The parish of Thornton (part): Ireby

Pages 252-253

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.

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Irebi, Dom. Bk. and commonly; Yrby, Hyrby, 1292.

This narrow edging of the Yorkshire parish of Thornton has been included in Lancashire, probably+ through some ancient connexion with Tatham, of which it was frequently regarded as a detached township. It lies on the fell side, the descent being from 2,000 ft. above sea level to about 250 ft. The village lies at the foot of the steep, at the edge of the hilly country which occupies the western part of the area. Stainderber and Anems lie near the boundary, south from Ireby. The whole has an acreage of 1,141½, (fn. 1) and there was in 1901 a population of 70.

The principal road is that from Settle to Kirkby Lonsdale, from which minor roads branch off, north-west to Leck and south to Burton-in-Lonsdale. The Ingleton branch of the London and NorthWestern railway also crosses the township near the road.

The ninth of sheaves, wool, &c., was in 1341 valued at 20s. a year. (fn. 2) For the county lay Ireby was included with Tatham.

The soil and subsoil are limestone. Of the agricultural land 146 acres are arable and 732 permanent pasture.


Earl Tostig held IREBY as three plough-lands in 1066, it being a member of Whittington. (fn. 3) Later it was held in thegnage in conjunction with Tatham, (fn. 4) until in 1317 it was sold to John de Hornby by John de Tatham. (fn. 5) The new lord obtained a charter of free warren in 1320. (fn. 6) In 1338 the manor was settled on Edmund son of John de Hornby and Margaret his wife. There is little to relate of its history. It falls out of sight till the 16th century, when the lordship was held by Redmayne (fn. 7) and Claughton. (fn. 8) It was purchased by Christopher Stockdale in 1598, (fn. 9) and descended in part to another Christopher in 1617. (fn. 10) Since that time no manor appears to have been claimed.

The Knights Hospitallers had lands in Ireby, (fn. 11) as had also the chantry in Tunstall Church. (fn. 12)

'The family of Cook, (fn. 13) the possessor in former times of Ireby Hall, sometimes called Fothergill Hall, (fn. 14) sometimes Nether Hall, is extinct; the property is now vested in the Martons of Capernwray.' (fn. 15)


The township shares in the charities for the poor founded by the Rev. Thomas Barrow Pooley of Thornton in 1847 (fn. 16) and by Edward Yeats of Tunstall in 1892. (fn. 17)


