Townships: Hale

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

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'Townships: Hale', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 140-149. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Townships: Hale", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 140-149. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Townships: Hale", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 140-149. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Hales, 1176; Hale, 1201—the universal spelling from about 1250.

Hale is a riverside township, the southern and eastern limits being washed by the Mersey, which curves round Hale Point, the most southerly land in the county, whereon stands a lighthouse. The northern boundary is mainly formed by Rams Brook. The land is flat, interspersed with plantations and farms; rows of straight, tall Lombardy poplars being noticeable features of the open landscape.

The park and grounds of Hale Hall occupy a large portion of the river frontage. The village of Hale is a straggling one, with some pretty cottages set in flowery gardens. The surrounding country is entirely agricultural. Crops of barley, wheat, and turnips are grown, on loamy and sandy soil with a mixture of clay. It is said to be one of the best wheat-growing districts in Lancashire.

The geological formation is the same as in Speke, with alluvial deposits by the banks of Ramsbrook.

To the north is the hamlet of Ciss Green, and at the western corner, on the banks of the Mersey, is Dungeon, where a century ago there were considerable salt works, (fn. 1) long since discontinued. The village is much frequented in summer by pleasure parties. The population was 524 in 1901.

Roads spread out from the village in several directions, and a footpath leads north-west. The area is 1,651 acres. (fn. 2) The highest ground is but little over 80 ft.; the lowest is in the Decoy Marsh, so called from a decoy for wild fowl formed near Hale Point.

The celebrity of the place is the giant John Middleton, called the 'Child of Hale.' He was born in 1578, and buried in 1623 in the churchyard, where what is called his tombstone is shown. He was 9 ft. 3 in. in height, and was taken to London in 1617 to be shown to James I, who gave him £20. (fn. 3)

The cross upon the highway is mentioned in a charter of 1387. (fn. 4)

A ferry from Hale to Runcorn was established at an early period. It had been discontinued for want of a boat for two years in the time of King John, causing a loss of 20s. per annum to the revenue. (fn. 5)

Formerly there was a ford in general use. John Walley of Runcorn in 1423, in attempting to ride across to Weston by it with two horses laden with fish from Formby, was drowned, though the fish-laden horses crossed safely. In 1465 the court rolls record that a certain John Jackson of the north country and some companions crossed by it with horses, cattle, and sheep, and were stopped by the bailiff until they paid the toll called 'stallage.' (fn. 6) The ford was in constant use in the Civil War period and later, being mentioned in the deeds of the Halsall charity bequest in 1734.

M. Gregson in 1817 mentions a project for embanking the Mersey from the marsh at Ditton down to Garston or even to Knott's Hole at the Dingle. 'Opposite the Dungeon two miles of land in breadth might be enclosed before the present salt works, where the river is fordable at low water.' (fn. 7)

In the early part of the last century a fair for toys and pedlery was held on 19 November, when a large number of persons called freemen, chosen by the manor court, appointed a mayor. A wake was held on the Sunday next to 15 August. (fn. 8) The Great Court of Hale used to be held on the Wednesday before St. Andrew's Day, and a court-leet and courtbaron on Michaelmas Day, when constables, coroner (for Hale only), (fn. 9) water bailiffs, burleymen, aletasters, and house and fire lookers were chosen; (fn. 10) but courts have not been held for many years.

The lord had a toll (4d.) from every vessel casting anchor within the bounds. (fn. 11) It was the duty of the water bailiff to collect this due or to make distraint for it. From the old court rolls it appears that money found on a drowned man brought ashore at Hale, like other things cast up by the river, went to the lord as 'dower of the sea.' (fn. 12)

The township is governed by a parish council.


HALE with HALEWOOD formed one of the six berewicks of King Edward's manor of West Derby in 1066. (fn. 13) By Roger the Poitevin its tithes were in 1094 granted to the abbey of St. Martin of Séez. The gift was confirmed by John when count of Mortain, and by Henry III in 1227. (fn. 14)

The manor remained in the king's hands during the twelfth century. (fn. 15) Henry II, after his first coronation, placed part of it—perhaps that afterwards known as Halewood—within the forest, viz. from the Flaxpool to the Quintbridge; but it was disafforested in Henry III's reign, according to the charter of the forest. (fn. 16) The assized rent of £4 10s. was increased in 1200 by £2 10s., so that in later years the sheriff of the county answered for £7 to the treasury. (fn. 17)

By charter, dated at Rouen, 9 November, 1203, King John granted to Richard de Meath (fn. 18) the vill of Hale in its entirety, rendering every Michaelmas for all service the increased rent of £7 above mentioned. The vill was to be held by Richard and his heirs by hereditary right. (fn. 19)

The words as to descent by hereditary right led to trouble. Richard de Meath was a clerk and beneficed, having been presented to Swineford church in 1203 and again in 1207, (fn. 20) so that he may have been in holy orders. Yet he allied himself with one Cecily de Columbers, (fn. 21) and had four sons and two daughters by her. In 1226–7 he granted to Cecily de Columbers and her children begotten by him and their heirs the vill of Hale and its appurtenances, to be held of Richard himself during his life, and after his death of his brother Henry de Walton and his heirs, 'who,' he declared, 'are my heirs.' The remainders were to Cecily's children in turn—Richard, Geoffrey, Adam, Henry, Emma, and Cecily; 'and so to all other children that the said Cecily may have by me.' The holder was to pay annually to Henry de Walton and his heirs the £7 due to the king and 12d., or a pound of pepper, in addition. (fn. 22) About the same time (viz. on 19 July, 1227) Henry III confirmed his father's grants to Richard, as well as the latter's charter granting Hale to Henry de Walton and his heirs. (fn. 23)

Richard de Meath lived for several years after this charter, (fn. 24) dying, it is supposed, about 1235. He was succeeded by Cecily de Columbers, (fn. 25) and then in turn by Richard, (fn. 26) Geoffrey, Adam, and Henry (fn. 27) her sons.

