Townships: Bickerstaffe

Pages 276-282

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

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In this section


Bikerstat, Bikersteth, Bikerstath, xiii cent.; Bykyrstath, 1529; Bickerstaffe, xvi cent.

Bickerstaffe may be described as an unpicturesque open country bare of woodland, with the exception of a few plantations mostly composed of birch trees, characteristic of moss land. Fields, divided by low hawthorn hedges, are mostly cultivated. The country is waterless, with the exception of two small streams on the south. The farms and houses are considerably scattered and nowhere can be said to form a settlement of any size. The western half of the township consists geologically of the upper mottled sandstone of the bunter series of the new red sandstone. By a fault running due north and south the middle coal measures are thrust up in the eastern half.

The township lies almost entirely south of the ridge of high land stretching from east to west across the parish, the centre line of this ridge being the northern boundary, except for a small portion in the north-west. The southern portion was anciently occupied by great mosses, now mostly reclaimed, and beyond were the woods of Cunscough and Simonswood. The population in 1901 was 2,096. Near the centre, on the 200 feet level, stands the hall; close by is the modern church. Nearly a mile to the north is Stanley Gate, and about as far to the south is Barrow Nook. The area is 6,444½ acres. (fn. 1)

The principal road is that from St. Helens to Ormskirk, which in one part divides to unite again; at right angles is the road from Melling to Skelmersdale. The Liverpool and Bury line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company passes through the southeastern corner of the township.

The surface consists of clay and sand, with some patches of moss, overlying gravel, clay, and moss. The crops are barley, wheat, oats, and potatoes. Besides agriculture the principal industry is coal mining. The following curious entry occurs in the Ormskirk Burial Register, 10 December, 1600: 'A stranger slain by one of the glassmen being a Frenchman then working at Bickerstaffe.'

The township is governed by a parish council.


In 1066 BICKERSTAFFE, under the name of Achetun, was one of the manors of Uctred, lord of Roby. Although in the parish of Ormskirk, the old name seems to show that it was originally a portion of Aughton, which adjoins it on the west. The separation must have taken place before the Conquest, as the two manors, though both held by an Uctred—possibly the same person—are quite distinct in the record. (fn. 2)

After the Conquest it seems to have been early granted in thegnage; the assessment was half a ploughland, and the service an annual rent of 5s. The earliest known of the lords was Ralph son of Bernulf, who held it in the middle of the twelfth century. He granted Stotfoldshaw to the Hospitallers, (fn. 3) and Holmes also; these lands were called cultures. (fn. 4) Ralph was succeeded by his son Adam, a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 5) Several early grants were also made to lay holders, probably younger sons or other near relatives, and in 1212 Henry son of Elias (or Eilsi) (fn. 6) held an oxgang, i.e. a quarter of the manor, and Adam son of Waltheof held a third of the manor. (fn. 7) Thus about a third was left in the hands of the lord.

Bickerstath of Bickerstaffe. Argent, on a cross patonce sable five mullets or.

Adam de Bickerstath was in turn succeeded by his son Ralph, who was holding the manor in 1212 by the service already stated. Ralph also was a benefactor of Cockersand. (fn. 8) The succession for a time is uncertain. In the rental of the county for 1226 Alan son of Bernulf was said to be holding Bickerstaffe, paying the customary 5s., (fn. 9) and in 1246 Alan de Bickerstath claimed a third of the manor (fn. 10) against Adam de Bickerstath, Simon his brother, Gilbert de Rohel, and Roger and Walter de Bickerstath. (fn. 11) On this occasion Alan 'withdrew his claim.' Adam de Bickerstath's name frequently appears in charters and other public acts of the time. (fn. 12) One of his own grants has been preserved; it conferred on Alan son of Robert de Holmes a defined parcel of land in Bickerstaffe for a rent of 20d. (fn. 13) In 1292 he recovered some land which had been unlawfully 'improved' from the wood and heath. (fn. 14)

Adam was succeeded by his son Ralph, (fn. 15) a prominent man in the county, being sheriff in 1308, 1310, 1312, 1314, and 1315, and knight of the shire in 1313. (fn. 16) He took part in the rising of Thomas, earl of Lancaster, against Piers Gaveston, for which he was pardoned in October 1313. (fn. 17) He was killed at Preston 4 November, 1315. (fn. 18) As 'Ralph son of Adam de Bickerstath' he made a grant to Burscough Priory. (fn. 19)

Adam de Bickerstath, son and heir of Ralph, succeeded, holding the manor till 1346 or later. (fn. 20) In 1331 he settled upon his wife Joan and his son Ralph six messuages and six oxgangs in Little Eccleston in Amounderness, then in the possession of Henry de Bickerstath (fn. 21); and arranged the succession of two-thirds of the manor of Bickerstaffe, after his decease and the decease of his wife Joan, to Ralph and his issue. (fn. 22)

Ralph de Bickerstath's name appears frequently from 1347 to 1372. (fn. 23) His son and successor was another Adam, the last of the principal line. His first appearance is in 1361, when he complained that certain persons, apparently his trustees, had been guilty of waste. (fn. 24) He settled his estates in 1377 on his only daughter and heir Joan, who married Nicholas de Atherton. (fn. 25)

Atherton of Bickerstaffe. Gules, three sparrow-hawks argent, belled or.

Nicholas was a younger son of Sir William de Atherton of Atherton. He was a knight in 1401, when he represented the county in Parliament. (fn. 26) He died in 1420, and by his will desired to be buried at Ormskirk. (fn. 27) His son Nicholas succeeded, but his tenure was brief, as he died at the beginning of 1424. Just before his death he gave his manor of Bickerstaffe to trustees. His son and heir Henry was then aged nine years or more. (fn. 28) Little is recorded of Henry Atherton (fn. 29); he had four sons—Hamlet or Hamnet, his successor, William, Henry, and Charles. Hamlet had a son Thomas, (fn. 30) whose heir was his daughter Margaret, born about 1486. (fn. 31)

The heiress married James Scarisbrick, a younger son of James Scarisbrick (who died about 1495), lord of Scarisbrick. She died on 18 January, 1517–18, leaving an infant daughter Elizabeth as heir to the Bickerstath properties. (fn. 32) Elizabeth Scarisbrick, born about the beginning of 1516, married Peter, a younger son of Sir William Stanley of Hooton, and died about 1560, leaving an only daughter Margaret as heir. Peter Stanley married again, but retained Bickerstaffe during his life 'by the courtesy of England.' (fn. 33)

Margaret Stanley married in 1563 Henry Stanley of Little Hall in Aughton and Cross Hall in Lathom. He was a younger son of Sir James Stanley, marshal of Ireland in the time of Henry VIII, who was third son of George, Lord Strange of Knockyn, and brother of the second earl of Derby. (fn. 34) Henry Stanley, dying in 1598, (fn. 35) was succeeded by his eldest son Edward, created a baronet by Charles I in 1627. (fn. 36) He was buried at Ormskirk 4 May, 1640, (fn. 37) being succeeded by his son Sir Thomas Stanley, born in 1616.

