||In addition are 23½ acres of tidal
||Census Rep. 1901.
||Statistics from Bd. of Agric.
||Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 19.
||Ibid. 17, 22. Rules were made as to
the subdivision of the quarter's contribution among the various townships; thus
when Mawdesley paid 8d. Bispham paid
4d. and Hesketh-with-Becconsall 2d.
||Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 130, no. 86.
||Ellis, Orig. Letters (Ser. 1), ii, 41–5;
Ch. Goods (Chet. Soc.), 68.
||These were for the two-thirds of
their estates legally sequestered for religion. In Croston Thomas Ashton compounded by £18 a year, Thomas Werden
by £4 0s. 4d.; in Mawdesley Henry
Finch by £3 and Michael Nelson by
£2 13s. 4d.; Trans. Hist. Soc. (new
ser.), xxiv, 173–8.
||The invocation was St. Michael as
early as 1291. See Cal. Papal Letters,
Hist. of Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 398.
||The following extracts from the
parish books, now at the rectory, have
been communicated by the Rev. W. G.
Procter. They will show the extent of
the various works:—
1708, Aug. 3. It was agreed that the
arch that leads into the Rufford chancel,
being dangerous and visibly decayed, should
be repaired by William Bellingham, esq.
In 1710 'the body of the church up to
the chancel being in a very ill and dangerous manner as to the foundations of
the pillars falling in by the frequent burying in the body of the church and by
floods piercing the earth and filling up
the graves, it was concluded and agreed
upon that new earth should this year be
brought in and the flags new laid upon
the new earth and rightly levelled to a
due and suitable height.'
1715. 'The arch that goeth into the
channcel called Becconsall channcel' was
taken down and rebuilt at the cost of the
parish, and the 'adjoining arches' were
also taken down and rebuilt by the rector.
1768. It was unanimously agreed that
the two small pillars next the steeple
be wholly taken down and rebuilt and
the two large pillars of the steeple be
In 1770 at a meeting of the parishioners
it was resolved that 'the whole of the
expense of all the pillars lately taken down
and rebuilt be defrayed out of the money
collected by Brief and that the sum of
£106 12s. 5¾d. be allowed out of the
Brief money to defray the expense incurred.' This seems to indicate that the
rebuilding of the nave arcade extended
into the year 1769. Baines (Lancs.
, iii, 398) states that part of the
nave was rebuilt in 1767, but this is probably an error for 1768–9.
||The chapels north and south of the
chancel were described as being 'merely
canopied pews'; Baincs, op. cit. (ed.
1836), iii, 398.
||Canon Atkinson's notes to Glynne's
Churches of Lancs. 69 (Chet. Soc. Publ.
new ser. xxvii), where it is stated that
the east wall was pulled down 'so as
no longer to extend beyond the east wall
of the chancel itself.' But this seems to
be a mistake.
||Possibly the whole of the tower was
at this time rebuilt, the only evidence of
older work being in the jambs and heads
of the west door and window, but these
may have been used up in the later rebuilding from the older work.
||'On removing the plaster from the
walls of the chancel in the parish church
of Croston a small niche on the south
side was laid bare. In it are two stoups,
or small stone basins, which had evidently
been separated in front by a thin orna
mental stone pillar, a piece of stonework
projecting from the upper part of the
back of the niche being finished by a
well-executed "rose" (sic) at the point
where it had joined the pillar. The
basins are each provided with an outlet
at the bottom to drain off the contents';
Gent. Mag. 1866, ii, 471. The aumbry
in the north wall was laid bare at the
||The course of stone immediately
below the sill is modern; the old masonry
below is 2 ft. 2 in. in height above the
||It may mark the space occupied by
||This is supposing the present east
wall of the aisle occupies the position of
the original one. Compare, however,
Canon Atkinson's statement already cited,
which would imply that before 1866 the
south aisle extended further eastward
than the chancel itself, which is very
unlikely. The blocked-up window is
5 ft. 6 in. in height, and the sill is
5 ft. 6 in. above the floor of the south
||The arches on the north side are
probably those 'adjoining' the Becconsall
chapel rebuilt by the rector in 1715.
See note ante.
||The caps of the piers and responds
on the south side are 7 ft. 8 in. from the
floor, and are above those of the nave
arcade. On the north side the caps are
lower than those of the nave, the difference in height between the caps of the
north and south chancel arcades being
2 ft. The piers are 20 in. in diameter
and the width of the arch above 2 ft. 6 in.,
the caps having a wide projection.
||The Fleming coat-of-arms is cut in
the stone over the archway between the
chapel and the north aisle of the nave
facing west. It was discovered under
the plaster in 1866. This arch was
rebuilt in 1715, but whether the arms
were in the same place before that date
can only be conjectured.
||The two westernmost piers and the
arches between them and the tower were
taken down and rebuilt in 1768. See
||Procter in Trans. Hist. Soc. Lancs.
and Ches. (new ser.), xxiv, 4. The shield
is quartered: (1) Hesketh; (2) Banastre;
(3) Minshull; (4) Twenge.
||Ibid. These three shields bearing
the armorials of three families holding
property in the parish may have reference
to the benefactions of those families in the
rebuilding of the church. The heraldry,
however, seems to point to the end of
the 15th century, while the fabric here is
assumedly of 16th-century date.