Henry was still living in October, 1260, when William son of Henry de Walton endeavoured to recover the manor of Hale, which, as he asserted, Cecily de Columbers had held of him, and which should have reverted to him as an escheat on her death, as she died without heirs, her children being ignored as illegitimate. Henry's defence was technical but successful; he did not hold the entire manor, as Herbert, rector of Childwall, had a messuage there with 3½ acres of land and the site of a chapel. (fn. 28) Henry retained the manor till his death, which occurred soon after, and was succeeded by his sister Cecily, wife of John de Wolfall. (fn. 29)

So far, the settlement made by Richard de Meath held good; the Walton family were overlords, and Cecily de Columbers and her children successively held under them. The threat of the Waltons to dispossess them for illegitimacy seems to have led to a compromise, for Cecily de Wolfall granted a third of the manor of Hale to her overlord William de Walton, who was satisfied with that concession. (fn. 30)

Walton of Walton on the Hill. Azure, three swans argent.

Other claims interfered. Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby, between 1263 and 1266, granted to Nicholas de la Hose the wardship of Richard de Walton, and in addition, granted him the £7 rent due from the manor, and made him mesne lord of Hale, holding directly of the earl, and therefore superior to the Waltons, under whom were the descendants of Richard de Meath. Nicholas de la Hose (fn. 31) sold his rights to Robert de Holand, who thus became superior lord of Hale, with the Walton heir in wardship. (fn. 32)

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

But at the beginning of Edward I's reign another claimant came forward, more important than any of the foregoing. This was Adam Austin or Adam de Ireland, son of Cecily de Wolfall's sister Edusa, (fn. 33) who had been living in Ireland, where her son Adam was born and brought up. They were in ignorance of the state of the succession in Hale, but Adam on coming into Lancashire claimed his mother's share of the two-thirds not alienated by Cecily, and then sought a writ against Richard de Walton for the other third. (fn. 34)

He first appears as a claimant in 1279, when, in conjunction with his aunt Cecily and her husband, he demanded land, meadow, wood, and the third part of a mill at Hale. For that he substituted a claim against John de Wolfall and Cecily his wife for the moiety of two parts of the manor of Hale as his portion of the inheritance of his uncle Henry de Hale, lately deceased. To this they agreed, and Adam accordingly had seisin. (fn. 35) His next suit was against Robert de Holand, Richard son of William de Walton, and others, to recover the third part of the manor, except one messuage. Robert de Holand said he claimed nothing except as guardian of Richard de Walton, a minor. Richard denied Adam's right, and the latter repeated his story, with the addition that his aunt Cecily in her old age and infirmity had desired it to be known that he was her heir, and had allowed him temporary possession 'for one day and one night,' in token of the same. (fn. 36)

The claim was unsuccessful, and the Waltons retained this part of the manor. In 1292 Richard de Walton was summoned to show his right to a third part of the manor of Hale, part of the ancient demesne of the crown, but stated that he held in fact only about a sixth of it. On adducing the grant to Richard de Meath, he was met by the statement that the hey of Hale with its hunting and other rights had been reserved by King John; (fn. 37) he could only reply that Richard de Meath had occupied the hey as well as the rest of the manor. In 1293 his portion of the manor was taken into the king's hands by default, (fn. 38) but four years later was restored to his son William de Walton. (fn. 39) The disputes between the various lords of the manor continued, (fn. 40) but in 1321 William de Walton sold his rights to Adam de Ireland and Robert his son. (fn. 41)

The lordship of Robert de Holand (fn. 42) descended like his other manors. His son Robert, afterwards Lord Holand, in 1304 procured a charter for a market and fair for Hale and free warren there. (fn. 43) The market was to be held every Tuesday, and the fair on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Mary Magdalene. Robert himself seems afterwards to have granted a charter for a borough. (fn. 44) Hale seems to have been assigned as part of the dower of his widow Maud, and soon afterwards she was defendant in a suit by Alan son of Henry le Norreys. (fn. 45) She died seised of the manor in 1349. It was held of Henry earl of Lancaster by fealty and suit to the wapentake of West Derby, and was worth £9 a year clear. (fn. 46) The second Lord Holand died in 1373, holding it of the duke of Lancaster by homage and fealty only; it was then worth £60 2s. 6d. (fn. 47) His daughter Maud, widow of Sir John Lord Lovel, died in 1423 seised of the manor of Halewood, held of the king in chief as of his duchy of Lancaster in socage by fealty only; it was worth £40 clear. (fn. 48) It was forfeited by the Lovels in 1487, and given to the first earl of Derby, (fn. 49) of whom the Irelands continued to hold the manors of Hale and Halewood by the tender of two roses on Midsummer Day.

A junior branch of the Holand family was established in Hale. (fn. 50)

The appearance of the Ireland family has already been narrated. Adam Austin, having established his claim to a portion of the lordship, in 1285 married Avina, daughter of Robert de Holand, his superior lord. The grant to Avina on her marriage (fn. 51) may be regarded as a settlement of the disputes between her father and her husband.

