||Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland),
16, 22. The whole parish paid 7–48ths
of the contribution required from the
||Ibid. 18; a total of £21 6s. 5¼d.
when the hundred paid £106 9s. 6d.
||John Lister, a seminary priest, was
captured at Prescot in 1585, very soon
after being sent to England, and imprisoned
for many years; Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc.),
ii, 241, 273, 279.
||The following are details in acres supplied by Board of Agriculture:—
Arable Grass Woods
Prescot 16,118 1,768
Eccleston 1,982 170
Downing to Alston Moor, 21
Antiquary, xxxii, 139.
||There is a view in Gregson's Fragments, 173; see also Glynne, Lancs. Churches
(Chet. Soc.), 63. For armorial notes,
made about 1590, see Trans. Hist. Soc.
xxxiii, 247. An old font, said to have
belonged to Prescot, is now in Roby
churchyard, used as a flower-pot; ibid.
(New Ser.), xvii, 72.
Adam Martindale (Chet. Soc.), 172.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), 43–4, 188.
Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and
Ches.), ii, 192, 68 n.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 87b.
||Ibid. vi, fol. 57; also Duchy of
Lanc. Great Cowcher, i, fol. 70, n. 44;
fol. 69, n. 43. See Dep. Keeper's Rep.
xxxii, App. p. 361.
||The grant was made 6 Aug. 1445
(Pat. 23 Hen. VI, pt. xxii), and was specially exempted from subsequent Acts of
resumption; Parl. R. v, 92, 523; vi,
||Lich. Reg. x, fol. 64–8b. There is
a local story attributing the vicarage to
the king's disgust at finding the rector so
wealthy as to be able to shoe his horses
with silver; Gregson, Fragments, 173.
Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249.
Inq. Nonarum (Rec. Com.), 40.
The various townships contributed as
follows: Rainhill, 60s.; Whiston with
Prescot, 50s.; Eccleston, £4; Rainford,
Windle, and Parr, 60s. each; Sutton,
£4 10s.; Bold, £5 8s. 4d.; Ditton with
Penketh the same; Appleton, £7 1s. 8d.;
Sankey, £2 13s. 4d.; Cuerdley, £3 8s. 4d.;
Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 220.
The bishop received 13s. 4d. a year, and
the archdeacon 15s. 4d. The vicarage
house was worth 5s. a year. There were
three chantries in the parish.
Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), 70–9.
Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 203.
There were four wardens, one named by
the vicar for Prescot, Whiston, and
Rainhill, in turn; and others for Sutton
(1), Eccleston and Rainford (1), and
Windle and Parr (1), these being named
by the 'eight men.' There were 735
families, and the number of 'papists' was
372. The account made in 1767, and
preserved in Chester Diocesan Registry,
gives 1,294 'Papists,' in Prescot and St.
Helens, there being four priests known,
viz. Joseph Bamand at Windle, Philip
Butler at Parr, Mr. Weldon and Mr.
Conyers at Eccleston.
||Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 350–4. Patrick
is not actually described as 'parson' of
Prescot, but he is included among the
clergy, as is shown by his name appearing
before that of Richard, son of Henry de
Lathom. From another deed Patrick and
Richard seem to have been clerks at
Prescot in 1191; Whalley Coucher (Chet.
Soc.), i, 40. Richard, clerk of Prescot,
appears earlier (1177) as paying a fine of
1 mark for a breach of the forest laws;
Lancs. Pipe R. 38.
Whalley Coucher, iii, 809. Patrick de
Prescot and Richard are named as preceding rectors in pleas by Alan le Breton;
De Banc. R. 59, m. 31; 92, m. 138.
||It appears that Alan le Breton was
presented to Prescot by Roger bishop of
Lichfield, who by some lapse was patron
for that turn in 1266; Alan was already
rector of Coddington, and was allowed to
hold Prescot also in consideration of the
numerous and heavy labours and grave
perils he had undergone for the bishop
and his church. This grant was recited
in the ratification of it by Walter, the
bishop in 1299; Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 22.
Alan was made treasurer of Lichfield
Cathedral about 1276, and retained the
office till his death in June, 1306; Le
Neve's Fasti, i, 581. His tenure of
Prescot was marked by a series of contentions with his secular neighbours respecting church lands; Assize R. 1265, m.
5; 1268, m. 19d.; 1277, m. 31d.;
408, m. 17d. Bishop Walter specially
noticed these efforts for the benefit of the
church of Prescot, its rights and liberties
having been almost lost by the negligence
of preceding rectors and its property
alienated, and encouraged him to go
forward in his task of recovery and
reformation. In one matter his zeal
seems to have been excessive; for in
1386–7 a successor, John Fairfax, had to
give twenty marks for the king's pardon,
Alan le Breton having acquired lands for
the church (without licence) from Richard
de Churchlee; Fines R. 190, m. 3;
Assize R. 1271, m. 11d.
||Alan le Breton appears to have
resigned Prescot in 1303, in which year
he called upon Master John le Norreys of
Lichfield for an account of the time he
had acted as his bailiff at Prescot; De
Banc. R. 148, m. 176d. Eustace de
Cottesbech is mentioned as rector in 1304
(ibid. R. 152, m. 180); he was rector of
Halton in 1303; ibid. R. 148, m. 19d.
