Townships: West Derby

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

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'Townships: West Derby', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) pp. 11-19. British History Online [accessed 18 April 2024]

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Derbei, Dom. Bk. West Derbi, 1177.

This township extends over four miles from north to south, and three and a half from east to west, having a total area of 6,203 acres. (fn. 1) A portion of it was taken within the municipal borough of Liverpool as early as 1835; (fn. 2) and the greater part of the remainder in 1895; (fn. 3) the rural division outside Liverpool contains 2,594 acres. The population of the whole in 1901 was 132,669, only 2,119 belonging to the part outside the city.

The portion absorbed by Liverpool in 1835 formed a ward of the borough, known as West Derby Ward; this was in 1895 divided into three—Low Hill, Kensington, and Edge Hill, while the portion then freshly included was divided into two wards—Fairfield and West Derby; the division between them being the railway from Edge Hill to the Bootle docks. The rural portion of the township is governed by a parish council. (fn. 4)

In the eighteenth century the township was divided into four quarters: Woodside, on the east; Town row, embracing the village and the north-west portion; Low Hill, on the border of Liverpool; and Ackers End, the Old Swan district. (fn. 5)

The township lies on the edge of the open country, where the smoke-laden air of the city is exchanged for the fresher breezes which blow over open fields and through masses of foliage. True, there is hardly a break in the long line of houses from the city to the village of West Derby, but the larger houses set amidst gardens and paddocks are separated by airy spaces and are overshadowed by trees. The country is very flat, and has, except in the far east, the unmistakable stamp of suburbanism. In the easterly direction are the plantations and grounds of Croxteth Hall; in the north is open land which was once mossland, a large cemetery being a conspicuous object in the level country. South and west are more crowded with houses, where such suburban neighbourhoods as Knotty Ash, Broad Green, and Old Swan are situated. The old-fashioned village of West Derby still presents a countrified aspect in spite of the advent of electric cars, and clusters principally about the gates of Croxteth Park. The open ground is chiefly pasture, but crops of corn and potatoes are raised in a loamy soil.

The geological formation is mostly the new red sandstone or trias, consisting of pebble beds of the bunter series on the west and in the centre, alternating with the upper mottled sandstone of the same series between the centre and the west, recurring on the eastern side, except where a small area of the coal measures crops up in Croxteth Park. These alternating areas of different formation extend through the township and beyond from north-west to south-east.

The map of 1768 (fn. 6) shows how the town has grown up. At that time the principal road out of Liverpool, leading to Prescot and Warrington, ascended eastward, (fn. 7) by Cheetham's Brow, to Low Hill, and went onward (fn. 8) with fields on either side for about two miles to the Old Swan Inn, (fn. 9) which has since given name to the hamlet around it.

At the 'Old Swan' the road divided. The main track, as Prescot Lane, went north-east, passing Knotty Ash, (fn. 10) a small hamlet, near which the Dovecote was built. (fn. 11) The other track, as Petticoat Lane, (fn. 12) went east to Broad Green, then a small hamlet round a triangular space.

To the south of Prescot Road another led eastward from Liverpool. At the foot of the hill it divided, one road bending towards Low Hill, (fn. 13) the other going direct to the top of the hill, where was a large open space called Greenfield. (fn. 14) Here again the road divided, Edge Lane (fn. 15) running parallel to the Prescot Road, while the other road (fn. 16) led to Wavertree, passing Wavertree Hall (fn. 17) on the north side. Smithdown Lane (fn. 18) led southward, near the Liverpool and Toxteth boundary, towards Allerton.

To the north of the Prescot Road a third road ran eastward; it was then called Rake Lane, (fn. 19) and formed for some distance the boundary between this township and Everton. After passing the Upper Breck, (fn. 20) the road, as Rocky Lane, descended the hill, (fn. 21) and then crossed Tue Brook, (fn. 22) which here gives its name to the neighbourhood. From the crossing Green Lane (fn. 23) led away to the 'Old Swan.' The main road (fn. 24) led upward to the Mill-house, near which had stood the ancient Derby windmill, Lark Hill (fn. 25) lying to the north. As Mill Lane the road then descended to the village with its ancient chapel, (fn. 26) being further prolonged, as Castle Lane, in the direction of Croxteth Hall.

At the village cross-roads led south-east to Town Row, from which Deys Lane (fn. 27) branched off; and north-west past New Hall in Carr Lane to Walton village. Carr Lane was a continuation of a road from Liverpool which crossed the Tue Brook at Club Moor, (fn. 28) and went deviously onward to Kirkby. In this part of the township are now the hamlet of Dog and Gun, with the West Derby Cemetery, opened 1884, to the west, and the district called Gill Moss. From Derby mill mentioned above a lane led south past Blackmoor Moss. (fn. 29) A little to the east stood the Round House, otherwise known as Sandfield. (fn. 30)

The roads above described continue to be the main thoroughfares. Most of them are traversed by the Liverpool tramway system, which facilitates access to the village, as also to Old Swan and Knotty Ash, where there is a junction with the South-west Lancashire tramway system. The London and North-Western Company's line outward from Liverpool passes through the township, the important station of Edge Hill being situated within it; the original terminus (1830) of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway was a little distance away, in Crown Street. The same company's branch line from Edge Hill to Bootle, formed about 1866, has stations at Edge Lane, Stanley, Tue Brook, and Breck Road, opened in 1870. The Cheshire Lines Committee's Southport Railway also passes through, more to the east, with stations at Knotty Ash and West Derby, opened in 1884.


WEST DERBY was the capital manor of the hundred, to which it gave name. As a royal manor it stands first in Domesday Book in the description of the land 'Between Ribble and Mersey,' and with its six berewicks was assessed at four hides; there was land for fifteen ploughs; and a forest two leagues long and one broad, with an aery of hawks. King Edward held it in 1066, and by the Conqueror it was given to Roger of Poitou who had temporarily lost his fief before 1086; (fn. 31) but in 1094 Count Roger gave the tithe of his demesne in this vill to the abbey of St. Martin of Séez. (fn. 32) It is possible that he built the castle here. After his banishment in 1102 West Derby with his other manors escheated to the crown, and was about 1115 granted to Stephen of Blois as part of the honour of Lancaster. (fn. 33)

West Derby is next mentioned in 1169, when it and the other members of the demesne in the hundred were tallaged at £11 3s. 4d. (fn. 34) The castle was repaired in 1197 at a cost of 100s., (fn. 35) and after the death of King Richard a garrison was stationed in it to preserve the peace of the county; (fn. 36) three years later considerable additions and repairs were carried out. (fn. 37) During his struggle with the barons King John kept a sufficient garrison here, (fn. 38) and for some years the castle seems to have been occupied; (fn. 39) by 1297, however, it had ceased to exist, for it was returned that 'in the town fields of Derby there was a certain site of an old castle, where the capital messuage used to be, with the circuit of the ditches.' (fn. 40)

