||The census of 1901 gives: 5,873
acres, including six of inland water. The
foreshore of Formby alone measures 1,562
acres, and of Ainsdale 620.
||Loc. Gov. Bd. Order 31626.
||Potatoes are said to have been introduced into England by the wrecking of a
vessel on the coast at or near Formby;
Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xi, 203; Jenoway, Antiq. Notes (Edin. 1823), p. 207.
||See Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), x,
48; xiii, 93.
To the entry of Raven Meols in the
ancient rating book of the county is added
the note:—'All or the most part whereof
is drowned in the sea.'
In a report prepared in 1839 the action
of the winds and tides was noted. The
effects were 'perceptible in the destruction
of large quantities of land in the vicinity
of the landmark, now in ruins, near the
edge of the shore, and about the lifeboat
house, which when erected thirty-five
years ago stood 100 yards inland, but now
projects about 300 yards before the hills
and line of high water; in this period also
at least 300 yards have been taken from
before the landmark'; Trans. Hist. Soc.
xxii, 246. The appended note gives a
more moderate estimate of the change.
The landmark mentioned was a tower
on Formby Point; a corresponding tower
was erected in Ince Blundell to assist
navigators in entering the Mersey by
Formby Channel. See the plan in Enfield's Liverpool, 1771.
||The land on the seaward side of the
Alt, where is now the Altcar rifle range
(in Little Crosby township), was reclaimed
during last century; see the map of entrance to the Mersey in Enfield, Liverpool;
but the course of the Alt does not seem to
have changed since the date of this map,
In the north, near the boundary of
Ainsdale, is a large sandhill covering the
spot where once stood a cottage known as
Richard Cave's Cottage.
'In old days the leases used to include
the right to fish on a given part of the
shore, which was called a "stall," and
was treated as one of the fields of the farm;
but when the great changes took place on
the coast about this time (1700), this
custom fell into disuse . … The last
fishery lease that I have seen is dated
1711'; information of Mr. John Formby.
Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 187–
9; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xi, 239.
Britannia (ed. 1695), 748: 'In the
moist and mossy soil turves are digged up
which serve the inhabitants for fuel and
candle light. Under the said turf there is
a certain dead and blackish water, upon
which there swimmeth I know not what
unctuous matter; and in it swim little
fishes that are caught by the diggers of
turf.' William Blundell of Crosby, writing
about 1680, knew nothing about the fishes,
but states that a local chemist had from
the turf extracted 'an oil extraordinary
sovereign for paralytic distempers'; Gibson, Cavalier's Note Book, 298.
||Mele, D. B.; Ravenesmoles, 1199;
Ravensmeles, thirteenth century; Ravenmeales, 1580.
||Tunnicliffe's map of 1789 shows it;
Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xi, 173.
||Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iv, 54.
||Einuluesdel, D. B.; Annovesdala,
1200; Aynoluesdale, 1237; Ayneldesdale, 1506; Aynsdale, 1568.
V.C.H. Lancs. i, 284b. It is possible
that the 'three thegns' were identical
with the 'three thegns' of Ainsdale and
the 'three thegns' of Raven Meols.
||Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 43, 44. A
twelfth-century rental in the Pipe R. of
10 Hen. III has the entry: 'Of Richard
son of Roger, of thegnage in Formby and
Bootle, 13s. 4d.'; Lancs. Inq. and Extents.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 136.
||The service was a rent of 4s. 8d.;
||Formby occurs in 1176, along with
other portions of the demesne of the
honour, as contributing 36s. 8d. to the aid;
Lancs. Pipe R. 35. The assized rent of
28s. was in 1202 increased by 6s. 8d.;
ibid. 164, Inq. and Extents, 137.
Inq. and Extents, 27, 131. Blackbrook
has not been identified. There is a stream
of the name in Astley. Jordan paid a rent
of 2s. to Quenilda de Kirkdale, and this
was granted by her to Cockersand Abbey
for the welfare of the soul of King Henry;
Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), ii, 564.
||Jordan de Thornhill died without
issue, and his widow Quenilda was by
Randle, earl of Chester, married about
1222 to Roger Gernet, chief forester.
She died in 1252 seised of two plough-lands
held in chief of William, Earl Ferrers, by
the yearly service of 8s. 4d.; Robert de
Stockport and Ralph de Beetham were
her heirs; Inq. and Extents, 116, 191.
She had enfeoffed William de Samlesbury of her moiety of the manor, and his
daughter Margery was tenant in 1252;
ibid. 191. She afterwards married Robert
de Hampton, but Formby appears to have
been given to her younger sister Cecily,
wife of John d'Evyas, and about 1280
Richard d'Evyas, probably their son, was
lord of a moiety of Formby; Norris D.
(B.M.), n. 418. Subsequently Sir Robert
de Shireburne and his descendants held
some part of this fee; Kuerden, ii, fol.
