Townships
Warrington

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1907

Pages

316-324

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'Townships: Warrington', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3 (1907), pp. 316-324. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41338 Date accessed: 22 September 2014.


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WARRINGTON

Walintune, Dom. Bk.; Werinton, 1242; this and Werington common to 1550; Warington, 1330.

Warrington lies on flat ground near the Mersey, (fn. 1) which winds with sudden swoops and curves all along its southern margin. From Little Sankey to Padgate Brook an alluvial terrace fringes the low ground lying by the course of the river, of which, for a considerable part of the distance, it constitutes the northern bank, concealing over a large area the underlying mottled sandstones of the bunter series. Along the riverside the land is composed of marshy pastures called Arpley and Howley, dotted over with cattle, or where the river nears the big industrial town of Warrington huge factories line the water's edge. With the exception of a fringe of open country on the edges of the township the land is covered with houses, streets, railways, and factories. The soil is loamy and fertile and produces crops of potatoes, and other market produce. Good broad roads run into the town from all quarters and become quickly narrowed as they approach the centre of the town, where is a curious mixture of really picturesque old houses and great modern factories which overshadow the antique. In the floor of the old schoolhouse near the parish church of Warrington is St. Elphin's Well, now disused. This is generally reported to be in the churchyard. The Sankey Brook forms the western boundary of the township on its way to join the Mersey.

The town grew up beside the river, about the centre of the boundary. Little Sankey lay on the western side and Oxford on the north; between these hamlets and the town was the heath. Orford was divided from Hulme in Winwick by a brook and tract of marshy ground; and probably in the same way from Warrington town. The area is 2,817 acres. The population in 1901 was 64,242. (fn. 2)

The road from Prescot and the west passed the Sankey Brook by a bridge, (fn. 3) then north-eastwardly through Little Sankey, with its green, and wound and still winds eastwardly through Warrington till it reaches the parish church at the extreme east end of the town; it is called in turns Sankey Street, Buttermarket Street, Irlam Street, and Church Street. After passing the church and the ancient mote hill the road divides; the main road goes to Manchester, and a northerly branch, Padgate Lane, to Bolton.

From the bridge over the Mersey a cross-road leads north, as Bridge Street, Horsemarket Street, and Winwick Street, to Winwick and Wigan; it crosses the former road near the highest land of the town, about a thousand yards west of the church. The market stands to the north-west of the crossing (fn. 4) and marks the western limit of the old town, as the church marks the eastern.

Mersey Street leads from the bridge north-east to Irlam Street, about half way between the market and the church. From this point Fennel Street and Battersby Lane lead north to Orford Hall. From Buttermarket Street, Bank Street and Academy Street lead down to Mersey Street—in the former was the county court; in the latter stood the famous Academy.

From Horsemarket Street a narrow crooked lane called Town Hill, Cockhedge Lane, and School Brow leads eastward to the Boteler Grammar School, and then turns into the Manchester Road near the parish church.

On the western side of the town Cairo and Bold streets lead south from Sankey Street; in the latter is the Museum and Library, with the School of Art adjacent. King Street, Golborne Street, and Legh Street lead north from Sankey Street; and farther to the west, on the same side, is the Town Hall, formerly Bank Hall. These streets indicate the extent of the town about a century ago. Now it has spread over a much larger area, especially to the north-west and west. At the west end of Sankey Street and Green Street, which marks the site of the old green, two other ancient lanes remain. One runs north and east to near the market-place; the other makes a more extended circuit in the same direction, and is known as Lovely Lane, Folly Lane, Longford Street, Conies Corner, and Marsh House Lane. The last named, on the north side of which are the Orford Barracks, opened in 1878, ends at Padgate Lane, close to its junction with the Manchester Road.

Orford Barracks is the depôt of the combined 8th and 40th regimental districts, or the King's (Liverpool Regiment), late 8th King's, and the Prince of Wales' Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment), late 40th and 82nd Foot.

A dispensary was opened in the market-place in 1810, and removed in 1818 to a more commodious building in Buttermarket Street. The new infirmary and dispensary in Kendrick Street was built in 1872.

The public cemetery is on the eastern extremity of the town. The workhouse lies on the northwestern boundary; near it is the infectious diseases hospital.

The post office, formerly accommodated in a building at the corner of King and Sankey streets, was in 1882 removed to the opposite side of the latter street. A new one is being built. New police courts were erected in 1900 near Bank Quay Station.

Warrington is crossed by the railways of the London and North Western Company and the Cheshire Lines Committee. The former company's railway from London to Carlisle passes north through the town on a high-level line. There are two adjacent bridges over the Mersey and Ship Canal, one for the main line from Crewe, and the other for the branch from Chester, which here join. (fn. 5) The station is at Bank Quay on the south-west of the town. The same company's railway from Liverpool to Stockport through Widnes has stations at Bank Quay (low level) and Arpley; near the latter it crosses the Mersey into Cheshire. The Cheshire Lines Committee's Liverpool and Manchester railway has a station (Central) in Horsemarket Street. This necessitates a deviation of over half a mile from the direct line, the junctions being near Sankey Brook on the west, and Padgate on the east.

From its position at the head of the tidal part of the Mersey, half way between Liverpool and Manchester, and as having what was formerly the lowest bridge across the river, Warrington has always been a good market town, and many industries have sprung up and flourished in it. A century ago the manufactures were huckabacks and coarse cloths, sailcloth, canvas, fustian, pins, and glass; and it was also noted for the excellence of its malt. The Wednesday market was noted for fish, provisions, and all kinds of cattle and sheep, 'not inferior to the Leicestershire breed.' (fn. 6)


The Old Fox Inn, Warrington

In 1825 sugar-refining and copper works were among the industries that had been lost to the town; cotton yarn, velveteens, calicoes, and muslins were the chief manufactures, and pins, files, and other tools were made. (fn. 7)

More recently great forges and iron-foundries and soapworks have been established, but the older industries of wire-drawing, file-making, and fustiancutting have been retained; the breweries are also well known. Boats are built. There are extensive tanneries, heavy sole leather and belting being made. (fn. 8)

In several of the riverside localities in the township osiers are much grown, this industry having been introduced in 1803, when a successful attempt was made by a Warrington resident to supply English basket-makers with willow, when the foreign materials were unobtainable.

