Townships
Blackrod

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Victoria County History

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William Farrer & J. Brownbill (editors)

Year published

1911

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299-303

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'Townships: Blackrod', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5 (1911), pp. 299-303. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=53053 Date accessed: 16 September 2014.


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BLACKROD

Blakerode, 1200, and commonly; Blacrode, 1220. The township of Blackrod extends for 3 miles from north-west to south-east. The area is 2,388½ acres. (fn. 1) The highest ground, about 520 ft., is near the centre, where the church and village are situated. The ground slopes away to the north-east and north-west, the lowest ground being in the western corner. The River Douglas and an affluent form the boundaries on three sides; the line of separation from Westhoughton appears to be arbitrary; the Red Moss occupies the eastern corner and divides Lostock from Blackrod. Huyton or Highton lies on the northern boundary, while Arley—famous for its coal (fn. 2) —is the western part of the township. The population in 1901 was 3,875.

The principal road is that through the centre of the township, leading from Bolton to Chorley and Preston. On its way north-west it passes the hamlet of Scot Lane End, the village of Blackrod, and the hamlet of Chauntry Brow. There are cross-roads leading to Horwich and Anderton on one side, and to Aspull, Haigh, and Standish on the other. The London and North-Western and Lancashire and Yorkshire Companies' joint line from Wigan to Adlington passes along the north-west boundary, by which is also the Lancaster and Wigan Canal. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's line from Preston to Bolton passes along the north-eastern boundary and has a station at Blackrod, from which a line to Horwich branches off; to the south another branch leads to the Wigan and Manchester line, and has a station on the boundary called Hilton House.

A fair is held on the Thursday after 12 July. In 1804 there were horse races and a cock-fight at the celebration. (fn. 3)

The soil is clayey, overlying clay; wheat and potatoes are grown. Coal-mines have long been worked and form the principal industry. There were formerly bleach - works, and calico-printing works. Bricks are made.

A vaporous sulphur spring existed at Arley. (fn. 4)

A local board was created in 1872, (fn. 5) and it provided for the water supply and drainage of the township. (fn. 6) In 1894 it was transformed into an urban district council of nine members. Gas is supplied by a private company. The cemetery, opened in 1886, is controlled by the district council.

A castle is traditionally said to have stood in the village. (fn. 9) Some ancient dishes and candlesticks were found at Arley in 1803. (fn. 10)

In 1666 there were in all ninety-nine hearths liable to the tax; the two largest houses had five hearths each. (fn. 11)

Manor

The manor of BLACKROD, rated at 1 plough-land, was in the first half of the 12th century in the hands of William Peverel, but escheated to the king in 1153. (fn. 12) About 1190 it was granted by John, then Count of Mortain, to Hugh le Norreys at a thegnage rent of 20s. a year. (fn. 13) On coming to the throne John confirmed his grant in the same terms, (fn. 14) and in 1212 Hugh, called 'de Blackrod,' was returned as tenant. (fn. 15) About 1217, William, Earl Ferrers, was placed in possession, (fn. 16) but in 1221 the title of Hugh le Norreys was acknowledged. (fn. 17) Hugh died soon afterwards, and in 1223 Hugh, his son and heir, became lord of Blackrod, (fn. 18) and appears in 1226 as paying the 20s. rent. (fn. 19)


Bradshagh. Argent three mullets between two bendlets sable.

From Hugh the manors of Blackrod and Haigh appear to have descended to his brother Alan, who in turn was succeeded by his son Hugh. A number of suits between different members of the family establish the succession, and show that Robert de Holland was also concerned in the manor. (fn. 20) The younger Hugh left a daughter Mabel as his heir, (fn. 21) and she, having no children, diverted the succession to her husband's family. Thus Blackrod came into the possession of Roger de Bradshagh of Westleigh, (fn. 22) and descended with the latter manor (fn. 23) till the division of the Harrington estates at the beginning of the 16th century. (fn. 24) Of Blackrod one portion was granted to Henry Norris of Speke, who appears to have been the heir male of the family, and rejoiced greatly to recover a part of the inheritance; another part, with the advowson of the chapel, to Richard Hoghton; and a third share to Sir William Stanley of Hooton. (fn. 25) The Norrises in creased their estate in the township, (fn. 26) and their 'manor' is named in the 17th century. (fn. 27) By this time, however, the land had become much divided; no further notice of a manor appears in the records, though the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres is called the lord as heir of the Bradshaghs of Haigh, who in turn inherited from the Hoghtons. (fn. 28)


Norris. Quarterly argent and gules, in the second and third quarters a fret or, over all a fesse azure.

