||It was erected as a sea mark, about
1780; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 565.
||1163, including 9 of inland water,
according to the census of 1901.
||1573, including 3 of inland water;
census of 1901.
||Including King's Moss, &c.
Lond. Gaz. 17 Dec. 1872.
V.C.H. Lancs. i, 286. See Lancs. Inq.
p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 138; ii, 99; ibid.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 105.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), i, 76. Adam de Billinge
contributed half a mark to the scutage in
1201 and later years; Farrer, Lancs.
Pipe R. 152, 179, 205.
Inq. and Extents, loc. cit.
Uctred Leute's holding may have been
in Crookhurst, a family taking its name
from this place. Richard son of Richard
de Crookhurst was a defendant in 1302;
Assize R. 418, m. 10 d.
||To Cockersand Abbey Adam de Billinge gave all Falling and Ruhlow, the
boundaries beginning at Kidsay Brook,
going to Blackley, to Walley Clough, by
this to Wetcroft Lache, and so by Little
Ruhlow to the starting point. Further
he gave half of Crookhurst, the bounds
being from Swinepit Clough to Birchley
Brook and Blackley Brook, and so to the
start; Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc.), ii,
665, 666. William son of Simon de
Bulling granted the same abbey a part of
his land called Leyerich Ridding, within
the carr and Hennecroft; also his portion
of Crookhurst, the bounds being named
with great minuteness; 'the ford next
the house of Thomas Cert which was
burnt' is among them; ibid. ii, 667.
From the charter last quoted 'the
Hospital' is identified as that outside the
north gate of Chester.
The Abbey's lands in Crookhurst were
in 1461 held by Henry Atherton of Bickerstaffe, and descended with this estate;
ibid. ii, 668; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m.
iv, no. 68. The rent paid was 18d.
William de Falling, probably the tenant
of the Abbot of Cockersand, in 1308
held lands under the lord of Winstanley;
Assize R. 423, m. 2. A later bearer of
the name forfeited his lands for felony,
but those he held of Cockersand were
given up to the abbot in 1384; Dep.
Keeper's Rep. xxxii, 356, 357.
The Cockersand lands here, as in other
places, were granted to Thomas Holt;
Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 288.
||Christiana widow of Henry son of
Quenilda sued Hugh de Crookhurst for
dower in 12 acres; it was found that
Adam de Knowsley held the land; Assize
R. 404, m. 13.
Crookhurst was the subject of an agreement in 1256 between William son of
Hugh and Emma his wife, and Adam
son of Hugh and Agnes his wife; Final
Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i,
127. William son of Hugh is called
William de Rainford in a suit of 1292;
Assize R. 408, m. 61.
Final Conc. i, 114.
||In 1278 William de Billinge complained that Henry de Huyton had
destroyed one of his ditches in Billinge;
Assize R. 1238, m. 35.
Six or seven years later Adam de Billinge complained that Henry de Huyton
and another had disseised him of his free
tenement in Billinge; Assize R. 1268,
m. 19 d.
In 1290 it was Henry de Huyton who
was plaintiff, regarding two-thirds of certain wood and moor, and iron mineral;
Assize R. 1288, m. 12, 13. The defendants were Roger de Winstanley and
Henry son of Ralph de Billinge; they
made an exchange of lands in 1283, to
which Hugh son of Ralph de Billinge
was one of the witnesses; Cockersand
Chart. ii, 659.
Richard de Crookhurst in 1292 complained that Henry de Huyton, Adam de
Billinge, and Roger de Winstanley had
deprived him of estovers in 100 acres of
wood for housebote and haybote—i.e. for
burning, fencing, and building—pannage
for his pigs, &c. Henry, in reply, said
he was chief lord of two-thirds of the
vill, and Roger of one-third; as chief lords
they had approved from the waste, and
the complainant, who was Henry's tenant,
had sufficient estovers outside the approvement. He was non-suited; Assize
R. 408, m. 12 d.
Adam de Billinge's right in the manor
is not here defined; it appears that he
was the representative, and no doubt
descendant, of the Simon of 1212. He
should, therefore, have had a moiety of
Henry de Huyton's two-thirds, and from
another suit of 1292 it appears that he
claimed the moiety of 50 acres of moor
and wood from Henry de Huyton, here
called de Rycroft, and others; ibid. m.