The Norris interest in Hale began with Alan, father of the Alan and John le Norreys who settled at Speke. In an undated charter, Alan le Norreys granted to Simon his son the Ditton half of the mill of Hale—that upon the pool between Hale and Ditton — which he had received from Henry de Walton, formerly the king's servant, with fishing and other rights. (fn. 52)

This will explain the position in 1292, when the tenants of Hale were summoned to prove their title to their holdings. Robert de Holand had 160 acres and his brother Richard 60; Adam de Ireland and Avina (fn. 53) his wife had 200 acres; Alan le Norreys had but 20. (fn. 54)

From this time the Irelands' position was secure. (fn. 55) Adam Austin de Ireland, in spite of his many lawsuits, lived until 1324, (fn. 56) and his wife Avina also. In 1292 he was non-suited in divers claims against Robert de Holand, Robert Erneys of Speke, and his wife Joan, and Roger de Culcheth. (fn. 57) In 1323 he was returned by the sheriff as one of those holding lands of the annual value of £15 and more; (fn. 58) and about the same time a claim was made against him and his wife Avina and their sons Robert and Adam, by Randle, son of Henry Malinson, respecting his free tenement in Hale, but it was unsuccessful. (fn. 59) Another claim was at the same time made against Adam and Avina, and Adam, their son, by Robert Grelley. (fn. 60) A charter exists of Adam de Ireland, lord of Hale, to Richard, son of Henry Malinson, another defendant in the former suit, granting him a messuage and lands upon the waste of Hale, near the Old Barn yard, and a fishery in the Mersey called 'the Heegh Yord,' for a rent of 5d. (fn. 61)

Ireland of Hale. Gules, six fleurs de lis three, two and one argent.

During Adam's lifetime John de Ireland, who succeeded to Hale, (fn. 62) had become possessed of lands in the place. (fn. 63) In 1331 he appears as son and heir of Adam. (fn. 64) At the beginning of 1336 Henry, son of Randle de Hale, sold to John, son of Adam de Ireland, and Agatha his wife, (fn. 65) certain lands which they held on lease from him. (fn. 66)

Some dispute appears to have arisen about this time with Simon de Walton; for Randle de Merton entered into a bond to him for the production by John de Ireland of two charters concerning Hale— the original one of King John to Richard de Meath and the confirmation by Henry III. A royal confirmation was secured, and the contest with the Walton family terminated. (fn. 67) John de Ireland continued to purchase lands in Hale, and his name occurs as witness to various deeds down to about 1358.

David de Ireland, his son, succeeded, and was lord of Hale for over twenty years, his name occurring in a receipt for 40 marks paid by him to Sir Richard de Bold as late as 1378. (fn. 68) In 1367 the bishop of Lichfield granted him a licence for an oratory in his mansion at Hale. (fn. 69)

John de Ireland succeeded his father David early in Richard II's reign; he was knighted at the beginning of Henry IV's. (fn. 70) In answer to a quo warranto from the king he claimed wrecks, fishes-royal, assize of bread and beer, amercements of offenders against the same, view of frankpledge and other liberties which had been enjoyed by himself and his ancestors from time beyond memory. (fn. 71) From a broken inscription in a window in the chapel, preserved by Challoner, he seems to have been a benefactor to the chantry. (fn. 72) His will dated 24 May, 1411, directs his burial in Hale chapel, and mentions his wife Margery and his daughters Joan and Katherine. (fn. 73)

His eldest son and successor was William de Ireland. (fn. 74) At the beginning of 1422 he enfeoffed a number of trustees, Thomas de Ireland being one, of the manors of Hale and Hutt, and all his other possessions. (fn. 75) He died in 1435. (fn. 76)

Another John de Ireland succeeded his father William. He acquired lands in Smerley in Halewood, in Fulshawfield, and in several other holdings; one of the latest being from Thomas Fulshaw, of Halebank, in August, 1461, of a piece of land next to Lord Lovel's holding. (fn. 77) A dispute between him and William Norris, of Speke, was referred to the award of Sir Thomas Stanley. (fn. 78) The inscription on his tomb is given by Challoner (or Holme) as follows:—Hic iacet Joh'es Yerlond armiger qui fuit dñs de Hale et dimid ville de Bebinton inferioris qui obijt sc'do die Maij año dñi M° CCCC° sexagessimo sc'do. … Cuius aīe propicietur deus. Amen. (fn. 79)

His son William succeeded, (fn. 80) and was followed by his son, Sir John Ireland, knighted by Lord Strange in Scotland, in 1497, during the expedition led by the earl of Surrey. (fn. 81) He made an exchange with Richard Crosse, of Liverpool, taking the latter's holding in Halewood in place of certain tenements in Wavertree and Liverpool. (fn. 82) Sir John died 29 July, 1525, seised of the manors of Hutt and Hale, held of the earl of Derby in socage by a rent of two roses, the value being £40. (fn. 83)

His son and heir was Thomas Ireland, then aged 22 years, whose mother is said to have been an illegitimate daughter of James Stanley, bishop of Ely. Thomas Ireland married (in 1508–9) Margaret, daughter of Sir Richard Bold, (fn. 84) by whom he had two sons—John, who left an only daughter Margaret—and George, who succeeded him. He died 27 August, 1545, leaving his possessions by will to his son George and his heirs, with remainder to the above-named Margaret. (fn. 85)

George Ireland married for his first wife Elizabeth, one of the two daughters and heirs of Ralph Birkenhead, of Crowton near Northwich, whereby he came into possession of considerable lands in Cheshire. He died 15 July, 1596. (fn. 86)

His eldest son, John, then aged 38, who succeeded, is said to have been lieutenant of the Isle of Man in 1611. He died 17 October, 1614, being buried at Hale on 15 November following. (fn. 87)

Gilbert Ireland, his younger brother, (fn. 88) succeeded him, being then about fifty-five years of age. He was made a knight at Lathom in 1617, during King James's stay there. (fn. 89) He served as sheriff of Lancashire in 1622, (fn. 90) and died at the Hutt in April, 1626. (fn. 91) John, the son and heir, said to have been aged 29 at his father's death, sold his share of the Crowton estates, and dying at the Hutt 5 May, 1633, (fn. 92) was buried at Hale. (fn. 93)

