Townships
Eccleston

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1907

Pages

362-367

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'Townships: Eccleston', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3 (1907), pp. 362-367. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=41347&strquery=eccleston Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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ECCLESTON

Eccleston, 1280; Eccliston, 1285.

Eccleston is situated between two extremes, the green woods of Knowsley Park on the west, and the smoke-laden environs of St. Helens on the east. The country is of an undulating nature and principally dedicated to agriculture, fields of rich and fertile soil being predominant. The crops raised are chiefly potatoes, oats, and wheat on a clayey soil which alternates with peat. Eccleston village lies in a hollow, and an adjacent colliery shows that farming is not the only source of revenue of the inhabitants. The geological formation consists mainly of the middle coal measures with a small area of the gannister beds on the western side in Knowsley Park; whilst the lower mottled sandstone and the pebble beds of the bunter series (new red sandstone) occur between Eccleston Hall and Hanging Bridge on the south, Thatto Heath and Eccleston Four Lane Ends on the west.

This township has now been partially absorbed into the borough of St. Helens. Originally it contained 3,569 acres; at present only 2,632. (fn. 1) The hall stands near the centre of the old township, with Gillar's Green on the west, Glest in the north-west corner, and Scholes in the south-east. Thatto Heath, on the eastern boundary, extends into Sutton.

The principal road, along which runs the electric tramway, goes from Prescot, north-east, to St. Helens. Close to it, just outside Prescot, at a level of 260 ft., is a reservoir or balancing station on the VyrnwyLiverpool pipe line, and further on is the old schoolhouse. One road branches off to the north, passing through Gillar's Green and Eccleston village to Windle; and another to the east, by Portico to Thatto Heath, into Sutton. The county lunatic asylum, though named from Rainhill, is in this township, to the south side of the road last mentioned. The London and North Western Company's line from Liverpool to St. Helens crosses the southern corner of the township, with two stations called Eccleston Park and Thatto Heath.

The population of the reduced township was 3,429 in 1901.

The parish council consists of eight members, four being chosen by each of the wards—Portico and Gillars' Green.

The colliery is at Gillar's Green, and there are several old shafts and quarries within the township. There is a brewery at Portico, and a pottery near Prescot, while glass, watchmakers' tools, and mineral waters are also manufactured.

Copper-smelting was established at Green Bank, close to St. Helens, about 1770, the ore coming from Anglesey; (fn. 2) but these works were closed in 1815, being succeeded by others in the neighbourhood. Cotton factories also were established, but had to be discontinued in 1840 owing to the fumes of the chemical works. (fn. 3)

A cross used to stand in the old schoolyard. (fn. 4) The schoolhouse has the date 1634 above the door. The late Richard John Seddon, premier of New Zealand, was born there in 1845; he was the son of Thomas Seddon and Jane Lindsay. (fn. 5)

A legend of the Spectre Bridegroom type is connected with Gillar's Green. (fn. 6)

A playhouse is said to have been built on Eccleston waste about 1590. (fn. 7)

MANORS

Under Sutton, as already shown, ECCLESTON and Rainhill were held as half a knight's fee. (fn. 8) The immediate tenant took his surname from the former township, but in the thirteenth century there was a mesne lord between him and the Daresbury family, in the person of William, 'called Samson,' who surrendered his rights to the Norrises. (fn. 9)

The first of the local family whose name occurs was Hugh de Eccleston, a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 10) His sons, Richard de Eccleston and Alan his brother, were witnesses to an early charter concerning Hale. (fn. 11) Richard was succeeded, after 1246, (fn. 12) by his son Robert de Eccleston, who died between 1276 and 1280, leaving a widow, Amery, to survive him many years. (fn. 13) Robert had several children; (fn. 14) the eldest son, Alan, predeceased him, and Robert son of Alan succeeded his grandfather. (fn. 15) He in turn was followed by his son Alan, who held the manor for many years, and dying in 1349 was succeeded by his 'cousin' and heir John de Eccleston, the son of Alan's brother Henry. (fn. 16) Then there came in succession Henry and two Johns. (fn. 17) Ralph Eccleston, son of John, was in possession in 1483, and died on 11 June, 1522. (fn. 18)

From this time it is possible to give a more complete account of the descent. (fn. 19) Ralph's grandson John succeeded, being followed by his son Thomas, (fn. 20) whose son Henry greatly increased the family estates, though some of his acquisitions were afterwards sold. (fn. 21) Edward, his son, succeeded, (fn. 22) and in 1618 Henry Eccleston was described as 'son and heir apparent,' and soon afterwards inherited the manors of Eccleston and Burtonhead. (fn. 23) He died in April, 1628, leaving two young sons, Edward (fn. 24) and Thomas; the former died within four years, leaving a son Henry, who died in 1631, when the estates went to the abovenamed Thomas, then nineteen years of age. (fn. 25)

Thomas Eccleston (fn. 26) took an active part in defence of the king's cause at the outbreak of the Civil War, and suffered imprisonment. He was slain at Warrington in 1646. (fn. 27) His estates were sequestered by the Parliament, but his two sons Henry and Thomas, then aged nine and three years respectively, were in some way secured alike from loss of faith and property. (fn. 28)

Henry Eccleston, on coming of age, married Eleanor, daughter of Robert Blundell of Ince Blundell. Their son and heir Thomas, educated at St. Omer's and at Rome, when only a few years of age succeeded to the estates, and remaining loyal to James II took service in Ireland in 1688, receiving a captain's commission. Afterwards in a duel he killed his antagonist, which so affected him that he relinquished a secular career, became a Jesuit, and so ministered, chiefly in England, for about forty years, dying at the end of 1743. He was the last of his family, and reserving £300 a year from the estates for the use of the Society of Jesus he entailed them on his second cousin, John Gorsuch of Scarisbrick, with remainder to Basil Thomas Scarisbrick, a cousin by his mother. Hitchmough, a priest who turned informer, told the Government of the arrangement as to the £300, and the estates were confiscated as being devoted to 'superstitious uses.' (fn. 29) John Gorsuch was, however, able to obtain possession, and assumed the name of Eccleston; at his death without issue in 1742 the estates passed to Basil Thomas Scarisbrick, who also took Eccleston as a surname. (fn. 30) On the death of his brother Joseph without issue he became heir to the Scarisbrick estate, but resided at Eccleston till his death in May, 1789.