In 1259 Sir Robert de Stockport and
Robert de Beetham were suing Robert de
Hampton and Margery his wife for sixteen
oxgangs in Formby; Cur. Reg. R. 162,
m. 19 d.
||The Stockport moiety descended to
Sir Richard, son of the above-mentioned
Sir Robert, who died in 1292, leaving issue
two daughters. The elder, Joan, but two
and a half years of age at her father's
death, married Sir Nicholas de Eaton and
afterwards Sir John Ardern; and in 1340
Sir John Ardern released her lands in
Formby and Woodplumpton to Robert
son of Nicholas de Eaton; Watson,
Memoirs of the Earls of Warren, ii, 234.
In the extent of 1324 Ralph de Beetham was returned as holding 8 oxgangs in
Formby for 2s. 4d. yearly, and Nicholas de
Eaton and Margaret his wife [for Joan],
a similar tenement for the same service;
Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 36. In 1346 Ralph
de Beetham and John de Davenport were
returned similarly; the latter's right was
as father-in-law and guardian of Richard
de Eaton, son of Robert and grandson of
Nicholas, who was married to his daughter
Isabel; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 32.
Sometime between this date and 1378,
the tenure was changed from thegnage or
socage to knight's service, viz., the sixth
part of a fee; Aid of 2 Ric. II; Dods.
MSS. cxxxi, fol. 175 b.
In 1369 Isabel de Stockport or de
Eaton, heir to her brother Richard, son of
the Richard last named, died without issue;
whereupon her next heir was found to be
Sir John Warren, son of Sir Edward Warren, the second husband of Cecily de
Eaton, sister of the above Robert de
Eaton; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), iii,
794, where the subsequent descents may
John Warren died in 1480 seised of 6
messuages, 40 acres of land, &c., in Formby, which he had in 1445 demised to
Isabel, daughter of Robert Legh of Adlington; she still held them in 1506. They
were held of the king by the twentieth
part of a knight's fee, and were worth 20s.
per annum clear; Duchy of Lanc. Inq.
p. m. iii, n. 86.
His grandson, Sir John Warren, was
the heir in 1506, being then aged thirtysix years. He died in 1518 seised of a
fourth part of the vill, 30 messuages, &c.,
held by the fifth part of a knight's fee;
Lawrence Warren, aged thirty-three years,
was his son and heir; ibid, iv, n. 89.
Sir Edward Warren, son and heir of
Lawrence, died in 1558 seised of the same;
the rent of 2s. 4d. payable to the crown is
mentioned in the inquisition; ibid, xi,
||This quarter of the manor was in
1446 vested in Thomas Beetham, from
whom it descended to his son and heir,
Sir Edward. The latter, who died in
1472, had settled his estates on his three
brothers, Roger, William, and Richard;
Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 9, m. 18 b; Lancs.
Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 101; Chan. Inq.
p. m. 12 Edw. IV, n. 20. Roger and
William dying without male issue, Richard
came into possession and was living in
1484; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. vol. cxxx,
fol. 13; Cal. Pat. R. 1476–85, p. 467.
The subsequent descent is obscure.
The estates of the family appear to have
been forfeited for adherence to the House
of York, and granted in whole or in part
to the earl of Derby. Roger Beetham,
brother of Sir Edward, had a daughter
Agnes, who married Robert Middleton of
Leighton (Chan. Inq. p.m.), and their son
and heir Thomas Middleton contested the
earl's title, alleging that Richard Beetham
had no more than a life interest; see
Ancient D. D. 477. In the result the
earl appears to have retained Formby with
most of the others, and the second earl,
in the inquest taken after his death, was
found to have been seised of Bootle and
Kirkby; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p. m. v,
n. 68; on the other hand Thomas Middleton was in 1514 described as 'of Beetham';
L. and P. Hen. VIII, i, 4767; and his son
and heir Gervase died in 1548 seised of the
manors of Kirkby and Bootle; Duchy of
Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, n. 11, and ante 33a.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 23,
m. 114. John Warren was the second
son of Sir Edward. The property is described as part of the manor of Formby,
and the fourth part of 28 messuages, &c.,
windmill, 1,000 acres of land, &c., in
||Ibid. bdle. 25, m. 55; the fourth part
of the manor and 600 acres of moor, moss,
Lancs. Pipe R. 90.
Charter R. (Rec. Com.), 90b; Inq.
and Extents, 40.
Rot. de Oblatis (Rec. Com.), 191; to
be held in fee and inheritance by the accustomed farm of 28s. and 6s. 8d. yearly
increment. In 1206 the moiety of the
vill was tallaged at 17s. with the other
demesne manors; Lancs. Pipe R. 202.
||Ibid. 206, Close (Rec. Com.), 1199–1224, p. 55; Inq. and Extents, 1.
Lancs. Pipe R. 220, 221. For this
restoration Hugh gave 20 marks, a sarcell
hawk and a brachet; ibid. 224.
Rot. de Finibus (Rec. Com.), 560.
Close (Rec. Com.), 1199–1224, p.