25. Nine years later the suit, or a similar one, appears in the rolls, Adam claiming the moiety of 60 acres of wood and
waste. Henry de Huyton, the principal
defendant—the others were William Bird
and Alan son of Eva de Billinge—replied
that he was lord of the two-thirds of Billinge and Adam of one-third; and they had
agreed that the 60 acres should pertain to
Henry, and another portion of the waste,
called Catshurst, should belong to Adam.
The jury found that Catshurst was only 12
acres, and that Henry had approved 40
acres, a share of which should be given
to Adam; Assize R. 1321, m. 5 d. In
the following year Adam de Billinge and
Henry de Huyton were chief lords, the
complainants being William de Huyton
and Robert his brother; Assize R. 418,
m. 10 d.
A possible solution is that Winstanley,
having become detached, paid 3s. 6d. rent
to the lord of Newton; that the remaining 6s. 6d. was shared between Henry de
Huyton and Adam de Billinge in the
ratio of two to one, while they divided
the land equally.
||Robert and William de Huyton were
among the defendants in a suit of 1309
affecting the boundaries of Billinge and
Winstanley, Henry de Huyton and Adam
de Billinge being also joined; Assize R.
423, m. 2.
Four years later Robert de Huyton
recovered from Henry de Huyton the
manor of Billinge; Assize R. 424,
m. 1 d.
In 1321 William son of Robert de
Huyton settled messuages and lands upon
Robert de Huyton the elder for his life;
Final Conc. ii, 41. The pedigree of the
Huyton family is not clear; but Robert de
Huyton the elder was probably a brother
of Henry. Robert son of William brother
of Henry de Huyton and Robert son of
Henry de Huyton were last in the remainders of a settlement made by Ellen
de Torbock in 1332; Croxteth D. Z, i,
4. In the same year Robert de Huyton
and William de Billinge contributed to
the subsidy; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), 26. Six years later
Robert de Huyton of Billinge acquired
some land in Ashton; Final Conc. ii, 108.
Robert de Huyton of Billinge, probably a descendant, complained in 1348
of the damage which William Dawson of
Billinge had done to property while he
had it on lease; he had pulled down a
hall worth £10, and two chambers worth
£5 each, and cut down twenty apple-trees
worth 20s. each, &c.; De Banco R. 355,
m. 21; 356, m. 234 d. Four years later
certain lands were held jointly by Alan
the clerk of Rainford, whose wife was
Agnes, and Robert son of Matthew de
Huyton; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2
(Pent.), m. 2. Another defendant in the
case was Isolda, widow of Roger de Winstanley and daughter of Roger (? Robert)
de Huyton. Richard de Huyton appears
in 1357; ibid. R. 6, m. 5.
||By charter of June 1331 Robert de
Huyton and Mary his wife granted an
estate in Billinge to trustees, with remainders successively to their children,
Henry, Richard, Isolda, Agnes and Avice.
By 1363 Robert and Mary were dead,
and Henry and Richard had died without
issue; Isolda was the wife of William the
clerk of Wigan, and her estate having
been taken into the king's hands for some
default of Eustace de Cottesbech, for
whom her father had been a surety, she
petitioned for restoration; L.T.R. Memo.
R. 128, m. 5. Isolda seems to have been the
widow of Roger de Winstanley; in 1363
Hugh de Winstanley sued William the clerk
of Wigan and Isolda his wife for waste;
De Banco R. 416, m. 299 d. It appears
from the following that there was another
daughter who shared the inheritance.
From a plea of 1372 it is clear that the
manor of Billinge, i.e. the Huyton half
as previously explained, had become divided among four co-heirs and their issue;
for Geoffrey de Wrightington and Ellen
his wife, executors of the will of Robert
de Winstanley (Ellen being the widow),
in that year claimed dower from Henry
de Scarisbrick as guardian of the land and
heir of Robert de Billinge, from Richard
de Heaton and Isolda his wife; and from
Alan the Barker and Agnes his wife,
each of the defendant parties holding a
fourth part of the manor; De Banco R.
447, m. 184 d.; 454, m. 141.
Alan the Barker may have succeeded
Alan de Rainford, who, with Agnes his
wife, had a quarter of a moiety of the
manor in 1366, when it was settled upon
them for their lives, with remainder to
Robert del Eves and his heirs; Final
Conc. ii, 172. It may be conjectured
that this Robert was the son of Agnes by
a former marriage. Thus the four coheirs were in 1374 represented by Winstanley, Billinge, Heaton and Eves, and
each quarter would pay a rent of 1s. 1d.
to the lord of Newton.
