||Pop. Rep. 1901.
||For an accident in 1774 see Lancs.
and Ches. Antiq. Soc. vii, 68.
||Local Govt. Bd. Order 31625; the
population was given as 565.
Mancb. Guardian Local N. and Q.
||Ibid. no. 1244.
||Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9, Lancs.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs, and Ches.), i, 61.
||It was included in the settlement of
the Prestwich estate in 1313; Final Conc.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 16.
In 1276 and later years Adam son of
Thomas de Prestwich had to defend his
right to certain land in Alkrington, to
which Robert Grelley laid claim; De
Banco R. 15, m. 36 d.; 18, m. 29; 24,
||In the De Lacy Inq. of 1311 (Chet.
Soc.) Adam de Prestwich was returned
as holding of the Earl of Lincoln the
manor of Alkrington by the service of the
fourth part of a knight's fee, and suit to
the court; p. 19. From later notices it
appears that 'fourth' is an error for
Alice de Prestwich was in 1324 said to
hold half a plough-land in Alkrington by
the service of 12d. a year; Duchy of
Lanc. Rentals and Surv. 379, no. 13.
In 1346 the heirs of John de Radcliffe
and Alice de Prestwich were said to hold
it in socage by a rent of 12d.; Dods. MSS.
lxxxvii, fol. 60b. A similar return was
made a century later, Margaret wife of
Roger (Thomas) Langley then holding it
in socage, rendering 12d. a year; she said
she held it by joint feoffment and showed
a charter; Duchy of Lanc. Knights'
Fees, 2/20. In explanation of this the
inquisition taken in 1447 after the death
of Robert Langley of Agecroft states that
he had held a moiety of the manor of Alkrington of the king as Duke of Lancaster
in socage by a rent of 20d., and that he
had enfeoffed Thomas his son and Margery his wife of two parts of the said
moiety; Lancs. Rec. Inq. p.m. no. 34,
35. After the death of Thomas Langley,
twenty-five years later, he was said to
have held nine messuages and tenements,
'parcel of the manor of Alkrington,' by
the twentieth part of a knight's fee, the
manor being held by knight's service and
a rent of 20d.; Agecroft D. Thus both
the tenure and the rent are variously
stated at different times; but the latest
—by knight's service and 20d.—was repeated after the death of Sir Robert Langley in 1561; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m.
xi, 16. The clear value at this time was
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xv, 12.
This recites that Katherine married
Thomas Legh (who survived her) at
Alkrington on 1 Aug. 1564. She had
twenty-two messuages, &c., in Alkrington and Prestwich, held of the queen as
of the Duchy of Lancaster by knight's
service, those in the former place also
rendering 6s. and those in the latter 9s.
a year. The heirs were her sisters Anne
Dauntesey and Margaret Holland, aged
fifty-four and fifty-two years. A settlement was made in 1571; Pal. of Lanc.
Feet of F. bdle. 33, m. 184.
In 1581 Thomas Legh and Katherine
his wife, setting forth that they were
seised in fee tail of the manor of Alkrington, &c., complained that Robert Langley
of Prestwich was detaining some of the
deeds of the estate. Langley replied that
the deeds were in the keeping of Alexander
Reddish, son of Margery, then wife of
Richard Holland, and that Katherine had
agreed to this; Duchy of Lanc. Plead.
cxxii, L. 4; cxvii, L. 4.
||Thomas Legh seems to have married
a second time, for in the pedigree recorded
in 1613 four sons are given him—Robert,
John, Roger, and Thomas; Visit. (Chet.
Soc), 51. Robert Legh of Alkrington
appears among the freeholders of 1600;
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i,
246. He was buried at Middleton
19 Aug. 1623. The vendors in 1627
were, perhaps, his brothers; Pal. of
Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 111, no. 38. Further
particulars of the family are given in the
will of Thomas Legh of Alkrington, dated
22 Oct. 1597. It recites an indenture of
25 March 1596–7 between himself and
Edmund Trafford of Trafford, that the
latter was to pay him £700. Of this sum
£300 was left to Thomas Legh, 'my
reputed son,'while John and Roger Legh,
two other reputed sons, had £400 between
them. He also names his daughters
Creature and Margaret Legh and Elizabeth
reputed daughter of his son Robert Legh.
Brother James Legh was to have a dapple
dunn nagge and son Robert Legh his gold
chain. The executrix was his wife
Katherine, who was guardian of the children, with his loving brother-in-law, Sir
Ric. Shuttleworth. Probate was dated at
Chester 7 Feb. 1597–8; Huntroyde D.,
v, 20 (by Mr. H. Ince Anderton).
||Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 186; a
full pedigree of the Lever family is contained in Piccope's MS. Pedigrees (Chet.
Lib.), i, 348, and has been followed here.
There is also an account of the family,
with extracts from the registers, in Booker,
||Ibid. 206. John Lever paid £12 10s.
in 1631 on declining knighthood; Misc.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 215.
||Booker, loc. cit. He was dispensed
from attendance at Prestwich Church and
allowed to go to Middleton; Gastrell,
Notitia, ii, 109.
