A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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The township has an area of 1,061 acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 the population numbered 129. The hamlets from which it takes its name are situated in the centre of it, Bryning at the north end and Kellamergh at the south end of a strip of land rising above the general level, though attaining only 64 ft. above the ordnance datum. About the same height is attained again on the eastern border.
At the Conquest BRYNING and Kellamergh were included in Ribby, and like it became part of the demesne of the honour until, about 1190, they were granted by John Count of Mortain to Richard son of Roger, thegn of Woodplumpton. They were assessed separately— Bryning as two plough-lands and Kellamergh as one— and were to be held as the fourth part of a knight's fee. Richard died in 1201, and John as king confirmed his former grant to the five daughters and co-heirs. (fn. 2) This part of the inheritance in the main descended to the Beethams (fn. 3) and then to the Middletons (fn. 4); the portion belonging to the Stockport family seems to have been given to a John de Baskervill, (fn. 5) whose descendants continued to hold it in the 14th century. George Middleton had a number of lawsuits with tenants and others. (fn. 6) The manor and estate seem to have changed ownership several times after 1680, (fn. 7) and nothing is now known of any claim to the lordship.
A portion of KELLAMERGH, afterwards described as a moiety of the manor, (fn. 8) came before 1246 into the possession of the family of Ulnes Walton, (fn. 9) and was together with their principal manor purchased by Henry Earl of Lancaster in 1347. (fn. 10) It descended with the duchy till 1551, being then sold to Anthony Browne. (fn. 11) This moiety also has disappeared from the records. (fn. 12)
Bryning is found as a surname, and Kellamergh also gave a surname to a local family or families, (fn. 13) among whom were benefactors oi Lytham Priory. (fn. 14) Another family of long continuance was that of Sharples. (fn. 15) John Bradley (fn. 16) of Bryning was a freeholder in 1600. (fn. 17) James Bradley, his successor, (fn. 18) was repeatedly fined for recusancy; his eldest son Edward was killed at Marston Moor, fighting on the king's side, and a younger son, Richard, born in 1605, became a Jesuit priest. Labouring in Lancashire in dangerous times he was arrested by the Parliamentary soldiers and imprisoned at Manchester, dying there before his trial on 30 January 1645–6. (fn. 19) Part of the estate was sequestered for 'delinquency only' under the Commonwealth. (fn. 20) A pedigree was recorded in 1665. (fn. 21) The inquisitions yield the names of a few of the old landholders (fn. 22); among them was Edward Mercer, (fn. 23) who died in 1637, and whose mother's land in 1652 stood sequestered for 'popery.' (fn. 24) John Mercer as a 'Papist' registered his freehold estate in Kellamergh in 1717. (fn. 25) A family named Leyland occurs in the 18th century. (fn. 26)