A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Cherlegh, 1251; Cherle, 1252; Chorley, 1257 and common; Cherley, 1276; Chorlegh, 1292 and common. In 1302 the defendant to a claim regarding a way in 'Cherlegh' replied that there was no such place in the county, though 'Chorlegh' was known. (fn. 1)
The single-township parish of Chorley, tmother parish of Croston, did not behough physically quite separate from the come independent ecclesiastically until 1793, when an Act of Parliament was procured for the purpose. (fn. 2) The parish, township and borough are conterminous. The area is 3,614 acres, including 47 acres of inland water, and in 1901 there was a population of 26,852.
The surface is hilly, a number of brooks, including the Chor, running through the valleys to join the Yarrow, which touches the township in the south-east, and then, after bending to the south, flows northward to form part of the western border. The town of Chorley, on a piece of the higher land, is in the centre of the township. To the north of it are Knowley and Hartwood Green, to the north-west is Astley Hall, to the west Gillibrand Hall, to the south-west Kingsley. Chorley Moor lies to the south of the town, and contains the hamlets of Red Bank and Weld Bank to the south and the estate called Lighthurst. On the east side of the town the Blackbrook flows south to the Yarrow, and beyond it, towards Anglezarke and Withnell Moors, is the district called Healey; part of the boundary on that side is formed by Healey Nab, a hill 682 ft. above sea level. Crosse Hall and Cowling are in the south of Healey and Botany Bay in the north.
The principal road is that from Manchester to Preston, going north-west and north through the middle of the township; along it the town has grown up. It is a modern road, the old one to the south of the town being quite different. Of this older road a fragment remains by the 'Image House'; it went by Duxbury Woods and through Red Bank. 'Yarrow Bridge Hotel, a great coaching establishment, mentioned by De Quincey in Confessions of an Opium Eater, stood at the bottom of the houses near the river at Red Bank. The present road was made during the cotton famine succeeding the American [Civil] War.' (fn. 3) On the east side of the town another road goes north and then passes through Heapey and turns to Blackburn. Several cross streets connect the two main roads, from the former of which other roads branch off south-west and west to Coppull and Wigan and to Croston and Leyland.
The Bolton and Preston Line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, formed in 1846, goes north through the town, where there is a station. (fn. 4) From this point a branch line (1868) turns off northeast to Blackburn. The old Wigan and Lancaster Canal, part of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, goes north through the Blackbrook valley.
In the centre of the town the Manchester and Preston road, there called Market Street, runs almost due north. About the middle of its course Chapel Street leads east to the railway station and Steeley Lane. At the south end, the same main road, named Bolton Street, is joined by Pall Mall, the road from Coppull, and Gillibrand Walks or Ladies' Walk. At the north end Southport Road turns west, passing the new almshouses on the south side, and Church Brow winds round the old church site, turning eastwards towards the workhouse and canal side; the cattle market and gas-works lie on its south side. To the north of Church Brow the main road crosses the Chor, which thence flows west through Astley Park; the course of its higher stream, now concealed, is indicated by Water Street, (fn. 5) going north-east. Further north, as Park Road and Preston Road, the main thoroughfare winds on, passing Chorley Hall Farm on the west.
Chorley has long been a market town and the most important business centre in the hundred; yet about 1536 Leland described it as 'a wonderful poor, or rather no market.' (fn. 6) At a much earlier time the place was associated with a charge of coining. Richard Green of Heapey was accused of having from 1437 onwards, at the inn of Joan Wastley at Chorley, out of false metal made groats, half-groats, pence and halfpence in imitation of the king's money, and set it abroad at Settle and other places. (fn. 7) He was acquitted, but soon afterwards charged with like practices in his room at Heapey and at Chorley in a place called Culmariclough in the Shaghthorngreve; he was again acquitted. (fn. 8)
From the registers it appears that there was an outbreak of plague in 1631. The growing importance of the place is illustrated by the issue of five tradesmen's tokens between 1653 and 1669, (fn. 9) and, though Blome in 1673 thought it but a small town, he states that 'its market, which is on Tuesdays, is well furnished with yarn and provisions.' (fn. 10)
Situated on one of the chief roads to the north, the people must often have witnessed soldiers on the march, but the first recorded act of warfare belongs to the Civil War. In 1643 Lord Molyneux, making a dash from the north, and hearing near Rufford that a Captain Edward Robinson and some of his troop happened to be quartered at Chorley, hastened thither and took them all prisoners. They were detained at Lathom House, but soon set free. (fn. 11) Fragments of the Duke of Hamilton's Scottish force in 1648, flying south before Cromwell, 'at some places made some stands as if they would fight it out, as upon Chorley Moor and Standish Moor,' but did not do so. (fn. 12) Colonel Thornhaugh was killed in one of the skirmishes near Chorley; at Red Bank it is said. (fn. 13) A number of the inhabitants suffered from the sequestrations and confiscations made by the Parliamentary authorities to punish 'delinquents' and 'Papists,' as will be seen hereafter.
The township contained 232 hearths liable to pay the hearth tax in 1666, this being the largest number in any township in the hundred. There were several considerable residences: Astley Hall had fifteen hearths, Mrs. Chorley twelve, John Gillibrand eleven, Crosse Hall (John Asley) ten, Hugh Cooper nine, William Tootell six, Bagganley (Mr. Starkie) four, Lawrence Breres four, and Henry Welch, clerk, three. (fn. 14)
The Restoration (fn. 15) was followed by the ejection of Henry Welch from the curacy and the appearance of Nonconformity. The Revolution met no open resistance, but the story of the Chorleys in 1715 indicates that many of the people remained faithful to the exiled monarch. The 1745 rising had no results in Chorley, though the Young Pretender's line of march was not far from its borders.
Soon after 1750 the cotton manufacture was introduced, and in 1779 Chorley was visited by rioters bent on destroying the newly-invented spinning machines. About 1790 it was 'a small, neat market town,' with 'several mills, engines, and machines for carding and spinning cotton,' the Chor being utilized to work the machinery. On the banks of the Yarrow also were 'many bleaching and printing grounds, with cotton factories intermixed.' Plenty of coal and cannel was procurable, and in the neighbourhood were quarries of ashlar, flag, and mill stone, and mines of lead and alum. The road to Preston was 'a good turnpike,' but that going south was made of 'pebble stones bruised with hammers, with nothing proper to fill up interstices.' (fn. 16)
The trade of the place has continued to increase, being assisted by the opening of the canal and railways. The manufactures include cotton goods, ginghams, jaconets, and muslins; there are calico printing and bleach works, iron and brass foundries; railway wagons, boilers, colours and chemicals are made, and there are wood-turning works and breweries. Coal is mined. The agricultural land is at present thus occupied: arable land, 260 acres; permanent grass, 2,164; woods and plantations, 200. (fn. 17) The fairs are now held on 26 March, 5 May, 20 August and 21 October, for horses and cattle; also on Easter Tuesday and the first Saturday in September, continued on the Monday and Tuesday, for toys.
The market cross was in 1836 'a plain column, rising from a flight of steps.' (fn. 20) It was broken up by the builders of the town hall. Baines says: 'Here are also two large perforated stones, which are held venerable by the Catholics; one of them at the bottom of the church wall, and the other at the lodge at Gillibrand Hall. A stone of large dimensions with a cavity in it lies behind the church, and was probably once used as a font.' (fn. 21)
Three companies of the Volunteer Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment were formed in 1883, and a battery of the 3rd Lancashire Royal Garrison Artillery (Volunteers) also existed. Under the new Territorial system these have respectively become two companies of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and half a battery of the 11th Brigade Royal Field Artillery.
Two newspapers are published on Saturday, the Guardian and the Weekly News (formerly the Standard). In the former paper, between 1884 and 1890, were published the 'Local Gleanings' of John Bannister, relating to all the townships of the Chorley district. (fn. 22)
Richard Chorley, the Jacobite of 1715, is one of the distinguished natives of the parish. (fn. 23) Another is Christopher Tootell, of the Lower Healey family, the author of several devotional works. He was born in 1662, and educated for the priesthood at the English College at Lisbon, but on arriving in England was wrongfully charged with Jansenism. He therefore retired to his native county, and served at Wrightington and Ladywell, near Preston. He was much persecuted by the vicar of Preston, but managed to escape arrest. (fn. 24) Sir Henry Tate was born at Chorley in 1819. Having acquired a great fortune in the sugar manufacture in Liverpool, he devoted himself to philanthropic work and to the collection of pictures. He built the Hahnemann Homœopathic Hospital in Liverpool, and presented to the nation the Tate Gallery of Art in London. He was made a baronet in 1898. Sir Henry, who was a Unitarian in religion, died in 1899. (fn. 25)
As a portion of the Croston lordship granted by Roger de Montbegon to his half-brother John Malherbe, CHORLEY, continuing to form part of the Hornby fee, was held by William de la Mare and his heirs, who in later times were Fleming (then Hesketh) and Ashton of Croston. (fn. 26) Thus in 1632 a free rent of 10s. a year was due from Chorley to Thomas Ashton. (fn. 27) This, as will be seen, was a moiety of the service to be rendered.