Some further light on the descent is
given by claims for debt made by the
executors of the will of Sir John de
Dalton in the next year against Geoffrey
de Wrightington and Ellen his wife,
executrix of the will of Robert de Win
stanley; Geoffrey de Urmston, executor
of the will of Joan, who had been wife
and executrix of Robert de Billinge;
Alan the Barker of Billinge, executor of
the will of Margery, who was the wife
and executrix of Robert de Staverley; and
Robert de Huyton, executor of the will
of Agnes, who was the wife of Alan de
Rainford; De Banco R. 457, n. 186.
||Agnes de Rainford being dead, as
appears in the last note, Robert del Eves
came into possession, and was defendant
in 1375; De Banco R. 459, m. 162.
He died in or before 1398; having held
Galfhey (?Gautley) in Billinge of Ralph
de Langton, baron of Newton, in socage
by the rent of 13d.; Nicholas, his son
and heir, was twenty-four years of age;
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 68. The
heiress of this family married a Lathom
of Mossborough; Visit. of 1613 (Chet.
Soc.), 106; and in 1620 Henry Lathom
died, holding messuages and lands in Billinge of the barony of Newton by a rent
of 13d.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii,
205; see also Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m.
x, no. 2.
||The rent appears to be made up of
2s. 2d. due by the heir of Adam de Billinge, and 1s. due from the quarter of the
manor inherited from the Huyton family.
In a later inquisition the rent is given as
3s. 3d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx,
What is known of the Billinge family
has been stated in previous notes. A
member of the family married one of the
Huyton co-heirs, while the heiress of the
main branch appears to have married
William de Heaton, son of the Richard
de Heaton who held another quarter of
the Huyton share. In 1398 a dispensation was granted for the marriage of Joan
de Billinge with William de Heaton;
Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.) xxxvii. B, 61;
Dods. MSS. vii, fol. 326. In 1422 a settlement was made of the manor of Birchley
and messuages and lands in Billinge, &c.,
the holders being William de Heaton and
Joan his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F.
bdle. 5, m. 9. In 1530 Richard Heaton
gave the manor of Billinge, and his messuages, mills, and lands there and in
Birchley to trustees, for the benefit of
his son William; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R.
151, m. 8.
||In a fine of 1581 relating to Birchley and a quarter of the manor, James
and Thurstan Anderton, sons of Christopher, were plaintiffs, and William Heaton
and his sons Ralph and Richard, deforciants; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle.
43, m. 133. Previously, e.g., in 1542,
the manor of Birchley had been included
in the Heaton settlements; ibid. bdle. 12,
m. 66, &c. James Anderton, of Lostock,
died in 1613, seised among other properties of the capital messuage called Birchley Hall, and of various houses and lands
in Billinge, held of the Baron of Newton,
in socage, by a rent of 3s. 2d.; Lancs.
Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii, 26, 27. Roger,
his younger brother, had Birchley by
arrangement with his brother Christopher,
of Lostock; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F.
bdle. 94, m. 3, and note of Mr. Ince
Anderton. In 1631 he paid £10 on
refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), i, 213. He was buried
at Wigan, 1 Oct. 1640, and Anne, his
widow, on 14 Sept. 1646.
His son, James Anderton, of Gray's
Inn, took arms for the king in the Civil
War, and joined in the attack on Bolton.
Though comprised within the articles of
Ludlow he forebore to compound within
the time fixed, being a recusant, though
not convicted. In 1649 he petitioned to
be allowed to compound. His estates
were, however, confiscated, and included
in the third act of sale, 1652; Index of
Royalists (Index Soc.), 41; and Thomas
Wharton purchased Birchley in the following year. Soon afterwards, however,
a composition was arranged, the fine of
£800 being reduced to £650 3s. 4d., and
further afterwards; Royalist Comp. Papers
i, 75–81. Captain Thurstan Anderton,
another of the family, was wounded at
the battle of Newbury, and died at
Oxford, in Sept. 1643: Castlemain, Cath.
Apology. Early in 1654, in a fine concerning the 'manor of Billinge,' James
Anderton, Thomas Wharton, and Joseph
Rigby were deforciants; Pal. of Lanc.