There was a sequestration in 1308, the
bishop granting the custody to William
de Tatham and Roger de Shelton; Lich.
Reg. i, fol. 56b. The rector had been
appointed chamberlain and receiver in
Scotland by Edward II in Sept. 1307;
Cal. Docs. relating to Scotland, ii. 2. He
was dead in Feb. 1308–9; ibid. p. 14.
He is mentioned a number of times in
the Close and Patent Rolls of the first
years of Edward II and probably spent
most of his time in Scotland.
||William de Dacre was clericus on
appointment; Lich. Reg. i, fol. 57; was
ordained subdeacon in the following
Lent; ibid. i, fol. 109b. Nine years
later he received permission to be absent
for a year's study (ibid. i, fol. 85b); this
was renewed in 1320 (ibid. i, fol. 87b).
Two years later he seems for a time to
have resigned the rectory, for John Bone
was instituted on 29 July, 1322, the
patrons being Henry de Tunstall and Joan
de Dacre his wife, 'with the permission
of John, prior of Burscough'; ibid. ii,
fol. 99. William de Dacre, however,
continued rector until his death, being
so styled in 1325; De Banc. R. 257,
m. 148. Complaint was made in 1330
of a violent breach of sanctuary at
Prescot church; Coram Rege R. 302,
Rex, m. 6d.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 119. Ranulf de
Dacre in 1361 became head of the family,
and was summoned to Parliament as
Lord Dacre; he died in 1375, probably
soon after his resignation; see G. E. C.
Complete Peerage, iii, 1. In Aug. 1350,
Clement VI confirmed to Ralph de
Dacre the church of Prescot, to which he
had been instituted three years previously, when five months under the
canonical age; Cal. Papal Letters, iii, 397.
He died intestate; De Banc. R. 463, m.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 87b. Sir
Ranulf, having sold the advowson, retired
to allow the new patron to exercise his
right. John Fairfax was a younger son of
William Fairfax of Walton, near York.
His will, dated at Prescot 7 June, 1393,
and proved a week later, shows that he
was a man of some wealth. He wished
to be buried in the church of Walton,
where he founded a chantry, and gave
directions as to his funeral and its
attendant dinner. To Prescot he bequeathed £10 for the stone bell-tower
recently built, and a great breviary with
musical notes according to the use of
Sarum; legacies were also made to Sir
Thomas Gerard and Maud his wife, to
John Gerard, the testator's godson, and
to Richard, son of Henry de Bold;
Test. Ebor. (Surtees Soc.), i, 186–190.
There is a deed of his in P. R. O. Anct. D.
In 1389 the king, for reasons unknown, presented William Strickland
to the rectory; Cal. Pat. 1388–92,
||Lich. Epis. Reg. vi, fol. 57. He was
canon of Lincoln from 1388, and for a
time (1390) was dean of St. Martin's le
Grand; Le Neve's Fasti, ii, 158–63.
He was also prebendary of Lichfield;
ibid. i, 601; Cal. of Pat. 1388–92, p. 295.
It appears he was of the family of
Ashton of Croston, relations of the
Winwicks; ibid. 1386–9, p. 10; Pal.
of Lanc. Plea R. 1, m. 25b.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. vii, fol. 91. Master
of University Coll. Oxf. 1398; prebendary of Hereford and Lincoln; dean
of Chapel Royal under Henry V, bishop
of Hereford 1417, and of Exeter 1420 to
1455; Le Neve's Fasti; Dict. Nat.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. viii, fol. 19. No
reason is given for the vacancy, but Edmund de Lacy was consecrated to Hereford
18 April, 1417; Le Neve, i, 464. Dr.
Philip Morgan was continually employed
on foreign missions, 1414 to 1418; prebendary of Lincoln 1416; bishop of
Worcester and privy councillor 1419;
elected archbishop of York 1423, but
translated by the pope to Ely in 1426;
vigilant in putting down clerical abuses;
Le Neve's Fasti; Dict. Nat. Biog.
||The name of this rector is known
only by the record of appointment of his
successors. He was a man of distinction; warden of Merton Coll. Oxf.
from 1417 to 1421; held prebends in
York and Lincoln; was at different times
precentor of Salisbury, archdeacon of
Durham, treasurer and dean of York;
and finally became bishop of London,
when 'in consideration of his great virtue
and knowledge and the services he had
rendered to Henry V and the reigning
king' he was allowed to go to Rome in
person to obtain confirmation of his
election. He died in 1448; see Le
Neve's Fasti, ii, 296, &c.
||On Gilbert's promotion to the see of
London he may have been allowed to retain
Prescot for a time, or else the Lichfield
registrar made a slip in his record; for two
years later a second presentation was
made, the same reason for the vacancy
Richard Praty, whose institution to
Prescot may have been null, is described
as 'Sacre Pagine Professor'; Lich. Epis.
