||1,658, including 5 acres inland water,
according to the census of 1901.
Trans. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix,
206–7. The crosses are due to Bartholomew Bretherton.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), 41, 148.
The Ecclestons from time to time acquired lands in Rainhill; see, for example,
Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 334, 352.
Anct. D. P.R.O. v, A. 11171.
Chartul. of Cockersand (Chet. Soc.), 599.
||In 1246 Alan de Windle and Amice
his wife, and Roger de Molyneux and
Agnes his wife, called upon Richard de
Eccleston to acquit them of the service
for two plough-lands in Rainhill—to wit,
the whole town of Rainhill—held by
them of Richard by knight's service; the
king, as guardian of the heir of John de
Lacy, earl of Lincoln, had claimed a
three weeks to three weeks suit, which
they asserted that Richard, as mesne lord,
should perform. The defence put forward was that the charter under which
they held did not require him to do this;
Assize R. 404, m. 11. Ten years later
Alan de Windle (his wife being dead) and
Roger and Agnes de Molyneux came to
an agreement with Robert de Eccleston,
Richard's son, by which he acquitted
them of the service required by Edmund
de Lacy, in particular the finding of a
judge or doomsman at the court of Widnes; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and
Ches.), i, 125. For this Molyneux family
see the accounts of Little Crosby and
In 1276 John de Northale of Sutton
recovered from Peter de Windle and Alice
his wife, Roger de Molyneux and Agnes
his wife, Richard their son, and others,
12 acres of wood, &c., of which they had
taken possession, pretending that the
lands were within Rainhill; the damages
were assessed at 2s.; Assize R. 405,
||Sir Peter de Burnhull (Brindle)
granted to Ralph Banastre land in the
western part of Rainhill, at a rent of 12d.;
and this gift was confirmed by his son
Alan in 1315; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 228.
Nicholas Banastre called on the Burnhull
heirs to warrant him in 1330; De Banc.
R. 284, m. 119; 286, m. 170; 287, m.
185d. (on which occasion the charter of
Peter de Burnhull was produced), &c.
In 1524 this land was held by John
Mosley of Rainhill; Dods. loc. cit.
In 1354 half their moiety of the manor
was granted by William Gerard and Joan
his wife to Peter Gerard and Katherine
his wife; Final Conc. ii, 142. In 1416 it
was found that Sir T. Gerard had held a
moiety of the manor of Rainhill of the
heirs of Henry de Eccleston by knight's
service and a rent of 18d.; but in 1447,
in the inquest after the death of Sir
Peter Gerard, nothing is said of any
manor here, though he had held of John
Eccleston 'certain messuages, with all the
lands and tenements, rents, and services'
belonging to them; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet.
Soc.), i, 123; Towneley MS. DD. n.
1465. The manor of Rainhill was
included, with other lands there, in a
settlement of the Gerard estates made in
1511; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 11,
It is noticeable that as late as 1598
land in Rainhill was said to be held of the
'heirs of Peter Burnell'; see the inq.
p.m. of Henry Coney of Ditton.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 27, m.
126; the manor of Rainhill, twenty
messuages, a windmill, and various lands
there, were claimed by Henry Eccleston
from Sir Thomas Gerard and Elizabeth
his wife, and others.
||See the Inq. p.m. of Thomas Lancaster
below. The residence was called the
Manor House. The Ley family occur also
in connexion with Maghull. In 1525
Christopher, son and heir of Hugh Ley,
was called upon to pay £20 to Ralph
Ley, brother of Hugh; Pal. of Lanc.
Plea R. 140, m. 16. The will of Hugh
Ley of Rainhill, dated in June and proved
at Chester in Aug. 1592, expresses a
desire to be buried in Prescot church,
near where his father was buried. It
mentions his son John, and his children,
John, Hugh, Richard, and Margaret;
another son Thomas; his daughters
Margaret Wood (with children, Nicholas
and Alice) and Alice Orme, wife of
Edward Orme; and his sister Elizabeth.
Earlier in the same year a settlement of
the lands of Hugh and John Ley had
been made; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F.
bdle. 54, m. 101.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 117, n. 2.
Alexander Chorley of Rainhill, and
Elizabeth his wife, were in 1678 indicted
as recusants; Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS.
