A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Croston; Mawdesley; Bispham; Bretherton; Ulnes; Walton
The parish of Croston, now containing five townships and an area of 10,740 acres, (fn. 1) was formerly much more extensive. Much Hoole, with two townships, was separated in 1642, the detached township of Chorley, 4 or 5 miles to the east, became an independent parish in 1793, while the townships to the west of the Douglas or Asland River—Rufford, Tarleton, and Hesketh-with-Becconsall—were separated in 1793 and 1821. The existing parish lies on the east bank of the Douglas, which forms the boundary for nearly 6 miles as it flows north to the Ribble estuary, and receives the Yarrow from the east. On the north bank of the latter stream, almost in the centre of the parish, stands the ancient church of Croston. Generally speaking, the surface is level, about a third being below the 25-ft. level, but in the south-east and south there are hills. The population in 1901 was 4,752. (fn. 2)
There are now in the parish 3,855 acres occupied as arable land, 5,579 as permanent grass and 203 as woods and plantations. (fn. 3)
To the ancient fifteenth the various townships of the complete parish paid thus: Croston and Mawdesley, each 17s. 4d.; Ulnes Walton, £1 2s.; Bretherton, £1 3s. 4d.; Much Hoole, 15s. 4d.; Little Hoole, 10s.; Chorley with Bispham, £1 4s. 7d.; Rufford, £1 1s. 3d.; Tarleton, £1 2s. 2½d.; Hesketh-with-Becconsall, 11s., giving a total of £9 4s. 4½d., when the hundred paid £30 12s. 8d. (fn. 4) For the county lay of 1624 the townships were arranged somewhat differently, in the following four quarters: 1, Croston and Rufford; 2, Tarleton, Much and Little Hoole; 3, Mawdesley, Bispham, and Hesketh-with-Becconsall; 4, Bretherton and Ulnes Walton. Each of these quarters paid equally, contributing a total of £22 4s. 7d., when £100 was required from the hundred. (fn. 5)
The landowners of the undivided parish contributing to the subsidy in 1525 were Robert Hesketh, Thomas Ashton, Henry Banastre, Edward Beconsaw, Roger Dalton, Bartholomew Hesketh, Henry Charnock and William Chorley. (fn. 6)
The history of the parish shows little of interest to record. The principal resident families were those of Ashton of Croston and Banastre of Bank. In 1533 one of the priests living near Croston, James Harrison, had the boldness to express the general feeling of the people as to the king's repudiation of Katherine of Aragon, on which an inquiry was made there. (fn. 7) Some compositions for recusancy were made in 1630–2. (fn. 8)
In 1800 an Act was obtained for draining the low lands of Croston, Mawdesley, Bispham, Bretherton, Rufford and Tarleton.
The church of ST. MICHAEL (fn. 9) is situated at the south end of Croston village close to the River Yarrow, which bounds the churchyard on the south side, and consists of a chancel 41 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 6 in. with north and south aisles and north vestry, nave 49 ft. by 15 ft. 6 in. with north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower 16 ft. 3 in. square, all these measurements being internal. The tower stands almost entirely within the church, its west front projecting only 4 ft. beyond the end walls of the north and south aisles, and is open to the building on all three sides under lofty pointed arches. The oldest parts of the church other than the piscina mentioned later seem to be the east end of the chancel and the lower part of the tower, which are probably of 15th-century date, at which period the church may have been built on the present plan, and to which date some other portions of the building may belong. There was so much rebuilding and restoration, however, in the following three centuries, of which no exact record has been kept, that it is now very difficult to assign the actual date to the greater part of the building. It seems, however, to be largely 16th-century work on a 15th-century basis, altered in the 17th, partly rebuilt in the 18th, and restored in the 19th century.
Baines (fn. 10) states that an inscription in the north side of the steeple purports that the church was rebuilt in the 16th century, but this, if it existed, is no longer visible. The Banastre chapel in the north aisle was 'beautified' in 1682, and there were rebuildings of parts of the structure in 1708, 1710, 1715 and 1768. (fn. 11) In 1823 a new roof was erected and the whole church 'beautified,' but a more thorough restoration took place in 1866–7, when the 18th-century galleries were removed, the chapels done away with, (fn. 12) a chancel arch erected, and the north chancel aisle entirely rebuilt. The east wall of the south chancel aisle is also said to have been pulled down and rebuilt at this time, (fn. 13) but, however that may be, the whole of the outer walls of this aisle were afterwards taken down and rebuilt in 1875. If Baines's statement about the 16th-century building is correct, it may be surmised that the present nave and aisles belong substantially to that date, together, perhaps, with the upper part of the tower. (fn. 14) A detached vestry and parish room were built on the north side of the church in 1903, connected with it by a glazed passage leading from the old vestry door.
