A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Before the Conquest the various manors within the parish limits were in three different lordships; afterwards they were given to the Lancaster family, lords of Kendal, and to this grant the formation of Warton as a parish may be due. Its history has been that of a retired country district, broken unpleasantly by devastating raids such as that of the Scots in 1322. The Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536 probably affected the people from their vicinity to Kendal, but there does not seem any evidence of the king's anger being visited on Warton. The forces of Charles II in August 1651 encamped at Carnforth and Borwick, on the way to Worcester. The Jacobite invasion of 1745 made its advance and retreat through the parish.
Within it some exciting events accompanied the disputes concerning the advowson of the church. In 1473 John Harrington of Lancaster and others set fire to the rectory-house, Thomas Bolron, John Lawrence and others being within it, and being assaulted so that their lives were in danger. (fn. 1) Early in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII John Lawrence sent about eighty men, armed, to the rectory, and they seized the corn and grain in the barns and took the revenues of all kinds; further, they used the church tower as a fortress, roasting their meat in the church itself, and would scarcely allow the curate to enter the building. (fn. 2) In 1530 a tumult arose from another cause. The inhabitants of Bolton had, or claimed, an ancient right to drive their beasts over Lindeth Marsh to Yealand Conyers Moss, but in the year named Robert and John Kitson with others of Warton, to the number of a thousand, resisted the passage with arms in their hands. (fn. 3)
Leland, the antiquary, about 1536 visited the place, and writes: 'I rode over Lune toward Warton, a vi. miles off, where Mr. Kitson was born. A ii. mile from Lancaster the country began to be stony and a little to wax mountainous. Half a mile from Warton I passed over Keer river, coming out of hills not far off, and there ebbing and flowing, and about Lune sands going into the salt water. Warton is a pretty street for a village. The ground beyond Warton and about is very hilly and marvellous rocky unto Beetham, a v. miles off. In the rocks I saw herds of goats.' (fn. 4)
The earliest of the recorded race meetings in Lancashire was held on the sands in the first part of the 17th century. About 1630 a number of gentlemen subscribed about £10 each to buy a piece of plate, which was to be run for every year 'on a horse course called Warton Sands,' and the race was run accordingly, one being on Easter Tuesday, 1641. (fn. 5)
Mining has been carried on in the parish, (fn. 6) and at one time there was some shipbuilding; thus in 1698 William Stout of Lancaster 'was persuaded by some neighbours to stand a sixth part share in a new ship of about 80 tons (then) building near Warton.' (fn. 7) Weaving formerly employed many of the people.
The agricultural land in the parish is now occupied thus (fn. 8) :—
An elaborate description of the parish was compiled between 1710 and 1743 by John Lucas, a native of Carnforth and a pupil of Warton School, who became schoolmaster at Leeds, where he died in 1750. He states that the dedication feast had been transferred from 5 August to the Sunday nearest to I August, in order to check the dancing and drinking that had been customary, and the rush-bearing took place on the Monday. He thus describes it:—
The people cut hard rushes from the marsh, which they make up into long bundles and then dress them in fine linen, ribbons, silk, flowers, &c.; afterwards the young women take the burdens upon their heads and begin the procession (precedence being always given to the churchwarden's bundle), which is attended with a great multitude of people with music, drums, ringing the bells and all other demonstrations of joy they are able to express. When they arrive at the church they go in at the west end (the only public use that ever I saw that door put to), and setting down their bundles in the church they strip them of their ornaments, leaving crowns or garlands placed over the cancelli. Then they return to the town and cheerfully partake of a plentiful collation provided for that purpose, and spend the rest of the day and evening in dancing about a maypole adorned with greens, flowers, &c, or else in some other convenient place. (fn. 9)
The principal river is the Keer, which divides Warton proper from Carnforth. Lucas notes that the eager sometimes appeared in the river; he had seen it, when a good way inland and almost spent, 'run turbulently up the river with a head or breast of water about a yard high.'