Com.), 109. Over the main entrance
to the manor-house, now a farm, is the
inscription 'A. 1662, C.'; probably for
Alexander Chorley, who was in possession as early as 1651, as appears by
a recovery in the Common Pleas, Mich.
||This account is taken from Foster's
Lancs. Ped. (Chorley of Chorley), and other
||Baines, Lancs. Directory (1824), ii, 706.
||Ex inform. Mr. F. A. StapletonBretherton and others.
||In 1301 Richard son of Roger de
Molyneux made complaint against Henry
de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, and others;
Assize R. 1321, m. 8. In 1304 Alan de
Burnhull attempted to recover certain
land from Richard de Molyneux, his
brother Henry, and Thomas and John
his sons; it appeared that this land had
been improved from the waste by Peter
de Burnhull and Richard de Molyneux as
lords of Rainhill; Assize R. 419, m. 9;
424, m. 2.
||Sir John de Molyneux retained the
manor to the end of his life; he was
concerned in numerous suits concerning
lands there. Here, as in Scholes in Eccleston, Henry and Agnes de Atherton laid
claim to the inheritance; Assize R. 1435,
m. 47 d. In 1344 a claim was successfully made by Henry son of Henry de
Atherton, and Agnes his wife to certain
lands, when it appeared that Richard de
Molyneux had given a fourth part of the
manor to his brother Henry for life, and
had afterwards bestowed the reversion on
his own son John; and that John had
granted part of the disputed lands to
Roger de Molyneux and part to William
the clerk of Liverpool and Nichola his
wife; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 17. Agnes
wife of Henry de Atherton had in 1322,
whilst a minor, been seized by emissaries
of John de Molyneux and carried to Chester, where she was detained for eighteen
months, in hope of securing her inheritance; ibid. Rex. m. 22.
||John de Lancaster the father is described as 'of Rainhill' as early as 1313.
He was certainly married to Margery
daughter of Richard de Molyneux in or
before 1314; Final Conc. ii, 19. He had
a moiety of the manor at once conferred upon him, and in 1318 demanded
a partition, the other lords being Alan de
Windle (or Burnhull) and John son of
Richard de Molyneux. All then held
jointly 1,000 acres of pasture, part of the
inheritance of Alan de Windle from Alan
le Styward, his great-grandfather; De
Banc. R. 230, m. 172d.; 235, m.
A claim for a third part by Roger son
of Alan de Molyneux in 1334 shows that
at that time John de Molyneux and
Richard his son, John de Lancaster and
John his son held moieties of the Molyneux part of the manor by gift of Richard
de Molyneux (brother of the Alan named
above). Robert de Bebington and Beatrice
his wife, Henry de Atherton and Agnes
his wife, Nicholas Banastie, Philip de
Penwortham and Agnes his wife, and
Philip his son also had lands. Agnes
widow of Alan de Burnhull had married
Sir Geoffrey de Warburton; Coram Rege
R. 297, m. 107. John son of John de
Lancaster frequently appears as plaintiff
or defendant from 1346 onwards; e.g.
Assize R. 1435, m. 15; 1444, m. 8d.
||Early in 1396 John son of Richard de
Lancaster was engaged to marry Margery
sister of John de Bold; Joan, the mother
of Richard, was still living; Dods. MSS.
cxlii, fol. 214b, n. 151. The provision
included two parts of Holbrookfield in the
township of Widnes. John de Lancaster
was a juror at the Widnes court about
1430, and Thomas in 1476; Dods. MSS.
cxlii, fol. 240. The latter was excused
from serving on assizes in 1498, being
seventy years of age; Towneley MS. CC.
Richard Lancaster, son and heir of
Thomas, in 1526 joined with Thomas
Gerard, lord of the other portion of Rainhill, in renouncing a claim to a pasture
called the Copped Holt, which they
acknowledged to be within Whiston, not
in Rainhill. Richard was then fifty years
of age, and 'calling to his remembrance
the short time of this transitory life, and
fearing the eternal damnation of his soul,'
he repudiated the 'feigned and false title'
which had been set up; Ogle R.
He died in 1535, and the subsequent
inquest shows that he had held the moiety
of the manor of John Eccleston by fealty
and a rent of 18d.; a messuage in Rainhill of the king, by a rent of 8d. paid to
the bailiff of West Derby; also lands in
Euxton and in Appleton; his son and
heir Richard Lancaster, married to Alice
daughter of Bartholomew Hesketh in
1530, was seventeen years of age in
1538; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii,
n. 11. Licence of entry, without proof of
age, was granted to Richard son and heir
of Richard Lancaster, 20 Nov. 1543;
Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 555.
||Printed by the Chet Soc.; Visit. of
1567, p. 118, where the pedigree starts
from John de Lancaster, apparently the
one living in 1430; Visit. of 1613, p. 18;
Visit. of 1664, p. 172. This last ends
with Thomas Lancaster, aged twentyseven, and his infant sons John and
||Norris D. (B.M.). At the inquisition
after his death, 10 May, 1629, it was
found that he had held the hall of Rainhill of the heirs of Hugh Lee. His
widow Margery was living, and the heir
was his son John, aged eighteen on 17
March preceding; Duchy of Lanc. Inq.
p.m. xxv, n. 43.