Though the growth of the town has caused the destruction of many of the small two-story houses which were characteristic of its streets, a good number still remain. The oldest are of timber construction, such as the old Fox Inn in Buttermarket Street, now a tobacconist's shop, and though much altered retaining sufficient old work to mark its date as belonging to the sixteenth century. (fn. 9) In the seventeenth century Warrington houses seem to have been commonly dated by inscriptions over the doorways, giving not only the year but the day of the month, with the owners' initials. Nearly opposite the Fox Inn is a house with 1vn. XXI. 1649. AK IK EK, and in the Warrington Museum are several beams from destroyed houses with similar inscriptions, all ranging between 1645 and 1658. In Church Street is a good timber house with a projecting upper story, of early sixteenth-century date, but the finest specimen of timber work is the Barley Mow Inn, on the west side of the market place, belonging to the latter part of the sixteenth century, with low woodmullioned lattice windows and quatrefoil panelling of black wood filled in with plaster. The gables toward the market place are now covered with flimsy weather boarding, but otherwise the outside of the house has preserved much of the original work. The interior is naturally less perfect, but on the first floor is a room completely panelled and with a good chimney-piece of Jacobean style, and the staircase has good turned balusters and newels of seventeenth-century date. In the windows are a few quarries of coloured glass, and in one of the ground-floor rooms is a fine carved and panelled chimney-piece, removed from a small room on the first floor. (fn. 10)


Barley Mow Inn, Warrington: Room on First Floor

A second type of house which is found in the town is of brick with projecting labels over the windows and simple patterns on the wall surfaces; such houses appear to be of seventeenth-century date, and an earlier example of the kind occurs at Newtonle-Willows Hall.

The White Cross, formerly at the west entrance of the town, has disappeared. (fn. 11)

HUNDRED

Before the Conquest WARRINGTON was the head of a hundred comprising the parishes of Warrington, Prescot, and Leigh, and the township of Culcheth in Winwick. (fn. 12) Afterwards this was merged in the hundred of West Derby, in which it has since remained.

BARONY

In the time of Henry I a barony or fee was formed for Pain de Vilers, Warrington being its head and giving it a name. It descended in regular hereditary succession in the Vilers and Pincerna or Boteler family until nearly the end of the sixteenth century, when the Boteler manors and estates were broken up and the Irelands, who purchased the principal share, enfranchised the subordinate manors of the fee. (fn. 13)

MANOR

The manor descended in the same way as the barony of which it was the principal member, although the Botelers' chief residence had long been at Bewsey in Burtonwood. (fn. 14) It was purchased by Thomas Ireland, afterwards a knight, in 1597. In 1628, however, his son Thomas Ireland of Bewsey and Margaret his wife, together with George and Robert Ireland, joined in selling the manors of Warrington, Orford, and Arpley, with various lands and rents, to William Booth, eldest son of Sir George Booth, baronet, of Dunham Massey in Cheshire. (fn. 15)


Ireland of Bewsey. Gules, six fleurs-de-lis. 3, 2, and 1, argent.

William's son George, a Presbyterian, fought for the Parliament in the Civil War, and took part in one of the successful attacks on Warrington in 1643; he was, like many of his party, dissatisfied with the Protector and his son and in 1659 endeavoured to raise the country in favour of Charles II. His attempt was defeated, and he was committed to the Tower, but when the Restoration took place the king raised him to the peerage as Lord Delamere. (fn. 16)


Booth of Dunham. Argent, three boars' beads erect and erased sable.

He died in 1684, and was succeeded by his son Henry, who adhering to his father's politics fell under the suspicion of James II at the time of the Monmouth insurrection and was charged with high treason. He was acquitted, but took part with other Whigs in the Revolution and was rewarded by an advance in the peerage, being created earl of Warrington in 1690. He died three years later and was succeeded by his son George, who, dying in 1768, left an only daughter Mary as heiress, the earldom (fn. 17) becoming extinct.


Grey of Stamford. Barry of six argent and azure.

This daughter married Henry Grey, fourth earl of Stamford, and in the year after her father's death joined with her husband in the sale of the manor of Warrington to John Blackburne of Orford. (fn. 18) The lordship descended in the same manner as Orford and Hale until 1851, when it was purchased by the corporation. (fn. 19)

BOROUGH

William le Boteler, who died in 1233, created a borough in Warrington. His charter does not seem to have been preserved, but the burgage had an acre of land with it and was liable to a rent of 12d. William's son and heir Emery died in 1235, leaving a son William, a minor, as heir. William de Ferrers, earl of Derby, who was the guardian, created some new burgages, but about forty years afterwards William le Boteler appears to have become alarmed at the growing claims of 'the Commonalty of Warrington,' and set himself to resist them. (fn. 20) In 1292 he granted a number of privileges to his 'free tenants' in the town, (fn. 21) but at the same time succeeded in destroying the borough court which had grown up. Eight years later the free tenants and burgesses finally renounced all claim to have such a court (curia burgensium). (fn. 22) For the next five hundred years Warrington was governed by means of the lord's manor court.


Boteler. Azure, a bend between six covered cups or.

In 1254–5 William le Boteler obtained a charter for an annual fair at Warrington to be held on the eve, day, and morrow of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr. (fn. 23) A second fair of eight days, beginning on the eve of St. Andrew, was conceded by Edward I in 1277; at the same time a weekly market on Friday was allowed. (fn. 24) Eight years later the summer fair was extended to eight days, and a weekly market for Wednesday was allowed— apparently in substitution for the Friday market, which was not afterwards held. At the same time a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Sankey, Penketh, Warrington, and Layton was allowed to the lord. (fn. 25) The fairs have continued to the present time, the days being 18 July (old St. Thomas's) and 30 November; the Wednesday market also survives, and another on Saturday has been established, by custom probably.


Warrington Borough. Ermine, six lioncels rampant, 3, 2, and 1 gules within a bordure azure charged with eight covered cups or.

The claim of William le Boteler to have markets and fairs, as well as free warren, wreck of the sea, and gallows in Warrington and Layton was tried at Lancaster in 1292. He produced the charters mentioned, and claimed to have had wreck of the sea at Layton and gallows in Warrington without interruption from the time of the Conqueror. The jurors found that his claim was valid, and further that he and his ancestors had held a market and fair from beyond the memory of man. (fn. 26)

The constables chosen each October at the lord's court governed the town, under the justices of the peace, down to 1813, when commissioners appointed by the local Improvement Act of that year were associated with them. (fn. 27) In 1832 the town became a parliamentary borough under the Reform Act, returning one member; and in 1847 it was incorporated, (fn. 28) and has since been governed by the council. As already stated the manorial rights, including the market tolls, were purchased by the corporation. The municipal boundary at first included only about half the area of the township, Orford and Little Sankey remaining outside.