Carnforth was added to this parish about 1208, the change being due probably to the influence of the lords of the manor. (fn. 10) The parish was anciently divided into three parts: (1) Warton with Lindeth, (2) Camforth with Borwick, (3) Yealand Conyers, Yealand Redmayne and Silverdale and Priest Hutton. (fn. 11) For the county lay of 1624, based on the old fifteenth, Warton with Dalton contributed £7 2s. 3¼d. when the hundred had to raise £100; the separate portions were thus assessed: Warton, £1 16s. 8d.; Yealand and Silverdale, £1 7s. 1½d.; Carnforth and Borwick, £2 5s. 5¾d.; Dalton with Hutton, £1 13s. (fn. 12)
The church of ST. OSWALD or the HOLY TRINITY (fn. 13) stands at the south end of the village on rising ground at the foot of Warton Crag, and consists of a chancel with south chapel, clearstoried nave with north and south aisles, south porch and west tower. The site falls considerably from north to south, the north door being 2 ft. 2 in. above the floor of the nave and the south door 14 in. below it, with a descent and ascent of steps inside the building. The oldest part of the structure is the south aisle wall, which is of 14thcentury date, probably marking the extent of the nave of the mediaeval church, 56 ft. in length. No other part of the building being of this period, it is impossible to say whether this represents the south wall of an aisleless church or whether it was originally as now, the outer wall of an aisle. The church seems to have been almost entirely rebuilt in the 15th century, when it assumed more or less its present shape, though it is not certain whether there was a north aisle. The chancel, south chapel or chantry of St. Mary and west tower are of this period, as was also the south arcade until the year 1848, when it was rebuilt on its old lines. The date of the 15th-century rebuilding may have been c. 1480; the tower was apparently built by the Washington family, whose arms it bears. The north aisle and north arcade are of 16th-century date, and may replace a former aisle, but the evidence of the walling at the east end would suggest that the aisle was an addition at that time, or, if a rebuilding, that the former aisle did not extend so far eastward. The south window of the chancel and the west end of the south aisle are also of 16th-century date, though the window of the aisle has lately been replaced. The porch is modern.
Externally the walls are covered with rough-cast, the buttresses, parapets and dressings to doorways and windows alone being of ashlar, and with the exception of the two 14th-century windows on the south side the building has externally little architectural detail of any interest. The chancel and nave are under one continuous slated roof with embattled parapet—a modern restoration—and the aisles, which stop some 16 ft. short of the east wall of the chancel, have lean-to slated roofs with modern gutters and a stone cornice. The dressed stonework, both inside and out, is said to have come from a quarry near Cote Stones, re-discovered at the beginning of the 18th century, when the course of the River Kent was diverted southward. (fn. 14) The church was restored in 1892, when many of the windows, including those of the clearstory and north aisle, were renewed, the roof reconstructed, (fn. 15) and the old pews which formerly filled the nave removed, their place being taken by modern seating. (fn. 16)
The chancel, which is 33 ft. 6 in. by 21 ft. 9 in., has a modern five-light east window with segmental head and perpendicular tracery, and a modern twolight window with transom and perpendicular tracery on the north side. On the south it is lit by an old square-headed window of three round-headed lights, without external hood mould, similar in detail to those in the north aisle, and westward of the sanctuary, which is 15 ft. 4 in. in depth, it is open to the aisle and south chapel. There is no chancel arch or any structural distinction between the chancel and nave, whose combined length is 105 ft., the nave measuring 22 ft. 9 in. in width at its west end and being 71 ft. 6 in. in length. The north aisle, which is 15 ft. 6 in. wide and 84 ft. 4 in. long, is separated from the nave and chancel by an arcade of six pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers 9 ft. 9 in. high with moulded capitals and chamfered bases. The easternmost opening seems to have been cut through the thickness of the 15th-century wall, the first pier being a rectangular piece of masonry 3 ft. by 2 ft. 5 in. chamfered at the angles, with a chamfered capital on which the later arch sits. Lucas (fn. 17) says that the approach to the rood loft was on the north side of the chancel by an ascent of stone steps, but no traces of these remain. The chancel arrangement is continued 4 ft. to the west of the first pier on the north side, the eastern arch of the north arcade being that much less in width than the corresponding arch of the south arcade, which limits the extent of the modern chancel. The new south arcade consists of six pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers with moulded capitals, but is much less in height, the piers being only 6 ft. 10 in. to the tops of the capitals. There are five clearstory windows on each side to the nave and chancel, of three cinquefoiled lights under a segmental head with external hood mould, and in the interior all the walls are plastered. The north aisle, the east end of which is inclosed by a modern wood screen forming an organ chamber, is lit by four square-headed three-light windows and a similar one at each end. The north doorway is opposite the first bay from the west, and has a semicircular head with continuous double hollow-chamfered jambs and head and hood mould, and above it is a small ogeeheaded niche now empty. The roof of the nave and chancel is modern, with king-post principals carried down the wall by struts on to stone brackets, and plastered between the spars.