The first shield has the arms of Ashton
(Argent a cheveron between three garlands gules) quartering Lea (Argent three
bars sable). The second bears Dalton
(Azure crusilly a lion rampant guardant
argent) quartering Fleming (Barry of
six argent and azure in chief three
lozenges gules). The third bears the
Hesketh coat (Argent on a bend sable
three garbs or) quartering Banastre
(Argent a cross patonce sable), Minshull
(Sable three mullets issuant from as
many crescents argent), and Twenge or
Doddingfell (Argent a fess gules).
||The second window from the east
on the south side has no shields, but the
ordinary returned label, and the easternmost window on the north side has the
Banastre arms on one of the shields.
||Both rebuilt in the 18th century.
||It reads as follows ' . . . and for y[e]
good estate of Henry Ba . . . . of Willia
. . Bana . . .' with the initials B HM.
||The clock and chimes were given in
1882 in memory of Margaret and Penelope
||She is described as 'a Remarkable
and Hospitable Œconomist, a generous
Rewarder of those that had done her any
office of Civility. As she always spoke
her mind, her aversion was very much
against Flattery, Compliments and Hipocresy. Her Visits to the Rich were
Rare, but Frequent to the Poor.'
||The inscriptions on the bells are as
follows: 1, 2 and 4, 'John Rudhall,
Glocester, feet. 1816.' 3. 'Come away
make no delay, 1787.' 5. 'This peal was
cast at Glocester by J. Rudhall, 1787.'
6. 'The Rev. Streynsham Master, rector;
R. Farrington, churchwarden, 1822.' 7.
'Ring clearer than before God's praises
evermore; cast by J. Rudhall, 1787.
Renewed, remainder of peal rehung by J.
Taylor, 1898. The Rev. A. G. Rawstorne, rector; M. Hackforth, T. Whittle,
churchwardens.' 8. 'I to the church the
living call and to the grave do summon
||The earlier volumes (1538–1685
and 1690–1727) have been transcribed
and edited by Col. Fishwick for the Lancs.
Parish Reg. Soc. in two vols. (vols. vi and
xx, 1900 and 1904), recourse having
been had to the episcopal transcripts at
Chester for the entries 1690–1727.
||In this volume there are large blanks
during the reigns of Mary and Elizabeth,
e.g. scarcely any baptisms from 1556 to
1578, no weddings from 1560 to 1569,
and no burials from 1560 to 1600. In
the year 1644 is interpolated the note,
'There is many that is unregistered by
reason of Prince Rupert's coming into
Lancashire and this book being hid for
fear of the enemy taking it.'
||Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 290. The
demesne tithes of Croston were included.
The charter was several times confirmed;
ibid. 296, 298.
About 1240 Sir John de la Mare, lord
of Croston, released to the monks any
claim he might have had to the advowson; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc.), i, 24.
||Ibid. i, 113, 115. In 1318 the
Prior of Lancaster established his right to
the pension, which William de Lancaster,
then rector of Croston, had for some years
withheld; ibid. ii, 502; De Banco R.
223, m. 150.
||See the list of rectors.
||The confirmation by Martin V,
dated 1418, is printed in Mon. Angl. vi,
543, and a charter by Edw. IV in 1461
in Parl. R. v, 553; Cal. Pat. 1461–7,
||The Bishop of Lichfield in 1420
ordained the vicarage, of which the Abbess
and convent of Syon at Isleworth were
patrons. The value of the rectory being
estimated at 130 marks, it was ordered
that the vicar should pay the convent 80
marks and keep the other 50, and any
additional revenue, paying all ecclesiastical burdens and 10s. a year to the poor.
Sec Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.),
ii, 353; Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 129.
||The king is named as rector in the
1548 visitation list.
||Pat. 5 Edw. VI, pt. iv.
||See the accounts of the rectors for
the variations in style. The pre-Reformation vicars had received all the dues,
paying a pension only, and this system
may have continued afterwards. In the
detailed description in 1650 James Hyett
was called 'rector and incumbent,' and he
had received the tithes, a lease by him of
the tithe corn of Bispham and Mawdesley
made about 1638 being mentioned; yet
the benefice is called a vicarage; Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and
Ches.), 108, 109.
||A pension of £53 6s. 8d. was in
1670 paid to the Crown by William Hyett
for the rectory of Croston; Pat. 22
Chas. II, pt. ii. This, as will be noticed,
was the old rent payable to Syon Abbey;
but before 1670 it had been reduced by
one-seventh paid by Hoole, as appears by
a note below.
||Information of Rev. W. G. Procter.