The external walls are largely faced with red sandstone with the later additions in gritstone, and the roofs are covered with stone slates, except those of the new south chancel aisle, where modern blue slates are used. There is no clearstory, the roof over the nave and aisles being of one wide span. The chancel roof is lower than that of the nave, with overhanging eaves and a lean-to over the south aisle. The north aisle, which is 6 ft. wider than the aisle of the nave, is under a separate gabled roof. The nave aisles have embattled parapets erected in 1823.
The east end of the chancel projects 12 ft. 6 in. beyond the aisles, the angle on the north side, however, being occupied by a low embattled vestry, and has a five-light pointed window with the mullions crossing in the head, apparently of 16th-century date. The smaller square-headed three-light window on the south side seems to belong to the 15th-century church and is now the only window in the building with good original detail. The lights have cinquefoiled heads with perpendicular tracery above, and the jambs and head are square chamfered, the mullions having hollow chamfers, and there is no external label. The east gable has been rebuilt at the top in gritstone, and has a plain moulded coping and apex cross. The chancel is inclosed on both sides for a length of 15 ft. 6 in. from the east end, beyond which it is open to the north and south aisles by an arcade of two pointed arches. In the south wall below the window is a double piscina of 13th-century date which was discovered in 1866 on the removal of the plaster from the walls. (fn. 15) It is in two stones under a square-headed opening, the top of which is immediately below the sill of the window. The opening is 2 ft. 11 in. wide and 18 in. high and has a through stone at the top with a carved capital at the front, but there is no central shaft or any trace of the base of one below. It is possible the piscina may be made up from portions of an older building. The bowls, which are plain and retain their drains, are contained within the wall, the depth of the opening being 12 in. On the opposite side is a square-headed aumbry 1 ft. 9 in. wide, 13 in. high and 17 in. deep, the door of which has gone, beyond which, at a distance of about 10 ft. from the east wall, the old masonry ceases. On the south side the old wall extends some 13 ft. 6 in., and immediately to the west of the window is a recess 3 ft. 9 in. wide with splayed jambs and segmental arched head. The recess commences about 3 ft. above the floor and has a plain sill forming a seat which is made up of pieces of 18th-century gravestones. (fn. 16) The top of the arch is about 8 ft. from the floor and the whole of the west portion of the masonry, including the respond of the arch beyond, is modern. The wall here has been so much interfered with in the last and perhaps earlier restorations that its original aspect and the meaning of the recess are difficult to determine. (fn. 17) There appears to have been a narrow pointed window in part of the space occupied by the recess, the western jamb of which can be seen in the north-east corner of the south aisle, the rest being now covered up by the aisle wall. If the south aisle covers the same area as the chantry chapel erected by Thomas Hesketh, c. 1500, he appears to have put his east wall against this window, (fn. 18) but how far west the south chancel wall was originally an external one can only be surmised. The arches of the chancel arcade are low, and the piers, which are octagonal with moulded caps and bases, are of different heights. (fn. 19) On the south side the lower part of the arches has been cut away, altering their proportions, and the pier has been rebuilt and raised. (fn. 20) Originally the distinction between the chancel and the nave was marked only by the difference in the arcade and the wider built-up piers at the junction, the roof being continuous. The modern chancel arch, which is merely an insertion, is of two orders, the inner hollow-chamfered and the outer moulded, and springs from circular shafts with moulded caps. A Jacobean screen which existed when Glynne visited the church in 1859 has disappeared.
The north chancel aisle, which represents the Becconsall chapel or chancel, (fn. 21) is 30 ft. by 20 ft. and has two three-light windows on the north side and one in the east wall. There is an external door in the north-west corner, and in the south-east a door to the vestry. The east end of the aisle is now occupied by the organ, which before 1866 was in the west gallery, and the west end is seated with old oak benches.