Sir Thomas took a prominent part in the Civil War, upon the Parliamentary side. It is said, indeed, that in the attack on Lord Strange at Manchester in July, 1642, it was this distant cousin who fired at him thrice. He had in the previous March been made a deputy-lieutenant of the county by the Commons, and in October was made a magistrate; in April next year he was placed on the newly-formed committee 'for sequestering notorious delinquents' estates.' (fn. 38) He married, in or before 1643, Mary, daughter of Peter Egerton of Shaw, another Parliamentarian, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. He died in May, 1653, and was succeeded by his son Sir Edward Stanley. (fn. 39) Sir Edward's son Thomas, just a year old, succeeded in 1671. Before he came of age he married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Patten, through whom he acquired a great estate in and near Preston. (fn. 40) In 1695 he was returned as one of the Whig members for Preston. (fn. 41) He died in May, 1714, and his son, Sir Edward Stanley, succeeded him in February, 1735–6, becoming earl of Derby, in succession to James, the tenth earl, since which time the manor of Bickerstaffe has descended with Knowsley. (fn. 42) In 1831 Edward Smith Stanley, afterwards thirteenth earl, was summoned to the House of Lords as Baron Stanley of Bickerstaffe. The hall is a shooting box of the earl of Derby. Court rolls from 1735 are preserved at Knowsley.

There were several other branches of the local family; some of them settled in Aughton, but others continued to reside in Bickerstaffe. Simon de Bickerstath contributed to the stipend of a priest at Ormskirk in 1366. (fn. 43)

The Renacres family (fn. 44) have been mentioned; they appear to have been closely related to the lords of the manor, and on one occasion 'put in their claim' at a settlement of the family estates. A number of deeds concerning them have been preserved by Kuerden, but it is not possible to give a complete account. From cases cited above it appears that Stephen de Renacres (fn. 45) was a prominent personage in Bickerstaffe about 1290, and that he was succeeded by his son Simon, who occurs in the reign of Edward II. (fn. 46) In 1348 Richard, son of Simon de Renacres, granted to his father a rent of 2s. 4d. issuing from lands in Bickerstaffe, (fn. 47) and in 1391–2 Ellen (Walsh), the widow of Richard de Renacres of Bickerstaffe, granted to Hugh le Spencer of Ormskirk certain lands which had come to her after the death of her husband. (fn. 48) Their son was Thomas, who in 1424–5 arranged for the succession to these lands. (fn. 49) Perhaps it was the same Thomas who, as 'Thomas, son of Richard de Renacres,' granted some land in Bickerstaffe to 'Thomas de Renacres son of Maud de Hopcroue,' in 1402–3. (fn. 50) The following year a settlement was made, by which there were remainders to other of Maud's children—Richard, Henry, Cecily, and Isabel. (fn. 51) These lands seem shortly afterwards to have been acquired by John Atherton of Bickerstaffe. (fn. 52)

Another family of long standing in the township was that of Mossock, who acquired lands also in Aughton and elsewhere in the district. Sometime about 1280 Richard de Bickerstath, son of Alan de Renacres, gave to William son of Simon de Bickerstath a portion of his land, which from its boundaries appears to be that on which Mossock Hall now stands. The rent was to be 2d. (fn. 53) Another portion, lying on Crawshaw Moor, was given about the same time for a rent of 4d. (fn. 54) Some years later (1300 to 1310) William son of William son of Simon de Bickerstath gave to Ralph son of Henry de Mossock in free marriage with Anilla his daughter all his messuages and lands in Bickerstaffe and Aughton. (fn. 55)

Richard de Mossock quickly follows; probably he was the son of Ralph. In 1327 he leased certain lands in Bickerstaffe, (fn. 56) and in 1332 he was plaintiff in a suit of novel disseisin against Henry son of Simon de Bickerstath, but did not prosecute it. (fn. 57) His son Thomas is mentioned last in the remainders to the lands of John son of Simon de Bickerstath, in a deed made about 1380. (fn. 58) It is possible that he did not long survive his father, for in the first quarter of the fifteenth century his son Henry comes into prominence. Henry married, about 1410, Joan daughter and coheir of John le Norreys of Much Woolton, who brought him lands in Allerton, Woolton, Huyton, and Garston, and from this time the family seem to have had a house in Allerton. Henry had also a house in Liverpool, and took part in the affairs of the town, being mayor in 1426. (fn. 59) He had a dispute with Henry Atherton, lord of Bickerstaffe; it was referred to the arbitration of Sir Thomas Stanley, who decided that Henry Mossock must pay a rent of 9d. and find a man in harvest time. (fn. 60)

He was succeeded by Thomas Mossock, who in the time of Henry VII was followed by his son Henry. (fn. 61) In 1493–4 he married Anne, daughter of Robert Shakerley. (fn. 62) He was followed by his son Thomas, living in 1550. (fn. 63) Thomas's son was another Henry, who married Ellen daughter and coheir of Philip Wettenhall. (fn. 64) One or two deeds concerning him have been preserved. (fn. 65) He was buried at Ormskirk on 22 November, 1593. (fn. 66) His son and heir, Thomas, succeeded, being twenty-three years of age. He married Margaret daughter of Laurence Ireland of Cunscough in Melling, where the family seat was when the visitation of 1664 was made. (fn. 67) He survived his father only three years, leaving a son and heir Henry, then nine years of age. (fn. 68) This Henry was still living in 1664, having weathered many storms. He married Jane, a daughter and coheir of John Moore, son of Edward Moore, of Bankhall. (fn. 69) In 1628, as a convicted recusant, he paid double to the subsidy; (fn. 70) and in 1641 his two children, Thomas and Elizabeth, appear in the recusant roll. (fn. 71) As a matter of course his estates were sequestrated by the Parliament 'for his recusancy and delinquency,' and in 1652 he made complaint that Sir Thomas Stanley, 'taking advantage of his condition,' had enclosed a moss adjoining his estate, on which he had right of depasturing. The next year his estates were sold to Anthony Shelley under the third confiscation Act, 1652. (fn. 72)

Walmesley of Showley. Gules, on a chief ermine two burts.

