||The census report of 1901 gives 855.
||This appears to be the Highfield
tumulus described by Dr. Robson in
Trans. Hist. Soc. xii, 189.
Trans. Hist. Soc. iv, 18. The occupier of the house about 1640 was Thomas
Serjeant, then constable of the township.
V.C.H. Lancs. i, 366 n. The manors of
Middleton and Houghton, held in socage,
and Arbury, held by knight's service, continued to be recognized as parts of Newton fee; see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.),
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), i, 77. The four tenants
were Robert de Middleton, Henry son of
Siward, William de Middleton (who is
not stated to be responsible for a judge),
and Richard son of Henry. Under the
first of these John de Middleton held one
oxgang and discharged the service due to
that quarter, i.e. a rent of 5s. and the
fourth part of a judge. There were thus
already five tenants.
||In a suit of 1334 John son of Geoffrey Henne, John son of John son of
Robert de Middleton, Gilbert de Southworth, and Quenilda and Agnes daughters
of Thomas Wrych, were stated to be lords
of the vill; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 20.
This throws some light on the following
Elias son of Robert de Ainsworth
granted to Gilbert de Southworth and his
heirs his lordship of a whole fourth part
of the vill of Middleton, in return for a
mark of silver; Towneley MS. HH, no.
1713. It is curious that Ainsworth is a
hamlet of Middleton, near Manchester;
Robert de Ainsworth may have been the
Robert de Middleton of 1212.
Adam son of Richard de Middleton
granted to Adam son of Richard son
of Quenilda de Middleton land in
Houghtongreves, being his part of two
and a half oxgangs, lying between the land
of Andrew son of Richard and that of
Robert son of John; Rodley Carr is
named among the bounds; the rent was
a pair of gloves; ibid. no. 1829. Hugh
de Haydock and William his son were
among the witnesses.
Robert son of Molle or Maud de Middleton gave to Gilbert de Southworth an
oxgang of land in the vill of Middleton and
Houghton, previously let to Benet de
Hulme and Henry le Waleys, the oxgang
being the twelfth part of the vill. Rents
of a barbed arrow to the grantor and 20d.
—the due proportion—to the lord of
Makerfield were payable; ibid. no. 1822.
The same Robert granted to Peter de
Middleton, chaplain, land in the Stall of
Houghton; ibid. no. 1817. This placename occurs long afterwards in 1436,
when John Houghton granted to Simon
Pierpoint the Stall in Houghton adjoining the Peel; ibid. no. 1801. John
the son of Robert son of Molle granted
land in Blackwell Shaw to Gilbert de
Southworth; one of the boundaries was
Egatishurst Brook; ibid. no.1818. Blackwell Hey is named in a grant by William
son of Richard de Middleton in 1296 to
his chief lord, Gilbert de Southworth;
In 1292 William Post of Houghton
complained that he had been disseised of
an acre from the waste assigned to him
as belonging to an oxgang in Middleton
and Houghton; the defendants, who lost
the case, included Andrew de Middleton
and Ralph the Serjeant of Newton;
Assize R. 408, m. 5. William Post,
described as son of William de Fairdale,
afterwards granted his lands in the vill to
Gilbert de Southworth; Towneley MS.
HH, no. 1941. William son of William
Post in 1310 released to Gilbert son of
Gilbert de Southworth his claim on land
approved by the latter in Cumberhale
Carr; ibid. no. 1928. Richard son of
William Post granted land in Houghton
to his brother Robert in 1345; ibid. no.
1630. Emmota daughter of William
Post in 1370 granted to Gilbert son of
John de Houghton lands which descended
to her on the death of Gilbert son of
Richard Post; ibid. no. 1585.
John son of John de Bultham granted
to John son of William de Middleton, his
uncle and chief lord, half an oxgang in
Middleton, which William son of Richard
de Middleton granted to Alice his daughter; ibid. no. 1828. The witnesses include
John son of Richard de Middleton, William
son of Richard de Middleton, Andrew de
Middleton, and Peter, vicar of Budworth.
Richard son of Henry de Middleton
granted to Richard son of Austin de Middleton half an oxgang in the vill which his
mother Margery had held in dower, to be
held as the twenty-fourth part of Middleton, by the service of a pair of gloves or
½d.; ibid. no. 1841. He reserved two
messuages and the croft in Houghton.