The immediate lordship of Chorley, which seems to have descended to two co-heirs, was about 1250 acquired by William de Ferrers Earl of Derby and lord of the district between Ribble and Mersey. Part at least of the transaction is recorded in fines of 1251 and 1252, by one of which he obtained 30 acres of land in Chorley from Herbert de Lawton and Mabel his wife, agreeing to pay a rent of ½d. to the heirs of Mabel, and by the other 4 oxgangs of land from William Bussel and Alice his wife, the like rent of ½d. being payable to Alice's heirs. (fn. 28) Chorley is named in the grant of free warren to William de Ferrers in 1251. (fn. 29) In 1257 a rent of 10s. was paid to the lord of Croston on account of the service due from this manor. (fn. 30) By the new lord's son, Robert de Ferrers, Chorley was about 1260 granted to his brother William, together with Boltonle-Moors. (fn. 31) Thus after William's death in 1287 it was found that he had held the manor of Chorley, of the inheritance of William de la Mare, by the service of 20s. a year. (fn. 32) There were at that time ninety burgages and a number of free tenancies, (fn. 33) the rents amounting to 17s. 4d. and two pairs of spurs. In addition 80 acres were held by tenants at will, and were worth 26s. 8d. yearly; the water-mill was worth 10s., and pleas and perquisites of the court averaged 2s.
William's heir was his son William, who in 1297 gave Chorley and Bolton and all his lands, &c., between Ribble and Mersey to Richard de Lothburgh, who was to pay 1 mark rent after the lapse of eleven years. (fn. 34) The new owner or mortgagee appears to have transferred his right to Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln, and he gave both manors to Robert de Hepwall and Margaret his wife in consideration of Robert's praiseworthy service. (fn. 35) From the subsequent history it would appear that the manors were really for Margaret or were later acquired by her. She was sister of Robert de Holland, and thrice married. By her first husband, Sir John de Blackburn of Wiswell, she had three daughters; by her second, the above-named Robert de Hepwall, who died in 1304, she had a son John, who probably died young (fn. 36); her third husband was the Adam Banastre executed in 1315; by Hepwall or Banastre she had another daughter. (fn. 37)
Henry de Ferrers, as son and heir of William, in 1329 put forward a claim to the manors of Chorley and Bolton, except 60 acres of land, &c., in the former, against Robert son of Robert de Hepwall and Margaret widow of Adam Banastre, each apparently holding a moiety (fn. 38); and at the same time the Prior of the Hospitallers claimed 6 acres from Margaret Banastre. (fn. 39) Margaret probably died about that time, for in the following year Henry de Ferrers pursued his claim against her heirs. (fn. 40) These were her four daughters, Alice, Agnes, Joan and Katherine, the manors being held in 1330 by John de Harrington the younger with Katherine his wife, Robert de Shireburne with Alice his wife, Robert de Horncliff with Agnes his wife, (fn. 41) and Thomas de Arderne son of Joan. (fn. 42)
The Ferrers claim fell into the background for a time, but in 1344 the lords of Croston, Sir John Fleming and Sir William de Lea, as superior lords of Chorley, put forward their claim to the old service of 20s. a year as due from Alice widow of Sir Robert de Shireburne, Agnes widow of Sir Henry de Lea, Sir John de Harrington and Katherine his wife, and Sir Thomas de Arderne, each holding a fourth part. In defence these alleged that there were two other tenants in Chorley who should have been summoned, viz. Robert de Holland and the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem. (fn. 43)
Then in July 1354 Sir William de Ferrers of Groby, son of Henry, put forward his hereditary claim to Chorley and Bolton against Alice widow of Sir Robert de Shireburne, Sir John de Harrington of Farleton and Katherine his wife for two fourth parts, and against Sir Thomas de Arderne for the other moiety. (fn. 44) His claim was prosecuted for several years, and there are many references to it in the rolls. (fn. 45) At last, probably by some agreement or compromise, he regained the Arderne moiety, (fn. 46) and died in 1371 holding the third part (of a fourth part) and the third part of two-thirds of a fourth part of the manor of Chorley, in which were 12 acres of arable land (10s.) and 2 acres of meadow (8d.), together worth 10s. 8d. a year; the free tenants rendered 3s. 3d., tenants of burgages 10s., tenants for life 4s. 6⅓d., and tenants at will 27s. 22/3d. The whole was held of Thomas Fleming and William de Lea, lords of Croston, by knights' service and a rent of 2s. 9⅓d. At the same time John de Arderne and Joan his wife held for life, by grant of the said Lord de Ferrers, rendering a rose yearly, the fourth part of the manor of Chorley and two thirds of two thirds of the fourth part of the manor. Adding the fractions together it will be found that William de Ferrers had in possession and in reversion a moiety of Chorley. (fn. 47)
Henry de Ferrers of Groby died in 1388, having granted his lands and tenements in Chorley to John de Aldeleme, Katherine his wife and John their son at a rent of 8 marks; the lands were said to be 'held of the Duke of Lancaster by the service of finding a bailiff in the king's bailiwick in Leylandshire.' (fn. 48) In 1445 Sir Edward Grey and Elizabeth his wife, daughter and heir of William de Ferrers of Groby, made a settlement of the manor of Chorley, which in default of issue to them was to descend to the right heirs of William de Ferrers. (fn. 49) After the forfeiture of Thomas Grey Marquess of Dorset in 1484, (fn. 50) this moiety was held by the Crown for a time, but in the same year was given to Thomas Lord Stanley and his son Lord Strange. (fn. 51) Joan Lady Strange afterwards held the moiety of Chorley of Thomas Ashton and Roger Dalton as of their manor of Croston in socage by a rent of 10s., (fn. 52) but in 1521, after the death of the second Earl of Derby, the tenement was called 'the whole manor of Chorley' and regarded as held of the king by the service of finding a bailiff for the wapentake. (fn. 53) This moiety descended like Knowsley until 1597, when William Earl of Derby sold it to Roger and Alexander Rigby. (fn. 54)
Returning to the other fourth parts, held by Harrington and Shireburne, it appears that John de Harrington died in 1361 holding in right of his wife Katherine, who had died before him, certain lands, &c., in Chorley of William de Lea and Isabel widow of Sir John Fleming by a rent of 5s. (fn. 55); while in 1441 it was found that Richard Shireburne held a fourth part of the manor of the king as of his Duchy of Lancaster in socage, (fn. 56) but Robert Shireburne in 1492 was more correctly stated to hold the fourth part of Chorley with messuages, lands, &c., of Thomas Hesketh in socage by 5s. rent. (fn. 57) The Harrington fourth part, like the rest of the Horn by estates, came into the possession of Sir Edward Stanley, created Lord Mounteagle after the victory of Flodden, (fn. 58) but was sold by his heirs in 1574 to Sir Richard Shireburne of Stonyhurst, (fn. 59) who, having the other fourth part by inheritance, became lord of a moiety of the manor of Chorley (fn. 60); he died in 1594 holding it of the queen in socage. (fn. 61)
Thus in 1629 it was found that Edward Rigby of Burgh in Duxbury held one moiety (fn. 62) and Richard Shireburne the other. (fn. 63) The Rigby moiety continued to descend like Burgh and Layton (fn. 64) till the dispersal of the estates about 1700, when it was purchased by John Gillibrand, (fn. 65) whose descendant Thomas Gillibrand purchased in 1825 the Shireburne moiety, (fn. 66) which had descended like Stonyhurst to Thomas Weld of Lulworth. (fn. 67) The Gillibrands thus became lords of the entire manor, and from their representatives it was in 1874 purchased by the Chorley Commissioners, (fn. 68) and is now held by the Corporation. A court leet and baron was held until 1828.
The surname Gillibrand occurs in several places in South Lancashire, (fn. 69) but nothing is known of the origin of the Chorley branch. The earliest to occur is one Humphrey Gillibrand, who about 1430 was holding a small portion of the Hospitallers' land by a rent of 4d. (fn. 70) Thomas Gillibrand purchased a messuage in Chorley in 1563, (fn. 71) but the name is not recorded among the freeholders in 1600. Soon afterwards the family became prominent. A pedigree was recorded in 1613 (fn. 72); in 1628 Thomas Gillibrand, a convicted recusant, was one of the more considerable landowners, (fn. 73) and in 1631 was called upon to pay £10 as composition for having refused knighthood. (fn. 74) The residence of the family was already called Chorley Hall. (fn. 75) The fidelity of the family to Roman Catholicism was shown in many ways, and was probably the reason of the sequestration (fn. 76) and ultimate forfeiture (fn. 77) of Thomas Gillibrand's estates during the Commonwealth period.