The south chapel is open to the church, and is 34 ft. 4 in. in length by 11 ft. 6 in. in width, the north side being bounded by the two easternmost arches of the arcade. In the south wall, between two square-headed two-light windows with cinquefoilheaded lights and perpendicular tracery, are triple sedilia with trefoil arches and moulded jambs. The intermediate shafts are moulded and stand clear of the wall, and the seats are on one level. To the west of the second window is a priest's door with hollow-chamfered jambs and head, external hood mould and internal segmental arch. The south wall of the chapel sets back 4. ft. from that of the older south aisle, and the chapel narrows in width towards the east end. The south aisle of the nave, which is 56 ft. in length westward of the chantry and 15 ft. 6 in. in width, is lit by two original pointed windows, each of two cinquefoiled lights with quatrefoil in the head and external hood mould, and by a late square-headed window of two cinquefoiled lights without hood mould, inserted in the wall in close proximity. The south doorway is pointed, with double hollow-chamfered jambs and head and external hood mould, and is about 20 ft. from the west wall, opposite the second bay. The porch is open, with a four-centred arch and stone seat on each side.
The tower measures 13 ft. 3 in. by 14 ft. 3 in. internally, the longer dimension being from west to east, and is 62 ft. in height to the top of the embattled parapet. It has diagonal buttresses of three stages on the west side and at the north-east corner and a vice in the south-west angle. At the time of the restoration the angle pinnacles and the belfry windows, which are of three cinquefoiled lights under a segmental head and hood mould, were renewed. The lower portion of the original west door, which is of two hollow-chamfered orders, is now built up, and the upper half, which has a four-centred head and hood mould, is converted into a three-light window. The west window is square-headed, of two cinquefoiled lights with external hood mould, and above it is a modern two-light segmental-headed opening. The north and south sides are quite plain between the moulded plinth and the belfry windows, but there is a clock dial on the north and east sides facing the village. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders dying into the wall at the springing, and is open to the nave, above which the floor of the tower is raised 2 ft. 2 in. On each of the two west buttresses is an incised blank shield, and on the north side of the west window a shield with the arms of the Washington family, now covered over with glass to protect it from the over-zealous attention of American visitors. (fn. 18)
The font is a plain stone cylinder 2 ft. high and 2 ft. 3 in. in diameter, and may be of Norman date. It stands on a modern moulded base, and is lined with elaborately wrought lead work bearing the date 1661 and the initials R. B. G. M. (fn. 19)
The other fittings, including the pulpit, are all modern, but in the vestry are an old 17th-century oak communion table and four oak panels belonging to the old seats, one dated 1571 with the initials I. B., two with the initials of Sir Robert Bindloss of Borwick and his wife, with the date 1612, (fn. 20) and the other dated 1712. The Middleton (fn. 21) or Leighton pew was the subject of a successful claim at the last restoration of the church.
There was formerly in the floor of the nave a tombstone bearing the name and arms of Nathaniel West, who died in 1670, with a Latin inscription, (fn. 22) but it was removed in the restoration of 1892 and sold to be used as flagging for footpaths in the village.
The churchyard is planted with yew trees on the east and south sides, and is well raised above the road which bounds it on the east side. The entrance from the village is on the north-east, and on the south is a pedestal sundial, the plate of which bears the name of Thomas Dean, vicar.
There is a ring of three bells, (fn. 23) the oldest of which is inscribed 'R. B. anno dom. 1578'; another is by Dalton of York, 1782; and the third is inscribed 'Memento Mori,' and bears the names of W. Aylmer, vicar, and four churchwardens.
The silver plate consists of a chalice without marks; a paten of 1716 inscribed 'Warton in Com. Lanc, obpoen. Mulct. Dedicat. huic ecclesiae 1716,' with the maker's mark S. L.; and a flagon of 1802 inscribed 'Dedicated to God and the Parish of Warton. John Peel 1802.' There are also a plated chalice and flagon.