289b. The sheriff was ordered to reinstate Hugh de Moreton in this estate, of
which he had been disseised at the beginning of the war for being then with
the king's enemies; he was now serving
the king faithfully in the company of the
earl of Chester.
||Charter R. n. 19, m. 7; printed in
Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.),
William son of Henry de Walton
granted to Dieulacres Abbey William, son
of Gilbert de Formby, and his issue;
Dieulacres Reg. fol. 17.
||In 1346 Simon de Walton held two
plough-lands in Formby; Survey of 1346
(Chet. Soc.), 32. In the Feodary compiled in 1430 it is recorded that the heirs
of Robert de Walton held here by the
gift of King John two plough-lands in
socage for 34s. 8d., paying double rent for
relief, and attending with the bailiff of the
county or wapentake to witness distraints;
Dods. MSS. lxxxvii, fol. 57.
||William Blundell, no doubt the lord
of Ince, held a messuage and 3 oxgangs
of land, which he gave to Alan, son of
Hugh le Norreys, and Margery his wife.
Upon the death of Patrick le Norreys,
grandson of Alan and Margery, about
1314 without issue, Alan son of Henry
le Norreys claimed this tenement as kinsman and heir of Patrick. John le Norreys
of Speke, uncle of the claimant, had come
into possession by a grant from his father,
and his right was affirmed by the jury, the
grant to Alan son of Hugh having been
in fee, and not in tail, to the issue of Alan
and Margery; De Banc. R. 238, m. 191.
About the same time a division of lands
in Formby was made between Thomas de
Beetham and John le Norreys; Dods. MS.
cxlix, fol. 143. In 1334 William le Norreys stated that he, Robert de Shireburne,
Ralph de Beetham, and Adam de Formby
were lords of the manor, but Roger le
Raye and others asserted a partnership
also; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 58. In
1338 Ralph de Beetham made a grant to
Alan, son of John le Norreys; Norris D.
(B.M.), n. 425.
The estate appears to have been given
to the junior branch of the family settled
at West Derby, for in 1401 it was found
that William Norris had been seised of
4 messuages and 3 oxgangs of land held of
the king as of the duchy of Lancaster by
knight's service and the rent of 6s. 6d.;
Towneley MS. DD. n. 1447.
With Lettice, daughter and heir of
Thomas, son of William Norris, this part
of Formby returned to the Speke line, she
marrying Thomas Norris. In 1453–4 the
estate in Formby consisted of seven tenements, each of half an oxgang, held by
Thomas Ainsdale, John Formby and
others, for rents amounting to 40s. 6d.,
and thirteen smaller holdings, rented at
11s. 10d., in all; Norris D. (B.M.),
||Appended to the Norris Rental quoted
in the last note is a memorandum in the
writing of Sir William Norris stating that
he had made an exchange with Sir William
Molyneux; the lands received were in
Lydiate and Maghull. See Croxteth D.
Gen. i, 79; ii, 1.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 23,
||In the rental of the wapentake of
West Derby for 1514 the service due is
thus recorded: 'Of the heirs of the vill of
Formby, 39s. 4d.' being the 4s. 8d. due
from Quenilda de Thornhill's half, and
the 34s. 8d. from the Walton half. The
details of the latter half are as follows:—
Norris, 10s.; Formby, 15s.; Gerard of
Aughton, 4s. 4d.; earl of Derby, 4s. 4d.
(in addition to the 2s. 4d. he paid for the
Beetham quarter), and Aughton of North
Meols (who held of Bold of Bold), 1s.;
Rentals and Surv. portf. 22, n. 21.
As to the Gerard share, in 1513 Joan,
formerly the wife of Nicholas Fazakerley,
released to Peter Gerard, clerk, what she
had in Formby (Kuerden MSS. ii, 268b,
n. 42); and in 1640 Thomas Gerard of
Aughton made a feoffment of the 'lordship of Formby' and various lands. Ibid.
269, n. 7. The rent of 4s. 4d. was paid
in 1617; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 47.
The Aughton share descended to Barnaby Kitchin of North Meols; ibid, i,
In 1446 the four lords of Formby were
John Warren, Thomas Beetham, Thomas
Norris, and William Formby; Pal. of
Lanc. Plea R. 9, m. 18b. In 1553 they
were Sir Edward Warren, Edward earl of
Derby, Sir Richard Molyneux, and William
Formby; Duchy of Lane. Depos. Ph. and
Mary, lxiv, H. 2.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 119,
Lent, 7 Chas. I. The sale included the
advowson of the church at Formby.
||Formby Chart, n. 1. Henry de Nottingham was no doubt a trustee. The
service is that due from 6½ oxgangs.
A confirmatory charter from Avice,
daughter of Roger de Derby, to the same
Hugh, describes him as son of Anilia de
Corona; ibid. n. 2. Probably therefore
Master Roger had been twice married,
Avice being a daughter by the former wife,
and Hugh the son of Anilia de Corona;
he was at first known by his mother's
surname, the family being of some consequence in Cheshire; see Ormerod, Ches.