At the beginning of the thirteenth century the vill was farmed by the king's bondmen or villeins at an ancient assized rent of £6, which the king had augmented by £2 since Easter, 1201. (fn. 41) A considerable number of the people were removed to Liverpool in 1208 to form the new borough, and the sheriff had an allowance of the farm of the hundred, probably to make up for his loss on this account. (fn. 42) There was anciently a considerable area of woodland, extending to 2,880 customary acres at the date of Domesday. In 1228 the boundaries of this were described by the knights who made the perambulation of the forest. (fn. 43) The clearing and improvement of the land went on rapidly, (fn. 44) and in 1296 there were 30½ burgages held by the tenants; two mills were in operation—a windmill and a horse-mill. (fn. 45) During the thirteenth century the descent of the manor followed that of the wapentake and land between Ribble and Mersey, but in 1316 Thomas, earl of Lancaster, gave the manor, with 300 acres of wood, to Robert de Holand, (fn. 46) and about four years later confirmed the grant with large additions, viz., the manor of West Derby, 'nigh Liverpool,' with its demesnes of the Hay of Croxteth, the manors of Torrisholme and Nether Kellet, the keepership of the forest in the earl's lands and forests, and the bailiwick of the serjeanty of Lonsdale, Furness, and Cartmel, land in the Hope nigh Manchester, with the bailiwick of the serjeanty of Salfordshire, and manors and lands in many other counties. (fn. 47) In 1322 the manor fell into the king's hands upon the earl's attainder, but upon the restoration of the honour to his brother Henry of Lancaster passed again into the earl's demesne and descended in his line. It was completely surveyed in 1323, when it was found that Thomas de Hale and thirteen other free tenants held 250 acres of land and 2½ burgages; Hugh the reeve held two oxgangs by serjeanty; sixtynine men held thirty-one burgages and twenty oxgangs of land; and 433 others held 1,816 acres and many houses, the total return being about £74. (fn. 48) In 1348 the issues of the manor amounted to £125. (fn. 49) The office of bailiff of the manor appears to have been united with that of bailiff of the vill (not borough) of Liverpool. (fn. 50) In the sixteenth century the Molyneuxes of Sefton were stewards of the manor. (fn. 51)

Holand of Upholland, Azure, sembe de lis, a lion rampant guardant argent.

Some grants of annuities from the issues of the manor are on record. (fn. 52)

The Act of 1609 relating to the creation and confirmation of copyhold lands in Lancashire had special application to West Derby. (fn. 53)

From 1327 downwards the manor was held by the house of Lancaster and by the kings as dukes of Lancaster; but in 1628 Charles I sold it to certain citizens of London, together with all lands and tenements within the same, and in Everton and Wavertree. (fn. 54) An amended grant was made in November, 1638; (fn. 55) and in the following year the manor was transferred to James, Lord Stanley and Strange, afterwards seventh earl of Derby. (fn. 56) It remained with his descendants till 1717, when it was sold, with other Derby manors, to Isaac Greene, (fn. 57) and has descended like Childwall to the marquis of Salisbury, the present lord of the manor. (fn. 58) Courts are held.

Gascoyne-Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury. Barry of ten argent and azure; over all six escutcheons, three, two, and one, sable, each charged with a lion rampant of the first, a crescent for difference.

A body of commissioners for the management of the lands formerly waste has long been in existence. (fn. 59)

The sites of four ancient mills are known: A water-mill by the castle, below the church; a horse-mill at the castle; a windmill in Mill Lane; and Ackers Mill, in the eastern corner of the township. (fn. 60)

Croxteth Hall, formerly called Barret's Hall, the chief seat of the earl of Sefton, is situated in this township on the borders of Croxteth Park, from which it takes its name. The Molyneux family acquired it in Henry VI's reign, when Sir Richard Molyneux was steward of the manor, (fn. 61) and about 1540 was one of the chief residences of the Molyneux family. (fn. 62) The deeds at Croxteth show various acquisitions of land in West Derby, beginning in 1545. (fn. 63).

The oldest part of the existing building is the western half of the south wing, now much hidden by kitchens built in front of it in 1874. It is of brick with stone dressings and mullioned windows, and has two bays projecting southward. Its date is c. 1575–1600, the details being plain, and it is probable that the house of which it is the only surviving portion was neither large nor elaborate. The south front may originally have had a third projecting bay to the west, destroyed by the building of the west wing, and perhaps a courtyard on the north, but of this there is no trace.

The west wing is the finest part of the building and was added, as dates upon it show, between 1702 and 1714. It has a raised terrace on the west, and contains a fine set of lofty panelled rooms opening one from another, the grand staircase being at its north-east angle. Sefton Hall, the old house of the Molyneux family, was dismantled in 1720, and this wing doubtless marks the date at which its abandonment in favour of Croxteth was finally decided on. Work had been going on at a somewhat earlier time, as a date of 1693 and the initials of William Molyneux on a spout-head behind the tower on the west front go to prove. The stables also had been rebuilt before this time by Caryll Molyneux in 1678, and were added to in 1706.

A north wing was added about 1790, but has recently (1902–4) been rebuilt to harmonize with the west front, the old brewhouse and bakehouse, which had been incorporated with the work of 1790, being destroyed in the process. In 1874–7 an east front was built and the south front lengthened to join it, while the dining-room at the south end of the west wing was lengthened southwards and the grand staircase renewed.

The present house, therefore, is built round a quadrangle, and its greatest dimensions are 205 ft. by 135. Its chief merit lies in the early eighteenth-century work, the details of the panelling being very good, but of the fittings of the old house little remains except a small oak door, nail-studded like those at Pool Hall (1576), Moor Hall (1566), and Hale Hall (c. 1600), and looking as if it were not now in its original position. Its Y-shaped iron knocker is in a curious position near the upper hinge, and the door may be part of a larger one cut down.

New Hall, on the borders of Fazakerley and Walton, became the property of the family of Molyneux of Alt Grange about the end of the sixteenth century, and early in the eighteenth seems to have become their chief residence. (fn. 64) It is a plain specimen of the H-shaped type, and bears the date 1660. It passed, with Huyton, to the Unsworths, and was by Thomas Molyneux-Seel sold to Arthur Heywood, banker, of Liverpool. (fn. 65)

Norris of West Derby. Quarterly argent and gules, in the second and third quarters a fret or, on a fess azure three mullets of the third.

The Norris family had an estate here in the fourteenth century, acquired by William, a younger son of John le Norreys of Speke. (fn. 66) It descended in the fifteenth century to Thomas Norris, (fn. 67) whose daughter and heir Lettice married her distant cousin Thomas Norris of Speke, and so carried the estate back to the parent stock. One of their grandsons, William Norris, was settled here, his estate remaining with his descendants to the end of the seventeenth century. (fn. 68) The family remained constant to the Roman Church and had to face loss and suffering in consequence, especially during the Commonwealth; (fn. 69) thus the threat of a fresh outbreak of persecution as a result of the Oates plot appears to have broken the resolution of 'Mr. Norris of Derby,' who conformed to the legally established religion in 1681. (fn. 70) Norris Green is supposed to indicate the site of their estate.

The Moores (fn. 71) and Crosses (fn. 72) of Liverpool had lands here about 1600. The Dwerryhouse family also occur. (fn. 73) In 1631 Robert Fazakerley (fn. 74) and Robert Mercer (fn. 75) of West Derby paid £10 each on declining knighthood. About the same time George Standish had an estate here, which the Parliamentary authorities sequestered for recusancy; he died in 1653, and his son and heir James, who was 'no recusant' and very poor, petitioned for a restoration, which was at last granted. (fn. 76)

The freeholders of 1600, in addition to families already mentioned, were Robert Longworth and Robert Bower. (fn. 77) The landowners of 1628 contributing to the subsidy were Robert Fazakerley, Andrew Norris, Hugh Rose, Ralph Mercer, and Hugh Riding. (fn. 78) Some other names occur among the sequestrations of the Commonwealth period. (fn. 79)

The hearth tax of 1662 shows a number of residents styled 'Mr.' viz: Richard Molyneux, Robert Mercer, James Standish, Richard Lathom, Hugh Rose, William Holme, and Joshua Ambrose the curate. John Lyon and Alice Rycroft had houses of five and four hearths respectively. (fn. 80)

Among the 'papists' who registered estates in 1717 were the following connected with this township: William Lancaster of Ormskirk, Richard Whittle, Margaret Pye, and Robert Chantrell. (fn. 81)


The first distinct allusion to the chapel of West Derby occurs in the middle of the fourteenth century. (fn. 82) About a century later there is mention of its reparation, (fn. 83) and in 1494 Henry VII allowed five marks out of the issues of the manor towards the maintenance of a chapel for the celebration of divine service within the lordship. (fn. 84) The next time it occurs is in connexion with the spoliations of the Reformation period. (fn. 85) During the succeeding century its history is obscure; probably the new services were maintained more or less regularly, a 'reading minister' being supplied, as was the case about 1612. (fn. 86) An improvement afterwards took place, and under the Commonwealth a serious attempt was made here, as in other places, to minister to the religious needs of the people in the sense of those in authority, so that in 1650 the surveyors found 'a godly minister,' Mr. Norcott, supplying the cure. (fn. 87) After the Restoration the older order probably returned. Bishop Gastrell, about 1720, found that the curate's stipend was £43 2s. 8d., which included £15 from the inhabitants, and that in 1719 leave had been given to build an aisle on each side of the chapel. There was a resident curate, for the 'house and ground' is mentioned, (fn. 88) and about this time the township built a house called the 'Parsonage' for the curate. (fn. 89) A new service of communion plate was provided in 1760. (fn. 90) In 1793 it appears that 'Sacrament Day' came five times a year.

