||The acreage in the Census Report of
1901–4,775 acres, including 64 of inland water—is that of the enlarged area
of the borough-township.
Tonge was included with Middleton in
the first Improvement Act, 1861. Alkrington and parts of Hopwood and Thornham were added in 1879. The borough
of Middleton was incorporated in 1886
and now includes, in addition to the
above, parts of Great and Little Heaton.
In 1894 the whole borough was made
into a single civil parish, the separate
townships thus disappearing; Loc. Govt.
Bd. Order 31625.
||This also refers to the enlarged area.
||E. Butterworth, Middleton, 6. To
this work also are due the notes on the
rise of the manufactures. Other details
have been derived from Mr. S. Partington's illustrated Handbook for the 1900
Jubilee of the Middleton and Tonge Industrial Society, an offshoot of the Cooperative movement. This volume contains extracts from the overseers' accounts
of 1766 and later years (148, &c.);
also a valuation of 1789 (157).
||Information of the late Mr. John
Desn, of Middleton, who kindly supplied
||Formerly the old Sessions House;
now used as an assembly room; Manch.
Guard. 29 Oct. 1904.
Handbook, 131. See also N. and Q.
(4th ser.), vii, 119.
||Subsidy R. bdle. 250, no. 9 Lancs.
||There were also riots in 1820 and 1843.
||There is an account of him in Dict.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc.
Lancs, and Ches.), i, 59, 60.
Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in right of
his wife Alice, held the manor of Middleton before his forfeiture; ibid, ii, 102.
In the sheriff's compotus of 1348 account was rendered of 13s. 4d. of the rent
of Isabel the queen for the manor of
Middleton, of the inheritance of Alice,
Countess of Lincoln; also of 10s. for
ward of Lancaster Castle.
In 1840 it was stated: 'Middleton is
held of the Castle of Clitheroe alone, and
the lord owes suit and service to the
principal court of the honour only; but
in modern times courts have been established in various parts of the honour for
the convenience of the holders in fee; and
the court at which Middleton renders service is held at Holcombe in Tottington';
E. Butterworth, Middleton, 9.
||The charter is printed in Lancs. Inq.
p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 448.
||Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 77. In
1201–2 he paid ½ mark to the tallage, and
20s. to the scutage in 1205–6; ibid. 151,
205. In 1202 he released to William de
Radcliffe his claim on the advowson of
Radcliffe; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs,
and Ches.), i, 10. On the Middleton
family see Lancs, and Ches. Antiq. Soc.
Inq. and Extents, i, 60, 66. Roger de
Middleton released to the monks of Stanlaw all his claim to Threpfield by Marland, his son Alan concurring; Whalley
Coucher (Chet. Soc), ii, 619, 620.
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 129. She
held nothing of the king.
Whalley Coucher, ii, 621. Roger de
Middleton and Robert his son also attested
a Byron charter; Byron Chartul. (Towneley MSS.), s.d. 22. Robert son of Roger de
Middleton made a grant to his aunt
Helewise; his brothers William and Alan
were witnesses, and his seal—bearing a
fleur de lis?—is appended; see notes on
Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 153.
Robert was living in 1236; Final. Conc.
||By fine at Lancaster (in or before
1241) Geoffrey de Middleton had obtained
the third part of four plough-lands with
their appurtenances in Middleton, of which
Robert de Middleton was then tenant.
At Easter 1243 Roger son and heir of
Robert made complaint respecting the
third part of four plough-lands in Middleton—Pilsworth, Thornham, Ainsworth,
and Birtle; for Geoffrey should have only
6 oxgangs in Pilsworth, 1 oxgang in
Ainsworth, and the moiety of the assart
in Pilsworth which used to belong to
Robert father of Roger, whereas he had
occupied about 10 oxgangs; and further,
Geoffrey had thrown down the houses
which Roger had erected on his part of
those 10 oxgangs, and carried off all the
corn sown there. The 6 oxgangs in Pilsworth were held by Avice widow of Roger
de Middleton (4), Aylward Brand (1),
and Robert son of Blethyn (1), and that
in Ainsworth by Adam Blundus. Geoffrey on his part denied having occupied
more than 7 oxgangs or done the
damage alleged. The parties afterwards
came to an agreement; Curia Regis R.
128, m. 4; 130, m. 12; also Assize R. 404,
m. 3 d.
A Butterworth charter, but perhaps of
much later date, was attested by Roger de
Middleton and Geoffrey his brother; Byron Chartul. Edw. I, 64.
||There is nothing to show whether
three or only two Rogers held Middleton
in succession. If there were three the
connexion between the first and second is
By an undated charter (about 1260) Sir
Geoffrey de Chetham granted to Roger
son of Robert de Middleton his claim to
the homage and service of Robert del
Holt; Thomas de Prestwich and David
de Hulton were witnesses; Dods. MSS.
cxlii, fol. 129b.
Roger de Middleton occurs in 1275
when Robert de Stakel claimed a tenement in Middleton against him; Dep.
Keeper's Rep. xliv, App. 185. He was
witness to a Lacy grant in 1277; Whalley Coucher ii, 595; see also Final Conc, i,
218. Roger was defendant in claims made
in 1292 by the Radcliffes, who were nonsuited; Assize R. 408, m. 30 d. 32 d. In
1297 he presented his son John to the
rectory of Middleton; Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol.
8. In the same year he attested a Farnworth charter; Lever Chartul. (Add. MS.
32103), no. 69.
Roger de Middleton and Roger his son
attested a Rochdale charter in 1296; Byron
Chartul. Edw. I, 15.
About this time a Robert son of Roger
de Middleton appears. He made a grant
to Sir Roger de Pilkington and Margery
his wife; Lever Chartul. no. 32. In 1306
he gave all his lands in Middleton to
Roger de Middleton, 'his lord'; Dods.
