Mitton - Molton, South

Pages 329-332

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.

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Mitton (St. Michael)

MITTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Clitheroe, comprising the townships of Bashall-Eaves, West Bradford, Grindleton, Mitton or Great Mitton, and Waddington, in the W. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, W. riding of York; and the township of Aighton with Bailey and Chaigley, in the Lower division of the hundred of Blackburn, county of Lancaster; the whole containing 4201 inhabitants, of whom 212 are in Great Mitton, 3 miles (W. S. W.) from Clitheroe. This place was the scene of a dreadful slaughter committed by the Scots on their irruption into England in 1319. It was for many generations chiefly the property of the Sherburnes, of whom Sir John de Sherburne attended Edward III. at the siege of Calais. Stonyhurst, the seat of the family, now occupied as a Roman Catholic college, was probably commenced by Sir Richard Sherburne, who died in 1594, and completed by his son in 1596; it is situated at Aighton, and is described in the article on that place. The parish, which comprises by computation 18,540 acres, is bounded on the south by the river Calder, and divided by the river Hodder. In the township of Mitton are 1450 acres, occupying, with the village, a narrow tongue of Yorkshire, at the confluence of the Hodder and Ribble. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 7. 8.; net income, £153, with a glebe-house; patron, J. Aspinall, Esq., who is lord of the manor. The church, erected in the reign of Edward III., is in the decorated English style, with a lofty square embattled tower; on the north side of the chancel is the sepulchral chapel of the Sherburne family. There are churches at Grindleton, Hurst Green, and Waddington, the livings of which are perpetual curacies, that of Grindleton being in the patronage of the Vicar. The Wesleyans have places of worship at Waddington and Bashall-Eaves; and there are numerous schools in the parish, of which those of Aighton, Grindleton, Hurst Green, and Mitton have small endowments. At Longridge, in Aighton, is an almshouse founded by Sir Nicholas Sherburne in 1706, and of which the possessors of the Stonyhurst estate have the patronage and control.


MITTON, a liberty, in the township, parish, and union of Penkridge, E. division of the hundred of Cuttlestone, S. division of the county of Stafford, 2¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Penkridge. It comprises about 600 acres of land.

Mitton, Worcester.—See Hardwick

MITTON, Worcester.—See Hardwick.

Mitton, Little

MITTON, LITTLE, a township, in the parish of Whalley, union and parliamentary borough of Clitheroe, Higher division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of Lancashire, 3½ miles (S. W.) from Clitheroe; containing, with Coalcoats and Hewthorn, 74 inhabitants. It gave name as early as the time of Richard I. to a knightly family, of whom Sir Ralphe de Little Mitton is mentioned in the Townley MSS. The manor was for many generations in the family of Catteral; in 1664 it was sold to Alexander Holt, and subsequently it passed by marriage to the Beaumonts. The township is of small extent, and is on, perhaps, the lowest ground in the parish, near the confluence of the Ribble, the Hodder, and the Calder. It is principally remarkable for its ancient manorial Hall, of the age of Henry VII., the property of the Beaumont family, and now a farmhouse.

Mitton, Lower

MITTON, LOWER, a district chapelry, in the parish and union of Kidderminster, Lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, Kidderminster and W. divisions of the county of Worcester; containing, with the town of Stourport (which see), 3012 inhabitants. This place, in Leland's time, was distinguished for the number of its corn-mills, for the establishment of which the river Stour, branching in various directions, afforded great convenience. The chapelry contains 936a. 2r. 34p. The living is a perpetual curacy, until recently annexed to the vicarage of Kidderminster: it is now a separate incumbency, in the patronage of the Vicar; net income, with a house, £150. The chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small edifice of brick with a tower; it was erected in 1790, and enlarged in 1835.

Mitton, Upper

MITTON, UPPER, a hamlet, in the parish of Hartlebury, union of Droitwich, Lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, Kidderminster and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, ¾ of a mile (N. E.) from Stourport; containing 269 inhabitants, and comprising 341 acres of a productive soil.