Eccleston of Eccleston. Argent, a cross and in dexter chief a fleur-de-lis sable.

His son, Thomas Eccleston Scarisbrick, succeeded almost simultaneously to the combined estates of Scarisbrick and Eccleston, but resided at the former, offering the latter for sale in 1795. (fn. 31) It was, however, his son Thomas who disposed of it in 1812 to Samuel Taylor of Moston. (fn. 32) From the latter the lordship of the manor descended to his son Samuel Taylor of Windermere, who died in 1881, being succeeded by his grandson (son of his son Samuel), Mr. Samuel Taylor, of Birkdault in Haverthwaite. (fn. 33) The heir in 1892 sold the manor and estate to Sir Gilbert Greenall, of Walton near Warrington, whose son and heir, Sir Gilbert Greenall, bart., is the present lord of the manor. No manor courts have been held for about sixty years. (fn. 34)


Greenall of Walton. Or, on a bend nebuly, plain cotised vert, three bugle-horns stringed of the first.

In 1835 a lease of mining rights in Thatto Heath for twenty-one years was granted by the crown to Samuel Taylor. (fn. 35)

Robert de Beauchamp granted 10 acres of his demesne in SCHOLES to the canons of Cockersand. In 1268 the tenants under the abbey were Peter de Burnhull and Roger de Molyneux. (fn. 36)

Scholes was towards the end of the thirteenth century held, with Eccleston, by Robert de Eccleston, who granted it to Richard de Molyneux, son of the above-named Roger, and Beatrice his wife. (fn. 37) Their eldest son Thomas had a daughter and heir Agnes, who married Henry de Atherton, and she and her husband afterwards claimed Scholes and other properties; (fn. 38) during life, however, it was held by Sir John de Molyneux, a younger son of Richard and Beatrice. (fn. 39) Afterwards it was held by Ralph de Standish, whose descendants retained it until the seventeenth century. (fn. 40) In 1630 Oliver Lyme was the possessor. (fn. 41) About the end of the century it was owned by John Hurst (fn. 42) and occupied by the Harringtons of Huyton, Charles Harrington dying here in 1720; (fn. 43) later it descended to a family named Cobham, and in 1785 belonged to the heirs of John Williamson. (fn. 44) It was purchased about 1850 by Bartholomew Bretherton from the trustees of the marriage settlement of General Isaac Gascoyne; and is now owned by Mr. F. A. Stapleton-Bretherton of Rainhill. (fn. 45)

From GLEST one or more families took a surname, but though some deeds have been preserved by Towneley it is not possible to compile a continuous history from them and such other notices of the place as occur.

Adam de Glest in 1276 brought a suit against Robert de Eccleston, which was terminated by the plaintiff's death. (fn. 46) The succession was probably: Richard—Robert—William, who was the principal member of the family about 1370–80, appearing in the Eccleston rent roll of 1373, as a charterer paying a rent of 18d. (fn. 47) From this the succession seems to be: Richard—Henry—William to Thomas, about the beginning of the sixteenth century. (fn. 48) A James Glest appears in the Eccleston rent roll of this time. Humphrey and Ellis Glest follow. (fn. 49) This last was succeeded by his son James; after which there seem to have been others of the name down to the early part of the eighteenth century. (fn. 50)

Other local surnames occur, as Stonyhurst (fn. 51) and Knapton. (fn. 52) The Prescot family is often mentioned. (fn. 53) A list of freeholders in 1600 contains the name of Edward Eccleston, Robert Prescot, Richard Rigby, Ralph Ashton, James Glest; and in Scholes, William Standish, William Banks, Hugh and William Langshaw. (fn. 54)

Under the Commonwealth three estates were sequestered, chiefly for recusancy. (fn. 55) In 1666 sixteen houses had three hearths and more. (fn. 56) The following 'Papists' estates' were registered in 1717, in addition to those of the Eccleston family: John Standish, William Wilcock, John Taylor, James Williamson, George Wilcock, Robert Mabbon of Wooton Wawen, and William Holme, maltster. (fn. 57)

In 1785 the principal contributors to the land tax were Basil Thomas Eccleston, owning nearly a fourth of the township, and the heirs of John Williamson for Scholes.

A school was founded here in 1597.

For the members of the Establishment, Christ Church, Eccleston, was consecrated in 1838; it is in the gift of the lord of the manor. St. Thomas's, St. Helens, was consecrated in 1839; (fn. 58) and St. Mark's, opened in 1885, had a district assigned to it in 1887. These churches are in the gift of trustees.

There is a Wesleyan chapel in the rural part of Eccleston, (fn. 59) and another at Thatto Heath. At the latter place there are a Free Gospel meeting-house and a Salvation Army citadel.