Gilbert, the eldest son of John Ireland, succeeded, He was born 8 April, 1624, and married Margaret, only child and heir of Thomas Ireland, of Bewsey, but there were no children. He took the side of the Parliament in the Civil War, with the rank of colonel, and was nominated upon the committee of the county in 1645; he was high sheriff of Lancashire in 1648, (fn. 94) governor of Liverpool Castle, governor of Chester, member for Lancashire in 1654 and 1656, and for Liverpool from 1658 till his death. (fn. 95) Like many of his Presbyterian brethren he aided the restoration of Charles II in 1660, when he received knighthood, and was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Lancashire in 1665. (fn. 96) He was a 'man of unbounded hospitality; . . . . his disposition, however, was haughty, and his demeanour stately. He was fond of elections, and maintained a contest for Liverpool on several occasions, the last of which, from excessive drinking and an extravagant expenditure of money, proved as fatal to his health as injurious to his purse.' (fn. 97) He assigned his estates to trustees for thirty years to pay his debts, and, it is said, to prevent his sister Elizabeth enjoying them. He died at Bewsey 30 April, 1675, and was buried at Hale; his widow following him two months later. (fn. 98)

Aspinwall of Hale. Per pale gules and azure, a fess dancettée ermine.

Hale then passed to his nephew Gilbert Aspinwall, who died in 1717, and whose son Edward (fn. 99) died two years later. Ireland Aspinwall, son of Edward, (fn. 100) died unmarried in 1733, and the Hale estate devolved on his sister Mary.

She married Isaac Greene of Childwall, and had three daughters. The eldest died unmarried; the youngest married Bamber Gascoyne; (fn. 101) while the second, Ireland Greene, in 1752 married Thomas Blackburne of Orford; and on a partition of the properties the last-named had Hale, which became the residence of the Blackburne family. The eldest son John, born in 1754, was high sheriff in 1781, (fn. 102) represented Lancashire in Parliament as a Tory from 1784 to 1830, (fn. 103) and died in 1833. In his time, says Gregson, 'the house at Hale underwent considerable alterations'; and 'the celebrated collection of plants which were formerly in the Botanic Gardens at Orford were removed to this favoured spot.' (fn. 104)

John Ireland Blackburne, who succeeded his father in 1833, was several times a member of Parliament as a Conservative—for Newton and Warrington. (fn. 105) He died in 1874, and was followed by his son, also named John Ireland Blackburne, who was for ten years a representative of Southwest Lancashire. (fn. 106) On his death in 1893, his son Col. Robert Ireland Blackburne became lord of Hale.

Blackburne of Hale. Argent a fess nebulée between three mullets sable.

Hale Hall is a quadrangular building of c. 1600, altered in the latter part of the seventeenth century, with a large south front added in 1806.

The original house had a north front with five irregularly spaced projecting bays, with mullioned windows and gables. It was remodelled in 1674 by Sir Gilbert Ireland, the gables being masked by a panelled parapet, flush with the front of the projecting bays, and carried on semicircular arches springing from their angles, or from piers brought forward to the same line. At the same time a porch was built in front of the entrance doorway, and a second entrance porch added to the second bay from the west. This is now built up. The inner courtyard was very small, and is now roofed over, and filled up with an eighteenth-century staircase, a former stair dating from the middle of the seventeenth century, with good newels and balusters, having been moved from its original position near the south-west angle of the court and set up further to the west, near the kitchen and offices. On the south side of the court is a fine panelled room, which seems to have been fitted up by Sir G. Ireland in 1671. (fn. 107) It was designed as the hall of the original house, and may have had a projecting bay at the south-east angle of the court and screens at the west, where a door still communicates with the kitchen passage. On the first floor a gallery runs round all four sides overlooking the court, having in its windows some very interesting early seventeenth-century glass, with representations of the months, of various birds and beasts, and of Faith, Hope, &c., and in one of the bedrooms opening from the gallery on the north, known as Sir Gilbert Ireland's room, is a bay window with panels of heraldry, mostly c. 1670, with the arms of various local families.

The roof-timbers are those of the original house, and the roof space preserves the clay floor which was common in the older houses of Lancashire. A similar floor was found beneath the floorboards of Sir Gilbert Ireland's room on the occasion of a fire, and was undoubtedly of use in preventing the spread of the flames.

The south front of the house consists of a range of rooms with a tower at the west end, added in 1806, Nash being the architect. The design is copied from the north front, both the original features and the alterations of 1674 being imitated in a manner worthy of the time.

The house is not so rich in detail as many of the old Lancashire houses, but what there is is good of its kind, and there are some good pictures and furniture.

Part at least of the Norreys holding in Hale came into the possession of the West Derby branch, being regained by the marriage of Thomas Norris of Speke to the heiress of that branch about 1460. (fn. 108) Alan son of Henry le Norreys in 1325–30 claimed from John son of Alan le Norreys and Richard de Molyneux of Sefton three messuages, 20 acres of land, and other tenements, including a third of the mill; the plaintiff failed to appear and was nonsuited. (fn. 109) William son of John le Norreys claimed in 1346 a messuage and 40 acres from Maud widow of Sir Robert de Holand, (fn. 110) and this suit was continued by Thomas le Norreys of West Derby. The Speke branch continued to increase its holding in the township. In 1364 Sir Henry le Norreys acquired a messuage and 19 acres from John son of Roger Daukinson; (fn. 111) Sir John le Norreys, his successor, purchased the inheritance of John de Sutton in Halebank and Gervasefield, (fn. 112) and other like charters exist among the Norris deeds. (fn. 113)

