Townships: Allerton

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

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'Townships: Allerton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 128-131. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Townships: Allerton", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 128-131. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Townships: Allerton", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 128-131. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Alretune, Dom. Bk.; Allerton, 1306. The local pronunciation is Ollerton.

Allerton is a suburban township containing 1,586 acres, (fn. 1) pleasantly situated on the gentle slopes of a ridge which rises on the eastern side to 230 feet above sea level, overlooking the River Mersey across the adjacent township of Garston. There are several large residences with their private grounds set in the midst of pastures and a few arable fields. There are plantations of trees, some of a fair size for a suburban district. An air of tidiness reigns over what remains of the natural features, with neatly-kept hedges and railed-in paddocks, and shrubs grown to rule and measure. The roads are good, and the soil, apparently clay and sand, appears fertile, and is of course much cultivated; good cereals are successfully grown. The pebble beds of the bunter series of the new red sandstone or trias underlie the entire township.

The London and North-Western company's railway from Liverpool to London skirts the south-western boundary, having stations called Mossley Hill and Allerton. The population in 1901 was 1,101.

The Calderstones estate, formed in 1828 by Joseph Need Walker of Liverpool, (fn. 2) has lately been purchased by the corporation of Liverpool. The 'famous Allerton oak,' mentioned in the Directory of 1825, still stands on the lawn of the house, a very large and ancient tree.

A local board was formed in 1868; (fn. 3) in 1894 it became an urban district council of nine members.


ALLERTON was in 1066 held by three thegns for as many manors, the assessment being half a hide, and the value above the customary rent the normal 8s. (fn. 4) In the twelfth century it became a member of the barony of Manchester. It is not mentioned by name in the survey of 1212, but had apparently before that time been held in conjunction with Childwall by the lords of Lathom, who had recently resigned their rights here. (fn. 5)

There was here about the same time a family who bore the local surname. Richard son of Robert de Allerton gave to the canons of St. Werburgh of Warburton whatsoever in Aigburth belonged to his fourteen oxgangs of land in Allerton, as shown by the marks and crosses of the brethren, with common rights and easements of his fee in Allerton. His son Robert, with the assent of his uncle Gilbert, son of Robert de Allerton, granted three acres between the 'Twiss' and St. Mary's Spring, next to the four acres given them by Richard son of Robert son of Henry. He further gave his portion of ten oxgangs of land upon Flasbuttes in the east of Aigburth, between the Stonebridge and the moss. (fn. 6)

In 1241, an assize of mort d'ancestor having been summoned between Robert son of Richard de Allerton and Geoffrey de Chetham and Margaret his wife, the former quitclaimed his right in twelve oxgangs of land in Allerton, i.e. half the manor, to Thomas Grelley, lord of Manchester, who had been called to warrant. (fn. 7) From this time no resident family assumed the local name. (fn. 8) The superior lordship thus formally recognized continued to be held by the barons of Manchester down to the seventeenth century. (fn. 9)

A subordinate manor of Allerton was formed for one of the members of the Grelley family, the earliest known tenant being John Grelley. His son Robert and widow Joan were in 1306 holding respectively two-thirds and a third of the manor, which were claimed by Thomas son of Robert Grelley, the superior lord, by writ of formedon. (fn. 10) Robert, however, continued to hold the manor until the beginning of Edward III's reign, (fn. 11) when he was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 12) whose name occurs down to about 1380. In 1382 Isabel, widow of John Grelley, negotiated the marriage of her daughter Anilla with John le Norreys of Much Woolton. (fn. 13)

The descent of the manor is obscure at this point. Probably there was an elder daughter who inherited it. It was afterwards held by the Lathoms of Parbold. Their earliest appearance in Allerton is in 1441, when Edward de Lathom obtained by fine from Richard de Pemberton and Elizabeth his wife six messuages, a mill and lands here. (fn. 14) A confirmation of the descent is obtainable from two Mossock inquests of the time of Elizabeth; (fn. 15) in that taken in 1594 after the death of Henry Mossock his land in Allerton was stated to be held 'of the heirs of Robert son of John Grelley'; but in that of his son Thomas, four years later, 'of Richard Lathom.'