The ancient structure (fn. 91) was pulled down after the building of the new church, 1853–6. It seems to have undergone much rebuilding in the eighteenth century, but at its destruction part of an ancient gable was discovered in the west wall, so that something at least of the old work remained till the last. The chief records of its later history are to be found in the earliest West Derby Vestry Book, begun in 1744. In 1745 the stone pillars under the steeple and the steeple itself were taken down and rebuilt, and in 1747 the chapel was 'uniformed down on both sides to the west end of the steeple.'

In 1786 the chancel and other ruinous parts were taken down and rebuilt and the chapel enlarged.

Other records state that the chapel was repaired in 1680 and rebuilt in 1792.

Views taken shortly before its destruction show a building with two east gables and windows of gothic style in them, a large south aisle with two tiers of classical windows, the upper tier to light a gallery, and at the west end of the church a small bell turret and flagstaff. The new church was designed by Sir G. G. Scott, and is a very good specimen of his work, cruciform, with a pinnacled central tower. (fn. 92)

The following have been curates (fn. 93) and rectors:

oc. 1592 Thomas Wainwright (fn. 94)
oc. 1609 Edward Dowell (fn. 95)
oc. 1648 William Norcott (fn. 96)
oc. 1662 Joshua Ambrose (fn. 97)
1676 Thomas Hall (fn. 98)
1688 William Atherton (fn. 99)
oc. 1723 John Worthington (fn. 100)
1733 Edward Davies, B.A. (fn. 101)
1756 Thomas Mallory, LL.B. (Trin. Coll. Camb.)
1765 Henry Tatlock
1796 Thomas Myddelton
1798 Richard Blacow, M.A. (fn. 102)
c. 1840 William Moriarty, M.A.
1846 John Stewart, M.A. (St. John's Coll. Camb.)
1889 Percy Stewart, M.A. (Trin. Coll. Camb.)

A mission room has been opened at Club Moor. The church of the Good Shepherd in Carr Lane was consecrated as a chapel of ease in 1903.

The Established Church has now fifteen other places of worship in the township. St. Mary's, Edge Hill, was erected in 1813; a small burial ground surrounds it. The incumbents are presented by trustees. (fn. 103)

St. Jude's, Hardwick Street, was built by subscription in 1831. (fn. 104) St. Anne's, Stanley, built at the same time, was entirely rebuilt in 1890 by Mr. Fenwick Harrison as a memorial of his father. (fn. 105) At Knotty Ash St. John the Evangelist's was built in 1835. (fn. 106) St. Stephen the Martyr's, Crown Street, was built in 1851. In consequence of the opening of the railway tunnel from Lime Street to Edge Hill it was taken down and rebuilt in 1882 on an adjacent site just within the boundary of Liverpool. (fn. 107) The incumbents of these four churches are presented by the rectors of West Derby. (fn. 108)

St. John's the Divine in Fairfield was built in 1852; the Hyndman trustees are patrons. (fn. 109) St. Andrew's, Edge Lane, was licensed as a chapel of ease in 1904.

In Mill Lane, West Derby, St. James's Church was built in 1846 and enlarged in 1879; the representatives of the late Mrs. Mary Thornton are patrons. St. Catherine's, Edge Hill, was erected in 1863. St. Nathaniel's, Windsor, obscurely situated in the midst of a poor and crowded district, was built in 1869. It was burnt down in 1904 and rebuilt. (fn. 110) The beautiful church of St. John the Baptist, Tue Brook, was built in 1871. (fn. 111) Christ Church, Kensington, was opened in 1870. (fn. 112) All Saints', Stonycroft, was built in 1875. The patronage of these five churches is vested in different bodies of trustees. St. Cyprian's, Edge Lane, was erected in 1881; Simeon's trustees have the patronage. (fn. 113)

On the Spekeland Estate being sold for building purposes the Earle family reserved a plot of ground and built thereon a memorial church, St. Dunstan's, Earle Road, opened in 1899; the Earle trustees are the patrons. The church of St. Philip, Sheil Road, opened in 1885, has replaced the old church of the same title in Liverpool, (fn. 114) sold in 1882; the patronage is in the hands of trustees.

The adherents of the Reformed Church of England for many years conducted services at Tue Brook, as a protest against what they considered the 'ritualism' at St. John the Baptist's. About 1893 they erected a small chapel.

The Wesleyan Methodists have churches as follows: Brunswick chapel, Moss Street, built in 1810; it is one of the centres of Liverpool Methodism, and the Conference has been held there. There are two mission halls in connexion with it. Cardwell Street chapel, Edge Hill, was built in 1880, and Aigburth Street in 1896; Fairfield chapel in 1867; Tue Brook chapel in 1886. The last-named building was formerly a Presbyterian chapel in Bootle; it was taken down and rebuilt on this site; there are two mission rooms connected with it. St. Paul's, Stonycroft, was built in 1865; and the Birch memorial chapel in Edge Lane in 1884. At West Derby village there is a chapel in Crosby Green, built about 1840. At Plimsoll Street, Edge Hill, is a Welsh Wesleyan chapel. The United Methodist Free Church have a place of worship in Durning Road, built in 1877. The Primitive Methodists have churches in Edge Hill, Kensington, and Tue Brook.

The Baptists have several churches. Pembroke chapel, built in 1839, was the scene of the ministrations of the Rev. Charles M. Birrell, (fn. 115) who died in 1880; the present minister is the Rev. Charles F. Aked. Empire Street chapel was built in 1886. Kensington chapel, 1889, represents the old Soho Street chapel, built in 1837. Cottenham Street and Tue Brook chapels were built in 1876. A Welsh Baptist chapel in Edge Lane, 1887, represents a migration from Juno Street, where a chapel was built in 1858.

The Congregationalist churches are Green Lane, Stanley, built in 1865; Norwood, near Sheil Park, in 1870; and Edge Hill, 1877. (fn. 116) A Welsh Congregational chapel in Kensington was built in 1881. (fn. 117)

The United Free Gospellers have a chapel at Edge Hill, called Mount Zion. (fn. 118)

The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists have churches in Edge Lane, Newsham Park, and Webster Road.

The Presbyterian Church of England has places of worship at Fairfield, built in 1864; Earle Road, 1882; Tue Brook, founded in 1896. (fn. 119) The Reformed Presbyterians have a chapel in Hall Lane. (fn. 120) Olive hall, West Derby village, built about 1860, has been used by various Christian evangelists.