Reg. ix, fol. 123; in 1438 he, being dean
of the Chapel Royal and chancellor of
Salisbury, was made bishop of Chichester;
Le Neve's Fasti, i, 246.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 123b. He was
prebendary of London and Lincoln, and
archdeacon successively of Middlesex,
Salisbury, and Cleveland, dying in June,
1457; Le Neve's Fasti, iii, 147, &c.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 125. The
admission took place on 9 Nov. William
Booth was then canon of Salisbury; he
became rector of Leigh (q.v.) in 1445,
bishop of Lichfield in 1447, and archbishop of York in 1452. He died in
1464; Le Neve's Fasti, i, 553, &c. In
his will he left a manual and a missal to
Prescot; Test. Ebor. ii, 266.
||The succession at this point is not
One of the early episcopal acts of the
last-named rector was to sanction the
appropriation of Prescot to King's College and to ordain a vicarage there. The
first vicar, Dr. Ralph Duckworth, who
may have also been the last rector, stayed
for twenty years or more, and from
several notices in the registers it appears
that he frequently or usually resided. In
1453 he was associated with Archdeacon
Stanley and others in an inquiry concerning various defaults in Burscough
Priory; in 1457 and 1459 he inquired
concerning frays in Wigan and Lowe
churchyards; in 1459 also taking part in
an inquiry as to the condition of Walton
church; Lich. Epis. Reg. xi, fol. 50, 91b;
xii, fol. 124b, 125.
||Ibid. xii, fol. 106. He was a fellow
of King's Coll. Cam. See Grace Book A.
(Luard Mem.), p. 52, 77. For his 'caution' he deposited a volume of Chrysostom.
||From this time there is a list of the
vicars printed by Gregson (Fragments, 174,
175) from one said to have been compiled
by Mr. Bere, probably the vicar in 1700.
It has been compared with the books
at King's College. For biographical
notices of the later vicars see Baines,
Lancs. (ed. Croston), v, 6. Assistance has
been given to the editors by the Rev. F. G.
Paterson, M.A., lately curate of the parish,
in the general history of the township, and
more especially in compiling the accounts
of the vicars.
Robert Hacomblene in 1509 became
provost of King's, which he had entered in
1462. He died in 1528, and was buried
in the College Chapel. Cooper, Athenae
Cantab. i, 34; Dict. Nat. Biog.
||Robert Noke's tenure of the vicarage
is doubtful; he entered King's College in
1500, became prebendary of York and
Southwell, and died in 1529; Le Neve,
Fasti, iii, 167, 427. For his degrees see
Grace Book B. (Luard Mem.), i. He is
mentioned as having been rector in 1521 in
a suit as to tithes; Ch. Goods, 1552, p. 81
(quoting Piccope MSS.). In 1523 Cardinal
Wolsey expressed a wish to have him as
subdean of his chapel, but Bishop West,
in sending him, expressed a doubt as to
the suitability of the appointment; L. and
P. Hen. VIII, iv, 10.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 65b. No
reason is given for the vacancy. Simon
Matthew went to King's Coll. in 1513,
held other benefices, and was prebendary
of St. Paul's; he appears to have taken
an active part in the Anglican Reformation of Henry VIII's time, and some of
his sermons have been printed; Cooper,
Athenae Cantab. i, 78, 533.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 38b. A
Robert Brassey was vicar of Friston in
Sussex in 1534; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.),
i, 341. For Prescot firstfruits were paid
13 April, 1541; Lancs. and Ches. Rec.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 407.
Though he retained his benefice through
the reign of Edward VI he appears to
have adhered to the ancient order and was
made provost of King's in 1556. He
retained this benefice; and in 1554 was
resident, for he was invited to take part
in the discussions with George Marsh at
Lathom House; Foxe, Acts and Monuments (ed. Cattley), vii, 42. He was of
King's Coll.; B.A. 1530; D.D. 1557.
He died a week before Queen Mary, on
10 Nov. 1558, and was buried in the
College Chapel, where there is a brass.
See Cooper, Athenæ Cantab. i, 182.
||Act books at Chester. Dr. Whitlock
was also beneficed elsewhere, and was
prebendary of Lichfield 1561 to 1583;
Le Neve, Fasti, i, 594. He entered
King's Coll. in 1537; B.A. 1542; B.D.