The registers begin in 1568, but there are gaps in the baptisms between 1589 and 1591 and between 1605 and 1612, in the marriages between 1606 and 1612 and in 1617, and in the burials between 1594 and 1612.
The churchwardens' accounts are extant from 1739. The earliest volume contains a description of the manner of taking the tithes of wool and lambs about 1778. The payer laid up his fleeces in tens, and then took one fleece in each pile, after which the tithe-gatherer chose his fleece; there was a composition for the last pile if it had less than ten. So with the lambs; the tithe-gatherer had the second choice. The tithe maps are kept at the vicarage, as also are some inclosure awards.
There was formerly an endowment of 5s. a year for a lamp in the church. (fn. 24)
The advowson, held with the manor by the Lancasters, (fn. 25) appears on division about 1250 to have been assigned to the Brus family, and on the later division to the Thwengs (fn. 26); thus it descended to Lumley and others, (fn. 27) one portion being acquired by the Lawrences of Ashton, (fn. 28) who presented several times. There were, however, many disputes, (fn. 29) and the king presented on several occasions on account of the wardship of the heirs. The various disputants perhaps grew weary of asserting their claims, and there seems to have been no demur when the Crown in 1547 assumed the whole right and gave the rectory to the Dean and chapter of Worcester, (fn. 30) then recently founded, by way of exchange.
At the death of William de Lancaster in 1246 the value of the advowson was declared to be 80 marks, (fn. 31) and in 1291 it was taxed at 100 marks or £66 13s. 4d. This was reduced to £26 13s. 4d. after the Scottish raid of 1322. (fn. 32) The abbot of St. Mary's at York had a pension of 10s. a year from the church, but this does not appear in later records. The value of the ninth of sheaves, &c., in 1341 was returned as 40 marks. (fn. 33) In 1527 the value was again estimated at 100 marks, (fn. 34) and in 1535 at £74 10s. 1d. clear, the rectory-house and glebe accounting for £8 5s. 2d. of this sum. (fn. 35)
To the east of the church on the opposite side of the road is the vicarage, a modern house erected in 1825, to the north-east of which and partly incorporated in it are the ruins of the old rectory-house consisting chiefly of the outer walls of the great hall and its adjoining offices. The work is of 14thcentury date, the walling being of limestone rubble with quoins at the angles, and yet retains some of its architectural features. The great hall is 42 ft. 10 in. long from north to south, including the screens and 26ft in width, and formerly had an open timbered roof. The dais was at the south end with a door to the west, and the screens at the north end with the usual through passage arrangement, and three doors in the end wall opening to the buttery and pantry, and the middle one to a through passage leading to a back court which contained a well. (fn. 36) The gabled south wall yet stands its full height, and is supported in the middle by a single buttress, above which is a vesica-shaped quatrefoil opening, but the side walls are broken away along the top and are partly covered with ivy. The hall was lighted by two windows on the east side and one on the west high up in the walls, but all traces of them except for some of the quoins have disappeared. There are no remains of a fireplace, the hall having apparently been warmed from a central hearth. The south-west doorway at the end of the dais is a small plain square-headed opening, but the doorways at each end of the screens are pointed and the jambs and heads have a broad wave moulding. The holes for the screen remain in the walls, but there are no other traces of either screen or gallery. The original walls separating the passage from the buttery and pantry have disappeared, and the space occupied by these places is now divided up by modern walls in a different fashion the western part of it (formerly occupied by the buttery and passage) being now roofed in. The total length of the existing 14th-century building externally is 75 ft., beyond which to the north modern buildings have been erected. Over the buttery and pantry, to the north of the hall, was an upper room, 26 ft. by 21 ft., the stone fireplace of which remains in the north wall.
