Townships
Little and Darcy Lever

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1911

Pages

262-266

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'Townships: Little and Darcy Lever', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 262-266. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53041 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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LITTLE LEVER

Lefre, 1212; Lethre, 1221; Leuere, 1278; Leuir, 1282; Leuer, 1291; Leyver, 1550.

This township is bounded on three of its five sides by the Irwell, the Croal, and Blackshaw Brook, but a small portion projects north of the last-named brook. The village occupies the centre of the area and spreads itself along the roads leading east to Radcliffe, west to Farnworth, and north-west to Bolton. On the southern border is the hamlet of Nob End, and on the eastern that of Stopes. The area is 807 acres. (fn. 1) The Bolton and Manchester Canal passes along by the south-west boundary and after descending by six locks crosses the Irwell by an aqueduct; near this the branch canal parts off towards Bury. The population in 1901 was 5,119.

There are numerous coal mines; also cotton mills and bleach works, iron foundry, chemical works, and paper mill. A pottery and a terra cotta factory are worked and bricks are made. The soil is clay; the agricultural land is mostly in pasture.

In 1666 there were sixty hearths liable to the tax; the only large house was that of John Andrews, with nine hearths. (fn. 2)

The township was governed by a local board from 1872 (fn. 3) to 1894, when an urban district council was formed; there are twelve members elected by four wards—Church, Ladyshore, Stopes, and West.

John Seddon, born at Lomax Fold in 1719, became minister of Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, and died there in 1769. (fn. 4)

DARCY LEVER

This township is bounded on the west, south, and east by the Croal and its affluents. The general slope of the surface is from north to south. The area is 499 acres. The population in 1901 was enumerated with Great Lever.

The road from Bolton to Little Lever and Radcliffe passes east through the centre, the village of Darcy Lever, practically a suburb of Bolton, lying along the western end of it; and there are other roads leading north and south. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's Bolton and Bury railway crosses the Tonge by a long and lofty viaduct and then passes east through the township; and the Bolton and Manchester Canal passes through it, near the Croal, crossing the Tonge by an aqueduct.

The township abounded with coal, but it has practically been worked out. Several mines were worked till recently; one is still in operation. There is a cotton mill at the village. On the southern boundary, by the Croal, are sewage works of the Bolton Corporation.

Darcy Lever was incorporated with the borough and township of Bolton by the Extension Act of 1898.

There were several large houses in the township in 1666; Robert Lever's had eight hearths liable to the tax, Jame; Bradshaw's and John Crompton's seven each, and Lawrence Fogg's six. There were only twelve hearths in the rest of the township. (fn. 5)

Manor

The manor of LITTLE LEVER formed part of the barony of Manchester, and was assessed as four oxgangs of land. From an early time it was held in moieties. Albert Grelley the younger in the time of Henry II gave one moiety to Alexander son of Uvieth at a rent of ½ mark and a hawk or 12d (fn. 6) The name of the tenant in 1212 is not given; but in 1227 Adam de Radcliffe was called upon by Robert Grelley to perform suit at his court of Manchester fortnightly instead of monthly. (fn. 7) A little earlier Eugenia, widow of William de Radcliffe, demanded against the same Adam her dower in four oxgangs in Little Lever among other lands. (fn. 8) From this it would appear that the Radcliffes had had a grant of the whole of Little Lever, perhaps between 1212 and 1221. There are later tokens of their connexion with it. (fn. 9)

The next lord of the whole or part of Lever is one Leising de Lever, who had part at least of Great Lever also. (fn. 10) Possibly descended from him was the Adam de Lever, living in 1246, (fn. 11) ancestor of the family of Lever of Little Lever, (fn. 12) which apparently held a share of the manor till the beginning of the 17th century. In the absence of satisfactory evidence of the descent it can only be stated that in 1320 William de Radcliffe and William de Lever held Little Lever by homage, service, and suit to the court of Manchester, rendering yearly 4d. sake fee, 6s. 8d. rent, also 12d. and providing puture for the serjeant and foresters—8s. in all (fn. 13) ; that in 1473 John Lever held half the manor by the twentieth part of a knight's fee, a rent of 3s. 4d. and 2d. sake fee, rendering puture and other services, while Sir Richard Tempest held the other moiety similarly (fn. 14) —these moieties being respectively Little Lever and (the later) Darcy Lever; (fn. 14a) and that in the 16th and 17th centuries the manor is found to be divided between two Lever families—the Chisnalls—Bradshaws, and others. (fn. 15) It is not possible to trace the subdivisions further.