(ed. Helsby), iii, 654.
Hugh de Corona and Nicholas his
brother were the principal witnesses to
||Hugh de Formby gave to William de
Dudley a ridge lying in the Scalelands,
between lands of Richard d'Evyas, then
lord of half the vill, and touching the
highway at one end. 'The Priest's'
seems to have been the name of a holding
which gave a surname to the tenant, occurring in this and other charters. Norris
D. (B.M.), n. 418. To the same William
de Dudley Alan, son of Alan le Norreys,
granted half an oxgang; Hugh de Formby
was one of the witnesses; ibid. n. 419.
William de Dudley afterwards granted the
former plot to his son Robert; ibid. n. 5.
Hugh, son of Master Robert de Derby
granted to Robert, son of Richard de
Formby, the son of Albinus the priest, a
selion in the Wray, stretching from the
garden of Alan le Norreys to Hang Lane;
also the garden which the grantor had in
Rysin Bridge and the messuage which
Roger de Argarmeols held; Formby
Chart, n. 3.
Hugyn, son of Master Robert de Derby,
was fined for not answering a summons in
1246; Assize R. 404, m. 19.
||Norris D. (B.M.), n. 423; a grant by
Simon le Waleys, son of Henry, rector of
Standish, to Robert Dudley and Margery
his wife, of land called Rikounisfield with
the house thereon, to be held of the chief
lords by services due, viz. to Adam de
Formby yearly 1d., for so much of that
land as belongs to 7 oxgangs. Adam de
Formby and William his brother were
Two of Adam's grants are extant.
In 1328 he gave to Adam son of Richard
de Ainsdale part of Dykesland stote;
ibid. n. 424. In the same year he gave
to Nicholas le Norreys, probably as trustee, all his lands in the vill of Formby,
except the oxgang held by Ameria, daughter
of Robert de Hesketh, by the grantor's
gift, and the messuage of the rector of
Walton; Formby Chart. Adam de Formby
attested a charter in 1340; Norris D.
(B.M.), n. 427.
Besides the William just mentioned as
Adam's brother, Hugh de Formby seems
to have had other children. Thus Roger
son of Hugh de Formby granted land formerly tenanted by Richard de Birkdale to
William son of Robert the reeve; this
lay between lands of Beetham on one side
and Stockport on the other; Norris D.
(B.M.), n. 420. Roger attested a local
charter in 1303; Whalley Coucher, ii,
Richard, son of Hugh de Formby, was
plaintiff in 1304; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs, and Ches.), i, 204. Possibly it was
his son, as William, son of Richard Hogson of Formby, who made a grant to Alan,
son of John le Norreys of Speke; Norris
D. (B.M.), n. 7.
There were, however, other families
using the local surname, e.g. William, son
of William de Formby, and Margery his
wife, at Ince in 1301; Final Conc. i, 195.
A Margery, widow of William de Formby,
was living in 1370; Moore D. n. 219.
Richard son of Maud de Formby had a
grant here; Norris D. (B.M.), n. 421.
Richard son of Orm de Formby, the father
being also called the Forester, was a witness to local charters; ibid. n. 4, 416.
Two other grants concerning Rikounisfield may be added; one from Stephen del
Priests to John le Norreys, describing it
as between the land formerly Dame Margery de Samlesbury's and the great pit on
the north; the other from Richard, son of
Richard, son of Orm the Forester; Norris
D. (B.M.), n. 3, 417.
A John, son of Adam de Formby, held
a burgage in Liverpool in 1331; Moore
D. n. 173. His son John held one in
Thomas, son of John de Formby,
married Eleanor, a daughter and co-heir
of Richard le Waleys of Uplitherland;
Final Conc, ii, 183.
||Hugh and Roger de Formby appear in
the poll-tax list of 1381; Lay Subs. Lancs.
William de Formby made a feoffment
of his lands in 1428, and the feoffees
granted a portion of land to John Vause
and Joan his wife, daughter of William de
Formby, lying between lands of Beetham
and Norris, and extending from the highway between Old Formby and Altcar, to a
dyke on the west; Formby Chart. n. 4–6.
Ralph Formby was the heir of William,
but the relationship is not stated; he was
in possession in the time of Edw. IV
(1463, 1474); ibid. n. 8, 9, 14. He
agreed to enfeoff Richard Sutton of Formby in a parcel of land called the Turnacres,
and an 'oxayong'; ibid. n. 7.
William Formby, of Formby, esquire,
was witness to a grant in 1485; ibid. n.
16; William Formby, no doubt the same,
was the first witness to a grant of lands
made in 1493 by William Ainsdale of
Formby to Nicholas Reynold; the Longdale, Shortdale, and Devil Gap are named
in it; ibid. n. 22. Robert was the son
and heir of Nicholas Reynold in 1510;
ibid. n. 23.
||William Formby, who may be identical
with the William of the last note, held
lands in Formby in socage by the rent of
15s.; he made feoffments in 1521 and in
1523 in favour of Maud, widow of his son
Richard, his own sons Ellis and Gilbert,
with remainder to his heir, William the son
of the said Richard. He died 29 March,
1523, when William, the grandson, was
aged twelve years or more; Duchy of
Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, n. 54. For Ellis Formby,
see Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), i, 197.