The south chancel aisle, formerly the chantry chapel of St. John the Baptist, is 29 ft. long by 11 ft. in width and has two three-light pointed windows on the south side and one at the east end, the mullions continued and forming pointed heads to the lights. West of the second window from the east, in the south-west corner, is a priest's doorway with fourcentred head. The chancel aisles having both been rebuilt offer no points of antiquarian interest.
The nave arcade consists of four pointed arches on each side, of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers with moulded caps and bases. The caps, however, except to the responds, have apparently been so much damaged in the 18th century, consequent on the erection and removal of the galleries, as to have necessitated their being cut down to or replaced by a single round and hollow moulding, and the arches are cut away at the springing to fit them. (fn. 22) The roof is of flat pitch and divided into six bays, plastered between the roof timbers. The aisles are 67 ft. 6 in. long, extending at the west end nearly 20 ft. beyond the east face of the tower. Externally the nave is divided into five bays by buttresses of three stages, and diagonal ones at the angles, the first bay from the west on the north side being occupied by a four-centred arched doorway with square hood mould, moulded jambs and head and carved spandrels. Above the door is a low four-light window with fourcentred head and hood mould terminating in carved heads. Over the door and immediately below the sill of the window is a shield with the arms of the Heskeths of Rufford and their connexions, (fn. 23) and on either side of the window at the level of the sill are shields with the arms of Ashton quartering Leigh on the east, and Dalton quartering Fleming on the west. (fn. 24) On the battlement above the window is inscribed: 'This church was new roof'd and beautify'd A.D. 1823.' The windows are alike on both sides, with double hollow-chamfered jambs and heads and hollowchamfered mullions under pointed arches, almost semi circular in form, and with hood moulds terminating in blank shields. (fn. 25) The mullions are crossed in the head with a square in the centre. The window at the west end of the north aisle is new with a wide middle mullion and geometrical tracery, the original jambs and hood mould alone remaining. The aisles are 14 ft. wide and separated from those of the chancel by stone arches. (fn. 26) At the east end of each is a piscina in the north and south walls respectively. The east end of the north aisle was apparently the Banastre chapel, by the evidence of the arms carved on the shield outside, and some fragments of glass in the window on which a portion of a 17th-century inscription still remains. (fn. 27) The second bay from the west on the south side is occupied by the porch, which being on the side away from the village is no longer used. It has a plain gable without coping, diagonal buttresses, straight parapets at the sides, and an outer pointed arch of two hollow-chamfered orders without label. The inner doorway has a four-centred arch with hollow moulded head and jambs.
The tower is externally 26 ft. square at the base, with walls 5 ft. thick and has a vice in the south-west angle. Internally the arch to the nave springs high above the crown of the arches of the nave arcade, and is of three chamfered orders. The north and south arches to the aisles are the same height as those in the nave, but of three orders, the two inner plain chamfered and the outer with a hollow moulding. The inner order springs from stone corbels and the two outer are continued to the ground. The south arch, on account of the vice, is 2 ft. 6 in. narrower than those on the north and east, which are 12 ft. 6 in. wide. Externally the tower, which appears exceedingly heavy and massive, rising apparently out of the church roof on three sides, has diagonal buttresses of six stages its full height, an embattled parapet with angle and intermediate pinnacles, and a flat lead-covered roof. The west door is pointed and has moulded jambs with three small shafts divided by hollows on each side, and a hood mould terminating in carved heads. The door is modern. Above is a four-light window with straight-sided four-centred head and moulded jambs, apparently of 16th-century date, with the original mullions and tracery cut away, and later stonework similar to that in the nave windows substituted. The belfry windows are of three lights, the mullions crossing in the head under a pointed arch and hood mould. Below the belfry on the north and south sides is a clock, (fn. 28) and at the same level on the east and west a small square window to the belfry chamber stage. The bells are rung from the floor of the church.
The font is at the west end of the south aisle, and is hexagonal in shape with panelled sides, and dated 1663. It stands on a six-shafted stem and has a modern wood cover.
The pulpit and all the seating and fittings are modern, the old square pews having been removed in 1866–7. The first three seats of the nave preserve an old carved inscription stating that 'These three seates doe appertaine to William Farington of Worden Esqre 1708 by a faculty dated 1585.'