In the 16th century the principal resident family was that of Hyton or Huyton, whose house was called The Hall. They appear to have inherited from a branch of the Norris family, (fn. 29) and their estate was acquired by Edward Norris of Speke in 1582. (fn. 30)

ARLEY was another ancient estate, held in 1393 by William le Walsh. (fn. 31) He was followed by a Standish family. (fn. 31a) In later times a junior branch of the Norrises of Speke were settled in the township. (fn. 32) Other owners also occur. (fn. 33)

George Janion of Blackrod forfeited Park Hall in the time of the Commonwealth. (fn. 34) James Barker and other 'delinquents' are named. (fn. 34a) Some 'papists' registered estates in 1717. (fn. 35)

The Hospitallers had land in Blackrod in 1292, (fn. 36) and about 1540 Lord Mounteagle was in possession. (fn. 37)

Lawrence Vaux, warden of Manchester in 1559, was a native of Blackrod. (fn. 38)

Robert Leigh and Sir Richard Clayton were the chief contributors to the Land Tax in 1799. (fn. 39)

Church

Dame Mabel de Bradshagh in 1338 gave an endowment for a chantry priest in the chapel of ST. CATHERINE, then newly-built. The chaplain was to say divine service daily, making special mention of the founder at mass. The lord of Blackrod was to have the nomination. (fn. 40) The names of several of the cantarists are known. (fn. 41) At the suppression in 1548 the foundation was ascribed to James Harrington, and the priest, Ralph Forster, was stated to be celebrating according to his duty; his income, derived from lands in Blackrod, was £4 13s. 6d. (fn. 42) The chapel perhaps remained in use after the loss of its endowment, for the inventory of 1552 shows that it was fully, though coarsely, furnished. (fn. 43) Its fate after the accession of Elizabeth is unknown, (fn. 44) but £4 appears to have been allowed by the duchy to the minister, representing the chantry endowment. (fn. 45) By 1706 the stipend had increased to £21. (fn. 46) Sixty years later the building was enlarged, and galleries have been added since. (fn. 47) A separate ecclesiastical district was assigned in 1858. (fn. 48) The income is now stated to be, £718, and the vicar of Bolton presents the incumbents, who are styled vicars. (fn. 49) The following is a list of them:—

oc. 1604Robert Haslam (fn. 50)
oc. 1619Richard Barker (fn. 51)
1646Gerard Brown, B.A. (fn. 52) (Brasenose College, Oxford)
1654Thomas Isherwood (fn. 53)
1668—Bolton (fn. 54)
1682Hiel (?) Edmondson (fn. 55)
oc. 1696— Stones
c. 1701Christopher Tyrer, B.A. (fn. 56) (University College, Oxford)
Peter Shaw
1722Nathan Pierpoint
1727James Bankes, B.A. (fn. 57)
1774Thomas Shaw
1777Joseph Bowes, B.A. (St. John's College, Cambridge)
1788Stephen Ellis
1800William Marsden, B.D. (fn. 58) (Brasenose College, Oxford)
1837Charles Johnson Snape, B.A. (fn. 59) (Queens' College, Cambridge)
1846Peter Walsh Browne, M.A.
1861Francis Richard Swallow
1877Ralph Calvert Williams Croft, B.A. (fn. 60) (Trinity College, Dublin)
1900George Worsley Coleman, M.A. (fn. 61) (Jesus College, Cambridge)

A grammar school was founded in 1568 by the trustees of John Holme, and is now joined with the slightly earlier one founded at Rivington. (fn. 62)

There is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel.

Formerly there was a meeting of the Society of Friends in Blackrod. (fn. 63)