The younger William was one of the
defendants to a complaint by Henry Halsall in 1553, concerning trespass on Downholland Moss; he described himself as
lord of the fourth part of the manor of
Formby, by descent from his grandfather,
William Formby; Duchy of Lanc. Depos.
Ph. and Mary, lxiv, H. 2. He made a
grant in the 'Dereles' in 1533; Formby
Chart, n. 36. Two years later he was engaged to marry Anne, daughter of Margery
Singleton of Snape; ibid. n. 31. He died
in 1565, holding the same estate as above,
by 15s. rent and a pair of white gloves;
this may be compared with the services
due from Hugh de Corona. The heir
was his son Richard, aged twenty-seven;
Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, n. 35.
The son may have been the Richard
Formby whose arrest caused a riot in
1557; Duchy Plead. iii, 255–7. Richard
Formby was the only freeholder recorded
in Formby in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs, and Ches.), i, 239.
The family adhered to the Roman Church,
which may be one reason for the obscurity
in which for more than a century they are
involved. Richard Formby and Joan his
wife were presented in 1598 for absenting
themselves from service; Visitation Lists:
'Richard Formby of Formby, gent., was
fined for recusancy in the beginning of
James I's reign, and the family continued
regularly on the recusant rolls until the end
of Charles II's reign. Richard Formby
born at Formby, 23 April, 1701, took
the college oath at Douay in 1720';
Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. ii, 309.
Sir Cuthbert Halsall and Richard Formby were the freeholders here in 1628, the
latter paying double as a convicted recusant; Norris D. (B.M.). The whole
township appears to have held to the same
religion, judging by the recusant list of
1641; there are several Formbys on it;
Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 238.
About 1630 Richard Formby the younger,
of Formby, was a trustee of the settlement
made by Edward Ireland of Lydiate;
Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 37.
About four years later Richard Formby
enfeoffed Edward Ireland and Peter Stanley
of his lands in Formby; Kuerden, ii, fol.
268 b, n. 45. He is stated in the printed
pedigree to have married a daughter of
Edward Stanley of Moor Hall, at this
Richard Formby was in 1688 one of
the local gentlemen desired to see that the
North Meols roads were properly kept, and
report to the Quarter Sessions; Kenyon
MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 195.
Richard Formby, esquire, was in 1709
one of the trustees of the school; Gastrell,
Notitia, ii, 228. Mr. Formby of Formby
is frequently mentioned in N. Blundell's
Diary about 1720. In 1721 the bishop of
Chester appointed him on a commission
to inquire into the patronage of the rectory
of Walton. He died 22 Dec. 1737, his
will being proved at Chester, leaving a
widow Mary, and a son John, fifteen years
of age; also daughters, Elizabeth, who
married Robert Hesketh of Barton, Mary,
Dorothy, Catherine, and Alice as appears
by a deed of 1739 enrolled at Preston
(13 R. Geo. II); Piccope MSS. iii, 266.
The son John is in the printed pedigree
stated to have graduated from Clare Hall,
Cambridge; but this is an error.
In 1667 Cuthbert Formby . . . was
a recusant at Formby, and his son Thomas
registered his estate as a Catholic nonjuror
in 1717'; Gillow, loc. cit.; Engl. Cath.
Nonjurors, 155. This estate was at Altcar.
||As son of John Formby of Walton,
he entered Brasenose Coll. Oxf. in 1777,
aged seventeen, and graduated B.C.L.
in 1784. The will of John Formby of
Formby, esquire, was proved at Chester
||See the account of Maghull. The later
generations of the descent have been taken
from Foster's Lancs. Pedigrees.
John Formby's brother, Henry Greenhalgh Formby, had a son Henry, born in
1816 and educated at Brasenose Coll.
Oxf.; M.A. 1841. Following the Oxford
Movement he was received into communion with the Roman Church in 1846,
and was ordained priest. He was the
author of a large number of theological
and historical works; 'his great aim was
to bring about a better knowledge of the
scriptures and the Catholic faith by publishing works profusely illustrated with
instructive pictures.' He died in 1884.
See Gillow, op. cit.
Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 110, 118, 155.
John Poole's estate seems to have been
due to his marriage with the widow of
Robert Blundell of Ince.
V.C.H. Lancs. i, 284a.
Lancs. Pipe R. 290. There was a dispute in 1193 between the rector of Walton
and the prior of Lancaster touching these
tithes; Lanc. Church (Chet. Soc), 112.
Lancs. Pipe R. 432.
Chart. R. (Rec. Com.), 26.
||Ibid. 171b. Henry de Lea gave
various lands in Raven Meols to Cockersand Abbey; Cockersand Chartul. ii,
||See the accounts of Lea and Hoghton.