The son, Thomas Mossock, was a lieutenant in the Royal Forces, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Ormskirk, in 1644. (fn. 73) He married Anne, daughter of Thomas Berington, by whom he had a daughter who died in infancy; and secondly Anne, a daughter and coheir of Richard Urmston, of Westleigh, but appears to have had no issue by her. (fn. 74) The family seem to have recovered part at least of their estates. To Thomas his brother Richard succeeded, (fn. 75) and was in possession in 1685, (fn. 76) but Mossock Hall and other lands went to the heirs of his sister Elizabeth, who married Thomas Walmesley, of Showley. (fn. 77)

The site of Mossock Hall, just on the Aughton boundary, is low, and has at one time been moated. The hall, which is now and has been for many years a farmhouse, belongs to a type consisting of a main building with two rooms, one on each side of a large central chimney stack, which are entered from a common lobby and projecting porch and give access to wings at either end, projecting either to front or back, or in both directions. In this example a porch of two stories opens into the lobby, with a door to the kitchen on the left. The right-hand partition and door of the lobby have been removed, and a passage as wide as the lobby is cut off from the sitting-room on the right of the central stack, to give access to the right wing of the house, which contains on the ground floor a dairy, staircase, and second sittingroom.

The oldest parts of the building are of the first half of the seventeenth century, two stories in height, of red brick with stone dressings, the masonry being of good quality, and include the porch, which has outer and inner doorways with four-centred heads, the lobby and central chimney stack, the front walls of kitchen and sitting-room to right and left of the porch, and probably part of the back walls of both. The front window of the kitchen is of five lights, square-headed, and that of the sitting-room, now cut off from it by a partition, of six lights; both have plain chamfered stone mullions and dressings. Heavy beams run across the fireplace recesses in both rooms, and carry the timbers of the upper floor, so that none of the constructional woodwork rests on the masonry of the central chimney—a wise precaution, the neglect of which has caused the loss of many an old house of this date and earlier. The beam in the sitting-room is the roughly squared trunk of an oak tree, fourteen inches square at its smaller end, and eighteen or more at the butt.

The back wall of the house has been refaced or rebuilt in the eighteenth century in very poor red brick with wooden casements, a great contrast to the excellent work of the front.

The sitting-room in the right wing and bedroom above are of better construction, stone-faced, with a massive stone chimney stack, and doubtless date from the prosperous farming days of the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The side wall of the kitchen is a very rough affair, and there has evidently been at this end of the building a wing in some measure corresponding to that still standing.

On the back elevation some nine feet of rough stone footings are to be seen projecting from below the eighteenth-century brickwork, at a slightly different angle to the present wall. They stop on the line of junction of the right wing with the main building, and it may be that this wing formerly projected beyond the back wall. (fn. 78)

Mossock Hall

There was a resident priest at Mossock Hall at the beginning of the eighteenth century. (fn. 79)


STOTFOLDSHAW, (fn. 80) as stated, was granted to the Hospitallers by Ralph de Bickerstath. A little later (about 1180) it was granted by Ralph de Diva, their prior, to Norton Priory in Cheshire. (fn. 81) It was held of them by the Bickerstaths and Inces of Aughton, whose rights passed to the Stanleys of Moor Hall. (fn. 82) It gave a name to the tenants; Richard de Stotfoldshaw occurs in the time of Edward II. One of his grants—to his son Henry—has been preserved; (fn. 83) and in 1370 Henry son of Simon de Stotfoldshaw released to Gilbert de Ince of Aughton all his lands in Bickerstaffe. (fn. 84) Another family connected with the place was that of Withard, Whitehoud, or Whitehead, sometimes called Stotfoldshaw. (fn. 85)

Mossock Hall

A long list of the inhabitants in 1366 is given in the roll of contributors to the stipend of a priest at Ormskirk. (fn. 86)

Stanley of Bickerstaffe was the only freeholder in 1600, (fn. 87) but in 1628 three were named—Sir Edward Stanley, Henry Mossock, and Thomas Cobham. (fn. 88) John Bullen of Bickerstaffe, as a 'Papist,' registered an estate in 1717. (fn. 89)

In 1650 the surveyors for the Commonwealth recommended that a church should be built in this township. (fn. 90)

The church of Holy Trinity was built in 1843 by the earl of Derby, and enlarged in 1860. There is a burial ground attached. The incumbents are presented by the earls of Derby.

The Society of Friends early had a meeting at Stanley Gate. (fn. 91) A house was licensed for meetings in 1689, (fn. 92) which were discontinued in 1786, and the house made into cottages. (fn. 93) They had also a burial ground in Bickerstaffe, close to Moor Hall in Aughton. (fn. 94)