Some portions of the township of Latchford and Thelwall in Cheshire were also included in the borough. (fn. 29) The boundary was extended in 1890, and again in 1896; it now includes all the ancient township of Warrington (except Orford) and Latchford as far south as the Manchester Ship Canal. (fn. 30)

In 1890 the enlarged town was divided into nine wards, (fn. 31) each with an alderman and three councillors. The gas and water supplies are in the hands of the council, which has also instituted an electric light and power supply, and an electric tramway service. Baths, gymnasium, and other useful and necessary institutions have been established. (fn. 32)

A grant of arms was made in 1897. (fn. 33)

A circulating library, begun in 1760 by the projector of the Warrington Academy, was in 1848 united with the museum of the local Natural History Society, founded in 1835, and being taken over by the corporation became the public museum. (fn. 34) This was the first town in the kingdom to open a rate supported library. After occupying hired premises in Friar's Green, buildings were erected for it in 1855, and enlarged in 1876 by the addition of an art gallery, and again in 1881. The School of Art adjoins; it was founded in 1853. A technical institute was built in 1902.


Bank Hall, Warrington; now the Town Hall

A town hall and bridewell were built under the Act of 1813; the building was till recently used as a court for the magistrates, &c. The present town hall, formerly Bank Hall, was purchased in 1872; it was the seat of the Patten family, and erected in 1750. It is a fine specimen of a large country house of the time, with good plaster wall and ceiling decorations, and a pediment on the front with the Patten arms. The rain-water heads and wrought-iron railings are excellent of their kind. The grounds have been thrown open to the public. Parr Hall, presented to the town by Mr. J. Charlton Parr in 1895, is used for public meetings.

The markets were held in an open space in the angle formed by Sankey and Horsemarket Streets. There the present market-hall was built in 1856 under an Act obtained in 1854; a large covered shed adjacent was erected in 1879 to give further accommodation. Horsemarket and Buttermarket Streets show by their names how they were formerly used.

Apart from the Boteler family the chief landowners in Warrington were the Haydocks and their successors the Leghs of Lyme. An account of their holding has been printed in William Beamont, Warrington in 1465. (fn. 35) One or more families bore the local name; (fn. 36) others took a surname from their trades or offices, as the Arrowsmiths; (fn. 37) others again had come into the town from the adjacent townships, as Rixton and Southworth, and may have been younger branches of the manorial families. (fn. 38) Other surveys of the town were made in 1587 and 1593, and are now in the possession of Lord Lilford; there is a copy in the museum.


Patten of Bank Hall. Lozengy ermine and sable, a canton gules.

In more recent times the chief local family was that of Patten, whose residence, as already stated, is now the town hall. (fn. 39) The Borrons recorded a pedigree in 1664. (fn. 40)

The prior of the Hospitallers (fn. 41) and the abbot of Whalley (fn. 42) had exemptions from toll. William le Boteler early in the thirteenth century granted to Cockersand Abbey a burgage which the priest had held. (fn. 43) Norton Priory or Abbey, Birkenhead Priory, and the hospital of St. John at Chester also held lands in the town. (fn. 44)

The hamlet of ORFORD (fn. 45) was held of the lords of Warrington by several tenants. Among these were the Haydocks and their successors the Leghs, (fn. 46) and the Norris family. The latter appear to have acquired a holding about 1300, (fn. 47) and remained in possession till the end of the sixteenth century, when they were succeeded by a branch of the Tyldesley family, by marriage with the heiress of Thomas Norris. (fn. 48)

Shortly afterwards the Blackburnes of Newton-inMakerfield acquired an estate here, and Orford was their principal residence until the beginning of last century, when Hale Hall became their seat. (fn. 49) Orford Hall has since been let; it was for many years the residence of William Beamont, the well-known antiquary. (fn. 50) It is now occupied by the Warrington Training College, and stands among the wreckage of what was once a well laid-out and planted garden, with a little wood behind it and a small stream and duck decoy. (fn. 51) The smoke has killed all the trees and defaced the garden, the stream is foul and the decoy long since disused, while the house itself, a plain square building of three stories, has nothing of interest to show beyond a well-designed entrance doorway at the east front with a window over it, on the keystone of which is the date 1716. This may mark a refacing of older work, as the windows on the south side, with wooden transoms and casements, appear to be some thirty to forty years older than the date.


Norris of Orford. Quarterly argent and gules; in the second and third quarters a fret or; over all on a fesse sable three mullets of the first.

The manor of LITTLE SANKEY (fn. 52) was granted by Pain de Vilers, lord of Warrington, to Gerard de Sankey the carpenter, in the early part of the twelfth century. It was assessed as one plough-land and held by knight's service. In 1212 Robert son of Thomas was holding it; (fn. 53) and thirty years later Robert de Samlesbury was the tenant. (fn. 54) He or his descendants probably adopted the local surname; but little or nothing is known of the place (fn. 55) until the end of the fifteenth century, when Randle, son of Randle Sankey, did homage and paid 10s. as his relief for one plough-land in Little Sankey. (fn. 56) Edward Sankey died 1 December, 1602, holding the tenth part of a knight's fee in Little Sankey, Warrington, and Great Sankey; Thomas, his son and heir, was under sixteen years of age. (fn. 57) Nothing further seems to be known of the family or manor. The latter may have been acquired by the Irelands. (fn. 58) It is now considered a member of Lord Lilford's manor of Bewsey. (fn. 59)


Sankey of Sankey. Argent, on a bend sable three fishes or.

The parish church has already been described; it has two mission churches—St. Clement's and St. George's. The following also are used for the Established worship:—

Holy Trinity, founded by Peter Legh of Lyme in 1709, in Sankey Street, in the centre of the town; it was rebuilt in 1760 and restored in 1872. (fn. 60) It is divided by pillars which support galleries into nave and aisles, the galleries being on north, south, and west, and there is a west tower, which contains the corporation clock and bell, the latter rung every evening at 8 p.m. (fn. 61) The pulpit and reading-desk are good examples of woodwork, with well-designed balusters; and in the middle of the church hangs a fine eighteenth-century brass chandelier, formerly in the House of Commons, and presented to the church in 1801. All pews are of oak and probably coeval with the church, but the font, of baluster shape, is more modern. The registers begin in 1816, but no district was assigned to the church until 1870. (fn. 62) The incumbents are now presented by the rectors of Warrington. (fn. 63) St. Luke's, Liverpool Road, built in 1893, is a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity.

St. Paul's, Bewsey Road, was built in 1830, and formed into an ecclesiastical parish in 1841. (fn. 64) The patronage is in the hands of trustees. St. Anne's, Winwick Road, had an ecclesiastical district assigned to it in 1864, services being held in the schools; the church followed in 1868. The patronage is vested in Simeon's Trustees. (fn. 65) St. Peter's, Birchall Street, began with a temporary church in 1874; the present building was erected in 1890. The rector of Warrington and the vicar of St. Paul's present alternately. (fn. 66) St. Barnabas, Bank Quay, was built in 1879 as a chapel of ease to St. Paul's, the vicar of this church being patron. A district was assigned to it in 1884.