To the south-west of the hall at a distance of about 6 ft., and standing, correctly orientated, at a slightly different angle, is another building of the same date of two stories, now forming part of the vicarage-house. It measures internally 22 ft. by 12 ft., the greater length being from west to east, and has a large projecting chimney on its south side, 7 ft. 6 in. by 5 ft. 4 in. at the base externally. The lower room was entered by a door, now blocked up, at the west end of the north side, approached by two or three steps which were continued as an external staircase to the room above. The lower room is referred to in a lease of 1678 as the 'old kitchen,' and may very well have been the original kitchen of the house. It had two small slit windows on the south side and a single two-light window to the west. The west wall, against which the modern vicarage was built, was, however, pulled down in 1905. The upper room has a pointed window of two trefoiled lights at its east end high up in the wall with a small squareheaded slit window at a lower level at each side. There were also two small trefoil-headed windows on the north, one of which remains. On the south side are a single window of two lights and the remains of another, now cut away. This upper room is said to have been used as a chapel or oratory, and its strict orientation seems to point to such a use. The room has, however, a large fireplace on the south side, though this may be, along with the adjoining windows, an insertion of post-Reformation date, when the room may have been put to other uses. A small plain doorway led from its west side into some building long since destroyed on the site of the present vicarage. (fn. 37)
When the rectory was granted to Worcester a vicar was appointed to minister at Warton. A house with half an acre of glebe was allowed and about £18 a year out of the rectory. A stipend of £20 was in 1650 paid by the lessees of the dean and chapter, (fn. 38) the value of the tithes being then £277 a year. The Commonwealth authorities procured an augmentation of £50 a year out of the sequestrated Royalist estates, (fn. 39) and when this ceased at the Restoration the dean and chapter on renewing the lease required £80 a year to be given to the vicar, who allowed £5 a year to the curate of Silverdale. (fn. 40) Various augmentations have been procured, and the net value is now given as £309. (fn. 41) The Dean and chapter of Worcester retain the patronage.
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|before 1199||William (fn. 42)||—||—|
|oc. 1265||William de Suwell (fn. 43)||—||—|
|c. 1267–81||Thomas de Grimston (fn. 44)||—||—|
|oc. 1304–16||Galvan de Thweng (fn. 45)||—||—|
|oc. 1327||Mr. Robert de Thweng (fn. 46)||William de Thweng||—|
|4 May 1344||William de Hugate (fn. 47)||The King||—|
|8 Dec. 1344||William de Gaghenstede (fn. 48)||"||—|
|—||John de Kirkby (fn. 49)||—||—|
|27 Sept. 1367||Walter Power (fn. 50)||—||res. J. de Kirkby|
|oc. 1377||John Cauchon (fn. 51)||—||—|
|4 Aug. 1383||Hugh Sebot (fn. 52)||The King||—|
|17 July 1389||Richard de Clifford (fn. 53)||"||—|
|31 July 1389||Richard de Clifford the younger (fn. 54)||"||—|
|— 1389||John de Bilton (fn. 55)||—||—|
|21 Aug. 1389||William de Cawood (fn. 56)||—||exch. J. de Bilton|
|21 May 1420||Marmaduke Lumley, LL.B. (fn. 57)||Bishop of Durham and James Strangeways||d. W. de Cawood|
|30 July 1421||Robert Rolleston (fn. 58)||The King||res. M. Lumley|
|Jan. 1450–1||George Nevill, M.A. (fn. 59)||Sir Thomas Lumley||d. R. Rolleston|
|Oct. 1458||Robert Fleming (fn. 60)||James Lawrence||res. G. Nevill|
|? 1483||Roger Middleton (fn. 61)||—||—|
|6 Mar. 1489–90||Robert Lawrence (fn. 62)||Sir James Lawrence||—|
|1507–8||Richard Dudley (fn. 63)||The King||—|
|cc. 1527||Brian Higdon, D.C.L. (fn. 64)||—||—|
|c. 1540||John Stringer (fn. 65)||—||—|
|10 Apr. 1553||Thomas Lynsey (fn. 66)||Dean and Ch. of Worcester||d. J. Stringer|
|oc. 1562||Reginald Wadson (fn. 67)||—||—|
|28 Sept. 1583||Henry Livesey (fn. 68)||Dean and Ch. of Worcester||d. R. Wadson|
|25 Feb. 1588–9||William Owborne, M.A. (fn. 69)||"||"|
|26 Apr. 1613||Anthony Buggs (fn. 70)||—||[d. W. Owborne]|
|25 June 1632||James Smorthwaite, B.A. (fn. 71)||Dean and Ch. of Worcester||d. A. Buggs|