MSS. cxlii, fol. 129b. To a Hopwood
charter of 1302 among the witnesses were
John, rector of Middleton, Roger de
Middleton, and Robert de Middleton the
||Roger de Middleton, the 'lord' of
Robert (see last note), was probably this
son), and the surrender made by Robert
may indicate approximately the time of
In 1302 Roger (or perhaps his father),
as holding a knight's fee in Middleton of
the Earl of Lincoln, contributed to the aid
for marrying the king's daughter; Inq.
and Extents, i, 313. In 1311 it was
found that he held of the earl the manor
of Middleton by a knight's fee and suit
to the court of Clitheroe; De Lacy Inq.
(Chet. Soc), 19. In another extent of
about the same period he was stated to
hold four plough-lands and 2 oxgangs in
Middleton; Duchy of Lane. Knights' Fees,
bdle. 1, no. n, fol. 27 d.
In 1306 as Roger son of Roger de
Middleton he appeared as defendant;
Coram Rege R. 184, m. 24 d. He obtained from Ellis de Ainsworth in 1310 a
messuage and land in Middleton; Final
Conc, ii, 6. In 1317 he secured three
messuages and various lands from Richard
de Rumworth and Maud his wife; ibid, ii,
||Ibid, ii, 17. This fine concerns twothirds of the manor; the other third may
have been held as dower by his father's
widow, together with the advowson of the
||Ibid, ii, 24. The widow had probably died. The remainders are the same
as before. Roger and his wife in 1319 had
an estate in Middleton settled upon them
by Henry de Orrell and Cecily his wife;
the remainders were as before, except that
Joan was omitted; ibid, ii, 30.
||Inq. p.m. 16 Edw. II, no. 49. The
writ was issued on 18 Aug. He held of
the king in chief, inasmuch as the lordship of Tottington, like all other of Earl
Thomas's lands, had been taken into the
king's hands. There was a capital messuage; 80 acres in demesne worth
53s. 4d.; 10 acres of meadow, worth 10s.,
but 'nothing this year because mowed
before Roger's death'; 10 acres of several
pasture worth 20d.; the moiety of 100
acres of wood, held in common with the
lady of Bury, 'whose herbage lies in the
common pasture for the tenants of Bury
and Middleton'; pannage of the same
moiety; a water-mill worth 13s. 4d. a
year; rents of free tenants 46s. 10d.; rents
of other tenants 14s. The clear value of
the manor was £7 2s. 6d. The manor
was held by Roger jointly with his wife
by the service of one knight's fee; by
suit to the county court of Lancaster from
six weeks to six weeks, to the wapentake
court of Salford from three weeks to three
weeks, and to the court of Tottington from
three weeks to three weeks; also by a
payment of 10s. a year for castle-ward and
13s. 4d. for sake fee. Roger's heirs were
his daughters—Ellen (aged twenty), Maud
(eighteen), Alice (sixteen), Margaret
(twelve), and Margery (nine).
There is nothing to show why Maud,
the second daughter, took precedence of
her sister Ellen in the succession. The
younger daughters, Margaret and Margery,
appear to have died without issue, as in
1350 Maud, Ellen, and Alice were described as the co-heirs, and the last-named
seems to have resigned her right to her
sister Maud; Assize R. 1444, m. 3 d.
||She presented to the rectory in 1328
(as Agnes de Barton), 1339, 1340, and
1343, as will be seen by the list of rectors.
She married (2) John de Barton, and (3)
John de Malton. From a Rivington dispensation it appears that Agnes was a sister
of Adam de Hulton; Towneley MS. GG,
John de Barton and Agnes his wife
were plaintiffs in 1324 in respect of a
messuage and land in Middleton; De
Banco R. 252, m. 43 d. In 1328 John
de Malton and Agnes his wife demised to
trustees the dower lands of Agnes, after
the death of John de Barton; Dods. MSS.
cliii, fol. 82. In the following year
Richard de Whitlegh and Alice his wife,
Henry the Mouner of Thornton and Ellen
his wife, and Robert son of Robert de
Thornton did not prosecute their claim
for land in Middleton against John de
Malton and Agnes his wife, Thomas de
Barton, Maud his wife, and John, Roger,
Thomas, Adam, and William, their sons;
Assize R. 427, m. 3 d. A settlement was
made in 1335; Final Conc, ii, 97.
Agnes, as widow of Roger de Middleton, in 1336 released to her daughter
Maud her right to lands in Meadowcroft,
Lynalx, Birtle, Ainsworth, and Ashworth
in the vill of Middleton; Dods. MSS.
cxlii, fol. 129. Her seal showed a lion
rampant. Agnes, the widow, complained
in 1340 that Thomas de Newbold, rector
of Middleton, Geoffrey son of Ellen de
Middleton, and others had broken her
close at Middleton; De Banco R. 321, m.
244; 326, m. 79. In 1347 she made
a claim against Roger de Harwood and
Ellen his wife, who was the eldest daughter of Roger; and in the same year
Geoffrey Pusshe claimed half an oxgang of
land against Agnes; Assize R. 1435, m.
51 d; De Banco R. 351, m. 223 d. Agnes
was a defendant in 1353; Assize R. 435,
m. 22 d.
||See the plea quoted in the last note.
Thomas de Barton and Maud his wife
were in 1331 defendants in a plea respecting a messuage and lands in Middleton;
De Banco R. 287, m. 480 d.
The Bartons are usually described as
'of Rydale,' and probably did not reside
at Middleton till the end of the 14th
||Maud wife of John de Ainsworth in
1342 complained that her trees at Middleton had been cut down and carried off;
De Banco R. 332, m. 30 d. Roger de
Harwood and Ellen his wife in 1344 and
later claimed a messuage, 80 acres of land,
&c., in Middleton, against John de Ainsworth and Maud his wife. It was alleged
that Joan, daughter of Roger son of Roger
de Middleton, had died without issue, and
that the estate claimed should then have
passed to Ellen; De Banco R. 340, m.