The adherents of the Roman Catholic Church in the township long remained relatively numerous; (fn. 121) they were able probably to hear mass from time to time at Croxteth or some other of the larger houses, but no records are available until the middle of the seventeenth century, after which the story of the Croxteth chaplaincy is fairly continuous. It was long served by the Jesuits and then by the Benedictines. On the first earl of Sefton conforming to the Established religion in 1769, the priest in charge turned some rooms at a house in Gill Moss into a chapel, which remained in use until 1824, when the adjoining church of St. Swithin was opened. It has a chalice and some paintings brought from the old chapel in the hall. This church was served by the Jesuits till 1887, when it was handed over to the secular clergy. There is a small graveyard. The baptismal register dates from 1757. (fn. 122) No other mission was begun until 1839, when some stables at Old Swan were used, pending the erection of St. Oswald's, opened in 1842. This is a pleasing building, designed by A. W. Pugin. (fn. 123) St. Anne's, Edge Hill, begun in 1843 as an offshoot of St. Peter's, Seel Street, is served by the English Benedictines; mass was at first said in a room in the priest's house, but in 1846 the church was opened. (fn. 124) The Sacred Heart mission, Mount Vernon, was established in 1857; the chapel of St. Ethelburga's convent was used until, in 1886, the new church was opened. St. Paul's, West Derby, a school chapel, was opened in 1880; Yew Tree Cemetery is served from it. The mission of St. Sebastian, Fairfield, was opened in 1904 in a room of the convent of Adoraration and Reparation. (fn. 125) St. Cecilia's, Tue Brook, was begun in 1905. St. Ethelburga's Convent for the sisters of Mercy, already mentioned, was opened in 1843. The Blind Asylum in Brunswick Road is managed by sisters of Charity, who also conduct the Poor Law schools at Leyfield, West Derby village.

The Jews have burial grounds in Deane Road, and at Tue Brook.

A free school existed in the village in 1677.