As will have been noticed in some of the deeds already cited, Hale was used as a surname by some of the undertenants there. John son of John de Wolfall in 1318 released to Richard son of Thomas de Hale his right in 6 acres lying near Halepool in the Greve Riding, in accordance with a charter made between the respective fathers. (fn. 114) In 1327 Thomas de Lathom brought an accusation of breaking into his houses at Hale and carrying off his goods against a large number of the people of the neighbourhood, including William son of Ralph de Hale, Thomas son of Roger de Hale, Robert son of Thomas de Hale, Henry de Holland of Hale, and Adam de Gerstan. (fn. 115) Coldcotes gave its name to the holders; Adam de Coldcotes senior gave a house and the old garden to his son Henry in 1358. (fn. 116)

The Laghok family had land here. At the beginning of 1325 Richard de Laghok recovered in the Court of Hale from John de Grelley of Barton (or John de Barton) and Cecily his wife a toft and 30 acres of land. Seven years later Adam son of Richard de Lachog transferred the same tenement, said to lie in 'le Brerehevid' in Halewood, to Richard son of Robert de Lachog. The family acquired various other small properties by various titles, and in 1364 John son of Roger Daukinson de Lagog and Joan his wife sold a field called Hondfield to Sir Henry le Norreys of Speke. (fn. 117)

A little later there appears a John Layot (or Leyot), possibly of the same family, (fn. 118) whose career was noteworthy. He was baptized at Hale, and seems to have been much attached to this place. He was ordained deacon in Lent, 1382, on the title of his benefice, the vicarage at Huyton. (fn. 119) In later years he is described as a bachelor of decrees. (fn. 120) Yet he appears to have married early in life, perhaps before he started on an ecclesiastical career. He had at least two sons, Richard and Robert. Richard was not only a master of arts, but held the position of chancellor to the duke of Bedford in 1420, so that he may well have been forty years of age. (fn. 121)

It was in favour of this son that the father, according to the Irelands, endeavoured to settle his lands in Hale without their cognisance. He had acquired lands there in 1393, (fn. 122) and in order to overawe the lords of the manor he executed a feoffment to the duke of Bedford, who by deputy took seisin. (fn. 123) He died in 1427, and was buried in the middle of the chapel of Hale, where he had made provision for two chantry chaplains. (fn. 124)

Various settlements were made. In 1426–7 Master John Layot, rector of a mediety of the church of Malpas, granted land in Hopkinsyard to Robert his son, who duly took possession. (fn. 125) John Layot junior, who succeeded, had two sons, John and Robert, of whom Robert became rector of Chalke in Wiltshire and in 1460 made a settlement of the property; to his mother Joan Smerley, if she survived him; to his brother John Layot, chaplain, and to Thomas and William, the sons of John by Ellen, 'formerly his wife,' and Elizabeth the daughter; in case of failure of all heirs the lands must be sold, and the money delivered to the reeves of the chapel of Hale for its maintenance, repair, and emendation, for the souls of Robert himself and his parents, friends, and benefactors. (fn. 126) More than thirty years later still a John Layot, vicar of Chalke, appears as owner; and in 1497 he, then rector of Fyfield, at which place one of the Norris family was settled, appeared in St. John's, Chester, and made a statement to the effect that he had made no private settlement, and that after his death the properties must, by right of inheritance, pass to Sir William Norris of Speke. (fn. 127)

In the meantime the lord of Hale had not been idle. William Ireland had gathered evidence that the Layot land had been copyhold, and having been transferred from one to another by deeds without any appearance before his manor court they were forfeited to him; and at Lancaster in 1481 he had brought a writ of assize of novel disseisin against John Layot, priest, and Thomas Layot. The court rolls were produced, but the defendants had such 'great evident proofs' by original deeds and evidence of possession that they won their case easily. Hence there was no opposition when in 1493, on the death of John Layot, chaplain, Sir William Norris at the hallmote of the manor of Hale claimed certain lands there— though by what right was unknown—and they were delivered to him; relief 21d. (fn. 128)

The list of tenants in 1292 summoned to prove their title to their holdings has been mentioned above. There is also extant a rental of 1324, commencing with the name of Simon de Walton, lord of the manor of Walton. (fn. 129)

The Hospitallers had a rent of 12d. from lands in Hale. (fn. 130)

An Enclosure Act for Hale and Halewood was passed in 1800.

In 1343 there were serious disputes between Sir John de Molyneux and some of his tenants and neighbours at Hale. Richard del Doustes and others were found guilty of assaulting Sir John, and damages were assessed at 100s. Richard was afterwards assaulted himself, but he was charged with being a 'common evil doer,' it being among the accusations against him that he made various poor persons work for him against their will. He brought a certain Toya Robin to his house at Hale, bound his head with a rope, and perpetrated other enormities upon him to make him acknowledge that he was one of those who took evil reports to Sir John de Molyneux and so kept alive the latter's animosity. (fn. 131)

The recusant roll of 1641 shows that a large number of the inhabitants adhered to the Roman Catholic faith. (fn. 132)


The chapel of St. Mary is of ancient origin. It is mentioned in a suit of 1260, and in the feoffment of Robert de Ireland in 1322, already quoted. Master John de Layot's foundation, about 1381, was for a chantry with two chaplains, but there is no record of it at the time of the confiscation of such endowments. (fn. 133)

Roger was chaplain of Hale about 1270, (fn. 134) William Kendal in 1420, and John Cundliff in 1434; no doubt many of the 'chaplains' mentioned in the local charters also served there. The fourteenth-century tower is standing; but the church, said to have been a 'black and white' timbered building, was replaced in 1754 by the present one, which was in 1874 renovated and refitted by Colonel Ireland Blackburne. The peal of six bells was given by the agent to the estates; the inscription is 'Church and King—John Watkins, Ditton, 1814.' There were in the old building the tombs of John Layot (1428), John Ireland (1462), Sir Gilbert Ireland (1626), and Sir Gilbert Ireland (1675); only the latter, of black marble, has been preserved. (fn. 135)

