger, abbot of Cockersand, surrendered to Geoffrey de Dutton all the gifts made by his
father, Adam, 'to us and our house of Cockersand in
Warburton', apart from eight oxgangs of land in
return for which the abbot and convent undertook to
maintain a chaplain at Warburton to say masses for
Adam's soul. (fn. 11) In 1271 Cockersand abbey sold the
advowson of the chapel of Warburton and all their
land and rights there to the second Geoffrey de Dutton
for 80 marks. (fn. 12)
||There is no evidence to support the suggestion (D.
Knowles and R. N. Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses,
Eng. and Wales (2nd edn. 1971), 336, 400) that the cell
superseded a hospital. One surviving reference to a prior at
Warburton (3 Sheaf, 1, pp. 34–5) indicates conventual
V.C.H. Lancs. ii. 154.
Cockersand Chartulary, iv (Chetham Soc. N.S. xliii),
735–6. For Adam de Dutton and his wife see Barraclough,
Early Ches. Charts. 21–2.
Cockersand Chart. iv. 735–6.
||Ibid. 737–8. For the association of Gralam de Lostock
with Adam and Geoffrey de Dutton see Barraclough, Early
Ches. Charts. 18, 24, 25n., 32, 41.
Cockersand Chart. iv. 607–8; V.C.H. Lancs. iii. 177.
Cockersand Chart. iv. 606–7; V.C.H. Lancs. iii. 158.
Cockersand Chart. iv. 599–61; V.C.H. Lancs. iii. 129.
||3 Sheaf, 1, pp. 34–5; Cockersand Chart. iv. 596–8;
V.C.H. Lancs. iii. 356, 358, 360.
Cockersand Chart. iv. 543–4; V.C.H. Lancs. iii. 215.
Cockersand Chart. iv. 738–9; V.C.H. Lancs. ii. 157–8;
H. M. Colvin, The White Canons in Eng. 142 (where
conventus is ascribed to Warburton rather than Cockersand).
Roger, 'priest of Warburton', witnessed a deed to which
Agatha, dau. of Adam de Dutton, was a party: John Rylands
Libr., Arley Charts. Box 1, no. 102. Abbey Croft, adjoining
the old rectory in Warburton, is traditionally supposed to be
the 8 oxgangs confirmed to Cockersand by Geoff. de Dutton:
P.N. Ches. ii. 35; N. Warburton, Warburton: the Village and
the Family (London, 1970), 26.
Cockersand Chart. iv. 735, 739–40.