Footnotes

1 The Census Rep. of 1901 gives 2,392 acres, including 22 of inland water.
2 The mines are not at present worked.
3 T. Hampson, Hist, of Blackrod (1882), 64.
4 Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1868), i, 581.
5 Lond. Gaz. 9 July 1872; for borrowing powers see an Act of 1869, 42 & 43 Vict. cap. 43.
6 Hampson, Blackrod, 66–70.
9 The name is preserved. Alan del Castel was a tenant of Hugh le Norreys in 1283; Norris D. (B.M.), no. 1003.
In Hampson, Blackrod, it is stated that a former vicar said: 'At this place the remains of an ancient castle, the entrance to which and the foss were plainly discernible within the memory of many who are now alive (1846) . . . Many relics were found in the field in which the edifice was built. A key weighing 1½ lb. and a crown were found' (p. 20).
10 Gent. Mag. Mar. 1803, p. 220.
11 Subs. R. Lancs, bdle. 250, no. 9.
12 Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 68, 121. Peverel's forfeiture was the punishment of compassing the death of Ranulf Gernons, Earl of Chester, by poison; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 25.
13 Norris D. (B.M.), no. 1002; the seal is broken. Hugh le Norreys also held the adjacent manor of Haigh in Wigan, and in 1194 is called Hugh de Haigh; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 78.
14 Cal. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 26; dated 10 Oct. 1199. Hugh offered 10 marks and two chasours for this confirmation of his charter; Lancs. Pipe R. 116. It appears that the old rent of Blackrod was only 10s.; ibid. 127.
15 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 68.
16 Ibid. 121–2. William Ferrers married Margaret daughter and heir of William Peverel, and their great-grandson William, Earl Ferrers, was placed in possession of all the Peverel lands soon after the accession of Hen. III; Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 318,414. In 1324 the 'Earl of Ferrers' was supposed to be the mesne lord of Blackrod; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 37b.
17 Rot. Lit. Claus. i, 480.
18 He paid 10 marks for his relief, and livery was ordered in May 1223; Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 103.
19 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 133, 138.
20 In 1278 Margery widow of Hugh le Norreys claimed dower in Blackrod against Hugh son of Margery de Haigh (i.e. no doubt Hugh le Norreys son of Alan), and against Cecily daughter of Hugh le Norreys and Robert le Norreys; Cecily and Robert called Hugh le Norreys of Haigh to warrant them; De Banco R. 24, m. 47; 27, m. 54 d.; 28, m. 35 d.; Cal. Close, 1272–9, p. 557. The same plaintiff appeared against Hugh and Henry, sons of Alan le Norreys and Robert de Holland, claiming dower in 30 acres of wood; but the jury found that she had received 2 oxgangs for her third of the wood, except pannage and bees, and the claim failed; Assize R. 1238, m. 33.
In another suit Emma daughter of Hugh le Norreys claimed two messuages, 20 acres of land, &c., against Hugh le Norreys, Robert le Holland, and Roger Thunwath, when Hugh stated that his uncle Hugh had died seised, and he, as nephew and heir, had entered. The jury, however, found that Hugh and Roger had disseised Emma; Robert de Holland was not present; ibid. m. 31 d.
About the same time inquiry was made if Hugh le Norreys had held 87 acres of land and 19 acres of meadow, &c., in Blackrod, which had come to his brother Alan's son Hugh le Norreys; and the jury found that the elder Hugh had enfeoffed Alan son of Hugh le Norreys, Robert le Norreys, Cecily daughter of Hugh le Norreys, and Hugh son of Haynon (Anian) le Waleys; ibid. m. 33.
In 1280 Robert le Norreys and Cecily daughter of Hugh le Norreys claimed a tenement in Blackrod against Hugh le Norreys of Haigh; De Banco R. 34, m. 8; R. 36, m. 55.
Hugh le Norreys in 1277 and 1283 made grants to his sister Emma and to Robert, son of Alan le Norreys; Norris D. (B. M.), no. 1003–5. The seal shows a fleur de lis, with the legend: + s' hvgonis norrais.
In 1292 Margery widow of Alan le Norreys (no doubt the Margery de Haigh above named) was non-suited in claims against Henry de Rockeley for dower in certain lands, &c., in Blackrod. It was alleged that Alan son of Hugh le Norreys had granted them to the defendant and his wife Ellen; Assize R. 408, m. 5, 49 d.
For further details of Alan le Norreys see the accounts of Speke, Sutton, and Formby.
21 Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 185 ; ii, 9; settlements of the manors of Haigh and Blackrod in 1298 and 1312 by William de Bradshagh and Mabel his wife.
John de Chisenhale in 1301 and 1302 claimed common of pasture in Blackrod against William de Bradshagh and Mabel his wife; Assize R. 1321, m. 10; R. 418, m. 13.
In 1312 William de Atherton released to Sir William de Bradshagh all claim upon the manor; Norris D. (B.M.), no. 1006.
In 1317 William de Bradshagh, an outlaw, was said to hold the manors of Haigh and Blackrod of Robert de Holland; Kuerden fol. MS. 52.