430; 345, m. 330 d.; 349, m. 279 d.
||He was outlawed for the death of
Adam son of Ellis de Knowles, and the
manor taken into the duke's hands, as
appears by an inquiry held in 1366. After
a year and a day it should be given to
William son of John de Barton of Rydale,
and others; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 130b;
L.T.R. Memo. R. 131, 132; Chan. Inq.
p.m. 43 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 72. Though
the date of the inquiry was 1366 it will be
seen from the list of rectors that the Duke
of Lancaster presented to the rectory in
1351, by reason of the forfeiture of John
de Ainsworth. John was still living, and
the duke in possession, in 1382, but must
have died soon after this, as Ralph de
Barton presented to the rectory in 1386;
Cal. Pat. 1381–5, p. 132; and list of
rectors. John de Ainsworth's son John
was outlawed for debt in 1373; Lancs.
Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 27, 37.
||John de Barton of Rydale in 1350
claimed thirty messuages, 200 acres of
land, &c., in Middleton, held by John de
Ainsworth, Maud his wife, and John their
son. It appeared that the elder John
received two-thirds of the estate claimed
with Maud his wife, and the other third
by grant of her sister Alice, with life remainder to Robert son of Thomas de
Barton; Assize R. 1444, m. 3 d.
Grants by Alice daughter of Roger de
Middleton to John son of Robert de Ainsworth and Maud his wife in 1347–8 are
preserved in Towneley MS. GG. no. 1710,
In 1351 John de Barton charged Adam
de Meadowcroft and others with driving
his cattle away; Duchy of Lanc. Assize
R. 1, m. 5, 6. He made a similar complaint in 1352; ibid. R. 2, m. 10 d. He
was defendant for a debt as late as 1356,
but 'did not appear;' ibid. R. 5, m. 7, 25.
He is called 'John de Rydale' in the
aid 1346–55, when he held the knight's fee
in Middleton formerly held by the heirs of
Robert de Middleton; Feud. Aids, iii, 87.
||Thomas was no doubt the younger
brother of John, mentioned above in 1329.
He appears as defendant in a plea respecting lands in Middleton from Dec. 1355,
the claimant being John son of Adam de
Wardley; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4,
m. 25 d.; 5, m. 10; 6, m. 4; 7, m. 5.
||As in the above-cited inquisition on
the outlawry of John de Ainsworth, William son of John de Barton was defendant
in 1363 and plaintiff in 1367, in suits
respecting tenements in Middleton; De
Banco R. 415, m. 142 d.; 426, m.
285 d. In 1370 Thomas de Barton of
Rydale released to William de Barton and
Isabel daughter of William de Radcliffe
all his right in the manor of Middleton;
the armorial seal shows ermine, on a fess
three annulets; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol 130b.
About the same time the feoffees settled
on William and Isabel the manor of
Middleton with the advowson of the
church, and lands in Ainsworth, Meadowcroft, Thornham, Hanging Chadder, Birtle
and Ashworth, after the death of John
de Ainsworth; ibid. fol. 130.
In 1379 William de Barton of Fryton
was to cross the seas in the forces of John
of Gaunt; Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1868), i,
115. In 1381–2 he granted to Richard
Browne of Nasserton land in Middleton
and the advowson of the church there;
Close, 5 Ric. II, m. 28 d. By fine in
Aug. 1382 he granted the manor to William de Atherton for life, with reversion
to himself and his heirs; Final Conc, iii,
The writ of Diem cl extr. after his
death was issued 12 Dec. 1384; Dep.
Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 357.
Isabel survived her husband, for in 1391
Ralph son of William de Barton of Rydale granted a rent of £10 to his mother
Isabel daughter of William de Radcliffe,
to be taken annually out of his manor of
Middleton; Raines D. (Chet. Lib.).
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 86,
93. Nothing is said as to the tenure of
the manor, but its 'hamlets' are named
as Ashworth, Birtle, Ainsworth, Meadowcroft, and Lynalx. See also Dep. Keeper's
Rep. xl, App. 528.
A settlement of the manor of Middleton was made in 1390, the remainder
being to Richard the son of Ralph; Dods.
MSS. cxlii, fol. 131. The feoffees granted
Ralph leave to present to the rectory;
ibid.; and in fact he presented in 1386,
1390, and 1395, as appears by the list of
rectors. Ralph probably married a daughter of William Fairfax; Dods. MSS. cliii,
fol. 94. In 1389–90 he enfeoffed John
Fairfax, rector of Prescot, Thomas Gerard,
and Thomas Fairfax, of the manor of
Middleton, for his life; Close R. 13 Ric. II,
pt. i, m. 20 d.
||Richard de Barton proved his age in
1408; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 8.
He in 1418 enfeoffed John del Booth and
others of the tenements occupied by William del Holt, William del Lumhalghes
(Lomax), and Christopher Kay, to hold
for his mother Isabel for her life and then
to that one of his sons who should marry
a daughter of Sir John Byron; Dods. MSS.
lviii, fol. 166. The seal showed the
Barton arms as before. It appears that
John his son and heir waa to marry
Margaret daughter of Sir John Byron, or,
should she die, then Ellen, another daughter; Dods. MSS. lviii, fol. 166b; Harl.MS.
2112, fol. 113b/150b. In 1421 John del
Booth, the elder, and other feoffees demised
to John son of Richard de Barton of Middleton and Margaret his wife certain tenements in Ainsworth; Dods. MSS. lviii, fol.
||In 1425 Robert de Pilkington and
William his brother released to Richard
de Barton of Middleton all their right in
his lands; ibid, cxlii, fol. 131. Richard
had sworn on the gospels that he
would give to Richard son of Robert de
Pilkington seisin for life of lands called
the Rhodes in Middleton; ibid. fol. 131b.