Robert Lathom of Allerton, who married a daughter of William Norris of Speke, occurs from 1472 onwards; he died at a great age in September, 1516, and was succeeded by his son William, then over sixty years old. (fn. 16) The Lathoms were both royalists and recusants. (fn. 17) Their estates were seized by the Parliament during the Civil War, and the manor was sold (fn. 18) to John Sumner of Midhurst in Sussex, in March, 1654. The price agreed upon was £2,700. (fn. 19) It was not, however, till the beginning of 1670 that Charles, son and heir of John Sumner, obtained possession from Thomas Lathom, son and heir of Richard, by further payment; later in the same year the whole was sold to Richard Percival and Thomas his son for £4,755, of which sum Charles Sumner received £3,300, and Katherine Lathom, widow, and her son Thomas the remainder. (fn. 20)

Richard Percival, born in 1616, was engaged in business in Liverpool. (fn. 21) He and others who refused to make the declaration required by the Test and Corporation Act were removed from their aldermanships in 1662. (fn. 22) He died in 1700, being succeeded by his son Richard. (fn. 23) The younger Richard had three sons and four daughters. The eldest of the sons, John Percival, failed in business about 1722, (fn. 24) and the father, apparently overwhelmed by misfortune, retired to Manchester, where he died in 1725. (fn. 25)

The Allerton property had been fully settled, but in 1726 Richard Percival of Liverpool, son and heir of John, with the assistance of Thomas Aspinall of Toxteth Park, who had intermarried with this family, (fn. 26) cut off the entail in order to aid his mother, who out of her £100 a year had given up £50 to help to pay her husband's debts. Ten years later he sold the estate for £7,700 to the brothers John and James Hardman, the latter being distantly related by marriage; he then retired upon £100 a year to Wavertree Hall, where he was living in 1760, a recluse, bent upon the discharge of his father's debts. (fn. 27)

John Hardman died in 1755 (fn. 28) soon after his election to Parliament, his brother James having predeceased him in 1746. The former had no children, but the latter left three sons and a daughter, all of whom died young, and the widow continued to reside at Allerton till her death, 12 February 1795. (fn. 29)

The estate was purchased by William Roscoe and James Clegg, the manorial rights being held jointly. (fn. 30) The former resided at the hall for some time, (fn. 31) but on his failure in 1816 his portion was sold to James Willacey of Barton Lodge near Preston, from whose representatives it passed in 1824 to Pattison Ellames for £28,000. In 1836 the purchaser was living at the Hall and Samuel Joseph Clegg, son of James Clegg, at Green Hill in Allerton. (fn. 32) After prolonged litigation among the representatives of the families of Willacey and Ellames, the manor or reputed manor, demesne lands, and hall estate were offered for sale in September, 1868, by order of the court of Chancery. A sale was not then effected; (fn. 33) but later the Ellames trustees sold the hall and manorial rights to Lawrence Richardson Baily of Liverpool, (fn. 34) after whose death in 1886 Mr. Thomas Clarke of Liverpool and Cork purchased the estates and is the present lord of the manor. (fn. 35)

Three daughters were the issue of the above mentioned marriage between John le Norreys of Woolton and Anilla Grelley, one of them being Joan, who married Henry Mossock. In 1417 by fine dealing with lands in Allerton, Ditton, Huyton, and Speke, the succession was arranged. (fn. 36) The Mossocks retained property at Allerton until the seventeenth century. (fn. 37)

The Norrises of Speke also held land in Allerton of the Lathoms. It was situate in the Marshfield and had been the property of the Brooks family of Garston. (fn. 38)

Some part of the holding of Cockersand Abbey had early been farmed to Ralph Saracen, a citizen of Chester, who gave his right to the Hospital of St. John the Baptist outside the Northgate, the brethren thereof being bound to render 5s. yearly to the abbey. (fn. 39) On the suppression of the abbey these lands were granted to Thomas Holt, (fn. 40) and were afterwards sold to Edward Molyneux. (fn. 41)

Among the more recent landowners may be mentioned the Earles of Liverpool, who began to purchase about the beginning of last century. Sir Hardman Earle, of Allerton Tower, was made a baronet in 1869; he died in 1877, and was succeeded by his son Sir Thomas, who died in 1900, and his grandson Sir Henry Earle, D.S.O. General Sir William Earle, C.B., C.S.I., a son of the first baronet, was killed in the Soudan on 10 February, 1885; there is a statue to commemorate him in front of St. George's Hall, Liverpool. (fn. 42)

Earle of Allerton Tower. Or, three pallets gules each charged with an escallop in chief of the field.