Richard Dashwood was vouchee in a
recovery of the 'rectory of Croston' in
1821; Pal. of Lanc. Assize, Lent, 2
||Pat. 13 Chas. II, pt. xvi; to Brian
Walton, Bishop of Chester. The bishop's
petition for the vicarage is printed in
Manch. Guardian N. and Q. no. 1169.
The rent payable to the Crown was
stated to be £45 14s. 6d.
||Rector James Pilkington is said to
have purchased the advowson about 1680
in the name of his father, William Pilkington, and others; Local Glcan. Lancs.
and Ches. ii, 282. In a fine of 1665 respecting the rectory of Croston and the
advowson of the vicarage the deforciant
was Henry Hudlestone and the plaintiffs
were Sir Thomas Foster and Anthony
Knightbridge; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F.
bdle. 175, m. 34. The deforciants in
later fines were Dr. Charles Layfield
(Mar. 1712) and John Layfield and
Benjamin Culme, clerk (Mar. 1724);
ibid. bdles. 268, m. 31; 291, m. 57. An
indenture of 1706 respecting the advowson is enrolled in the Com. Pleas Trin.
1707, R. 8.
||Streynsham Master, clerk, and Margaret his wife were in possession of the
advowson in 1753; Pal. of Lanc. Plea
R. 576, m. 13 d.
Canon Raines states: 'In the year
1755 the patronage became vested in
Legh Master, esq., M.P., whose son the
Rev. Robert Master, D.D., was afterwards
rector, and whose grandson Streynsham
Master, D.D., is the present (1851) rector.
Dr. Master sold the advowsons to Le
Gendre Nicholas Starkie of Huntroyd,
esq., who in the year 1821 again conveyed them by sale to George Smith,
esq., M.P., brother of Lord Carrington';
Notitia Cestr. ii, 354. The sales named
were perhaps family arrangements.
For pedigree see Burke's Landed Gentry
—Master of Barrow Green House.
Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.),
Inq. Nonarum (Rec. Com.), 39.
The townships were valued as follows:
Croston and Ulncs Walton, each 44s. 6d.;
Bretherton, 4½ marks; Mawdesley,
£6 2s. 3d.; Bispham, £2; also (now
separated) Chorley, £3 11s. 1d.; Rufford,
28s. 11d.; Tarleton, 35s. 4d.; Becconsall, 22s. 3d.; Great Hoole, £2; Little
Hoole, 24s. 6d.
Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 231. The
glebe land brought in £5 7s. 10d., tithes
£72 9s. 4d., Easter roll, &c., £16 13s. 4d.
It will be noticed that the convent of Syon
received 80 marks, as ordered a century
before. The 10s. was still paid to the
poor. The net value was £38 5s. 10d.
The vicar agreed to pay £4 a year to
the (acting) parish priest and 4 marks to
the curate of Chorley, thus reducing his
taxable income to £31 11s. 6d. See
note 9, p. 88.
Commonw. Ch. Surv. 108.
||Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 353. Some details are given in Raines' notes as to the
leasing of the tithes in the 17th century.
Manch. Dioc. Dir.
||As 'Lidulf priest of Croston' he
attested charters made between 1153 and
1160; Lancs. Pipe R. 323, 325.
||'Nicholas de Croston' occurs in and
about 1191; Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.),
i, 40; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc.), i, 112.
From his position among the witnesses it
may be assumed that he was rector.
||Stephen is named as Philip's predecessor 'in the time of the king who now
is,' and Geoffrey as his ' immediate predecessor,' in the plea quoted in the next
||Philip rector of Croston in 1246
claimed an oxgang of land and a third as
belonging to 'two-thirds of the church,'
against Peter le Fizle, chaplain, who
claimed it as his lay fee. It appeared
that Geoffrey, the preceding rector, had
granted it to Peter for life; Assize R.
404, m. 1 d. One-third of the church
must at that time have been held by someone else, perhaps as a pension.
Philip attested several charters of the
same period, one being dated 1260; Lanc.
Ch. i, 23, 29, 45; ii, 431.
||He was also rector of Manchester
(q.v.). For the dispensation to retain
Croston together with other benefices see
Cal. Papal Letters, i, 525, 529, 550,
559. He was engaged in the king's service and the churches were served by
deputies. He became Bishop of Lichfield
in 1296; Le Neve, Fasti; Dict. Nat. Biog.
||He was prebendary of Tarvin in
Lichfield Cathedral; Le Neve, Fasti, i,
630. In 1303 Boniface VIII allowed the
Bishop of Lichfield to grant a dispensation
to his nephews Walter and Robert, sons
of Robert de Clipston, aged respectively
twelve and ten years, and only in minor
orders, to hold a benefice apiece; Cal.
Papal Letters, i, 611.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 58b; he was a
priest. He had been rector of Eccleston.
||Ibid. fol. 86; a chaplain. He also
had been rector of Eccleston for a time.