Free warren was granted in 1284; Chart.
R. 12 Edw. I, m. 4, n. 22. In 1324 Sir
Richard de Hoghton and Sibyl [de Lea]
his wife held the manor of Raven Meols
by a service of 16s. 4d. for all services
without puture, bode, or witness; Dods.
MS. cxxxi, fol. 36b. Richard and Sibyl
had in 1317 demised for life all their
demesne lands here, with pasture and
turbary in Ince, to William de Dudley and
Richard his son; Add. MS. 32106, n. 734.
Sir Adam de Hoghton contributed 10s.
to the aid of 1378 for the moiety and
tenth part of a knight's fee in Raven
Meols and Ainsdale with the members;
Harl. MS. 2085, fol. 421b.
In 1386, by a deed given at Raven
Meols Sir Richard de Hoghton gave the
manor to Henry his brother, son of Sir
Adam, to hold during the life of Sir
Adam's widow Ellen; Add. MS. 32106,
In the Feodary of 1489 Alexander de
Hoghton is stated to hold Raven Meols
and Ainsdale for 16s. 8d. yearly; Duchy
of Lanc. Misc. Vols. cxxx, fol. xjb. In
subsequent inq. p.m. the tenure of these
manors is described as the tenth part
of a knight's fee.
Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc), ii, 497,
495, 515. William Blundell had already
given a tithe of the multure of this mill
to Cockersand Abbey; Chartul. ii, 568.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, 22. From
what follows it will be seen that the
rector of Walton had an oxgang here, no
doubt appropriated to the curate of
||Inq. p.m. 17 Edw. I, n. 2; the yearly
service payable to the earl of Lancaster
remained unaltered at 16s. 8d.
||Dods. MSS. cxlii. fol. 69.
||In 1292 three oxgangs were held by
the Banastre family, for Avice widow of
Nicholas de Lea claimed dower in two
messuages and one oxgang held by Richard
Banastre, and in two oxgangs held by
Robert Banastre, and her claim was
allowed; Assize R. 408, m. 23. In 1327
the abbot of Whalley complained that Sir
Richard de Hoghton, Robert son of Adam
Banastre of the Bank, Robert son of
Richard the reeve of Raven Meols, and
Henry his brother, had destroyed the
sluices of his mill; Cal. of Pat. 1327–30,
p. 85; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 78.
In 1332 the principal contributors to
the fifteenth were Adam Banastre, Richard
and William de Dudley, and Robert and
Adam de Ainsdale; Exch. Lay Subs.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 20.
||Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 77.
||Cur. Reg. R. 154, m. 10; the defendants were Agnes, widow of William
de Lanc., and William of the Spring
(de Fonte), the latter holding the two
oxgangs in Raven Meols.
||Alan's daughter Amabel was wife of
Ughtred de Ravensmeols, whose son and
heir William granted lands here to
William son of Richard the Forester by
his wife Agnes, daughter of Ughtred and
Amabel; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 76b. He
may be the Alan son of William de
Ravensmeols, who gave to Cockersand
Abbey the croft next the house of Thomas,
son of Sigge; Cockersand Chartul. ii,
In 1246 William, son of Uctred, recovered from Alan de Crawehal and Goda
his wife two-thirds of half an oxgang,
which they had by grant of Roger son of
Richard, to whom William, the plaintiff,
had demised them while of unsound
mind; Assize R. 404, m. 10.
Margery daughter of Robert the clerk
of Raven Meols granted land called Hewetland to John de Lea before 1250; and a
quitclaim to the lands of Robert the
chaplain, perhaps Margery's father, was
also given by Hugh Hommouth; Kuerden MSS. iv, R. 6, 586, 652.
Cockersand Chartul. ii, 567.
||Blundell of Crosby D., K. 156.
Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs.
and Ches.), iv, 168. The tenement is not
described as a manor.
||Piccope MSS. iii, 274, from the
18th roll of Geo. II at Preston. See also
Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 582 (6).
||Ex inform. Mr. John Formby.
V.C.H. Lancs. i, 284b.
||It is possible that Henry II was
merely confirming or regranting these
lands; but nothing is known apart from
this charter; Lancs. Pipe R. 432. For
further details see the account of Raven
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, 21.
||Dods. MSS. cxxxi, 36b. The Hoghton
family had a yearly rent of 3s. from this
manor down to the 17th cent.
Inq. and Extents, 22; the enfeoffment
is described as 'of ancient time.'
||Robert son of Osbert de Ainsdale
granted to Cockersand an oxgang of his
demesne which Adam, the rector of Meols,
held of him; an acre and sheepfold by
the western head of Winscarth lithe; the
'land' in front of the canons' barn, with
the toft in which Orm Dragun dwelt, and
meadow to the midstream of Hangelan,
&c.; and confirmed the grants made by
his brother Richard and Adam son of
Godfrey; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 571–4.
