A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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This township measures about 2½ miles from the Irwell on the east to Gilda Brook on the west; the area is 2,253½ acres. (fn. 1) From a ridge of higher land which juts into the centre from the north-west the ground slopes away to the north-east, east, and south. The greatest height is 230 ft. above sea level. The population in 1901 was 66,574.
The great road from Manchester to Bolton, with a branch to Wigan, crosses the township in a northwest direction. From it several other roads branch off; one goes west to Eccles, others north-east to Broughton, and from these a road runs north-west to Agecroft in Pendlebury. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's railways from Manchester to Bolton and to Hindley pass through, the former having a station at Pendleton, and the latter at Broad Street, Pendleton, and at Irlams-o'-th'-Height. (fn. 2) The two lines effect a junction on the south-east border of the township. The London and NorthWestern Company's Manchester and Liverpool line crosses the southern part of the township, and has two stations—Seedley and Weaste. The Manchester and Bolton Canal goes along by the side of the former railway. From Hope Hall to Pendleton a band of the Permian Rocks divides the New Red Sandstone to the south from the Coal Measures on the north. A fault almost on the line of the Manchester and Bolton Canal has left the New Red Sandstone in evidence on the eastern side.
The supposed camp at Hyle Wood, in the northern bend of the Irwell, has been found to be a natural hill. The Roman road from Manchester to Wigan passed through Weaste and Hope. There was formerly a cross on Pendleton Green. (fn. 3)
In 1666 there were 138 hearths liable to the tax; the largest house was that of John Hollinpriest, with nine, but there were several with five hearths each. (fn. 4)
The Pendleton morris dancers occur in 1792. (fn. 5)
In 1833 there were cotton mills, with dyeing, printing, and bleaching establishments, also a flax mill upon an improved principle; others of the people were employed in silk manufacture and others in the neighbouring collieries. Most of these industries still remain in the township. The Spence Alum Works were removed to Newton Heath in 1857 in consequence of a law suit.
A large portion of the surface is covered with dwelling-houses and factories. Pendleton being a suburb of Salford, the whole township was taken into the borough in 1852; a small part was added to Eccles in 1891. The township is divided into six wards—St. Thomas's, St. Paul's, Charlestown, Hope, Seedley, and Weaste. Charleston and Douglas Green occupy the northern corner, Irlams-o'-th'-Height the north-west; Paddington lies on the eastern border, Little Bolton to the south-west, Weaste in the south, and Wallness on the north-east. Chaseley and Seedley lie between Pendleton and Weaste; and Hope Hall and Buile Hill to the west. Brindle Heath, formerly Brindlache, lies on the western edge of the urban part of Pendleton proper.
Pendleton Town Hall was built in 1868. A Mechanics' Institution was founded in 1856. A small library was established in 1829, (fn. 6) but does not seem to have continued. A branch of the Salford library was opened in 1878 at Pendleton, another branch at Weaste in 1894, and a third at Irlams-o'th'-Height in 1901. A reading room was opened at Charlestown in 1894. (fn. 7)
A park at Buile Hill has been acquired by the corporation. (fn. 8) The mansion-house there was in 1906 converted into a natural history museum. The David Lewis recreation-ground lies on the eastern side of the township, bordering on the Irwell. The new Manchester Race-course is a little distance to the north of it. (fn. 9) There are other recreation-grounds. Claremont is the Manchester seat of Sir Arthur Percival Heywood, bart.
The worthies of Pendleton include Peter Gooden, Roman Catholic controversial writer, who died 1695; Felix John Vaughan Seddon, orientalist, 1798–1865; George Bradshaw, who published the railway guides, 1801–53; (fn. 10) Robert Cotton Mather, a missionary in India, 1808–77. Notices of them will be found in the Dictionary of National Biography.
PENDLETON was originally included in the royal manor of Salford. King John in 1199 gave it to Iorwerth de Hulton in exchange for Broughton and Kersal on the Manchester side of the Irwell, which, while Count of Mortain, he had bestowed on Iorwerth. (fn. 11) It was assessed as four oxgangs of land, and held by the service of a sixth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 12) It remained for about fifty years in the Hultons' possession; (fn. 13) but was in 1251 exchanged for Ordsall in Salford and part of Flixton. (fn. 14) Robert de Ferrers ten years later granted Pendleton to the priory of St. Thomas the Martyr, Stafford. (fn. 15) The right of the prior was called in question in 1292, (fn. 16) but was soon afterwards allowed, (fn. 17) and the house retained possession until the Dissolution. (fn. 18)
Pendleton, as part of the priory estates, was in 1539 granted to Rowland Lee, Bishop of Lichfield. (fn. 19) On his death his property was divided among his four nephews, and the priory site, together with the manor of Pendleton, went to Bryan Fowler, (fn. 20) whose descendants enjoyed it down to the beginning of the 18th century. The family, who adhered to the old religion, do not seem to have resided at Pendleton, nor is there much sign of their connexion with the place. Walter Fowler, the great-grandson of Bryan, took the king's side in the Civil War, and the 'well affected inhabitants of Stafford' complained of him to the Parliament 'not only as a Papist, but a malignant, because he took up arms for the king and abused and cruelly ill-treated the adherents to Parliament; yet he was sequestered only as a recusant, and he undervalued his estate, which was worth £1,500 a year.' (fn. 21) His lands in the counties of Stafford, Lancaster, Chester, Derby, and Flint were declared forfeit and sold for the benefit of the Navy. (fn. 22) As in other cases, however, they were recovered, (fn. 23) and he was succeeded by his sons Walter and William. The latter, the last male representative of the family, died in 1717. By his first will, dated 1712, he left his estates to his niece Katherine, wife of John Betham, who took the name of Fowler, and as a 'papist' registered his estate in 1717, Pendleton being included. (fn. 24) He left as heir an only daughter Katherine, who in 1726 married Thomas Belasyse, fourth Viscount Fauconberg. (fn. 25)
William Fowler had, however, secretly made a second will in 1715, by which a nephew, Thomas Grove, son of the testator's elder sister Dorothy, became entitled to a moiety of the estate. This will was at first overlooked, (fn. 26) but brought forward in 1729, and, after a suit in Chancery, and an appeal to the House of Lords, was established; Rebecca, the daughter and heir of Thomas Grove, being in 1733 declared co-heir. (fn. 27) She had married Richard FitzGerald, an Irish barrister. (fn. 28) 'Dying sine prole, he bequeathed the manor of Pendleton … and certain other Fowler estates in Staffordshire, to his relatives the FitzGeralds, who still retain possession.' (fn. 29) The present representative of the family is Mr. Gerald Purcell FitzGerald, of the Island, Waterford, who owns a considerable estate in the township.