Tunstall may have forfeited the church
for a time, as there is a note in the
register (ibid. iii, fol. 44) that Croston
became vacant on 31 Aug. 1329.
||Ibid. ii, fol. 108b; a priest. At the
institution he is called Robert de Wamberge. He had been rector of Eccleston
||Ibid. fol. 118. The presentation was
in the king's hands by reason of the war
with France; Cal. Pat. 1343–5, p. 346.
For the claim see Memo. R. (Q.R.) 122,
m. 277; De Banco R. 341, m. 19d.;
Cal. Close, 1343–5, p. 483. John de
Winwick had been presented by the king
in the previous June, but does not seem
to have been instituted; Cal. Pat. 1343–5,
William de Exeter was rector of Croston as late as 1353 and 1354; Assize R.
435, m. 33; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii,
App. 331. He allowed the rent due
to the Prior of Lancaster to fall into
arrears; De Banco R. 349, m. 208. A
William de Exeter was about that time
physician to Queen Philippa. He resigned the precentorship of Lincoln in
1344. See Dict. Nat. Biog.; Le Neve,
Fasti, ii, 92; Cal. Papal Letters, ii, 328,
||Huntlow was rector as early as
1362; Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 45. He
occurs in numerous suits from that time
onwards; De Banco R. 416, m. 20 d.,
&c. He was prebendary of Hereford in
1395; Le Neve, Fasti, i, 511.
It seems to have been reported that
Huntlow had died, for Hugh de Cottingham, clerk, was presented by the king as
true patron, and instituted 18 Mar.
1382–3; Cal. Pat. 1381–5, p. 234;
Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 93b.
||Ibid. vi, fol. 53; in minor orders. The
king was patron 'for this turn.' In 1393
a licence was granted to Rector Glynn to
hear the confessions of his parishioners;
ibid. vi, fol. 129b.
For some reason not stated the king
presented Simon Bache to the rectory in
1389; Cal. Pat. 1385–9, p. 535.
||Ely Epis. Reg. Fordham, fol. 60b;
William Glynn, rector of Croston, exchanged with Robert de Faringdon (or
Farington), rector of Doddington in
Cambridgeshire. The latter had been
rector of Wrotham in Kent. See also
Cal. Pat. 1396–9, p. 375.
In Dec. 1399 Faringdon, described as
'king's clerk,' obtained a ratification by
Henry IV of his estate in the church of
Croston and prebends at York (Le Neve,
Fasti, iii, 200, 219) and Dublin; Cal. Pat.
1399–1401, p. 135. There are many
references to him as a public official in
Cal. Pat. 1401–5. His executors were
his brother, William de Farington, D.D.,
Robert de Hothersall, D.D., and Henry
Malpas, canon of Lichfield; Towneley
MS. CC (Chet. Lib.), no. 422.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. vii, fol. 93; a clerk.
The register states that John Wakering,
clerk, had the right of presentation by
grant of the Prior of Lancaster in August
1401. This was confirmed by the king
in 1402; Cal. Pat. 1401–5, p. 39.
Kays was a royal official and became
canon of Hastings; Cal. Pat. 1422–9,
pp. 5, 322, &c.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. vii, fol. 93; he had
been rector of Fakenham Dam, to which
Henry Kays went. The king presented
or concurred in the exchange, 'on account
of the war with France'; Cal. Pat.
1401–5, p. 494. Kingston held canonries
at Hereford, &c.; Le Neve, Fasti, i, 497,
&c. He became Dean of Windsor in
1402; Cal. Pat. 1401–5, p. 107.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. vii, fol. 97; the king
is called 'true patron.' Lochard was promoted to other benefices, canonries, &c.;
he died in 1438. See Cal. Pat. 1401–5,
pp. 247, 478; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 384;
||Lich. Epis. Reg. vii, fol. 98; a chaplain. He held various ecclesiastical offices
and became Dean of St. Stephen's, Westminster; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 221, &c.;
Lanc. Ch. ii, 528.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. viii, fol. 20; a chaplain. The qualification of the patron for
that turn is not recorded.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 111; a chaplain.
Thomas Tarleton, chaplain, was one
of the executors of the will of William
Abraham, late vicar of Croston, in
1435–6; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 123; a
||Ibid. fol. 124b; a priest.
||Thomas Tarleton, as vicar, acknowledged the reception of a relic of St.
Lawrence at Chorley in March 1442–3;
Notitia Cestr. ii, 355. On the other
hand Richard Dalton, vicar of Croston,
occurs in pleadings as late as 1448; Pal.
of Lanc. Plea R. 6, m. 2b; 11, m. 3b.
An indenture of Tarleton's time as to
the tithes of Croston is in Lich. Epis.
Reg. x, fol. 37.
||Ibid. xi, fol. 36; a chaplain.