There are several deeds relating to this
grant in Towneley MS. GG, no. 1692,
1778–9, 1837–8, 1844–5.
In 1431 he was found to hold a knight's
fee in Middleton; Feud. Aids, iii, 96.
He was in 1444 exempted from serving on
juries, &c.; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 538.
||Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 132, 133; the
agreement was made between Richard
Barton and Sir Thomas Ashton, brother
of Ralph. Richard was to settle £100 a
year out of his lands on Margery in fee.
She is described as 'cousin and heir apparent' of Richard, and was under fourteen years of age. Alice the wife of
Richard is mentioned; ibid. fol. 133.
||See an essay by Mr. John Dean in
Lancs, and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xvi, 102–33.
There may have been two Richards in
succession, which would explain the uncertainty as to the patronage of the church
in 1462, when a Richard Barton presented. This uncertainty, however, may
have been due to a claim put forward for
the Crown. In an extent of 1445–6 it
is recorded that 'Richard Barton holds
the manor of Middleton by the service of
one knight's fee; the relief therefor being
100s. He was in ward'; Duchy of Lanc.
Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. The tenant
at this time at first sight appears to have
been Richard the son of Richard, and a
minor, but the final clause no doubt refers
to the minority of the elder Richard.
There is on record, moreover, a description of the monument of Richard de Barton and Alice his wife. The inscription
has been incorrectly read, stating that
Richard died in 1451; Trans. Hist. Soc.
(new ser.), vi, 258. His widow Alice
was still alive in 1480.
||These agreements, between Ralph
Ashton and Margery his wife on the one
side and Richard Barton the elder on the
other, make provision for Richard Barton
the younger, Thomas, William, and Ralph,
four sons of Richard Barton the elder, giving each a life interest in certain messuages
and lands in Middleton, with remainder to
'the right heirs of the said Richard Barton
the elder'; Final Conc. iii, 119–20.
'Richard Barton the elder' must be the
grandfather of Margery, the fines securing
the reversion of the lands to her as the
'right heir,' and the fine of 1480, quoted
later, helps to show that this is the true
||Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 133; an indenture reciting that Sir Ralph Ashton
and Margery his wife had assigned to
Alice widow of Richard Barton certain
rents in Lancashire for her dower in
Fryton and other rents for her dower in
About the same time Sir Ralph and
Margery, as heir of Richard Barton, were
claiming the custody of the manor of
Great Lever; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. 6 Edw. IV.
Final Conc. iii, 138. Sir Ralph Ashton and Margery held twenty-seven messuages, 1,000 acres of lands, &c. in
Middleton; while Alice Barton held eight
messuages, 300 acres of land, &c.; Margaret Barton eleven messuages, 200 acres
of land, &c.; Richard Barton two messuages, 100 acres of land, &c.; and Ralph
Barton six messuages, 40 acres of land,
&c. all of the inheritance of Margery and
reverting to her.
||Feodary of 1483; Duchy of Lanc.
Misc. Vols. 130.
||Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 6.
||See the account in Dict. Nat. Biog.
and the numerous references to him in
the Calendars of the Patent Rolls of
Edward IV and Richard III. Reservations of grants to him were made in
several acts of resumption; Rolls of Parl.
v, 528, 608; vi, 97, 234. He seems to
have been concerned with Yorkshire
principally. His celebrity makes it the
more remarkable that the date and circumstances of his death are unknown.
A Ralph Ashton of Middleton, perhaps
a son, was pardoned in 1479; Towneley
MS. RR, no. 1442.
||The patent is printed in Whitaker,
Whalley, ii, 151. It gave, in particular,
authority to examine and proceed against
persons suspected of high treason.
About the same time Richard III is
said to have made a grant to Sir Ralph of
the manor of Middleton; Aikin, Manch.
In 1480 Sir Ralph Ashton of Fryton
and Margery his wife granted land in
Birtle and Middleton, &c. to his son
Richard and Isabel his wife, daughter of
John Talbot of Salebury; Kuerden fol. MS.
39, no. 648; also 38, no. 635; Towneley, MS. HH, no. 2061.
||See the account of Ashton-underLyne.
||Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 132b; it included the reversion of all the lands in
Middleton after the death of Dame Margaret Harcourt, widow, Richard Barton,
and Ralph Barton, which sometime were
the lands of Richard Barton, father of the
said Richard. Dame Margaret Harcourt
was the widow of John Barton, who
married Sir William Atherton (Kuerden
III, A 13, n. 32), and then Sir Robert
Harcourt, K.G.; their monument remains
in Stanton Harcourt Church; Collins,
Peerage (ed. 1779), v, 267.
||In a plea of 1509 is cited an inquisition of 20 Hen. VII made after the death
of Sir Ralph Ashton of Middleton, in
which he is stated to have died on 10 April,
Richard his son and heir being twentyfour years of age; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R.
110, m. 8. The year of his death is not
mentioned, but from the age of his son as
given it must have been about 1485, as
the son was a father in 1482. Sir Ralph
was living in 1485, as appears by the
Calendar of Patent Rolls of that year.
Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 541.
||In Scotland, by Lord Strange; Metcalfe, Knights, 31.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, 24;
there is recited a feoffment of two messuages, 200 acres of land, &c. parcel of
the manor, to his son Richard and Anne
His brass, showing the figures of himself, his wife Isabel, and their family of
seven sons and six daughters, is given in
Mr. Dean's paper above mentioned, and
in Thornely's Lancs. Brasses, 73. It may
be identified by the description in Trans.