The adherents of the Roman Church (fn. 60) were able to worship at Eccleston Hall until about 1790, when the Scarisbricks returned to their family seat. After this, Mrs. Eccleston of Cowley Hill built a church at Lowe House, St. Helens. (fn. 61) A second mission was established at Scholes, where Fr. John Bresby alias Brown, S.J., was stationed in 1716. (fn. 62) Nicholas Sewall, formerly of Eccleston Hall, built a church close by, which from the colonnade at the entrance has been named Portico. This was opened in 1790, but replaced by the present church of Our Lady, Help of Christians, in 1857. The mission is still served by Jesuit fathers. (fn. 63) In 1895 a school-chapel, St. Augustine's, was opened at Thatto Heath; (fn. 64) it is in charge of a secular priest.

Footnotes

1 2,632, including 58 of inland water; Census Rep. of 1901. A small portion was taken into Prescot in 1894, and another portion into St. Helens in 1898.
2 Pennant, Tour to Alston Moor, 18.
3 Brockbank, St. Helens, 25.
4 Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 208. There is a small disused burial ground here, and according to tradition there was formerly a chapel; see the account of the charities.
5 N. and Q. (10th Ser.), v, 470.
6 Pal. Note Book, i, 7.
7 A writer in the Liverpool Daily Post, referring apparently to some Farington papers.
8 In 1311 it is called 'one knight's fee'; the rent was 3s. 6d. for sake fee, and suit was done to Widnes court; De Lacy Inquest (Chet. Soc.), p. 23. The ten plough-lands in this fee were unequally divided; thus Sutton, with four, was called half a fee; and Rainhill, with two, had its exact share, one-fifth; Eccleston having the remainder.
9 William called Samson by his charter quitclaimed to Alan le Norreys (of Sutton), and after his death to Henry and Gilbert his sons and their wives, Margery and Maud, daughters of Robert de Ireland and Beatrice his wife, the homage of Robert de Eccleston for six plough-lands, namely two in Rainhill, and four in Eccleston, and the 3s. a year Robert had been accustomed to pay the grantor; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 241. Samson is also found as a surname in Wallasey, another manor held of the constable of Chester; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 472.
The bounds of Eccleston in 1384 are thus described in a deed in the Prescot town chest: 'Beginning at the Wellsyke, which is the division between Churchley and Eccleston, following a certain water called the Shaw brook by the division of Whiston and Rainhill to the Akenford in the highway called Chestergate between Eccleston, Sutton, and Rainhill, where it ceaseth to be calleth Shaw brook and beginneth to be called Ritherope brook; and so following the Chester gate between Wheashaw and Sutton to the Brown hedge, and so leading the said way between Scholes and Sutton to the Frogley head, and following the Frogley to Shotwell brook, and following Shotwell brook to the Noter brook, and from Noter brook, by the divisions of Windle to the Longborough, and so from Longborough to the head of Cattshaw green, and so by a line to the Whitlow carrs, and from Whitlow carrs to a certain ditch between Knowsley and the land of Roger Prescott in Eccleston, and following the said ditch to Deishurst lane, and so from Deishurst lane between the division of …and Knowsley to the bounds of Prescot, and so leading between the Healley moss and Prescot, by the Liverpool gate to the Wellsyke, which is the first division.'
10 Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 600. There were two grants, the second being for the souls of his predecessors. Nicholas and Adam, sons of Nicholas, with Hugh's permission, also became benefactors.
11 Hale D. printed in Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 139.
12 In this year Richard de Eccleston was a defendant; Assize R. 404, m. 11.
13 In 1276 Robert de Eccleston was concerned in several pleas; Assize R. 405, m. 1, 2. At the same time Richard de Wulcrofthead accused him and others of razing his dike, so that their cattle entered and destroyed his corn. The defendants alleged that he wished to improve to himself a part of the common pasture of the vill of Wolfscroft; whereupon Robert de Eccleston caused the dike around this encroachment to be removed. The jury acquitted the defendants; ibid. m. 1 d.
The 'vill of Wolfscroft' is now unknown; but in 1292 William son of Beatrice de Glest and others of the family were charged with disseising Richard de Wolcroftshead of his common pasture in Eccleston, and plaintiff recovered; Assize R. 408, m. 69. Thomas son of Richard de Wolcroftshead was defendant in 1324; Assize R. 426, m. 3 d.
Robert de Eccleston is described as son of Richard and calls Hugh his grandfather in a grant of land formerly held by Walter, 'famulus sororis de Polleswrthe'; the boundaries included a portion of the Kirkgate of Parr; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 602.
In 1280, Amery, widow of Robert, claimed her dower in certain lands held by Peter de Windle; De Banc. R. 32, m. 20 d. In 1292 Robert de Eccleston complained that whereas she held 6 messuages, 4 oxgangs of land, 4 acres of wood, and the third part of 20 acres of wood in Eccleston, she felled 20 oaks, worth 4d. each, destroyed 12 orchards worth 2s., 2 granges worth 100s., and a chamber worth 40s. The sheriff made inquiry, when it was found that defendant had made no waste, but that part of a decayed house fell of itself and was carried away by her, the amount of damage being 3s.; Assize R. 408, m. 29; also m. 53, 55 d. 67 d. 91 d. 93 d.
14 Richard, Alice, and Cecily are mentioned. The latter died in or before 1285, when her brother Richard unsuccessfully laid claim to 10 acres she had held in Eccleston, and into which Robert de Eccleston had entered as heir; Assize R. 1271, m. 11 d. Alice received from her father land called Coldfield; in this Amery claimed dower, but was satisfied by Robert's allowing her an equal amount of his own land; Assize R. 408, m. 16. Alice seems to have had a daughter Joan, who was dispossessed of her mother's lands by Alan de Eccleston and others about 1324; Assize R. 426, m. 2 d.