In 1467 Christopher Holme, vicar of
Croston, was among those charged with
breaking the free warren of Thomas
Ashton in Croston and Mawdesley; Pal.
of Lanc. Writs Proton. 7 Edw. IV.
||Lich. Epis. Reg. xii, fol. 110.
||Ibid. fol. 111b. He was educated
at Cambridge; Grace Book A (Luard
Memorial), 86, &c.
||Act Bks. at Chester. Robert Beconsaw, D.D., was president of Queens' Coll.,
Camb., almoner to Queen Katherine,
canon of Lincoln and Windsor, &c., and
as he died 21 Jan. 1525–6 may be identified with this vicar of Croston; Cooper,
Athen. Cantab. i, 33; Le Neve, Fasti, ii,
101; iii, 391; L. and P. Hen. VIII, i,
Baines' Lancs. (ed. Croston), iv, 125,
&c., gives full accounts of the modern
||Mr. Thomas Buynde, vicar of Croston, is named in 1525–6; Exch. Aug.
Off. Misc. Bks. xxxiv, no. 82. In a
return made to the Crown in 1527
Thomas Bond, B.D., is stated to have
held the vicarage for two years, by
the presentation of the Abbess of Syon;
Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 15.
Bond appears as vicar in the Valor and
the Visitation Lists of 1548 and 1554.
In a lease of the rectory by him and the
Abbess of Syon in 1538 he undertook to
pay the 'parish priest' of Croston £4 as
usual, and the sub-curate or chaplain of
Chorley 4 marks; Raines MSS. (Chet.
Lib.), xxv, p. 292.
||Church Papers and Act Bks. at
Chester. Leeming was made an acolyte
in 1542, and appears to have been curate
of Penwortham in 1554. He gave bond
as vicar 15 July 1557 (Raines MSS.
xxii, 34), and occurs in 1562 and later,
being there in 1575 and 1584. He refused to appear at the Visitation of 1559
(Gee, Elizabethan Clergy), but must
have conformed to the new order subsequently. The name of the patron is
given by Bishop Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 357.
The vicar of Croston was 'no preacher'
in 1590; S. P. Dom. Eliz. xxxi, no. 47.
||First-fruits were paid for the 'rectory
and vicarage' on 23 Nov. 1594; Lancs.
and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and
Ches.), ii, 411, where other such payments are recorded. The institutions are
printed in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes,
from the Institution Books, P.R.O.; but
this 'vicar' is miscalled Walter Whittakers. He was resident in 1598, but
had no curate, and ministered the communion without any service; Raines
MSS. xxii, 180. He was buried at
Croston 14 Dec. 1606.
||First-fruits paid 7 July 1607 for
'rectory and vicarage.' The vicar was
described as 'a preacher' about 1610,
when the patron and farmer of the rectory
was Sir Edmund Huddleston; Hist. MSS.
Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 11. Mr. Charnock was 'rector' in 1622; Misc. (Rec.
Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 67.
||The bishop collated by lapse to the
'rectory and vicarage'; no payment of
first-fruits is recorded. See Gastrell, loc.
sup. cit. The Act Bks. at Chester give
31 May 1624 as the date of collation.
It appears that the king also presented
Bartlett, by reason of the outlawry of the
patron for that turn; Cal. S. P. Dom.
1640–1, p. 340.
||Act Bks. at Chester. The king
presented by lapse or resignation. Firstfruits paid 17 Feb. 1626–7 for ' vicarage,'
but Hyett is styled 'rector' about 1624;
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 81.
The king in 1637 presented Dr. Edward
Morton by lapse, but this did not have
effect. Hyett had been vicar of Childwall,
and was a strong Puritan, taking part in
the establishment of the Presbyterian
discipline in 1646, and signing the 'Harmonious Consent' in 1648. He was
deprived in 1662 under the Act of Uniformity, and did not long survive, being
buried at Croston 8 Apr. 1663 without
the Prayer-book service, the new rector
protesting but giving way; Newcome's
Diary (Chet. Soc.), 176.
Hoole became a separate parish in 1642.
||He was instituted to the 'vicarage,'
and on 9 Jan. following Ralph Wittie
was instituted to 'rectory and vicarage '
on the king's presentation. John Kay
also was presented on 15 Dec. 1662;
Pat. 14 Chas. II, pt. ii, no. 27. It was
alleged that Pilkington had committed
simony; Loc. Gleanings Lancs. and Ches.
ii, 281. The first presentation must
have held good, for James Pilkington is
described as 'rector and vicar' on 31 Jan.