Hist. Soc. vi, 258–9. There is another
brass commemorating his daughter Alice
and her three husbands; Thornely, op. cit.
Visit, of 1533 (Chet. Soc), 59; he
wished to know how his achievement
could be commemorated in his arms. His
wife was Anne daughter of Sir Thomas
Strickland, and she had borne him seven
sons and a daughter.
In June 1521 an agreement was made
by Sir Thomas Gerard and Richard Ashton
by which Richard son and heir of the
latter was to marry Anne daughter of
Sir Thomas; Anne wife of Richard Ashton the father, and Thomas and Edmund
his brothers, are named; Dods. MSS.
lviii, fol. 166, no. 34.
Sir Richard Ashton partly rebuilt the
church; see Iter Lancastrense (Chet. Soc),
||Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. 22, p. 63.
||He was not described as a knight at
the visitation in 1533, but in 1541 as
Sir Richard he contributed to the subsidy;
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 143.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, 28; he
held the manor of Middleton, twenty
messuages, &c. there, and the advowson of
the church, by the service of a knight's
fee and a rent of 23s. 4d. a year. The
inquisition gives details of provision for
Lady Anne Bellingham, widow of Sir
Robert Bellingham, whom he married as
his second wife (19 Oct. 1541) and who
was living at Middleton in 1549; also
(1541) for Katherine wife of his son and
heir Richard, also living at Middleton;
also for Ralph, Leonard, John, and
Thomas, younger sons, living respectively
at Atherton, Chelsea, Cambridge, and
Newstead, Notts. Robert, another son, was
rector of Middleton, John succeeding him.
Sir Richard was buried at Middleton on
14 Jan. 1548–9. In the older printed
pedigrees there seems to be some confusion
at this point.
Special licence of entry was given to
the heir in 1549; Dep. Keeper's Rep.
xxxix, App. 550.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 23.
The provision made for the younger sons
is set forth as in the last inquisition;
John Ashton was still at Cambridge.
Mary the daughter of Sir Richard had
married Sir John Southworth. By Richard
Ashton and Katherine his wife various
messuages in Middleton, including the
manor or site of the manor, were granted
to trustees as a marriage settlement on
Richard the son and heir, and Elizabeth
daughter of Sir William Davenport.
For the marriage see Earwaker, East
Ches. i, 437, 451. The marriage was
arranged in 1551, and Elizabeth accordingly became seised of Middleton Hall,
the Little Park (2 acres), and lands in
Middleton called Brereleighs, the Bottoms,
and the Hills. After Richard Ashton's
death she appears to have married one
Bradburn, and being convicted of felony
and murder, her lands came into the
queen's possession. Elizabeth died at
Middleton 17 Feb. 1606–7, the conviction having never been rescinded; Lancs.
Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.),
||Special licence of entry was granted
to the heir on 24 June 1558; Dep.
Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 550.
||Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, 3; in
addition to Middleton and Radcliffe he
held land in Bamford of the Earl of Derby.
The inquisition states that Katherine
widow of his father Richard, who afterwards married Sir William Radcliffe, was
then living at Ordsall. A few days before
his death Richard Ashton granted to trustees the manor and church of Radcliffe
and Middleton Park for the use of John,
a younger son.
In April 1564 the queen granted Gilbert Gerard custody of the body and
marriage of the heir, with an annual rent
of £13 6s. 8d. out of the manor of Middleton; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxiii,
262 d.; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App.
550. Warrant for livery of his lands
was granted to the heir in Nov. 1579;
ibid. The minority probably accounts for
the unsatisfactory character of the pedigree
recorded in 1567; Visit. (Chet. Soc), 64.
||In 1597–8 and 1606–7; P.R.O. List,
73. About this time the spelling of the
surname became fixed in its present form.
A settlement of the estates was made
in 1582 by Richard Assheton and Mary his
wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 44,
||Metcalte, Knights, 145. About the
same time a settlement of the manors of
Middleton and Radcliffe, &c., was made
by Sir Richard Assheton and Mary his
wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 65,
no. 42. A brief pedigree was recorded in
1613; Visit. (Chet. Soc), 7.
||'Dec. 27, St. John's Day  I
with my Coz. Assheton to Middleton. Sir
Ric. had left his speech, and did not know
a man. . . . He departed very calmly
about eight at night. No extraordinary
sorrow, because his death was so apparent
in his sickness. Presently upon his death
there was inquiring after his will, which
was showed by Mr. John Greenhalgh of
Brandlesome and Sir Richard's second son
Ralph Assheton, who with my lady were
executors, and Coz. Assheton of Whalley
supervisor. My now Coz. Assheton of
Middleton, Richard, began to demand the
keys of the gates and of the study for the
evidence, and to call for the plate, upon
cause his brother John had some part
in them. There were some likeness of
present falling out of him and the executors, which certainly had been, had not
my Coz. Assheton of Whalley so [managed]
as was little or no discord. The reason
was former unkindness between Sir Ric.
and his son, to which Sir Ric. was moved
by my lady and those that were of her
faction'; N. Assheton's Diary (Chet. Soc),
70–2. Sir Richard was buried at Middleton
on 28 Dec. 'My lady' was Sir Richard's
second wife, Mary, daughter of Robert
Holt, of Ashworth.
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), ii, 104–7. The inquisition states
that his father, Sir Richard Assheton,
had in 1599 assigned an annual rent of
£20 as provision for his son John, who in
1619 was still living at Middleton; he
made a settlement on Mary his wife in
1604, who also was living in 1619; in
1614 he provided for his youngest son
Ralph. On Sir Richard's death, 27 Dec.
1617, his son and heir Richard succeeded.