Lever of Lever. Argent two bendlets sable, the lower one engrailed.

The estate of the Levers of Little Lever passed to the family of Andrews of Rivington. This branch of the Levers recorded pedigrees in 1567 (fn. 16) and 1613 (fn. 17) ; while Andrews of Little Lever did likewise in 1665. (fn. 18) Of this stock came Thomas Lever, one of the most upright and advanced of the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century; he was master of St. John's College in 1551, went into exile in Switzerland in the reign of Mary, and returning in 1558 was made master of Sherburn Hospital in Durham. (fn. 19) Darcy Lever Hall was the seat of another family of the local surname; (fn. 20) one member of it was the founder or refounder of Bolton Grammar School. (fn. 21)

DARCY LEVER OLD HALL stands 2 miles southeast of Bolton on high ground sloping down to the Blackshaw Brook, which flows past the house on the south side, not far from its junction with the River Tonge.

The principal front of the house, which is of timber and plaster on a red sandstone base, faces north, and has three timber gables, and a wing projecting northwards 23 ft., with a former timber gable rebuilt in brick.

On a beam over the porch is inscribed R L E 1641 for Robert and Elizabeth Lever, and on the stone head of the inner door the date is repeated. The plan of the house seems to be a late development of the Hplan, and may very well belong to this date. The screen passage is still represented, but the hall has become quite insignificant, and its porch, as at Kenyon Peel, has been amalgamated with the west wing. The principal room on the ground floor is the parlour, entered through a lobby on the west of the screens.

The building, which is in a rather dilapidated condition, is now used as a farmhouse, and has been very much altered and modernized inside, though the exterior retains much of its original picturesqueness. It is of two stories with attics in the gables, and the roofs are covered with grey stone slates. The north front has been little altered except by the addition of lean-to buildings in the recessed portions, but the gables have lost their bargeboards, the attic windows are built up, and the timber-work generally is in a more or less decayed state.

The timber construction, which remains intact on the north side, is continued round the east side, but the south front has been entirely rebuilt in brick and is without interest, the roof, which is hipped at the east end, being in one unbroken length with overhanging eaves. The total length of the building is about 78 ft., but at the west end a new brick built house has been erected with which one of the lower rooms of Darcy Lever Old Hall on the south side has been incorporated, the two houses thus overlapping.

The half-timber work of the north front is of simple construction, the gables being filled in with diagonal pieces, with a plaster cove running round at the level of the wall plates. The timber work is quite plain except in the middle gable, which has quatrefoil fillings and a cove at the level of the first floor. Some of the windows retain their diamond quarries.

The entrance is through an open porch under the middle gable, opening into a through passage with a doorway at the end on the south side. Both doors are the original ones of oak, nail studded, and with good iron hinges and fittings. To the right of the passage is a lobby leading to the parlour, a large room 23 ft. long by 16 ft. wide, with an ingle-nook on its east side 14 ft. 9 in. wide and 4 ft. 6 in. deep., and to the left is a room at the back, now used as a larder. A smaller room at the front is now only reached from the east wing, the two lower rooms of which are used as workshops or lumber rooms, with separate outer doorways.

The staircase is to the west of the porch, built between walls and radiating from a central post. The treads are of oak, but there is no ornamental detail. There is an opening under the stairs giving direct access to the kitchen from the open air, but this is a later insertion. The interior, which shows the timber construction throughout, has little architectural interest, there being no panelling, and all the original furniture and fittings, with the exception of a long 17th-century table in the parlour, have disappeared. In one of the bedrooms is a good stone fireplace, now whitewashed, with moulded jambs and a shaped head, and the ceilings of the parlour and the bedroom over are crossed by moulded beams.

The north wing, the roof of which is a little lower than that of the main building, consists of kitchen and washhouse, and breaks up the elevation on the north side in rather a pleasing fashion, apparently reducing the length of the building by forming a kind of courtyard. This wing appears to be of about the same date as the rest of the house, though it has been largely rebuilt in stone and brick. On a line with its east face is a portion of the 17th-century stone fence wall running northward with weathered coping and remains of a ball ornament.