His brother Richard, son of Osbert,
gave many parcels of his lands: A 'great
land' under Gripknots, a ridge in the
Wray, and 'land' next to the canons'
'land' in Birkdene; others on Faldworthings, on the east of Halstead how,
and in Tungland; a scaling or shieling in
Stardale, half acres in Romsdale and by
Melkener how; two 'lands' in the
western part of Little Oddishargh, two in
Ditchfield near Slidryhow, another called
Crookland, another by the higher sherd
of Romsdale, another on the eastern side
of Hungerfield, another in Atesfield, 'the
ninth from the road,' &c. His portion
seems to have been two oxgangs. He
desired his body to be buried in the
churchyard of St. Mary at Cockersand.
Greendale, Birchbotham, Butterclining,
Sete Knots, the Warrigate, Whitemeoldale and other place-names occur; ibid.
Warin the son of Richard added a
little to his father's gifts in Whitemeoldale and Wetefield; ibid. 570–1.
Adam, son of Robert de Ainsdale,
granted a fifth part of four oxgangs of
his demesne and one which had been
Warin's, making one whole oxgang, &c.;
he also confirmed the numerous grants
made by his father, uncle, &c., and 'all the
parcels of land of which they had seisin
at the Nativity of St. Mary in the year in
which the earl of Chester arrived at Jerusalem'; ibid. 589–92. Robert, son of
this Adam also gave confirmation; ibid.
Adam son of Godfrey gave two oxgangs
of land and other parcels; Atefield and
Sheep how are named in his charters;
John, son of Thomas de Ainsdale, about
1270, gave all his land to the canons;
they enfeoffed Robert son of Thomas of
part of it; ibid. 594. Lawrence son of
Thomas and Emma his wife gave three
oxgangs and other lands, partly at a rent
and partly in alms; the gifts included all
their part of the marsh, from Siward's
croft to Blake moor, as much as the
canons could acquire, bringing the sands
into use; ibid. 587–9. Lawrence is
later described as 'the clerk of Ainsdale';
his son Robert confirmed his parents'
grants, the canons giving him two marks
of silver, and every year of his life an old
cloak; ibid. 593.
The rentals of Cockersand Abbey (Chet.
Soc.) show that the Halsalls of Halsall in
the fifteenth century held the possessions
of that house, with the fishery in Formby
and Ainsdale, at a fee farm rent of 20s.
||See the accounts of those townships.
||When in 1275 and 1278 Sir Robert
Blundell demised all his lands here to his
son Nicholas, he reserved to himself
'wreck of the sea'; Blundell of Crosby
D. K. 278, K. 164.
When summoned in 1292 to show by
what right he claimed it, Nicholas Blundell pleaded that he and his ancestors
time out of mind had held this manor and
likewise wreck of the sea. For the king
it was urged that this privilege required
an express grant, which could not in this
instance be shown. The jurors found
that Henry III had once given a wrecked
vessel to the father of Nicholas, apart
from which neither Nicholas nor any of
his ancestors had taken wreck there. Such
disasters were not frequent, none having
happened since Nicholas had succeeded to
the manor, a period of probably fourteen
years or more; Plac. de quo War.
(Rec. Com.), 369.
||Blundell of Crosby D. K. 183. This
Nicholas Blundell was grandson and heir
of the last-mentioned Nicholas. It is
supposed that Gilbert de Halsall had
married a Blundell. In a suit of 1323
respecting novel disseisin in Ainsdale
Gilbert de Halsall was defendant, the
plaintiffs being the abbot of Cockersand,
Nicholas, son of David Blundell, and
Henry de Walton and Margery his wife;
Assize R, 425, m. 1.
||In 1368 John de Ince and Emma his
wife, widow of Gilbert de Halsall, sued
Otes de Halsall for Emma's dower in six
messuages, 200 acres of land, &c. in
Ainsdale; Otes called upon Richard son
of Gilbert to warrant him; De Banc. R.
431, m. 345d, 412d.
||See the account of Maghull.
Lancs. Inq. p. m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 135.
Nothing is said of a 'manor.'
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, n., 9.
Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and
Ches.), iii, 218.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 16, m.
||Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 90; see also
the accounts of Halsall and North
||See the account of Ince Blundell. In
certain depositions of 1662, in a suit between Gerard and Blundell, an account is
given of a sturgeon being cast up at Ainsdale; Lydiate Hall, 121.
||The oxgang held by the rector of
Walton has been mentioned in a previous
note; and the church is mentioned in a
grant of land to Cockersand quoted above.
Albin the priest and Robert the chaplain are also mentioned in charters
In 1340 William de Adbaston, parochial chaplain (capellanus paroch') of
Raven Meols, was a trustee; Moore D.
n. 540, 545.
||An ancient stone coffin was found in
it some years ago, but reburied. For the
font see Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xvii,
'The old Catholic families in the place
who have graves here have always been
accustomed to bury in the old churchyard.'
Ex inform. Mr. John Formby.