He made various grants of annuities, including one of £13 6s. 8d. to his younger
brother John, who gave him £100. The
manor of Middleton and various messuages
and lands in Middleton, Pilsworth, Thornham, Ainsworth, Birtle, Siddal, and Tonge
were held of the king as of his Duchy of
Lancaster by knight's service and 23s. 4d.
rent, and were worth 100 marks clear per
annum. Mary his wife survived him, and
was the executrix.
There is in the church a brass of
Richard Assheton, his wife, and their six
sons and two daughters, with an inscription stating that he died 7 Nov. 1618 in
the forty-first year of his age. He was
buried on 19 Nov. His widow, a 'right
worthy and truly religious matron,' was
also buried at Midaleton, 27 Feb. 1644–5.
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.),
In 1628 and 1636 he made settlements
of the manor of Middleton; Pal. of Lanc.
Feet of F. bdle. 114, no. 5; 129, no. 18.
||Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs.
71; he was 'excluded or disabled by ordinance of the House in 1648.'
||In 1642 it was understood he was
to bring £250 to the aid of the Parliament; N. and Q. (Ser. 1), xii, 360.
||The following references are from
Ormerod's Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.):
p. 2—Deputy-Lieutenant, 1642; p. 16—
prevented the King's Commissioners from
seizing the powder in Manchester, June
1642; pp. 51, 333—sent 150 of his
Middleton tenants in complete arms to defend Manchester, where they behaved very
steadily, Sept. 1642; p. 62—was allowed
a 'small brass piece' for the defence of
his house, Nov. 1642; p. 81—Colonel in
command of the 500 troops who guarded
Bolton against the attacks of Lord Derby's
troops, Feb. 1642–3; p. 87–relieved Lancaster, Mar. 1643; p. 90—appointed on
the committee for 'sequestering notorious
delinquents' estates,' 1 Apr. 1643; pp.
95–8—defeated Lord Derby at Whalley,
Apr. 1643; p. 98—the 'brave and victorious Colonel Assheton' drove the Royalists
out of Wigan, 22 Apr. 1643; pp. 104–6
—captured Liverpool, Hornby, and Thurland, May and June 1643; p. 153—
surprised and overpowered by Lord Byron
near Middlewich, Dec. 1643; p. 154—
took part a few days later in the relief of
Nantwich, being particularly praised by
Fairfax; pp. 162–85—took part in the
first siege of Lathom, Feb. to May 1644;
p. 252—commanded the Lancashire forces
against the Duke of Hamilton, June 1648;
p. 261—he and his men highly praised by
Cromwell for their gallantry in the fight
at Preston, Aug. 1648; p. 274—relieved
Cockermouth and took Appleby, Oct.
1648; p. 277—his disbanded troops mutinied at Clitheroe, Mar. 1649. Colonel
Assheton is frequently mentioned in the
Lancs, War (Chet. Soc.); in particular are
described his activity and success in clearing the county of Lord Derby and his
men in the spring of 1643 (pp. 37–40).
Some of his letters, dated 1645, are
printed in Whitaker's Whalley, ii, 153,
154; one sentence is not complimentary
to the other leading Parliamentarians of
the county:—'If Stanley, Booth, Holcroft, Egerton, and such like must be
applauded and chiefly observed, I will not
only stay here but send for my son to come
to me, for I scorn that he shall receive
orders from them.' The same consciousness of his own importance is manifest
on the spirited brass in the church.
||Thornely, Brasses, 291.
||Whitaker, Whalley, ii, 152; one
Utley was for it executed at Lancaster
Assizes. Richard son of Ralph Assheton,
esq., was buried at Middleton 27 Mar.
1630. John another son is said to have
retired to France after the execution of
Charles I, and to have died there.
||G.E.C. Complete Baronetage, iii, 113.
He married Anne daughter of Sir Ralph
Assheton of Whalley, and recorded a pedigree in 1664; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc),
A settlement of the family manors was
made in 1650 by Ralph Assheton and
Elizabeth Assheton, widow; Pal. of Lanc.
Feet of F. bdle. 148, m. 119.
||He was buried at Middleton 2 May
1665. His funeral is described in Lancs,
and Ches. Hist, and Gen. Notes, iii, 67.
||He died 4 May and was buried
10 May 1716 at Middleton, where there
is a monument. Two daughters and coheirs were married at Middleton within
twelve months—Katherine on 27 Nov.
to Thomas Lister of Arnold Biggin,
Yorkshire; and Mary on 19 Feb.
to Nathaniel Curzon of Kedleston. A
grandson of the former daughter, Thomas
Lister, was created Lord Ribblesdale in
1797; the elder son of the latter daughter,
Nathaniel, was created Lord Scarsdale in
1761, and the younger, Assheton, was
created Viscount Curzon in 1802. The
other daughter and co-heir Anne married
Humphrey Trafford; from her are descended the Vavasours of Spaldington.
||Pink and Beaven, op. cit, 191, 80.
||Settlements of the manor were made
by Sir Ralph Assheton in 1721 and again
in 1739; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 512,
m. 3; 548, m. 4.
||There is a monument to him in the
church, erected by his daughters; also to
his widow Eleanor, 'who closed a most
exemplary life of piety and charity ' on
25 Mar. 1793.
||By fine in Mar. 1776 a settlement
was made by Harbord Harbord and Mary
his wife of a moiety of the manors of
Middleton and Radcliffe (or Radcliffe
Tower), and a moiety of 220 messuages,
three water-mills, a fulling-mill, gardens,
lands, rents, and views of frankpledge in
Middleton, Pilsworth, Thornham, Ainsworth, Great Lever, Little Lever, Birtle
with Hopwood, Prestwich, &c., also of the
advowsons of Middleton and Radcliffe;
Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 375,
m. 153. In 1779 the duchy received a
rent of £1 11s. 10d. for Middleton from
Harbord Harbord; Duchy of Lanc.
