THURSBY, in Cumberland ward, on the road from Carlisle to Wigton,
lies six miles from the former, and five from the latter. The parish is
divided into the townships of Parton, High-Thursby, Low-Thursby, and
Whinow, or Crofton-Quarter, containing collectively, in 1811, 94 houses,
and 340 inhabitants. The manor of Thursby was given by Alan, second
Lord of Allerdale, to Herbert de Bruce, who took the name of Thursby;
from his family it passed by an heir female to a younger branch of the Boyvills, who held it in the reign of Edward I. Soon after it was in the Ogles,
who continued to possess it in the reign of Edward IV. afterwards it came
to the Dacres, and having been united to the barony of Burgh, is now the
property of the Earl of Lonsdale.
The manor of Crofton belonged in King John's reign to Gilbert de Dundraw, one of whose coheiresses brought it to Stephen de Crofton. The
heiress of Crofton brought the manors of Crofton and Whinow, about the
year 1390, to the Briscoes, of Briscoe, near Carlisle. Sir John Briscoe,
the immediate descendant of this ancient family, was created a baronet in
1782. Crofton is now the property and seat of his son Sir Wastell, who
succeeded to the title and estate in 1805. There is a deer park at this
The manor of Parton belonged anciently to a family, who took their name
from the place of their residence; their heiress brought it to the Mansels;
afterwards it passed successively to the families of Mulcaster, Grinsdale,
Roose, Carliel, and Denton (fn. 1) . It was purchased of the latter in 1686, by
Sir John Lowther, Bart. ancestor of the Earl of Lonsdale, who is the present
In the Briscoe chapel of Thursby church are monuments of the Briscoe
family, and of a daughter, married to Holme of Holme-hill. A tombstone
in the church-yard records a remarkable length of widowhood: William
Read, of Micklethwaite, died in 1715, aged 33, his widow in 1761, aged 105.
The church of Thursby, which is in the deanery of Carlisle, was granted
before 1469, by Sir Robert Ogle, to the priory of Carlisle; to which
monastery the great tithes were appropriated. The dean and chapter are
now appropriators of the great tithes and patrons of the vicarage. There
is a school at Thursby, which has been endowed with the sum of 384l.
under the will of Mr. Thomas Thomlinson, who died in North-Carolina
in 1802; he gave also 160l. to the poor of Thursby.
TORPENHOW, in the ward of Allerdale below Derwent, lies about ten
miles from Cockermouth, and about seven from Wigton, which is the
post-office town. The parish is divided into the townships of Bowaldeth
and Snittlegarth, Blennerhasset and Kirkland, Bothel and Threapland,
and Torpenhow with Whiterigg, containing collectively, in 1811, 192
houses, and 724 inhabitants. The manor of Torpenhow was given by Alan,
son of Waldieve, to his brother-in-law Ughtred. Philip de Valoniis held
it in the reign of Henry II. in right of his wife; we afterwards find it
successively in the families of Estoteville, Ulfly, Mulcastre, Tilliol, Moresby,
and Pickering (fn. 2) . It was purchased of the heiress of the latter by Thomas
Salkeld and John Appleby, about the middle of the sixteenth century. This
estate has passed with Whitehall, in Allhallows, and is now the property of
William John Charlton, Esq. The paramount manor of Whiterigg, was
in 1804 or 1805, adjudged to belong to Mr. Charlton, who, at the time of
the inclosure, had a composition for his manerial rights. A subordinate
manor of the same name, which passed with one of the coheiresses of Tilliol
to Colvill, and was afterwards in the Skeltons of Armathwaite, is said to
have been purchased of the latter by Sir Gilfred Lawson, in 1712 (fn. 3) , and
has since passed with the Isel estate.
The manor of Bewaldeth, or Bowaldeth, was given by Waldieve, Lord
of Allerdale, to Gilmin. Having again reverted to the Lord Paramount,
it was granted by Alice de Romely to John de Utterfield; after this the
Mulcasters had it for several descents: in or about the year 1400, Robert
de Mulcastre conveyed it to Robert de Highmore, whose descendant, Mr.
Benson Highmore, sold it to James Spedding, Esq. grandfather of John
Spedding, Esq. now of Mirehouse, of whom it was purchased by Sir
Frederick Fletcher Vane, Bart. the present proprietor. This manor was
holden of the honor of Cockermouth, by the service of maintaining one
of the King's servants once, for three weeks. (fn. 4)
The manor of Blennerhasset was given by Alan, Lord of Allerdale, to
his brother-in-law Ranulph de Lindsey, from whom it passed by inheritance
through the families of Mulcaster, Tilliol, Moresby, and Pickering. The
heiress of the latter sold it in the reign of Henry VIII. to the Salkelds.
