A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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WARTON WITH LINDETH
Wartun, Dom. Bk.; Warton, 1246.
This township on the north-east side of Morecambe Bay is composed of two hilly tracts—Warton to the east and Lindeth to the west—now joined by reclaimed moss land, half a mile broad, but formerly perhaps quite separated. (fn. 1) Warton, the main portion of the township, has an area of 2,248½ acres. It is dominated by Warton Crag, which rises from the shore land on the west by a steep precipice, and on the east more gradually from a broad tract of level ground along the north bank of the Keer. Its highest point, near which there is an ancient beacon, is 534 ft. above sea level. The village of Warton with the parish church lies on the south-east slope of the hill, near the foot, the houses lining both sides of the road for about half a mile. To the northeast is Hyning, east of which is Tewitfield; due east of the church, on the border of Borwick, is a hillock supposed to be the site of the ancient manor of Mourholme. Lindeth, in which is Fleagarth, (fn. 2) has an area of 576 acres. The hill there rises to 245 ft. above sea level. Thus the total area of the township is 2,824½ acres, (fn. 3) and the population in 1901 was 1,492.
The principal road is that north from Lancaster to Kendal, which divides, one branch going by Burton and another by Milnthorpe. Another road goes from Carnforth north-west and north through Warton village to Yealand; from it goes the road round the west side of the Crag, crossing the moss land to reach Lindeth and Silverdale. The London and North-Western Company's railway goes north through the low land on the east side of the village, while the Furness Company's line winds round the hill on the west.
According to Lucas the maypole stood in the street near the church gate, and the stocks were near. The beacon of the Crag is marked very clearly on the map of 1590. Fields named Oxgang are on the low ground west of the Crag.
The soil is gravelly, overlying gravel and limestone rock.
The township is governed by a parish council.
Before the Conquest WARTON was one of the twelve manors held by Torfin as part of his lordship of Austwick, (fn. 4) and at some later date was granted to the Lancaster family, lords of Kendal. (fn. 5) In April 1200 King John allowed to Gilbert Fitz Reinfred free court, gallows, &c., in the knight's fee he held in Lancashire, adding a market at Warton every Wednesday. (fn. 6) The Lancasters had castles at 'Merhull' and Kendal, and the former is supposed to have been at the place in Warton later known as Mourholme (fn. 7); after Gilbert's rebellion and capture he surrendered it to the king in 1216, (fn. 8) and probably the castle was then destroyed. After the death of William de Lancaster III in 1246 Warton was on partition assigned to Walter de Lindsay, (fn. 9) and thenceforward descended in the same way as the Lindsay moiety of Nether Wyresdale. (fn. 10)
The manor was often called MOURHOLME. (fn. 11) In 1285 Ingram de Gynes and Christiana his wife claimed from Walter de Percy and Christiana his wife the performance of a covenant respecting the third part of the manors of Warton and Whittington. (fn. 12) Ingram at his death in or before 1324 held the manor of Mourholme in right of Christiana his wife, daughter and heir of William de Lindsay, by the fourth part of a knight's fee and the service of 20d. for ward of Lancaster Castle, suit at the six weeks county court and three weeks wapentake court. A free court was held in the manor itself every three weeks, the perquisites being worth 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 13) In 1330 his widow Christiana obtained a grant of free warren in her demesnes of Mourholme. (fn. 14) Two years later she entertained her kinsman Edward Balliol, the fugitive king of Scotland, at Mourholme, promising him the great lands and rents of her Scottish inheritance. (fn. 15) In 1340 an extended grant was made to her grandson and heir, William de Coucy, of free warren in all his demesne lands of Mourholme, Warton, Carnforth, &c., with leave to inclose his wood of Mourholme and make a park of it. (fn. 16)
After the temporary Coucy forfeiture (fn. 17) Warton with its dependencies was granted to Mary de St. Paul Countess of Pembroke, who held it in 1346, (fn. 18) and to John de Copeland. (fn. 19) In the 15th century it was like Wyresdale held by John Duke of Bedford (fn. 20) and Margaret Countess of Richmond. (fn. 21) A rental compiled about 1400 gives a list of the free tenants, and of the holders of the 17½ oxgangs of land there and the tofts and foreland. (fn. 22)
The manor was usually granted out by the Crown on lease (fn. 23) until in 1818 it was sold to Thomas Inman of Silverdale, who shortly afterwards, as arranged, transferred it to John Bolden of Hyning. (fn. 24) The new lord died in 1855, and his eldest son and successor William Bolden Bolden at his death in 1895 was followed by his second son Mr. John Leonard Bolden, surveyorgeneral of the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 25) A volume of records of the courts begins in 1668. The last court was held in 1900. Tenants of the manor pay a fine to the lord on succession. (fn. 26) Those who joined with Mr. Bolden in the purchase from the duchy enfranchised their tenants.
There was a rectory manor at Warton, noticed below in the account of Priest Hutton.
A minor manor of uncertain origin called WARTON WITH LINDETH was in the 18th century held by the family of Brockholes of Claughton. It was in 1825 sold by Thomas Fitzherbert-Brockholes to the above-named John Bolden, and has since descended like the superior manor. Courts are held occasionally; the last was in 1900. (fn. 27)
Although LINDETH, perhaps from its detached position, is recognized in the name of the township, and although it provided a surname for a resident family, (fn. 28) it does not at any time appear to have been regarded as a separate manor. (fn. 29) Gilbert Nicholson of Bare held four messuages, &c., in Lindeth of the king by knight's service in 1605. (fn. 30)
The customs of the manor of Warton as defined in 1572 were confirmed in 1593 in regard to the customary tenants. A fine of two years' rent was due as fine or gressum at a change of tenancy. At death half the tenement was allowed to the widow during her chaste widowhood and after to the heir, the other half being given to the heir. A tenant paying over 20s. rent was required to maintain a horse and man with armour; one paying a smaller rent had to serve in person. (fn. 31) Questions of title were to be decided within the lordship. Tenants must buy timber to repair their holdings, but might take ashwood from the quickset hedge to maintain their husbandry gear. No abatement of rent could be claimed for any loss of pasture on Warton Marsh due to the sea's overflowing or encroaching upon it. Other customs are recorded in the court book above referred to.