A pedigree was again recorded in 1664, (fn. 78) and Chorley Hall descended to John Gillibrand and Thomas his son, who in 1717 registered their estates as 'Papists.' The father, who, as above stated, purchased a moiety of the manor, was living at Astley Hall, which he had in right of his wife. (fn. 79) He died in 1732, and his will recites the settlement of the moiety of the manor of Chorley made on the marriage of his son Thomas with Alice Westby, and directs that it should go to his grandson Thomas, with remainder to another grandson Richard. (fn. 80)
Thomas Gillibrand the son of John had five sons and three daughters. His will, dated 1733, mentions various of them, including a daughter Jane, who had married John Hawarden of Lower House in Widnes and had a son Thomas. (fn. 81) Two of the five sons, Richard (d. 1774) and William (d. 1779), became Jesuit priests; the latter, on the death of his elder brother Thomas in 1775, succeeded to the estate and lived at Chorley till his death. (fn. 82) His nephew, the above-named Thomas Hawarden, succeeded and took the surname of Gillibrand. The house had become known as Gillibrand Hall, but the owner in 1783 assured Dorning Rasbotham that it was rightly called Chorley Hall. (fn. 83) He did not long enjoy his estate, dying in 1787 (fn. 84); his son Thomas, (fn. 85) who purchased the other moiety of the manor and became sole lord, died in 1828, and left a son and heir Henry Hawarden Gillibrand, who in 1815 took the name of Fazakerley. He fought a duel at Chorley in 1832 with T. B. Crosse of Shaw Hill, but neither party was injured. (fn. 86) His son Henry having died without issue, the inheritance went to a daughter Matilda Harriet, who in 1863 married Jocelyn Tate Westby, afterwards Fazakerley-Westby, of Mowbreck. The later generations of the family were Protestants. As already stated, the manor was sold in 1874, and in 1881 the hall, with 250 acres of park and woodland, was purchased by the late Henry Rawcliffe, to whom has succeeded his son Mr. Augustus Walter Rawcliffe. Lower Chorley Hall was taken down in 1807–8 and a large edifice was built by Thomas Gillibrand in its place. (fn. 87)
The Chorley family (fn. 88) resided at a house in the northern part of the township which took its name of CHORLEY HALL from its owners. Abstracts of a number of the family deeds have been preserved, (fn. 89) from which it is clear that a considerable number of persons used the local surname, (fn. 90) rendering it impossible to trace the earlier ancestry of the William de Chorley who comes into prominence about 1360 and was ancestor of the Jacobite of 1715. It may be that the family was descended from one Ellis de Chorley, living in the time of Edward I, whose son John died about 1359, (fn. 91) and was succeeded by William, probably his son. (fn. 92)
William de Chorley and Margery his wife received lands from their feoffees in 1361, (fn. 93) and in the following year they and their son Ralph obtained land in Brindle from John son of Robert de Langton for the rent of a rose (fn. 94); further grants are recorded in 1364 and 1368. (fn. 95) The Bishop of Lichfield in 1366 granted William de Chorley licence for an oratory in his mansion house at Chorley, and in 1370 allowed him to choose a confessor. (fn. 96) Charters between 1369 and 1379 show a William son of William de Chorley making feoffments, &c., of lands in Chorley, Waltonle-Dale, Eccleston and Newton in Makerfield (fn. 97); and a settlement was made in 1371, the remainders being to William de Chorley the elder and issue, and then to William the younger. (fn. 98)
About 1380 Henry de Hepwall and Lord Bourchier granted to William de Chorley the hall of Chorley with dovecot and mill and various lands to be held by an annual service of £1 1s. 1d. (fn. 99) It is somewhat difficult to understand this deed, which is undated, for it speaks of William de Chorley having been lord of Chorley, &c., and attainted. (fn. 100) William de Chorley the elder was 'dwelling out of the duchy' in 1381–2, (fn. 101) and William son of William de Chorley about the same time granted to John son of Richard de Kighley' for good service done to William my father and to be done to me' certain land near the Yarrow in the vill of Chorley. (fn. 102) William called 'the elder' in 1390 settled messuages, &c., in Chorley and elsewhere, with remainders to Richard and John de Chorley and others. (fn. 103) Shortly afterwards, in 1395–6, Richard de Chorley and Joan daughter of William de Worthington received lands in Chorley and elsewhere for themselves and their issue. (fn. 104) An inquisition after the death of William de Chorley the elder was made in 1397–8; it was found that he had made Richard de Chorley his heir. (fn. 105) Richard son of William de Chorley obtained various messuages and lands in 1421. (fn. 106) The descent is then uncertain for a time. (fn. 107) At a Chorley manor court in 1491–2 William Chorley grandson of William (living 1379) is named as lately deceased. (fn. 108) The next William, probably his son, married Margaret one of the daughters and co-heirs of Roger Walton, lord of Walton-on-the-Hill, and so acquired a higher standing; he, his wife and his son William were in 1494 parties to the division of the Walton estates. (fn. 109)
This son was probably the William Chorley who died in July 1529 holding a messuage, &c., in Chorley of Lord Mounteagle by a rent of 21s., and other lands at Walton near Liverpool, Walton-leDale, Charnock Richard and Newton-in-Makerfield. His son and heir, another William, then twenty-two years old, (fn. 110) recorded a pedigree in 1567 (fn. 111) and died in 1586 holding six messuages, &c., in Chorley of Sir Richard Shireburne by the rent of 21s. 1d., and others in the same place of the Earl of Derby by a rent of 15d. (fn. 112) The heir was a grandson William, aged nineteen. (fn. 113) He recorded a pedigree in 1613, (fn. 114) when Richard his son and heir was eighteen years of age. The family adhered in the main to Roman Catholicism, (fn. 115) and though William Chorley was not a 'convicted recusant' in 1628 his son Richard appeared among the recusants in that year. (fn. 116) There is some mystery about the father, for he is supposed to have lived till 1644, (fn. 117) and yet it was Richard Chorley who paid £10 in 1631 as composition for refusing knighthood, (fn. 118) and in other ways from about 1625 acted as head of the family. He espoused the king's side in the Civil War, being characterized by the opposition as a 'seducing Papist,' (fn. 119) and in 1644 took part in the attack and capture of Liverpool by Prince Rupert. (fn. 120) His estates were sequestered and sold for his 'delinquency and recusancy' in 1653. (fn. 121) He died in 1655, being succeeded by a son William who died in 1662, leaving the inheritance to a son Richard, only three years old. (fn. 122)
It was William Chorley who compiled the Chorley Survey referred to in this account of the family. He founded it upon the survey made upon his father's forfeiture in 1653, adding family charters and notes of leases. The record was continued by his successors, entries being made down to 1710. The areas are recorded by the different poles in use—8 yds. and 7½ yds. The demesne tenements in Chorley were the Hall, Horseheys, Rigby's, and Hall of the Wood (in Healey); other farms, &c., including Trigg Hall, were let out on lease. Names of fields and details of leases specifying rents and boons are set down. A farm in Walton-le-Dale had once had to provide 'a horse and harness for the war and the tenant to ride him.'
Young Richard Chorley was brought up in the religion and politics of his forefathers. After the Revolution he was arrested as a partisan of James II, (fn. 123) and in the rising of 1715 he and his son Charles joined the Jacobites at Preston and were there taken prisoners on 13 November. The father was sent towards London, but falling ill on the way was left behind at Wigan and afterwards imprisoned at Liverpool, where he and his son were tried the following January. The son, who was barely twenty-one, died in prison, but Richard Chorley was executed at Preston 9 February 1715–16. (fn. 124) It is said that his wife died of grief on hearing of his fate (fn. 125); this is not literally true, but she was buried the following September.
The estates were, of course, confiscated by the government and were sold to Abraham Crompton, described as a banker of Derby, who rebuilt the house about 1746, (fn. 126) and whose great-grandson, another Abraham Crompton, sold Chorley Hall about 1817 to R. T. Parker of Cuerden. (fn. 127) The estate has since descended with Cuerden.
The hall was taken down in 1817, but the kitchen premises, stable, barn and other outbuildings, together with the fish-pond, still remain. Baines describes the building as 'a fine stone gabled edifice,' but beyond this there seems to be no other description or record of its appearance. The kitchen has been made into a farmhouse, and 'one can still see where the roof timbers which connected the place with the demolished hall were sawn asunder.' (fn. 128) The site of the hall proper, at a little distance from the highway at the junction of Park and Preston roads, ' is now a grassgrown piece of land, bearing forest trees planted after the hall was destroyed.' (fn. 129) The fish-pond, which lies between the hall and Preston Road, was enlarged to its present size within living memory.
ASTLEY belonged to the Knights Hospitallers (fn. 130) and about 1540 was held by Thomas Charneck of Charnock Richard by 12d. rent; he also held Moorfield of them by another 12d. (fn. 131) The rents are not always stated uniformly; thus Henry Charnock died in 1534 holding messuages in Chorley of the Prior of St. John by a rent of 18d., (fn. 132) while his grandson Thomas died in 1571 holding messuages, &c., of the queen as of the late priory of St. John by 2s. rent, and others of the Earl of Derby and Lord Mounteagle in socage by a rent of 7s. (fn. 133) The last-named tenement was called Halliwell House in 1616, at the death of Robert Charnock. (fn. 134)
The connexion of this family with Chorley can be traced back to the time of Henry III, (fn. 135) and from the end of the 16th century they and their successors made it their principal residence. Astley descended like their other estates to the late Mr. TownleyParker of Cuerden, (fn. 136) and is now owned by Mr. R. A. Tatton.
ASTLEY HALL is situated in a well-wooded park about three-quarters of a mile to the north-west of Chorley, close to the little River Chor, which has been utilized on the east side of the house to form a small lake. This sheet of water, together with the natural surroundings of the house, makes its situation one of the most charming in the southern part of the county, being still quite unspoiled by the near presence of industry and manufacture.
The house is built round a central court and appears to be of three main dates, the south wing, except at the rear, being an admirable example of English Renaissance work, erected probably about the middle of the 17th century, while the north and west wings, together with the south side of the courtyard, are of earlier date and were probably erected in the latter half of the 16th century. (fn. 137) The east side of the courtyard is a late rebuilding in brick, apparently in the early part of the last century, but it no doubt replaces an older building on the same site. North of this and somewhat detached from the main structure is a wing which in plan has all the characteristics of a small manor-house with central hall and projecting wings, which may have been the first house on the site. It was so completely restored, however, in 1875 and its internal arrangements so altered that it is very difficult to say exactly how much may be accounted old work. Its position in relation to the quadrangular house is somewhat difficult to explain unless it be regarded as having been originally a small house of late 15th or early 16thcentury date, which was allowed to remain after the larger mansion was erected round the courtyard at the close of the 16th century.