15 Assize R. 1271, m. 11 d. where it is stated that Robert entered after the death of his grandfather Robert. He is frequently called son of Alan; e.g. Assize R. 408, m. 52 d. In 1305 he arranged for the succession to the manor, granting it to his son Alan, with remainder to a younger son Henry; Final Conc. i, 205.
Several of his charters have been preserved. By one he granted his brother Stephen land in Eccleston, the bounds of which began at the Milnewards Garth and proceeded along the divisions between various riddings, for a rent of 12d.; Towneley MS. GG. n. 2091. By another, Henry son of William de Grimsditch received an addition to his holding; Add. MS 32107, n. 370.
Robert died between 1306 (De Banc. R. 161, m. 365 d.) and Sept. 1315, when his widow Isabel gave to Roger de Prescot, clerk, and his wife and children land near the house of Henry Halshagh and below Lystanhurst Field; Add. MS. 32107, n. 371.
16 Alan de Eccleston and his wife Alice are frequently mentioned from 1324 onwards; Assize R. 426, m. 2 d. 3 d. 5; Final Conc. ii, 85, 123—this last being a settlement of the manor made in 1347. About the same time he was relieved from service on assizes, &c.; Assize R. 1435, m. 16 d.
At the Widnes court in 1349, Alan de Eccleston having died seised of the manors of Eccleston and Rainhill, held by knight's service of Clemency, daughter of Alan le Norreys of Daresbury, John de Eccleston as cousin and heir came into court and did fealty to the lord, Clemency being still a minor. The service is stated as half a knight's fee, and 3s. a year at Martinmas for all services; he paid 50s. for his relief; Dods. MSS. xxxii, fol. 12b. The relationship of John and Alan is established by Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 6, m. 1 d.
John de Eccleston occurs from 1350 to 1378; Assize R. 443; 441, m. 3 d.; De Banco R. 457, m. 187 d.; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 200; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 334, 352.
An extent and rental of his estates made in 1373 are preserved at Scarisbrick. The former gives a number of field names, as Standeley, Fetherbyley, Maiot Hey, Dearbought, 'a certain hey called the Park, which contains six acres,' Blackhurst, &c. There were two windmills and two water-mills, which, with the turbary, brought in £12 a year. John de Eccleston also held lands in Newton, called Perpount Field and the Held. His demesne lands and rents in Eccleston and Newton were worth £68 6s. 3d. a year; and he had also in Makerfield, as dower of his wife, £40 13s. 4d.
17 In 1381–2, Robert son of John de Eccleston rendered to William Daniell of Daresbury a formal recognition of the latter's right to his wardship and marriage on his father's death; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 242b. It does not appear that Robert succeeded, but a Robert de Eccleston was a juror in 1385; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 18. He had also letters of protection in this year on his going into Portugal; Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc.), 221 (quoting Rymer's Foed. ed. 1740, III, ii, 176.
Henry de Eccleston had first place among the witnesses to a Glest charter in 1388; Towneley MS. GG. n. 2098. In 1395 he obtained a licence for his oratory in the parish of Prescot; Lich. Epis. Reg. vi, fol. 132b. In April, 1405, William Daniell of Daresbury, senior, and William Daniell, junior, granted to Sir Thomas Gerard wardship of the lands and heir of Henry de Eccleston, until the heir should come of age; 40 marks was paid for this grant; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 242.
This heir was probably the John de Eccleston who is mentioned in the reigns of Henry V and VI. Thus in the same inquisition Sir Thomas Gerard, who died in 1416, is said to have held part of Rainhill from the heir of Henry de Eccleston, and land in Eccleston from John de Eccleston; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 123. John was a juror at the Widnes court in 15 (?) Hen. VI, and witness to charters in 1441 and 1453; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 240, 204, 246 John de Eccleston married Agnes, one of the daughters and coheirs of Matthew de Kenyon (who died in 1419), and by her had lands in Kenyon, Culcheth, &c. Agnes his widow was living in 1459, when she made a settlement of lands on her son William, with remainder to his brother John; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxxviii, 538; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 99.
A rental of the second John, lord of Eccleston, compiled about 1476, is preserved at Scarisbrick. It comprises both Eccleston and Held. It shows that the following payments were made: To the king, for sake and ward, 4s. 4d.; to Thomas Daniell, for rent of Eccleston, 5s. 1d.; to the abbot of Cockersand, for the Cockersand butts, 12d.; to the king, for the fines of the Halmotes of Eccleston, 2s.; to the baron of Newton, for land in the Held, —. It also gives the services of the free tenants: for every tenement upon which a cart and plough can be kept, one day's work at ploughing the lord's land; two days with a cart, viz. one day carting the manure from the dungheap and one day carting fuel from the turf-ground; two days' reaping in autumn and one cutting turf. These were the double or greater averages. For a smaller tenement, one day's work at digging turf, two days' reaping, one day filling the carts with manure; these were the simple or minor 'averages.' Attendance at court and halmote was required. The rights of pasture and turbary were not prescriptive, but by agreement between tenant and lord. The 2s. paid to the king was for the liberty of appointing their own officers and being excused from attendance at the Farnworth court; Beamont, Halton Rec. 20.
18 Ralph de Eccleston was lord of the manor in 1483, according to the Duchy Feodary; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. cxxx. Two years later he was one of the trustees nominated by Sir Richard Bold; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 208, n. 105–6. One of his rentals, made about 1520, but dated 1449, is preserved at Scarisbrick; the demesne lands produced £75 4s. 6d.