The HOPE in Pendleton appears to be the estate of two oxgangs of land held by Ellis de Pendlebury in 1212 of Iorwerth de Hulton by a rent of 4s. (fn. 30) It was afterwards held by the Radcliffes, who succeeded the Hultons at Ordsall, but by the greatly increased service of £4 2s. (fn. 31) It seems to have been acquired by a branch of the Bradshaw family. (fn. 32) In the 18th century it was purchased by Daniel Bayley of Manchester, whose son succeeded him; but it was again sold on the latter's death in 1802. (fn. 33)
BRINDLACHE, a name represented by Brindle Heath, was leased and then purchased by the Langleys of Agecroft. (fn. 34) Windlehey descended with this estate. (fn. 35) A branch of the Holland family was seated at Newhall in Pendleton. (fn. 36)
In 1423 Robert Orrell and Margaret his wife made a settlement of their estate in Salford, Pendleton, and Pendlebury. (fn. 37)
LITTLE BOLTON, held by William de Bolton in 1200, was assessed as six oxgangs of land, and held of the king in chief in fee farm by a rent of 18s. (fn. 38) The Boltons were about 1350 succeeded by the Gawen family, who continued to hold the whole or part for about two centuries. (fn. 39) The more recent history is uncertain. The Valentines of Bentcliffe acquired twothirds; (fn. 40) and the Goodens or Gooldens, a recusant family, were seated here in the 16th and 17th centuries. (fn. 41) WEASTE, i.e. the Waste, is mentioned in the year 1570. (fn. 42)
Humphrey Booth of Salford, (fn. 43) Roger Downes of Wardley, (fn. 44) and Richard Pendleton, (fn. 45) held lands in the township in the time of Charles I. In 1784 the principal landowners were John FitzGerald, John Gore Booth, and Thomas Butterworth Bayley; Miss Byrom, Thomas Chorlton of Weaste, — Valentine, — Calvert, and many others had smaller shares. (fn. 46)
The Duchy of Lancaster has an estate in Pendleton; the rents in 1858 amounted to over £1,000. (fn. 47)
In 1444 there was a serious affray at Pendleton, several men being killed. (fn. 48)
A chantry chapel was founded in Pendleton about 1220, but nothing further seems known of it. (fn. 49)
A considerable number of churches have been erected in modern times, to accommodate the growing population. In connexion with the Established Church the first St. Thomas's, at Brindle Heath, was acquired in 1776 and the second was built on the present site in 1831; (fn. 50) the old building is used as a chapel of ease, and called St. Anne's; the Vicar of Eccles is patron of this. The Crown and the Bishop of Manchester present alternately to St. Paul's, Paddington, built in 1856. (fn. 51) St. George's, Charlestown, was built in 1858; (fn. 52) St. James's, Hope, in 1861; (fn. 53) St. Luke's, Weaste, in 1865; (fn. 54) St. Barnabas's and St. Ambrose's, both in 1887. The Bishop of Manchester collates to St. George's and St. Barnabas's; St. James's and St. Luke's are in the gift of trustees.
The Wesleyans are said to have been the first possessors of old St. Thomas's, built about 1760; they now have a church dating from 1814, and four others more recently built. The United Free Methodists have three churches, the Primitive Methodists and the New Connexion two each, and the Independent Methodists one.
The Congregationalists had a preaching station at Irlams-o'-th'-Height about 1825, but no permanent church followed at that time. At Charlestown a Sunday school was begun in 1829, and next year public services were held, a church being formed in 1836; a place of worship in Broad Street was built in 1847–9. At Charlestown itself a church was built in 1864, and a school chapel at Seedley ten years later. (fn. 55) At Weaste is the Lightbowne memorial church.
The Roman Catholic Church of the Mother of God and St. James, Seedley, was built in 1875; the mission began in 1858. All Souls', Weaste, was opened in 1892. In 1898 the Dominicans took over the struggling mission of St. Charles in the north of the township, and have built the church of St. Sebastian.