  • 1. 6,453 in the Census Report of 1901, including 11 acres of inland water.
  • 2. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 283b.
  • 3. Kuerden MSS. ii, 269b, n. 79.
  • 4. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 17.
  • 5. Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 545. Adam's gift, made with the assent of his heirs and of his wife Avice, was 3½ acres near the wood, together with a toft in the vill.
  • 6. Elias was the uncle of Ralph: see the grant to him in Dods. MSS. cxlii, 252b. Richard son of Roger was a witness.
  • 7. Inq. and Extents, 18. It is supposed that these lands came back eventually to the lord of the manor. In 1212 Hugh de Moreton and Margery his wife held the oxgang of Henry son of Elias; Margery was one of the daughters of Richard son of Roger of Lytham, and dying childless the portion reverted to Henry, whose title is recognized in one of the Cockersand Charters; Chartul. ii, 547.
  • 8. Ibid. The original deed is at Ince Blundell; Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxii, 191. About the same time Edward son of Robert de Bickerstath granted a portion of his land in Bickerstaffe by Wildmere ford, on both sides of the road and between Witlache and Orfelles as far as the cross, in alms. The Cockersand lands here were afterwards held by Simon de Bickerstath and William his son, passing to the Mossocks; Kuerden MSS. ii, 231, n. 102.
  • 9. Inq. and Extents, 136. This document was compiled from an earlier one, the phrase 'Son of Bernulf' pointing to the time of Hen. II; possibly 'Ralph son of Bernulf' in the original roll was adapted by substituting the Alan of 1226 for Ralph.
  • 10. 'One-third of half a plough-land in Bickerstaffe' is the phrase.
  • 11. Assize R. 404, m. 3 d. The third part may have descended to Alan from the Adam son of Waltheof of 1212. About 1240–50 Alan and Adam de Bickerstath were witnesses to a charter preserved among the Scarisbrick D. (Trans. Hist. Soc. New Ser. xii), n. 4; to another (n. 6) Adam de Bickerstath and Alan de Renacres were witnesses; it is not impossible that the same Alan used both surnames, and that he was the ancestor of the Renacres family whose descent is traced later. They seem to have called themselves 'de Bickerstath' at times. In 1255–6 Adam gave the king ½ mark for a brief; Originalia R. 40 Hen. III, m. 3. The parentage of Adam and Simon does not seem to be known.
  • 12. As for instance in many of the deeds just referred to, and in the Burscough charters in Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 197 seq. Adam and his brother Simon were in 1253 witnesses to a grant to Cockersand Abbey; Chartul. 602. Adam was one of the jury in an inquisition of 1276; Abbrev. Placit. 266.
  • 13. Kuerden MSS. ii, 268, B. 1. Simon de Bickerstath was a witness; the date is about 1260.
  • 14. Assize R. 408, m. 70.
  • 15. He appears to have succeeded in 1292, for a suit in that year was brought by Thomas Whitehead to recover from Ralph son of Adam de Bickerstath, 'chief lord of the vill,' the 'improvement' which Adam had just successfully claimed; Assize R. 408, m. 24. For a suit by Ralph, see the same roll (m. 37d). Ralph was certainly holding the manor in 1297, at the death of Edmund, earl of Lancaster; Inq. and Extents, 287.
  • 16. P.R.O. List, 72; Pink and Beavan, Lancs. Parl. Represent. 16. He was in 1306 styled Sir Ralph de Bickerstath; Scarisbrick D. n. 46.
  • 17. Rymer, Foedera (Syllabus, i, 180).
  • 18. Palgrave, Parl. Writs, ii (2), 392, &c. Maud, widow of Ralph de Bickerstath, made a claim against Alice, widow of Geoffrey de Cuerdale, as to lands in Little Layton; De Banc. R. 235, m. 166.
  • 19. Dods. MSS. ix, 231. The abbot of Cockersand granted his lands in Bickerstaffe to Simon de Bickerstath (who seems to have resigned them later) for rent of 2s. sterling; on the decease of himself or any of his heirs succeeding to the lands half a mark was to be paid, and 4s. on the death of a wife. Sir Ralph de Bickerstath and Adam his son and heir confirmed this arrangement. An agreement as to bounds was made in 1302; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 548–50. To Simon son of Orm Ralph granted for life common of pasture and all other liberties in Bickerstaffe. A little later he gave to Simon son of Simon de Bickerstath 'all the land which Simon the father had held of Adam, the grantor's father, by hereditary right,' for a rent of 11d.; Kuerden MSS. ii, 268, B. 10, B. 22. There were probably other Ralphs besides those mentioned. One of these was witness to some Burscough charters in the first half of the thirteenth century; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 201. In 1290 Ralph de Bickerstath complained that Adam de Rainford and others had disseised him of a messuage and land in Bickerstaffe; on inquiry, however, the land was found to be in Rainford; Assize R. 1288, m. 12. He made a similar complaint against John le Waleys of Uplither-land and others; and the land in dispute was found to lie partly in Aughton and partly in Bickerstaffe; ibid. m. 12. The plaintiff may have been Ralph son of Adam, though his father was still living. In 1294 Stephen de Bickerstath, Stephen de Renacres and others were accused of a similar offence against Ralph de Bickerstath; it was stated that Stephen had sold the lands one Sunday at the hour of vespers for 22 marks; Assize R. 1299, m. 15d. Later (1313–14) Ralph de Bickerstath, Simon son of Stephen de Renacres, and others were accused of depriving Robert son of Simon de Bickerstath of common of pasture; and the same Simon de Renacres brought an action against Ralph and others; Assize R. 424, m. 1 d. 6 and 4d. In the Extent of 1323–4 Ralph de Bickerstath is returned as the lord of the manor, holding it in thegnage by the service of 5s. and doing suit to the county and wapentake; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, 36.
  • 20. Dods. MSS. xvii, 40; dated 1320. He was a defendant in a suit 1319–20; Assize R. 424, m. 9. A release in 1321–2 by Adam son of Ralph de Bickerstath is given by Kuerden (ii, 269, n. 49). In the roll of the Foreign rent of Derbyshire, 17 Edw. II, Adam was holding the manor. Adam's name as a witness occurs in the Scarisbrick D. from 1319 to 1346; nn. 52, 75. He was one of the West Derby jurors summoned, but absent, in 1331; Assize R. 1404. In 1346 he held Bickerstaffe by the old services; Survey (Chet. Soc.), 34.
  • 21. Henry de Bickerstath was knight of the shire in 1339; Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 27.
  • 22. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 80. Simon de Renacres and Richard his son put in a claim. See also De Banc. R. 284, m. 131 d.