It has since passed with Whitehall, and is now the property of William
John Charlton, Esq.: he is proprietor also of the manor of Kirkland, which
belonged to the priory of Rossdale, and after the reformation was granted
to the Salkelds of Whitehall.
The manor of Bothill, otherwise Boald, was given by Waldieve, Lord of
Allerdale, to Gamel, son of Brun. The Bruns were Lords of Bothill till
the reign of Edward III. when the coheiresses married Harrington, Culwen,
and Bowet. The descendants of Harrington sold their share, with the parks
and demesne, to Thomas Lord Dacre, who conveyed it in exchange to the
Dentons. In 1670 Thomas Denton, Esq. sold the park, &c. to Sir Francis
Salkeld, and the manor to Captain Anthony Wilkes. Sir Henry Curwen,
sold the third part of Bothill, which belonged to his family, to the Barwises
of Ilekirk, whose heiress brought it to the Dentons, and the Dentons sold it to
the Salkelds. Bowet's share is said to have been conveyed by Sir Nicholas
Bowet to William Ellis, whose grandson sold it piecemeal to the tenants,
but in 1807 William John Carlton, Esq. representative of the Salkelds,
claimed to be sole lord of this manor, and his claim was allowed by the
commissioners. Mr. Charlton has since sold the demesne lands, called
Bothill Parks, to John Raney, Esq. of Whitehaven. Bothill-hall, and certain
lands adjoining, are the property of Mr. Gibson, by devise of the late
Thomas Storey, Esq. of Mirehouse.
The manor of Threapland was given by Alan, Lord of Allerdale, to his
steward Ketel, from whose descendants it passed to the family of Herela,
Michael de Hercla, in the reign of Edward II. conveyed it to William
de Mulcastre, from whom it passed by fine to Sir Henry Multon, and
Margaret, his wife (fn. 5) ; their daughter and heir brought it to a younger
branch of the Skeltons. It passed by sale from the Skeltons to the Salkelds,
and from the latter to the Greggs of Mirehouse; a coheiress of Gregg
married the Rev. John Story, who was instituted to the vicarage of Dalston
in 1731, and Mr. Roger Williamson. The manor of Threapland is now the
property of Roger Williamson, Esq.
The church of Torpenhow was given by Sibella de Valoniis and Eustachius D'Estoteville, to the prior and convent of Rossdale, in Yorkshire,
to whom it was appropriated; but by an award made in the year 1290, by
Bishop Irton, the glebe, &c. of Torpenhow, and the great tithes of Torpenhow, Threapland, Aldersceugh, Applewray, Snittlegarth, Bellasis, and
Bowaldeth, were assigned to the vicar, for the maintenance of three priests
and one sub-deacon: some of these tithes were granted by Queen Elizabeth
in 1562, to Cicely Pickrell, and the remainder, in 1574, to John Sonky and
Percival Gunson. These tithes belonged to the vicar till the late inclosure
act, under which lands were given in lieu of them. The tithes of Bothill
and Blennerhasset, which were reserved to the priory of Rossdale, were
granted to the Salkelds, and were held till lately with the Whitehall
estate. Under the inclosure act an allotment was given in lieu of the
tithes of Bothill. Mr. Charlton has sold the great tithes of Blennerhasset
to Mr. Hodgson, of that place; the small tithes belong to the vicar of
Torpenhow. The great tithes of the manor of Kirkland belong to the land
owners. In 1807 an act of parliament passed for inclosing lands in the manors
of Torpenhow and Bothill; in 1811 an act for inclosing those in the township of Threapland (Threapland-town Green excepted); and in 1814 an
act for inclosing lands in the manor of Bowaldeth. The Bishop of Carlisle
is patron of the vicarage, which is in the deanery of Allerdale.
There is an endowed school at Bothill, which has had a small endowment
in land from time immemorial. One of the Salkeld family gave a rentcharge of 2l. 10s. Robert Smithson, of Bothill, about the year 1701, gave
an acre of land; it was made a free school in 1686, when the amount of
a subscription (about 55l.) was laid out in land. The present income of
this school is 49l. 10s. per annum. The nomination of the master is in
the vicar and a select vestry of sixteen.