1553. Though he became an adherent
of the new system in religion he appears
to have had antiquarian tastes, and published books on the history of Lichfield;
Cooper, Athenae Cantab. i, 485; Dict. Nat.
||Educated at King's Coll. and became vice-provost. Firstfruits paid 17
Jan. 1583–4. He was chaplain to Henry
Stanley earl of Derby, and afterwards to
Robert Devereux earl of Essex, this clearly
indicating his theological standpoint.
||From this time the institutions have
been taken from the Institution Books
P.R.O. as printed in Lancs. and Ches.
Antiq. Notes, i, ii. Firstfruits were paid
21 Jan. 1616–7. John Alden entered
King's in 1592. He acted as justice of
the peace in Lancashire. A decision was
made by the bishop of Chester in 1619
concerning repairs, the election of churchwardens, &c. as between the people of
Prescot and those of Farnworth; Kenyon
MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 25.
||Firstfruits paid 11 April, 1643. Day
was admitted to King's College in 1622.
His will was proved at Chester in 1650.
Commonwealth Ch. Surv. 71. He
was son of John Larking, prebendary of
Rochester; admitted to King's Coll.,
becoming fellow; M.A. 1647; described
as 'a very troublesome man in this college in the year 1650'; became rector of
Dunton in 1653, and of Limpsfield in
1655; author of Speculum Patrum, 1659.
From the records of King's Coll.; also
Cal. of S.P. Dom. 1660–1, p. 165.
||Educated at King's Coll., entering
in 1639. He was presented 'on the
death of R. Day,' Larking not having
been instituted. He married Day's
widow; Dugdale, Visitat. (Chet. Soc.),
223. On his conforming in 1662 a new
presentation seems to have been required;
probably he had not been episcopally
||Entered King's Coll. 1650.
||Entered King's Coll. in 1661 and
became fellow; M.A. 1670. In the time
of James II he was received into communion with the Roman Church, but
retained his benefice until 1690, when
he resigned it. His subsequent career is
unknown. His delay in resigning caused
great indignation, and 5s. 8d. was paid to
the ringers when the news came that he
was 'quite outed.' He was the subject
of a controversial tract by Thomas
Marsden, vicar of Walton; Gillow, Bibl.
Dict. of Engl. Cath. ii, 523.
||Educated at King's Coll.; M.A. 1683.
He resided at Prescot during his short
tenure of the benefice.
||Of King's Coll.; M.A. 1685; fellow.
He resided at Prescot during his first year,
but not afterwards, Christopher Marsden
of Farnworth being left in charge.
||Educated at King's Coll.; M.A. 1692.
||Admitted to King's Coll. 1696; M.A.
1704; became senior fellow. At Prescot he built the vicarage house. He is
said to have been 'one of the Suffolk
curates for many years.'
||Educated at King's Coll.; M.A. 1723;
fellow. His son William became principal
of Brasenose Coll. Oxford, in 1770, but
died shortly afterwards; Foster, Alumni
||Educated at King's Coll.; M.A. 1762;
senior fellow. There is a monument in
the church recording his benefactions to
Prescot, Liverpool, and Windsor.
||Educated at King's Coll.; M.A. 1798;
fellow. He was also vicar of Little Maplestead in Essex.
||Of King's Coll.; M.A. 1834; fellow.
He committed suicide shortly after being
presented and never resided.
||Admitted to King's Coll.; M.A.
1834; fellow. He lived in London
until the bishop compelled him to reside;
the parishioners held a mock funeral, by
way of showing their resentment at his
||Of King's Coll.; M.A. 1875. He
was vicar of Wentworth, 1877 to 1882,
and in 1886 was appointed rector of
Tankersley in Yorks.
||Of Emmanuel Coll. Camb.; M.A.
1886. Mr. Mitchell was vicar of Peak
Forest from 1875 till 1881, when he was
presented to St. John's, Pemberton. He
was made rural dean of Prescot, 1890, and
canon of Liverpool, 1893.
||William Brinklow, rector of Mancetter, was appointed to hear the confessions
of the parishioners in 1395; Lich. Epis.
Reg. vi, fol. 132b.
||Printed by the Rec. Soc. of Lancs. and
||Visit. List at Chester.
For the church ornaments at this time
see Ch. Gds. 1552 (Chet. Soc.), ii, 80; and
Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc), 270, 279.
||List at the Chester diocesan registry.