Mixbury (All Saints)

MIXBURY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Brackley, hundred of Ploughley, county of Oxford, 8 miles (N. by E.) from Bicester; containing 391 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 2800 acres: the soil is light and thin; the surface is level, but very elevated, and the scenery is enlivened by the river Ouse. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 9. 4½.; net income, £180; patron, the Bishop of Rochester. The church has a Norman doorway with zigzag mouldings, leading into the south aisle; the nave and chancel are separated by a large Norman arch, and at the east end of the north aisle is the burial-place of the Bathurst family. Here are some remains of an ancient fortification, originally surrounded by a moat, and by the Normans called Beaumont.


MOAT, a township, in the parish of Kirk-Andrewsupon-Esk, union of Longtown, Eskdale ward, E. division of the county of Cumberland, 4½ miles (N. N. E.) from Longtown; containing 205 inhabitants. On the bank of the Liddel are the ruins of a strong square tower, called Liddel Strength, surrounded by a double moat. It more than once fell into the power of the Scots, and on one occasion was taken by David, King of Scotland, who caused the two sons of the governor, Sir Walter Selby, to be strangled.

Mobberley (St. Wilfrid)

MOBBERLEY (St. Wilfrid), a parish, in the union of Altrincham, hundred of Bucklow, N. division of the county of Chester, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Knutsford; containing 1272 inhabitants. The parish comprises 4942 acres; 1373 acres are arable, 3233 pasture, and 336 woodland: the surface is level, and the soil principally clay, the remainder being loam, with some bog. The manufacture of cotton is carried on in a factory established 25 years ago, and now employing about 60 hands. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £23. 3. 4., and in the patronage of Mrs. Mallory; net income, £524. The church, which is very ancient, has a rich screen, two sedilia, and a beautiful piscina; it was thoroughly repaired, and the tower rebuilt of stone, in 1533, at the expense of Sir John Talbot. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. The free school, founded in 1659, by the Rev. William Griffin, was endowed by him with the interest of £210. A priory of Black canons was established here in 1206, by Patrick de Mobberley, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Wilfrid; but it existed only a short time.

Moccas (St. Michael)

MOCCAS (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Weobley, hundred of Webtree, county of Hereford, 14 miles (W. N. W.) from Hereford; containing 188 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Wye, and is intersected by the road from Hereford to Hay; it comprises 1130 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 4. 4., and in the gift of Sir V. Cornewall, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £192. 6., and the glebe comprises 84 acres.


MOCKERKIN, a hamlet, in the parochial chapelry of Loweswater, union of Cockermouth, Allerdale ward above Derwent, W. division of Cumberland, 5 miles (S. S. W.) from the town of Cockermouth; containing, with Sosgill, with which it forms a constablewick, 296 inhabitants.

Modbury (St. George)

MODBURY (St. George), a market-town and parish, in the union of Kingsbridge, hundred of Ermington, Ermington and Plympton, and S. divisions of Devon, 36 miles (S. W. by S.) from Exeter, and 208 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 2048 inhabitants. This place, called in Latin records Motberia, was in the possession of Wado in the time of the Confessor, and subsequently became the property of the Champernownes, of whom Richard Champernowne, in 1334, obtained permission to fortify his manorial residence here. During the contest between Charles and the parliament, the fortress was taken by the garrison of Plymouth, and in February, 1643, Sir N. Stanning, when intrenched here with 2000 soldiers, was defeated by the Devonshire clubmen. The town is situated at the junction of roads from Plymouth, Kingsbridge, and Dartmouth, and occupies the bottom and declivities of a valley; it consists of four streets, which meet at right angles, the point of union being in the lowest part of the town: the inhabitants are supplied with water from three conduits.

The manufacture of woollen goods, which was formerly of great extent, has decayed: there is still some weaving of long ells; also a considerable trade in corn and malt. A creek, navigable for barges, extends from the estuary of the river Erme, which bounds the parish on the west, to within two miles of the town, and facilitates the importation of coal, and the export of the produce of the soil. The principal general market is on Thursday, and there is another on Saturday for butchers' meat; also a great cattle-market on the second Tuesday in every month. A fair takes place on the 4th of May, unless that day fall later in the week than Thursday, in which case it is postponed till the following Tuesday. The town is governed by a portreeve and subordinate officers, who are appointed at one of the courts leet, which are held at Michaelmas and Lady-day. The borough sent two members to parliament in the 34th of Edward I., but was afterwards relieved from making returns, on the plea of its inability to pay their expenses.