Rentals, bdle. 14, no. 25 m.
The other moiety of the estate was in
1771 settled by Sir Thomas Egerton and
Eleanor his wife; ibid. bdle. 385, m. 246.
||The land tax returns of 1787 show
that Lord Suffield owned practically all
the land, except Langley; returns at
Preston. For the pedigree see G.E.C.
Complete Peerage, vii, 299. Sir Harbord
Harbord (formerly Morden), 2nd baronet
of Gunton, Norfolk, was created Lord
Suffield in 1786 and died in 1810. His
son William Assheton Harbord succeeded,
but died in 1821 without issue, when a
younger brother, Edward Harbord, followed.
'His lordship frequently visited Middleton, and occasionally manifested a kind
regard to the indigent of the place';
E. Butterworth, Middleton, 18. He died
in 1835 from injuries sustained by falling
from his horse on Constitution Hill. His
son Edward Vernon Harbord succeeded,
and being without issue sold the Lancashire manors and estates.
There was a recovery of the manor in
1814, Lord Suffield and Edward Harbord
being vouchees; Pal. of Lanc. Assize R.
7, Lent 54 Geo. Ill, rot. 12.
||Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1868), i, 469.
Some half-dozen Middleton deeds in the
possession of Sir S. Morton Peto, bart.,
were transcribed by Canon Raines in
1855; see his MSS. (Chet Lib.), xxxi, 57.
||Baines, ut sup.
||Ibid. (ed. Croston), ii, 410.
||Rev. T. Corser's notes to James's
Iter Lancastrense (Chet. Soc. vii), 31.
||Rev. F. R. Raines's notes to Nicholas
Assbeton's Journal (Chet. Soc. xiv), 70. A
sculptured chimney-piece from the hall is
now in possession of the Middleton Corporation, and some of the panelling is at
||E. Butterworth, loc. cit.
||William de Langley ('Longeley')
attested a Hopwood charter in 1302.
William son of William de Langley was
in 1313 called upon by Roger de Middleton to defend his title to certain lands;
De Banco R. 199, m. 124. The same
name occurs in the Subsidy Roll of 1332,
and as witness to another Hopwood charter
in 1347. In 1388–9 Thomas son of
William de Langley sold lands in Hopwood to Geoffrey de Hopwood; Hopwood
D. In 1466 Thomas Langley of Essex
sold the estate to James Radcliffeof Langley; Raines in Notitia Cestr. ii, 99.
The homage and service of Robert son
of Ellis del Holt and heirs for tenements
held of Sir Geoffrey de Chetham in land
called Langley was transferred to Roger
de Middleton about 1270; Dods. MSS.
cxlii, fol. 129b.
||James Radcliffe of Langley in 1492
granted to feoffees his 'manor of Langley,'
and all his lands in Middleton and Manchester, for the use of Owen (Ewan) Radcliffe, his bastard son, and heirs male; in
default, for Margaret Radcliffe, his bastard
daughter, for life, and then for Richard
Radcliffe of Radcliffe and his heirs. In
1496 accordingly the feoffees gave the
estate to Owen Radcliffe, with remainder
to Margaret then wife of William Urmston; Towneley MS. CC. no. 637.
About 1524 Isabel, Agnes, and Elizabeth Radcliffe, daughters of Roger Radcliffe, the brother of Richard above named,
claimed 'Langley's Thing in Middleton'
in virtue of the above feoffment, Owen
and Margaret being dead; Duchy Plead.
(Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 250.
Their contention was that Owen had only
a life interest, but the above-cited deed
shows that that was erroneous. He seems
to have left male issue. A settlement of
an estate in Middleton, Manchester, &c.,
was made in 1535; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of
F. bdle. 11, m. 71. This seems to have
been transferred by Owen to Richard
Radcliffe in 1547; ibid. bdle. 13, m. 227.
Vane (Evan or Owen) Radcliffe was buried
at Middleton, 15 Mar. 1547–8. Richard
Radcliffe of Langley married Elizabeth
daughter of James Gerard of Ince; Visit.
of 1567 (Chet. Soc), 81. He died 2 May
1577, holding a capital messuage in
Middleton called the hall of Langley, and
messuages, &c., in Middleton and Siddal
of the lord of Middleton in socage, by a
rent of 20d. for all services. He also held
messuages and lands in Bolton and Spotland. In 1564 the estate in Marland,
Castleton, and Spotland had been settled
upon him and his son and heir Owen,
who at his father's death was about thirtysix years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq.
p.m. xii, no. 19. Another settlement was
made in 1575; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F.
bdle. 37, m. 10.
Owen Radcliffe made a settlement of
his estates in Middleton and elsewhere in
1591; they comprised fifty messuages,
three dovecotes, three water-mills, 2,000
acres of land, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of
F. bdle. 53, m. 38. He died 30 Sept.
1599, leaving a daughter as heir, Mary,
the wife of Gabriel Tedder (Tudor),
eighteen years of age; but his brother
Edmund succeeded to the Langley estate;
Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, 14. Owen
and Edmund Radcliffe were engaged in
various suits between 1586 and 1600;
Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 176, 245,
247, 425. Further details of the family
and its property are given in the inquisition after the death of Edmund Radcliffe
in 1604, when Henry, his son and heir,
over twenty-two years of age, succeeded;
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), i, 20–2.
Henry Radcliffe died 15 Dec. 1630,
holding the manor of Marland in Rochdale
and Langley and other lands in Middleton;
the latter were held of Ralph Assheton,
lord of Middleton, in socage by a rent of
2s. yearly. Richard, the son and heir, was
twenty-seven years of age, and Henry's
wife Elizabeth survived him; Duchy of
Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, 25. The widow
and son joined in the sale of Marland in
1630; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxiv,
It appears from the Middleton registers
that Elizabeth Radcliffe, the widow, was
buried 9 Feb. 1632–3, and that Richard
Radcliffe had a number of children; but
the Langley estate was sold in 1631 by
Gabriel Tudor and Mary his wife to Henry
Wrigley of Manchester; Raines, loc. cit.