The chapel continued in use after the Reformation. In 1592 the wardens were enjoined to provide a sufficient register book, &c. In the time of the Commonwealth the commissioners recommended that Hale should be made a parish church, because of the distance from Childwall, and 'because there is not any person hath any seat or burial place within Childwall church.' The tithes and Easter roll were the only revenues that could be assigned to it, for it had no endowment; Mr. Gilbert Ireland of the Hutt claimed to be patron. (fn. 136) Out of the rectory of Childwall, sequestered from James Anderton of Lostock, recusant and delinquent, £36 was allowed yearly to this chapel, afterwards increased to £40. (fn. 137) Bishop Gastrell about 1717 found the income of the chaplain to be £17 17s., including recent endowments. (fn. 138)

Hale was made a separate chapelry in 1828 (fn. 139) as a perpetual curacy. Mr. Ireland Blackburne is the patron. Among the later incumbents have been:—

1592–1598 William Sherlock (fn. 140)
oc. 1609 Thomas Lydgate (fn. 141)
1635 — Thompson (fn. 142)
1646 Henry Bolton (fn. 143)
1651 Samuel Crosby
1659 Samuel Ellison (fn. 144)
oc. 1671 John Nickson
oc. 1726 — Langford
1750 Francis Ellison
1773 Joseph Airey
1805 Samuel Norman
1813 Joseph Hodgkinson, B.D. (fellow of Brasenose Coll. Oxon.) (fn. 145)
1818 William Stewart, M.A. (Brasenose Coll. Oxon.) (fn. 146)
1856 Richard Benson Stewart, M.A. (Caius Coll. Camb.) (fn. 147)