Nathaniel Lancaster, a strong Puritan,
rector of Tarporley, is said to have been
a half-brother of Thomas; Ormerod,
Ches. (ed. Helsby), iii, 898. Thomas
Lancaster, their grandfather, was in 1590
one of those in 'some degree of conformity' to Elizabeth's laws concerning
religion, but 'in general evil note' and
a non-conmmunicant; Gibson, Lydiate
Hall, 245 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz.
ccxxxv, n. 4).
Royalist Composition Papers (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 53. It appears that
Rainhill Hall and other lands of John Lancaster had been sold in 1653 to John
Sumner, the purchaser of Allerton. The
estate was 'much encumbered.' See also
Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 43.
Elizabeth wife of John Lancaster was a
recusant in 1641; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New
Ser.), xiv, 241.
For another sequestration for religion,
see Royalist Com. P. iv, 72.
||Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 121. John Lancaster's estate was
worth £87 6s. 4d. a year, and he was
described as son of John and grandson of
Thomas Lancaster. Thomas Lancaster,
son of John and Catherine, born 1690,
who studied at the English College in
Rome and was sent to England as a
priest, was probably a brother; Foley,
Rec. S. J. vi, 462.
Thomas Lancaster of Rainhill had an
annuity of £10 out of Percival's house;
and his son Francis had an estate of
£5 17s. 6d.; Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 119,
120. The will of Francis Lancaster,
apothecary, dated 21 Feb. 1744–5, was
enrolled in the Common Pleas, Mich.
1748, R. 21, m. 57d.
In Piccope's MS. Pedigrees, ii, 38, the
pedigree is continued thus: John Lancaster, born in 1661, was living in 1690. He
had a son and heir John, who registered
his estate as above, and daughters Anne
and Mary. John Lancaster, whose wife's
name was Elizabeth, had a son John,
baptized in 1723, and a daughter Mary.
From family deeds Mr. Edward W. Woods
of Warrington has been able to construct
a more complete descent. John Lancaster
the younger, who was living in 1758,
married Elizabeth Houghton, and had
several children, including John, his heir,
who died unmarried in 1784; Thomas,
heir of his brother, whose son James died
without issue in 1807; and Margaret,
who married John Lancaster.
||On the death of James Lancaster
Rainhill Hall descended to his sister Jane,
who died in 1824, and to her children by
Robert Fleetwood, her husband. Joseph
Fleetwood, the eldest son, died unmarried
in 1857; James, his brother and heir, a
priest, died in 1862; and their sister
Elizabeth, born in 1793, died unmarried
||The Margaret and John Lancaster
named in a preceding note had a
daughter Frances, who married James
Tatlock of Scholes, and their daughter
Frances, who died in 1871, married
Joseph Beaumont of the Tump in Monmouthshire. Their son and heir, James
Beaumont, sold the hall in 1881 to
Lady Stapleton-Bretherton. Information
given by Mr. F. Stapleton-Bretherton
and Mr. Woods.
||Roger son of Alan de Molyneux complained in 1343 that Sir John de Molyneux
and Richard his son had disseised him of
a third part of the moiety of 200 acres
and other lands, and on inquiry Richard
was found guilty; Co. Plac. (Chan.),
m. 5. Some further complaints were
next year made by Roger and his wife
Godith, but it appeared that Sir John held
the land in dispute by feoffment of Roger;
Assize R. 1435, m. 38d. In 1355 there
were cross-suits between John de Lancaster and Roger de Molyneux and
Thomas his son as to certain lands and
the third part of a mill, which continued
for some years; Duchy of Lanc. Assize
R. 4, m. 3; R. 5, m. 4, &c.
In 1371 Thomas and Richard de Molyneux of Rainhill were jurors; Plac. of
Lanc. Chan. file, bdle. 1621.
||This Robert may be the 'Robert de
Molyneux, clerk,' who appears among the
witnesses to local charters. A Robert,
son of Roger de Molyneux, was defendant in a Penketh suit in 1301; Assize
R. 1321, m. 10d. A certain Alan de
Sutton had lands in Rainhill before 1284;
he left a son Roger and a daughter Lymota under age, and had granted some of
his land to this daughter. She, while
still a minor, granted 4 acres to Robert
de Molyneux, which were afterwards recovered by her brother Roger; Assize R.