  • 23. In the Scarisbrick D. from 1359 to 1365; nn. 86, 98. In 1355 he was defendant in a suit; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4, m. 13. In 1366 he subscribed 12d. toward the stipend of a priest at Ormskirk; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 114. He may be the Ralph de Bickerstath who held part of a fee in Bretherton in 1346; Exch. Lay Sub. Lancs. bdle. 130, n. 16.
  • 24. Assize R. 441, m. 6d.
  • 25. Adam was a witness to Scarisbrick D. between 1369 and 1388; n. 103, 125. For the settlement on his daughter see Dods. MSS. cxlii, 252b; Sir William de Atherton was a witness. In 1379 he was rated at 5s. in respect of his lands at Bickerstaffe; Harl. MS. 2085, fol. 421b. In 1370 he and his wife Elizabeth were defendants in a suit brought by Richard son of John son of Stephen de Bickerstath; De Banc. R. 438, m. 321. In June, 1371, he obtained a licence for an oratory in his manor-house at Bickerstaffe; Lich. Epis. Reg. v, 25b.
  • 26. Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 45.
  • 27. The writ of Diem cl. extr. was issued 20 Nov. 1420; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 19. The bishop of Lichfield granted Nicholas de Atherton licence for an oratory in his manor of Bickerstaffe in September, 1389; Lich. Epis. Reg. vi, 125b. This was probably soon after he came into possession. His will was made in 1415. He made bequests to the four orders of friars, to various chaplains and clerks, also to his son Nicholas, Joan daughter of Nicholas Atherton, Hugh Atherton, Peter Boyer, and Ellen formerly wife of John de Walton. It was proved in 1420; Kuerden MSS. ii, 268b, n. 24. Beside the son named he had others, Ralph and James; the former had pardon for the murder of Robert le Walsh in 1401–2; Add. MS. 32108, n. 1510.
  • 28. Towneley MS. DD. n. 1477. The tenure of Bickerstaffe was described as 'in socage by the service of 5s. yearly'; it was worth 20 marks yearly. The writ of Diem cl. extr. was issued on 15 Mar. 1424; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 25. Besides the heir he had other children; Joan, mentioned in the will of Sir Nicholas; Edmund, of Gautley; John, and perhaps Matthew also. John had children—Philip, who married Joan, daughter of Nicholas Hurleton; Robert, Ellen, Margery, Margaret. For these see Kuerden MSS. ii, 269, n. 35; also 268b, &c. In some places John is called 'son of Sir Nicholas de Atherton knight.'
  • 29. His marriage with Douce, a daughter of Hamlet Mascy of Rixton, was arranged in 1430. Mascy of Rixton D. R. 150. He had some variance with John Atherton about 1441; Kuerden MSS. ii, 268b, nn. 14, 16; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 5, m. 2. Henry was living in 1461, and apparently in 1474 (Cockersand Chartul. ii, 668; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 44, m. 13 d.), but Hamlet is given as tenant in the feodary of 1483. Hamlet and William Atherton of Bickerstaffe were accused of being concerned in the death of Robert Derbyshire; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 28, m. 9d.
  • 30. Kuerden MSS. ii, 268b, n. 12. Living in 1479.
  • 31. The inquest after the death of Thomas Atherton, taken in 1515, shows that he died in 1514, holding the manor of Bickerstath in socage by a rent of 5s.; and numerous scattered lands, chiefly within the hundred. His daughter and heir Margaret was of the age of 30 years; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, n. 68. An account of the descent from the younger Nicholas Atherton will be found in Duchy Pleadings (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 27–31. Ralph, a younger brother of Nicholas, died in 1461 without legitimate issue, when his property was taken by Henry, as son and heir of the elder brother, and descended to Hamlet and Thomas. In 1506, however, Ralph, son and heir of Humphrey Atherton, put in his claim; but it was shown that Humphrey's father, Piers, was one of four illegitimate children of Ralph Atherton. Janet, widow of Gilbert Walsh, was another; she was then 58 years of age. The writ Diem cl. extr. for Ralph Atherton was issued in July, 1461; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 176. Some Athertons continued to reside in Bickerstaffe. Philip Atherton, son and heir of Arthur Atherton, was summoned to Lancaster in 1541; he brought a complaint against Gowther Scarisbrick in 1550; Pal. of Lanc. Writs, Lent, 32 Hen. VIII; Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Edw. VI, xxv, A. 4.
  • 32. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, n. 92. This inquisition records that in 1478 Hamlet Bickerstath enfeoffed Sir William Stanley and others of various tenements in Bickerstaffe, and the feoffees immediately transferred them to Alice Stanley, wife of Hamlet, for her life, with remainder to Thomas Atherton his son and heir. The whole estate is described as the manor of Bickerstaffe, with a hundred messuages, a windmill, a thousand acres of land, also meadow, pasture, wood, turbary, furze and heath, and marsh, with 20s. rent in Bickerstaffe, Ormskirk, Burscough, Aughton, Lydiate, Billinge, Rainford, Mossborough, Whiston, Sutton by Prescot, Dalton by Lathom, and Little Eccleston. Thomas Atherton in 1511 gave these lands to feoffees to fulfil his will, and next year made an estate of 20 marks value to the benefit of his daughter Margery and James Scarisbrick and their heirs. He also set apart certain lands for the use of his wife Ellen for her life; and others for the maintenance of a chaplain at the altar of the B. V. Mary in Ormskirk church. The clear annual value of the manor of Bickerstaffe was said to be £40; the 5s. rent was still paid to the king (as duke) at his manor of West Derby. The value of the other properties was about £11. James Scarisbrick married a second time, and his heirs by this marriage ultimately succeeded to Scarisbrick. For his tomb in Ormskirk church see Dods. MSS. cxlix, 68; and Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc.), 171.
  • 33. In Eastham church was formerly the inscription: 'Pray for the souls of Peter Stanley of Bickerstaffe esquire, one of the younger sons of William Stanley of Hooton, knight, and Elizabeth his wife, the daughter and heir of James Scarisbrick and Margaret his wife, who was daughter and heir of Thomas Atherton of Bickerstaffe esquire; which made this window anno 1543, 34 Hen. VIII'; Add. MS. 32111, 77b. There was a son and heir, Thomas Stanley, who married Jane, daughter of Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton; the marriage covenant being made in 1547; Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Eliz. clxv, M. 6. He died young and she married again; see the account of the Mossocks. In the reign of Elizabeth, Peter Stanley made complaint that Richard Molyneux of Sefton had claimed common rights in Barrow within Bickerstaffe on behalf of the tenants of Simonswood; Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Eliz. lxxxiii, S. 6.