  • 1. The Census report of 1901 gives the area in Liverpool as—West, 675 acres; East, 2,936 acres, including 14 acres inland water; that of the rural portion being 2,594 acres, including 8 of inland water; total, 6,205 acres.
  • 2. The boundaries were settled by 11 Geo. IV and 1 Will. IV, cap. 15.
  • 3. Loc. Gov. Bd. Order, P 1147.
  • 4. The Local Government Act of 1858 was in 1860 adopted by the township—i.e. except the portion which had been taken into Liverpool; Lond. Gaz. 3 April, 1860. The local board became an urban district council in 1894, which was in 1895 dissolved by the extension of Liverpool. Among the works undertaken by the local board was the sewage farm in Fazakerley.
  • 5. A valuation book compiled in 1750 shows that Croxteth Hall, Finch Lane, and Ackers Hall were in Woodside; Club Moor, Tue Brook, and the Village in Town Row; Old Swan, Knotty Ash, and Broad Green in Ackers End, as were West Derby Mill and the Old Parsonage. Ackers End itself was a farm of 23 acres, lying between Old Swan and Broad Green, now part of Highfield House estate.
  • 6. Printed in Enfield's Liverpool. Some notes have been added from Sherriff's map, 1816, reprinted 1823.
  • 7. This portion is now called Prescot Street. In Harper Street at the top are the parish offices, originally a court-house; the cells, with chains, etc. still exist underneath.
  • 8. Now called Kensington and Prescot Road. On the north side in 1816 stood the house of Dr. Solomon, proprietor of a then famous medicine called the 'Balm of Gilead.' On the south side the corporation of Liverpool have formed Jubilee Gardens, a recreation ground. Further on, at the north side of the road, is Newsham Park; the Yellow House (1617) formerly stood there; and on the south side is the district called Fairfield. Beyond Fairfield is Stanley, where is the principal cattle market for Liverpool; it was formerly owned by a private company, but has been acquired by the corporation.
  • 9. Formerly the inn was called the 'Three Swans.' A rival 'Swan' having been opened the 'Original Old Swan' thus distinguished itself in 1824. A 'street railway' was laid in 1861 from Fairfield to Old Swan, as an experiment.
  • 10. At Knotty Ash there is a well-known brewery.
  • 11. The fifteenth-century house called Boulton's stood near, and Ackers mill and hall, now a farmhouse.
  • 12. In the angle between Petticoat Lane, now Broadgreen Road, and Prescot Lane was Oakhill, built in 1773 by Richard Watt, afterwards of Speke. Further to the east is Highfield, earlier called Staplands; this was built about 1763, and was in 1775 and later the residence of Charlotte, Dowager Duchess of Athole and heiress of Man. On the south side of Petticoat Lane was May Place, now a reformatory.
  • 13. Now Fairclough Lane. This and the neighbouring streets have now become a crowded Jewish quarter.
  • 14. Part of the enclosed wastes of West Derby. Most of this has now been enclosed and built upon, but a triangular portion, presented to the corporation, forms a recreation ground.
  • 15. It is the lane near the edge or border of the township. About the middle is Edge Lane Hall, formerly the residence of John Shaw Leigh, and now the property of the corporation. The Exhibitions of 1886 and 1887 were held in the grounds.
  • 16. Now Wavertree Road.
  • 17. The house was originally built by John Plumbe, afterwards lord of the manor of Uplitherland, about 1715, and is frequently mentioned in N. Blundell's Diary. In 1823 it was the residence of Charles Lawrence, a West India merchant, first chairman of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. It was acquired by the corporation of Liverpool and made into a park. Two guns captured at Sebastopol stand at the entrance. The Botanic Gardens adjoin and have an entrance from Edge Lane.
  • 18. The name preserves the Esmedune of Domesday Book. It was frequently spelled Smetham. In this lane further on stood Spekelands, the residence of Thomas Earle in 1823; see the account of Allerton.
  • 19. Now West Derby Road. Here from 1833 were the Zoological Gardens.
  • 20. The house stood in the present Sheil Park.
  • 21. This portion is mostly in Walton township. Newsham Park, with the Seaman's Orphanage, lies on the south side.
  • 22. This brook flows north to join the Alt.
  • 23. In and near are the old Local Board offices, a pumping station for the Liverpool waterworks, a bathing place, a free library (the gift of Mr. Andrew Carnegie), a Council school and an electric generating station belonging to the corporation. The district on the east side is usually known as Stonycroft.
  • 24. A house here has the inscription 'I 1615 M.' The initials probably stand for John Mercer; see Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xii, 186.
  • 25. Lark Hill was built by Jonathan Blundell about 1777, and sold in 1784 to Richard Heywood, banker, whose descendants still own it. For an account of this branch of the Heywood family, descended from Nathaniel Heywood, the nonconforming vicar of Ormskirk ejected in 1662, see Trans. Hist. Soc. xxx, 163; and Burke, Landed Gentry: Heywood Jones of Badsworth Hall.
  • 26. A cross marks the position of the old chapel. The court-house, built about 1663, stands close by. The village pound, in which the ancient stocks are preserved, has been converted into a garden, and an inscribed stone states: 'To commemorate the long and happy reign of Queen Victoria and the Coronation of King Edward VII this site of the ancient pound of the Dukes of Lancaster and others Lords of the Manor of West Derby was enclosed and planted and the Village Stocks set herein, Easter, 1904.'
  • 27. Deysbrook Lane. In it is Summer Vale, now Deysbrook, in 1833 the residence of Henry Blundell Hollinshead, and late the property of his descendant Col.Henry Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell, C.B. The name of John le Deye occurs at West Derby in 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. p. 9.
  • 28. A considerable village has now grown up at this place.
  • 29. The name occurs in the Forest Pleas Roll of 1334. The old parsonage, close by, s still standing.
  • 30. It is a late seventeenth-century building, and was the property of William Molyneux in 1823.
  • 31. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 278. The six berewicks were Hale, Garston, Liverpool, Everton, Great Crosby, part of Walton, and perhaps Thingwall and Aintree.
  • 32. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 290.
  • 33. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 292.
  • 34. Farrer, op. cit. 12; 33s. 4d. was contributed by West Derby separately in 1177; Ibid. 35.
  • 35. Ibid. 97.
  • 36. Ibid. 105; £4. 10s. was spent on provisions for the knights and men therein.
  • 37. Ibid. 147; Henry Travers and Henry de Walton were in charge of the works, which cost £6 9s. 7d.
  • 38. Ibid. 250; there were 140 footmen, and ten knights and cross-bowmen; £7 10s. was paid for the repair of the castle. See also Close R. (Rec. Com.), 477b.
  • 39. Between 1218 and 1225 considerable sums were laid out upon the castle; Pipe R. 2–9 Hen. III. In 1227 the sum of £4 11s. 8d. was spent on improving the drawbridge and houses within the castle; Pipe R. 2 Hen. III, ro. 1.
  • 40. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 284. The erection of Liverpool Castle probably accounts for the neglect and ruin of that at West Derby. The Castle field, with a slight rising of the ground to the north-east of the village, marks the site.
  • 41. Lancs. Pipe R. 131; 220–1. The assized rent was reduced to £3 12s. 6d. after the separation of Liverpool from the manor; Inq. and Extents, 136. A tallage of £4 17s. 8d. was made in 1226; ibid. 135.
  • 42. Lancs. Pipe R. 220. Two officials of the manor at this time are known. Richard, the reeve of Derby, was charged ½ mark in the tallage of 1202; ibid. 151; and in 1212 he held two oxgangs of land by serjeanty of being reeve of the wapentake and keeping ward of the king's teams and distresses put into the pound; Inq. and Extents, 26. Richard gave to Cockersand Abbey land at Scales in West Derby, with easements belonging to his fee, between Blackmoor and the Dale; and Luke, son of Thomas de Derby, gave lands here and in Lancaster; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 562, 563. Adam son of Gille, also called Adam Gerard, also held two oxgangs of land, worth 4s., to be serjeant under Henry de Walton, master-serjeant of the wapentake; Inq. and Extents, 26, 116. In 1237 William de Ferrers confirmed to Luke de Derby, the reeve, and Geoffrey the clerk, the sons of the above-named Richard (who was son of Roger, son of Gamel, son of Bruning), two oxgangs of land which their ancestor had held of King William; ibid. 26 n. The accounts of Luke the reeve for 1256 are printed ibid. 208, 209. Geoffrey de Derby, clerk, attested a charter about 1250; Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 523. Robert de Derby the reeve, in 1336, substantiated his claim to housebote, haybote, and other liberties for his houses in Blackmoor and Derby, in virtue of the Ferrers grant; Add. MS. 32105, fol. 89b. Others occur who were obviously important officials. For instance: Master Simon de Derby, c. 1200; ibid. i, 288. Master Roger de Derby, c. 1230; ibid. i, 60; Inq. and Extents, 130 (clerk); Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 55 n. He was ancestor of the Formby family. Master Robert de Derby, c. 1240; Whalley Coucher, ii, 503. Jordan de Derby; ibid. ii, 503. Jordan de Derby and Alice his wife were plaintiffs in a Walton suit in 1276; Assize R. 405, m. 1 d. S(imon) son of Elwina de Derby; Whalley Coucher, iii, 853.
  • 43. Lancs. Pipe R. 422; the portion which they decided to belong to the forest was called 'the wood (boscus) of Derby'; its bounds began at the broad appletree in Harum carr, went through the middle of the carr to Hasellen hurst where the footpath comes out of the grove (nemus) to beyond Longlee, which stretches from Derby towards Kirkby; beyond Longlee and Muke brooks, ascending these to Thrumthorndale brook, and going up by this to the open ground of Thingwall acres. It is further stated that 'the neighbouring vills had common of herbage and other things in this wood; and the men of Derby had all necessaries in it.'