At the east end of the nave in front of the chancel steps is the grave of the Rev. Jas. Pilkington, rector, who died in 1683, with an inscribed flagstone. On the north wall of the chancel is a small brass with Latin inscription to the memory of the Rev. James Hyett, rector (d. 1663), and on the opposite wall a brass to Maria Foxcroft, born Butler, wife of the Rev. Richard Foxcroft, rector of Hoole, who died in 1686. In the recess on the south side of the chancel are two Pilkington brasses, one with a long Latin inscription setting forth the virtues of the family, and the other to the memory of Alice wife of the Rev. Wm. Pilkington, rector, who died 12 September 1747, in her eighty-third year. (fn. 29) The chancel also contains tablets to the memory of the Rev. Streynsham Master, rector (d. 1759), and to other members of the Master family, and in the south chapel is a tablet to the Rev. Robert M. Master, rector (d. 1867). There is also a tablet in the south chapel to Alexander Kershaw of Heskin, who died in 1788 in his ninety-fourth year.
There is a ring of eight bells by John Rudhall of Gloucester, three dated 1787, three 1806, and one 1822. The seventh bell was recast and the others rehung by Taylor of Loughborough in 1898. (fn. 30)
The plate consists of two chalices inscribed ' Croston Church 1743,' two flagons inscribed 'Croston Church,' a large paten, two small patens, and an almsdish.
The registers of marriages and burials begin in 1538 and those of baptisms in 1543, (fn. 31) but the earliest volume preserved at the church begins with the year 1728. In 1828 the churchwardens allowed the first two volumes to get out of their possession and the books were lost. (fn. 32) One of the missing volumes (1538–1685) was discovered in 1899 in the De Trafford estate office, Manchester, where it still remains, but the second has not been recovered.
The churchyard lies chiefly on the south and east sides of the building, the entrance from the village being on the north-west corner. There are no inscribed stones of ancient date. To the east where the churchyard is open to the rectory grounds and adjoining fields the view is one of much rural beauty. The rectory house, a 17th-century building with three gables to the front and stone slated roofs, was in the main erected by the Pilkingtons, but was refronted and the entrance rearranged by the Masters, probably soon after 1755. Their coat of arms is over the door. The front is now stuccoed and the gables hidden behind a high parapet which follows their rake in curved lines at the ends. On a stone in an outbuilding at the back of the house are the initials of the Rev. James Pilkington, B.D., and the date 1663, which is probably the year of the erection of the rectory.
The church of Croston was granted by Count Roger of Poitou to the abbey of St. Martin at Sees, (fn. 33) and the Prior and convent of Lancaster accordingly presented the rectors, receiving an annual pension of 6 marks from the church. (fn. 34) During the wars with France in the time of Edward III and later the kings, as was usual, usurped the patronage as belonging to an 'alien priory,' and, though the frequent changes of rectors at that time show how insecure the title was considered, the Priors of Lancaster seem at length to have acquiesced, (fn. 35) and the advowson was granted by Henry V to his new monastery of Syon. (fn. 36) The church was appropriated also, and a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 37) The Abbess of Syon presented down to the suppression of the monasteries, after which time the course of events is not clear. (fn. 38) In 1551 the 'advowson of the vicarage,' including, it would seem, the rectorial tithes, &c., was granted by the Crown to Sir Thomas Darcy, to be held by the service of one knight's fee and the rent of £29 12s. 6¾d. (fn. 39) From 1594 the incumbency has usually been styled the 'rectory and vicarage, (fn. 40) and a rent was payable to the Crown. (fn. 41) This rent was sold in the time of Charles II, and about 1790 was due to the representatives of the Hon. Mrs. Dashwood. (fn. 42)
In 1661 a grant of the advowson of the vicarage was made to the Bishop of Chester and his successors, (fn. 43) but must for some reason have been invalid, as the patronage has remained in private hands, (fn. 44) and has since about 1753 been held by the Master family, several of whom have been rectors. (fn. 45) The present patron is the Rev. A. Master-Whitaker.