The courtyard measures only 31 ft. by 18 ft., and does not appear to have been at any time of much, if any, greater extent. The east side and parts of the north and south are now built in brick, but on both north and south much of the old timber work remains, and the west side retains all its original timber construction, the date 1600 being carved on one of the window sills. On the south side there is a picturesque timber gable of the same date with carved window sill, and next to it a later brick gable with a large window lighting the landing. The lower part of the wall on the south side of the court has been refaced in brick and otherwise altered, and both the north-east and south-east corners have been encroached upon with later work. The aspect of the courtyard, which is flagged, is of a rather nondescript character, and long neglect has left a certain air of dilapidation over this portion of the building.
The original house as completed in 1600 was of two stories and was entered through a gateway to the courtyard on the north side. It was a half-timbered mansion with gables and stone-slated roofs with the kitchen and offices in the west wing and the great hall in the south. Most of the original features still remain in the north and west wings, though the north front has been considerably altered in appearance by the carrying out of the wall at a later time to the face of the original projecting chimney of what is now the scullery. The old roof, however, still remains behind, and east of the gateway a brick gable, probably of mid-17th-century date and originally advanced in front of the main wall, is still in position. The kitchen, which has a flagged floor, is 26 ft. long by 16 ft. 6 in. wide, with a ceiling 8 ft. 6 in. high crossed by three oak beams. The fireplace is 12 ft. 6 in. wide and 4 ft. deep, and there is a four-light wood window on the west side. North of the kitchen was a room, now divided into scullery and larder, with a large chimney and a fine window of nine lights on the west side. A corridor which runs along the west side of the courtyard between it and the kitchen is of later date, having been taken out of the courtyard space and covered with a lean-to roof.
About the middle or early part of the latter half of the 17th century the whole of the principal front facing south was pulled down and rebuilt on a more imposing and lavish scale in the style of the time and raised another story. This work may have been begun by Thomas Charnock, who married the heiress Bridget Molyneux and died in 1648, but more likely by his son Robert and finished by his granddaughter Margaret the wife of Richard Brooke, whose arms, together with those of Charnock quartering Molyneux, occur in the plaster cornice of the hall, fixing the date of that portion of the work after 1666, the year of Margaret's marriage. The building has a frontage of 76 ft. and is about 33ft. in depth, exclusive of the bay windows. In this Jacobean remodelling of the house many of the usual characteristics of plan as regards the relative position of the great hall and other apartments were lost, and everything seems to have been subordinated to external effect. The two great bays which go up the full height of the house are the dominating feature of the front, the whole architectural interest of which lies in the management of the fenestration. The walls are built of red brick (fn. 138) with stone dressings, and terminate in a balustraded parapet which completely hides the roof. The brickwork has, however, at some subsequent time been entirely covered with plaster, so that the prevailing colour of the building is now grey.
The great hall occupies a central position, with the drawing-room to the east and the morning room to the west; but the bays and entrance are not in the middle of the elevation, but slightly to the west, a concession in some respects of the elevation to the plan. The hall, which is 30 ft. long by 26 ft. in width, has a flagged floor and goes up the full height of two stories, with one of the bay windows in its south-east corner. The bays are semi-octagonal in plan, with a window of two lights on five sides, that to the hall, which extends the full height of the room, having three transoms, and thus consisting of eight lights on each face, or forty lights in all. There is also a range of windows over the entrance doorway 13 ft. from the floor. The door itself, which has a segmental stone head, opens directly on to the garden, and is flanked externally by double Ionic columns supporting portions of an entablature surmounted by lions. The doorway occupies almost the whole of the space between the bays, which completely overshadow it, and is poor in detail. The fireplace, which is opposite the door, appears to be a later insertion of the beginning of the last century, but the overmantel is apparently of 17th-century date. The original wide staircase remains at the north-west corner of the hall, leading directly to the older part of the house, and is of massive dark oak, the balustrade and newels elaborately carved, the whole forming a very fine specimen of Renaissance work. The walls of the hall are wainscoted all round to a height of 9 ft. 6 in., with a square panelled surbase, and a series of portrait panels above under semicircular heads, and separated by fluted Ionic pilasters. On the frieze above are the names (fn. 139) of the persons depicted below, and the inner moulding of the panels is gilded. The ceiling is of plaster divided into eight compartments, which, together with a deep plaster frieze and cornice, are decorated with lavishly displayed Renaissance ornament. (fn. 140) The long table now in the hall was brought from Extwistle Hall, near Burnley, formerly a seat of the Parkers.
From the west end of the hall a passage leads directly to an outside door on that side of the house, and indirectly communicates with the kitchen and old west wing. The morning room, which occupies the south-west corner of the building and is lit by one of the great bays, is a charming apartment 9 ft. high panelled all round in oak to within a foot of the ceiling, and measuring only 17 ft. by 15 ft. The bay window, however, which is 10 ft. in width and the same depth, almost doubles the size of the room, which in addition has a small single-light window on the west side. Externally the divisions of the bay window correspond with those of the bay to the great hall, the floor cutting across the openings without regard to the position of the transoms, or, indeed, to anything but exterior architectural effect. The plaster cornice is small, but of good design, and the ceiling has a large oval mythological panel, and in the bay an octagonal one with birds, beasts, floral border and central pendant. The fireplace is an excellent piece of Renaissance woodwork, with twisted Ionic columns below and caryatids above, and a boldly carved central panel with cherubs' heads, dolphins, and the usual accompanying floral detail.
The drawing-room leads directly from the great hall at its east end, and there was originally a door, now built up, on its north side. It measures 26 ft. by 22 ft. 6 in., and is lit by a range of mullioned windows on its south and east sides; but internally one of the lights on the south side has been built up, giving three equally spaced two-light windows on that side of the room. The walls are covered with 17th-century tapestry representing the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece; but the chief feature of the room is the exceedingly elaborate ceiling, ornamented similarly to that of the hall but far more lavishly.
The east wing is architecturally uninteresting and comprises on the ground floor only two rooms, the inlaid drawing-room and the dining-room, with a corridor on the west side. The inlaid drawing-room is so called from the character of the wainscot, which extends the full height of the walls. The diningroom, which is 32 ft. long by 17 ft. 6 in. wide, is panelled in oak all round to a height of 7 ft. 9 in. and has a plain plaster frieze above on which the family portraits are hung. The room contains a 17thcentury oak table 9 ft. 6 in. long and some old chairs, and there is a portion of old panelling over the fireplace, but otherwise everything is modern. The windows are large, being 8 ft. wide and level with the floor, with square heads and three transomed lights.
At the junction of the great hall with the east wing is an anteroom, which appears to preserve some original features of 17th-century date, though entirely remodelled when the later buildings were erected. The floor on the south and west sides is flagged like that of the hall and part of the old wall remains on the north side. The original plan of the building north of the hall, however, is now difficult to determine, though some old features remain behind the great chimney. But there have apparently been many alterations, and this part of the building, as well as a good deal of the north wing, is in a somewhat neglected condition. An old staircase leads from immediately behind the hall chimney to the first floor landing, the main approach to which, however, is by the great staircase from the hall.
On the first floor a corridor runs round the quadrangle on the north, east and part of the west sides, while the south side is occupied by landings at different levels divided by partition walls and with windows to the courtyard. The floor of the east wing is level with that in the front part of the house, but the corridors on the north and west, which are part of the old building, are at a considerably lower level, and there is a descent of seven steps at the junction of the new and old work at the north-east corner. Besides the staircases already mentioned there are stairs from the ground floor at both the north-west and northeast parts of the house.
The west wing contains two interesting rooms situated over the kitchen and scullery. The first, which occupies the full width of the building, is styled 'Cromwell's room,' from the tradition that the victorious general slept here in 1648 after the battle of Preston, but the bed he is supposed to have occupied is in one of the front bedrooms. Cromwell's room is a very interesting apartment, 18 ft. by 16 ft. 6 in., lit by two windows of two lights each to the courtyard and a three-light window to the garden on the west. The walls are panelled in oak to within a foot of the ceiling in a series of large moulded panels between fluted Tuscan pilasters, and there is an ornamental plaster frieze. The ceiling is 8 ft. 9 in. high and has moulded plaster ribs arranged in a simple pattern of squares and curves. Over the fireplace is a large plaster strapwork panel now painted to look like oak, with the Charnock crest in the centre. The room beyond this, now entered from it by a door cut through the panelled wall, but originally approached only from the corridor on the north side, is less in size, being 16 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 6 in., but it has a coved ceiling 13 ft. high. It is lit on the west side by a six-light transomed window, and the walls, which are 11 ft. high to the underside of the cove, are elaborately ornamented in plaster with surbase, fluted Ionic pilasters and semicircular-headed panels between. All the plaster work, however, is now painted to represent oak, except the panels, which are coloured red. The mantelpiece is of wood with the Charnock arms, but has a large plaster panel over, and the ceiling is ornamented with moulded plaster ribs in a simple pattern. Both these rooms contain 17thcentury four-post oak beds and other old oak furniture.
The bedroom over the morning room has been modernized and is without interest, but that over the drawing-room at the south-east corner of the house is a charming room 9 ft. high, the ceiling crossed by two oak beams and the walls panelled in oak their full height. The room is 22 ft. 6 in. by 17 ft. 6 in. and is lit on the south side by low stone mullioned windows of five and two lights respectively, (fn. 141) and by a three-light window on the east side. It contains the four-poster known as 'Cromwell's bed' and other 17th-century furniture. The first floor rooms in the east wing are modern and without interest.