  • 44. Successive lords of Lancaster made numerous grants of land at a rate which advanced from 4d. an acre in the reign of Henry III to 12d. in that of Edward III. In 1297 the tenants of Derby held of the approvement of the wastes 251½ acres (by the long hundred) and ½ perch of land, rendering yearly £4 17s. 2½d. (or 4d. per acre); 234 acres (by the short hundred) and 2/3 rood, rendering £5 17s. 1d. (i.e. 6d. per acre); and 200 acres (long hundred) less ½ acre, rendering £7 19s. 8d. (i.e. 8d. per acre); also 12d. for an acre which Rose held. The perquisites of the court averaged 10s. a year. Inq. and Extents, 285, 286. Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby, granted 20 acres, by the perch of 24½ ft., in West Derby to William de Sileby, at a rent of 15s. yearly; Croxteth D. Cc. ii, 1. An earlier grant by William de Ferrers to the same William de Sileby, his bailiff, was the subject of a dispute in 1276; Assize R. 405, m. 4. The ancient 'customs of the manor of West Derby and Wavertree,' as recorded in a document of Henry IV's time (?) are printed in Syers' Everton, 387.
  • 45. Inq. and Extents, 284–5. The 'field called Harhum' is mentioned. The arable land of the demesne seems to have been let at farm at 4d. to 12d. an acre, and the meadow at 3s. an acre. The men of the vill held 20 oxgangs, paying 40s. a year, and also 26s. 8d. a year, with 12d. for a half oxgang; they paid 12d. for a way through the meadow, and 2s. for having entry to the 'Wormestall' with their cattle, within the forest; also 2s. to have estover of cutting down holly in winter for the sustenance of their cattle. The prior of Birkenhead had 15 acres, paying 5s. a year. It may be added that in 1337 Henry, earl of Lancaster granted the prior 26 acres of waste near Smithdown and ten acres near Wavertree which William the Clerk of Liverpool had held, in exchange for the release of a right to common of pasture in the earl's waste between Tunbrook and Stanbrook, and Tunbrook and White Moss, but saving to the prior and his successors estovers of reasonable turbary in Smithdown Moss for their manor of Moss Grange; Duchy of Lanc. Great Cowcher, i, fol. 66.
  • 46. Cal. Pat. 1313–17, p. 476. Holand obtained the royal pardon, 18 June, 1316, for having acquired the manor and wood in fee without licence.
  • 47. Ibid. 1317–21, p. 431. In 1330 Maud de Holand, Sir Robert's widow, claimed dower in the manors of West Derby and Liverpool; De Banc. R. 281, m. 240, and R. 287, m. 179; Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. III, No. 88.
  • 48. Rentals and Surv. m. 379, m. 9–11 d. In 1312–13 Thomas, earl of Lancaster, had given 40 acres of land within the wood of West Derby to Thomas de Hale, his valet, and Mabel his wife, in fee; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 121b. The same messuage and 40 acres, having escheated, were in 1354 granted by Henry duke of Lancaster to John Barret, at a rent of 20s. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 145.
  • 49. Duchy of Lancs. Accts. 32/17, fol. 4b. The rents of the free tenants amounted to £7 9s. 8¼d.; of the tenants of 31½ burgages, 32s. 6d.; of customary tenants holding 20½ oxgangs, 41s.; also for 'a custom called scotz,'—the sheriff's scot; see Parl. R. ii, 401b—27s. 4d.; of cottars, 6s. 11½d.; of John de Derby, the reeve, for two oxgangs held by serjeanty, nil; and of the rents of divers tenants, £112 2s. 6d.
  • 50. The bailiff of the vill had no jurisdiction beyond collecting the rents due from burgesses for lands improved. In 1360 Thomas de Fazakerley was appointed to the office for life, at 2d. a day wages; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 341. Henry, son of Robert le Norreys of Sutton was appointed bailiff of the manor of West Derby and of the vill of Liverpool during the king's pleasure; Towneley MS. CC (Chet. Lib.), n. 518, 132.
  • 51. Several court rolls of this time are preserved at Croxteth; West Derby, Wavertree, and Great Crosby were all included in the one stewardship. Rolls of 1323–4 are printed in Lancs. Court R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 90–107, 123–32.
  • 52. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 338, 342.
  • 53. Private Act 7 Jas. I, c. 3; also Duchy of Lanc. div. xxvi, bdle. 2, No. 9. For a reference to a survey made in 1625 see Lancs, and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 311. Later another private Act was passed (29 & 30 Chas. II, c. 1) 'to establish the interest of the lord and copyholders in West Derby and Wavertree in relation to fines and commons.'
  • 54. See the account by Isaac Greene in Gregson, Fragments, 146–9. The letters patent (4 Chas. 1, pt. 35) bore date 14 June, 1628. The grantees were Edward Ditchfield, John Highlord, Humphrey Clarke, and Francis Mosse. The manor was to be held as of the manor of Enfield in Middlesex, at the yearly rent of £145 6s. 7d.
  • 55. Pat. 14 Chas. I, pt. xxii. This amendment was necessitated by the omission of an express mention of the manors of Everton and Wavertree in the original patent. The tenants of these manors refused to pay rent or do suit and service at the court at West Derby: and the consequent lawsuits continued several years; Gregson, loc cit.
  • 56. A court-baron on behalf of Lord Strange was held in 1641 for the manor and for the vills of Everton and Wavertree, under the direction of Lord Molyneux, steward; Ct. R. at Croxteth. On the creation of the earldom by Henry VII a rent of £20 had been granted to Thomas, Lord Stanley, charged on manors in the counties of Nottingham and Derby; this was resigned and a grant of £40 substituted chargeable on the manor of West Derby, by letters patent dated 22 Feb. 4 Hen. VII. The manor, like other of the earl's estates, was sold by the Parliamentary authorities to Colonel Thomas Birch in 1651, but appears to have been repurchased; Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 163. In Sept. 1655, a fine was made regarding the manor of West Derby, with Wavertree and Everton, 200 messuages, 2 windmills, 1,200 acres, &c.; hallmote, &c.; James Wainwright was plaintiff, John Parker and Margaret his wife being deforciants; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 157, m. 121.
  • 57. By indenture dated 24 Oct. 1717, between John, Lord Ashburnham, and Lady Henrietta Maria his wife—daughter and heir of William, earl of Derby, and sister and heir of Lady Elizabeth Stanley, deceased, the other daughter and co-heir— and others, of the first part; Francis Brace and others, of the second part; and Jonathan Case, of the Red Hazels, Huyton, of the third part; the manors, &c. of West Derby, Wavertree, and Everton, and all messuages, lands, &c. within the said manors belonging to Lady Ashburnham, including two windmills called Ackers Mill in West Derby, and Wavertree Mill, were sold to Jonathan Case, who, as appears from another deed, was acting as the trustee for Isaac Greene; Hatfield Papers, room 1,672–5 and 672– 10. The price named is £3,611 5s. 3d. The second deed is enrolled in King's Bench, Easter Term, 12 Geo. I.
  • 58. See the account of Childwall.
  • 59. By an agreement of 1 Dec. 1718, a partition of the commons was made by the lord of the manor and the owners of lands in Everton and West Derby, with special reference to the Breck; part was to be devoted to the general benefit of the township, chapel, school, and relief of the poor. A further agreement was made on 12 Mar. 1723, between Isaac Greene as lord of the manor, and the surviving commissioners, part of the Breck, north of the highway from Rake Lane to Newsham Land, having been sold to Everton for £200. Liberty was given to Isaac Greene to enclose an acre of largest measure on the borders of West Derby and Liverpool; eight acres of waste in Low Hill and Cheetham's Brow; also pits and ponds at Club Moor, leaving enough water for cattle. The curates of West Derby were to have the messuage, &c. lately constructed at the expense of the township near Blackmoor Moss, at a rent of 6d. In 1753 new commissioners were appointed. Mary Greene, as daughter and co-heir of Isaac, was lady of the manor, and was to enjoy the enclosures made under the last agreement; and the commissioners were to have the commons or wastes in West Derby on or near Low Hill, Breck, Club Moor, Blackmoor Moss, Page Moss, and Gill Moss; also land near Smeatham (Smithdown) Lane lately (and wrongly) enclosed by John Smarley, deceased. Notice of further enclosures was to be posted up at the Exchange in Liverpool, and on the south door of the chapel at West Derby, as also notices of the meetings of the trustees, which might also be announced in the chapel, at least fifteen days before. On the death of a trustee the survivors, or a majority of them, were to appoint a successor from among the freeholders or copyholders of £20 per annum. No fine or foregift was to be paid for leases, but the best yearly rent obtainable was to be charged; parcels of the waste might be sold to copyholders or freeholders having lands adjoining, but a ground-rent was to be reserved in such cases. The profits were to be applied to the payment of lays and taxes or otherwise for the public benefit. The above details are taken from a pamphlet printed in Liverpool in 1859, giving the deeds constituting the West Derby Waste Lands Commissioners. A new scheme was made in 1874. A detailed description of the lands will be found in the End. Char. Rep. (Fazakerley, &c.) of 1904, pp. 30–40.
  • 60. See Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xii, 59–64.