The inquisition after Ralph's death (Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, n. 46) gives many particulars of interest. His father, John Eccleston, in 1466 made provision for Ralph's marriage with Agnes, daughter of William Leyland, by granting them messuages and lands in Eccleston and Newton. His manors were Eccleston and Rainhill, extending to 6 plough-lands, and held of Tucher Bold, by the service of half a knight's fee and a rent of 5s. 1d.; Lowton and Newton held of Thomas Langton by a rent of 35s.; lands in Kenyon held of Thurstan Holland, and in Culcheth of Lord FitzWalter. His son Henry having died before him, his heir was his grandson John, then aged twenty-six.
His will is given in full. It provided for the marriage of his grandson and heir John with Katherine, daughter of Sir Henry Halsall. He desired to be buried in Prescot church before St. Mary's image; his best 'wike' beast was to be paid to the curate as mortuary, and the whole expenses of the burial were not to exceed £6 13s. 4d. To the parish priest of Prescot was to be paid 12d. a year, to pray every Sunday for the souls of John Eccleston and Agnes his wife, John Eccleston and Ellen his wife, Henry Eccleston and Ellen his wife—these being apparently his grandparents, parents, and son and wife—also Catherine, William, and Richard Eccleston. Ralph's son Henry was living in 1506; Towneley MS. CC. n. 836.
19 It is taken in the first place from the pedigrees recorded in 1567 and 1664— Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 1567, p. 97, and 1664, p. 101; and from other sources as given below.
20 Besides Thomas there was a younger son Henry, who with his wife Grace settled certain lands in Parr and Lathom upon their son Thomas, with remainder to Henry's brother Thomas, and a further remainder to the heirs male of his grandfather Henry; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 14, m. 145. A Thomas Eccleston holding lands in Parr and Lathom died in 1632–3, leaving as his heir a grandson Henry (son of Henry), then aged twentyone; Towneley MS. C. 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 399.
A settlement of certain property was made in August, 1556, by Thomas Eccleston and Margery his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 17, m. 114. Thomas died before 1565, when Henry Eccleston and Margery his wife were in possession; ibid. bdle. 27, m. 156.
21 He died in 1598, holding the manor of Eccleston of Richard Bold, with 100 messuages, &c., four windmills, two water-mills, 1,000 acres of land, &c., in Eccleston, Sutton, Rainhill, Skelmersdale, Rainford, Liverpool, Ditton, Childwall, and Lathom; free rents; also certain services of ploughing, shearing, delving and leading of turves and filling and leading of dung; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, n. 9. The feet of fines contain many particulars of his acquisitions. In 1590 he was described as 'of fair living,' and in 'some degree of conformity' to the queen's ecclesiastical laws, though 'in general note of evil affection in religion'; he was afterwards a justice of the peace. His wife Margery was a known recusant and indicted thereof, and so was Mary, the wife of his son and heir Edward. See Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 244, 247 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, n. 4); Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 583.
22 He was thirty-five years old at his father's death. He was one of the 'obstinate' persons who could not be found by the sheriff in 1593; while five years later he was specially assessed £20 as a recusant 'for her Majesty's service in Ireland'; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 261–2 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxiii, and vol. cclxvi, n. 80). In 1599 he was reported by the bishop of Chester to the queen's ministers as one of the chief maintainers of the missionary priests then labouring in Lancashire; Foley, Rec. S. J. i, 641 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. cclxxiv, n. 25). His possessions were leased by the crown to Charles Grimston; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 344. Rentals of 1609 and 1612 are preserved at Scarisbrick.
23 Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 94, m. 29. The will of Edward Eccleston was proved in 1623.
24 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi, n. 21. In this Henry is stated to have died on 10 April, 1628, the heir being his son Edward, aged eighteen years. Henry Eccleston and his wife appeared regularly in the recusant rolls; Gillow, Bibliog. Dict. of Engl. Cath. ii, 154.
Edward Eccleston's will was proved at Chester in 1631.
25 Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, n. 45. Mary Ward, widow of Edward, father of the Henry of 1631, was living at Eccleston, as was Anne Hickman, widow of Henry the great-grandfather.
26 Thomas Eccleston and Jane his wife were in possession in 1637, when a settlement of the estates was made; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 132, n. 37.
27 Gillow, as above; Visit. of 1664 (Chet. Soc.), 101.
28 Cal. Com. for Comp., i, 506; 'In the cases of Eccleston and Ireland it was pretended to us that the children were under the tuition of Col. Ireland, which appears by what you write to be a deceit. We have written to Col. Ireland to take the children into his custody and see them placed with godly persons, to be educated Protestants. If he do this he may have the rents of their estates to provide for their expenses.' Also iii, 2038.
Thomas Eccleston, the younger son, became a Jesuit in 1668, and was sent to the Lancashire mission, becoming rector in 1696. He died at Fazakerley in 1698; Gillow as above; Foley, Rec. S. J. vii, 220.
29 Gillow, op. cit. 155; Foley, loc. cit. Fr. Eccleston was the author of a treatise on The Way to Happiness, published in 1726. A settlement of the estates, described as the manor and park of Eccleston, lands in Burtonhead, &c., was made early in 1686, the deforciants being Thomas Eccleston, esq., and Thomas Eccleston, gentleman, the latter, no doubt, the Jesuit uncle; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 218, m. 35. Ten years later a further arrangement was made; ibid. bdle. 237, m. 31.