ULDALE, in the ward of Allerdale below Derwent, lies one mile from the
small market town of Ireby, nine miles from Wigton, ten from Cockermouth,
eleven from Keswick, and eighteen from Carlisle. The manor of Uldale
was given by Waldieve, Lord of Allerdale, to Adam, son of Lyolf, ancestor
to the Bonekills, whose heiress married John Stewart kinsman of the King
of Scots, and afterwards Sir David Brigham. On the attainder of Alexander
Senescall, this manor was granted to Anthony Lord Lucy in 1337 (fn. 6) . From
this time it continued attached to the barony of Allerdale, till Henry Earl
of Northumberland gave it to King Henry VIII. That monarch in 1543
granted it to Thomas Dalston, Esq. ancestor of the late Sir William Dalston,
Knight, of Acron-bank, in Westmorland; after whose death it was sold
to John Gaff, Esq. and by his son to the Earl of Egremont, the present
Orthwaite-hall was successively in the families of Simpson, Richmond
and Browne. It is now the property of William Browne, Esq. of Tallantire,
and in the tenure of Mr. — Cape.
The advowson of the rectory, which is in the deanery of Allerdale, is
attached to the manor.
There is a large sheep fair at Uldale on the 29th of August, which was
first established in 1791.
The school at Uldale was founded in 1726, when Matthew Caldbeck
gave 100l. on condition that the inhabitants would raise the same sum,
which was accordingly done, and the whole was laid out in land. Mr. Thomas
Thomlinson, who died in 1802, in North-Carolina, gave by will (1798)
the sum of 354l. to this school. Its income is now 31l. 17s. 6d. per
Waberthwaite, Waybergthwaite, or Wyberthwaite
WABERTHWAITE, WAYBERGTHWAITE, or WYBERTHWAITE, in the ward of
Allerdale above Derwent, lies two miles from Ravenglass, which is the
post-office town. The manor belonged to an ancient family, who took
their name from this the place of their residence; their heiress brought
it to an ancestor of Lord Muncaster, who is the present proprietor, and
is patron of the rectory, which has been augmented by Queen Anne's
WALTON, in Eskdale ward, lies three miles from Brampton, and about
ten from Carlisle. The parish is divided into the townships of High and
Low-Walton, containing together, in 1811, 74 houses, and 417 inhabitants.
The manor was given by Robert de Vaux to the priory of Lanercost, and
after the dissolution of that house to Sir Thomas Dacre. It passed with
the priory estate, till sold in 1789, by William Dacre, Esq. to the late
John Johnson, Esq. father of William Johnson, Esq. of Walton house (fn. 7) ,
the present proprietor. The church of Walton, which is in the deanery of
Carlisle, was appropriated to the priory of Lanercost. Mrs. Dacre, of
Carlisle, is the present impropriator and patron of the perpetual curacy,
which was augmented with Queen Anne's bounty in 1767.
WARWICK, in the wards of Cumberland and Eskdale, lies four miles from
Carlisle. It comprises the townships of Aglionby and Warwick, in Cumberland ward; and Little-Corby, in Eskdale ward, containing altogether,
in 1811, 88 houses, and 401 inhabitants.
The manor of Warwick was given by Hubert de Vaux and Robert his
son, to Odard, first Lord of Corkby, whose posterity assumed the name
of Warwick. It continued in this family for many generations: Francis
Warwick, Esq. the last heir male, died in 1772 without issue; he bequeathed
this manor, after the death of his sisters, to Ralph Maddison, Esq. grandson
of his father's sister; after him his brother John possessed it, but both
died without issue, when it devolved to the next heir of the testator, Robert
Bonner, Esq. son of Sarah Maddison, (sister of Ralph and John abovementioned,) by Thomas Bonner, Esq. This Robert took the name of
Warwick in 1792, and is the present proprietor. He resides at Warwick-hall.
The manor of Aglionby was the ancient inheritance of the family of that
name, who are said to have been settled there from the time of the Conquest. The last heir male of this family, Christopher Aglionby, Esq. died
in 1785: this manor is now the property of Mrs. Bamber, one of his sisters
The antiquity of the parish church has been already spoken of. (fn. 8)
The church of Warwick, which is in the deanery of Carlisle, was appropriated to the abbey of St. Mary at York. The dean and chapter are now
the appropriators and patrons of the perpetual curacy.
WESTWARD, in the ward of Allerdale below Derwent, lies three quarters
of a mile from Wigton. It is divided into the townships of Brocklebank
and Stoneraise, and Roseley or Rosley, with Woodside, containing together, in
1811, 189 houses and 1,002 inhabitants. Westward was conveyed by Alan,
second lord of Allerdale, to King Henry II. and was attached to the forest of
Inglewood. The forest of Westward was granted by King Edward III. to
Thomas de Lucy and Agnes his wife. This estate was given, with others,
to Henry VIII. by the Earl of Northumberland. Queen Mary granted it
to Thomas Percy, but it reverted to the Crown, during the reign of Elizabeth,
by his attainder. It appears, nevertheless, to have been again restored; the
Earl of Egremont being now by inheritance proprietor of the manor, forest,
and lordship of Westward.