TEWITFIELD or TEWITMIRE appears to have been the part of the manor allowed to the heirs of Brus. (fn. 32) It was acquired by a branch of the Crofts of Dalton, who held it in the 13th century. (fn. 33) Afterwards it came into the possession of a family named Washington, whose story is of special interest, as it is supposed that the great George Washington's ancestors sprang from this Warton stock. Washingtons appear in the 14th century in various places in Westmorland (fn. 34) and North Lancashire; in some estates they were succeeded by the Lawrences, who also had land in Warton. (fn. 35) One John de Washington of Warton was plaintiff in 1352. (fn. 36) The same or another John married an heiress named Joan, probably the heiress of Croft of Tewitfield, and had lands in Heysham, Carnforth, Warton, Priest Hutton, Silverdale, Kellet and Dalton. (fn. 37) Again, a John Washington in 1412 made a grant of a tenement in Dalton to Sir John Croft. (fn. 38) Robert son of John Washington of Warton made in 1437 a feoffment of his lands in Warton, Silverdale, Hutton, Dalton, Over Kellet, Heysham and Preston in Kendal. (fn. 39) He was defendant in 1443. (fn. 40) It was perhaps this Robert who died in 1483 holding Tewitfield of the king by knight's service and 5d. for castle ward; also fifteen burgages in Warton of the lords of the vill by a rent of 7s. and lands in Silverdale, &c. John Washington his son and heir was then thirty years of age (fn. 41); he died in 1499 holding Tewitfield, and leaving a son and heir Robert, aged twenty-four. (fn. 42) Robert died in 1517 holding his father's estates of the king as of his duchy by the fourth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 43) Thomas Washington was his son and heir, aged twenty-five, but Anne Washington appears to have held Tewitfield and other estates in her own right in 1527, and her son Richard, aged twenty-one, succeeded. (fn. 44) He still held the estate in 1539, (fn. 45) but very soon afterwards Tewitfield passed to the Middletons of Leighton. (fn. 46) The farm so called now belongs to Heysham's charity, Lancaster. (fn. 47) A minor Washington family continued at Warton for some time longer. (fn. 48) Leonard Washington compounded for his recusancy in 1632 by an annual fine of 30s. (fn. 49) and Lawrence Washington complained of waste by Alice Washington in 1639. (fn. 50)
Hubberthorns (fn. 51) was another ancient estate once held by the Tunstalls of Thurland. (fn. 52) Hyning, partly within Yealand, was the property of Sir John Hynde, a justice of the Common Bench, 545–50 (fn. 53); he purchased Hubberthorns. (fn. 54) Both estates were held by Thomas Middleton of Leighton in 1630. (fn. 55) The pleadings (fn. 56) and inquisitions (fn. 57) afford a few additional particulars of ancient holdings. The Kitson family was of some importance (fn. 58); Thomas son of Robert Kitson of Warton, born about 148 5, became Sheriff of London in 1533 and was made a knight. (fn. 59) Gervase Kitson died in 1596 holding eleven messuages, &c., of the queen by a rent of 10s. yearly; his son Thomas, aged fourteen, was the heir. (fn. 60) He died in 1639, (fn. 61) and his son Thomas taking the king's side in the Civil War his estates were sequestered by the Parliament for his 'delinquency'; in 1649 he compounded by a fine of £390. (fn. 62) He died soon afterwards and his estates went to his sister, wife of Robert Middleton of Warton. (fn. 63) Warton is found in use as a surname. (fn. 64)
By the Act of 1811 for inclosing and embanking land in Warton (fn. 65) it was provided that money arising from sale of the land should be invested for the relief of the rates. A small part was taken in 1868 by the Furness Railway Company, and the remainder was sold in 1872 for £6,100. This was invested in consols, and £186 10s. 4d. a year from it is applied in relief of the poor rate. (fn. 66)
The date of the formation of a borough is unknown, but Walter son of William de Lindsay confirmed the liberties of his burgesses there by a charter of which a copy has been preserved. (fn. 67) Its date lies between 1246 and 1271. Various easements were allowed in the woods and pastures; the forfeitures were limited to 4d. in one case, and in others to the custom of the neighbouring boroughs, of which Kendal and Ulverston are named in the charter; the lord's rights of taxation (fn. 68) and credit (fn. 69) were also limited and no burgess was to be compelled to take charge of his mill or bakehouse. No burgess was to be imprisoned if he found sureties. If a burgess should be impleaded in the chief court of the manor and fee of Warton the burgesses might have a borough court for the matter if they asked for it in good time. The lord required one special privilege—that ale should be sold to him at 1d. less per gallon (sextarius) than to others. The normal burgage had a rood and four falls of land, and 12d. rent was to be paid for it.
The borough does not seem to have made any progress; indeed, the only token of its existence in later times is the occasional mention of burgages there. (fn. 70) In 1346 it was recorded that the vill of Warton had been accustomed to pay the lord 20s. a year for the assize of bread and ale. (fn. 71) The rental compiled about 1400 shows that there were forty-two burgages and a third; Richard, John and Christiana Washington occur among the tenants. Burgage tenure is not now known in the township.
The parish church has been described above. The other places of worship in the township are chapels belonging to the Wesleyan Methodists and the Primitive Methodists.