In 1307 William Gillibrand and Margery his wife recovered against Gilbert de
Southworth 12 acres of land and ½ an
acre of meadow; and as this was owing to
the default of Andrew de Middleton,
when called to warrant, Roger the son of
Andrew granted to Gilbert de Southworth
half an oxgang in Middleton and Houghton as compensation; Hultley Hurst in
Middleton is named in the charter; ibid.
Roger de Ashton and Alice his wife in
1318 claimed an eighth part of the manor
of Middleton, less an oxgang, from Andrew
de Middleton, who granted it to them,
receiving 20 marks; Final Conc. (Rec.
Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 31.
In the same year Thomas son of
Richard son of Hulcock (or Hugh) de
Houghton leased to Gilbert de Southworth half an oxgang in the vill of Middleton and Houghton, together with six
butts of land between Leveng Bridge and
Houghton Riddings; Towneley MS. HH,
no. 1933, 1788. Six years later he sold it
outright; ibid. no. 1790.
A suit of July 1354 shows the subdivisions. It concerned the partition of 4½
acres approved; John son of William de
Middleton had received 1 acre; John son
of John de Middleton, 1 acre; William
son of John de Middleton, 1½ acres;
Richard son of John de Middleton, ½ acre;
and Richard Post of Middleton, ½ acre.
Richard de Fearnhead complained that he
had been deprived of his common of pasture; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 3, m.
4d. William son of Robert Ormsson
was one of the defendants. An Orm de
Middleton occurs in the 12th century;
Inq. and Extents, i, 73. The name seems
to have continued, as Robert son of Orm
made a grant of land in Houghton in
1309, attested by Simon son of Orm;
Towneley MS. HH, no. 1798.
||Some of the grants have been recited
in the previous note. William de Winwick, son of Robert formerly rector of
Winwick, granted to Gilbert de Southworth, his chief lord, all his land in Middleton and Houghton; ibid. no. 1699.
Geoffrey son of Adam Henne of Houghton granted to Gilbert de Southworth
Henne Croft in Middleton in 1316; ibid.
||Robert the Tailor of Winwick and
John his son acquired lands in Middleton
and Houghton in 1315 and 1322; ibid. no.
1783, 1794. In August 1329 John son of
Robert granted to Matthew de Southworth
his capital messuage and other houses
and lands, in all a twenty-fourth part of
the vills of Middleton and Houghton,
with remainders, in default of heirs, to a
number of Matthew's children, apparently
illegitimate; ibid. no. 1701, 1709; see
also no. 1659, 1686. Practically the same
remainders are recorded in 1346; Final
Conc. ii, 122. In this the estate is called
an oxgang of land, &c.
By an inquiry made in 1330 it was
found that the hamlet of Houghton was
held by Gilbert de Southworth, Matthew
de Southworth, and other co-parceners;
Towneley MS. HH, no. 1814. In 1332
Matthew was described as 'senior' in a
grant of lands in Middleton, Houghton,
and Arbury to Robert de Hornby, his
trustee; no. 1658.
A Matthew de Southworth was in 1343
regarded as 'a common maintainer and
receiver of evil doers': he acquired a
commission in the name of certain good
men of Warrington, by virtue of which he
caused 10 marks to be levied, which he
kept for his own use. He pleaded guilty
and was punished; Assize R. 430, m. 22.
Robert son of Matthew de Southworth
appears to have succeeded to his father's
estate in Middleton; he is named last
of his brothers in the fine of 1346.
In 1369 he acquired from Richard son of
John de Middleton land in Middleton
called Impland; Towneley MS. HH, no.
1842; and at the same time made an
exchange with Gilbert del Moss; no.
Matthew son of Robert de Southworth
and Matthew son of Gilbert de Southworth are named in remainders in a deed
of 1392; ibid. no. 1548. Three years later
a Matthew de Southworth had a grant of
Crossends in Middleton from Richard son
of John de Soudall senior; no. 1626.