  • 61. The grants to John Barret for life by Henry, duke of Lancaster in 1359 will be found in Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxi, App. 32; confirmed by the king, Cal. Rot. Pat. 170b. The same estate was in 1375 granted to John le Boteler for life; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Books, xiii, 111. From an abstract of title at Croxteth: 'It appears by the rolls of Derby court of 6 Henry VI that John Barret, who formerly held Barret's Hall and forty acres of land, was dead; and the master-foresters having since held them and paid no fine, therefore Thomas Lathom came and offered forty shillings fine to be admitted.' (It seems likely that he was in trust for Sir Richard Molyneux.) '39 Henry VI, Thomas, son of Sir Richard Molyneux, knight, was admitted to Barret's Hall and other lands his late father's, to hold to him and the heirs male of his body; remainder to the heirs male of Sir Richard Molyneux, his grandfather.' The adjacent township of Croxteth Park was afterwards acquired from the crown.
  • 62. See the accounts of Croxteth Park and Sefton.
  • 63. In this year Sir William Molyneux acquired from Thomas Gorsuch of Scarisbrick a close called Townrowhey; Croxteth D. Cc. i, 2, 3. These lands had been purchased by William Gorsuch from Richard Kekewich, whose son John in 1520 released all his right to the purchaser; ibid. Cc. i, 1b. In the following year Richard, son and heir of John Kekewich of Lathom enfeoffed Robert Wolfall and William Norris of his lands in West Derby, called Kekewich Fields, lying by Home Lake; ibid. Cc. ii, 4. The Kekewich family appear early in the township. Gilbert de Kekewich in 1298 held the land which had been John Gernet's; Inq. and Extents, 285. It was his son Richard apparently who in 1333 had a messuage and thirty acres here from Gilbert de Kekewich and Ellen his wife; Final Conc. ii, 91; see also i, 208. In a claim by Richard Kekewich against Andrew Norris in 1612, respecting a tenement in West Derby, the plaintiff adduced his pedigree thus: John de Kekewick —s John (to whom the land had been granted in the time of Richard II.) —s. Richard —s. Edmund —s. John —s. Richard —s. John—s. Edward —s. Richard (plaintiff); Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 307, m. 23d. For the first three generations see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 10, 11. Sir Richard Molyneux in 1562 purchased from Henry Acres of Chilvers Coton a capital messuage known as Ackers' hall and various lands lately held by Henry Fletcher, William Litherland, and Richard Acres; the price was £240; ibid. Cc. i, 4. Caryll Lord Molyneux in 1674 bought a messuage in the Woodside from Robert Williamson; ibid. Cc. i, 24. See Lancs. Inq. p. m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 390. The lands between West Derby church and Croxteth Hall were acquired at various times. Queen Elizabeth in 1598 leased for twenty-one years to Sir Richard Molyneux a windmill and horse-mill, twenty acres of meadow in Earl's meadow, and the herbage of the castle ditch, containing three acres, called Mere Meadow; the consideration being £16 paid and a rent of £4 4s.; the lease was renewed by James I in 1613, at a reduced rent of 32s. 4d. for the lives of Sir Richard and his sons Vivian and Gilbert; and in 1711 William Lord Molyneux, upon the grant of the ladies of the manor, was admitted to a parcel of waste land fronting Croxteth Hall, lying between Abraham's garden and the gate leading from the hall to Derby chapel, at the yearly rent 4d.; Croxteth D. i, 22, 23, 25. At the West Derby Court in 1727 was a surrender and recovery of Croxteth Hall and other copyhold estates by Lord Molyneux; ibid. iv. There was a similar surrender in 1775; ibid.
  • 64. An account of this family will be found under Ince Blundell and Huyton. The pedigree recorded in 1664 describes them 'of New Hall;' Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 203. John Molyneux of Croxteth purchased from Edward Hey in 1579 land called the Acres Field, and a dwelling called Town Row House; Croxteth D. Cc. i, 12. An old rental of the township (1750) shows that New Hall was in Town Row quarter. The Acres field had been the inheritance of Alice, daughter of Thomas Eyves of Liverpool, and wife of Roger Lancelyn of Poulton Lancelyn; their son William in 1544 sold it to Richard Hey, the tenant, father of Edward Hey; Croxteth D. Cc. i, 6–10. In 1721 John Molyneux of West Derby and Elizabeth his grandmother sold ten acres of the New Hall property called Acresfields; Thomas Barron and Isaac Greene of Liverpool were the purchasers or their agents; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 214; from 6 roll of Geo. I at Preston.
  • 65. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iv, 47.
  • 66. As William son of John le Norreys he was witness to a grant made to his elder brother Alan in 1334; Norris D. (B.M.), n. 51. It appears that Robert de Holand in the time of Edward II alienated to William le Norreys a messuage and forty acres in West Derby, without licence; and on the death of William le Norreys, 10 Aug. 1349, his son Thomas entered and continued to hold them without doing any service until 1361, when the escheator took possession; L. T. R. Mem. R. 132, m. xiiij. They were afterwards delivered to Thomas le Norreys, who had to pay £24; and by 1369 he was quit; Pipe R. 43 Edw. III, de oblatis, r. xl. See also Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2 (2), m. v.; Assize R. 435, m. 30; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 345. William le Norreys had land in West Derby as early as 1325; Assize R. 426, m. 2 d. William, son of John le Norreys, had in 1346 claimed certain land in Hale from Maud, widow of Sir Robert de Holand; and the suit was continued by his son Thomas in 1355; De Banc. R. 348, m. 390 d.; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4, m. 5. Thomas le Norreys of Derby, and Margaret the widow of William were charged with withholding 13s. 4d. from Joan, widow of Richard de Yorton, clerk; from this suit it would seem that the grant in West Derby by Robert de Holand was to John le Norreys, who transferred it to his son William; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 3, m. iiij (Easter). Thomas le Norreys and Hugh his brother were sureties in 1359; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 7, m. 7. Joan, late wife of Thomas le Norreys, and Ellen, late wife of Hugh le Norreys and guardian of William the next of kin and heir of the said Thomas, came to an agreement as to Joan's dower in West Derby, Formby, and Hale, in 1370; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F 14. Probably therefore William was son (or grandson) of Hugh le Norreys.
  • 67. William, father of this, and cousin and heir of the preceding, Thomas, came of age in 1389, the king on 10 July issuing a writ concerning his proof of age and livery; he had been born and baptized at Heswall; Norris D. (B.M.), n. 592. He died at the beginning of 1401, the inquisition after his death (2 Hen. IV) showing that he had held lands in West Derby and three oxgangs in Formby, of the king as duke of Lancaster, by knight's service; Towneley MS. DD. n. 1447; Inq. p. m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 11. Thomas, his son and heir, was then only six months old; he gave proof of age in 1422, having been in the wardship of Isabel his mother; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 23. The covenant of marriage of his daughter Lettice with Thomas Norris of Speke is dated 1446; Raines, Lancs. Chant. (Chet. Soc.), i, 98 n.
  • 68. A pedigree was recorded at the Visit. of 1664 (Chet. Soc.), 218. William Norris of West Derby had two sons, Henry and John, both living in 1566, and named in a settlement by Sir William Norris; Norris D. (B.M.). Richard, the son and heir apparent of Henry, was as early as 1544 married to Ellen a daughter and co-heir of John Toxteth of Aigburth, who was then under fourteen years of age; Norris D. (B.M.), n. 24. This was apparently the Richard who heads the recorded pedigree. A fine concerning a settlement of his estates, in 1589, is in Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 51, m. 99. His son Andrew appears in the list of freeholders in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 241; from one of the Clowes deeds (n. 40; 1589) it appears that he was illegitimate. Andrew Norris as a convicted recusant paid double to the subsidy of 1628; Norris D. (B.M.). He died about ten years later, his will being proved in 1639 at Chest. He had a numerous family; Henry, the eldest, was born about 1601; Visit.
  • 69. Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iv, 219–23; petitions from the younger sons and daughters of Andrew Norris, deceased, claiming annuities, &c. It was found that the sons were recusants, and a third of their annuities was allowed; the daughters were also recusants. Their father's grant was made in 1634, and he died about 1640. Anne, one of the daughters, was in 1651 the wife of Richard Worthington. The estates of Henry Norris, the eldest brother, were under sequestration for recusancy; they lay in Leigh, Pennington. Worsley, Newton, West Derby, Liverpool, and Litherland. John Norris, a brother of Henry, married Eleanor Beaufoy, and three sons, Charles, Richard, and Andrew, became Jesuits. The last-named on entering the English College, Rome, in 1673, stated that he was born at Speke, educated in Lancashire until fourteen or fifteen, and then sent to St. Omer's; 'my parents and relatives,' he said, 'are of the higher class and are all Catholics. I have three brothers but no sister. My father and friends suffered much for religion'; Foley, Rec. S. J. vi, 422; vii, 549–51, &c.
  • 70. This was probably Richard, son of Henry Norris, aged 22 in 1664; Visit. Thomas Marsden, vicar of Walton, wrote in 1681 asking favour for him, as he was 'not yet cleared in the Exchequer for his recusancy and had heard his name was in the list of such as should have £20 a month levied upon their heads.' Under these circumstances Mr. Norris's conformity 'to our church' was 'as full as it could be'; Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 126. His act does not seem to have saved the estates; the family disappear from notice, and much or all of the property is held by the representatives of John Pemberton Heywood, banker, of Liverpool.