22 By fine in 1337 between Mabel, widow of William de Bradshagh, and William son of John de Bradshagh the manor was settled on Roger son of Richard de Bradshagh of Westleigh, with remainders to his brothers Adam and Henry, then to Richard, son of John de Bradshagh, and to Hugh son of Robert le Norreys; Final Conc, ii, 105.
The official returns seem to conflict with this, for in 1324 Roger de Bradshagh was stated to hold Blackrod for one plough-land by the yearly service of 20s.; while in 1346 Maud (Mabel) de Bradshagh, as heir of Hugh le Norreys, held it in socage by a rent of 20s. and the usual relief; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 37b; Add. MS. 32103, fol. 146b.
The descent of this branch of the Bradshagh family is given in the account of Westleigh.
23 Henry son of Richard de Ince in July 1351 recovered a rent of 10s. in Blackrod, which he claimed against Roger son of Richard de Bradshagh; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1, m. 3.
Roger de Bradshagh in 1356 allowed Hugh de Adlington and others to make an attachment of water for the walk mill in Adlington; Norris D. no. 1008. In 1367 Mabel, widow of Richard de Kighley released to her father, Roger de Bradshagh, all right in the manor; ibid, no. 1009.
In 1383–4 it was found that Hugh de Bradshagh held two-thirds of the manor by knight's service and 20s. rent; Dods. MSS. cxxxi.
In 1400 William son of Hugh de Bradshagh made a settlement of the manor, with the reversion of lands held as dower by Margaret widow of Roger de Bradshagh, and Margaret widow of Hugh de Bradshagh. William's wife was named Joan; Norris D. no. 1010, 1011. A further settlement was made in 1414, with remainder to Elizabeth wife of Richard son of Sir James de Harrington; Richard and Elizabeth received a third part of the manor; Final Conc, iii, 72. For the marriage covenant see Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 33. Sir William de Bradshagh died in the following year, and it was found that he held Blackrod of the king as of his Duchy in socage by the service of 20s. a year; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet.; Soc), i, 109–111.
24 It was found in 1445–6 that Sir Richard Harrington held Blackrod in socage, rendering 20s. a year; he held it by the courtesy of England; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, 2/20. In 1483 Sir William Harrington held the manor.
Sir James Harrington held it at his death in 1497 by the same service; its clear annual value was 40 marks; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 40. The estates became divisible among his daughters; see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 170.
25 The deed of partition (1507) is among the Norris D. (B.M.).
Sir William Stanley and Anne his wife were to have in Blackrod the messuages, &c., occupied by Gilbert Taylor (Mitten Greaves), and Alexander Vaces(Vaus); the rents amounted to 32s. with five capons valued at 2d. each.
To Richard Hoghton and Alice his wife were given the tenements of Robert Ormishaw, John Almon, Nicholas Huyton, Henry Hodgkinson, Christopher Ainscough, Agnes Vaus, John Jackson, John Taylor, Lawrence Jackson, Oliver Browne, Nicholas Almon, Christopher Wood, Nicholas Smith, Roger Caterall, and Elizabeth Rigby. The total rents were £15 6s. 4d., with sixty-seven capons and four hens, and 16d. for 'average' (from one tenant). The advowson of the chapel was included with this share.
Richard and Alice had a son and heir Thomas, whose daughter and heir Jane married Roger Bradshagh of Haigh, and carried the inheritance to this family; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 26. The jury did not know the tenure of Blackrod. Thomas Hoghton in 1561 made a grant of part of his estate in Blackrod to Gabriel Hesketh of Aughton; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 23, m. 179; see also Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 227. Gabriel died in 1573, holding the lands of the queen as of her manor of Salford, in socage by a rent of 2s.; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xii, no. 32.
Sir Richard Hoghton, of Hoghton, in 1606 sold to Hugh Adlington a messuage, water-mill, &c., in Blackrod, lately held by Richard Shireburne in right of his wife Anne; Add. MS. 32106, no. 753.
Henry Norris and Clemency his wife received the tenements of James Barker, Hugh Watmough, Nicholas Ainscough, wife of Nicholas Heaton, Lawrence Wood and Margaret Hodgkinson, Ewan Vaus, Elise Haworth and John Vaus, Henry and Hugh Vaus, John and Egyan Holme, Gilbert Taylor, and James Catterall. The rents were in all £15 14s. 8d. in money and thirty-six capons; or almost exactly the same as the Hoghton share. From other deeds it appears that Clemency Norris in her widowhood resided at Park Hall in Blackrod; thus in 1551, describing herself as 'of Park Hall,' she made a lease to John Vause. Her name appears in the subsidy roll of 1541; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), i, 142. Sir William Norris's joy at the recovery of this part of Blackrod through his mother is expressed in his genealogical account of the family preserved among the Aston Hall D. (now in the British Museum), and printed in Topographer and Genealogist, ii, 363–73. Sir William states that he and his cousin Hoghton paid 9s. 6d. each, the other is. of socage rent being paid by the Stanleys.