Matthew de Southworth, aged 30, gave
evidence in the Scrope-Grosvenor trial;
In 1430 settlements were made by
John de Southworth and Ellen his wife;
he held the manor of Houghton Peel for
life, the remainders being to Thomas
Southworth his brother, to William son
of Gilbert de Southworth the younger,
Richard, Nicholas, Humphrey, Cecily, and
Joan, brothers and sisters of William; to
Henry son of Robert de Southworth, to
John de Clegge, son of Gilbert son of
Godith daughter of Matthew de Southworth, and to Henry and Elizabeth de
Clegge, other children of Gilbert; and
then to the right heirs of Matthew de
Southworth; Towneley MS. HH, no. 1687,
1683. 'Peel Croft' is named in a 13thcentury grant by William son of Robert
de Winwick to Gilbert son of Gilbert de
Southworth; no. 1653. In 1437 Ellen
widow of John de Southworth leased the
manor of Peel to James de Langton,
rector of Wigan, at a rent of 5 marks;
in addition 2s. 6d. was to be paid to the
chieflord, so that this estate was an eighth
part of the whole vill; no. 1714.
In 1449 Richard Southworth, lord of
Southworth, was in possession, but
William Southworth, probably the William
named already in the remainders, made
some claim to it, and had goods therein;
the dispute was referred to Sir Thomas
Stanley, who decided in favour of Richard,
he having a lease for the above-named
Ellen's life; after her death William was to
have peaceable possession; ibid. no. 1715.
The dispute came to blows; within a
year Sir Thomas Stanley was called upon
to award the damages due to Ellen widow
of William Southworth for the death of
her husband, and he ordered Richard
Southworth to pay her £20, she agreeing
not to prosecute; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 24,
||About 1520 Peel was sold to Thomas
Southworth of Southworth by Margaret
widow of James Carr and Thomas her
son; Towneley MS. HH, no. 1591, 2011,
2021. Disputes as to the title to Houghton Peel occurred in 1534 between Sir
Thomas Southworth and the daughters
of James Carr son of Margaret Carr;
Ducatus Lanc. ii, 59.
Lynnall in Middleton was in 1428–9
regranted by the feoffee to Henry de Southworth and his wife Elizabeth daughter of
John de Worsley senior; HH, no. 1702.
In 1452 Henry de Southworth of Middleton acquired lands in Culcheth; no. 1640.
Thomas son of Henry Southworth of
1984. Humphrey son
and heir of Thomas Southworth in
1491 received from the feoffees certain lands in Warrington and Winwick,
the remainder being to Nicholas son
of Ralph Langton; no. 1984 (2). The
remainder came into operation, for in
1515 Humphrey son and heir of Nicholas
Langton sold lands in Middleton, &c., to
Sir John Southworth; no. 1578. In May
1521 Thomas Southworth son and heir of
Sir John Southworth, deceased, granted to
feoffees his capital messuage called Middleton Hall, with the Ryecroft, Lynnall,
Cumbrall, Branderth, &c., lately of Henry
Southworth, deceased; no. 1515.
Robert Southworth of Middleton was
witness to a deed of 1488; ibid. no. 2037.
He made his will in August 1500, desiring
to be buried in Winwick; Henry Southworth his son and Isabel his daughter are
named; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 19, no. 35.
In 1502 a free rent of 3s. 2d. was payable
to the lord of Newton by Robert Southworth; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii,
no. 101. The feoffees of Henry Southworth the son in 1518 sold his lands to
Thomas son and heir of Sir John Southworth; Towneley MS. HH, no. 1539;
see also no. 1682, 1922, 1946. Richard
Southworth son and heir of Henry, described as 'late of the parish of Shenstone in Staffordshire,' seems to have
concurred in the sale; Dods. MSS. liii,
fol. 18, no. 16.
||This place gave a surname to one or
more families dwelling there.
About the middle of the 13th century
Adam son of Richard de Houghton—possibly the Richard son of Henry of 1212—
granted to Gilbert de Southworth a messuage in Middleton, with land in the
Peasecroft, acquittance of pannage in the
woods of Middleton and Houghton, and
all his rights within these bounds: Beginning at the head towards the south of
the Causey of Houghton Lache, following
Fulshaw between hard and soft to Houghton Brook, along this brook to Egedeshurst Brook, up this brook to the bounds
of Southworth, along them westward to
Arbury Mere, and along this mere south
to the starting point. This description
shows that Middleton and Houghton were
one whole, but that Arbury had clearly defined limits; Towneley MS. HH, no. 1779.
The bounds of Houghton are similarly
given in another grant: Houghton Lache,
and by the boundaries of Croft, Woolston,
Warrington, and Arbury to the start; no.