The parish comprises 5977 acres, of which 229 are common or waste; the surface is varied, and the scenery in many parts is highly picturesque. The substratum abounds with limestone, which is quarried both for building and for burning into lime; there are also some quarries of slate-stone. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £19. 11. 0½.; net income, £302; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of Eton College. The church, which stands upon an eminence south-westward of the town, is an ancient embattled structure, with modern additions; the tower, rebuilt in 1622, is surmounted by a spire. Here are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, and Wesleyans. Some years since, there were slight remains of Modbury House, and also of a Benedictine priory, founded in the reign of Stephen, and dedicated to St. Gregory, as a cell to the abbey of St. Peter sur Dive, in Normandy; its possessions, valued at £70 per annum, were given by Henry VI. to Eton College. Sir John Fortescue, a celebrated lawyer, and lord chief justice in the reign of Henry VI.; and Sir George Baker, M.D., president of the Royal College of Physicians, born in 1722; were natives of the place.


MOGGERHANGER, a hamlet, in the parish of Blunham, union of Biggleswade, hundred of Wixamtree, county of Bedford, 4½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Biggleswade; containing 425 inhabitants.

Molash, or Moldash (St. Peter)

MOLASH, or Moldash (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of East Ashford, hundred of Felborough, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 9 miles (W. S. W.) from Canterbury; containing 391 inhabitants. It comprises 1449 acres, of which 120 are in wood. The living is annexed to the vicarage of Chilham: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £98, and those of the incumbent for £138; there is a glebe of 5 acres.


MOLESDEN, a township, in the parish of Mitford, union of Morpeth, W. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland, 3½ miles (W. by S.) from Morpeth; containing 40 inhabitants. This township, which takes its name from its situation on the Moles burn, has been for nearly five centuries the property of the Mitford family. It comprises 683 acres; 72 are woodland, and the remainder is arable, the soil being well adapted for the growth of wheat and oats. The land to the south of the village, formerly an open moor, has for several years been under good cultivation. The village is pleasantly seated on the road from Meldon to Mitford, and on the bank of the Mole, which falls into the river Wansbeck at a short distance below it.

Molesey, East

MOLESEY, EAST, a parish, in the union of Kingston, First division of the hundred of Elmbridge, W. division of Surrey, 3½ miles (W. by S.) from Kingston; containing 690 inhabitants. This place belonged to the priory of Merton, which leased it in the reign of Henry VIII. to Sir Thomas Heneage, who resided here in a sumptuous mansion, erected by himself, and who, after the Dissolution, held the lands under the crown. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Thames, and intersected by the river Mole, and comprises 692a. 1r. 10p., of which 354 acres are arable, and 337 meadow; the surface is generally level. The village is connected with Hampton Court, by a bridge of wood over the Thames. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £157; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of King's College, Cambridge. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1815. The church contains numerous monuments, of which one is to the memory of Admiral Sir Edmund Nagle, nephew of Edmund Burke.

Molesey, West

MOLESEY, WEST, a parish, in the union of Kingston, First division of the hundred of Elmbridge, W. division of Surrey, 4 miles (W.) from Kingston; containing 469 inhabitants. It belonged to Bishop Fox, founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, who settled it on that institution, the heads of which eventually exchanged it for other lands, Henry VIII. being desirous of annexing the manor to the chase of Hampton Court. The parish is bounded on the north by the Thames, across which is a ferry to Hampton, and on the southeast by the river Mole. Hampton races are held on Molesey Hurst or Common, in June. This was anciently a chapelry to Walton-on-Thames. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £104; patron, the Right Hon. J. W. Croker. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1815. The glebe land consists of 25 acres. The church presents no indications of an early age, though a church is mentioned in Domesday book; it is a low and irregularly-built edifice, with an embattled tower of stone and flints.