|— ? 1646||Richard Walker, M.A. (fn. 72)||—||—|
|Nov. 1655||Francis Jackson, M.A. (fn. 73)||Oliver Lord Protector||d. J. Smorthwaite|
|29 Mar 1661||Dean and Ch. of Worcester|
|8 July 1670||Thomas Atkinson||Dean, &c., of Worcester||d. F. Jackson|
|25 Nov. 1681||Thomas Lawson (fn. 74)||"||d. T. Atkinson|
|11 Nov. 1710||Josiah Sandby, M.A. (fn. 75)||"||d. — Lawson|
|3 Sept. 1711||John Davies, M.A||"||res. J. Sandby|
|7 May 1714||William Aylmer (fn. 76)||"||d. J. Davies|
|20 June 1734||Robert Oliver, M.A. (fn. 77)||"||d. W. Aylmer|
|15 Dec. 1775||Thomas Hest (fn. 78)||"||res. R. Oliver|
|27 Feb. 1789||Joseph Nicholson (fn. 79)||"||d. T. Hest|
|25 Sept. 1799||Thomas Washington||"||d. J. Nicholson|
|30 July 1823||James Barns||"||d. T. Washington|
|Apr. 1838||William Hutton, M.A. (fn. 80)||"||d. J. Barns|
|— 1844||Thomas Dean (fn. 81)||"||res. W. Hutton|
|2 May 1871||Thomas Holland Pain, M.A. (fn. 82)||"||d. T. Dean|
|6 July 1903||John Kestell Floyer, M.A. (fn. 83)||Dean, &c., of Worcester||d. T. H. Pain|
|5 Jan. 1909||Ernest William Arthur Ogilvy, B.A. (fn. 84)||"||res. J. K. Floyer|
Several of the rectors were men of high distinction, but it is unlikely that they ever ministered in this church. In the visitation list of 1548 four names are entered, those of the rector, his curate, the 'stipendiary,' and another. One of these probably served Silverdale. There were again four names in 1554, but only one of the 1548 clergy remained. In 1562 the vicar and another were recorded, (fn. 85) and it is probable that for some time afterwards there was only one resident clergyman in the parish, the chapel at Silverdale having no maintenance. (fn. 86) A private chapel was instituted at Borwick Hall, but was temporary. Those appearing at the visitation in 1691 were the vicar, the schoolmaster and usher of Warton and the schoolmaster of Silverdale; the schoolmasters were in orders, the Warton one being curate of Over Kellet. (fn. 87)
The churchwardens' replies to the questions at the visitations afford some light on the condition of the church. In 1705 there were a decent font, a table with carpet, linen, and flagons, chalice—all 'very decent.' The vicar wore a surplice, observed holy days and fasting days, instructed the youth in the church and visited the sick. In 1717 the holy sacrament was administered four times a year; in 1738 the Lord's Supper was six times a year. The Rogationtide perambulations had been discontinued by 1721.
The above-mentioned 'stipendiary' of 1548 was probably the chantry priest of earlier records. In 1503 Henry Thornburgh was admitted to the altar of B. Mary in Warton Church at the presentation of Thomas Middleton of Leighton. (fn. 88) About 1520 Richard Hudson was appointed to the chantry founded by the ancestors of John Whittington, (fn. 89) and he was still there in 1535. (fn. 90) William Ireland, aged thirty-five, was the 'stipendiary' at the altar of Our Lady in 1548; the clear value was 47s. 6d. a year. He had no other living. (fn. 91) The endowment was confiscated with the chantries, (fn. 92) and sold by the Crown in 1606 to William Blake and others. (fn. 93)
A grammar school was founded by Archbishop Hutton in 1595. (fn. 94) The old building was sold in 1902 and converted into cottages. The inscribed stone over the door has been placed in the newbuilding. Lucas describes the customs as they existed about the beginning of the 18th century. The first boy in the school used to give the master after Christmas a paper containing six or eight names, of whom the master chose two to be captains of the school for the year. The captains divided the boys by lot and a great football match was played, parents and neighbours attending. The boys gave the master their cock-pennies on Shrove Tuesday, and he gave them a cock to throw at. There were 'noted cockings' at Warton that day; each of the school captains provided a cock of the game, and the 'captains' battle' was generally the first that was fought. At a wedding the boys made fast the church doors, and would not allow the parties to leave without a gift from the bridegroom or a shoe from the bride. 'Nicholas pennies' were given to the master before the breaking-up at Christmas, usually about St. Nicholas' Day.