Feet of F. bdle. 153, m. 81. James
Anderton died in 1673; Cavalier's Note
Bk. 305. His only child was a daughter
Elizabeth, who married John Cansfield of
Cantsfield. A pedigree was recorded in
1664; Dugdale, Visit. 5.
||Mary, the daughter and heir of the
above John Cansfield, married Sir William
Gerard, and in 1692 her lands were settled as the manors of Robert Hall and
Cantsfield, and a fourth part of the manor
of Billinge, with messuages and lands in
these places, including Birchley; Pal. of
Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 229, m. 109.
||No pedigree was recorded. The earliest of this family known is Thomas
Bispham, who in 1552 was one of various
persons charged with destroying timber in
Galtly Wood, and who early in 1558
made a settlement of three messuages,
and other lands in Billinge and Rainford;
Ducatus, i, 242; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F.
bdle. 20, m. 112. Henry and Thomas,
jun., appear in a fine of 1571; ibid,
bdle. 33, m. 39. Two years later, Thomas
Bispham (probably the younger, on succeeding), made a settlement of 4 messuages and lands in Billinge and Rainford;
ibid. bdle. 35, m. 19. In 1600 he was
among the freeholders of the township.
William Bispham, who appears in
1628, on refusing knighthood paid £20
in 1631: Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and
Ches.), i, 212. He died 10 Oct. 1639,
holding lands in Orrell and Billinge, the
latter of the Baron of Newton by a rent
of 13d., the regular rent for a fourth part
of the manor; his son and heir, Samuel,
was of full age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq.
p.m. xxx, no. 97. William Bispham of
Billinge married a niece of Bishop Bridgeman's; Wigan Ch. 348. See also Fun.
Certs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 198,
for further particulars of the family;
Samuel Bispham was one of King
Charles's physicians in ordinary, and had
a son and heir, Thomas, aged 18 months
at his grandfather's death.
In 1641 the manors of Orrell and Billinge, and messuages, windmill, and lands
there were the subject of a settlement by
Samuel Bispham, esq.; Pal. of Lanc.
Feet of F. bdle. 139, n. 32. Thomas
Bispham died 22 Sept. 1677, aged 40;
Wigan Ch. 746; and another of the
same name followed, for Frances Bispham,
widow of Thomas, and Thomas Bispham
were vouchees in a recovery of the manors
in 1703; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 477, m.
6. Frances died at the end of the same
year; Wigan Ch. loc. cit.
||Thomas Bispham had an only daughter and heir Margaret, who about 1731
married Thomas Owen; Pal. of Lanc.
Plea R. 532, m. 7; Feet of F. bdle.
307, m. 8; Wigan Ch. 746.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdles. 368,
m. 64; 371, m. 137; Plea R. 599,
m. 12; the 'manor or lordship of Orrell,
a fourth part of the manor or lordship or
reputed manor or lordship of Billinge,
with lands, &c., in Orrell, Billinge, Upholland, Rainford, and Wigan.'
Holt Leigh died 11 March 1785, aged
55, and was buried at St. Clement Danes,
London; his widow Mary died 28 Nov.
1794, aged 53; Wigan Ch. 745, 746.
Bispham Hall was about 1850 the property of John Holt; Raines, in Gastrell's
Notitia, ii, 254.
||A pedigree, imperfect, was recorded
in 1665; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 30.
John Billinge was in 1590 reported as
'soundly affected in religion' Lydiate Hall,
246. He was a trustee in 1573, and
Richard Billinge was a freeholder in 1600.
His grandson, another Richard, recorded
the pedigree, being then 52 years of age.
As a 'papist' two-thirds of his estate fell
into the hands of the Parliamentary
authorities, and in 1652 the whole was
sequestered; on inquiry it was found that
his estate in Wigan parish had been
sequestered for recusancy, and that in
Ormskirk parish for recusancy and delinquency. Afterwards he petitioned to be
allowed to compound; Royalist Comp.
Papers, i, 173; Cal. of. Com. for Compounding,
iv, 3102. His son John was aged 17 in
1665, and in 1691 Frances Bispham,
widow, purchased from John Billinge and
Margaret his wife, and Margery Billinge,
widow, the fifth part of the manor of
Billinge, with houses, windmill, dovecote,
and lands in Billinge and Rainford; Pal.
of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 226, m. 44.