Molesworth (St. Peter)

MOLESWORTH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Thrapston, hundred ot Leightonstone, county of Huntingdon, 11 miles (W. N. W.) from Huntingdon; containing 221 inhabitants, and comprising by computation 1300 acres. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 10.; net income, £228; patron, the Archbishop of York. The tithes were exchanged for land under an act of inclosure in 1800, with the exception of a small portion since commuted for a rent-charge of £33. 14.; the glebe altogether comprises 296 acres, with a house. The church is a neat ancient structure. Edward Pickering, Esq., in 1697 bequeathed £200, now vested in land let for £27, which sum is distributed among the poor.

Molland (St. Mary)

MOLLAND (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of South Molton, South Molton and N. divisions of Devon, 7 miles (E. N. E.) from South Molton; containing 550 inhabitants. It comprises 5972 acres, of which 2253 are common or waste. The living is a vicarage, united to that of Knowstone. There are vestiges of an ancient earthwork.


MOLLINGTON, a chapelry, in the parish of Cropredy, union of Banbury, partly in the hundred of Bloxham, county of Oxford, and partly in the BurtonDassett division of the hundred of Kington, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4¾ miles (N. by W.) from Banbury; containing 385 inhabitants. The Warwickshire portion contains 684 acres. The chapel is dedicated to All Saints, and now consists of a nave and chancel only, a north aisle having been taken down in 1786, and the space between the pillars built up; the font is semi-Norman.

Mollington, Great

MOLLINGTON, GREAT, a township, in the parish of Backford, union of Great Boughton, Higher division of the hundred of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester, 2¾ miles (N. W. by N.) from Chester; containing 140 inhabitants. This place is named Molintone in Domesday survey, when it was held by Robert de Rodelent, upon whose death it reverted to Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester. There is afterwards no record of the manor until the reign of Edward II.; William Torrand then obtained lands in Mollington, and early in the following reign he acquired the manor, with other property, from William de Backford. A lapse again occurs in the descent of the estate until the 8th of Henry V., when Edmund de Eulowe died seised of it. His heiress Katherine married into the Booth family, founders of the house of Dunham-Massey, with whom the manor remained until the 44th of Elizabeth, when it passed by marriage to the Mordaunts, of Bedfordshire, whose Cheshire estates fell into the hands of the Gleggs, of Gayton. Mary, sole heiress of Robert Glegg, brought Mollington in 1758 to the Baskervyles, who soon afterwards sold it to the Hunts; and in 1797 it came by purchase to John Feilden, Esq., of Blackburn, in Lancashire. The township comprises 824 acres of land, of which the soil is clay. The road from Chester to Parkgate, and the Ellesmere canal, are convenient to the village; where, also, is a station of the Chester and Birkenhead railway. The site of the ancient manor-house is now occupied by the Hall, the owner of which yet holds court leet and baron for the manor. The tithes have been commuted for £54. 3. payable to the Bishop of Chester, and £65. 10. to the vicar of the parish.

Mollington, Little

MOLLINGTON, LITTLE, a township, in the union of Great Boughton, Higher division of the hundred of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester, 2¼ miles (N. W. by N.) from Chester; containing 25 inhabitants. This township, called also MollingtonBanastre, although sometimes considered as part of the parish of Backford, is included in that of St. Mary on the Hill, Chester. Like Great Mollington, it was anciently part of the estate of Robert de Rodelent, and, like that township, reverted, after his death, to the Earl of Chester. In the 41st of Edward III., it was possessed by the Banastres by gift from the crown; and it passed from them to the Langtons, barons of Newton, under whom it was held by the Hoghtons, of Hoghton Tower, in Lancashire. By the marriage of the heiress of the Hoghtons with William Stanley, of Hooton, 14th Henry VI., a portion of the estate was conveyed to the Stanley family. The remainder is the property of the Rev. John Hamer. The township comprises 223 acres, and is situated on the Wirrall side of the Chester and Ellesmere canal, by which it is separated from the other townships in the parish. The tithes have been commuted for an annual rent-charge of £50.


MOLSCROFT, a township, in the parish of St. John, union, and liberties of the borough, of Beverley, E. riding of York, 1¼ mile (W. N. W.) from Beverley; containing 135 inhabitants. It was held jointly by the Archbishop of York and the canons of Beverley, and in the old provost's books is called " Mylcross," probably from a mile cross which marked the sanctuary limits of the town. The township comprises by computation 1130 acres of land, divided among several proprietors, and lying within the manor of Beverley Chapter: the village is pleasantly situated on the road from Beverley to the village of Cherry-Burton.