  • 1. Owned by Nicholas Ashton of Much Woolton.
  • 2. The census return is 1,654 acres, including 7 of inland water; there must be added 293 of tidal water, and about 1,350 of foreshore.
  • 3. Harland and Wilkinson, Lancs. Traditions, 31. There are portraits at Hale Hall and High Legh.
  • 4. Norris D. (B.M.), 152.
  • 5. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 249, 253.
  • 6. Family of Ireland Blackburne, 75, 79.
  • 7. Fragments (ed. Harland), 214. It was about here that William Massey of Puddington crossed the river on horseback in 1715, after the Jacobite overthrow at Preston; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 560.
  • 8. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iv, 751.
  • 9. A coroner for the manor of Hale continues to act.
  • 10. On 26 November, 1416, the officers appointed were: Reeve, constable, two burleymen, and two affeerers, all to serve till the ensuing Michaelmas.
  • 11. This is still claimed.
  • 12. Fam. of Ireland Blackburne, 61–78, where the bailiff's warrant is printed (1755).
  • 13. A plea on the Hale charter roll states the king had had Hale in his own hands and cultivated 8 oxgangs; the grantee demised it to his natives at a farm rent, and Adam Austin, his grandson, desired to recover the 8 oxgangs.
  • 14. Lancs. Pipe R. 290, 299; Rot. Lit. Claus. ii, 206.
  • 15. Hale contributed two marks to the aid levied in 23 Hen. II in anticipation of an expedition to Normandy, and 1 mark to the tallage made by Richard Malboise (4 John); Lancs. Pipe R. 35, 151.
  • 16. Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 372.
  • 17. Lancs. Pipe R. 131, 147, 163, &c.
  • 18. One of the clerks of the Exchequer, and son of Gilbert de Walton.
  • 19. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 113. A reservation of hunting and pleas of the crown is cancelled on the charter roll. In return Richard promised 10 marks and a palfrey worth 5 marks, to which he afterwards added another palfrey and a chaseour. He paid 2 marks as recorded in the Pipe Roll, and in 1215 the king sent word to the sheriff to take security from Richard de Meath for the payment of four palfreys, and thereupon to put him in seisin of his estates in Walton, Formby, and Hale. This instruction was repeated by Hen. III in 1222. See Lancs. Pipe R. 167, &c.; Close R. (Rec. Com.), i, 477b. The reservation as to hunting, &c., appears uncancelled on the Pipe Roll.
  • 20. Pat. John, 29, 75.
  • 21. She is supposed to have been Cecily de Vernai, wife of Philip de Columbers, who died in 1216; W. F. Irvine, 'The Irelands of Hale' (Trans. Hist. Soc. 1900, p. 141).
  • 22. Charter on the Hale Chart. R. The witnesses included Ralph bishop of Chichester and chancellor (1226–43), several of the king's clerks, Sir William le Boteler (d. 1233), Sir Gerard de Hethewell, acting sheriff of Lancs. (11 Henry III)—this name fixing the date—and Roger de Ireland.
  • 23. Charter R. 19, 11 Hen. III, pt. 2 (where the hunting, &c., are again reserved); Orig. 11 Hen. III, m. 8.
  • 24. A grant of the site of a mill in the pool between Hale and Ditton, together with half the water and fish there, was made to him by some of the tenants of Hale, he to pay them 3s. annually; Hale D. In 14 Hen. III he was involved in a dispute as to boundaries with the lords of Speke—John de Haselwell and Adam de Molyneux—and the dispute was not settled till the middle of the next century. Shortly afterwards he and his brother Henry were called to account for assarts made and mills raised, and other matters in Hale; Cur. Reg. 104, m. 12; 107, m. 9d. 29 d. He had disputes with the 'men of Hales' already; for in 1226 they had complained to the king that Richard had ousted them from their common of pasture and had also taken away their corn and meadows, and he was accordingly commanded to let them enjoy all such rights herein as they had formerly held; Rot. Lit. Claus. ii, 121. A charter of his (or of his son Richard) is extant, granting Alan le Norreys for his homage and service all the lands from the ditch towards Sulepool, as far as the Meneway towards Morecote, and so going down to the land of Roger son of Geoffrey; with pasture for his cattle and pannage for twenty pigs in Halewood; the only service being an annual rent of 2s. 6d.; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 1.
  • 25. Cecily de Columbers, 'lady of Hale,' in her liege power and with the consent of Henry her son and her other heirs, granted 14 acres in Hale wood to Roger de Wyswall, and a messuage in the vill of Hale, for a rent of 3s.; Roger had also permission to gather windfallen timber in the wood of Hale for fencing and building as well as for firewood; and free mast-fall for his pigs in return for one of the best of them, and should he have ten pigs one out of every ten, and 1d. per head. She also granted to Robert son of Robert de Carinton 3½ acres in her wood of Hale, abutting on the road from Hale to Childwall, paying 7½d.; he was to have all the wood on this land with windfallen timber and pannage as in the preceding grant; Hale D.
  • 26. Richard son of Richard de Meath granted to Reynold the Miller land bounded by Fulshaw syke, the highway, the ditch on Blackstone lee and the Lee, and the road from Hale to Ditton as far as the bridge, for a rent of 21d.; Hale D. He also granted to his uncle Hugh de Thingwall 12 acres at the head of Bradley towards Hale—the perch to be of 24 feet—for 2s. annual rent; with the usual easements in the wood of Hale, and a fishery in the Mersey; Norris D. (B.M.), 126. This grant seems to have been divided between two daughters, for Richard son of Elred gave to Thomas de Shevington, 'the forester,' in marriage with Cecily his daughter 6 acres and half a fishery for a rent of a shilling (to the chief lord) and an arrow; and John son of Adam de Wolfall granted the other moieties to the same Thomas for 12d. rent and a pair of white gloves (value 1d.), 'which pence Richard de Meath and his heirs have been accustomed to take in the name of farm for the land.' The two parts were thus reunited; ibid. 128–9.
  • 27. Henry 'lord of Hale' gave to Richard son of Philip de Speke a messuage and 6 acres in Hale, with common of pasture and other easements including wood and reasonable mast-fall; the service to be 18d. in silver; Hale D. By another charter he granted to Randle son of Robert the Miller, formerly of Garston, 8½ acres in Hale in five separate places; the usual easements, housebote, &c., being granted for a rent of 2s. 1½d. Every tenth pig was to be given to the lord at the time of mast, and if he had less than ten he must give as other tenants so situated; should the mast in the wood of Hale be insufficient, he might withdraw his pigs. Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 2.
  • 28. Cur. Reg. 169, m. 11 d.; 171, m. 32d. In the latter case Henry is called 'son of Tirycy de Meath.'
  • 29. As 'Cecily de Wolfall, lady of Hale' she granted to Henry her nephew, son of Richard late lord of Hale, 4½ acres of land and a messuage, at a rent of 2s. 3d.; Hale D. The nephew Henry must have been illegitimate.
  • 30. Petition of Adam de Ireland in the Hale Charter Roll.
  • 31. Nicholas appears to have been in possession in 1273; De Banc. R. 1, m. 10; and see Dep. Keeper's Rep. xlvi, App. 177.