A feoffment made in 1681 shows that
Robert Lever held the manor of Alkrington, with the hall, the Old Hall of Heaton
in Prestwich, Gorton Hall, Collyhurst
Hall, and lands in a number of the surrounding townships. In 1699 he made a
settlement of his estates with remainders
to his children Robert, John, Catherine,
and Jane. The deeds are among the
Raines collection in the Chetham Library.
A Captain Lever of 'Olerington' is
mentioned in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com.
Rep. xiv, App. iv, 222.
Robert and John sons of Robert Lever
of Alkrington entered Brasenose College,
Oxford, in 1691, aged eighteen and fifteen respectively; they were afterwards of
Gray's Inn; Foster, Alumni. Robert died
in his father's lifetime, unmarried.
||Darcy Lever entered Brasenose College in 1722, being seventeen years of
age; he was created D.C.L. in 1733;
Foster, Alumni. He made a settlement of
the manor of Alkrington in Mar. 1725,
previous to his marriage; Pal. of Lanc.
Feet of F. bdle. 293; ibid. Plea R. 520,
m. 5, 7. He was appointed sheriff 31 Dec.
1735, and his successor on 20 Jan. 1737;
P.R.O. List, 74.
The pedigree of the family is set out in
the case of Lever v. Hunt, which was
carried up to the House of Lords in 1736–7.
It appeared that John Hunt of Manchester
had in 1612 leased premises in Market Street
Lane, Manchester, for 120 years to Robert
Lever of Darcy Lever, clothier, who left
it to his son John. In 1642 and 1644
John Lever obtained the reversion of the
premises, and died intestate in 1645; his
widow Catherine afterwards entered into
possession and left them to a younger son
John, who had them for life, and was followed by his son, who died without issue.
Robert the eldest son was followed by his
only son John, who gave the premises to
a younger son John Revel; on his death,
without issue, Sir Darcy Lever claimed as
brother and heir. John Andrews claimed
as the heir of the Robert Lever of 1612.
||The marriage took place at Prestwich 3 May 1725; and Sir Darcy Lever
was buried there on 15 Aug. 1742; Booker,
||P.R.O. List, 74.
Ashton Lever was vouchee in a recovery
of the manor in 1753; Pal. of Lanc.
Plea R. 579, m. 2.
||There is an engraving of him in
Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), ii, 565, a
verbal portrait in Booker, op. cit. 205,
and a biography in Dict. Nat. Biog.
He was educated at Corpus Christi
College, Oxford, matriculating in 1748,
at nineteen years of age; Foster, Alumni.
He died at Manchester, not without suspicion of having poisoned himself.
His collection began with live birds,
and went on to shells, fossils, &c., and to
the weapons, &c., of savage tribes. In
1773, 'being tired out with the insolence
of the common people,' he restricted admission to his acquaintance and those who
came provided with a ticket from some one
known to him; Booker, op. cit. 204. On
29 Aug. 1774 the visitors to the museum
numbered 3,320; Manch. Guardian Local
N. and Q. no. 1244. The collection was
removed to London in October and shown
at Leicester House; in 1782 the sum of
£2,253 was received for entrance fees.
Sir Ashton wished it to be kept together,
and having failed to induce the Government to purchase it for the British
Museum he fell back on the lottery;
Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 516.
See also Pal. Note Bk. ii, 55, 85; Walford, Old and New Lond. iii, 165. For
an account of the sale in 1806 see Baines,
A poem on the collection, dated 1774,
is reprinted in Oldham Notes and Glean.
||The eldest son Darcy Lever, who
died at Edinburgh in 1839, wrote on
navigation; see Dict. Nat. Biog.
||Canon Raines in Gastrell, Notitia
(Chet. Soc.), ii, 110.
||Children of Edmund Chadderton alias
Bradshaw appear in the Middleton registers
Robert Chadderton, yeoman, died 8 Mar.
1638–9, holding a messuage and land
called Bradshaw in Alkrington, of William,
Earl of Derby, as of the dissolved priory of
St. John of Jerusalem; he also held lands
in Audenshaw and in Manchester. By a
fine levied two years earlier the lands
were settled on Robert for his life, after
his decease a third part to Elizabeth his
wife, then to Edmund and Robert his
sons. Edmund the son and heir was
thirty-one years of age in 1639; Inq.
p.m. in Towneley MS. C. 8, 13 (Chet.
Lib.), p. 248.
Robert Chadderton alias Bradshaw was
buried at Middleton on 8 Mar. 1638–9;
an abstract of his will is given in Manch.
Ct. Leet Rec. iv, 114.
Thomas Chadderton of Alkrington paid
to the land tax in 1787.
The Hospitallers had lands in Acrington
(? Alkrington) in 1292; Plac.de Quo War.
(Rec. Com.), 375.