1663–4 in the parish register, and was
buried as 'parson' on 25 Apr. 1683. He
purchased the advowson. He is said to
have been descended from the Pilkingtons
of Salford, but was son of William Pilkington of Wigan. He was educated
at St. John's Coll., Camb., of which he
was a fellow; M.A. 1657, B.D. 1664,
and incorporated at Oxford; Foster,
||Act Bks. at Chester. The patrons
were William Layfield, Robert Pickering
and William Haydock. He was educated
at St. John's Coll., Oxf.; M.A. 1674,
D.D. 1692; and was rector of Wrotham
1677, Croston 1683, Buriton 1688 and
Chilbolton 1699–1715; Foster, Alumni
Oxon. Dr. Layfield was a benefactor of
On 25 July 1683 Edmund Townley,
M.A., was instituted on the king's presentation (Act Bks. at Chester) by lapse
or simony, but Layfield retained the
benefice. He became prebendary of
Winchester in 1688; Le Neve, Fasti,
||John Lowe, B.A., was presented by
William Pilkington of Wigan on 2 July
1688, but nothing further is known of
John Ryley was probably of Jesus
Coll., Camb.; B.A. 1682. He was
'conformable' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com.
Rep. xiv, App. iv, 229.
||He was also rector of Eccleston
(q.v.). He was deprived for simony, but
appears to have been restored, or may
have refuted the charge. No second
institution is recorded. He signed the
registers as rector in 1695 and later,
and held the rectory till his death, being
buried at Croston 4 Dec. 1703.
||The king presented on account of
simony by Pickering. Zachary Taylor
was son of the ejected curate of Rochdale
of the same name (1662); he was educated at Jesus Coll., Camb. (M.A. 1678),
and incorporated at Oxford. He had been
vicar of Ormskirk 1679 to 1692, and was
a king's preacher. He acted as curate-incharge of Wigan. He was known as the
'Lancashire Levite,' and wrote tracts on
the 'Surey Demoniac.' There is a notice
of him in Dict. Nat. Biog.
||He was son of a preceding rector
(James P.); educated at St. John's Coll.,
Oxf.; rector of Greatham, Hants, 1699;
Foster's Alumni. He was also of Emmanuel Coll., Camb.; LL.D. 1728. He
purchased or repurchased the advowson,
and it passed with his daughter and heir
Margaret, wife of the succeeding rector,
to the Master family.
||He was the son of Sir Streynsham
Master (see Dict. Nat. Biog.).
||Nephew of the preceding rector.
Educated at Balliol Coll., Oxf., and fellow
of All Souls'; M.A. 1753, D.D. 1763.
In his time Chorley and Rufford were
made independent parishes.
||Eldest son of the preceding rector.
Educated at Balliol Coll., Oxf.; M.A.
1791. He fell into financial difficulties
about 1820, and had to leave the country
for a time; see End. Charities Rep.
Hesketh and Tarleton were separated
from Croston in 1821, becoming independent parishes, held, however, by the
then rector of Croston till his death in
||Eldest son of the preceding rector.
Educated at Balliol Coll., Oxf.; M.A.
1818. Perpetual curate of Burnley 1826–
55, where his principal work was done,
Hon. Canon of Manchester 1850, archdeacon 1854.
||Educated at Brasenose Coll., Oxf.;
||Educated at Corpus Christi Coll.,
Oxf.; M.A. 1882. Formerly incumbent
of Oulton, Yorks. In 1909 he was
appointed assistant to the Bishop of Manchester, with the title of suffragan Bishop
of Whalley, the rectory of Croston being
Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 231.
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.),
||These details are from Visitation
Lists in Chester Dioc. Reg. For the
'ornaments' of the church in 1552,
including a Bible, see Ch. Goods (Chet.
Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv,
Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.),
Commonw. Ch. Surv. 108–15.
||Visitation List at Chester.
||Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 358–60.
John Duke of Lancaster in 1372
granted one John de Bradley leave to
open a grammar school at Croston;
Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xiii, fol. 53b.
The trustees of Croston School are
named in a fine of 1644–5 among the
parish church deeds; note by Rev. W. G.
Procter. The school is named in another
deed, of 1668; ibid.
||Depositions respecting chantries at
Croston in 1569 show that there were
four chapels in the church, known by the
names of the proprietors—Beconsaw,
Hesketh, Ashton and Banastre. The
two former were repaired by the owners,
the two latter by the parish. The chantry priest of St. John Baptist used to say
service sometimes in Hesketh chapel
(which was on the south side of the
church) and sometimes at Rufford;
Duchy of Lanc. Special Com. 183. It
was stated that Sir Thomas Hesketh had
taken away glass from the windows,
showing that John Todd, clerk, was
founder, and had put his own arms there.
||Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc.),
166. In the notes it is stated that John
Clifton was appointed to this chantry
in 1509. This was perhaps done in
error, for Henry Todd was 'chaplain of
the chantry of SS. John Baptist and
Thomas of Canterbury in the parish
church of Croston' in 1505 (Towneley
MS. DD, no. 349), and Henry Todd (no
doubt the same) was chaplain in 1527,
when this was the only chantry at
Croston returned as regularly founded;
Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 15.
In the Valor Eccl. (v, 231) of 1535 John
Smith is named as chaplain, but the
foundation is ascribed to Thomas Hesketh,
who died in 1523, and whose will (1521)
mentions the chapel lately built by him
on the south side of the chancel of
Croston Church; Towneley MS. HE
(9 Hen. VIII). Smith was still the priest
in 1547 and was sixty years of age. He
had a pension of £5 in 1553.