As 'Thomas Eccleston, of Eccleston-juxta-Knowsley, esquire,' he registered his estate in 1717 as of the value of £341 5s. 10d.; it was subject to annuities of £100 to his mother Eleonora, to whom the hall was let for £60, and of £4 to his sister Anne. His mother's annuity was also registered; Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 117. His petition on the forfeiture brought about by Hitchmough's disclosures is printed, with illustrative matter, in Payne's Rec. of Engl. Cath. 149– 151.
30 An indenture enrolled at Preston in 1749 recites the settlement made by Thomas Eccleston in 1725; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 356 (from R. of 23 Geo. II at Preston).
31 W. A. Abram, Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, ii, 242–50. The advertisement of sale describes the property as 'the manor or lordship or reputed manor or lordship of Eccleston,' with mansion house, farms, &c., mines of coal, beds of valuable potter's clay, and timber. There was a recovery of the manors of Eccleston and Burtonhead, &c. in 1777; Com. Pleas Recov. R. Trin. 17 Geo. III, m. 60, 70, 129d.
32 Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 709.
33 Burke, Landed Gentry; Taylor of Birkdault.
34 Ex inform. Mr. Samuel Taylor.
35 Duchy of Lanc. Returns (blue book), 1858, p. 6.
36 Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 599. Roger de Beauchamp was lord of Little Croglin and Staffol in Cumberland about 1200–30; his heirs were his sisters Alice and Amabel, living in 1240; Reg. of Wetherhal (Cumb. and Westmld. Arch. Soc.), 256, 281. His connexion with this part of Lancashire is illustrated by a grant of land in Staffol, possibly made by him, to Alan le Norreys of Sutton; Final Conc. i, 106.
37 Dods. MSS. xxxii, fol. 7. The bounds are fully described. Beginning at the corner of Richard's field in Bold they extended to a butt by the land of Richard de Wolfcroftshead, followed a ditch to the boundary of Rainhill, went along this boundary of the Chestergate—not the same road to Chester as that mentioned under Burtonhead; passing the road leading from Sutton to Prescot church, the limit coincided with the Chestergate as far as the corner of the field of Scholes, and followed the edge of this field to the starting point. Forty shillings a year was to be paid for all services.
Richard de Molyneux made a complaint of disseisin in 1301; Assize R. 1321, m. 8.
38 Assize R. 426, m. 9, 9 d.; 1425, m. 5. It is here called the 'manor' of Scholes; Beatrice held it after her husband's death, in accordance with the original grant. About 1344 the 40s. rent had fallen into arrears; and Alan de Eccleston distrained, and a rescue was made by Sir John de Molyneux and his men, the damages being assessed by the jury at £6; Assize R. 1435, m. 36 d.
39 The manor of Scholes in the vill of Eccleston was included by Sir John in a grant of his lands made in 1349; Blundell of Crosby evidences, K. 258 (original at Little Crosby).
40 The reason of Standish's succession does not appear.
In 1366 John de Lancaster of Rainhill, as heir of a daughter of Richard de Molyneux, claimed a messuage, five oxgangs of land, &c. in Eccleston [i.e. Scholes], from Ralph de Standish; but the case was deferred be- cause Ralph was then serving the king in Aquitaine in the retinue of the Black Prince, and had the usual protection; De Banc. R. 422, m. 371d. Ralph de Standish was holding Scholes in 1373, paying the 40s. rent; and Henry Standish about 1520, according to the rentals, but the last name is erased. The Cockersand rentals show that Ralph Standish was tenant of the abbey's lands at Scholes in 1451 and 1461, and Henry Standish in 1501; Cockersand Chartul. iv, 1248–9.
The inquisition taken after the death of George Standish gives many particulars of the family history and holdings. The above Henry Standish had a son and heir John, who in 1523 settled lands in Upholland and Orrell upon Elizabeth, daughter of James Manley, on her marriage with his son and heir George. The latter in 1547 enfeoffed Richard Bower of the Scholes and other lands. George's son and heir William, described as of Conington in Huntingdonshire, gentleman, was long before his father's death hanged at Tur Langton in Leicestershire for murder; and William's son William, aged thirteen, was the heir of his grandfather, who died 29 June, 1552. His will, dated the day of his death, left the Scholes to his son John for life. The tenure was by knight's service, viz. by two parts of a fee in five parts divided, and a rent of 40s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, n. 3.
William Standish appears to have sold or mortgaged part of his lands in 1561–8; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdles. 23, m. 126, 132; 24, m. 229; 30, m. 87. To the last of these his wife Margery was a party. He died in 1602, seised of the capital messuage called Scholes, with the lands appertaining to it and other property in Eccleston. John, the eldest son, succeeded, being nearly forty years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 46. A change had taken place in the tenure, which was now socage and 1d. rent, Henry Eccleston having parted with the old 40s. rent and the homage and service of the tenant in 1565; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 27, m. 52. The heir is probably the 'John Standish, gent. of Eccleston,' buried at Prescot 22 Mar. 1612. A William Standish was a freeholder in the township in 1628; Norris D. (B.M.).
41 Oliver Lyme, who died in 1631, held the hall of Scholes of Thomas Eccleston; his son and heir was William, aged twenty-three years, and his son William is mentioned in Oliver's will; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, n. 50.
42 John Hurst had two daughters and coheirs—Anne, who married James Brettargh of the Holt and died in 1762, and Catherine Cobham, a widow in 1750; see the account of Little Woolton. The latter or her heirs would be the vendors.
Over a bedroom fireplace in the house are the initials