  • 1. The Census Rep. 1901 gives 1,145.
  • 2. Inq. Nonarum (Rec. Com.), 36.
  • 3. V.C.H. Lancs, i, 289a.
  • 4. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 97; see also the account of Tatham. From this manorial connexion no doubt came the belief that Ireby belonged also to the parish of Tatham.
  • 5. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 28. In 1320 Walter son of John de Ireby released all his lands to John de Hornby; De Banco R. 240, m. 1.
  • 6. Chart. R. 13 Edw. II, m. 1, no. 3. John de Hornby lived till 1336; Cal. Pat. 1334–8, p. 237.
  • 7. For the pedigree see Greenwood, Redmans of Levens, 186, &c. He gives: Edmund -s. Thomas -s. Edmund, d. 1511 -s. Thomas, d. 1536 -s. William, d. 1598 -s. George, d. 1593 -bro. William, who sold Ireby. Edmund Redmayne of Ireby occurs in 1444; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 4, m. 7b. He was in 1445 acquitted of the charge of mortally wounding Richard Tunstall; ibid. 7, m. 18. A later Edmund Redmayne died in 1511 holding messuages, &c., in Ireby of Sir Edward Stanley as of his manor of Tatham in thegnage by the rent of a pound of cummin yearly. He also held burgages in Hornby, and in right of his wife lands in Wrayton, Claughton and Tuustall. His heir was his son Thomas, aged eighteen; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, no. 42. Thomas Redmayne died in 1536 holding a capital messuage, &c., in Ireby of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem by a rent of 2s. yearly, and other messuages there of the king as of his duchy by knight's service. His son and heir William was thirteen years of age; ibid, vii, no. 2. Grace the wife of Thomas is mentioned. The wardship of the heir was granted to Archdeacon Layton; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (1), g. 1056 (31). Livery of his lands was granted to William Redmayne in 1545; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 558. In 1562 the estate called the 'manor of Ireby,' &c., was settled on William Redmayne and Isabel his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 24, m. 135. A further feoffment was made in 1583; ibid. 45, m. 65. In 1591 William Redmayne, who had held the manor for thirty years, complained that his son George had taken possession of the estate and closed the highway leading to the manor-house where he lived. The son replied that his father had in 1583 assigned part of the manor-house to him and denied any closing of the road; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. civ, R 2, R4.
  • 8. William Claughton and Alice his wife held certain messuages in Claughton and Ireby of the king as duke by a rent of 10d. Their son Peter, who died in 1540, held certain messuages of the king as of the late priory of St. John of Jerusalem by the twentieth part of a knight's fee; also a moiety of the manor of Ireby and lands, &c., of the king as of the said priory by knight's service. He married Anne daughter of John Catterall and had a son and heir John, aged six; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii, no. 14. For the marriage covenant, dated 1531, see Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A 12930. John Claughton's wardship and marriage with an annuity of 7 marks from his moiety of the manor were in 1542 granted by the king to John Baines; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 552. John Claughton had livery of his lands in 1557; ibid. He died in 1561 holding the moiety of the manor, &c., as before and leaving two daughters as co-heirs, viz. Alice, aged two, and Frances, aged three months; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 45. A suit by the widow Ellen is in Chan. Proc, (Ser. 2), bdle. 46, no. 3. See also Dep. Keeper's Rep. loc. cit. Alice married Marmaduke Redmayne and Frances married Ambrose Pudsey, and in 1585 they sought a partition of the manor; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 256, m. 17. A year later Marmaduke and Alice sold or mortgaged their manor, with water mill, &c., to Robert Jopson; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 48, m. 44. Ambrose and Frances made a settlement of their fourth part of the manor in 1588; ibid. 50, m. 163.
  • 9. Christopher Stockdale v. Marmaduke Redmayne, William Redmayne, Ambrose Pudsey, Frances his wife, and Edmund Garnett; ibid. 60, m. 427.
  • 10. Leonard Stockdale died in 1617 holding closes in Ireby of the king as of the late Hospital of St. John by knight's service. Christopher, his son and heir, was eleven years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 93. This was only part of the estate and no 'manor' is mentioned. According to Greenwood (op. cit. 193) the manor was in 1647 held by a son of James Redmayne of Thornton, and later by Oliver Tatham and his heirs.
  • 11. Lands in Ireby and Tatham were owned by the Hospitallers in 1292; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 375. From the inquisitions already cited it appears that their estate was the later 'manor' of Ireby, but the Hornby manor of 1317 may have been merged in it.
  • 12. The endowment came from a gift by John de Hornby the elder about 1334–6; Cal. Pat. 1330–4, p. 554; 1334–8, p. 237. William and Marmaduke Redmayne held the lands in 1591; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. clii, A 20. The chantry rent of £4 from lands of William Keydmore was in 1670 paid by William Yate and others; Pat. 22 Chas. II, pt. ii, R 1.
  • 13. Thomas Cook died in 1620 holding an estate in Ireby of the king as duke by knight's service. His heir was a brother William; but in 1612 he had settled his estate on his nephew William Fothergill; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 193. A jagger family also occurs in 1606; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 297, m. 7 d.
  • 14. William Fothergill of Ireby paid £10 in 1631 as composition for refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 220.
  • 15. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 628. From the partition of Ireby Outfields (Lower and Upper Wiregill, Hallsteads, &c.) in 1741 it appears that the landowners were (1) Oliver Marton and Jane his wife, (2) Leonard Tatham and Elizabeth his wife, (3) William Redmayne and Isabel his wife, and (4) Robert and Giles Farthwaite; Lanc. Corp. D.
  • 16. End. Char. Rep. for Ireby, 1899. The townships of Thornton and Ireby share in the benefaction, which has an income of £1 10s. 8d. a year distributed in money doles.
  • 17. The income, £1 8s. a year, is applicable to poor persons in Leck and Ireby.