  • 34. Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc.), 111. Sir James Stanley, knight, was still living in 1545; Lay Subs. bdle. 130, n. 136. The two eldest sons are said to have died without issue. Sir George, 'the Black Knight of Ireland,' died in December, 1570, and was buried at Ormskirk; his sons (Edward and Henry) died without issue, and of his daughters Mary married Robert son of Sir Robert Hesketh of Rufford, and Agnes or Anne married a Salisbury. There is in the reg. at Chester a deposition by Jane Stanley alias Clifton, relict of Henry Stanley of Cross Hall (who died in 1590), to the effect that Anne Salisbury was the only sister of Henry, living in 1592, his brother also being dead. Henry, the youngest son, thus succeeded to Cross Hall.
  • 35. The inquisition notices only the Little Hall in Aughton, held of John Starkie of Aughton by fealty and a rent of 10d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, n. 1. Henry Stanley acquired this property from Edward, son and heir apparent of John Becconsall, in 1566; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 28, m. 215. In his will he calls himself 'of Bickerstaffe' and orders his burial 'in his chapel in Ormskirk church and amongst his ancestors'; his unmarried daughters were to have £500 apiece out of Bickerstaffe, 'they being ruled by my wife.' His lands were to go to his eldest son Edward, with remainder to his second son James; the latter was to have the lease of Cross Hall and its lands granted by William, earl of Derby, but was to surrender it to his elder brother on being placed in possession of the Little Hall and a rent of £30. He died a few days after making this will, being buried at Ormskirk on 28 July, 1598. His widow Margaret was buried there on 2 Nov. 1613. In 1590 Henry Stanley of Bickerstaffe was reported as among the 'more usual comers to church, but not communicants'; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 245. The Stanleys seem to have conformed entirely soon afterwards; they do not appear in the recusant rolls. Henry had a natural son William, a prisoner for debt about 1595, to whom he gave a lease of lands in Bickerstaffe; about this there was afterwards a dispute between Edward Stanley, the heir, and Roger Wallwork of Bickerstaffe, who had been tutor and 'instructor in learning' to Edward; Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Eliz. ccvi, W. 10. The son James, described as of Little Hall in Aughton, was a convicted recusant; and his estate was consequently sequestered by the Parliament; he was dead in 1654; Cal. Com. for Comp. v, 2981.
  • 36. G. E. C., Complete Baronetage, ii, 27. Sir Edward was sheriff of Lancs. in 1614, 1626, and 1638; P.R.O. List, 74. At Edward Stanley's court-baron of Bickerstaffe, held 11 July, 1617, Henry Wilding was fined 10s. for having overcharged the common of the manor with cattle. The bailiff, in distraining, broke into a close to seize a mare, for which he was indicted at the assizes and punished; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 322, m. 11.
  • 37. Fun. Cert. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 207.
  • 38. Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 33, 2, 60, 90. Some despatches signed by him and other officials of the party are printed in Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 5, 11, 23.
  • 39. The Stanleys of Cross Hall are descended from Sir Edward's younger brother, Peter Stanley. Sir Edward matriculated at Oxf. (Brasenose Coll.) in 1661, and married in 1663 Elizabeth, daughter and coheir of Thomas Bosvile of Warmsworth; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 284.
  • 40. Pollard, Stanleys of Knowsley, 93. Patten House in Preston became one of the chief residences of the family. A private Act was passed (12 Will. III, cap. 32) to enable Sir Thomas Stanley to charge certain manors and lands in Lancs. with £300 for payment of his debts and his sisters' portions.
  • 41. Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 158.
  • 42. See the account of Knowsley.
  • 43. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 114. John son of Simon occurs in 1371, as holding land in Bickerstaffe and Aughton; Final Conc. ii, 182. Other members of the family are mentioned in De Banc. R. 425, m. 405; 439, m. 164d; 453, m. 151.
  • 44. There is a place so named in Halsall.
  • 45. In 1284 Richard de Renacres made a claim but withdrew it; Assize R. 1268. Alan was Richard's father (see below) and Stephen was his son; Assize R. 408, m. 76; Coram Rege R. 138, m. 59.
  • 46. Kuerden (fol. MS. 390, T.) has the following abstract: 'I Simon de Renacres have inspected a charter which Richard de Renacres my grandfather made of divers lands in Bickerstaffe.' The date is about the end of the reign of Edw. I.
  • 47. Kuerden MSS. ii, 271b, n. 85.
  • 48. Ibid. n. 84. For some early Renacres deeds see Kuerden MSS. iii, R. 1.
  • 49. Ibid. ii, n. 82. Contemporary with him was a Richard de Renacres of Ormskirk, son of Thomas de Renacres, who in 1391–2 deputed Joan his wife and another to take seisin of his father's lands in Bickerstaffe; ibid. n. 83; Kuerden (fol. MS. (Chet. Lib.), 357, R. 370) has preserved a grant by Thomas de Renacres, perhaps the father of this Richard, made in 1366. His holding included the tenement which Richard (? de Renacres) held of Thomas in Bickerstaffe, the services of Simon de Holme, Thomas de Rainford and Elizabeth his wife (daughter of William), and Richard Godithson. In 1363 Richard de Halsall, clerk—possibly the rector of Halsall, whose father was named Thomas and whose successor was appointed in 1365—claimed lands in Bickerstaffe from William Barrett, Alice his wife, and John their son, alleging that they were given by Stephen son of Alan de Renacres to Thomas son of Richard de Halsall and his wife Siegrith, and after their death should have descended to the plaintiff; De Banc. R. 415, m. 199, and 416, m. 387.
  • 50. Kuerden MSS. ii, n. 91. Probably he was a natural son of Thomas the grantor. See n. 88.
  • 51. Ibid. n. 93. One of the remainders was to Thomas son of Richard de Renacres—perhaps the Richard of Ormskirk, who was living in 1429; ibid. n. 92.