26 Sir William Norris states that he purchased a part of his cousin Hoghton's land, and the whole of Sir Rowland Stanley's portion; Topog. and Gen. ii, 372. The Huytons' estate was afterwards acquired.
27 Sir William Norris died in 1568 holding half the manor of Blackrod and half a twentieth part of it of the queen as of her manor of Salford in socage, by a rent of 10s. 6d. for all services; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. xi, no. 22. The manor of Blackrod was included in a settlement made by Sir William Norris in 1613; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 81, no. 49.
From deeds in the Aston Hall collection it appears that Sir William Norris sold a large part of his estate in 1608 and later years; the occupiers seem to have purchased their holdings. Edward Norris, late of Speke, 'esquire,' who died in 1627, held a messuage and land in Blackrod of the king; Towneley MS. C, 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 914. He was either the younger brother or the eldest son of Sir William, and left a daughter and heir Margaret, twenty years of age.
28 Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 107; this lordship probably represents the Hoghton part of the manor. At the same time the chief landowner was Sir Robert Holt Leigh of Hindley Hall, whose estate is now held by Mr. Roger Leigh.
29 Hugh le Norreys about 1283 granted to Robert le Norreys, probably a halfbrother, the fourth part of the Croft in Blackrod (to be taken near the boundary of Anderton), with acquittance of multure and hopper-free for his corn in the grantor's mills of Croft and Arley. Sir Henry de Lea, then sheriff, was a witness. The charter is endorsed 'For Hyton's lands in Blackrod;' Norris D. (B.M.), no. 1004. Another deed, dated 1277, describes the bounds as beginning at Merestock, following the Blacklache, which fell into the Douglas at that point, to the middle of the wood between Blackrod and Croft; thence to Sidale Clough, where it fell into the Douglas, and so to the starting-point. Common of pasture of Haigh and Blackrod was allowed, together with pannage in the woods of both manors, except the grantor's park of Haigh. A yearly rent of 1d. was to be paid; ibid, no. 1005. Another grant in 1283 by Hugh le Norreys to Emma his sister seems to refer to a part of the same land; the rent was to be a pair of white gloves or 1d.; ibid. no. 1003. Robert le Norreys was, as above stated, a defendant in suits of 1278 respecting dower, &c, in Blackrod.
Robert le Norreys, perhaps the same person, in 1322 made a settlement of his estate in Blackrod and Adlington, with remainders in succession to his sons Hugh, Henry, Robert, John, and Roger; Final Conc, ii, 48.
In 1348 William son of Richard de Penketh and Amice his wife claimed the latter's dower in Blackrod against Hugh son of Robert le Norreys, and John his son; also against Randle Starkie and Margery his wife, and John the son of Randle; De Banco R. 355, m. 226.
The Huyton family may have been a purely local one, or a branch of that of Huyton near Piescot, and of Billinge. They appear in Blackrod at the end of the 15th century. In 1497 Nicholas Huyton, who was son and heir of William Huyton and his wife Isabel or Elizabeth, made a deposition of his estate in Blackrod, Longton, Hutton, Ashton, Golborne, Abram, and Lowton, and in 1504 and 1511 made wills; Hugh his son was dead, leaving a widow Agnes; Thurstan, another son and heir apparent, was of weak mind; Richard and Thomas, other sons, were living in 1511; and there were daughters Clemency, Margery, Ellen, and Alice; Towneley MS. CC, no. 667, 715, 716; Dods. MSS. lxxxvii, fol. 148b; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 545. In 1511 Nicholas seems to have married Margaret sister of Henry Kighley; or else his son did so.
Nicholas Huyton died in 1527, his son and heir Thurstan being then over forty years of age. The lands in Blackrod were held of the heir of Sir James Harrington by the rent of a pair of white gloves or 1d. yearly; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 53.
Though Thurstan was of 'faint wit' he was married, and in 1544 his son and heir apparent Nicholas granted a lease of a house in Abram; William, another son, is named in it; Norris D. The younger Nicholas was also short-witted; he had two sons, William and Hugh, and a daughter Katherine, who married Ralph Whitfield, and had a son David. William, the above-named brother of Nicholas, had a son William.