Official reports were made concerning the parochial charities in 1826 and 1899; the following details are derived from them. Apart from endowments for religious and educational purposes, the principal benefaction is one by Thomas Mansergh, who in 1700 gave houses, lands, &c., in Burton, Warton and Borwick to provide fees for the apprenticing of poor boys of the parish. The gross income was in 1899 £179 17s., the working expenses amounted to £60 or £70 a year, and the remainder was applied in apprenticing six to eight boys yearly. Since the report the administration has been amended, so that the working expenses have been greatly reduced; the lands have been sold and the proceeds invested in £5,278 consols. (fn. 95)
Archbishop Hutton, in conjunction with the school, founded an almshouse also, to be called the Hospital of Jesus, for six poor almsmen, each to have £3 6s. 8d. a year. His building contained a room for a chapel, in which prayers were to be read on Wednesdays and Fridays, 40s. a year being paid to a reader. (fn. 96) The present building is erected on the site of the old one. There are now three almsmen, each receiving £6 13s. 4d. a year, and £5 is used for repairs. There is little competition for vacancies. Also available for the whole parish are sums of £3 12s. 4d. and £1 7s. 6d., provided respectively by John Lawrence (1726) and others (fn. 97) and by Robert Lucas (1754) and others, (fn. 98) but now administered as one, several poor women having small annuities. From the Lucas foundation 15s. 8d. a year is given in money to a poor householder of Warton. A sum of money was left by William Sleddall in 1801 to provide Prayer books, &c., for various parishes in which Warton shares; a distribution is made every eight years or thereabouts.
Mrs. Mary Walling, widow of John Walling, M.D., in 1876 bequeathed as a memorial of her husband £2,000 to the ecclesiastical districts of Warton and Carnforth and £1,500 to Silverdale, one moiety of the interest to be devoted to church purposes and the other moiety to the poor. In Warton and Carnforth the poor's share is given in money doles, in Silverdale partly in money and partly in food or clothing. (fn. 99)
For the poor of Borwick Dr. Sherlock, once chaplain at the hall, gave £30, which was lost by the failure of a borrower after 1826. Thomas Killner left a rent-charge of 8s. 4d. on Chapel Field, and a piece of land, called Ball Close, supposed to have been taken from the common, yields £3 rent; these sums are divided among five poor persons each year. Dr. Sherlock also gave £9 for the poor of Priest Hutton, but this was lost by the failure of Worswick's Bank in 1822. A house with garden given by him to the poor seems to have existed in 1826, but nothing is known of it now.
Land called Hollowgate at Carnforth was given to the poor of the township by some unknown benefactor, probably Henry Hadwin, in 1737. The land was sold in 1868 for a sum yielding £4 18s. a year; this is distributed at Christmas in money doles.
For Silverdale Joseph Burrow in 1728 left rentcharges of £2 and £1 on lands there, the former for the 'reader' of the chapel and the latter for the poor. Both charges are still in force. Dr. Sherlock gave £25 and John Jackson £20 (augmented by £40 from the township), and two sets of cottages were purchased, which were in 1826 granted to paupers rent free or to others at charges producing 30s. The Sherlock cottages were burnt and the site sold for £40; this was lost, but restored by another benefactor, Richard Walling; the others were exchanged for cottages at Burton Well, let for nearly £6 a year. Richard Walling in 1869 bequeathed a further sum in augmentation, and the total income of the above charities is now £16 15s. 4d. a year; it is distributed in money doles at Christmas. Henry Boddington in 1884 bequeathed £100 for the benefit of the poor, and the dividends, £2 13s. 4d., are given in doles of 7s. or 8s. at Christmas.
Dr. Sherlock also gave £25 each to Yealand Conyers and Yealand Redmayne, and these sums were laid out in lands (including Sinderbarrow Meadow). A small part, sold in 1847 to the railway company, is represented by £234 consols. Rents and interest amount to £23 11s. 2d., and this is given at Christmas in doles and payments in the nature of pensions to seven or eight of the aged poor of the township. For Yealand Conyers alone Nathan Hadwen in 1803 bequeathed £120 for the poor. Mrs. Dorothy Scott in 1857 left £ 100 to augment the charity, which has now a total income of £518s. There are no poor in the township, and in many years nothing is expended.