Ilekirk, in this parish, had its name from the hermitage of Saint Hilda,
which having before belonged to Roger the hermit, was given by King John
to the abbey of Holme-Cultram. King Henry VIII. in 1543, granted the
hermitage of Hildkirke or Ilekirk, with all the lands thereto belonging, to
Thomas Dalston, Esq. who the next year conveyed it to Anthony Barwis,
Gent. The last of this family, about the latter end of the seventeenth century, left two daughters coheiresses, married to Fetherstonhaugh and
Emerson. Ilekirk is now the property of Raisbeck Lucock Bragg, Esq.,
whose family have possessed it many years. It is now occupied as a farm.
In the division of Brocklebank is Clea-hall, the seat of Sir Henry Fletcher,
Bart. It had formerly belonged to a younger branch of the Musgraves of
Crookdake, whose heiress married Fletcher of Dearham. In Woodside is a
manor, the joint property of Wilfred Lawson (as heir of the late Sir Wilfred
Lawson, Bart.) and Sir Wastell Briscoe, Bart.
At Rosley is a great fair for horses, cattle, sheep, cloth, &c. held on Monday
in Whitsun-week and every Monday fortnight from that time till the festival of
All-Saints (fn. 9) . Mr. T. Denton, writing in 1688, says, that Rosley fair was then
the best in all the North for Irish and Scotch horses, cattle, and sheep. It is
computed that 2,000 head of cattle and 500 horses are now exhibited for
sale at this fair. The fair held once a fortnight was established before
In the division of Stoneraise are the ruins of Old-Carlisle. (fn. 10)
In the parish church of Westward, supposed to have taken its origin from
the hermitage of St. Hilda, are monuments of the Barwis family, particularly that of Richard Barwis, Esq. (commonly called the Great Barwis,
from his gigantic stature), who died in 1648. In the church-yard are
several memorials of the Fletcher family, particularly Philip Fletcher, Esq.
who had been in all the considerable actions under the great and victorious
Duke of Marlborough: he died in 1744, aged 93. An act of parliament
passed in 1811 for inclosing the parish of Westward, by which lands were
given to the dean and chapter of Carlisle, as appropriators, or their lessees,
and to the perpetual curate, for a portion of tithes. The Musgraves of
Edenhall are lessees of the rectory under the dean and chapter, who are
patrons of the curacy.
There are two schools, in this parish, called Cragg's School and ChurchSchool, endowed by Mr. Jefferson: the revenue is now 4l. per annum. Half
an acre of land adjoining was allotted to each school by the act of 1811.
WETHERAL, in the wards of Cumberland and Eskdale, lies four miles and
three quarters from Carlisle. It comprises the townships of Wetheral,
Cumwhinton, and Scotby, in Cumberland ward, and Great-Corby and
Warwick-Bridge (fn. 11) in Eskdale ward; containing collectively, in 1811, 333
houses and 1601 inhabitants. Ranulph de Meschines, in the year 1088,
founded at Wetheral a priory of Benedictine monks, as a cell to the abbey
of St. Mary at York. This priory was surrendered in the year 1539, when
its revenues were valued at 117l. 11s. 10¾d. clear yearly income. In the
year 1541, King Henry VIII. granted the site of the priory and the manor
of Wetheral, with several other manors and lands, to the dean and chapter
of Carlisle, and by a subsequent grant he gave them the rectory and advowson. Not far from the site of the monastery, are three cells, communicating with each other by means of a gallery in front; cut out of a
rock at the height of above forty feet from the summer level of the river
Eden (fn. 12) . The remains of the priory, except a gate-house, which is still
standing, were pulled down in the last century by the dean and chapter,
and the materials used to rebuild a prebendal house.
The manor of Corby, on the east side of the Eden, was granted by King
Henry II. to Hubert de Vaux, and given by him to Odard, whose posterity
assumed the name of De Corkby or Corby. In the reign of Edward I. it
was in the family of Richmond, who conveyed it to Andrew de Hercla,
Earl of Carlisle. After his attainder it was granted (in 1335) to Richard
Salkeld (fn. 13) : his descendant of the same name, who died in the reign of
Henry VII. left two daughters coheiresses, married to Salkeld of Whitehall
and Blenkinsop. The immediate descendants of these families sold their
moieties of Corby to Lord William Howard; Blenkinsop in 1606, Salkeld
in 1624. Lord William gave Corby to his second son Sir Francis, the immediate ancestor of Henry Howard, Esq. the present possessor. There is
a full length portrait at Corby Castle of Lord William Howard. The
pleasure grounds on the banks of the Eden are much enriched with wood,
and present a great variety of beautiful scenery.