30 It appears that William, the son and heir apparent of Nicholas, was murdered, and that his brother Hugh was pressed to death at Lancaster Castle on account of the crime. On the morning of his execution Hugh Huyton conveyed all his lands to Sir William Norris in trust for his sister Katherine and her husband, though the widow of William Huyton retained possession for a time. Afterwards Edward Norris of Speke acquired the lands from the Whitfields. These transactions occupied many years, from 1568 to 1582, and full particulars are given in the Norm deeds (B.M.); see also fines of 1563 and 1569, by which settlements of the Whitfields' estate were made, and of 1582, by which Edward Norris secured lands in Blackrod, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 25, m. 32; 31, m. 168; 44, m. 83; see also Ducatus Lanc, ii, 243; iii, 115; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), ii, 253. Edward Norris sold a messuage, &c., in Blackrod to Arthur Finch in 1582; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 44, m. 136.
Nicholas Huyton, the father of William and Hugh, complained in 1562 that Ralph Whitfield and Katherine his wife, the latter as heir of her brothers, had obtained the deeds and entered into possession of Blackrod Hall and the rest of the estate 5 they alleged a settlement made in 1548; Duchy of Lane. Plead. lii, H, 5; lv, H, 13. About the same time Katherine widow of William Huyton alleged that Sir William Norris and others had in Oct. 1561 broken into Blackrod Hall, which had been settled on her on her marriage, and obtained possession of certain deeds; ibid, xlix, H, 11.
31 It is possible that this was the estate granted by Hugh le Norreys to his sister Emma, referred to in an earlier note. The mill of 'Erelegh' is mentioned in 1283; Norris D. (B.M.), no. 1004; and Erley occurs as a surname in local charters. Hugh son of Haynon le Walsh has been named in a suit of 1278, cited above. John le Walsh of Arley is named in 1345; De Banco R. 344, m. 162. William le Walsh was a plaintiff in 1374; Ibid. R. 456, m. 598 d. William le Walsh died on 22 Sept. 1393, holding a messuage, 50 acres of arable land, &c., called Arley, of William de Bradshagh, lord of the manor of Blackrod, by the rent of 1d. or a pair of gloves; the clear value was 5 marks. Joan, the daughter and heir, was ten years of age. The estate also included a messuage and land in Standish; Lanes. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 49.
31 a In 1362 William le Walsh of Arley granted to Robert son of Edmund de Standish all his lands, &c, in Blackrod and Worthington, together with the dower which Ellen his mother held in the same; Standish D. (reprinted from Local Glean. Lanes. and Ches.), no. 51*. In the 16th and 17th centuries the Standishes of Standish had lands in Blackrod, held of the heirs of Sir James Harrington (e.g. Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. viii, no 21; Lanes. Inq. p.m. [Rec. Soc], i, 185); but there was also a family of Standish of Arley, probably descendants of the above-named Robert.
About 1442–5 James Standish of Arley was charged with waylaying certain persons in order to kill them; Oliver his brother and others were implicated; Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 4, m. 4b; R. 5, m. 16; R. 8, m. 2. The same James Standish occurs also in the Standish D., e.g. no. 131, 138. In 1459–60 he had licence to erect a mill-dam on the Douglas; ibid. no. 146, 148. His son Peter was a year or two later divorced from Katherine daughter of John Hawarden; ibid. no. 149. A feoffment of lands in Blackrod, &c, was made by Peter Standish in 1465; ibid.no. 151. Peter Standish, James, his son and heir, and Constance the wife of James, occur in 1483; ibid. no. 169–70. James and Constance occur again in 1513; ibid, no. 218, 222; he died in or before 1525; ibid, no 281. Peter Standish of Arley occurs in 1581; Kuerden MSS. iii, W, 31. An Alexander Rigby of Arley appears in 1564; Standish D. no. 317–18; see also Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 116.
Arley Hall was a century ago owned by J. Chisnall Johnson. At present it is the property of the trustees of the late Colonel Fell and Gidiow Fell his son, having been part of the estate of James Gidiow.
32 In 1540 Clemency Norris, widow, granted to her son Thomas and Anne his wife her house called Park Hall in Blackrod; Norris D. (B.M.). Edward Norris, the son of Thomas and Anne, in 1572 leased to his brother Henry the Mytingreaves in Blackrod; ibid. Edward died in or before 1578, and left a son William of Staple Inn, in 1584, and Park Hall was surrendered to Edward Norris of Speke; ibid. Alice widow of Henry Norris of Blackrod made a feoffment of her estate in 1580; Add. MS. 32109, fol. 123b, 124. William Norris of Blackrod, 'esquire,' is named in 1598; and in 1609 George Norris of Blackrod, 'yeoman,' purchased a tenement lately in the occupation of Dorothy widow of James Rigby; Norris D.; see also Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 35, 98.
The estate of William Norris of Blackrod was confiscated by the Parliament in 1652; Peacock, Index of Royalists (Index Soc), 43. He afterwards desired to compound, and showed that he held lands in Blackrod and Adlington; after his death the inheritance would go to Thomas, infant son of George Abbot of Heapey; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc.Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 230–1.