At Orford there is a licensed chapel of ease under Padgate in Poulton.

The Reformed Church of England has a place of worship called Emmanuel.

The Presbyterian Church of England uses St. John's, in Winwick Street, built in 1807 for a congregation of seceders from St. James's, Latchford. Down to 1830 it belonged to the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, and again from 1836 to 1850. The congregation ceased to exist, but was re-formed in 1851; becoming Congregational next year it took Salem Chapel, St. John's being disused, and re-opened as a Presbyterian place of worship in 1854. From 1830 to 1836 it had been used by the Scottish Secessionists, afterwards the United Presbyterians. (fn. 67)

The Wesleyan Methodists have churches in Bold Street, Bewsey Road, and Liverpool Road; also two mission-rooms. John Wesley preached in Warrington several times between 1757 and 1768; a Methodist Chapel was built in Upper Bank Street in 1782. The Primitive Methodists have a church in Legh Street. The United Methodists have a church in Dallam Lane, and the Independent Methodists one in Friar's Green, built in 1802. There are Free Gospel churches at Bank Quay and Academy Street. In the latter street is also an unsectarian missionroom.

In 1824 there was a Baptist meeting in Bridge Street, an offshoot from the old Hill Cliff Chapel in Cheshire. A Particular Baptist church exists in Legh Street. Another Baptist church is in Golborne Street; it was built in 1811 for Congregationalists who had seceded from Stepney Chapel, and has had a chequered history. The Baptists had it from 1855 for a few years, and regained it in 1876. (fn. 68)

Wycliffe Congregational Church, Bewsey Street, is the outcome of secessions from Cairo Street Chapel on account of the Unitarian doctrine prevailing there. Stepney Chapel, in King Street, was built in 1779, and a church was formed in 1797; the Rylands family were connected with it. In 1848 it was closed. Services were for a time held at the 'Nag's Head,' Wycliffe Church being opened in 1852. (fn. 69)

The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists have a church.

The Society of Friends has long had members here. Their meeting-house in Buttermarket Street was built in 1720 as a branch of the Penketh meeting; it was rebuilt in 1830. (fn. 70)

Robert Yates, when ejected from the rectory in 1662, continued to minister in the town and district. Ten years later, during a temporary indulgence, he was licensed. The old court-house, on the site of the market hall, was a meeting-place, perhaps by favour of the lord of the manor, a Presbyterian. The first chapel was built in Cairo Street in 1702, for the Nonconformist congregation resulting from Mr. Yates's labours; this was rebuilt in 1745. About the latter date the minister and most of his flock became Unitarian; and this chapel, which in its time was the centre of the town's intellectual life, remains in the hands of the Unitarians. (fn. 71)

Those who remained faithful to the Roman Church at the Reformation had opportunities of worship, in spite of legal proscription, at some of the halls in the neighbourhood. (fn. 72) A room in the Feathers Inn, Friarsgate, now pulled down, was used as a chapel about 1750. Dom Thomas Benedict Shuttleworth, a Benedictine stationed at Woolston, removed into Warrington in 1771, and a hall in Dallam Lane, now belonging to the Primitive Methodists, was occupied until 1778, when a chapel was built off Bewsey Street. In 1823 the present church of St. Alban was built close by, Dr. Molyneux, titular abbot of St. Albans, being then in charge. He procured the gift of the chasuble found in 1835 hidden in the crypt of the parish church, and this is preserved at St. Alban's. (fn. 73) The orphreys only are ancient, of late fifteenth-century date, the body of the vestment having been renewed in red velvet. In the church is preserved another English chasuble of somewhat later date, but the silkembroidered orphreys are much repaired. In 1877 the Benedictines built the fine church of St. Mary on the eastern side of the town. More recently they have opened St. Benedict's school-chapel (1896). The church of the Sacred Heart, built in 1894, is in the hands of the secular clergy. There is a house of sisters of the Holy Cross and Passion, who teach in the schools. (fn. 74)