Molton, North (All Saints)

MOLTON, NORTH (All Saints), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union and hundred of South Molton, South Molton and N. divisions of Devon, 3 miles (N. N. E.) from South Molton; containing 2121 inhabitants. This parish, which borders upon Somersetshire, is situated on the Exmoor road, and in a district celebrated for a peculiar breed of cattle, called the North Devon breed, of a brown colour, without any intermixture of white. It comprises 15,149a. 1r. 20p., whereof 4435 acres are common or waste: the surface is varied, and the low grounds are watered by the river Mole, from which the place takes its name. The substratum contains copper-ore, of which two mines are in operation: there are also numerous quarries of freestone of good quality for building; and a woollen manufactory is carried on, affording employment to about 150 persons. Fairs for cattle, which are the largest in the north of Devon, are held on the Wednesday after May 12th, and on the last Wednesday in October. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Twitchen annexed, valued in the king's books at £16. 16. 1.; net income, £110; patron and impropriator, the Earl of Morley, whose tithes have been commuted for £1292. 17.: there are nearly 6½ acres of glebe. The church is a venerable structure, in the decorated and later English styles, with a lofty square embattled tower, and contains a beautifully-carved oak screen, and a very rich octagonal font, with some remains of painted glass, and some handsome monuments. There were formerly three chapels of ease in the parish, at South Radworthy, Holywell, and Ben-Twitchen; the last had in 1772 been converted into a dwelling-house. In 1715 the Presbyterians had a meeting-house at North Molton: at present, the Independents and Wesleyans have places of worship. A well here, called the Holy Well, is still much resorted to on Holy-Thursday.

Molton, South (St. Mary Magdalene)

MOLTON, SOUTH (St. Mary Magdalene), an incorporated market-town, a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of South Molton, South Molton and N. divisions of Devon, 28 miles (N. W. by N.) from Exeter, and 181 (W. by S.) from London; containing 4274 inhabitants. This town derives its name from the river Mole, on the western bank of which it is situated, having Exmoor on the north, and Dartmoor faintly perceptible on the south; the streets are well paved, flagged, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from wells. The principal branch of manufacture is that of woollen goods, which are occasionally furnished to the East India Company; shalloons, serges, and coarse woollencloth, are the articles chiefly made. The manufacture of lace has been lately introduced. The general market is on Saturday, and others are held on Tuesday and Thursday: there are cattle-fairs on the Wednesday before June 22nd, and the Wednesday after Aug. 26th; and great markets, also for cattle, on the Saturday after February 13th (noted for its fine show of North Devon cattle), and the Saturdays before May 1st, October 11th, and December 12th. For several successive weeks in the spring, there are large markets for sheep.

Corporation Seal.

The town received two charters, one in 1590, granted by Queen Elizabeth, and another in 1684, bestowed by Charles II.; but the government is now vested in a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, under the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76. The mayor and late mayor are justices of the peace, possessing jurisdiction concurrently with the county magistrates, who hold petty-sessions in a building over the cornmarket. The powers of the county debt-court of South Molton, established in 1847, extend over the greater part of the registration-district of South Molton. The borough sent representatives to parliament once in the reign of Edward I. The town-hall is a handsome stone building; the prison was erected at an expense of £2000. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £200; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Canons of Windsor, whose tithes have been commuted for £840, and who have a glebe of 233 acres. The church is a very spacious structure in the ancient English style, repaired in 1829, at a cost of £2000, and contains a richly carved pulpit of stone. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. A free school was founded in 1684, by Hugh Squire, who endowed it with an annuity of £40; a Blue school was established in 1711; a Diocesan commercial school has been instituted, and a national school is supported by subscription. The union of South Molton comprises 29 parishes or places, containing a population of 20,978. Some vestiges of ancient encampments are visible at Cadbury and other places near the town. The late Mr. Justice Buller received the early part of his education at the free school here; and the Rev. Samuel Badcock, who distinguished himself in a controversy with Dr. Priestley, and assisted Dr. White in writing his celebrated Bampton Lectures, was born at South Molton in 1747.