From the landing at the junction of the south and east wings stairs lead to the long gallery on the second floor, a fine room which extends the entire length of the house and is lit by a continuous range of mullioned and transomed windows along the south front and at the ends. The gallery is 72 ft. in length by 12 ft. 6 in. wide, but its size is increased by the addition of the two great bays which break into it on the south side and round which the windows are continued without interruption, making in all no less than forty-seven lights exclusive of those in the end windows, which are of five lights each. The north wall is panelled in oak its full height, but the plaster ceiling is quite plain. In front of the stonework of the windows on the south side are six chamfered oak posts with shaped heads carrying the wall above. There is a small angle fireplace in the north-east corner with carved oak mantel and the room contains some good 17thcentury oak furniture, the most interesting piece being a shovel board table 23 ft. 6 in. long by 2 ft. 7 in. wide standing on twenty heavy turned legs. Close to the door of the long gallery is a way on to the roof, the lead gutters of which behind the balustrade are wide and spacious.
The house contains some family portraits, including that of Peter Brooke of Morton, Cheshire (d. 1622), and Sir Peter Brooke of Mere, who was sheriff of Lancashire in 1674. The building is generally in a state of good repair, though uninhabited except by a caretaker, but some parts of the old wings have suffered a good deal from neglect.
Astley at one time gave a surname to the tenant, for Henry de Astley in 1278 claimed a tenement in Chorley against William de Ferrers and Thomas Banastre. (fn. 142)
The Hospitallers had various other lands in the township. (fn. 143) The rental of 1540 (fn. 144) shows that they had a number of tenants, (fn. 145) including Robert Kingley, who probably held the place called Kingley; his rent was 12d. a year. (fn. 146)
KNOWLEY, formerly Knolchale, was in 1288 held of William de Ferrers by a rent of 3s. 4d. by Nicholas le Boteler. (fn. 147) It descended like Rawcliffe until the latter part of the 16th century. (fn. 148) In 1582 James Anderton of Clayton complained that the Earl of Derby and Sir Richard Shireburne had entered into two messuages and certain land and waste ground called Knowley alias Knolel, of 400 acres extent, belonging to him. They replied that they were lords of the manor of Chorley, which contained the waste land in dispute, and that plaintiff held of them by rent and service. (fn. 149) This place also gave rise to a local surname. (fn. 150)
Hartwoodhey was part of the Arderne lands. (fn. 151)
HEALEY has in some respects a distinct history, (fn. 152) for in 1285 the king granted to Randle de Dacre free warren in his demesne lands of Healey, (fn. 153) and the park there was afterwards held by the Hollands and their successors. Sir Robert de Holland held it in 1322. (fn. 154) His successor, Sir Robert, who died in 1373, held the wood called Healey in Chorley of the Duke of Lancaster by a rent of 4 marks. (fn. 155) Maud Lady Lovel, his daughter and heir, in 1410 released to Richard Crosse, her receiver in Lancashire and Cheshire, all actions except the right belonging to her in the park called Healey. (fn. 156)
John son of Sir John (Lord) Lovel by Maud his wife in 1401 confirmed to Robert Burgh the grant of Healey which had been made by his parents. (fn. 157) The grantee quickly transferred to Charnock and the latter to Thurstan Anderton, Richard Crosse and Thomas Trigg, (fn. 158) and in 1412 John Lord Lovel released his right in Healey to Anderton and Trigg, his son John Lovel, clerk, concurring. (fn. 159) From later pleadings it appears that the purchasers were in part at least acting for Matthew Kenyon, one of his daughters marrying Oliver Anderton. (fn. 160)
The CROSSE HALL estate was founded by the Richard Crosse just named, and ultimately included a large part of Healey. The rise of the family has been noticed in the account of Wigan; this Chorley estate has remained with their descendants to the present time, though the house was long ago abandoned as a residence in favour of Shaw Hill in Whittle. Richard Crosse purchased a moiety from Thomas Trigg in 1418–20, (fn. 161) and soon afterwards he obtained from William Woodward his south part of Eaveshey in Chorley and all his water of Bagin Brook (fn. 162); Thomas son of Sir John Stanley confirmed the transfer, which included the right to make a mill. (fn. 163) John Crosse the son and heir of Richard (fn. 164) obtained a further confirmation, (fn. 165) and his son, another Richard, (fn. 166) in 1513 gave to feoffees his capital messuage called Eaves Hall or Crosse Hall, &c. (fn. 167)
Roger Crosse died in 1522 holding messuages, &c., in Chorley of the lords of Leylandshire by a rent of 26s. 8d. and others of the Hospitallers by a rent of 4d.; these rents are a moiety of the 4 marks paid by Sir Robert de Holland for Healey and that due for a third part of Eaveshey. The heir was Roger's brother John, rector of Moulsoe in Buckinghamshire. (fn. 168) Healey afterwards passed to another brother, James, (fn. 169) who died in January 1557–8 holding the same estate (Healey now being called a manor) and leaving a son John, thirty-three years of age, to inherit it. (fn. 170)
John Crosse probably resided for the most part in Liverpool, of which town he was mayor in 1556. (fn. 171) In 1569 he made a feoffment of Crosse Hall in Chorley, with various lands there and the moiety of a water-mill; this may have been on the occasion of a second marriage. (fn. 172) He had sold a part of the Healey estate called Hall of the Wood to William Chorley in 1561. (fn. 173) A pedigree was recorded in 1567. (fn. 174) John Crosse died in or before 1583, when his son John was in possession. (fn. 175) This John was in 1590 'one of the more usual comers to the church but not communicants.' (fn. 176) This attachment to Roman Catholicism, though irresolute, may account for the comparative obscurity of the family for some time. John Crosse, who died in 1612, (fn. 177) was succeeded by his son Richard and Richard died in 1619, leaving as heir his son John, only nineteen years of age. (fn. 178) John Crosse, described as 'of Liverpool,' was a recusant about 1630, but the amount of his composition on that account is not recorded. (fn. 179) He died at Toxteth Park in 1640 just before the outbreak of the Civil War, and the heir was again a minor, for John's son Richard by Juliana his first wife was sixteen years of age. (fn. 180) The capital messuage called Crosse Hall with water-mill, &c., in Chorley and Healey had in 1631 been settled to the use of his second wife Frances. (fn. 181)
A rental of the estate made in 1641 shows that Crosse Hall was in the part of Healey formerly belonging to the Hospitallers. In addition to Liverpool and Chorley there were tenements of various kinds in Mellor and Showley, Goosnargh, Walton, West Derby, Everton and Wavertree, Coppull, Bretherton, also in Woodchurch and Noctorum in Cheshire. (fn. 182)
Richard Crosse died in 1659, his son and heir John being only ten years old. (fn. 183) He married Anne daughter of Samuel Yate, clerk, and had a son Thomas, as appears by the settlement he made in 1681. (fn. 184) John Crosse died in 1688 and another settlement was made in 1698 after the marriage of Thomas Crosse with Mary granddaughter of Thomas Clayton of Adlington. (fn. 185) Crosse Hall in Liverpool, Crosse Hall in Chorley and various lands were the subject of a recovery in 1726, Richard Crosse and Anne Legh his wife being tenants. (fn. 186) Their grandson Richard Crosse, who died in 1822, adopted the surname of Legh on succeeding to the Adlington estates, which have since descended in the male line, and settled Chorley and other Lancashire properties on his daughter Anna Mary, whose husband Thomas Bright Ikin of Leeds took Crosse as his surname. They were succeeded by their son the late Colonel Thomas Richard Crosse, and his trustees have been in possession since his death in 1897.
Crosse Hall, Liverpool, ceased to be a family residence about the end of the 17th century. (fn. 187) Crosse Hall, Chorley, stands in a low situation on the left bank of the Yarrow, here a very small stream, about half a mile to the east of Chorley. It is now of little or no architectural interest, what remains of the building being in a more or less dilapidated and patched-up state and let off in tenements. It appears to have been a 17th-century house built round three sides of a quadrangle open to the north, but the east wing has been demolished, and additions and alterations having been made from time to time the remaining portions have almost completely lost their original appearance. The building was of stone, with low mullioned and labelled windows, some of which remain built up, with the hall in the middle or south wing. Two stone buttresses remain on the south side, but there are few other architectural features left, with the exception of the string courses and plinth. The building is now under four separate stone-slated roofs at different levels, and part of the west wing appears to have been refaced and altered in the 18th century. At the north end is a stone with the initials TCM and the date 1697. The surroundings are now vulgarized and without interest, the Lancaster Canal passing close to the house at a higher level on its south and west sides. Formerly the gardens extended in terraces up the hill on the east side, but all traces of these are now lost. (fn. 188)
The other moiety of Healey descended in the Anderton family, being awarded in 1538 to James Anderton of Euxton as son of Hugh son of Oliver by Ellen his wife, daughter and co-heir of Matthew Kenyon. (fn. 189) It was in 1599 sold to William Tootell of Anglezarke. (fn. 190) This family long continued there, but little is known of them beyond their recusancy in religion. (fn. 191) The estate was probably sold in parcels. Thomas Hesketh of Rufford had land in Healey in 1528, but the tenure was not known. (fn. 192) William Pollard died in 1618 holding a messuage and land there of the lords of Leylandshire; his son and heir Edmund was thirteen years of age. (fn. 193)
In Chorley generally those contributing to the subsidy of 1542–3 for lands were Thomas Charnock, William Chorley, James Parker and Ellis Chorley (fn. 194); those in 1564 were Thomas Charnock, William Chorley, Thomas Gillibrand and Hugh Parker. (fn. 195) As recusants Richard Chorley and Thomas Gillibrand paid double to the subsidy of 1628. (fn. 196)
The inquisitions and other records contain some information as to the former holders of land. Roger Breres, yeoman and linen draper of Chorley, in 1515 espoused Blanche daughter of Richard Crosse, and thus eventually obtained a moiety of the manor of Walton, near Liverpool. (fn. 197) Henry Breres was a freeholder in 1600. (fn. 198) The name is also noticed at Preston.