Footnotes

1 A small tongue of land on the Cheshire side, but belonging to the township of Warrington was encircled by the Mersey until the middle of the eighteenth century, when during a great flood the river cut through the neck of the isthmus and took its present course; Beamont, Warr. in 1465 (Chet. Soc.), 86.
2 The area is that of the old township, of which Warrington proper had 1,714 acres, Orford 658, and Little Sankey 445. The population, however, is that of the county borough, including Latchford and excluding Orford. The area of the borough is given in the census report as 3,058 acres, including 77 of inland water; there are besides 67 of tidal water and 11 of foreshore.
3 A view of an old timbered house near Sankey Bridge is shown in Trans. Hist. Soc. xxvii, 115. It is inscribed 'T. I.' on the king-post, and 'R. B. 1632,' on the tie-beam of the gable.
4 This crossing, the Market Gate, is at the junction of Sankey, Horsemarket, Buttermarket and Bridge streets. The last three streets ascend to it.
5 The first railway was a branch from Newton-le-Willows, on the Liverpool and Manchester line, to Bewsey Street, opened in 1831. The Grand Junction line through Crewe to Warrington and the north was opened in 1837; it served for both Liverpool and Manchester for a time. The Warrington and Chester line began working in 1850. See W. Harrison, Manch. Railways.
6 Capper, Topog. Dict. 1808. The making of sailcloth and sacking and a small pin manufacture were the chief industries in 1769; Arthur Young, Tour, iii, 211–13.
7 Baines, Lancs. Direct. ii, 590.
8 A plan of the town, showing the different factories, &c., was issued from the Observer office in 1901.
9 In front of the 'Fox' is a post on which is cut POTTATOES AND ABPLES DOWNWARD 1704—being a regulation for the market stalls. Above is a coronet for the earl of Warrington, lord of the manor.
10 Some views of old buildings in the town are given in Trans. Hist. Soc. vi, 135; xxvii, 115. A house in Fennel Street had a thirteenth-century room, of which a view is given in S. O. Addy's Evolution of the English House, p. 112. It was pulled down in 1905.
11 Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 213–18.
12 V.C.H. Lancs. i, 286b.
13 Ibid. 337–49.
An account of the fee of the lord of Warrington in 1212 is given in Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 5–11. The whole included eight knights' fees, of which two formed the reputed barony and one was in Layton in Amounderness; the other five were in the counties of Derby, Nottingham and Lincoln.
The barony proper embraced Warrington with Orford and Little Sankey, Great Sankey and Penketh and Burtonwood; also Rixton with Glazebrook, Culcheth, Atherton, Bedford, Pennington, Tyldesley, Windle and Bold, all in the preConquest hundred of Warrington; Ince Blundell, Lydiate with Eggergarth, Halsall, half of Barton, and two-thirds of Thornton in the hundred of West Derby; and Becconsall, Hesketh, Great and Little Hoole. The usual service for the fee was stated as 'where ten ploughlands make the fee of one knight'; but the assessment of the above manors was about thirty-nine plough-lands, or nearly four knights' fees, so that, allowing for demesne and grants in alms, the service due to the crown was amply secured. How the service for the two fees had been distributed may be seen ibid. 146–7.
Burtonwood, Bold, and possibly others of these manors were of later donation than the formation of the fee or even than 1212; thus, in the Surveyof 1346 (Chet. Soc. 39) the service due from the lord of Warrington for Halsall was 1 lb. of cummin (or 1½d.) for suit to the county and wapentake. At this time also the service due from the whole fee was said to be 'two and a half fees and the sixth part of a knight's fee.' For ward of Lancaster Castle 20s. was payable, and 6s. 8d. for sake fee. Suit for the manor of Ince was done by William Blundell.
Some Boteler inquisitions have been printed by the Chet. Soc. (vols. xcv, xcix), as well as a detailed account of the family by W. Beamont (vols. lxxxvi, lxxxvii).
The king leased to Thomas Boteler the view of frankpledge in the manors of Warrington and Layton in 1504; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Books, xxi, A. 59. See also ibid. xxii, 170 (1543).
14 The manor of Warrington occurs regularly in the Boteler inquisitions and settlements. It with Burtonwood (or Bewsey) and Great Sankey remained in the hands of the lords.
The later history of the manor is told in detail in W. Beamont's Annals of Warr. from 1587.
15 Pal. of Lanc. Feet. of F. bdle. 116, m. 3. The sale did not include Bewsey, Little Sankey, and the advowson of the church. An 'instruction' by William Booth concerning the purchase is printed in the Chet. Misc. (Chet. Soc.), iii, pt. 4.
The boon services performed by the Boteler tenants had been 36 ploughs valued at 4s. 8d. each; 40 harrows, 7d.; 66 shearers (reapers) and fillers of dung, 4d.; Warr. in. 1465, p. lxii.
16 For an account of Lord Delamere see Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 531; G. E.C. Complete Peerage; Dict. Nat. Biog.
17 Authorities as above. There are notices of the first and second earls of Warrington in Dict. Nat. Biog.
18 Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 370, m. 132. Though the lordship of Warrington had thus been relinquished the son of the vendors was granted the title of earl of Warrington in 1796.
19 The date of purchase was 10 April, 1851. Under the Improvement Act of 1854 the power to levy tolls within the manor was extended to the portion of Latchford within the borough.
20 These statements are borne out by various suits in 1292. In one of them the community of the vill of Warrington asserted that William le Boteler, grandfather of the then lord had by his writing granted to his burgesses of Warrington that they should have their free court. The lord, on the other hand, stated that Emery his father, in all his time, had his court of all the free tenants in the said vill and died in seisin thereof more than forty years previously; after his father's death all his tenements were by reason of his own minority in the hands of the king, who granted the custody to the earl of Ferrers, so that the men of the vill never had a free court in the time, and he (William) had not allowed it; Assize R. 408, m. 1; see also Inq. and Extents, 146 note.
In another suit William claimed separate acres from various holders. The jury found that Emery his father had died seised of the soil thereof, but that the custodians during minority had demised from the waste to the defendants' ancestors, a rent of 12d. to be paid for each acre 'as ancient burgages of the said vill' of Warrington with 4d. increase for entry, payable to the lord, and 1d. to the bailiff. When William le Boteler came of age he received the services of the tenants, and his present claim against them was sustained; Assize R. 408, m. 16.
The suit of the burgesses respecting the court of the community appears in the rolls as early as 1275; De Banco R. 10, m. 45; 13, m. 75d.
21 The original charter is in the Warrington Museum; see Beamont, Lords of Warr. i, 102–12. The eleven points conceded were:—
i. The free tenants were to be exempt from tolls in the markets and fairs of Warrington;
ii. Their measures to be free, according to the king's standards;
iii. Damages for trespass to be awarded according to the injury done, as adjudged by good and lawful men of the town;
iv. Acquittance of pannage granted;
v. None against his will to be put to take an oath except by the king's precept;
vi. Fines to the lord to be fixed according to reasonable taxation in a full court, by the view of their neighbours in Warrington.
vii. The lord not to take inquisition upon his free tenants without their consent;
viii. The tenants were not bound to keep any man taken or attached by the lord's bailiffs, except according to the custom of England;
ix. They were not bound to drive cattle, &c. distrained in the town;
x. They were not to do ward or pay relief, except according to the tenor of their feoffments;