HACKING, or Hacken, was another estate in the township. It was held by the Byroms of Salford. (fn. 22) Under this family it was occupied on lease by Richard Crompton and his descendants, who seem to have acquired the freehold. (fn. 22a) It descended to James Crompton of Hacking, who died in 1727, and was sold by his heirs in 1735 to the Peploes, and was again sold at the beginning of last century by Mrs. Peploe Birch to the Earl of Bradford, and has descended with Great Lever. (fn. 23)


Byrom of Salford. Argent a cheveron between three hedgehogs sable, a crescent on the cheveron for difference.


Crompton of Hacking. Gules a fesse wavy between three lions rampant or.

Richard Heywood had a small estate in Little Lever in the early part of the 17th century; (fn. 24) two of his sons—Oliver and Nathaniel—distinguished themselves as preachers and as leaders of the Nonconformists after 1662. (fn. 25)

The land-tax return of 1786 shows that James Bradshaw and John Peploe Birch were the chief proprietors of Darcy Lever, paying between them nearly half the tax. In 1797 Robert Andrews paid more than a third of the tax for Little Lever, John Fletcher and Benjamin Rawson being among the smaller contributors. (fn. 26)

In connexion with the Church of England, St. Matthew's, Little Lever, was built in 1791 and rebuilt in 1865. (fn. 27) There are a mission church of St. Mary at Nob End, and a mission room.

The Wesleyan Methodists have chapels at Little Lever and Darcy Lever, and the Congregationalists have one at the former place. (fn. 28)