Inscription

probably referring to the Hursts. A curious knocker and a mediaeval lock may be seen in the house, and there is a very good staircase. In the garden is a very interesting seventeenth-century shrine, in the form of a stone pillar carrying a rectangular niche for a figure, but now empty; it is said to have been set up by Richard, lord Molyneux, the Jesuit.
43 N. Blundell's Diary, 138, 161.
44 Land Tax Ret. at Preston.
45 Ex inform. Mr. Stapleton-Bretherton.
46 Assize R. 405, m. 1.
47 Richard son of Adam de Glest had a grant from Robert de Eccleston at the beginning of 1303; Towneley MS. GG. (Add. MS. 32107), n. 2082. In 1318 Richard de Glest granted his son Robert land by the Woodbrook; ibid. n. 2087. Robert de Prescot brought a complaint in 1346 against Robert and William de Glest, Richard le Bower and others, concerning digging in his turbary; De Banc. R. 347, m. 15d. Thirty years later John son of William son of Roger de Glest quitclaimed all rights in certain tenements acquired by William son of Robert from William son of Richard son of Roger de Glest; GG. n. 2122, 2098.
In 1381 it appears from the poll tax rolls that William and John Glest paid in Eccleston. Besides William de Glest the Eccleston rent-roll of 1373 mentions 'the heirs of John Glest.'
The deeds in Towneley in the main do not fit in well with the above outline. They start with a certain William de Rainford who had sons Richard and Roger; ibid. n. 2086, 2084, 2121. Roger de Glest and Beatrice his wife in 1311 agreed with Robert de Faurokeshagh (Forshaw) that his daughter Emma should wed their son Adam. (There was another Adam, son of Hugh, living about the same time; ibid. n. 2107, and Assize R. 420, m. 9.) William de Glest, son of Roger the clerk of Prescot occurs in 1328, and William son of Reginald de Glest earlier; GG. n. 2108, 2088. Adam son of Roger de Glest in 1317 resigned to Thomas de Shaldford all his claim in lands granted to Thomas by Roger; among the witnesses were Roger, clerk of Prescot, and Richard his brother; GG. n. 384.
In Dec. 1313, William de Glest gave to Agnes, daughter of Thomas Moody, and her issue, houses and lands in Eccleston, naming the Wheatcroft and Denecroft, and barnstead; also the garden which Robert, son of John de Rainford held of the grantor; with housebote, heybote, and other easements. There was a remainder to her brother Thomas. Bold D. at Warr. F. 72.
Among the various pleas are some which may assist in tracing the history of the place. In 1292 William son of Beatrice de Glest, and Beatrice and Emma his daughters, were accused of disseising Richard de Wolfcroftshead of common of pasture in Eccleston; Assize R. 408, n. 69.
48 About 1410 a settlement of his lands was made by Richard de Glest, apparently the son of William son of Robert; for though his eldest son was Thomas, who married Agnes, daughter of Richard, son of Alan de Parr, the estate appears to have descended to a younger son Henry, to whom the feoffees of William son of Robert gave up his lands in 1424; GG. n. 2081, 2114, 2089, 2090.
In 1525 Thomas Glest claimed from Humphrey Glest ten acres in Eccleston, which Henry son of Walter de Ridgate had given to Robert son of Richard de Glest in free marriage with his daughter Agnes; the following was the pedigree alleged—Richard de Glest—s. Robert, who married Agnes—s. William—s. Richard —s. Henry—s. William—s. Thomas (plaintiff); Pal. of Lanc. Plea. R. 141, m. 9d.
49 Humphrey Glest of Glest in 1528 married Agnes, daughter of Ellis Gorsuch of Knowsley, and it was probably their son Ellis Glest who died in 1592, leaving a son and heir James aged 40 years in 1601; though in a deed of 1578 his son and heir was named John; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xviii, n. 19, 38; GG. n. 2095, 2101, &c. James Glest married a daughter and coheir of James Cropper of Rainford; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 355.
50 In 1607 and later disputes occurred between Edward Eccleston and James Glest as to the services due to the lord of Eccleston; the latter seems to have justified his claim; Pal. of Lanc. Plea. R. 299, m. 10d.; 304, m. 17.
51 Amery de Eccleston brought suits for dower against William and Roger de Stonyhurst in 1292; William's brother Henry is also mentioned; Assize R. 408, m. 55d. 53, 101d. Twelve years later Richard Fox complained that John son of Henry de Stonyhurst and Agnes his sister, Roger the clerk of Glest and Roger de Glest had disseised him of his free tenement in Eccleston; but his suit failed as he had not included Thomas, the eldest son of the last named Roger, who held jointly with his father under a charter from John, son of Henry de Wolfall; Assize R. 419, m. 6 d.
William de Stonyhurst was defendant in claims made about the same time by Robert de Eccleston, who failed and was outlawed; De Banc. R. 153, m. 104; and 161, m. 365d. Henry son of William de Stonyhurst occurs in 1345 and later years; De Banc. R. 344, m. 40d.; 457, m. 187d.
The principal property seems to have passed about 1344 into the hands of Henry de Ditton, perhaps by purchase from Cecily de Bury; Final Conc. ii, 121. Henry de Ditton in 1347 sued Alan de Eccleston and Alice his wife regarding waste; De Banc. R. 358, m. 64d. Henry occurs in later suits, and in 1373 his heirs were holding Stonyhurst for a rent of 2s.; Eccleston rental (Scarisbrick Hall). A suit in which Henry de Ditton was defendant was in 1358 brought by Adam de Bury and Cecily his wife concerning houses and land in Eccleston which Cecily should have received as heir of her nephew John son of William del Hurst, who had died without issue; Assize R. 438, m. 15.
52 William de Knapton in 1292, in reply to a demand by Amery de Eccleston, asserted that his charter, given by her husband, had been burnt in a fire at Knapton which had consumed his houses and all his goods; Assize R. 408, m. 16, 102; also m. 91 d. 99 d. John son of William de Knapton in 1324–5 claimed certain lands as his by descent, but withdrew; Assize R. 426, m. 2 d. 5. Richard son of William occurs about the same time; De Banc. R. 258, m. 163.