An enclosure of waste was made in 1822, the lords of the manor at that time being Samuel Joseph Clegg and James Willacey. (fn. 43)

Two small 'Papist' estates were registered in 1717; William Walmesley of Liverpool, watchmaker, £35 for a house held for the life of Anne his wife; and Thomas Miller of Garston, for houses here and at Garston, £10. (fn. 44)

The church of All Hallows was built in 1872 for the accommodation of members of the Established Church. A parish was formed for it in 1876. The incumbents are presented by Mrs. Bibby. The stained glass windows were designed by Sir E. Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris.


  • 1. The Census Report of 1901 gives 1,589 acres, including 14 of inland water.
  • 2. The house was previously called the Old House.
  • 3. Lond. Gaz. 3 January, 1868.
  • 4. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 284a.
  • 5. In 1209 Robert Grelley, then baron of Manchester, laid claim to certain services which Richard son of Robert ought to render him from a tenement in Allerton, and the matter was settled by the latter resigning to the superior lord the tenement concerned. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 35, 36. It appears certain that this Richard was Richard son of Robert de Lathom, from a claim to the manor made as late as 1316 by Robert de Lathom, by a writ De avo against Robert Grelley. In the pleadings the Lathom pedigree is traced back to the tenant of 1209. De Banc. R. 216, m. 129d.; 219, m. 112d. It was no doubt the same Richard son of Robert who gave half a culture here— viz., half of Exstanesfold—to the priory of Burscough. Mon. Angl. vi, 460. It was held of the priory about 1400 by John de Blackburn of Garston, in socage by a rent of 4d. yearly. Towneley's MSS. DD, 1457. After the dissolution it was acquired by the Ditchfields of Ditton. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, n. 19.
  • 6. Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 559–61. Land in Allerton is mentioned among the possessions of the abbey in 1292 in the Placita de quo Warranto (Rec. Com.), p. 339. In 1501 the abbey received a rent of 6s. 8d. from Thomas Plomb, and 6d. for Puntercroft from Sir William Norris. Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), 1249. The Richard son of Robert son of Henry is obviously the lord of Lathom. The 'Twiss,' a tongue of land between two brooks, is mentioned in a grant by Richard son of Robert de Allerton to Gilbert, son of Robert de Liverpool, of three acres (24 ft. in length) in Catranscroft and the Twiss, reaching to the lands of Cockersand and the Hospitallers, and lying among the land bought by Gilbert from Richard son of Robert de Lathom. Blundell of Crosby evidences (Towneley MS.), K. 198.
  • 7. Final Conc. i, 91. Geoffrey de Chetham twelve years later appeared as complainant, alleging that the monks of Stanlaw had forcibly taken some of his turf and beaten his men; Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), p. 130; Cur. Reg. R. 150, m. 9.
  • 8. William de Allerton and his sons had lands in the adjoining township of Speke. He may have been ancestor of the William son of Thomas de Allerton, a claimant of land here in 1362, whose great-grandfather was named William; De Banc. R. 410, m. 63.
  • 9. In 1327 John de la Warre held this manor, with appurtenances, by the service of the fourth part of a knight's fee and suit to county and wapentake by the hands of Robert Grelley his tenant; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 35. In 1346 it with Childwall and Dalton formed half a fee, suit to county and wapentake being performed by John Grelley; Surv. of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 42. There is a similar record in other aids. In 1623 Allerton was held of Edward Mosley as of the manor of Manchester by knight's service and 1d. rent; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 406.
  • 10. De Banc. R. 161, m. 481. He also claimed lands in Chorlton-upon-Medlock from them and in Garston from Adam de Ireland and Avina his wife.
  • 11. In 1327 Ellen Grelley contributed to the subsidy, but in 1332 Robert Grelley is the name given; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 4. In 1323 the justices, William de Herle and Geoffrey Le Scrope, stayed a night at the house of Robert de Gredele in Derbyshire; Assize R. 425, m. 14.