Footnotes

1 The 1901 Census Report gives 808 acres, including 37 of inland water.
2 Subs. R. Lancs, bdle. 250, no. 9.
3 Lond. Gaz. 9 July 1872.
4 Dict, Nat. Biog.
5 Subs. R. Lancs, bdle. 250, no. 9.
6 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 57; it is stated that 'his heirs hold that land.'
7 Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 47, 48.
8 Inq. and Extents, i, 129, 130, quoting Curia Regis R. 78, m. 14 d.
9 William son of Ellis de Lever and Ellis son of Adam de Lever were in 1309 summoned to show by what services they held their tenements in Little Lever of Richard son of Robert de Radcliffe; De Banco R. 179, m. 206. See also the following notes. Nothing is said of it in any of the Radcliffe inquisitions.
10 See the account of Great Lever in Middleton.
11 There were cross-suits concerning the wood and waste in 1246 between Adam de Lever and Adam de Radcliffe; Assize R. 404, m. 5 d.
In 1276 Henry son of William de Lever (Parva) claimed the manor of Little Lever against Adam of the same, and messuages in Great Lever against Ellis de Lever; De Banco R. 13, m. 11.
12 In the Lever of Great Lever Chartulary (Add. MS. 32103) are some charters referring to the Little Lever family. Adam de Lever and Ellis his son attested a grant; no. 45. Ellis son of Adam de Lever granted to William his son and his heirs a portion of his land in Little Lever. The bounds began at 'the Langcestre' (alias Hanycestre) where Denebrook fell into the great water called Lever (alias Letoce); ascended the brook to a ditch dividing Little Lever and Breightmet as far as the Menesshaw; went down to the Tonge water, and down this to the first division. These boundaries are, roughly speaking, those of the present township of Darcy Lever. The grant included the homage of Richard del Snape, who paid 13d. rent, and other services; and the land was to be held of the chief lords of the fee by a rent of 4s., paid at the four terms, and by such other services as Ellis had rendered for the whole manor of Little Lever; ibid. m. 219. This grant was confirmed by a fine in 1292, when the estate is called a moiety of the manor of Little Lever; Final Conc, i, 167. In 1310 a settlement of this moiety of the manor was made by William de Lever and Lettice his wife; ibid, ii, 4.
In the same year William de Lever called upon Richard son of Robert de Radcliffe to acquit him of the services demanded by Thomas Grelley. William held the moiety of Little Lever by a rent of 4s., and Richard should perform the suit at the court of Manchester; De Banco R. 183, m. 214.
Ellis de Lever acted as a juror in 1282; Inq. and Extents, i, 244, 250; and William was acting in 1288; ibid. 268. In 1291 Richard de Radcliffe claimed a tenement in Little Lever and Pilkington against Ellis de Lever and Henry the reeve of Gorton; Assize R. 1294, m. 9.
William de Lever was not the heir of his father, but another son, Adam, mentioned in 1297, when Ellis was still living; Lever Chartul. no. 69. In 1309 it was found that Ellis, son of Adam de Lever was the heir and, being a minor, was in the guardianship of Richard de Radcliffe. The estate in Little Lever was described as eight messuages, 60 acres of land, &c., held of the said Richard by fealty and the service of 8s. and not by knight's service. The claim to wardship was therefore rejected by the jury. Adam de Lever's widow appears to have been living, for only five messuages, 40 acres of land, &c., were restored to his heir; Assize R. 423, m. 1 d.
In 1331 a settlement of this moiety of the manor was made by Ellis de Lever in favour of his son Adam and his issue by Agnes his wife; Final Conc, ii, 78. It will be seen that the Radcliffes considered this branch of the family responsible for the whole rent of 8s. due from Little Lever, though the Darcy Lever half had been granted away. Adam son of Ellis de Lever was witness to a Farnworth charter in 1356; Lever Chartul. no. 97. He occurs in a Pilkington plea in 1358; Assize R. 438, m. 6 d. Some of the family seem to have settled in the township named; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 6, m. 27; R. 7, m. 1b, 5b; R. 8, m. 12b.
13 Mamecestre (Chet. Soc), ii, 289, 290. William de Radcliffe paid 4d. sake fee for the lands held by Ellis de Lever. It would appear, therefore, that this family secured the guardianship of the heir in spite of the adverse verdict above recorded. The 4d. is probably included in the 7s. rent due at the four terms. The 12d. was in lieu of the hawk.
14 Ibid, iii, 478. As to Little Lever proper there appears in 1477 a claim for dower by Elizabeth widow of James Lever against Robert Pilkington, guardian of the land and heir of Robert Lever; she recovered seisin; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 46, m. 2 d.
14 a Nothing appears to be on record as to the latter manor, or moiety of the manor, from 1310 to 1448, when Henry Lever the elder, Giles, and Henry the younger, a son of Giles, held it on a lease for lives of Alice, widow of Sir Robert Tempest. It appears that Henry the elder was a younger brother of William Lever of Great Lever, and that Giles was his son; and that a rent of 25s. a year was due from Great Lever to the manor of Little Lever—probably for some easement, Darcy Lever being opposite to Great Lever, the Croal dividing them; Lever Chartul. no. 176, 177. Henry Lever the younger had a son Giles, serving at Berwick in 1505 (ibid. no. 220); and Giles had a son and heir Adam and another son William, living in 1524; ibid. no. 214, 215. To the same family apparently belonged Andrew Lever and Adam his son, living in 1593 and 1599; ibid. no. 216, 218.