The lands of this chantry were in 1590
granted to Edmund Downing and others;
Pat. 32 Eliz.
||Raines, op. cit. 167. Richard
Clarke was the chaplain in 1535 (Valor
Eccl.) and also in 1547, when he was
seventy-four years of age, and had another
benefice. He had a pension in 1553.
||Raines, op. cit. 169; Cockersand
Chartul. iii, 1085. John Walton was the
chaplain in 1535 (Valor Eccl.) and in
1547, when he was about eighty years old.
In the Visitation List of 1548 the word
mortuus is placed against his name, so
that he probably died about that time.
This chantry also is named in the will
of Thomas Hesketh above quoted, so
that it existed as early as 1521.
A rent of £1 2s. 1d. was paid to the
Crown for the lands of this chantry in
1858 by Messrs. Pollard and Tyrer.
||Anthony Browne having sold to
Sir Thomas Hesketh the manor of
Becconsall, also transferred to him a
'chapel standing in the churchyard of
Croston, called by the name of Becconsall chapel,' and formerly used by the
lords of that manor; Towneley MS.
C 8, 13, B 309.
||Raines in Notitia Cestr. ii, 355.
||An inquiry as to the charities was
made in 1898, and the report, issued the
following year, includes a reprint of that
made in 1826. The following notes are
derived from it. Bishop Gastrell's account
of the charities existing about 1720 is
printed in Notitia Cestr. ii, 360–1.
||By his will of 1710 he left the
fourth part of his residuary estate for the
poor of Winchester, Chilbolton, Wrotham,
Croston and Tewin. In 1761 the estate
called Sumner's of the Fold in Ulnes
Walton was purchased from Margaret
Thornton for £470 for the charity. This
was much more than the share of the
Layfield estate, but the balance was procured by loan and repaid out of rent.
The rent now amounts to £40 10s. 8d.,
and this sum is distributed among the
townships which constituted the parish in
1710 according to a scheme made in
1897; it is usually spent on clothing,
bedding, &c., for the poor.
The Rev. Streynsham Master, formerly
rector, and his wife gave £200 for books
of devotion for the poor and other uses.
Samuel Crooke in 1770 gave two cottages
(sold for £160), also for books of devotion, and the two benefactions have been
combined, the interest (£11 19s. 10d.)
being spent on such books for the children of the National schools. Each
township in the old parish shares in rotation.
||He is supposed to have been a
descendant of the Lathoms of Parbold
and to have lived by begging, the townships benefiting by his gifts being those
in which he had made his rounds. They
are Bispham, *Mawdesley, Ormskirk,
*Newburgh, Burscough, *Dalton, Rufford,
*Wrightington, *Parbold, Ulnes Walton,
Croston, Welch Whittle, Scarisbrick,
*Skelmersdale, Bickerstaffe, Eccleston and
*Heskin. *Lathom has since been added
to the townships participating. The
lands of the charity are in the townships
marked with an asterisk. In 1828 the
rental amounted to £339 10s. and there
was also money in the bank, but the
development of coal mines on the estate,
especially during the last forty years, has
caused a vast increase in the sum available, the income being about £1,500 in
The founder directed his trustees to
give the income to the poor in gifts of
cloth (linen or woollen), corn, if it should
be dear, or such like charitable acts, but
no public officer or overseer of the poor
was to be employed in the distribution.
A gift was also to be made to poor
prisoners of Lancaster Castle.
||For full details see the report
quoted, pp. 40–8. The charitable expenditure in 1897 was:—To Lancaster
Castle prison charities, £6; various hospitals, £25 4s.; poor of eighteen townships, £1,409 5s. 7d. In Croston, out of
about £78 received, £49 was given in
money doles, the rest chiefly in medical
aid, school prizes and gifts of coal. In
Mawdesley about £48 was given in bedding and clothing, £4 to a poor man
towards buying a pony, and the rest to
the school children. In Bispham the
chief expenditure was on clothing, bedding and coal. In Ulnes Walton £60 was
given in food and clothing and £20 in
school prizes (part of a previous balance
||Henry Croston founded this charity
in 1693 by giving land and three houses,
with a rent-charge of £7 10s. a year for
expenses and gifts to the inmates. Each
of the three was to have yearly a brown
cloth gown or coat, with the letters H.C.
in red cloth on the right arm. Henry
Wilson, surgeon, in 1797 left £20, the
interest to be given to the most aged
person in the houses. Changes were
made in the lands held for the charity,
and the annual income is now £14 12s. 2d.
There are three inmates, all women, and
each receives £4 5s. at Christmas. In
case of a vacancy candidates must be
residents in Croston township. The
brown gown is not now worn.
On a tablet is the inscription: 'These
almshouses erected by Henry and Isabel
Croston, An. Do. 1692.'