xi. The officers for the assize of bread and beer were to be chosen by the free tenants themselves.
22 Charter in Warrington Museum; Beamont, op. cit. p. 119. It was made in the name of 'all the free tenants and the community of the whole vill of Warrington.' The remains of a seal—presumably the borough seal—are attached.
It must have been later that the 'commonalty of the vill of Warrington' prayed the king for a lease of the pannage of the town for the sake of the soul of his father Edward; the plea being that they were summer and winter living in a marsh, so that one could hardly come or go; Anct. Pet. P.R.O. 78/3876.
The court of the borough as well as of the fee of Warrington is named in the Boteler inquisition of 1441; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 49.
23 Abbrev. Rot. Orig. (Rec. Com.), i, 16; half a mark was paid for it; Orig. 40 Hen. III, m. 11.
24 Charter R. 70 (5 Edw. I), m. 1, n. 2.
25 Ibid. 78 (13 Edw. I), m. 26 d. n. 8.
26 Plac. de quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 386.
In 1363 John le Boteler leased a plot of land near the Market Gate at a rent of 12d. The tenant had leave to build thereon and to deal in bread, iron, fish, and all other goods toll free, 'as freely as other burgesses in the vill of Warrington'; Bold Deeds (Warr. Museum), D. 3.
27 Baines, Lancs. Direct. 1825, ii, 590, 589. The Act of 1813 (repealed by the Improvement Act of 17 & 18 Vic. cap. 8), was 'for paving and improving the town of Warrington and for building a new bridewell in the said town.' The bridewell was built, and a town hall in Irlam Street in 1820. The other public buildings in 1825 were the market hall in the market place, used on market days for the sale of corn, and having a suite of assembly rooms; two cloth halls, one by the market, and the other, built in 1817, in Buttermarket Street; and a theatre.
28 11 & 12 Vic. cap. 93.
29 There were four wards—North-east, North-west, South-east, and South-west— divided by the principal cross-streets.
30 This and other information concerning the borough is due to Mr. J. Lyon Whittle, the town clerk. Orford was added to Winwick and a township of Little Sankey formed in 1894; L.G.B. Order 31665.
At the last extension the borough boundary on the south, i.e. the north bank of the Ship Canal, was made the boundary of the county of Lancaster also, so that the whole of the borough might be within one county. A portion of Latchford remains in Cheshire.
31 Viz. Town-hall, Bewsey, Fairfield, Howley, Orford, Whitecross, St. Austin's, St. John's, Latchford.
32 The town was lighted with gas in 1821; the Act incorporating the company was passed in the following year. The works were purchased by the corporation in 1877.
33 Printed in Geneal. Mag. i, 261, 430.
34 It has a large collection of Warrington acts, maps, charters, and books on local history, and by local authors. Dr. James Kendrick presented over a thousand books and pamphlets. It contains good collections of local antiquities, especially from Wilderspool and the Friary church.
A museum of natural history had been formed in the town as early as 1812; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 677.
The editors are indebted to Mr. Charles Madeley, the curator and librarian, for information and assistance willingly afforded them.
35 Chet. Soc. vol. xvii.
36 The Warringtons may have been an offshoot of the Botelers. In 1246 an agreement was made respecting an oxgang of land and a water corn-mill in Warrington, held for life by Henry le Boteler of Richard le Boteler, who held of William le Boteler, chief lord of the fee; Final Conc. i, 100.
Richard son of Henry son of Ralph in 1278 recovered from William le Boteler and others a free tenement, part of which the defendant claimed as guardian of Simon, son of William, son of Ralph, which Ralph was elder brother of the plaintiff. The other part had been granted by the earl of Ferrers while defendant was in ward to him; Assize R. 1238, m. 33d.; also R. 1239, m. 39d.
Richard son of Henry de Warrington in 1295 claimed the fourth part of an oxgang of land from Richard the Carpenter and Isabel his wife and others, Isabel being daughter and heir of Elota; Assize R. 1306, m. 16; 419, m. 11. From an earlier plea it is known that Elota was Ellen de la Bank; Assize R. 408, m. 4.
Ralph son of Henry de Warrington was plaintiff in 1292 (ibid. m. 25); at the same time other plaintiffs were Hugh de Warrington and John son of Gilbert, son of Walter de Warrington; ibid. m. 27d. 9, 27.
37 Mary widow of William Arrowsmith occurs in 1445; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 8, m. 10. She and Robert Arrowsmith were executors of her husband's will; ibid. R. 7, m. 4. He had had William le Boteler's magnum hospitium of which Joan, widow of Hamon the Nailer, was tenant in 1465; Beamont, op. cit. p. 72. The heir of Roger Arrowsmith is frequently mentioned in the same work. In 1575 Thomas Norris purchased several messuages from Robert Arrowsmith; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle 37, m. 16.
38 A family named Payn is mentioned about 1300. Roger son of William Payn was nonsuited in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 44. He successfully defended his right to land claimed by Amery widow of Thomas Ruyl of Warrington; ibid. m. 20d. For Henry son of Robert Ruyl see Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 418, William son of Payn being a witness to his grant. Agnes daughter of Thomas Payn was among the plaintiffs in a suit of 1332, William Payn of Warrington being a defendant; Assize R. 1411, m. 12.
Hawise widow of Richard de Hallum, William de Ripon, and Richard del Ford, demanded certain messuages against William, son of William le Boteler in 1356; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 6, m. 5d.; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 337. Four years later Elizabeth daughter of Robert de Medburn complained that William de Hallum, and Margaret his wife, William de Ripon, and Richard de Woolston had disseised her of certain land in the town; Assize R. 440, m. 1d. In the following year William de Hallum of Warrington complained that John, son of Gilbert de Haydock, had taken his cattle, 'against the gage and pledge'; Assize R. 441, m. 3. Hallums Lane and Hallums Well occur in 1465; Beamont, op. cit. 110, where it is stated that the well was afterwards known as the Running Pump.
John Scott recovered a messuage in 1356; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 5.
39 The surname Patten occurs in Warrington in the Survey of 1465 (p. 92) already quoted. Pedigrees are given in Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 184, and Burke, Commoners, iii, 79. In an assessment of the town made in 1649 the names of Thomas and John Patten appear; Kuerden MSS. iii, W. 18. A pedigree was recorded by Thomas Patten in 1665 when he was twenty-eight years of age, it is headed by Richard Patten of Wainfleet; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 229. Mary, daughter of Thomas Patten, in 1698 married Thomas Wilson, the famous bishop of Sodor and Man, and their son, Dr. Thomas Wilson, left his estates to the Pattens, on condition that they should take the surname of Wilson.
Thomas Patten, brother of Mary, a prosperous merchant, deepened the channel of the Mersey, greatly improving the navigation; Norris P. (Chet. Soc.), 37, 38. His son, another Thomas, the builder of Bank Hall, acquired the lordship of Winmarleigh; and his son Thomas, high sheriff in 1773, married one of the daughters and co-heirs of Peter Bold of Bold. Their son Peter Patten Bold left four daughters as co-heirs, and the Patten estates went to his brother Thomas Patten Wilson, whose son John Wilson Patten was in 1874 elevated to the peerage as Lord Winmarleigh. He died in 1892, and his son and grandson having died before him, the peerage became extinct, and his daughters inherited the estates; G.E.C. Complete Peerage, viii, 189.
Another branch of this family settled at Preston, and acquired the manor of Thornley. The heiress married Sir Thomas Stanley of Bickerstaffe, and the estates have descended to the earl of Derby.