1268, m. 12; 408, m. 18. In 1318–19
Robert had a grant of land from the waste
between the field of Ritherope and the
Chestergate from John de Molyneux and
John de Lancaster; Blundell of Crosby
Evidences, K. 232.
||He seems to be the Roger son of
Robert de Molyneux of Rainhill, by whose
agency the settlement of Little Crosby
and other manors was arranged in 1314;
Final Conc. ii, 19.
As Roger son of Robert de Molyneux
of Ritherope, he granted to Henry, son
of Roger Garnet, and Alice, grantor's
daughter, all the land which his father
had had from Sir John de Molyneux of
Sefton and John de Lancaster at a rent
of 8d.; Roger de Molyneux of Rainhill
was a witness to this charter. Robert son
of Roger at the same time confirmed this
grant; Blundell of Crosby Evidences, K.
||In 1356 Richard son of Roger de
Molyneux of Ritherope was defendant in
a suit brought by Richard Hitchcockson;
Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 1 d.
||In the time of Henry VII Roger
Molyneux was seised of certain lands in
Rainhill, which descended to his son
Richard, his grandson Roger, and his
great-grandson Thomas Molyneux, who
occurs in a plea of 1557–8; Pal. of Lanc.
Plea R. 203, m. 6. A few years later
Thomas Molyneux sold his lands to
Edward Halsall and others; Pal. of Lanc.
Feet of F. bdles. 21, m. 68; 22, m. 55,
61. This was the Molyneux of Hawkley
family; it does not appear from which of
the two Rainhill families it was derived.
||Simon de Rainhill and John son of
Robert de Rainhill were among the defendants in the suit of John de Northale
mentioned above; Assize R. 405 (1276),
m. 1. In 1292, Margaret daughter of
Matthew the Tailor summoned Simon de
Rainhill to warrant her in the possession
of a tenement, but was non-suited; Assize
R. 408, m. 32 d. A dispute as to a messuage and some land took place in 1345
between Ralph son of Alan de Rainhill
and Robert son of Robert de Rainhill; De
Banc. R. 344, m. 259d. Alan also
appears to have been a son of the elder
Robert; Assize R. 1444, m. 8 d.
||A settlement by fine was made by
William de Lee of Rainhill upon his son
Henry in 1301; the property was 2 messuages and 14 acres; Final Conc. i, 192.
Roger son of William de Lee in 1320–1
granted to William his son his right in
the Longshot with Lee field and 5 half-selions in Rainhill; also the reversion of
the dower of Emma, widow of the grantor's brother William; Blundell of Crosby
Evidences, K. 70, K. 250. William son
of Roger de Lee in 1362 granted to his
son John a messuage and all his land in
Rainhill, except 2 acres which Richard
Sherlock held of the grantor in a place
called the Lee; Kuerden, fol. MS. 249.
Richard, son and heir of Henry de Lee,
in 1426–7 sold to Henry Blundell of
Little Crosby and Ditton all his lands in
Rainhill; ibid. 213, 249.
||The origin of the Garnet interest
may have been the Molyneux of Ritherope
charter already quoted. William Garnet
and James his son made a settlement of
their lands in 1550; Pal. of Lanc. Feet
of F. bdle. 14, m. 279. For a dispute
between James Garnet and Richard Garnet and others in 1552, touching lands in
Rainhill and Bold, see Ducatus Lanc. i,
253. Simon Garnet also occurs similarly
in 1569 and 1593; on the latter occasion
John and James Garnet alias Lyon were
joined with him; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of
F. bdles. 31, m. 82; 55, m. 112.
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i,
238, 240. In 1628 the landowners paying to the subsidy were Thomas Lancaster, the heirs of Hugh Lee, John Barnes
for Garnet's lands, and Henry Sutton;
Norris D. (B.M.).
Eng. Cath. Non-jurors, 121, 122,
||Land Tax Ret. at Preston.
||Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iv, 168.
||Twelve entries appear on the recusant
roll of 1626; Lay Subs. 131/318.
Liverpool Cath. Ann. 1901; End.
Char. (Prescot) Rep. 1902, p. 69. One of
the first priests at St. Bartholomew's was
James Austin Mason, previously a Wesleyan minister; for his works see Gillow,
Bibliog. Dict. iv, 512.