The surname Burgh occurs in the list of free tenants of 1288. Henry del Burgh in 1310 had messuages, mills, &c., in Chorley and Duxbury. (fn. 199) John Coppull in 1402 purchased from Robert Burgh a moiety of Birkacre Mill in Chorley, the vendor reserving the right to maintain the mill or to make another on his land between Ugnall Brook and William Whithoud's land, John and his heirs being 'toll free and hopper free' in such mill. This led to disputes between William Coppull, son and heir of John, and the representatives of James Standish of Arley, heir of Robert Burgh, in 1443–8. (fn. 200)
Alexander Hoghton of Hoghton died in 1498 holding a burgage in Chorley of Sir Edward Stanley. (fn. 201) In later inquisitions the names of both the lords of the place are given. This seems to have been a part of the estate transferred to the Hoghtons of Park Hall, for Richard Hoghton died in 1622 holding lands, &c., in Chorley of Richard Shireburne and Edward Rigby by a rent of 12d. (fn. 202)
Bagganley Hall is said to have been the residence of the Parker family. Hugh Parker and Katherine his wife occur in 1443. (fn. 203) In 1518 it was certified that one John Pilkington had seen the ghost of James Parker some years before, and was told to induce George Parker son of James to deliver certain evidences to Joan and Janet daughters of Hugh Banastre, which was done accordingly. (fn. 204) Settlements of messuages, &c., in Chorley were made by Hugh Parker and Anne his wife in 1558 (fn. 205) and by Hugh and his brothers in 1574. (fn. 206) James Parker, son of Hugh and Anne, died in 1610 holding lands, &c., of the king by a rent of 10d.; the heir was a son John, aged nine. (fn. 207) John Parker occurs in the subsidy roll of 1628. (fn. 208)
The Standishes of Duxbury probably held the lands of the older Duxbury family. (fn. 209) In the later inquisitions the tenure was declared to be unknown. (fn. 210) The Standishes of Standish also held land in Chorley. (fn. 211) Ralph Standish died in 1546 holding the moiety of a messuage and various lands in Chorley of the Earl of Derby, Lord Mounteagle, and Sir Richard Shireburne by fealty only. (fn. 212)
William Swansey and Ellen his wife held lands in Chorley in 1493. (fn. 213) Hugh Swansey died in 1566 holding a messuage, &c., of Sir Richard Shireburne by a rent of 5s. 11d., which he had given to a younger son John for life. (fn. 214) Robert Swansey, the eldest son, made a feoffment of the Chorley messuage in 1571. (fn. 215)
The Wastley family (fn. 216) was of old standing in the township. Richard and Thomas Wastley occur in the time of James I. (fn. 217) The latter of them died in 1640 holding two messuages of the king, and leaving as heir his son Thomas, aged forty-one. (fn. 218)
Trigg Hall, preserving the name of an old family, (fn. 219) was held by the Haydocks (fn. 220) and Chorleys. (fn. 221) From an inquisition of 1617 it appears that Richard Haydock died in 1609 holding lands of the lords of Chorley, viz. Greenfields by a rent of 5s. to Richard Shireburne, and Trigg Hall by a rent of 3s. 4d. to Shireburne and Edward Rigby. (fn. 222)
Some minor owners occur, (fn. 223) and others of the neighbouring landowners had estates in this township (fn. 224); the usual tenure, when recorded at all, was 'of the lords of Leylandshire.' (fn. 225)
Three of the residents compounded in 1628 for the two-thirds of their estates liable to sequestration for recusancy. (fn. 226) Several also suffered sequestration or even confiscation of their properties under the Commonwealth for their 'delinquency' or recusancy. (fn. 227) A number of 'Papists' registered estates in 1717. (fn. 228) The principal landowners in 1783 were Thomas Gillibrand, Thomas Weld and E. Chadwick, all assessed double for their religion; Peter Brooke for Astley, Thomas Crosse for Crosse Hall, Abraham Crompton for Chorley Hall, and Samuel Crooke. These together paid over three-fourths of the land tax. (fn. 229)
As will have been noticed from various allusions in the foregoing account of the manor, a borough existed at Chorley in the 13th century. It was perhaps created by William de Ferrers soon after 1250. In 1257, while his manors were in the hands of Prince Edward, the bailiff rendered account of the assized rent of 'the borough of Chorley,' 48s. 5d. (fn. 230) Each burgage rendered 12d. a year to the lord, (fn. 231) and probably had some small piece of land attached to it, as in other places. The borough, however, does not seem to have made any advance towards independence, though the lordship of the manor was divided and the lords absentees. Burgages continue to be mentioned down to the 16th century, (fn. 232) after which the use of the term died out.
The grant of a market and fair does not seem to have been preserved, but in 1498 Lord Strange and Joan his wife, Sir Edward Stanley and Sir Richard Shireburne were summoned to show by what right they claimed a market every Tuesday and a fair on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Lawrence (9 to 11 August). (fn. 233)
With the progress of manufactures in the 18th century Chorley began to grow in importance and population. Though it became an independent parish in 1793, the old-fashioned government by a constable and assistants (fn. 234) continued until 1853, when a Board of Improvement Commissioners was formed. (fn. 235) As already stated, they purchased the manor in 1874. The next forward step was in 1881, when a charter of incorporation (fn. 236) was obtained. The town is now governed by a mayor and council of eight aldermen and twenty-four councillors, chosen equally from four wards—North, East, South and West. The first town hall was built in 1802 by John Hollinshead, a benefactor to the place, and is still standing. It contained the public offices and a lock-up house, and a quit-rent was paid for it to the lord of the manor. (fn. 237) The present town hall dates from 1879. A police station was built in 1869.
The markets are held every Tuesday and Saturday in the market-place. The butter market is below the town hall. Formerly the markets were held by the market cross, but in 1826 the lord of the manor provided a new market-place, receiving the tolls from it. (fn. 238) The old Tuesday market was the only one in 1824, but fish was brought in great plenty from the Ribble and sea coast two or three days a week. (fn. 239) The ancient fair is represented by one on 20 August (old 9 August); others, as already recorded, have come into use a week after Easter, the first Saturday in September and 21 October.
Waterworks were established by private enterprise as long ago as 1823, near St. Thomas's Square; these were discontinued in 1832, when a new company was formed, and larger works were erected in 1846–9. (fn. 240) The undertaking was purchased by the Liverpool Corporation under the Rivington waterworks scheme, and the town is now supplied by Liverpool. The first gas-works were not intended for the public service, but a company was formed in 1819 to develop them, and erected gas-works in Water Street in 1833. (fn. 241) These have been acquired and augmented by the town. Sewage disposal works were formed in 1894 and refuse destructors in 1904. The public library, opened in 1899, is the gift of Mr. H. T. Parke. It had had temporary forerunners in the newsrooms established in 1789 and in 1826 and the Union Library in 1814. A Mechanics' Institution, which had a library, was formed in 1844, and, after a failure, was revived. (fn. 242) The Coronation Pleasure Grounds were opened in 1902. The cemetery was first formed in 1857, and has been enlarged more recently. (fn. 243)
The Rawcliffe Hospital and Dispensary was built and furnished by Mr. Henry Rawcliffe; other benefactors have added their gifts. The dispensary was first opened in 1828. (fn. 244) A savings bank was established in 1845. There are also in the town a theatre, a public hall, banks and several institutes and club-rooms.
The church of ST. LAWRENCE stands at the north side of the town, the ground falling from it on its north and west sides. The road here descends somewhat abruptly, (fn. 245) and from a low level a flight of stone steps led from a doorway, still existing, to a former entrance at the north-west end of the building. The church consists of a chancel with north vestry and south aisle, nave with wide north and south aisles under separate gabled roofs, south porch and western tower. Only the chancel, nave and tower, however, belong to the original structure, and of this very little of the ancient work remains externally except in the stonework of the tower and in the nave gable and north wall of the chancel. Up to 1859–61, when the aisles were erected and other alterations took place, the building was a small structure consisting of a chancel 32 ft. by 16 ft. 3 in., nave 57 ft. 6 in. by 27 ft. 6 in., and west tower 10 ft. by 9 ft., (fn. 246) dating probably from the beginning of the 15th century.