In his decree as to Farnworth, Bishop
Cotes said of Prescot church: 'There is
so great ruins and deformities and dilapidations in the roofs, ornaments, walls, and
windows that unless speedy remedy be
taken the said church is in a short time
likely to fall down to the ground.'
||Ibid. The vicar, William Whitlock,
appeared and subscribed, as did Robert
Nelson; but Ralph Richardson who
appeared, did not subscribe. The curate
of Rainford's name is not entered; possibly he had relinquished his post. In
1559 Robert Nelson, curate, had refused
to appear at the visitation; Gee, Elizabethan Clergy.
||Visit. List. There was also a blank,
with the words 'cur. de Raynforth' following; so that while the services were supposed
to be maintained no one was in charge.
||Gibson's Lydiate Hall, p. 248 (quoting
S. P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, n. 4).
Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), x, 189.
The offences named are adultery and like
sins; marriage without banns; playing
cards 'on the Sabbath day' at home at
the time of evening prayer; and having a
child baptized by some missionary priest.
Kenyon MSS. 13.
Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs.
and Ches.), i, 11, &c. From 1644 to
1647 he lived as a fellow commoner at
Trinity Hall, Camb.; Hall's Catalogue
in King's Coll.
Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 47, 55–8. The
committee of the county of Cambridge
had in 1643 certified that Mr. Day was
'of a pious life and no way delinquent
or ill-affected.' It appeared that he had
some duties at King's Coll., and he professed his apprehension that it was not
safe for him to live at Prescot, 'in regard of the wars and of the king's forces
then frequent in those parts.' In 1650,
the new vicar not having come down,
the schoolmaster of Farnworth supplied
his place, receiving 15s. for every Lord's
day he officiated; Commonwealth Ch. Surv.
||Thomas Wells was curate in 1689
and 'conformable'; Kenyon MSS. 230.
||Visit. list at Chester.
||The particulars given in the following notes are taken from the report on
the Endowed Charities of Prescot, exclusive of the borough of St. Helens, made
in 1902, supplemented by that of the
commissioners of 1829. The report for
St. Helens was issued in 1905. Some
earlier particulars will be found in Bishop
Gastrell's Notitia Cest. (Chet. Soc.), ii,
||Jonathan Case, lord of the manor of
Whiston, conveyed part of the waste to
Oliver Lyme in 1708, and almshouses
were erected, a sum of £500 being the
endowment. After the founder's death
his sister, Ellen Glover, claimed the money
but continued the foundation, trustees being appointed. In 1753 William Part
left £50 to the almshouses. In 1828
there were twenty-seven of these houses,
of which eight were rented by the townships of Whiston and Prescot: the almspeople were appointed by the trustees,
each having 2s. 6d. a week and an allowance of coal. The income was £172 15s.
chiefly derived from farms in Eccleston.
A further endowment of £1,000 was received in 1877 from Elizabeth Atherton.
Leases for working the coal under the
lands belonging to the charity have been
made since 1892, and the gross income
is £305. The almshouses, now somewhat dilapidated, form a row on the Prescot
and Rainhill road, the oldest portion
dating from 1708. They are occupied by
twenty-eight persons, nearly all women,
who receive weekly allowances varying
from 3s. 6d. to 4s. 6d.
||The Rev. Samuel Sewell, vicar of
Prescot, gave in 1815 £200 to the
grammar school, £800 to the Sunday
school, £700 for almshouses, and £400
towards establishing a fever ward. The
fever ward not being practicable it was
purposed to apply the money to the almshouses. The endowment for these was
void in law, but Sir John Sewell, a residuary legatee, undertook to give £700.
This was carried out, and in all six almshouses were built in 1830 and 1850. The
occupants are women, and each receives
3s. 6d. a week.
John Lyon, who built a school at
St. Helens, gave in 1670 a house called
Linaker's at Upton in Widnes to William
Glover, charging it with annual payments
to preaching ministers at St. Helens,
Rainford, Farnworth, and Childwall, the
schoolmasters at St. Helens and Rainford, and the poor of Windle, Rainford,
Upton, Farnworth, Halewood, and Prescot,
amounting in all to £12. The payments
continue to be made.
Ellen Siddall in 1729 gave her estate
in Whiston, called Cumberley's or Cumberlane tenement, for the poor and the
charity children of Prescot. The estate
was sold in 1900, and the proceeds invested. Joshua Marrow in 1708 left his
residuary estate, amounting to £400, towards binding poor children apprentices.
This and other charitable funds appear to
have been spent in rebuilding the town
hall, the interest being paid out of rents
and rates. In 1783 the known benefactions amounted to about £950, as follows:—Joshua Marrow, £400; Thomas
Glover, £50; Mary Cross (a third of
£50), £16 13s. 4d.; Margaret Norris,
£20; Lawrence Webster, £10; Elizabeth Booth, £10; Ellen Siddall, arrears,
£20; Anne Glover, £100; James Walton, £50; Edward Blundell, £50;
Catherine Waring, £50; James Cross,
£60; Nicholas Fazakerley, £50; Dr.