The manor of Scotby was one of those granted to the King of Scots.
After the resumption of the grant it continued in the Crown, and was
annexed to the honour of Penrith, granted in the reign of King William
to the Earl of Portland, and now belonging to the Duke of Devonshire.
The manors of Cumwhinton or Combwhinton, and Cotehill belonged, soon
after the Conquest, to Hildred de Carliell, in whose posterity they continued
many generations: having been divided between two brothers of this family,
they have ever since been in moieties, one of which has long been attached to
the Armathwaite-Castle, the other to the Aglionby estate. The former is now
the property of Robert Sanderson Milbourn, Esq.; the other, of the Rev.
S. Bateman of Newbiggin-hall, in right of his wife, one of the sisters and
coheiresses of the late Christopher Aglionby, Esq.
In Wetheral church is the monument of Sir Richard Salkeld, who died
in the reign of Henry VII. and his lady. In the Howard chapel, which
was rebuilt by Henry Howard, Esq. in 1791, is the monument of Francis
Howard, Esq. who died in 1702, and that of the Honourable Maria,
daughter of the late Lord Archer, and wife of Henry Howard, Esq. who
died in 1789. The latter is by Nollekens.
The dean and chapter are appropriators of the tithes, which formerly
belonged to the priory of Wetheral, and patrons of the perpetual curacy.
The benefice is consolidated with that of Warwick. The present lessee of
the tithes under the dean and chapter is Peregrine Towneley, Esq. The
commons in this parish have been inclosed under the act of 1803, for
inclosing the forest of Inglewood.
There is a Quakers' meeting at Scotby, and a Roman catholic chapel
(endowed partly by the Warwick family) at Warwick-bridge.
At Great-Corby is a school endowed with land, now let at 21l. per
annum. The land was allotted for this purpose when Corby common was
inclosed: in consequence of an advantageous exchange made to accommodate Mr. Howard, the charity was benefited 7l. per annum. There is also
a house and garden belonging to the school.
The school at Scotby is endowed with land allotted by the inhabitants at
different periods, and now let at 14l. 5s. per annum. Thomas Graham,
Esq. who died in 1790, gave the sum of 60l. for the education of poor
children of Wetheral quarter.
There is a considerable cotton-mill at Warwick-bridge.
WHICHAM, in the ward of Allerdale above Derwent, lies about five miles
from Bootle, and about twenty-seven from Whitehaven.
The manor of Whichamshall or Whichall belonged at an early period to
the family of Bethom; it was afterwards divided into severalties. Sir James
Lowther purchased this estate, a considerable portion of which had belonged
to Mr. Henry Fearon: it is now the property of the Earl of Lonsdale. The
manor of Whicham and Silcroft now Mr. John Muncaster's, has belonged for
a considerable time to his ancestors the Mulcasters or Muncasters of Cockermouth. The advowson of the rectory, which belonged formerly to the abbey
of St. Mary at York, is now vested in Lord Lonsdale, by purchase from the
late Lord Muncaster. This parish is in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Richmond, and the deanery of Copeland. There is a free school
at this place, formerly called "the Gramer Schole of Whicham and Milham,"
it being free for both parishes. It has an ancient endowment of 16l. per
annum, payable out of the exchequer, as recognised by a warrant of Queen
Elizabeth, dated October 13, 1581.
WHITBECK, in the ward of Allerdale above Derwent, lies about three miles
from Bootle, and about twenty-five from Whitehaven.
The manor was given by Sir William Morthing to the priory of Conishead,
to which monastery the church also was given by Gamel de Pennington.
The manor, rectory, and advowson, were granted in 1687 to Mr. Lawrence
Parke, in whose descendants they continued till the year 1807, when they
were sold by Charles Parke, Esq. to the Earl of Lonsdale, who is the present
proprietor. The Parkes resided at an old mansion at Whitbeck, now occupied as a farm-house. Lord Lonsdale is proprietor of half the tithes and
patron of the perpetual curacy, which is in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Richmond, and deanery of Copeland. The benefice was augmented in 1747 with 200l. by the governors of Queen Anne's bounty, and
250l. given by the patron and impropriator, being the produce of the sale
of a portion of tithes; a further sum of 200l. was given by the governors
about the year 1760: with these benefactions an estate was bought near
Dalton, in Furness. In 1785 the benefice received a further augmentation
of 200l. in addition to 200l. from Queen Anne's bounty, with which were
purchased a house and lands in Whitbeck, now the minister's residence.