  • 12. See Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), ii, 266; also Norris D. (B.M.), n. 782. John Grelley was made a verderer in 1334; Duchy of Lanc. For. Proc. 1/17. In 1334 and later John Grelley disposed of his lands in Chorlton by Manchester. In 1389 he is spoken of as 'lately deceased.' His armorial seal shows the Grelley coat, without difference. See De Trafford D. n. 19, 124–5. John Grelley and Isabel his wife are named in 1358; Assize R. 438, m. 14.
  • 13. Norris D. (B.M.), n. 390. The writ of Diem cl. extr. on the death of John Grelley was issued 1 March, 1380–1; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. p. 354. A Gilbert Grelley occurs in Woolton between 1350 and 1360. In 1345 John and Gilbert Grelley had pardons on condition of serving in Gascony when summoned; Cal. of Pat. 1343–5, pp. 530–1.
  • 14. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 8, n. 62; 6, m. 40. The interval is partly filled by the occurrence of William de Slene, during the greater part of Richard II's reign, as appears from the Norris deeds of this time. He contributed to the poll tax of 1381; and in 1391 the bishop of Lichfield granted him a licence for an oratory within his manorhouse in the parish of Childwall; Lich. Reg. vi, fol. 127. He is also mentioned in the Chetham Society's volume of Lancs. Inq. p.m. It is obvious that he was for the time lord of the manor, but there is nothing to show the reason for it. He may have married the eldest daughter of John Grelley; all that is known is that he married the widow of John de Rainford.
  • 15. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, n. 28; xvii. n. 87.
  • 16. Ibid. v. n. 7. A fuller history of this family is given in the account of Parbold. For a claim to the manor in 1601 see Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 465.
  • 17. William and Thomas Lathom of Allerton were on the recusant roll in 1641; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 243.
  • 18. The confiscated estates of Richard, Edward, and William Lathom of Allerton were sold under the Act of 1652; Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 43.
  • 19. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 191, 192. Richard Lathom was lord of the manor at that time; Cal. of Com. for Comp. iv, 319.
  • 20. Gregson, l.s.c. In Gregson's time (1817) there still remained on an outhouse the initials and date proving that the Lathoms resided there till the Restoration. Thomas Lathom was joined with Charles Sumner in the fine of 1671 which concluded the series of transactions; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 186, m. 122.
  • 21. For an account of the family see Trans. Hist. Soc. i, 61–6. Richard was bailiff of Liverpool in 1651 and mayor in 1658; he lived in Water Street, and his house had six hearths rated in 1663. In 1668 he leased from Edward Moore of Bank Hall the 'new fabric which is already begun, called the Phœnix Hall, near the bridge in Fenwick Street,' undertaking to complete it according to the design; Irvine, Liverpool in Chas. II's Time, pp. 145, 167. One daughter married a son of Edward Williamson (mayor in 1661); another, Catherine, married George Leigh of Oughtrington, and had three sons and two daughters, the elder of whom married Dr. Samuel Angier, a popular medical practitioner in Liverpool, while the younger, Jane, married James Hardman, brother of John Hardman, member of Parliament for Liverpool in 1754. See Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 588. Richard had a younger brother Thomas, who purchased Royton in 1662.
  • 22. Picton, Liverpool Municip. Rec. i, 238.
  • 23. Trans. Hist. Soc. l.s.c. The other son, Thomas, mentioned in the agreement for the purchase of Allerton, does not occur subsequently.
  • 24. 'John Percival of Allerton, gentleman,' was one of the trustees of the old Presbyterian chapel at Gateacre in 1715; Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. vi, 195. He married Margaret Crook; see Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. ii, 24.
  • 25. The father's will omitted to mention the elder sons, John and Richard, who may have been dead, and created a trust for his third son as incapable of managing his own affairs. The personal property was left to two of the daughters and two of John's six children, but the testator was probably insolvent, as the will was not proved. Fuller details may be seen in the paper already referred to.
  • 26. His son Samuel Aspinall, solicitor, was at one time partner with William Roscoe; Gregson, l.s.c.
  • 27. Gregson, op. cit. p. 192; Trans. Hist. Soc. l.s.c.