33 Isabel wife of Robert de Worsley and widow of John de Worthington in 1376 claimed dower in an estate in Blackrod held by William de Worthington; De Banco R. 462, m. 235.
Thomas Fleetwood of Norbreck died in 1576, holding lands in Blackrod of the queen as of her manor of East Greenwich —being the chantry estate—and left a son Edward.
Roger Shepherd, who died in 1601, also held lands in Blackrod as of the manor of East Greenwich; he left a son Thurstan, fourteen years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), i, 71–3, where his will was printed. The Shepherd family occur a century earlier; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 51–3.
Arthur Holme (Hulme) in 1603 held a messuage and lands in socage of the manor of East Greenwich; his heir was his nephew George, son of James Holme; Lancs. Inq. p.m. i, 71. Hugh Whittle, clerk, in 1622 held lands by a similar tenure; ibid, iii, 305.
William Fleetwood of Eyton, in Bedford, had in 1574 made a settlement of his estate in Blackrod; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 36, m. 51. Afterwards he appears to have sold it to Peter Nelson of Heskin, coal and coal mines being included; Pal. of Lane. Plea. R. 272, m. 5 d. A further settlement was made in 1591 by Hugh Nelson, Dorothy his wife, John Nelson, James Robinson and Alice his wife; Hugh and John were the sons of Peter Nelson, and had an elder brother William; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 53, m. 52.
Thomas Molyneux of Speke had an estate in Blackrod by grant of the Norrises; see Norris D. and Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 22, m. 35.
Edward Holden held a messuage and lands of the king in socage by a rent of 5½d.; he died in 1620, leaving a son Henry, of full age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), ii, 236. Henry died 10 Sept. 1636, leaving a son William, eleven years of age, to succeed him; Towneley MS. C, 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), fol. 517.
John Crompton, who died in 1629, also held lands of the king; Elishahis son and heir was nineteen years of age; ibid. 241.
George Hulme, George Shorrock, and — Longworth, were freeholders in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 249, 250.
34 Royalist Comp. Papers iv, 29. It is called 'the manor or seigniory of Park Hall in Blackrod.' His estate was confiscated under the third Act of 1652; Peacock, Index of Royalists, 43. The estate of Henry Ashton of Blackrod was ordered to be sold under the same Act; ibid. 42.
George Janion was born about 1609, being the son of Dr. 'Jennion' and Ellen his wife, daughter and co-heir of George Rogerley of Park Hall, who recorded a pedigree in 1613; Visit. (Chet. Soc), 13. The Norris deeds show that George Rogerley in 1608 purchased an estate in Blackrod which had just been sold by Sir William Norris to Cuthbert Clifton.
John Genyon, gentleman, was a recusant in 1678; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 109. Ralph Vauce was the purchaser in 1654. From the Visitation of 1664 it appears that the above-named Ellen afterwards married Lawrence Worthington, but had no issue by him; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 342.
34 a James Barker of Blackrod, yeoman, compounded for his estate of 3 acres by a fine of £10; his delinquency was that he had gone into the king's quarters and stayed there, but he took the Negative Oath in 1646 and also the National Covenant; Royalist Comp. Papers, i, 133.
By a lease of 1596 Edward Norris of Speke granted to James Barker of Blackrod, John his son, and Jane the wife of John, the tenement which James Barker already held; the services included one day ploughing with a team, one day harrowing, one day leading of compost with a team, and six days gleaning in harvest time; Norris D. (B.M.). John Barker became the owner in 1609; ibid. Richard Barker at the same time purchased his holding; ibid.
George Mort of Blackrod, who had also taken the oaths, was allowed to compound for a fine of £46; Royalist Comp. Papers, iv, 195; Dugdale, Visit. 211.
Adam Mort of Tyldesley and Thomas his son in 1609 purchased from Sir William Norris a tenement lately held by George Hulme, deceased, and Katharine Hulme; Norris D. (B.M.).
35 They were Elizabeth widow of William Brown; Ellen widow of John Shepherd; and James Makinson; Estcourt and Payne, Cath. Nonjurors, 106, 152–3.
Thomas Gillibrand of Chorley was in 1734 found to have an estate in Blackrod; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, fol. 252 (from Roll 5 of Geo. II, at Preston).
36 Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 375.
37 Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84; the rent was 12d.
38 See the account of Manchester Church. There are many references to the family in the Norris D. (B.M.); the name is spelt in a great variety of ways, e.g. Vails, Vauce, Wawse, &c. In 1605 Sir William Norris sold to Edward Vause of Blackrod the tenement lately held by Alexander, the father of Edward, with the usual moss-room, quarries, and delphs of coal and stone, &c.; the Red Moss is mentioned. Four years later Sir William sold to John Vose son of Ralph the tenement in Blackrod he then held.