Roper, £40; Robert Barrow £17 2s. 4d.;
a company of comedians, £12 9s. This
last entry is interesting. Some of these
sums were for the benefit of the poor
attending the services at the parish church.
Dr. Roper's £40 was derived from the
sale of wood from the racecourse, 1772;
'the interest of this sum has always been
considered as applicable towards finding
a dinner for the jury on the feast of
Corpus Christi,' the court-leet day. The
rents from the town hall, &c., amounted
in 1828 to £79. Since 1829 the capital
has been increased by £1,000 under
Elizabeth Atherton's will in 1877, and
£289, the capital of Siddall's charity,
has been incorporated with the other
charities. The gross income is over £130
William Marsh in 1723 charged 20s.
upon his house, called Kenrick's, for the
benefit of the poor of Prescot and Knowsley; this appears to have been lost about
1800. After a time payment was resumed, at first only for the Knowsley half,
but since 1892 for the Prescot half. The
money is added to the Public Charities
as above. Anne Wainwright in 1818
left £100 for the benefit of poor persons attending the parish church. This
also forms part of the Public Charities
Mary Gwyn, 1821, left £90 for the
poor. This is now represented by a
Mersey Dock bond of £100, but the
income has not been expended for many
years. Anne France left £5 for bread,
to be distributed on Good Friday; it has
been incorporated with the General
Charities, and the Good Friday distribution has ceased.
Elizabeth Chorley, by her will dated
1820, left money to various charities, including £200 to the poor in the Prescot
almshouses. She was sister of John
Chorley, and had sisters, Jane, Mary, and
Frances. Jane Chorley, by her will of
1824, left £4,000 for charitable purposes,
including a school for poor girls at Prescot;
to this was to be added £1,400 received
under the will of her sister Elizabeth.
Frances Chorley, in 1849, also bequeathed
£200 for coals and clothing for the poor.
Part of these bequests was lost owing to
the bankruptcy of the clerk, but the capital stocks at present are £554 for the
Clothing Charity; £1,216 for the
Ladies' Charity—this including many additional gifts; and £4,660 for the school.
William Ackers, sailcloth manufacturer,
in 1851 bequeathed £300 for an annual
distribution of clothing. The administration is left to the vicar. Ellen Byron
in 1872 left £100 for aged single women;
the interest is distributed in clothing.
Sir Thomas Bernard Birch in 1880 left
£500 for the poor. The interest is distributed at Christmas-time in doles of
||They were a memorial to her sister
Lucy, wife of Richard Willis, of Halsnead. The inmates are to be members
of the Established Church. The almshouses, a handsome and substantial block
of building near the old almshouses, were
ready in 1862. Each married couple
receives 8s. 6d. a week and each single
person 5s. 6d.; and there are other
||Henry Bispham, of Upholland, in
1720 and 1728, made benefactions for
apprenticing poor boys, and for providing
clothing for the poor in various townships,
including Rainford, Windle, and Eccleston; a fuller account is given under
Wigan. Richard Holland, by his will of
1713, left money for clothing the poor;
and £13 10s. a year was the income in
1828. There is now a capital of £450
consols, and the income is spent in blankets for the poor.
Priscilla Pyke, in 1739, bequeathed
£100 for a like purpose; this and other
sums were lost by the failure of a bank in
Liverpool, but Peter Moss, of Eccleston,
one of the trustees, replaced this £100,
entrusting it to Thomas West, who died
in 1828, and £4 10s. as interest was paid
by his son, James Underhill West. The
capital is invested in consols. The charity
has always been considered as for the
benefit of Roman Catholics only, the recipients being now selected by the priest
in charge of the Sacred Heart Church,
John Alcock, in 1653, left £50 towards
apprenticing poor boys; Lawrence Webster £10 to the poor of Eccleston, Rainhill, and Whiston; Mary Cross £50 to
the poor of Prescot, Eccleston, and Rainhill; and Eleanor Eccleston £100 to the
poor. These charities, with the exception
of the Prescot third of Mary Cross's gift,
had been lost before 1828.
||William Glover left 20s. a year to
each of the townships of Rainhill, Cronton, and Whiston, charged on a meadow
in the last-named. The money was paid
until 1871, since which time payment has
been refused. The meadow belongs to
Mr. Willis of Halsnead.
||In 1689 James Ashton, as carrying
out the wishes of his brother Samuel,
gave four cottages at the Hillock in Whiston, the rents to be applied to the relief of
aged and impotent persons, at the discretion of the constables of the township. In
1828 of three cottages said to belong to
the charity, one had been sold to the then
'new railway' from Liverpool to Manchester. There are now four cottages at
the Hillock which belong to the charity.