The tower is practically all that now remains externally of the old church, the walls of the nave having necessarily been pulled down to make way for the present arcades when the aisles were erected. An illustration of the building from the south-west as it existed in 1850 shows the nave to have been lighted on the south side by three square-headed windows, the insertion probably of a later date, the middle one of which seems to have been at that time used as a doorway approached by an external flight of stone steps to the then existing south gallery. The wall of the nave had an embattled parapet and the end buttresses terminated in crocketed pinnacles. The roof of the chancel, which is lower than that of the nave, had overhanging eaves. Sir Stephen Glynne, who visited the church previous to the alterations, described the effect of the interior as 'sadly impaired by a wretched irregularity of arrangement—pews are intermixed with the original open seats, a gallery built against the south wall of the nave, and a double one at the west end; the upper one contains the organ, and comes so near to the roof that the case of the organ has been cut in order to fit the space remaining for it.' (fn. 247)
The aspect of the church has been so entirely altered both inside and out by the addition of the modern aisles, and the greater part of the old work has been so effectually restored or destroyed, that the building has not now very much architectural interest. The walling is of ashlar, the aisles having embattled parapets with stone gables at the ends, and the roofs to the chancel and chancel aisle, the latter of which has a kind of projecting transept, have overhanging eaves. The chancel and nave roofs are covered with blue slates and those of the aisles with green. The chancel has a three-light traceried east window and a two-light window on the north, both being modern, and a door on the north side to the vestry; the south side, except for a length of about 4 ft. at the east and where the old wall is preserved, is open to the aisle under a modern arcade of two arches springing from corbels and a centre circular pillar. Consequent upon the removal of the wall and substitution of the arcade the width of the chancel is now increased for the greater part of its length to 17 ft. 6 in. The walls, which are 3 ft. 6 in. thick, are plastered and painted, and the roof has a semicircular plaster ceiling. The floor, which is flagged, is on the same level as that of the nave, and the sanctuary is raised by three steps only 16 in. above it, an arrangement which robs the east end of the building of much distinction. On the south side, at a height of only 8 in. above the floor, and at a distance of 2 ft. from the east wall, is a small opening, now glazed and barred, and therefore difficult of examination, but apparently a piscina, though its height above the floor is difficult to account for. The opening is 14 in. wide and 15 in. high and has a semicircular head and a projecting stone bracket. It is now used as a reliquary to contain the reputed bones of St. Lawrence and is glazed flush with the plaster of the wall, which makes it very difficult to distinguish the bones. (fn. 248) The chancel contains six seats, replacing old square pews, belonging to the Parkers of Astley Hall, but has no quire stalls, the quire and organ being placed at the west end of the north aisle. Glynne mentions two stone brackets in the east wall, but these are apparently now covered up by the modern reredos erected in 1902. The chancel arch, 12 ft. 6 in. wide, is pointed and consists of two plain chamfered orders with label, springing from chamfered imposts; the label terminates in modern carved corbels, and the jambs, which are also chamfered, go down to the ground without a base. Externally the north wall of the chancel preserves its original rough masonry with chamfered plinth nearly at the ground level, but the east wall has been entirely rebuilt. The south aisle of the chancel, including the transept, is 33 ft. long by 17 ft. 4 in. in width.
The east end of the nave gable, where it shows above the chancel roof, exhibits the original rough stone masonry and has a plain stone coping with the remains of a Sanctus bell-turret with trefoiled head. Internally the nave is without interest, the work being entirely modern, consisting of a north and south arcade of four pointed arches on octagonal piers. The roof is divided into six bays by plain wood principals and ceiled with plaster, and has two large stone dormer windows on each side inserted in 1902, at which date the interior of the building was renovated. There is a small original single-light window at the east end of the north side behind the pulpit to the north of the chancel arch. The aisles, which are 22 ft. 6 in. wide, are continued some distance westward of the nave in front of the north and south walls of the tower and are respectively 64 ft. 9 in. (north) and 68 ft. 6 in. (south) in length. The west tower is of three stages and has a slightly projecting vice in the south-east angle entered from the outside, and forming externally a wide shallow buttress weathering back to the wall at the belfry stage. The west face has two diagonal buttresses of four stages and of unequal projection, with moulded and chamfered plinths. At the top of the first stage of each buttress is a shield bearing in an engrailed border three boars' heads two and one, (fn. 249) and in the stage above a niche with trefoiled head and crocketed canopy and octagonal bracket. The west door and window are modern restorations, but the hollow string course which runs between the buttresses on the west side of the tower under the sill of the window is ancient, and retains its original carved ornaments, four-leafed flowers, heads and leaves. The west window is of four lights under a pointed head, with rose tracery of poor design. There is a clock on the north and west fronts at the level of the top of the buttress, above which is a string course. The belfry stage has a two-light pointed window with labels on each face, the lights having trefoiled heads, with a quatrefoil above, and stone louvres, and finishes in a string course and embattled parapet, with angle pinnacles surmounted by iron vanes. The tower arch, which is a plain chamfered pointed opening springing from moulded imposts, has been rebuilt and is open to the ringing chamber, with a modern glazed screen to the nave.
The fittings are almost wholly modern. There are, however, two interesting old pews and some fragments of ancient glass. The Jacobean oak pew top belonging to the Parker family, now standing at the west end of the south aisle, formerly was on the north side of the chancel, and was part of the old square oak pews now removed. It measures 6 ft. 6 in. by 6 ft. and is now fixed over a portion of the modern seating, and consists of a heavy classic entablature supported by six twisted posts with Ionic caps, a very good specimen of the work of the period. The Standish pew is at the east end of the south side of the nave, projecting partly in front of the chancel arch, and is 4 ft. high, square panelled in oak, and with an elaborate canopy against the wall on the east side surmounting two recessed seats divided by Ionic columns supporting a light entablature, the frieze of which has good strapwork panels. Above is a shield of twelve quarters, the arms of the Standish family of Duxbury with helm, crest and mantling, flanked by carved figures and surmounted by a pediment, the whole a very good specimen of early Jacobean or late Elizabethan oak work.
The ancient arms of Standish of Duxbury are on a stone placed high up in the north wall of the chancel aisle, with the inscription below, 'This stone replaced here when the church was enlarged 1860.' It was formerly on the outside.
One old oak bench end remains at the east end of the north aisle, and has the date 1671 and the initials J. C., being part of the pew formerly belonging to the family of Crosse of Shaw Hill. The rest of the seating and the other fittings are modern.
In the north window of the chancel (a modern coloured window with figures of St. Lawrence and St. Alban) are preserved, in the upper part, two pieces of heraldic glass bearing the arms of (1) Standish of Duxbury, with many quarterings of which only a few are decipherable; (2) Standish, quartered with Or on a bend between three martlets sable three boars' heads of the field. (fn. 250)
On the north chancel wall are two helmets, (fn. 251) probably used in the funerals of the Standish family, and the chancel also contains mural monuments to Peter Brooke (d. 1685), Sir Thomas Standish (d. 1756), Sir Frank Standish, bart. (d. 1812), Frank Hall Standish (d. 1840), (fn. 252) and Mary daughter of Wm. Standish (d. 1845).
There is a ring of eight bells cast by John Warner & Sons in 1896. Previous to this the bells were six in number, three having been hung in 1763, one in 1832, one in 1800 and one at a date unknown. These were recast and rehung with two additional ones. Three of the bells bear the original inscriptions (fn. 253) and the others have the makers' name and date.
The plate consists of a silver cup, cover paten and flagon of 1770–1, the cup and flagon inscribed 'The gift of Dame Catherine Standish to Chorley Church 1770'; a breadholder of the same year inscribed 'Chorley Church 1771'; and a cup and cover paten of 1793–4, the cup inscribed 'John Cloudsley and James Mason, Church Wardens, Chorley Church, 1795.'
The registers begin in 1548 (fn. 254) and the churchwardens' accounts in 1828.
Nothing is positively known of the first erection of a chapel of ease at Chorley, but it may be observed that no chapel is mentioned in a petition of 1355, when William de Exeter, then rector of Croston, desired the king to allow Roger de Farington to alienate an acre of his land so that a tithe-barn might be built at Chorley. (fn. 255) Yet soon afterwards, in 1362, one of the plague years, there was a chapel there, for the inhabitants desired the bishop that it might be dedicated; the bishop allowed that all sacraments and sacramentals might be administered therein. The rector of Croston, William de Huntlow, at the same time agreed to find a chaplain. (fn. 256) The chapel is mentioned again a few years later, when a place was reserved for William de Chorley according to a deed already quoted. In 1393–4 there was an affray there. (fn. 257) The gift of relics in 1443 is the only incident recorded in the next century. There is a casual reference to the use of the church as a court-house in 1538. (fn. 258)
No endowed chantry was founded in it, but it was well furnished in 1552, when the king's commissioners seized the 'ornaments,' including a Bible. (fn. 259) It had before the Reformation been fully supplied with clergy, for in the visitation list of 1548 there are four names assigned to it; only one, Roger Chorley, appears in the list of 1554, and he remained, alone so far as is known, till 1563, when he became vicar of Preston. Henry Croston, one of those named in 1548, reappears in 1565 as the only clergyman in charge. (fn. 260) Thus the chapel continued to be used for service, and one minister sufficed for it until the end of the 18th century, this number not being increased even in the time of the Commonwealth. It may have been that the schoolmaster gave assistance in the church also. (fn. 261)
The first notice of any endowment occurs in the survey of 1650. A cottage and half a rood of land belonged to the church. Henry Banastre, late of Hackney, had (in 1625) given £200, (fn. 262) and Ralph Lever of Chorley £10, to maintain a 'preaching minister' there; lands at Clitheroe had been purchased. An augmentation of £18 a year had been made by order of the county committee. (fn. 263) From the phrase quoted it may be inferred that the curate was usually only a 'reader'; about 1610 it was recorded that there was 'no preacher' there. (fn. 264)
In 1720 the income was £33 6s. a year; £20 was paid by the rector of Croston and £9 6s. came from the Clitheroe estate. (fn. 265) In 1793 the rector of Croston, who had always nominated the curates in charge, procured an Act of Parliament making Chorley an independent rectory, as has been stated above. He retained this new rectory till his death, when one of his sons was appointed. The Act provided that the great and small tithes of Chorley and the great tithes of Bretherton, Mawdesley and Bispham should be annexed to the new rectory, and the £20 formerly paid by the rectors of Croston ceased. The rector of Chorley was to pay a fourth part of the old Crown rent of £45 14s. 4d. due from Croston. (fn. 266) The net value of the rectory of Chorley is now stated to be £626 a year. (fn. 267) The patronage has been surrendered to the Bishop of Manchester, who now collates.