In 1291 the income of the rector was estimated as £33 6s. 8d., (fn. 46) the benefice being the most valuable in Leyland Deanery. Fifty years later the ninth of sheaves, &c., was estimated at 10 marks less, the revenues pertaining to the altarage of the church being now excluded. (fn. 47) The gross value of the rectory was in 1534 estimated at £94 10s. 6d., of which £53 6s. 8d. was paid to Syon. (fn. 48) The Commonwealth surveyors in 1650 estimated the revenues as nearly £300 a year, after Hoole had been separated (fn. 49); and sixty or seventy years later the rectory was reported to be worth about £400, with 61 acres of glebe and seven cottages. (fn. 50) At the present time the income is given as £629, but large parts of the old parish have been cut off. (fn. 51)
The following is a list of incumbents:—
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|c. 1160||Liulph (fn. 52)||—||—|
|oc. 1191||Nicholas (fn. 53)||—||—|
|c. 1230||Stephen (fn. 54)||—||—|
|oc. 1246–60||Philip (fn. 55)||—||—|
|oc. 1291–5||Walter de Langton (fn. 56)||—||—|
|1303||Mr. Walter de Clipston (fn. 57)||—||—|
|2 Feb. 1310–11||Mr. William de Lancaster (fn. 58)||Lancaster Priory||d. W. de Clipston|
|22 Nov. 1318||Mr. Ralph de Tunstall (fn. 59)||"||d. last rector|
|1 Mar. 1333–4||Richard de Wamberge (fn. 60)||"||d. R. de Tunstall|
|18 Jan. 1344–5||William de Exeter (fn. 61)||The King||d. R. de Wamberge|
|oc. 1362||William de Huntlow (fn. 62)||—||—|
|25 July 1387||William Glynn (fn. 63)||The King||res. W. de Huntlow|
|Oct. 1398||Robert de Faringdon (fn. 64)||—||exch. W. Glynn|
|19 Feb. 1404–5||Henry Kays (fn. 65)||John Wakering||d. R. de Faringdon|
|5 Apr. 1405||Richard Kingston (fn. 66)||—||exch. H. Kays|
|22 Oct. 1408||William Lochard (fn. 67)||The King||res. R. Kingston|
|14 Aug. 1409||Nicholas Slake (fn. 68)||"||res. W. Lochard|
|4 Sept. 1418||Thomas Fishburne (fn. 69)||W. Kenolmarsh||—|
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|19 May 1421||William Abraham (fn. 70)||Syon Abbey||—|
|16 Sept. 1435||John Occleshaw (fn. 71)||"||—|
|1 Aug. 1439||Richard Dalton (fn. 72)||"||res. J. Occleshaw|
|oc. 1443||Thomas Tarleton (fn. 73)||—||—|
|11 Aug. 1453||Christopher Holme (fn. 74)||Syon Abbey||d. T. Tarleton|
|3 Feb. 1475–6||Roger Haslingden, B.D. (fn. 75)||"||d. Chr. Holme|
|8 Jan. 1477–8||Thomas Mawdesley, D.D. (fn. 76)||"||d. R. Haslingden|
|24 Jan. 1504–5||Robert Beconsaw, D.D. (fn. 77)||"||d. T. Mawdesley|
|1526||Thomas Bond, B.D. (fn. 78)||"||—|
|20 July 1557||Thomas Leeming (fn. 79)||Ant. Browne||d. T. Bond|
|17 Sept. 1594||Robert Whittakers (fn. 80)||—||—|
|1607||George Comey (fn. 81)||—||d. R. Whittakers|
|23 Mar. 1623–4||John Bartlett, M.A. (fn. 82)||Bishop of Chester||d. G. Comey|
|18 Aug. 1625||James Hyett, B.D. (fn. 83)||The King||—|
|28 Oct. 1662||James Pilkington, B.D. (fn. 84)||"||exp. J. Hyett|
|25 May 1683||Charles Layfield, B.D. (fn. 85)||W. Layfield, &c.||d. J. Pilkington|
|4 Oct. 1688||John Ryley (fn. 86)||Chas. Layfield||res. C. Layfield|
|14 Mar. 1689–90||Robert Pickering, D.D. (fn. 87)||C. Layfield & W. Haydock||d. J. Ryley|
|10 Dec. 1695||Zachariah Taylor, M.A. (fn. 88)||The King||depr. R. Pickering|
|1696||Robert Pickering, D.D.||—||—|
|27 Dec. 1703||William Pilkington, LL.D. (fn. 89)||Chas. Layfield||d. R. Pickering|
|21 Oct. 1755||Streynsham Master, D.D. (fn. 90)||Legh Master||d. W. Pilkington|
|11 May 1759||Robert Master, D.D. (fn. 91)||Anne Master, &c.||d. S. Master|
|28 Sept. 1798||Streynsham Master, M.A. (fn. 92)||Eliz. Master||d. R. Master|
|1864||Robert Mosley Master, M.A. (fn. 93)||—||d. S. Master|
|1867||Oswald Master, M.A. (fn. 94)||Rev. G. S. Master||d. R. M. Master|
|1894||Atherton Gwillym Rawstorne, M.A. (fn. 95)||"||res. O. Master|