39 Returns at Preston; together they paid over a quarter of the tax.
40 Lich. Epis. Reg. iii, fol. 52. The licence of the prebendary of Bolton had been obtained. The endowment consisted of two messuages, 62 acres of land, 8 acres of meadow, and 10 acres of wood in Blackrod, with appurtenances, including turbary. The chaplain was to have charge of the chalices, books, &c, and was to pay to the parish church of Bolton all great tithes, &c., according to custom. Should the chantry fall vacant after Easter and before the collection of autumn fruits, the new chaplain should receive the moiety of such fruits, together with four oxen and two horses and a plough.
The royal licence to alienate in mortmain was granted in 1335; Cal. Pat. 1334–8, p. 122.
41 Henry de Wakefield, 1349; Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc), i, 128. On his resignation in 1376 John le Archer was admitted; Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 88. In 14.99 Hugh Holme was admitted in place of James Culcheth, deceased; ibid, xiii, fol. 232. Hugh Holme was there in 1535; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 226.
The patrons were the Bradshaws and Harringtons. On the division of the estates the chapel, as already stated, became part of the Hoghton share. In Aug. 1542 Sir Richard Hoghton claimed to present to the 'free chapel of Blackrod' (Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. 34 Hen. VIII), but it appears that Sir Alexander Radcliffe and others had presented in the preceding June, George Robinson being then instituted on the death of Hugh Holme; Raines, Chantries, loc. cit. (from Chester Consistory Records). Sir Richard's claim appears to have been justified, for in Oct. 1543 his nominee was instituted— Ralph Forster; ibid.
42 Ibid. 125–9. The chapel is described ai 'standing upon the King's Street between Lancaster and London,' and 5 miles from Bolton Church.
The chantry lands were in 1553 sold to Edward Spany of Tunstall in Norfolk, and he at once sold to Thomas Fleetwood, of whose property an account has been given above; Pat. 7 Edw. VI, pt. xi; deed recited in Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 272, m. 6. The 'Chantry Fields' were in 1882 in the possession of the Marquess de Rothwell; Hampson, Blackrod, 35.
43 Cb. Gds. (Chet. Soc), 31, where it is treated as if a separate parish church; three small bells and a hand-bell were the town's property. The ornaments were sold for 8s. 4d.; Raines, Chantries, ii, 276; for two of the bells; ibid. 274.
44 No curate is mentioned in the Visitation list of 1563; the next curate, 'no preacher,' known occurs about 1590; S.P. Dom. Eliz. xxxi, no. 47. No name is given. In 1592 the churchwardens had not exhibited any presentments; Lancs, and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xiii, 57.
45 Common-wealth Cb. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 33. The commissioners recommended that Blackrod should be made a parish church. Half the tithes were in 1648 ordered to be paid to the minister; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 62. Nothing was decided as to the separation of Blackrod from Bolton; ibid, ii, 226.
46 Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 15–17. The Duchy rent is given as £4 4s. 1½d., and £16 6s. 6d. was the interest of the chapel stock. There was one warden.
47 Raines, loc. cit. (in notes).
48 Lond. Gaz. 2 Aug. 1858.
49 Mancb. Dioc. Dir.
50 Visitation List at Chester Dioc. Reg.
51 Ibid. No curate's name occurs in the clerical subsidy lists of the time.
52 He was a Royalist, but after being ejected from Mottram near Stockport (Earwaker, East Ches. ii, 128–30), appears to have conformed to the Presbyterian discipline, and was in charge of Blackrod from the end of 1646 to 1651, when he moved to Cockerham and afterwards to Burton in Kendal, conforming in 1662; Bury Classis (Chet. Soc), 18, &c, 219–20. In 1650 he was described as 'a painful, godly, and orthodox minister, and a man of pious life and conversation'; Commonwealth Ch. Surv. 34.
53 William Hilton seems to have intruded himself during the vacancy; Bury Classis, i, 127.
Thomas Isherwood (Christ's Coll. Camb.) was ordained to Blackrod in 1654; ibid. 136, &c. He was vicar of Eccles 1671–8.
54 Note by Mr. Earwaker. At the visitation in 1671 it was presented that there were fourteen Papists, and that the Rigbys were Quakers.
55 Ibid. The curacy appears to have been vacant in 1689 and 1691.
56 The Church P. at Chester Dioc. Reg. are available from this point.
57 One of this name was B.A. 1727. Brasenose Col. Oxf.; Foster, Alumni.
58 Became vicar of Eccles.
59 From this time the curates and vicars are stated to have been presented by the vicars of Bolton; see Hampson, Blackrod, 57.
60 Previously incumbent of Walmsley.
61 Previously vicar of Great Marsden, 1882, and of St. Augustine's, Bolton, 1893.
62 Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 16; End. Char. Refi. for Bolton, 1904.
63 It was addressed by Roger Haydock in 1674.