Mr. Henry Parke, of Kendall, mercer, gave the sum of 400l. for the
maintenance of six poor persons in the almshouse at Whitbeck; a rentcharge of 24l. per annum was purchased with this benefaction.
The manor of Scoggerbar, which has been always held with Bootle, is
in this parish. Munkforce, in this parish, some time belonging to the
Gibsons, passed from them to the Lewthwaites, and is now the property
of Miss Lewthwaite. Barfield is the property and residence of Robert
WIGTON, a considerable market-town in Cumberland ward, is situated
10¾ miles from Carlisle, and 305½ from London. The parish is divided into
the townships of Oulton, Waverton High and Low, Wigton, and Woodside.
Quarter; containing altogether, in 1811, 862 houses and 4,051 inhabitants.
This town is said to have been burned by the Scots when they plundered
the abbey of Holme-Cultram, in 1322 (fn. 14) . The van of the Duke of Hamilton's
army was quartered in and about Wigton in 1648. (fn. 15)
The barony of Wigton was given by Waldieve lord of Allerdale to Odard,
whose posterity assumed the name of De Wigton. This family became
extinct in the reign of Edward III. when the heiress married Gernon.
Soon after her death, Thomas Lucy, lord of Allerdale, became possessed of
the barony of Wigton, which passed with that of Allerdale to the Earl of
Egremont, the present proprietor.
The manor of Oulton, which belonged for many descents to the Dalstons,
was sold, after the extinction of that family, to — Watson, and is now the
property of William Taylor, Esq. of Greenwich, in Kent. Lesson or Lassonhall, originally called Lassell's-hall, from one of its remote proprietors, is
described as having been formerly an independent manor, in the successive
possession of the Waverton, Multon, and Mulcaster or Pennington families.
It was purchased of the latter by the Dalstons: having from that time been
esteemed parcel of the manor of Oulton, which was enfranchised by Sir
George Dalston, Bart. in 1747.
The market at Wigton is by prescription, and appears to have been
always held as now on Tuesday. John de Wigton proved his right to it in
the reign of Edward I. (fn. 16) and to a fair for three days at Lady-day. The
market is a very considerable one for corn (fn. 17) , butchers' meat, and other provisions. On St. Thomas's Day there is a very large market for butchers'
meat, apples, and honey. On Martinmas Tuesday a large quantity of beef
is brought to the market, and bought by the country-people, to be salted for
winter consumption. The old charter fair is now held on the 5th of April,
and is a great mart for black cattle, stallions (fn. 18) , Yorkshire cloth, hardware,
&c. There is a large and noted horse-fair on the 20th of February. The
town has been much improved by the removal of the butchers' shambles.
The principal manufactures at Wigton are checks, muslins, and ginghams,
made in large quantities; a few calicoes also are manufactured, and the
calico-printing branch is carried on to a great extent; there is also a considerable dying concern. The population of the town, from the influx of
weavers from Ireland and Scotland, has been for many years progressively
increasing. In Hutchinson's History, published in 1794, Wigton is said to
have increased greatly within the twenty years then preceding; and it is
added, that it was then supposed to contain 1,700 souls. In 1801 the
number of persons in the township of Wigton appears to have been 2,166.
In 1811, according to the return made to parliament, the parish of Wigton
contained 2,977 persons. The present number of inhabitants in the town
alone is supposed to be nearly 2,700.
In the parish church, which was rebuilt in 1788, there are the monuments
of Colonel Thomas Barwis, who died in 1648; the Rev. John Brown (fn. 19) ,
vicar of Wigton, 1763; and the Rev. Lowther Yates, D.D. Master of
Catherine Hall, Cambridge, who died in 1798. Margaret de Wigton
gave the church to the abbey of Holme-Cultram, to which it was soon
after appropriated. The tithes of the greater part of the parish had been
long vested in the Fletcher family, and were the property of Sir Frederick Fletcher Vane, Bart. when the inclosure act took place; the tithes of
eggs, geese, &c. had long been in the Briscoe family. The impropriators
have now land in lieu of tithes, except for those in Oulton Quarter; an
allotment was made also to the vicar in lieu of the hay-tithes of a small
district, the tithes of pigs, &c. (fn. 20)
There was a free chapel at or near Wigton attached to the hospital of
St. Leonard, the lands belonging to which were granted by King Edw. VI.