The Jubilee Almshouses were founded
in 1809 to commemorate the fiftieth
year of the reign of George III, a legacy
of £200 by Mrs. Elizabeth Master and
subscriptions being used to build a house
with accommodation for four poor persons.
Other gifts have been added, and about
1870 rooms for three more beneficiaries
were added by the late Thomas Norris.
The endowment now amounts to about
£440, and the interest is applied to providing the inmates with coals and maintaining the buildings. Candidates for a
vacancy must be sixty years of age and
inhabitants of the township.
||William Dandy in 1663 bequeathed
£50 towards buying clothes for indigent
persons of the township, who had no
other provision for their relief. The
rector was always to be one of the trustees. A rent-charge of £2 10s. was
accordingly purchased in 1668, and it
continues to be paid, being now (1898)
received from the executors of Miss
Farington of Worden.
The Poor's Stock, the accumulation of
a number of gifts, can be traced back to
1681, when it amounted to £32 10s.
Soon afterwards it was augmented by a
gift from William Hesketh, shoemaker—
£175, according to Bishop Gastrell—and
otherwise increased, and land was purchased by the trustees of this and other
charities, the rents amounting to £41 10s.
in 1828. The net income is now a little
less than this.
John Hough in 1721 left £52 for a
dole of bread every Lord's day at the
parish church of Croston, to poor persons
(Protestants), decayed housekeepers, &c.
George Norris in 1740 gave £26 for a
bread dole to poor persons of Croston
attending divine service. These capital
sums were united with the Poor's Stock,
and allowances are accordingly made from
the rent of the land in respect of them,
£4 10s. 10d. a year being now reserved
for bread distributed in church every
Sunday afternoon by the rector and
Thomas Norris, named in the text,
left a net sum of £1,350 to augment the
Poor's Stock; this has been invested in
consols and produces £50 7s. 8d.
The income of all the above, together
with the township's part of Dr. Layfield's
charity, but excepting the £4 10s. 10d.
for bread, is applied by the trustees in the
purchase of clothing or materials for it.
A distribution is made on the Monday
after Christmas Day; in 1898 the recipients numbered 266, viz. 45 men, 84
boys (each boy having a suit of clothes),
62 women, and 75 girls.
All the Croston charities, by a scheme
sanctioned in 1897, are controlled by the
same body of trustees, the objects of the
several benefactions not being interfered
A school of industry for girls was
founded in 1802 and continued till 1870.
The income of the endowment is now
given in prizes, &c.
||John Stopford in 1657 and his son
David Stopford in 1669 left rent-charges
of 40s. and 10s. respectively for the poor of
Mawdesley; but 6s. 6d., part of the charge,
had been lost before 1828, and more recently another part, 35s. 6d., has been withheld by the owner of the land charged.
Thomas Crook in 1688 charged his estate
with £2 a year for the same. Margaret
Blackburn in 1718 left £50 for money
cloth, or other necessaries for the poor,
'poor Catholics to be preferred before
others'—a request still respected. The
income of the above is given in small
||Richard Durning in 1691 gave £12
a year for the poor, repairing the roads,
binding children apprentices, and providing
a preaching minister in Douglas chapel.
He also founded a school at Bispham.
The scheme of 1878 provides that £4
shall be given to the poor inhabitants of
Bispham, £2 to the vicar of Douglas,
15s. to the necessitous kindred of the
founder, and £5 to helping poor boys
and girls of Bispham, Parbold, Wrightington or Mawdesley to learn a suitable
trade. It is stated that there is no
demand for the last part of the charity,
and so the £5 has never been paid.
One John Ambrose left for the poor a
rent-charge of 3s. 4d. on land called
Bispham meadows, but the tenant in
1828 had refused to pay, and the gift was
||James Glassbrook in 1653 left
money invested in the purchase of the
Millholme and other closes in Ulnes
Walton for the use of the poor of the
township. The rent is now £17 a year,
and the net income is distributed at
Christmas by tickets for food.
Ellen Waring in 1735 gave £40 (or
40s. a year) for the poor. This was invested in cottages and land in Euxton
which in 1826 were producing £15 a
year. Now, however, there is only one
cottage standing in a little croft, and
producing £5 a year. The decline is
explained by the prosperity of the handloom weavers who a century ago occupied
the cottages and could afford to pay high
rents. The rent, increased by interest
from £54 in the bank, is now expended
in repairs and an occasional gift to some
An annuity of 10s. has long been paid
to the poor from 'Dandy land,' a field
belonging to Croston's almshouses.
A sum of £40 was deposited in the
savings bank in 1825 for the poor of
Ulnes Walton. The interest was withdrawn at irregular intervals, and after
the death of the trustee in 1869 the
whole was allowed to accumulate until
in 1896 £77 was available. The parish
council thereupon applied to the Charity
Commissioners, who sanctioned a scheme
for the administration of the Unknown
Donor's charity. The income, £1 19s. 8d.,
may be given in money, or in clothes,
tools, medical aid, &c.