The net income, about £19, is distributed
by the overseers at Christmas in money
By Richard Hawarden's will, 1600, the
trustees of Prescot school were to pay
6s. 8d. a year to the poor of Whiston. On
the sale of the premises from which the
rent-charge was due, the purchaser (Captain Willis) redeemed it by a transfer of
£13 6s. 8d. stock to the official trustees.
The £10 left by Lawrence Webster had
been lost between 1798 and 1828. Henry
Case of Whiston, butcher, left a rentcharge of 20s. a year for the benefit of the
poor; but nothing further is known of it
or the land on which it was charged.
||Thomas Lyon, of Rainford, in 1667
left his estate there, called Quakers, in
thirds for the chapel, school, and poor
housekeepers. In 1768 there was a poor's
stock of £120, which was practically intact in 1828. The estate was sold in 1861
under an order of the Charity Commissioners, and the proceeds invested in
£1,615 consols. The income of £49 is
distributed in accordance with a scheme
prepared in 1877—one-third to the vicar
of Rainford; one-third to exhibitions for
boys attending grammar schools, for which
exhibitions there is no demand; and onethird to the poor, in the form of blankets,
Bishop Gastrell (ii, 214) states that the
old poor's stock was £42 10s., to which
Mrs. A. Singleton had added £60. This
was perhaps the nucleus of a sum of £175
supposed to be part of the Thomas Lyon
fund, and so administered. David Grayson, in 1735, gave the interest of £20 to
poor pipemakers' widows and orphans.
This, in 1828, was represented by a charge
of £1 a year on a house in Tithebarn
Street, Liverpool, known as the 'Hole-in-the-Wall.' This payment was continued
by James Birch as a private charity down
to 1847, when it ceased. No one had
ever been able to identify the 'Hole-inthe-Wall.' George Mather's charity had
been lost, and £2 a year left by John
Haydock was void in law.
James Barnett, by his will of 1832, left
a sum represented by £229 consols, the
interest of which is distributed in the same
way as the clothing part of Thomas Lyon's
charity. David Rosbotham, in 1857, left
£200 for the poor, the interest of which
is now paid to the overseers, who distribute it in doles of flannel, &c.
||Thomas Taylor, in 1684, gave property in Great Crosby to trustees for the
benefit of the poor of Windle and Great
Crosby. The land produced £50 a year
in 1828. Richard Holland, in 1707,
charged his land in Windle (Windle Ashes
Farm, now owned by Mr. Richard Pilkington) with £5 a year for the poor. Oliver
Denton charged land in Billinge with 10s.
a year. William Heyes was supposed to
be the benefactor on whose account
£2 13s. 4d. a year was received for
the poor from the 'King's Head' in
St. Helens. Mary Egerton, in 1693, gave
20s. a year to the poor; this had since
been paid by the owner of Hardshaw
Hall. Samuel Clark left £100 for poor
housekeepers; it was lent to the township and in 1828 £4 15s. was paid as interest. Peter Greenall, of St. Helens, in
1828 paid 10s. annually, charged on the
Lower House in Hardshaw; the origin of
this was unknown. With the exception
of the two last-mentioned, which have
been lost, the charities still exist; the
combined income is distributed in money
Three charities have been established
since 1829: Mary Bolton, widow, in
1848 left £250 for the relief of the poor,
aged, and infirm women. Catherine Garton, widow, in 1876 bequeathed £300 for
poor widows. Edward Carr, formerly
vicar of St. Helens, left £100 for the
benefit of widows who had been communicants. The interest of these sums
is distributed annually in money doles.
||Sarah Cowley left £5 a year to Mrs.
Anne Naylor, and 20s. to the Dissenting
Minister at the New Chapel at St. Helens
for preaching on New Year's Day and
Midsummer Day. Further, she left her
house and land to Joseph Gillibrand, at
that time the 'Dissenting Minister,' in
trust for the education of poor persons'
children, and 'to find them with books,
as the Love Book, the Primer, the Psalter,
Testament, and Bible'; the surplus to be
laid out in linen and clothes for them. A
trust was formed in 1724. The great increase in income due to the opening of
coal mines and the growth of St. Helens
has been devoted to the present Cowley
Schools, which have a gross income of
||Mary Egerton of Hardshaw, in 1693,
left £1 a year to poor housekeepers in
Parr. This was in 1828 distributed, together with the interest of a stock of £50,
by Charles Orrell, in gifts of cloth and
blanket. John Martin had contributed
£20 of this stock, but the origin of the
remainder was unknown. Nothing is
now known of these gifts.