  • 28. He was an executor of the will of Joseph Lawton, minister of Gateacre chapel, who died in 1747; Nightingale, op. cit. vi, 199. He was chosen to represent Liverpool as a Whig in April, 1754; his successor was elected in December, 1755; Pink and Beavan, Parly. Rep. of Lancs. 199.
  • 29. The widow's virtues were recorded by William Roscoe. See Gregson as above; Fishwick, Rochdale, p. 521, and Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), vi, 77.
  • 30. Gregson, l.s.c. Roscoe's purchase was made in 1799; see the Life by Henry Roscoe, i, 243. Most of the details given by Gregson have been by Mr. Robert Gladstone, jun. checked from the original deeds, many of which are in the possession of Mr. N. J. Cochran-Patrick (formerly Kennedy), of Ladyland, Beith, N.B., one of the proprietors of Allerton, by virtue of his descent from James Clegg. There has been a great deal of litigation owing to the early deaths of James Hardman's children and the want of proper settlements. Claimants occasionally come forward still, with many extravagant stories. A pedigree of the Hardmans may be seen in Trans. Hist. Soc. xx, 153, where some account is given of the descent. The estates were divided between two claimants—Richard Pilkington and James Russell, whose shares came to Roscoe and Clegg. Richard Pilkington made a feoffment of the manor of Allerton and the other Hardman estates in Allerton, Great Woolton, Garston, Aigburth, Grassendale, Childwall, and Liverpool in 1759; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 363, m. 4. Five years later James Russell established his right to a moiety; ibid. bdle. 371, m. 4; in a later fine (bdle. 384, m. 4) in 1770 Edmund Ogden and Mary his wife were joined as deforciants with James Russell and Anne his wife.
  • 31. There is a description of the hall in the Lancs. volume of Britten's Beauties of England and Wales, p. 215, with a view. The scenery of Roscoe's 'Inscription,' printed at the end of his translation of the 'Nurse,' appears to have been suggested by his estate here.
  • 32. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 759.
  • 33. Ibid. (ed. Croston), v, 65.
  • 34. Ex Inform. Mr. T. Algernon Earle. Mr. Baily was one of the members for Liverpool in 1885.
  • 35. Ex Inform. Mr. T. Clarke.
  • 36. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 4, m. 33; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 230. See also the accounts of Much Woolton for Norreys, and of Bickerstaffe for Mossock. It would appear from a suit of 1352 that the father of John le Norreys had then some land in Allerton, for he appeared against Robert son of Robert, son of Richard le Norreys of Burtonhead, to claim a messuage and eight acres; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2, m. iiii (July) and m. iiii (Oct.) Kuerden, loc. cit. records a grant in Allerton to Alan le Norreys in 1336 from John son of John, son of Simon de Garston.
  • 37. In 1662 Richard Lathom of Allerton granted Thomas Mossock 5½ acres (Henthorn head), on the west of the Mossock holding in Allerton, further enclosure being forbidden; Kuerden loc. cit. n. 20.
  • 38. Norris D. (B.M.), 11–18. Among the Norris deeds are depositions respecting the rights of common here, the Lathoms' tenants objecting to those of the Norrises sharing, on the ground that the property in respect of which rights were claimed lay beyond the boundary.
  • 39. Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 561. The property was known as the Moss Grange; Rentale de Cockersand (Chet. Soc.), 5. In 1523 Thomas Crue, clerk, master of the Chester Hospital, leased out the fields or closes called the Moss Grange within the parish of Childwall for a term of 77 years, a rent of 33s. 4d. being payable. The lessees were Alice wife of David ap Griffith and Robert Griffith; and after their death the latter's son William held possession for about five years, being forcibly expelled in May, 1537, by Sir William Norris and others. Sir William ordered certain persons to murder Griffith if he came near the place, according to his complaint; Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Hen. VIII, x, G. 4.
  • 40. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, n. 46.
  • 41. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 50, m. 91; the rent of 5s. from Moss Grange was included.
  • 42. An account of the family, with pedigrees and portraits, by Mr. T. Algernon Earle, is given in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), vi, 13–76.
  • 43. Liverpool Corp. D.
  • 44. Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 126, 155. 'Coz. Walmesley the watchmaker' dined at Little Crosby in 1712; N. Blundell's Diary, 106.