  • 52. The dates and names as given by Kuerden cannot be read with certainty, but seem to stand as follows: In 1425–6 Wylder (?) de Thurnham (?) and Constance his wife and her sister Ellen, daughters of John de Renacres of Lancaster (?), attorn certain persons to deliver seisin to John Atherton of lands in Bickerstaffe; Kuerden MSS. ii, 268b, n. 3. At the same date William Wyld of Bickerstaffe and Christiana his wife, daughter and heir of John Renacres of Wantage (?), granted to John son of Nicholas Atherton lands which formerly belonged to Thomas Renacres of Bickerstaffe; ibid. n. 18. Then in 1435–6 John Atherton of Bickerstaffe enfeoffed Sir Thomas Stanley and Sir William Atherton of all the messuages and lands which formerly belonged to Thomas, son of Richard son of Simon de Renacres in Bickerstaffe; ibid. n. 7. Then again in 1470 Christiana, lately wife of William Wild of Alderington (?) in Berks., quitclaimed to John Atherton all her right in the lands which John Hunt had by her gift and the gift of her sister Ellen in Bickerstaffe; ibid. 271b, n. 87. With these may be compared fol. 262, n. 25, where Alice and Averia are said to have been daughters and co-heirs of a Richard de Renacres.
  • 53. Kuerden MSS. ii, 231, n. 101. The bounds began at a ditch on the eastern side next to Crawshaw, proceeded to the Harestone, and then to Wilmanford; then along a syke as far as the boundary between Melling and Bickerstaffe, along this boundary to Crawshaw, and by Crawshaw to the starting point. It adjoined land on Crawshaw Moor held of the grantor by Simon de Bickerstath. Edusa, widow of Richard de Renacres, surrendered her dower right to William and Richard, sons of Simon de Bickerstath; ibid. n. 83. There is also a grant by William de Renacres to William de Bickerstath of land called the Bickinshaw; ibid. n. 85.
  • 54. Kuerden MSS. ii, 231, n. 99.
  • 55. Ibid. nn. 81, 98, 100. The two former of these are dated 4 Edw. I, and the last 8 Edw. I; probably errors for Edw. II.
  • 56. Ibid. n. 48.
  • 57. Assize R. 1411, m. 12. Richard contributed 4d. to the stipend of a priest at Ormskirk in 1366; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 114.
  • 58. Kuerden MSS. ii, 268b, 2, and B8.
  • 59. The Mossock Deeds (156 in number) are given in Kuerden MSS. ii, 230–1. Geoffrey Mossock occurs in 1432–3; n. 18.
  • 60. Ibid. n. 105; it is dated 1437–8. In a deed of 1417 Henry is described as 'parker'; ibid. n. 141.
  • 61. Richard Mossock, brother and executor of Godfrey Mossock, is mentioned in 1488; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 66, m. 6d.
  • 62. Kuerden MSS. ii, 231, n. 107; 230b, n. 49; n. 26 is a receipt from Thomas son of Robert Shakerley, late of Lathom, to Henry Mossock, acknowledging 5 marks from Thomas's rents in Shuttleworth, due after the death of his mother Isabel; it is dated 1505–6. Henry Mossock was living in 1548, aged about 76; Depos. and Plead. cited under Cunscough.
  • 63. Ibid. n. 126; this is an order to Robert and John Hey of Aughton to build a barn and carry it to Allerton.
  • 64. With him begins the pedigree in Dugdale's Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 215. For the marriage (indentures dated 4 July 1559) see Kuerden MSS. ii, 230, n. 16, 47; it is said that he had £40 in land with his wife, but his son sold this estate to Lord Chancellor Egerton. A slightly different account is given in Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), iii, 367.
  • 65. Ibid. u. 133. In 1586 he purchased land in Aughton called the Moor; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 48, m. 246. Early in Elizabeth's reign Henry Mossock was accused of ousting Robert Bickerstath from a tenement in Bickerstaffe (Deeplache) held of Peter Stanley and his wife Elizabeth and their son and heir Thomas by lease dated in December, 1555. His answer was that his patrimony lay adjacent, and that he had common of pasture and turbary on Bickerstaffe moss and a right of way to it through Deeplache; the plaintiff having stopped this way by a hedge and ditch, he had made a passage. This was after March 1562. A division of the land had been made with the assent of Mistress Jane Radcliffe, widow of Thomas Stanley; she had since (before 1567) married Thomas Molyneux; Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Eliz. lxxv, B.4. She was living in 1594, when Thomas Molyneux was described as of Nutfield, in Surrey; Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Eliz. clxv. M. 6. She was dead in Nov. 1602; ibid. ccvi, W. 10.
  • 66. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, n. 28.
  • 67. Hethenhead seems to have been the name of the dwelling; it is probably the origin of M. Gregson's 'Heathenland.'
  • 68. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, n. 87. The lands in Bickerstaffe were held of Henry Stanley and Margaret his wife, in the latter's right.
  • 69. Her portion was £450; Kuerden MSS. ii, 230b, n. 47.
  • 70. Norris D. (Brit. Mus.).
  • 71. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 233.
  • 72. Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 202, 203; Index of Royalists, 43. Kuerden notes a lease by Henry and Thomas Mossock in 1654; ii, 231b, n. 128. Henry died in 1667 and was buried 'in his own chancel' in Ormskirk church. In a letter from William Blundell of Crosby is the record: 'Mr. Mossock, the true penitent, died on the most penitent saint's day, July 22'; Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxvi, 42.
  • 73. See the account of Aughton; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 204.
  • 74. Kuerden MSS. ii, 230b, n, 47. Anne Mossock died in 1699; for her will see Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 222.
  • 75. A very unfavourable opinion of him must be formed from his treatment of the widow. When she claimed her dower Richard objected that she had never been 'lawfully coupled together in matrimony.' About 1650 she was 'married to Thomas Mossock, popish recusant, by Henry Lathom, a popish priest, according to the custom and with all the ceremonies used in the Romish church.' A writ was directed to the bishop of Chester to inquire, but the result is not stated. (Note by J.P. Earwaker.) She was living at Westleigh, an indicated recusant, in 1678; Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 109.
  • 76. Kuerden MSS. ii, 231b, n. 127. He was buried at Ormskirk 21 July, 1692 He was at Douai College in 1644 and 1645; Douai Diaries, 46, 81. But see Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc.), iii, 101. He wrote the Mossock inscriptions in Ormskirk and Aughton churches (1661).
  • 77. Burke, Commoners (1837), iii, 228; Abram, Blackburn, 459. The estate was registered by Richard Walmesley of Ribchester at Preston about 1716; Piccope MSS. iii, 166 (from R. 1, n. 145). Thomas Walmesley of Showley, party to a deed in 1756, is described as grandson of Richard Walmesley of Ormskirk, which Richard was nephew and heir-at-law to Richard Mossock of Bickerstaffe; ibid. 372 (from R. 30 of Geo. II).