Two deeds relating to William Patten's property in Warrington in 1682–3 may be seen in Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 245. In the same work are notices of the families of Woodcock and Hayward; i, 204; ii, 29. One of the latter, the Rev. Thomas Hayward, became master of the grammar school in 1720.
40 Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 65; Misc. Gen. et Herald. (New Ser.), Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, ii, 204; Deed enrolled in Com. Pleas, Trin. 1756, R. 43, m. 114d.
41 The agreement that the prior and his successors and the brethren and their tenants should for ever be free of toll in the fairs and markets of Warrington was confirmed by a friendly suit in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 17.
42 William le Boteler early in the thirteenth century granted full quittance of toll in his vill of Warrington both in buying and selling; he also gave them a free burgage in the vill, which they could use as a lodging place; Whalley Coucher, ii, 414. A suit of 1272 concerning this exemption is in Cur. Reg. R. 208, m. 2d. At the suppression a rent of 8s. was paid for the abbey's messuage in Warrington; Whalley Coucher, iv, 1247.
43 Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 641. Robert the clerk and Astin the Skinner concurred in the grant, the latter receiving 40s. from the canons.
44 Warr. in 1465, pp. 40, 74; a croft belonging to Norton was called Marbury's land (p. 104), which may indicate the donor. The three ecclesiastical bodies named, with the abbot of Whalley, had their lands as early as the time of Edward II, as appears from an old list of the free tenants preserved in the inq. p. m. of Sir Thomas Boteler; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, n. 13.
Before the dissolution Norton received a rent of 4s. 4d. from Warrington; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 686. Birkenhead had 3d. rent; ibid. ii, 462. For a grant of the Norton lands see Pat. 4, Jas. I, pt. xxiv.
45 Overforth, 1465.
46 From Beamont, Warr. in 1465 (Chet. Soc.), 140, it appears that Richard Bruche held land in Orford of Sir Peter Legh by a chief rent; his land lay between Orford Lane on the north, and Rushfield Brook on the south; to the south of this again was the Heath.
The list of tenants at will occupies pp. 116–39. The meadow called Dalcarr, of six acres, lay to the west of the road leading from Longford Bridge to the village of Hulme; a meadow called Homur Plock, belonging to William Boteler, lay on its western side. It was worth 13s. 4d. a year; p. 116. The Penny Plock was a meadow encircled by the rivulet called Houghton Brook, which bounded it on the west; Richard Bruche's field called Hankey was the other boundary; 136. A number of field names occur—Irpuls earth, Gorsty acre, Hoole acre, Gale sparth, Emme acre, Payns field, Marbury's land, &c. Besides a money rent each tenant at will was required to give one day's work at filling the dungcart, worth 2d.; one day at haymaking, worth 1d.; and two days in autumn, worth 8d.
47 Some of the Norris D. have been preserved by Dodsworth (MSS. liii, fol. 15b). In 1261 Jordan, son of Robert de Hulton, granted to Roger de Hopton (Upton) a burgage in Warrington purchased from William le Boteler for 40s. At the end of 1288 Robert 'le Charter' and Alice de Kingsley his wife quitclaimed to John, son of Robert le Norreys, all their right in a burgage and acre of land in Warrington; and two months later Robert, son of Roger de Upton, granted to the same John le Norreys lands in Warrington and Bold, by a charter dated at Burtonhead. Five years afterwards Roger Michel and Margaret his wife released to John le Norreys their claim on a fourth part of the land which Robert, John's uncle, had held in Warrington. This uncle may be the Robert de Upton of the preceding charter.
In 1339 William le Boteler of Warrington and Elizabeth his wife granted to Henry, son of John le Norreys of Halsnead, four acres in Warrington, with remainder to Nicholas (eldest) son of the said John. In August of the same year John le Norreys of Orford granted lands in Orford to Henry Coran, and was perhaps the John, son and heir of Henry le Norreys, to whom the steward of the manor of Warrington gave twenty-one deeds touching the inheritance of 'the said John de Halsnead.'
The pleadings in the courts do not give much assistance. Robert le Norreys was a defendant in a claim in 1292 by Richard de Warrington, chaplain, Gilbert son of Gilbert, and others, for reasonable estovers for housebote and haybote in 60 acres of wood in Warrington; Assize R. 408, m. 27. At the same time Thomas de Halsnead and John his son were defendants in other pleas; ibid. m. 7d. Robert le Norreys was again a defendant in 1305, the Fords being among the claimants; De Banco R. 156, m. 15, 28d. Robert le Norreys and Agnes his wife in 1314 demanded 24 acres of pasture against William le Boteler; ibid. 205, m. 65d. Ten years later John le Norreys of Halsnead was plaintiff and defendant in suits concerning lands in Warrington; Assize R. 425, m. 6; 426, m. 2 (Robert, son of William de la Ford, being plaintiff in this case).
John le Norreys of Orford died 7 September, 1416, leaving a son and heir of the same name, then twelve years of age; his lands in Orford were held of John le Boteler by knight's service, and other lands in Church Street in Warrington of Sir Gilbert de Haydock, also by knight's service. The wardship and marriage of the heir were granted to Richard de Burscough; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 124. The lands of John Norreys are fully described in Warr. in 1465, pp. 74–8. A chief rent of 6d. was payable. A feoffment of his lands by John Norris of Orford in 1473 is in Kuerden MSS. iii, T. 2, n. 19.
Thomas Norris did homage for his lands in 1506, and appeared at the lord's court in 1523 among the other free tenants; Lords of Warr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 363, 432.
48 A settlement of his lands was made by Thomas Norris in 1573, the feoffees being Robert and Henry Norris; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 35, m. 9. This Thomas appears to have prospered; in the following years he made various purchases of land from Edward Butler, Robert Arrowsmith, and Hamlet Bruche, and in 1585 he purchased lands in Laghok or Laffog in Parr; ibid. bdle. 36, m. 175; 37, m. 16; 38, m. 71; 47, m. 23.
Thomas Norris died in 1595 seised of lands in Orford, Warrington, Longford, Great and Little Marton, Poulton, Laffog, Parr, Windle, and Windleshaw; his heir was his daughter Anne, wife of Thomas Tyldesley (of Wardley), aged twenty years; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p. m. xvi, n. 51. Her husband was knighted in 1616; Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 167. The inheritance passed to their son Richard, but Orford was sold to Roger Charnock of Gray's Inn in 1631 to pay the debts of Sir Thomas, and afterwards became the property of Thomas Blackburne; Norris D. (B. M.).
49 There is a Blackburne pedigree in Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 194. An account of the family is given in W. Beamont's Hale and Orford, from which book much of the following is derived. There are several entries relating to the family in Foster's Alumni Oxon.
The Blackburnes were a trading family, previously of Thistleton and Garstang, who acquired lands in Newton and the neighbourhood late in the sixteenth century. Richard Blackburne of Newton gave £20 a year towards the stipend of a 'preaching minister' at the chapel there; Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 47.
Thomas, son of Richard, acquired the Tyldesley mansion in Orford as stated above. He afterwards succeeded his elder brother in the Newton estate. He was a devout Protestant, but does not seem to have taken any part in the Civil War. His diary has been preserved, and is now at Hale Hall. In March, 1653–4 a settlement was made by fine of the hall of Orford, with lands in Warrington, &c., and a free fishery in the Mersey; Thomas Blackburne was plaintiff and Edward Blackburne deforciant; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 153, m. 33. He died in 1663, and was buried at Winwick.