The date given may be erroneous, for in
Mr. Earwaker's notice of Henry Wrigley
in the Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. iv, 186, it is
stated that he purchased Chamber Hall in
Oldham in 1646 and Langley Hall subsequently.
The Radcliffes of Royton are said to
be descendants of the Radcliffes of Langley; there is an unsatisfactory pedigree in
the Raines MSS. xiii, 230.
||Several Henry Wrigleys in succession
appear to have lived at Langley at the end
of the 17th and beginning of the 18th
centuries. Henry son of Henry Wrigley
of Langley entered Brasenose College,
Oxford, in 1675, aged nineteen, and was
afterwards of Gray's Inn; Foster, Alumni.
Henry Wrigley of Langley was buried at
Middleton, 21 Mar. 1709–10.
Henry Wrigley son of Henry Wrigley,
deceased, entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1715; M.A. 1722; B.D. 1729.
He was fellow (and tutor) 1722–45, being
presented by the college to the rectory of
Cockfield in Suffolk in 1743. He died in
1766; Scott, Admissions St. John's C. ii,.
||On the Rev. Henry Wrigley's death
Langley became the estate of his sister
Mary, by whose will (dated 1779) it
passed to her nephew Henry Ferrabee, son
of her sister Elizabeth and Michael Ferrabee, rector of Rolleston. They had been
married in 1740; she was living in 1751,.
but died before her brother. Henry
Ferrabee had several sons; one of them,
Michael, was in possession in 1804, but
died before 1807, leaving an infant son
who died unmarried in 1823. The estate
then became divisible among a number of
co-heirs. For the deeds see Raines MSS.
(Chet. Lib.), xxiii, 505–9. It was sold in
1846 for £30,000 to James Collinge, of
Oldham; Raines in Notitia, ut supra.
The owner in 1886 was Robert Ascroft,
sometime M.P. for Oldham; he died in
Oldham Notes and Gleanings, iii, 214.
A plaster shield with the arms of a branch
of the Radcliffe family was preserved
and presented to the Technical School,
Middleton; Dean, Historical Middleton,
||Thomas de Chetham, who died in
1383, held land in Middleton 'of the heirs
of Geoffrey de Chadderton' in socage by a
rent of ½d. yearly; Towneley MS. DD,
no. 1463. In 1615 the land was held of
Richard Assheton of Middleton in socage;
Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), ii, 17.
Robert Langley of Agecroft held land in
Middleton, as part of his Oldham estate, of
the king (Henry VIII); and Robert Heywood of Bury held of Langley, by a rent
of 6d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, 7;
vii, 29. In Elizabeth's reign, Adam
Crompton of Farnworth held of the lord
of Manchester, and Richard Smethurst
held of the lord of Bury, while Christopher
Tonge of Tonge held of Richard Assheton
of Middleton; ibid, xvi, 18; xvii, 74;
Francis Pulteney, by his will of 1546,
left his Lancashire lands—in Royton,
Butterworth, and Middleton—to Michael
Pulteney, his son and heir; Ct. of Wards
and Liveries, Box 146 H, no. 1.
Richard Bury died at Middleton in
1614, holding lands there of Sir Richard
Assheton, deceased, in socage, by 14½d.
rent. His heir was his grandson Richard
Bury, son of Thomas, and then twentyfive years of age; ibid, ii, 249. See also
the account of Birtle.
For a dispute as to a fulling-mill in
Middleton in 1601 see Ducatus Lanc.
(Rec. Com.), iii, 437.
||a Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs,
and Ches.), i, 206.
||Piccope, Wills (Chet. Soc), ii, 225;
Thomas Jones was 'kept to learning in
Cambridge' at the charge of Richard
Jones, rector of Bury. He was consecrated Bishop of Meath in 1584, translated
to Dublin in 1605, being made Lord
Chancellor of Ireland, and died in 1619.
His son, Sir Roger, was created Viscount
Ranelagh in 1628.
Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and
Ches.), ii, 239.
||24 & 25 Vict. cap. 10; amended
by 41 & 42 Viet. cap. 162, 42 & 43
Vict. cap. 86, &c.; by these Middleton
and Tonge were amalgamated and (in
1879) Alkrington and parts of Hopwood
and Thornham were added. Particulars
of the Acts are given in the Corporation's
Year Bk. which the town clerk, Mr. F.
Entwisle, has supplied to the editors.
||Dated 21 July 1886. Parts of the
townships of Great and Little Heaton
were added in 1891.
||Under the Act of 1847 a joint-stock
company owned the gasworks; a new
company was formed under an Act in 1851;
9 & 10 Vict. cap. 8; 17 & 18 Vict. cap. 1.
||The water-supply was formerly in the
hands of a private company, owning the
Heywood waterworks, then of the Heywood Corporation, and since 1898 by the
Heywood and Middleton Water Board,
consisting of six members from each
borough; 61 & 62 Vict. cap. 240.
||An account of the opening, with a
view, is contained in Oldham Notes and
Gleanings, iii, 192. There are also readingrooms at the Co-operative Hall in Long
Street, Bowlee, and Rhodes.
||These details are from E. Butterworth's Middleton (ed. 1840), and the
Middleton and Tonge Industrial Society's
Jubilee Handbook (1900).
||A district was assigned to it in 1863;
Lond. Gax. 24. Mar.
||This and other information as to the
Nonconformists' chapels is taken from
E. Butterworth, op. cit. 31.
||Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. v,
||Kelly, Engl. Cath. Missions, 277.