1824. Woolston must then have included
Fearnhead. The boundary between Middleton (not Houghton) and Warrington is
Geoffrey son of Adam de Houghton,
living in 1324, made a grant to Hugh son
of Giles de Penketh; ibid. no. 1786,
1797. John son of Geoffrey de Houghton
was in 1341 refeoffed of his capital messuage, &c. in Middleton and Houghton,
with remainders to his son Richard and
Alice his wife; no. 2156c. This Richard
was living in 1386; no. 1804, 1708. The
next to occur are Roger 'Jackson' de
Houghton in 1382 and 1392 (no. 1506,
1809, 1548); and his son John in 1428;
no. 1911. In 1432 Richard Johnson de
Houghton granted lands in Houghton and
Middleton to his son John, with remainders to other children—Robert, Margaret,
and Joan; no. 1505, 1808. A settlement
of lands in Middleton and Houghton was
in 1488 made by John Houghton 'of
Middleton,' the remainder being to his
son and heir Robert; no. 1810, 2037.
Seth Houghton died 10 March 1621
holding lands in Middleton, Southworth,
and Arbury, his son and heir Henry being
thirty years of age; Towneley MS. C. 8,
13 (Chet. Lib.), 507. A later Seth
Houghton died in September 1635, leaving a son Richard, aged three years; ibid.
||Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 67, m.
33; Thomas Southworth, Rosamund his.
wife, and John his son and heir apparent
joined in the sale. After the death of
James Bankes in 1617 it was found that
the manor of Houghton and the lands in
Houghton, Arbury, Middleton, and Croft
were held of Richard Fleetwood, lord of
Newton, in socage by 5s. rent, i.e. the old
service for a fourth part of the manor of
Middleton; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.
Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 99.
||The manor of Houghton was the
subject of a settlement in 1657 by
William Bankes, Sarah his wife, and
William his son; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F.
bdle. 160, m. 143. It is named in recoveries, &c., of the Bankes of Winstanley manors down to 1778; Pal. of Lanc.
Plea R. 628, m. 7.
||Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 630.
||Ibid. (ed. Croston), iv, 368; this
may refer not to the manor, but only
||Towneley MS. HH, no. 2144,
1582; his daughter Elizabeth married
Richard son and heir of Henry Bellerby of
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 73; it is
mentioned again in 1242 as part of the
Lowton fee; ibid. 148.
Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc.), ii,
674; one of these oxgangs Thurstan had
in hand, the other was held by William
In 1246 the abbot of Cockersand granted
his land in Arbury to John de Haydock
and Agnes his wife, in exchange for land in
Hutton; Final Conc. i, 105.
||The Southworth deeds do not explain
how the family acquired it. In spite of the
difference of tenure it seems to have become merged in Middleton and Houghton.
By a deed of the first half of the 13th
century, William de Rependun granted to
Robert rector of Winwick one oxgang in
Arbury (held by Henry Lawrence) for
12s. given by Robert de Winwick; a rent
of a pair of white gloves or ½d. was payable;
Towneley MS. GG, no. 1167.
Gilbert de Southworth in 1341 granted
to his brother Thomas all the portion
which had fallen to him by reason of his
coparcenary in Arbury; Dods. MSS. liii,
fol. 18, no. 13. In 1362 it was found
that Robert de Langton had died seised of
the vill of Arbury, held of him by Thomas
Southworth by knight's service; Inq. p.m.
36 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 116.
Thomas Southworth of Middleton and
Margery Watson his mother in 1460 granted
to John Serjeant of Newton land in Arbury
belonging to Margery and Joan Doykles;
Towneley MS. HH, no. 1984. Four
years afterwards Magota Abram, widow of
John Abram of Woolston, and co-heir of
Katherine wife of William Watson, her
mother, granted her part of an oxgang in
Arbury to John Serjeant; Add. MS. 32109,
fol. 87. Magota Abram is clearly the
same as Margery Watson.
In 1509 Sir John Southworth made a
grant of lands in Arbury, &c., to Henry
Southworth of Middleton, for life; Towneley MS. HH, no. 1527. Thomas Southworth made a similar grant in 1518; Dods.
MSS. liii, fol. 18.
Stockley in Arbury was in the Southworths' lands.
Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 123.