  • 78. 'The attic rooms have clay floors and the walls exhibit the mud and wattle construction so often to be met with in old houses. Forty years ago the place was in a very neglected state, and was surrounded with timber and old hedges. 'It was generally believed by the neighbours to be haunted, and was known for some time as Boggart Hall, the only inhabitant there being a farm labourer. The stories told are that one of the ghosts, with clanking chains, used to walk on stormy nights along a dark and narrow road leading from opposite the old barn. The house itself had a ghost of its own, that of a lady in a green dress, who followed any visitor leaving in the night season; would bang the door and disappear. It would seem that these ghosts had been laid to rest after a sum of money had been found, which, gossip says, was concealed either on the staircase in the balustrades, which are hollow and of great thickness, or in a coffin-shaped receptacle on the landing, which evidently had been a secret place for hiding valuables or plate in troublous times. 'One of the remarkable objects on the farm is a huge stone trough near the stables, which at one time lay in a field near the house. Report has it, that if removed from that spot it was always mysteriously replaced during the night. In 1875 an old sleeve-link was found near the roots of a large thorn opposite the principal door of the house. It is said to have belonged to Lord Charlemont, whose name it bore, and must have remained buried for more than two centuries'; G. C. Newstead, Annals of Aughton, 18–20. A view of the house is given.
  • 79. N. Blundell's Diary, 2.
  • 80. This is the earliest form of the name (as 'Stotfoldechage'), 1212. The first t and the l vary to c and r, as Scotfordshaw. The name has long been lost.
  • 81. Kuerden MSS. ii, 269b, n. 80. A curious undated grant is contained in the same volume (fol. 268, B. 16), by which William the priest of Stotfoldshaw conveyed to God and St. Mary of Norton, with his body, the whole of 'Stodfoldshohom' and 'Menshahom.' At the dissolution it was found that a rent of 4s. was paid to Norton from Stotfoldshaw; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 686. A grant to Richard de la More by the Hospitallers is recited in a charter in Birch Chapel (Chet. Soc.), 189. In it 'Adam Son of Ralph' is named as the donor to them.
  • 82. See the account of Aughton; also Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 329; and Lancs. Inq. p. m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 168. John Starkie, about 1540, held a close here of the Hospitallers, for a rent of 3d; Kuerden MSS. v, 84.
  • 83. Ibid. ii, 268, B. 7. The bounds began at the Calverhey; thence going by the Small-gate to the Gap, and by a dyke to Hanneyard; thence to a dyke in the Hey Moss, and along this dyke to Stotfoldshaw. Richard attested two of the Scarisbrick D. nn. 33, 52; the date of the latter is 1318–19. He had a son Simon; see below. Some further grants to this family are given by Kuerden (vi, 63b, n. 7–12). In 11 Edw. I (? II) Simon son of Stephen de Renacres gave Alan de Stotfoldshaw and Alice his wife a rent of 40s. out of the lands and tenements of Edusa, formerly wife of Richard de Renacres (grandfather of the grantor); remainder to Richard de Stotfoldshaw. Richard de Bickerstath in 1340 gave to Robert son of this Alan and Sibyl his wife an acre of land; among the witnesses were Simon de Stotfoldshaw and John his brother.
  • 84. Kuerden MSS. ii, 268, B. 24. There was also an Alan de Stotfoldshagh who had a son Robert; ibid. iii, R. 1.
  • 85. There is a grant from Richard de Walshcroft to Thomas Whitehead of land in Bickerstaffe, and a release to him by Adam son of Gilbert and Agnes his wife; both dated 1326–7. Kuerden MSS. ii, 268, B. 2, 14. Simon son of Thomas and Cecily his wife had at the same time a grant of 14 acres from Roger de Walshcroft, lying near the land of Adam son of Gilbert de Greenol (ibid. B. 13). The last-named Adam had complained of having been disseised by William de Withinsnape, Richard de Stotfoldshaw, and Adam de Bickerstath of certain lands (Assize R. 424, m. 9). Cecily, Simon's widow, was living in 1360, holding lands for her life which would descend to Thomas del Hall (or Hull) on her death (ibid. ii, 268). Simon son of Thomas del Hall in 1336 released to Adam son of Thomas Whitehead 6 acres in Bickerstaffe, and this Adam son of Thomas had grants from his father also (ibid. 268b, B. 5, B. 11 [Ermlachfield, 1329], B. 8 [1338]). In 1336 Adam, together with Robert of the Cross of Lathom and Simon son of Richard de Stotfoldshaw, gave a bond to Simon son of Thomas del Hall of Bickerstaffe (ibid. 268, B. 17). In 1362 Thomas son of Simon de Stotfoldshaw sold land to William de Ince (ibid. 268b, B. 7). In 1397 Agnes widow of John de Huyton released to the son of Adam Whitehead all the tenements formerly belonging to John son of Thomas Whitehead in Bickerstaffe (ibid. 268, B. 21). About twenty years later (6 Hen. V) John Whitehead alias Stotfoldshaw of Sleaford, son of Thomas Whitehead of Bickerstaffe, sold his lands to Robert Cliver of Ormskirk (ibid. B. 9, 10, 15). It does not appear how these families were related, but in 1360 there was an inquiry as to whether Thomas White-head had disseised Cecily, daughter of Madoc del Plat and wife of John Baxter of Maghull, of a messuage and land in Bickerstaffe, and she gained the day; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 8, m. 8. Thomas Whitehead—here the form of the surname is Whitehoud—was son of Adam son of Thomas. Cecily was under age in 1340, but is probably the widow of Simon Whitehead.
  • 86. Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 114.
  • 87. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 238.
  • 88. Norris D. (B.M.).
  • 89. Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 108.
  • 90. Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lanc. and Ches.), 93.
  • 91. Two Quakers, women, are said to have been beaten to death in 1660, while going from the meeting.
  • 92. Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 231.
  • 93. Ex inform. Mr. J. S. Hodgson.
  • 94. Here lies one Oliver Atherton, who, refusing to pay tithes to the countess of Derby, lay rector of Ormskirk, was cast into prison, where he died in Feb. 1663, after two years' confinement. His friends, obtaining his corpse, carried it through certain towns in Lancashire, affixing an inscription to the market cross of each, stating that he had been 'persecuted to death' by the countess 'for keeping a good conscience'; Newstead, Annals of Aughton, 15, 16.