It appears from a suit in 1557 that
marriages were then solemnized here;
Duchy Plead. iii, 232.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. iii, fol. 72. Roger,
bishop of Lichfield, decreed that the tithe of
the fish caught by the parishioners of Sefton in the fishery of 'Moeles' should be
divided between the two rectors; while
the tithe of the catch made by the
parishioners of Walton should belong
entirely to the rector of the latter
||See a preceding note.
||Richard Formby's 'manor and chapel
of Formby' were mentioned in his marriage settlement; quoted on the pedigree
in Foster, Lancs. Pedigrees.
Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 13.
Robert Halsall, vicar of Walton, bequeathed 6s. 8d. to this chapel in 1598;
Raines, Lancs. MSS, xxiv.
Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs.
and Ches.), 82. The tithes of the township, valued at £70 a year and the rent
of a cottage, 12d. were paid to the incumbent at that time, he giving £10 a
year to the wife of Dr. Clare, late rector
||Bishop Gastrell in 1718 found the
income of the curate to be £23 4s., of
which £20 was paid by the rector of
Walton, the rest being fees. There were
two wardens; Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.),
||A brief was obtained in 1742 and
£1,154 was raised; ibid. 228. This was
no doubt to pay the debt, which was
cleared off in 1746; the sentence of consecration of the new chapel is dated
19 July, 1747.
Duchy Plead. iii, 256; Visit. List
of 1563 at Chest. He did not appear
||Visit. He was presented for neglecting to catechize and for marrying
divers persons without licence. The
curacy was vacant in 1609; Visit. List.
John Burrowes was 'reader' in 1610;
Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 74.
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i,
Commonw. Ch. Surv. 82.
Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs.
and Ches.), ii, 206. He was nominated
by the inhabitants.
||Supposed to have been silenced by
the Uniformity Act in 1662. 'William'
may be an error for 'Peter.'
||Visit. List; inquiry was to be made
as to his ordination.
||Will proved at Chester, 1698; not
named in the Visit. List of 1691.
||The inhabitants 'consented to receive' him on condition that he officiated at Formby in the forenoon and at
Altcar in the afternoon; Ches. Dioc. Reg.
He laid an information in 1708 against
Henry Blundell, one of the lords of the
manor, as a recusant; N. Blundell, Diary,
||These and later presentations are
from records in Ches. Dioc. Reg.
||Described as 'of West Derby.'
||Went to Kirkby.
||Also lord of the manor. Nominated
by the rector of Walton 31 Jan. 1794.
In the same year he became incumbent of
Holy Trinity Church, Liverpool, Formby
being served by his curate. He died in
1832, and there is a monument to him in
||Also lord of the manor.
||A stone inscribed to commemorate
Richard Formby, esquire to the king, who
died 22 Sept. 1407, was brought from
York Minster and placed here.
The patronage is vested in Mrs. C.
Formby and Mr. J. Formby.
||Trustees hold the patronage.
||It is a chapel of ease to St. Peter's.
End. Char. Rep. (Formby), 1901, p. 5.
||Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. vi, 45,
Notitia Cestr. ii, 227.
Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xviii, 215.
||Foley, Rec. S. F. v, 321; vii, 65.
||A letter printed in Gillow, Haydock
Papers, 210–12, gives a graphic account of
the mission as it was about 1800. The
following extracts may be given: 'As to
Formby it would do very well if you wish
to farm and to be among a set of humble,
well-meaning people. The congregation
at Easter is about 250; great numbers of
children, but not employed in any manufactory, so that any day or hour they come
for instructions. I had 80 at catechism
every Sunday, and about 15 of the oldest
every Wednesday and Friday evening at
my house for instructions. The people
are a blunt, honest people, and, as old
Bordley [Aughton] calls them, "a loving
people"; but you must lord it over them,
or at least keep a high hand, and not be
too easy with them or they will be masters of you. They are a people, if they
see you wish their good, you may mould
as you please. I was happy in the extreme, had the congregation been about
100 fewer. There are no rich people, and
none very poor like what we find in the
weaving countries. The house and ground
is rented of a Protestant clergyman [Rev.
R. Formby], and the ground will clear the
house rent. He lives at Formby, is a
most agreeable young man, and will do
anything for you that you could wish.'
After mentioning the priests in the neighbourhood the writer gives an estimate of
the income, £59, derived as to £24 from
the bench rents, with about £28 from
interest and rent, and £8 as alms. He
proceeds: 'The rent of your house and
ground is £24, or as I had it £8 for the
house alone without any land; but if you
have the ground it will, I think, bring you
in free. The bench money is paid very
regular, quarterly, all the other yearly,
sent without any trouble. … Your congregation will lie very compactly about
you; there is no need at all of a horse,
unless for your own private satisfaction, a
mile and a half being the farthest you have
any off. The house is, or at least was,
entirely furnished, so that I had not a
farthing to lay out when I went, which is
a great object for a beginner.' The old
house in Priesthouse Lane has a carved
||Ibid. 213–6; Liverpool Cath. Ann.