53 In 1339 Robert de Prescot secured a sixth part of the 'manor' of Glest from Mariota, wife of William del Hull of Bickerstaffe; Final Conc. ii, 110; see also pp. 104–5. Robert and his wife Isabel in 1346 called upon Sir Edmund de Nevill to warrant to them certain houses claimed by Richard de Stockley; De Banc. R. 348, m. 235d.; 349, m. 243. In 1350 Robert charged Adam de Glest and Robert his son with the abduction of William son and heir of Richard son of Roger de Glest; De Banc. R. 363, m. 79 d.
In the following year Edmund de Prescot (son of Robert) sued Adam son of Roger de Glest and Robert his brother for depasturing and treading down his corn at Glest; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1, m. iij; see R. 4, m. 14; 5, m. 7. The same Edmund was party to a fine concerning lands in Eccleston in 1355 (Final Conc. ii, 147), and appears in the Eccleston rental of 1373 as holding 'divers lands' for a total rent of 2s. 2½d. He was ordered to be imprisoned for debt in 1374, but could not be found; among other tenements he had a hall, kitchen, and oxhouse at Eccleston; De Banc. R. 454, m. 141d.
The rental of the time of Hen. VIII shows Edward Prescot tenant of a messuage, rent 6d.; that of 1609 has Henry Prescot, paying 6d. also.
54 Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 238, &c. The name of Edward Eccleston has pp. against it.
The earl of Derby was a freeholder also. From the Eccleston rental of the time of Edw. IV (about 1480) it appears that Thomas Lord Stanley's interest was derived from purchases of land which had been held by James de Prescot, at a rent of 2s. 0½d. (cf. Edmund de Prescot's rent above quoted); by Agnes de Stonyhurst at 6d.; and by Eustace the Mercer. Further purchases brought up the rental payable by Thomas earl of Derby about 1520 to 3s. 7½d. and by William earl of Derby in 1609 to 4s. Part of their holding was in Glest, as is shown by the inquisitions of Henry Coney of Ditton (1598) and John Parr of Glest, who had bought Coney's lands; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 182.
Besides those already named the rental of 1609 gives the following paying chief rents: Robert Torbock, 1d.; Thomas and George Lyon, 2s.; William Webster 3s.; John Parr, 18d.; and Thomas Glover, 6d. The Parrs occur early; Assize R. 1435, m. 31d. Henry de Woodfall held land by charter in 1373, according to the Eccleston rental, paying 6d.; but the family seem to have sold their lands in the time of Elizabeth; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 24, m. 236 (a sale to Thomas Torbock); 35, m. 74. Edward Halsall, who died in 1594, had built a residence here, which he desired to be preserved in good order, with its heirlooms; Piccope, Wills (Chet. Soc.), ii, 216. Henry Lyon and Ellen his wife had a messuage and land in Eccleston which descended to their son and heir Robert, and then as follows:—s. George—s. Henry —s. William Lyon, claimant in 1570; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 227, m. 11.
55 Ellen Hankinson, widow, had had two-thirds of her estate sequestered for recusancy only; Royalist Comp. P. iii, 150. Possibly she belonged to Eccleston in the Fylde. Henry Harwood of Eccleston, who was 'no delinquent nor recusant,' petitioned for the restoration of his deceased father's lands, sequestered for both the offences mentioned; ibid. iii, 173. Ralph Holland, of Eccleston, who had taken the oath of abjuration and was 'a constant frequenter' of the 'congregation of Ellen's,' thought that his estate must have been sequestered by mistake; ibid. iii, 238.
56 Lay Subs. 250–9; the hall had fifteen hearths, and was the largest house in the parish, except Bold. Thomas Alcock's house had nine; James Glest's, George Cockerham's, and George Lyon's, five each.
57 Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 117–19, 155. John Taylor is described as 'gentleman'; he had brothers, Thomas and Edmund, and a mother, Anne; 118.
58 It had a chapel of ease called St. Paul's, built in 1881.
59 Dr. Adam Clarke wrote part of his Commentary at Millbrook.
60 The conduct of the Eccleston family has been told in the text. In 1626 twenty-four other names appear on the recusant roll for this township, headed by 'Edward Standish, gent.'; Lay Subs. 138/318.
61 The mission was served at the hall by Jesuit fathers, of whom John Swinbourn is named in 1701, as receiving a stipend of £36 from Thomas Eccleston, and George Palmer in 1750, receiving £21, and having a congregation of forty or fifty. Foley, Rec. S.J. v, 321, 397–9. An interesting memorandum is printed here to the effect that a silver chalice used at Eccleston Hall was a gift to the family, to be kept there 'until that happy time that catholic religion is restored and mass said in Prescot church,' when it was to be given to this church.
62 Gillow, Bibliog. Dict. of Engl. Cath. iii, 42 (quoting P.R.O. Forfeited Estates, 46 P).
In 1728 the house was rented by Fr. William (afterwards viscount) Molyneux, S.J.; it was his only mission, and he resided here till his death in 1759. In 1750, a year of jubilee, he had 300 attendants.
The first work known to have been printed at Prescot was a Sermon for the General Fast of 1779, 'preached to the congregation at Scholes' by T. W.; Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. ii, 229. The author was Thomas Weldon (or Hunter), who died at Scholes in 1786; Foley, op. cit. vii, 826.
63 Foley, l.s.c. In 1796 the Benedictines of Dieulouard took refuge here, but soon removed; finally they settled at Ampleforth; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 167.
64 Liverpool Cath. Ann. 1901.


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