The following is a list of the curates and rectors (fn. 268) :
|oc. 1548||Roger Chorley (fn. 269)|
|1565||Henry Croston (fn. 270)|
|1575||John Green (fn. 271)|
|oc. 1609||Richard (? Henry) Rothwell|
|oc. 1613||James Whitworth (Whitfield) (fn. 272)|
|oc. 1619||Richard Smith (fn. 273)|
|oc. 1624||Richard Bullhaugh|
|oc. 1665||John Breres, M.A. (fn. 274) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1684||Benjamin Edmundson, B.A. (fn. 275) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1713||James Ryley, B.A. (fn. 276) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1733||Thomas Ellison (fn. 277)|
|1763||Oliver Cooper, B.A. (fn. 278) (Peterhouse, Camb.)|
|1798||John Whalley Master, B.D. (fn. 279) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1846||James Streynsham Master, M.A. (fn. 280) (Balliol Coll., Oxf.)|
|1879||Gilbert Coventry Master, M.A. (fn. 281) (Exeter Coll., Oxf.)|
|1880||Edward George James, M.A. (fn. 282) (St. Alban Hall, Oxf.)|
|1890||Thomas Alfred Stowell, M.A. (fn. 283) (Queen's Coll., Oxf.)|
|1907||Robert Crompton Fletcher, M.A. (fn. 284) (Sidney Sussex Coll., Camb.)|
Of these names the most remarkable is that of Henry Welch. He was probably the first 'preacher' after the Reformation and showed himself a thoroughgoing Puritan, for he joined the Presbyterian classis on its formation in 1646 and signed the 'Harmonious Consent' in 1648. In 1650 he was approved as a 'godly, painful minister,' (fn. 285) and remained in charge until 1662, when, being unable to accept the reenforced Book of Common Prayer, he was ejected. Calamy calls him 'a very humble mortified man. Though he did not excel in gifts it was made up in grace. His very enemies had nothing to say against him.' (fn. 286) He is supposed to have remained ministering in secret in the neighbourhood, but nothing definite is known. He died before the temporary Indulgence, being buried at Chorley 8 January 1670–1; the register has the note, 'Minister there 35 years.'
Little is known of the conduct of the services till recent times, but in 1821 there were services on Sunday morning and afternoon, with sermon at each; also on public festivals and fasts. Prayers were read every Friday (fn. 287) and daily during Lent. The Sacrament was administered five times a year. There were two curates. (fn. 288)
The increasing population led to the building of St. George's Church in 1825. It was built out of the Parliamentary grant (1818) of £1,000,000 for new churches, and cost £13,700. It was a chapel of ease until 1835, when a district was assigned to it. (fn. 289) St. Peter's was built in 1850 and received a district two years later (fn. 290); the income (£103) of Henry Banastre's charity, already mentioned, is now paid to the vicar, the church being the poorest in the town. St. James's dates from 1879. (fn. 291) The incumbents of all three churches are nominated by the rector of Chorley. Mission churches called St. Mark's and All Saints' were built in 1896 and 1900 respectively, and another at Red Bank in 1908.
The Wesleyan Methodists built their first chapel in 1792 (fn. 292); it was afterwards used for the Mechanics' Institute. They have now four places of worship; the principal one, that in Park Road, was built in 1842. The Primitive Methodists had a chapel in 1829, succeeded by the present one in Cunliffe Street in 1866; they have also a second one. The United Methodist Free Church dates from 1866, and the Independent Methodists have a chapel.
There are two Congregational churches. The earlier of them, that in Hollinshead Street, was erected in 1792, the founder, who was a minister of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, having preached in the town at intervals for a number of years. It did not become Congregational till 1805. A dispute between the trustees and part of the congregation in 1836, on the appointment of a new minister, led to the formation of a second church, that in St. George's Street. (fn. 293)
As already stated, nothing is definitely known of the existence of Protestant Nonconformity after 1662. Abraham Crompton, after his purchase of Chorley Hall, built a chapel for 'a congregation of Dissenting Protestants called Presbyterians' in 1725, close to the parochial chapel, and left £850 for the maintenance of a minister, with the proviso that if the chapel should be suppressed or discontinued, or should there be a union of such Dissenters with the Protestant Church of England, the building should go to his son John and the money to his son Samuel. (fn. 294) The building remains unaltered to the present day, but the doctrine as in other cases has become Unitarian. (fn. 295)
The adherents of the Roman Catholic religion remained numerous after the Reformation. (fn. 296) One of the reasons which induced the trustees of Henry Banastre to apply his gift to Chorley in 1640 was 'the great number and multitude of popish recusants inhabiting in and near about the said town and parish, the same lying and being in or very near the heart and middle of the said county of Lancaster.' (fn. 297) They had the support of the chief resident families, Chorley and Gillibrand, as well as some of the minor ones, such as the Tootells, but practically nothing is known of the priests ministering within the township in the long period of proscription, except that about 1716 there was a resident priest at Gillibrand Hall, viz. Fr. William Gillibrand. (fn. 298) Later than this the domestic chapel at Burgh Hall in Daxbury had to serve for the district. It was not till 1774 that a chapel was opened at Weld Bank—so named in compliment to the Weld family as benefactors. (fn. 299) In 1815 the present church of St. Gregory replaced it; it was enlarged in 1829. (fn. 300)
Within the town itself St. Mary's Mission was begun in 1846. The deserted Wesleyan chapel, later the Mechanics' Institute, was used at first, then a small chapel was erected in Chapel Street, to be replaced by the present church at Mount Pleasant in 1854. The Sacred Heart Mission was founded in 1875–8, and the church opened in 1896. (fn. 301) In 1908 a new mission was begun.
A grammar school was founded in 1611. The ancient schoolhouse, which stood in the churchyard, was taken down in 1823–4. (fn. 302) The school has recently been merged in the secondary school and technical institute.
The poor's lands were purchased by gifts from William Hodgson (1624) and later benefactors. Hodgson gave £100, spent on lands on the east side of Eaves Lane and at Botany Bay. The workhouse was built upon part of the land in 1789, other charitable funds being used, and the overseers paid a rent for it. The income was distributed in money doles. William Mayson in 1638 left a cottage and land at Ingol near Preston for the poor—Duxbury having a moiety of the net income (£18 in 1826)—and these funds, with later benefactions, including Hugh Cooper's almshouses (1682), were in 1883 amalgamated by authority of the Charity Commissioners.
Hugh Cooper (fn. 303) left a rent-charge of £6 upon his lands called Stump, to be paid to 'six poor persons, either men or women, being Protestants, and such as usually frequented the parochial chapel at Chorley,' who were to live in the almshouses he was about to build, and to receive (out of the £6) each a grey russet coat or gown. He also left 1s. each to twenty poor persons to be given each year on St. Thomas's Day. In 1801 the owner of the Stump estate (John Hollinshead) appears to have paid £140 to the trustees of the poor's land in order to free the estate from the rent-charge, and in 1826 the £6 and £1 were paid out of the workhouse rents. The almshouses built soon after the founder's death stood at the bottom of Pall Mall; they have been removed to Ashfield Road.
Other benefactors—Allanson (1728), Heald (1742), Woodcock and Foal—gave sums for clothing and apprenticing poor children, amounting to £85 in all, used upon the workhouse building as above. William Frith in 1666 charged his lands at Whittle-le-Woods with £5 a year for charitable purposes, including 7s. a year for 'two little jumps, coats or waistcoats' for poor children of Chorley, and 8s. for their learning at the grammar school or other school. This charity is still 'treated as one specially for the benefit of Roman Catholics.'
The net income of Hodgson's charity increased beyond the expenditure, so that a considerable sum accumulated, and in 1868 the old workhouse and its site were sold to the guardians for £3,886. The other charities also had incomes exceeding the charges upon them, so that in 1883 the official trustees held the following amounts of consols:—For Hodgson's charity, £4,732; Cooper's, £1,038; Heald and others, £206; Mayson's, £146. The interest on these sums and the rents of land at Botany (Hodgson), Ingol (Mayson) and Pall Mall (Cooper) produce £222 10s. 10d. The officiating minister of Chorley had 13s. 4d. for preaching a sermon on Christmas Day in the parish church.
The scheme of amalgamation allows the income to be spent on contributions to hospitals, nursing, &c., to provident clubs, reading rooms, &c., to the purchase of annuities, to the cost of outfit on entering a trade or domestic service, or it may be given in money doles or (up to £10) in clothing, food, or similar relief. The almspeople are still six in number, 'being Protestants and usually frequenting some place of worship of the Church of England in Chorley.' They receive from 6s. to 8s. a week in addition to their rooms in the almshouse. The net income, about £220, is actually distributed by the trustees in various ways. The school has £8 13s. 4d. and the township of Duxbury £14, about £99 goes to the almspeople and £15 to the clerk of the trustees; the remainder is given to the local dispensary (£50) and other medical charities and to clothing clubs in the town.
Dame Susanna Hoghton of Astley Hall in 1841 gave the Tithebarn Croft in Whittle-le-Woods for the benefit of the poor. There are now on the land six cottages, the rents of which amount to £27 a year. The net amount is distributed by the rector of Chorley in clothing, coal and other articles. A rent-charge of £2 made for the same purpose by Sir Nicholas Shireburne in 1706 has been lost. (fn. 304)