A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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This northernmost portion of the parish is cut off from the main body by the River Wyre, the boundary on the south-west side. It has an area of 1,553 ½ acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 the population numbered 321. The village is situated near the centre, on the slope of a piece of rising ground. The surface in general is undulating, varying from about 15 ft. to 50 ft. above sea level.
Entry is made from the south by the Shard Bridge over the Wyre, opened in 1864. (fn. 2) The scenery by the river is very beautiful. From this point the road goes north to the village, and divides into several branches going in all directions; one to the northwest leads to a ferry over the Wyre.
Dr. Charles Leigh of Singleton, writing about 1700, states that the River Wyre 'affords us a pearl fishing, which are frequently found in large mussels, called by the inhabitants Hambleton Hookins, from their manner of taking them, which is done by plucking them from their skeers or beds with hooks. (fn. 3)
In 1066 HAMBLETON was assessed as two plough-lands, and was held by Earl Tostig. (fn. 4) Later it was called three plough-lands, and was included in the demesne of the honour of Lancaster. (fn. 5) In 1176–7 it contributed 30s. to an aid. (fn. 6) The farm of the vill had been increased by 24s. a year in 1200, (fn. 7) but this addition seems to have been temporary, for in 1212 the 'men of Hambleton' held the three plough-lands there by a service of 24s. yearly. (fn. 8) It appears that a William de Pilkington had once held the land, but in 1213 the king gave it to his serjeant, William de Colmore, for his maintenance. (fn. 9) In 1229 Henry III granted the same in fee to Geoffrey the Arbalaster, who was to pay 16s. to the king and 24s. to the old tenant, after whose death the whole 40s. would be due to the king; the land was to be quit of tallage thenceforward. (fn. 10) The manor of Hackinsall became the chief residence of the lords of Hambleton, so that they took their surname from it, (fn. 11) and in course of time their lordship in Hambleton was ignored. (fn. 12)
The above-named Geoffrey in 1244–5 granted all Hambleton to his nephew Robert de Shireburne, the rent of 40s. being payable to the king. (fn. 13) Then in 1255–6 Robert de Shireburne gave 2 oxgangs of land in Hambleton to his son John, with remainder to William, Robert's eldest son. (fn. 14) John, who was a clerk, also had an oxgang from his brother William, (fn. 15) and eventually succeeded to the whole. (fn. 16) John's son Robert acquired by marriage part of the manor of Aighton near Ribchester, and his descendants were long seated there as the Shireburnes of Stonyhurst. (fn. 17) Hambleton descended in the same way (fn. 18) until 1867, (fn. 19) when the land was sold in parcels, (fn. 20) and no manor seems to have been recognized afterwards.
In 1548 an agreement was made by Sir Richard Shireburne as lord of Hambleton with Nicholas Butler as lord of Over Rawcliffe concerning the bounds of their manors. (fn. 21)
At one time a family surnamed Hambleton had part of the land (fn. 22); the Botelers of Rawcliffe (fn. 23) and Singletons of Little Singleton (fn. 24) and their successors also had estates there, the former having ferry rights over the Wyre. (fn. 25) A few other names occur in the inquisitions and pleadings. (fn. 26)
Some estates were registered by 'Papists' in 1717. (fn. 29)
The chapel of St. Mary probably existed from an early date, and may have been the oratory at Hambleton for which Robert Shireburne of Stonyhurst obtained a licence in 1456. (fn. 30) It was in 1567 licensed for the administration of the sacraments and for burials. (fn. 31) In 1717 it was 'duly served by a curate who preaches and reads prayers every Sunday, sacrament days excepted.' (fn. 32) The ancient endowment was £5 a year, paid by the lord of the manor out of the profits of a windmill (fn. 33); but this was increased by other gifts. (fn. 34) In 1650 the Committee of Plundered Ministers had allowed £40 a year out of sequestrations, (fn. 35) The church was rebuilt in 1749; there is a sundial with the inscription TXT/1670. (fn. 36) A separate parish was formed in 1846. (fn. 37) The vicar of Kirkham appoints the incumbents. The following have been in charge (fn. 38):—
|1699||Christopher Jackson, B.A. (T.C.D.)|
|1706||Richard Crombleholme (fn. 39)|
|1717||Richard Rauthmell, B.A.|
|1717||William Whitehead, B.A. (fn. 40) (St John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1737||John Field (Queen's Coll., Oxf.)|
|1803||Thomas Butcher, B.A. (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1835||Charles Beaumont Howard, B.A.|
|1882||James Henry Bumstead|
The Congregationalists, who first began a preaching station in 1830, erected a small chapel in 1870; it is annexed to Poulton. (fn. 41) There was at one time a small congregation of Particular Baptists. (fn. 42)