  • 71. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 14; William Moore held land of the king by £3 rent. In 1557 at West Derby Court Ralph Hey, who had died since the previous court holding a messuage and lands called Sandeland, &c., was succeeded by his brother Edward; and at a court next year Thomas Bolton leased to James Bolton tenements, including land in Sandeland, on which an annual rent was due to John Moore; Moore D. n. 600, 604. In 1570 depositions were taken in a dispute between John Moore and Edward Hey of West Derby. Lawrence Breres of Walton, aged 54, said that Ralph Hey, elder brother of defendant, had told him of three meadows belonging to John Moore, who through one of them had his way to the Wythers wates. Richard Hey, the father of Edward and Ralph, had had a controversy in Henry VIII's time with William Moore; Ducatus Lanc. iii, 23.
  • 72. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc), ii, 136; a messuage and ten acres held of the king by 2d. rent. See Crosse D. in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), vi-ix, n. 161, 209, 224. The land was called Snodam or Snodon, and was acquired in 1498 from Nicholas Fazakerley; in 1566 it was in the tenure of Robert Fletcher.
  • 73. William Dwerryhouse, 'yeoman,' of West Derby, had in 1632 a demise of lands in Kirkdale from John Moore; in 1659 Anne Dwerryhouse, widow, was one of the executors of William Dwerryhouse, 'gentleman,' deceased; Moore D. n. 616, 620. Anne Dwerryhouse, by her will in 1672, devised lands for the benefit of the school at West Derby.
  • 74. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 213. As a convicted recusant he paid double to the subsidy in 1628; Norris D. (B.M.).
  • 75. Misc. 1. c. William Mercer of Tue Brook was a juror of West Derby in 1557. A pedigree was recorded in 1664; Dugdale, Visit. p. 197. The Mercers seem to have been, in part at least, heirs of an older family named Fletcher. In 1568 Thomas Fletcher sold to Ellen Fletcher, spinster, daughter of John Fletcher (who was the great-grandfather of Thomas), two closes in West Derby called the Black flet Leys; Croxteth D. Cc. i, 19. This land, held in 1586 by Henry Mercer and the aforesaid Ellen his wife (in her right), and by Robert Boulton, was sold to Sir Richard Molyneux; ibid. Cc. i, 20, 21. Thomas Fletcher died 28 February, 1584–5, holding a messuage and lands in West Derby, by the twentieth part of a knight's fee; his son John was then a minor, but had livery in February, 1588–9; ibid. Cc. ii, 9. John, son and heir of Thomas Fletcher, agreed to sell a messuage in West Derby to Sir Richard Molyneux in 1586; Croxteth D. Cc. i, 16; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 48, n. 235. Thomas Fletcher appears in the recusant roll of 1641; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 237.
  • 76. Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3151. In 1519 Richard Standish of West Derby granted Sir William Molyneux a rent of 3s. charged on his lands; Croxteth D. Cc. i, 1a. Edward Standish of Derby was a freeholder in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 239. Their estate seems to have been at Sandfield, for an 1635 old barn there is inscribed G. S. A. S.. .R. N. George Standish married Anne Aymount of West Derby at Walton in April, 1628; Registers. For Sandfield see Lancs, and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 243— between Mercer and Hallwood and other.
  • 77. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 240, 241.
  • 78. Norris D. (B.M.).
  • 79. These seem to have been chiefly for recusancy. Thus Richard Woods, 'always well affected,' took the oath of abjuration; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2712. See ibid. iv, 1940, 2861.
  • 80. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xvi, 135. A bond (1587) by William Rose of Low in West Derby is in Towneley MS. GG. n. 2,420.
  • 81. Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, pp. 110, 120, 122, 148. William Lancaster, a doctor, was the founder of the present Ormskirk mission. Robert Chantrell was a goldsmith.
  • 82. It occurs thus: 'John del Brakes … struck and wounded Richard le Jay in the chapel of Derby on Sunday next after the feast of the Ascension, 1360'; Assize R. 451, n. 3.
  • 83. Okill, iv, 294; in the accounts of Thomas Lord Stanley, as receiver for the county, is an item of 13s. 4d. for the repair of the chapel within the manor of Derby. In the reign of Edward IV, under the sign-manual of Richard, duke of Gloucester, the bailiff of the manor had £3 6s. 8d. allowed for the repairs, because the king, as lord of the manor, held his courts in the chapel; Mins. Accts.
  • 84. Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 170. A later grant is in Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxii, p. 228 d.
  • 85. Ch. Gds. 1552 (Chet. Soc), p. 99; the chapel seems to have been but poorly furnished. Also Raines, Chant. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 277. Robert Bolton was curate 1548, 1554; Visit, lists at Chest.
  • 86. Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), p. 13. The Visitation record for 1601 at Chester shows that 'Abbott, reader there,' was unlicensed, and the vicar of Walton did not read the service nor preach once a quarter; the chapel was out of repair, and there was no pulpit.
  • 87. Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), p. 83; they recommended that it should be made a parish church, and that a second church should be erected in or near Prescot Lane, the people there being two miles distant from any church or chapel. A stipend of £10 6s. 8d. is mentioned as payable to the minister out of the manor; Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii. 164.
  • 88. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 226. The contribution of the duchy, £3 6s. 8d., as granted by Henry VII, was still paid.
  • 89. See a former note.
  • 90. Vestry Book.
  • 91. Having been made a parish church in 1844 by a private Act of Parliament. The advowson of the newly created rectory was sold to Alderman John Stewart of Liverpool. The present patron is Mr. Arthur J. Stewart.
  • 92. An account of the old and new buildings, with views, is given in the Liverpool Dioc. Gaz. Sept. 1903.
  • 93. 'Sir William Forster, clerk, of Derby,' was witness in a dispute in 1570, and aged 52; it is not known whether he was in charge of the chapel.
  • 94. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), x, 192; he was also there in 1598.
  • 95. Visit. list. Also in 1622; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i. 65.
  • 96. He signed the Harmonious Consent of 1648 as minister of this chapel.
  • 97. He became vicar of Childwall in 1664. At the bishop's visitation in 1665 Christopher Fisher, 'pretended curate' at West Derby, was presented.
  • 98. Became vicar of Eccles.
  • 99. Also curate of Liverpool.
  • 100. Administration of his estate was granted in 1732.
  • 101. From this time the licences to the curacy are to be found in the Act Books at Chester. The stipend was £20 16s.
  • 102. He is described as perpetual curate. He was also minister of St. Mark's, Liverpool.
  • 103. One of the incumbents, the Rev. Frederick Barker, became bishop of Sydney 1854 to 1884.
  • 104. It was made a chapelry in 1876, and afterwards endowed with £200 a year. Lond. Gaz. 27 Oct. 1876; 2 Aug. 1878.
  • 105. There is a small burial ground.
  • 106. It has a burial ground attached. There is a fine lych gate made of oak taken from the old house called Boulton's.
  • 107. A district was assigned in 1852, and twelve years later an endowment of £132 granted; Lond. Gaz. 26 March, 1852; 12 July, 1864. For the removal, see ibid. 16 March, 1883.
  • 108. For St. Stephen's, the vicars of St. Jude's and St. Mary's, Edge Hill, share the patronage with the rector.
  • 109. For district see Lond. Gaz. 24 March, 1854.
  • 110. See Lond. Gaz. 1 Aug. 1871, for district assigned. Canon Richard Hobson, the first vicar (1869–1901), deserves mention.
  • 111. Lond. Gaz. 6 Feb. 1872, for district. In connexion with it a mission church of the Advent was opened about 1890.
  • 112. Ibid. 23 April, 1872, for district.
  • 113. For the district assigned, see Lond. Gaz. 2 Sept. 1881.
  • 114. The organ, pulpit, lectern, and altar were brought from the old church.
  • 115. He was one of the most influential ministers in Liverpool; father of Mr. Augustine Birrell.
  • 116. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. vi, 187, 212; Green Lane is the result of cottage preaching started in 1853; Norwood is an outcome of the Bicentenary Celebration of 1862; work at Edge Hill commenced with a Sunday school in 1857, and the chapel in Chatham Place was used from 1868 to 1877.
  • 117. Owing to a dispute at Grove Street chapel, part of the congregation separated in 1878; Kensington church is the result; ibid. i, 232.
  • 118. It was built for the Methodist New Connexion in 1861, and used by the Congregationalists for ten years, as stated above.
  • 119. The Earle Road church originated in a temporary building in 1862.
  • 120. This congregation represents those connected with the Shaw Street church, who, in 1876, refused to join in the general union of the English Presbyterian bodies. It is affiliated to the Reformed Presbyterians of Ireland.
  • 121. See list of 1641 in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 237.
  • 122. Jos. Gillow, in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 150, where is printed a description of the chapel plate in 1709, as given by the informer, Richard Hitchmough. In 1728 Bishop Williams confirmed 207 persons at Croxteth, and in 1774 Bishop Walton confirmed 200 at Gill Moss.
  • 123. This and other information is chiefly drawn from the Liverpool Cath. Ann. 1901. Bishop Brown, first bishop of Liverpool of the restored hierarchy, is buried at St. Oswald's.
  • 124. In 1888 it was greatly enlarged by the addition of new chancel, chapels, and transepts. A baptistery was added in 1893.
  • 125. Adoration Reparatrice, one of the French orders in exile.