There is nothing to show how the Tempests became possessed of this manor, which, as shown in the text, was held by Sir Richard Tempest in 1473; it was probably Dame Alice Tempest's inheritance. She was the daughter of John Lacy of Gateforth, and married Sir Robert Tempest in 1407. Sir Richard Tempest of Staniforth in Ribblesdale was their son; he is described as a knight in 1432, and died in or before May 1488. This information is due to Mrs. Tempest of Broughton Hall. Dowsabel, the daughter and heir of Sir Richard Tempest, married Sir Thomas D'Arcy, created Baron D'Arcy in 1509. Lord D'Arcy opposed the destruction of the religious houses by Henry VIII, and taking part in the Pilgrimage of Grace was attainted and beheaded in 1538; Whitaker, Craven (ed. Morant), 71. It is about his time that the name Darcy Lever first appears, to distinguish this part of Little Lever. In 1530 it appears that Lever had descended to Sir George D'Arcy, eldest son of Lord D'Arcy, as part of his mother's lands, and that he had given it to his younger brother, Sir Arthur, in exchange for Gateforth; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xii (2), 70, 71.
15 The following are among the inquisitions, &c., of the period referred to:—
Richard Lever died 19 March 1587–8, seised of the manor of Little Lever, and eighteen messuages in the township, held of John Lacy as of his manor of Manchester in socage by a rent of 4s. yearly. He also held two burgages in Bolton. Richard, his son and heir, was forty-six years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xv, no. 41.
There is a memorial brass at Forcett of Anne Underhill, daughter of Richard Lever; Yorks. Arch. Journ. xvii, 276.
Thurstan Tyldesley was in 1557 in possession of the manor of (Darcy) Lever, together with other manors and lands; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 17, m. 18. Five years later the Darcy Lever estate was entrusted or mortgaged to Richard Chisnall and Thurstan Barton; ibid, bdle. 24, m. 14. A similar grant or sale was made by Thurstan Tyldesley and others in 1566 to Oliver Chisnall and Thomas Lassell. The manors of Darcy Lever, Lever, and Great Lever are named; also messuages, dovecote, two fullingmills, gardens, and rent in the Levers, Bolton, and Rivington; ibid. bdle. 28, m. 246.
Richard Chisnall, who died 3 May 1587, held half the manor of Little Lever and various messuages and lands in Little and Great Lever, as well as lands in Bolton, Hindley, Rivington, Lostock, Lancaster, Heath Charnock, Preston, and Furness; also Chisnall's buildings in Holborn, near Gray's Inn. Little Lever, by which Darcy Lever seems meant, was held of the lord of Manchester in socage by a rent of 18d. yearly. The heir was John Chisnall, son of Thomas the brother of Richard; he was thirtysix years of age; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 39.
Edward Chisnall or Chisenhale died in 1635, having a rent of £5 15s. from half the manor of Little Lever alias Darcy Lever; ibid, xxviii, no. 8. For the family see the account of Coppull.
The Bradshaws of Darcy Lever recorded a pedigree in 1665, from which it appears that John Bradshaw, who died in 1662, married a daughter of Robert Lever, also of Darcy Lever; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 51. It has not been ascertained how this family acquired their estate in the township, in which they continue to be large proprietors, the modern Darcy Lever Hall being their property. Some documents relating to them will be found in Pal. Note Bk. iv, 17; Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 111.
16 Visit. of 1567 (Chet. Soc), 9.
17 Visit. of 1613 (Chet. Soc), 33. The succession is given thus: Robert—s. John —s. Richard—s. Richard—s. Thomas (living)—s. John, aged 18, and five other sons and nine daughters.
In 1613 was a settlement of the manor of Little Lever and lands in Little Lever and Darcy Lever; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 83, no. 52. In 1624 Thomas and Nicholas Andrews purchased the manor from Thomas Lever, Thomasine his wife, and John, Richard, Robert, Ralph, and James, the sons of Thomas; ibid. bdle. 103, m. 5. For disputes as to the sale see Duchy of Lane. Plead. Hil. 1 Chas. I, bdle. 305.
18 Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 8. Nicholas Andrews married Heath, a daughter of Thomas Lever. He died 26 Aug. 1626, holding a third part of the manor of Little Lever, and various lands there, of the lord of Manchester, at the third part of 4s. rent. John, the son and heir, was ten years old—he is called fortyfive in 1665—and the trustees held twofifths of the estate for the use of Thomas, brother of Nicholas; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), fol. 9/10. John Andrews was 'accounted well of for religion'; O. Heywood, Diaries, ii, 141. There is nothing to show what became of the other twothirds of the manor, but John Lever, the heir of Thomas, is stated to have sold Little Lever o his nephew John Andrews in 1640; Piccope MS. Pedigrees (Chet. Lib.), ii, 148.
In 1701 a later John Lever claimed the manor, suing all purchasers of tenements in Little Lever except Mr. Andrews, who had agreed with him; O. Heywood, Diaries, iv, 176.
19 See Dict. Nat. Biog.: Cooper, Athen. Cantab. ii, 366, 565; Baker, Hist. St. John's College (ed. Mayor), i, 130. Thomas son of John Lever became fellow of the college in 1543; ibid, i, 284; M.A. 1545. He was ordained or re-ordained by Ridley in 1550–1; he had been a college preacher in 1548. Though he retained the Hospital of Sherburn till his death in 1577, he was deprived of his prebend in Durham in 1567, refusing even the small amount of conformity in the matter of vestments required by Queen Elizabeth. Among his good actions the preservation of Sedbergh Grammar School from the rapacity of the courtiers of Edward VI deserves a record.