to Thomas Dalston and William Denton. This hospital is supposed to have
been at a place now called Spital, nearly a mile east of the town, now the
property of Sir Wastell Briscoe, Bart. About three quarters of a mile from
the Spital, in the village of Kirkland, is the site of a chapel, which, according to tradition, belonged to the Hospital. The land on which this
chapel stood, paid, till commuted for of late years in common land, a fine at
the death or alienation of the tenant, to the vicar of Wigton. There has
been no trace either of the hospital or chapel within the memory of any
person now living. Mr. Denton describes Spital as the demesne of a manor
called Dockwray, which passed from the Dalstons by marriage to the
Brathwaites, and was sold by them in 1671 to — Chambers, who sold to
There is a Quakers meeting in Wigton, built in 1707 (fn. 21) , and a Methodists
meeting; at Oulton is a Baptists meeting and cemetery. In the year 1723
an hospital for six widows of Protestant beneficed clergymen of the county
of Cumberland (fn. 22) , or such as have served two years as curates, was founded
by the executors of the Rev. John Thomlinson, rector of Rothbury. The
widows are incorporated by the name of the Governess and Sisters of the
College of Matrons or Hospital of Christ, in Wigton. The widows must
be forty-six years of age. The bishop is visitor. This hospital is endowed
with a rent-charge of 45l. 12s. issuing out of the Haughton-Castle estate;
6l. per annum out of lands in Gateshead, a similar rent-charge on lands at
Blencogo (fn. 23) , and 1l. 1s. 0d. for a small portion of common allotted to the
A free grammar school was founded at Wigton by the Rev. John Thomlinson, rector of Rothbury, who, having received 200l. collected by the
inhabitants, gave a rent-charge of 19l. 6s. 4d. per annum, out of his lands
at Haughton; of this the master receives two-thirds, the usher the remainder. Dr. Thomlinson built the school house in 1730. John Allison,
who died in 1792, bequeathed the interest of 1000l. three per cents reduced,
to be divided equally between the two masters, on condition that they
continued to teach four poor children of the town (not free to the school)
gratis. At the first institution of the school, the tenements of such of the
inhabitants as furnished a horse and cart for the use of the buildings, or
contributed a sum equivalent, were made free to the school. This raised
a small stock, the interest of which is 3l. 9s. 8d. Mr. Thomas Thomlinson,
by his will, bearing date 1798, left the sum of 354l. to this school; 60l.
to the poor of Wigton, and 100l. to a book club in this town. The master
has now a salary of 32l. 2s. the under master 20l. 14s.
WORKINGTON, a considerable market town on the western coast, in the
ward of Allerdale above Derwent, is situated about 8 miles from Whitehaven, 34½ from Carlisle, and 311 from London. The parish is divided
into the townships of Great-Clifton, Little-Clifton, Stainburn, Winscales,
and Workington, containing collectively, in 1811, 1220 houses, and 6533
The manors of Workington and Lamplugh were given by William de
Lancaster, in exchange for Middleton in Westmorland, to Gospatric, son
of Orme, brother-in-law of Waldieve, Lord of Allerdale. Thomas, son
of Gospatric, having had a grant of the great lordship of Culwen, in
Galloway, his posterity assumed the name of de Culwen. They became
a family of great consequence in the county, and eight out of ten in
successive descent, were knights of the shire. Sir Christopher, in the reign
of Henry VI. first wrote his name Curwen, and that spelling has been ever
since retained. This ancient family became extinct in the male line
by the death of the late Henry Curwen, Esq. in 1778; his only surviving
child Isabella, married her cousin John Christian, Esq. of Unerigg-hall,
who took the name of Curwen in addition to his own, and in right of his
wife, is the present proprietor of the manor of Workington. Workington-hall, the seat of Mr. Curwen, stands on a finely wooded eminence overlooking the river Derwent; the old mansion, of which there are scarcely
any traces, was castellated pursuant to the royal licence granted by King
Richard II. to Sir Gilbert de Culwen in 1379. (fn. 24)
Mr. Denton, speaking of Workington-hall says, "I do not know any
one seat in all Britain so commodiously situated for beauty, plenty, and
pleasure, as this is. The demesne breeds the largest cattle and sheep in
all the country. The famous salmon fishing here (mentioned in Camden,)
is worth 300l. per annum, three hundred of those great fishes having been
frequently taken at a draught. They are likewise plentifully stored here
with very good sea fish and fowl, and here is a large rabbit-warren, worth
20l. a year, besides what serves the house, and a great dove-cote, stored
with a huge flight of pigeons; a salt pan and colliery, worth 20l. per annum,
within the demesne." Workington-hall has been nearly rebuilt by its
present owner, from the designs of Mr. Carr of York, and the grounds
greatly extended and improved.