The more distinguished of the early rectors and vicars were probably non-resident, but the rise of chapels at Chorley, Rufford, Tarleton, Becconsall and perhaps Hoole also, shows that the parish was before the Reformation suitably provided with clergy. In 1535, in addition to the vicar, who if non-resident would be represented by a curate, there were eight priests serving the chantries in the then undivided parish, of which three were in the parish church itself. (fn. 96) The Clergy List of 1541–2 (fn. 97) shows that the vicar paid two priests and Richard Cliff paid another. There would thus be five or six resident clergy in the central portion of Croston, and quite as many more in Chorley and outlying parts. The Visitation List of 1548 records twelve names, and in addition there were four priests at Chorley. The effect of the change of religion is shown by the sudden drop to five names in 1554 and to two only, one being the decrepit curate, in 1562; there was also one at Chorley. In the following year the vicar and two curates are recorded, while in 1565 the vicar was supposed to have one curate, whose name, however, was unknown. (fn. 98) It was inevitable, therefore, that several of the chapels fell out of use for the time, the only ones named in the list of 1610–12 being those at Chorley and Rufford. (fn. 99) The vicar in 1622 was assisted by a lecturer, (fn. 100) and in the survey of 1650 the chapels of Chorley, Rufford and Becconsall are named, as also a new church at Tarleton and a proposed one at Mawdesley; Hoole had then become independent. (fn. 101) After the Restoration the staff probably declined again, and in 1691—a time of change, however—the only clergy at the visitation were the rector and the curates of Chorley and Rufford. (fn. 102) These chapelries became independent rectories in 1793, and in more recent times many new churches have been built.
Schools were founded in the latter half of the 17th century at Croston, Bispham, Bretherton and Mawdesley. (fn. 103)
There were, as stated, three regularly endowed chantries in the parish church. (fn. 104) That at the altar of St. John the Baptist was founded about 1500 by John Todd, the chaplain of Rufford. The priest was to celebrate for the souls of the founder and his predecessors, and he also assisted the curate in the administration of the sacraments. The income at the suppression of these endowments in 1547–8 was £5 2s. 8d., derived from lands in Mawdesley, Bispham and elsewhere. (fn. 105) The chantry at the altar of the Trinity was founded, probably about 1530, by Katherine Tarleton, widow, for a priest to celebrate for the souls of herself and her ancestors. The income was only 59s. 8d., derived from lands in Thornton in the Fylde. (fn. 106) The chantry at the Rood altar, or altar of the Crucifix, was founded before 1527 by Christopher Walton for a celebrant for the souls of the founder and all Christian souls. The endowment of 62s. 4d. a year was derived from lands in Hoole, Howick and Mawdesley. (fn. 107) None of the chantries had any plate of their own. There was also a Becconsall chapel. (fn. 108) The chapels were about a century ago purchased from Sir T. D. Hesketh by the rector of Croston. (fn. 109)
The charitable endowments for the parish of Croston have an income of over £1,000 a year, but nearly half is applicable to education only. (fn. 110) The benefaction of Dr. Layfield, formerly rector, produces £27 18s. 4d. for the poor of the whole parish. (fn. 111) The charity founded by Peter Lathom of Bispham, by his will of 1700, (fn. 112) now has over £380 a year for the townships of Croston, Mawdesley, Bispham and Ulnes Walton. In accordance with a scheme made by the Charity Commissioners in 1879 the trustees are authorized to distribute the income in a great variety of ways, including subscriptions to cottage hospitals or dispensaries, or to the funds of provident clubs or friendly societies, gifts of money, clothes, bedding, tools, food, medical aid, &c., and also fees and prizes for education, and the provision of school libraries and evening classes. (fn. 113) In the township of Croston there are funds for almshouses, (fn. 114) and about £94 a year for the poor derived from the old Poor's Stock, a gift by Thomas Norris in 1852, and other sources; it is distributed in kind. (fn. 115) Mawdesley has some small endowments for the poor, (fn. 116) and shares to a small extent another sum with Bispham. (fn. 117) For the poor of Ulnes Walton the gifts of James Glassbrook and others yield over £25 a year. (fn. 118)