His brother Ralph was made fellow of St. John's College in 1549 by the royal visitors of the university; D.D. 1578. He also was an exile in Mary's reign, and an extreme Calvinist, but conformed sufficiently to retain his ecclesiastical preferments in the time of Elizabeth. He was archdeacon of Northumberland, Canon of Durham, in 1575 rector of Stanhope, and in 1577 succeeded his brother as master of Sherburn. See Diet. Nat. Biog.; Cooper, Athen. Cantab, ii, 506.
20 The descent of this family is unknown. In 1601 it was found that Lawrence Fogg and Robert Lever had purchased lands in Darcy Lever of Mr. Chisnall, for which they were summoned to do their suit and service at the next leet court at Manchester; Ct. Leet Rec. ii, 174.
Robert Lever died in 1620, holding among other properties a messuage and lands in Little Lever alias Darcy Lever of Edward Mosley as of his manor of Manchester in socage by 18d. rent. James, his son and next heir, was over fifty years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 255–7. The rent is the same as that formerly paid by the Chisnalls.
James Lever died 24 Mar. 1634–5, holding messuages and lands in Darcy Lever and Bolton; the tenure is not stated. Robert, his son and heir, was twenty-six years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, no. 61. Robert Lever was one of the 'esquires' in the Bury Presbyterian Classis at its formation in 1646. By his first wife he had a daughter Jane, who married John Andrews, the son of Nicholas Andrews of Little Lever. The Andrews family thus secured portions of both Little Lever and Darcy Lever.
21 Robert Lever, the founder, was a younger son of the Robert who died in 1620. He had the manor of Rivington from his father.
22 Adam Byrom of Salford died in 1559 holding eight messuages, a moiety of two fulling-mills, &c., in Little Lever; of the executors of the will of Lord La Warre, in socage, by a rent of 18d.; his grandson Ralph, aged three years, was his heir; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 65.
Ralph Byrom, son of the last-named Ralph, died in 1599 without issue, his brother Adam, fourteen years of age, being his heir. He held twelve messuages, half a water-mill and fulling-mill in Little Lever or Darcy Lever of the lord of Manchester; ibid, xvii, no. 39.
22 a From a pleading of 1602 it appears that Ralph Byrom, lord of Hacking, had demised it to Richard Crompton, and then to Richard's younger son James; on James's death his son Richard took possession, but his right was denied by his uncle John, elder brother of James, a clothworker of London, on the ground that by the custom of the manor the eldest son had a preference; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. ccii, C17.
Ellis Crompton, who died 23 May 1632, held messuages in Little Lever alias Darcy Lever of Edward Mosley, as of his manor of Manchester in socage by a rent of 6d.; also messuages, &c., in Bolton. The heir was his grandson John Crompton, son of John son of Ellis, then fifteen years of age; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xxviii, no. 68, 69.
In 1581 there was a fine respecting messuages and lands in Darcy Lever and Bolton, Lawrence Fogg and Thomas Heyton being plaintiffs, and Ralph Byrom and James Bradshaw deforciants; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 43, m. 102.
Lawrence Fogg died about the beginning of 1605; his son Richard, as heir, was summoned to Manchester to do suit and service for his lands in Darcy Lever; Court Leet Rec. ii, 208. Richard Fogg in 1612 purchased lands in Darcy Lever of Adam Byrom; ibid, ii, 269. He died 11 Sept. 1630, holding twenty messuages, a water-mill, the moiety of two fulling mills, with lands, &c, in Little Lever alias Darcy Lever, of the lord of Manchester; also burgages, &c, in Bolton. Lawrence, his son and heir, was twenty-four years of age; Towneley MS. C. 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), fol. 428. The description corresponds with that of the Byrom estate above recorded. The Fogg family produced some prominent ecclesiastics in the 17th century, including the curate of Liverpool ejected in 1662, and a dean of Chester.
23 See the preceding note and the account of the Crompton family in Ormerod, Parentalia, 30–6. The following is from the Chester Consistory Court Records, under Bolton, 1665: 'There was an unlawful [Nonconformist] meeting at the house of Ralph Lever of Little Lever, 13 Sept. 1665, where were present Cicelly the wife of John Crompton of the Hacking in Darcy Lever, John and James his sons,' &c.
24 He issued a token in 1652; Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, 80.
25 Nathaniel Heywood was vicar of Ormskirk, and ejected in 1662. Oliver Heywood, B.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, was ejected from Coley Chapel in Halifax, but continued his ministrations as far as possible in Yorkshire and Lancashire in spite of excommunication, fine, and imprisonment. In 1688 he built North Owram chapel and laboured there till his death in 1702. He published numerous works, and his Diaries, four volumes, edited by J. Horsfall Turner, were printed in 1882–5. He several times visited Bolton and the neighbourhood and preached at Little Lever in 1666, &c. He purchased land there in 1671; Diaries, i, 278.
26 Land tax returns at Preston. Benjamin Rawson, who had chemical works, appears to have succeeded the Rev. Mr. Whitehead, whose name occurs in the return of 1788.
27 A district was assigned to it in 1866; Lond. Gaz. 11 May.
28 The services began in 1848, and the present chapel was built in 1850; it has been enlarged since. There was a temporary secession of part of the congregation from 1882 to 1885; Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iii, 149–53.