When the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots fled to this country as
an asylum, she landed at Workington from a fishing boat, on the 16th
of May 1568; the next day she addressed a letter from this place to the
Queen. Mary attempted at first to conceal her rank, but certain gentlemen
of the county understanding who she was, waited upon her and conducted
her to Cockermouth (fn. 25) . There is a tradition that she was lodged at Workington-hall during her short abode on the coast.
The manor of Clifton was given by William de Meschines to Waldieve,
son of Gospatric, and passed by successive female heirs to the families of
Lucy, Eglesfield, Berdsey, and Salkeld. By the latter it was sold to Sir
James Lowther, Bart. and is now the property of the Earl of Lonsdale.
There are two large weekly markets at Workington, Wednesday and
Saturday, for butchers' meat and other provisions. Corn is sold only on
the Wednesday, which is the principal market day. It does not appear
that the markets are of ancient origin. There are two cattle fairs, but not
of much note, May 18th and October 18th.
The increase of population at Workington has been very great, but we
have no means of ascertaining its progress. In Hutchinson's history the
supposed number of houses in 1794 is stated to have been between 1100
and 1200: the population returns of 1801, state the number of houses in
the township at 1160, the families at 1375, and that of inhabitants at 5716:
the returns of 1811, state the number of houses in the township of Workington at 1059, of families at 1489, and that of inhabitants at 5807. Hutchinson's statement must have been erroneous (for houses it is probable
was meant families): the population appears to have been gradually increasing. The average of baptisms for ten years, ending with 1800, was
about 170; for the ten years ending with 1810, 191.
The chief trade of the place consists in the exportation of coals, which
are sent in considerable quantities from Mr. Curwen's coal pits to Ireland.
The chief manufactures are those of sail cloth and cordage, and every
thing connected with the shipping. There is a considerable salmon
fishery in the Derwent, in which the Earl of Lonsdale and Mr. Curwen
have an interest.
The ship-building trade is very prosperous; vessels of from four to
six hundred tons, copper bottomed, are built here, and sold to the merchants of Liverpool, Cork, &c. &c.
This town has an assembly room, built by Mr. Curwen, a theatre, &c. In
the parish church is the monument of Sir Patrick Curwen, Bart. who died
without issue in 1661. In the church-yard is the tomb of the Rev. William Thompson, who raised and formed a society of Protestant dissenters
(Presbyterians) in Workington, and collected funds for building a meetinghouse, of which he was pastor for 40 years: he died in 1782, aged 73.
The advowson of the rectory was given by Ketel, son of Eldred, to the
abbey of St. Mary at York. In the year 1544 the grantees from the
crown sold it to Thomas Dalston, of whose family it was purchased in
1563 by the Curwens, and it has ever since been held with the manor.
The townships of Workington and Winscales have been inclosed by
virtue of an act of parliament passed in 1809. Allotments of lands were
made to the rector, to Mr. Curwen as lord of the manor, and to the
latter and Thomas Harrison, Esq. for a certain portion of tithes in Winscales. There appears to have been a chapel also at Workington, granted,
with certain lands attached to it by Queen Elizabeth in 1574, to Percival
Gunson and John Sonkey. There was formerly a chapel at Stainburn,
belonging to the prior and convent of St. Bees, who had a manor-house
there, which was burnt by the Scots in 1315 (fn. 26) . At Clifton is a chapel
in the patronage of the rector, which has been augmented by Queen
Anne's bounty. In 1812 an act passed to inclose the township of Stainburn
and in 1814 for inclosing those of Great and Little-Clifton. Under both
these acts allotments of land were given in lieu of tithes. There is a
Catholic chapel at Workington, and meeting-houses for the Presbyterians
The school at Workington was founded by Sir Patrick Curwen,
and endowed by his brother, with a rent-charge of 8l. per annum.
Mr. Curwen has lately succeeded in a chancery suit, by which he has
recovered this endowment, his ancestors having had no right to alienate
or charge the lands so disposed of, they having been strictly entailed.
There is a large school for boys, and another for girls, on Mr. Lancaster's
plan, patronized by Mr. Curwen; a Sunday school belonging to the establishment, and another to the Methodists.
Workington bridge was rebuilt by the county in 1650 (fn. 27) . The present
structure was erected in the year 1763.