Joseph Greenough of Sutton, in 1877,
left £50 a year. This is provided by
railway stock in the hands of the Official Trustees. The income is distributed once a year in gifts of clothing and
||The poor of Sutton share in the
Greenoe (£22) and Heyes charities;
widows also share in Catherine Garton's
gift. Miss Eliza Brooks, in 1877, bequeathed £100 for the poor; the interest
is added by the vicar to the sick and poor
fund. A gift of £10 by Bryan Leay
could not be traced in 1829.
||The Rev. Richard Garnet, who died
in 1764, left £200 for woollen cloth and
useful books to poor Protestant families
in Widnes. In 1868 the turnpike in
which the fund had been invested ceased
to pay interest, and part was lost, the
present capital being £85 consols. The
interest is distributed by the vicar of
At Barrow Green in Widnes was
Knight's house, the rents of which had
for fifty years before 1828 been applied to
charitable gifts. The origin of this benefaction was unknown in 1828, when one
Thomas Kidd was acting as trustee. In
1762 John Hargreaves paid to the copyholders of Widnes £10 left by Thomas
Smith of Cuerdley, the interest to be paid
off Knight's house. The present gross
income is £21 15s., which is distributed
once a year in money doles; 'it is stated
that at one time the distribution was in
Bread charities were established by
James Heyes in 1724, and by Thomas
Windle, by charging estates in Halewood
and Cronton respectively with sums of
£5 4s. and £2 12s. The former charge
is now paid by Lord Derby, and the latter
by the tenant of a farm at Townend in
Cronton. The sums are distributed in
bread every Sunday. William Fenn, by
his will, dated 1825, left his pew in Farnworth church, let at £2 2s. a year, in trust
for the poor; he also left £50 to the Protestant Sunday schools. No rents are now
payable for the pews in the church. The
poor of Upton and Farnworth benefited by
the charity of John Lyon, and those of
Farnworth district by that of Ellen Greenoe,
but 10s. from William Glover's estate has
not been paid since 1815.
||Ellen Greenoe, by her will of August,
1759, left all her lands in Sutton called
Greenoe's to the minister and wardens of
Farnworth chapel. In 1828 the land
produced a rent of £12 12s. and of this
10s. was paid to the minister of Farnworth, 10s. to the minister of Tarleton,
£1 to the poor of Farnworth, and the rest
was divided equally between the poor of
Bold and Sutton. The testatrix specially
desired 10s. to be expended on books for
the children, but this appears to have been
a temporary use. The rent of the farm
in 1898 was £35. The money is laid out
in accordance with the testator's wishes,
money doles being given. The 10s. for
books is given to the managers of Bold
For Bold itself there was a poor's stock
of £114, bearing interest at 4 per cent.
arising chiefly from gifts of £50 by Peter
Bold, and £40 by Thomas Haigh, a
former steward of the Bold estates. The
capital is still intact, and the interest,
£5 2s. 6d., is distributed once a year in
||Thomas Windle, jun., gave £2 10s. a
year to the poor of Cronton; this is paid
from an estate at Townend in Cronton.
To it was formerly added £1 from the
charity founded by William Glover, but
payment has been refused since 1871.
The Windle money is laid out in doles.
Bread was given to poor widows of
Cronton attending divine service at Farnworth on Christmas Day, Easter Day, and
Whit Sunday. A distribution of bread
continues; it is still paid for by a charge
of 6s. on an estate called Norlands, partly
in Widnes and partly in Cronton.
Up to 1797 a sum of £2 had been distributed by the overseer as interest of
moneys left at various times by John
Rowson, Henry Windle, and others, as
also of 'Aughton's Dole.' No reason was
known for the discontinuance of the payment. Margaret Wright left £10 for
teaching children. Up to 1794 the sum
of 9s. a year as interest had been paid by
the overseers either for teaching or for
school books, e.g. 'Markham's and Dillworth's spelling books.' This had been
discontinued before 1829.
||The estate consists of a small piece of
land and a schoolroom and house upon it,
a rent of £13 being charged for the house
and land. Formerly this went to the
relief of the poor rate, but the net income
has lately been divided among poor housekeepers chosen by the parish council.
||The stock amounted to £50 in 1774,
but the trustees had died long before 1828,
and nothing could be discovered as to the
fate of the money, though something had
been paid to the poor till about 1810.
The origin of the stock was traced to
Bishop Smith, who gave £10; to this
£20 was added by John Martinscroft, and
£20 'by Government.' No charities are
now known to exist.
||The poor's stock in 1735 was £27,
of which £17 10s. was a benefaction by
Ralph William Barnes; £7 10s. was
added in 1811, as part of a gift by John
Kerfoot. For this 26s. 6d. a year was
paid as interest by the overseer, until
about 1838, when the parish refused, on
account of the new poor law. Another
4s. 6d. was derived from £5 left by
Thomas Sixsmith in 1766, but was lost
by bankruptcy about 1833. A further
20s., called 'Dutton's money,' was received from an estate at Appleton in
Cheshire; the origin of the gift was unknown in 1829. The charge is still
operative, and the money is given to poor