This 'fifth part' of the manor is named
in a later fine, Holt Leigh being possessor; ibid. bdle. 368, m. 64.
||This family may be the Winstanleys
of Blackley Hurst, a detached part of the
township of Winstanley.
||In a recovery of the fourth part of
the manor of Billinge in 1729 Hugh
Holme was vouchee; this was before his
marriage with the Bankes heiress; Pal.
of Lanc. Plea R. 528, m. 8. It has
since descended like Winstanley; ibid.
Aug. Assizes, 1803, R. 10.
||Mascy of Rixton D.
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.),
i, 240, 243.
John Wood in 1570 acquired lands in
Billinge, Windle, and Winstanley from
Richard Cowper, and ten years later made
further purchases from Ralph and Richard
Heaton; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle.
32, m. 51; 42, m. 143.
The Orrells of Turton held lands, as
appears by various suits recorded in Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 242.
For a Molyneux family, holding under
Fleetwood, see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec.
Soc.), ii, 128.
||Norris D. (B.M.).
||List in possession of W. Farrer, containing also a catalogue of the charterers.
Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 124, 125,
151. The son of Richard and Elizabeth
Mather is described as a Protestant. In
addition, Francis Estcourt of Birchley
registered an annuity of £33 from a house
in Ashton in Makerfield; ibid. 151.
||The documents referred to are printed in Canon Bridgeman's Wigan Ch.
The dedication of the chapel is unknown. In the earliest record, 1539–40,
the priest in charge is called the vicar of
Billinge; op. cit. 750. Nothing but 'one
little bell' belonged to it in 1552; Ch.
Gds. (Chet. Soc.), 75.
Wigan Ch. 751. It is possible that
the chapel was not used in the time
of Edward VI, there being no 'ornaments'
in 1552, and that James Winstanley had
acquired some title to the building, or
claimed a chief rent. As to his opponents,
it is obvious that they would use the argument most likely to move the queen. In
the will of James Winstanley of Winstanley, made 12 Mar. 1555–6, and proved at
Chester 19 Dec. 1557, he expressed a
desire to be buried 'within the holy
sepulchre in the parish church of Wigan.'
||Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 348; quoting
S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, 4. A similar report was made about 1610; Hist. MSS.
Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 13.
Wigan Ch. 754; Raines MSS. (Chet.
Lib.), xxii, 184.
Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), 62; the salary was
£50. An augmentation of stipend to the
amount of £30 was granted in 1656;
Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and
Ches.), ii, 145.
Wigan Ch. loc. cit.
||Ibid. Bishop Gastrell about this
time found the income of the curate to be
£34 0s. 8d., of which £6 was paid by
the rector, and the remainder was the interest of various benefactions, £15 coming
from Eddleston House, an estate bequeathed by John Eddleston in 1672, and
containing a stone delph set for £2. A
chief rent of £1 was payable to Mr.
Blackburn. One warden was appointed;
Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 253.
Wigan Ch. 755.
||Ibid. 756; Lond. Gaz. 8 Dec. 1882.
Wigan Ch. 756, 757. The first
who was formally licensed to the cure
was Humphrey Whalley, in 1708. Most
of the earlier ones, therefore, except
during the Commonwealth, were probably curates of Wigan who read the service at Billinge on Sundays.
||He was merely a 'reader' in 1609
(Raines MSS. xxii, 298), but contributed
to the subsidy of 1622 as curate; Misc.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 65.
||He was a 'very honest, godly minister, and of good life and conversation, but
kept not the fast day appointed by Act of
Parliament'; Commonw. Ch. Surv. 63.
||There is probably some error in
Canon Bridgeman's list at this point, as
Humphrey Tudor's name does not appear
in Bishop Stratford's visitation list of
1691. In 1689 Nathan Golborne was
'minister' at Billinge, and was 'conformable'; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv,
App. iv, 228. In Stratford's list he is
described as curate of Wigan, ordained in
1686. He is probably the Goulburn of
Canon Bridgeman. He was buried at
Warrington 12 Mar. 1691–2.
||While at Billinge he renounced
Calvinism, became a Universalist, and
left the Established Church. He died in
1858; Axon, Manch. Annals, 275. Later
he returned to the Church, but was not
||In 1717 the families in the chapelry
numbered 178, ten being 'papists' and
fourteen Dissenters (ten Presbyterian and
four Quakers). There were ninety-four
'papists' in 1767. See Gastrell, Notitia,
ii, 253; Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xviii.
||The details in this paragraph are chiefly
from the Liverpool Cath. Annual, 1901.