His eldest son Thomas, of Orford and Newton, recorded a pedigree in 1664, being then thirty years of age; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 36. He died without issue in 1670, and was succeeded by a brother, Jonathan Blackburne, who was a justice of the peace and bestirred himself in the guidance of local affairs. He appears to have been a Whig in politics, for he was the first sheriff of Lancashire appointed by George I. He enlarged and transformed the hall at Orford, and died early in 1724.
John Blackburne, who was the second son of Jonathan, succeeded. He was high sheriff of the county in 1743–4, and built or restored the bridge and roadway at Longford, in order to secure the northern approach to the town from being rendered impassable by floods, as had frequently happened. He built a school house at Orford. He himself was a student of horticulture, making collections of plants, building greenhouses, and laying out his gardens with devotion and success. His daughter Anna was a notable botanist.
The Warrington Academy had probably some share in stimulating these tastes, as Dr. Reinhold Forster was one of its tutors, and named a genus of plants Blackburnia, in memory of the kindness the family had shown him. John Blackburne extended the family possessions, his most noteworthy acquisition being the lordship of the manor of Warrington in 1769. He died in 1786, in the ninetythird year of his age, having lived to see his grandson and heir the high sheriff of the county in 1781. There is a notice of him in Aikin, Country round Manch. 307.
John Blackburne's eldest son Thomas had married Ireland Greene, the heiress of Hale, and had settled in this place, where he died in 1768. His son John had thus, long before succeeding his grandfather at Orford, succeeded his father at Hale, but he resided at Orford until the death of his mother.
50 A notice of the family of Booth of Orford is given in Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. ii, 148.
51 Adam Neal, the gardener at Orford, prepared a catalogue of the plants there, printed at Warrington in 1772. The collections were transferred to Hale.
There is a view of Orford Hall in Pennant, Downing to Alston Moor, 82; see also Memorials of the Ireland Blackburne Family.
52 Sanki, 1212; Sonky, 1242, and commonly.
53 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 10.
54 Ibid. 147.
55 In 1296 an agreement was made as to ten messuages, a mill, 8 oxgangs of land, &c. in Warrington—probably Little Sankey—between Robert de Sankey, senior, and Robert de Sankey, junior; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 180. The remainder was to Jordan de Sankey.
Cecily, widow of Roger de Sankey, who had a son and heir Robert, in 1307 claimed dower in four oxgangs against two Roberts de Sankey, senior and junior; she was espoused to Roger in 1288 at the door of Winwick church; De Banco R. 163, m. 48d. From another suit, a few years earlier, it seems that the younger Robert was son of the elder, and that his wife's name was Emma; Robert, son of Roger de Sankey, may be the elder Robert; Assize R. 1321, m. 10d.; 418, m. 13.
It is noticeable that in 1341 Little Sankey was called the 'third part of Great Sankey'; Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 40.
In 1344 Robert, son of Adam de Sankey, was concerned in the warranty of two messuages, &c. in Little Sankey; De Banco R. 329, m. 129d.
56 Beamont, Lords of Warr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 349; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 14.
Robert de Sankey of Warrington had the king's letters of protection on crossing the seas in 1421 in the retinue of Sir Piers de Legh; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xliv, App. 626.
57 Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 1; besides the knight's service 12s. 6d. rent was payable. Edward was the son of one Thomas Sankey and grandson of another. Thomas Sankey in 1542 held the two water-mills on the Sankey; and five years later Thomas Boteler leased the mills to him for twenty-one years at a rent of £6 13s. 4d. and 300 'stick eels' in season; Lords of Warr. ii, 452, 468. In August, 1593, a settlement was made by Edward Sankey and Anne his wife, daughter of Richard Penkethman, and Anne Sankey, widow, of the family lands in Warrington and Great and Little Sankey; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 55, m. 63. The Sankeys, like most of the neighbouring gentry, adhered to the Roman Church on the Elizabethan changes. In 1584 a raid was made upon Sankey House, stated to be in Great Sankey, in the small hours of a February morning, the priest-hunting sheriff's officer hoping to capture the wellknown Dr. Thomas Worthington and his four nephews. The boys were taken, but the priest escaped, he being then attending a sick man in the town; Foley, Rec. S. J. ii, 116–18. About the same time Anne, wife of Thomas Sankey of Sankey, was condemned for recusancy, but had not been captured; ibid. quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. clxvii, n. 40. Edward Sankey in 1590 was classed among those who came to church but were not communicants; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 246 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, n. 4). Francis, Lawrence, and William Sankey, natives of Lancashire, became Jesuits in the early part of the seventeenth century, Lawrence serving in his native county from 1638 to 1649; Foley, vii, 685. An Edward Sankey occurs in 1639.
58 In the Boteler settlements, &c. Orford and Little Sankey seem to have gone together; Lords of Warr. ii, 470, 476.
59 Information of his lordship's agent, Mr. John B. Selby.
60 A full account of this church and its ministers is contained in Beamont's Warr. Ch. Notes, 129–81. From an agreement between the minister and the rector in 1760 it appears that the sacrament was administered in the parish church on the first Sunday in the month and at Trinity Church on the third Sunday; p. 141.
61 The bell, dated 1647, formerly hung in the court-house.
62 Lond. Gaz. 8 Feb. 1870; endowment, 6 May, 1870; see also End. Char. Rep. for Warr. 1899, pp. 67–70.
63 For the transfer of the patronage see Beamont, op. cit. 145–6.
64 It was one of the churches built by parliamentary grant. See Beamont, op. cit. 183–98; Lond. Gaz. 16 April, 1841; endowments, 22 Oct. 1841, &c.
65 Lond. Gaz. 4 Nov. 1864; Beamont, op. cit. 199.
66 Ibid. 20 Oct. 1874; Beamont, op. cit. 203.
67 Nightingale, Lanc. Nonconf. iv, 246–51.
68 Ibid. 242–51 for this story.
69 Ibid. 227–41.
70 Attached is a burial-ground, now disused.
71 Nightingale, op. cit. iv, 206–26. An account of its endowments will be found in the Report of the Warr. End. Char. p. 56.
72 Humphrey Cartwright of Warrington had already in 1593 suffered ten years' imprisonment for religion; Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. ii, 252. There are a fair number of names in the recusant roll of 1641; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 244; one of them was Douce Patten, spinster.
Edward Booth, born at Warrington about 1640 and educated at the English College, Lisbon, laboured as a priest in Lancashire for about half a century, and wrote some scientific essays; Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Caths. i, 267.
In 1717 those who registered estates were Thomas Crosby, Richard Ashton, and (at Orford) Isaac Smith and Daniel Platt, 'whitster'; Orlebar and Payne, Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 117, 123.
73 Liverpool Cath. Ann. 1894, 1903; also J. Gillow in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 157, where it is stated that ninety-one persons were confirmed in 1784.
In 1767 the numbers of 'Papists' were returned by the bishop of Chester as follows: Warrington, 401; Burtonwood, 15; Hollinfare, 41; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xviii, 215.
74 Liverpool Cath. Ann.