  • 32. Plac. de quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 387. For the king it was urged that the grant to Nicholas was made 'in a time of war'; i.e. the Barons' war. A curious statement as to the origin of the Holand lordship was made by the tenants of Hale. A certain Thurstan de Holand, who had married a daughter of Henry, came to him, they alleged, as he lay at the point of death incapable, and took his seal, which he had hanging from his neck, and used it to certify charters granting the manor of Hale to Thurstan himself and Robert his son. After Henry's death the Holands took possession and brought in new tenants to the injury of the old; Hale Charter R. The story as to the grants made by Henry de Hale, while incapable, to Thurstan de Holand is told also in De Banc. R. 336, m. 217. It is certain that the claims of the Holands were earlier than the grant to Hose, for Thurstan de Holand and William de Walton had a dispute as to land in Hale in 1263, and William de Walton being still alive, his grandson's wardship could not have been prior to the Holand claim; Cur. Reg. 172, m. 27 d. Ralph the son of Reynold shortly afterwards made a complaint against Thurstan de Holand, Robert and Roger his brothers, William and Adam his sons, and a number of others that with force and arms they had come to his house at Hale, broken the timbers thereof and carried away other of his property to the value of 12 marks; ibid. 173, m. 22 d. 29 d.; 186, m. 23d.; 211, m. 7 d. In 1276 Thurstan de Holand had a dispute with the lords of the neighbouring vill of Speke as to boundaries, alleging disseisin of his free tenement in Hale, to wit, 100 acres of land. The jury, however, said that only 60 acres could be put in view, of which only 20 were in Hale; Assize R. 405, m. 1 d. The true origin of Thurstan de Holand's rights may be the fine arranged in 1262 between him and John de Wolfall and Cecily his wife regarding 400 acres in Hale; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 138– 40. An earlier fine between John and Cecily de Wolfall and Alan le Norreys shows that the former were then married and had lands in Hale; ibid. i, 78. Thus Thurstan de Holand acquired land by purchase, and his son Robert acquired the lordship of the manor.
  • 33. Otherwise Editha or Ida.
  • 34. Hale Charter R.
  • 35. De Banc. R. 31, m. 25, 99, 125. In 1283 'Adam Austin came … to replevy to Cecily de Wolfall her land in Hale which was taken into the king's hands for her default against Thomas son of Pain de Frodsham'; Cal. of Close, 1279–88, p. 233.
  • 36. Hale Chart. R.; Assize R. 1265, m. 5d. Richard de Walton later made a claim against Adam Austin; ibid. R. 1294, m. 11d.
  • 37. The variations in the documents have been noticed above.
  • 38. Plac. de quo Warr. 227, 382–3, 607, 230; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 354.
  • 39. Hale deeds. Before the above claim was decided in the king's favour various other suits had been commenced. Adam Austin demanded 12 acres of land and 17s. rent from Richard de Walton, but was nonsuited. William son of Hawyse had a claim against Adam Austin for land in Hale tried in the court of William de Walton there; Assize R. 408, m. 23 d. At the same time Richard de Walton claimed from Robert de Holand land, meadow, and wood in Hale, as heir of Richard de Meath. Richard de Holand warranted to his brother the defendant, but the case was adjourned; ibid. m. 48. Richard de Walton also made a claim against Adam Austin of Ireland for a messuage, 14 acres of land, and 34s. of rent which should have come to him after the death of John de Wolfall and Cecily his wife, and their issue, Adam having retained them as heir of Richard de Meath; Assize R. 167, m. 10 d. A number of the tenants of Hale appealed against Richard de Walton and Adam de Ireland, lords of the same, on the ground that customs and services were demanded from them other than those their ancestors had been wont to perform. In the time of William the Conqueror, they alleged, the manor being in his hands, they rendered yearly for an oxgang of land 2s. 7d., suit at the court of the manor, and amercements and reliefs as ordained by twelve tenants of the manor; but now they were required to pay 23d. a year beyond the former services. Richard asserted that his grandfather William was in seisin of the services and customs he himself demanded, no change having been made; and the tenants were defeated; Assize R. 408, m. 21 d.; m. 28.
  • 40. De Banc. R. 151, m. 206; 154, m. 86; 159, m. 70.
  • 41. Hale D.
  • 42. Margery, widow of Robert de Kinghale, claimed her third part of 6½ acres in Hale as dower; De Banc. R. 20, m. 26 d. &c. Alan le Norreys also claimed 14 acres there of which he asserted his father Alan had been disseised by Thurstan, Robert's father; he further claimed common of pasture and reasonable estover in the wood; ibid. R. 27, m. 38, 72 d.; 30, m. 4, 2 d. Robert made several grants of land. To Richard de Tranmole (Tranmere) he gave a plot lying by the side of his house for 1d. rent; and to Roger the Carpenter two acres in Halewood on both sides of his house at 12d. rent; Hale D. To Richard son of Robert de Laghock he granted a part of his waste in Hale called Thornyhead, between Richard de Laghock's land on one side and the 'street' on the other; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 6. Thomas de Shevington, the 'forester,' received 5 acres in the wood of Hale with the timber thereon, in exchange for 5 acres near the pool, with right of way for his beasts and carts to the pool on the boundary of Tarbock, at all times when he should be able to cross owing to the ebbing of Robert's mill-pool; Norris D. (B.M.), 180, 181. To Henry son of William de Garston and Sabina his wife were granted 9½ acres in Hale wood with right of way, housebote, haybote, and other easements in the common wood when the oaks on the land granted should fail; ibid. 182. There was a dispute as to the succession to the Garston grant in 1324–5; Assize R. 426, m. 16.
  • 43. Chart. R. 32 Edw. I, m. 2, n. 28; m. 3, n. 48.
  • 44. On the forfeiture of Robert de Holand in 1322 his manors were taken into the king's hands and the accounts have been preserved. In Hale the various rents in 1323–4 amounted to £73 5s. 11d., and sales of corn, &c., to £60 3s. 3d., the expenses being £5 7s. 7½d., so that £128 1s. 6½d. was paid to the Exchequer. In the following year the net revenue was £77 17s. 0¾d. and in the third year it was £73 4s. 2¼d. In the first of the years named the assized rents of the free tenants amounted to £9 7s. 8½d.—this included 60s. from Walton—as well as 6d. for three pairs of spurs sold; tenants at will holding 79 messuages and 5 cottages with nearly 570 acres of land paid £36 15s. 4¾d., and £15 3s. was derived from 101 acres of demesne land at farm; other sums were derived from lands improved from the waste, from meadow and herbage of the park of Linall, &c., gardens and orchards, mills, weir and hallmote court (13s. 7d.). The principal sales were of wheat (12 quarters), barley (24 quarters), beans and peas (30 quarters), and oats (175 quarters), amounting to over £50. Some additional sales, as of straw, &c., reached another £10, half being derived from the flesh and hides of twelve oxen and a cow which died of the plague. Twenty cartloads of hay had not been sold. The payments included sums for the repair of the mills—the pool of the water-mill had been burst by a flood —and wages; among the latter the wages of the park-keeper, who was also collector of the rents, at the rate of 1½d. a day. The stock consisted of four plough horses and a colt, thirteen oxen and a heifer, and eleven swans and two 'stoyells'; two wagons, a cart, three ploughs, four harrows (two being double and of iron), pots, tubs, dishes, lances, forks and other miscellaneous goods, including an iron chain for the drawbridge, a net for the fish, and six nets for taking bucks.
  • 45. De Banc. R. 280, m. 90, &c.
  • 46. Inq. p.m. 23 Edw. III, pt. i, n. 58.
  • 47. Ibid. 47 Edw. III, pt. i, n. 19.
  • 48. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 1.
  • 49. Pat. 4 Hen. VII.
  • 50. Richard de Holand, said to be son of the elder Robert de Holand, had land in Hale, and granted to Adam son of Warin de Speke 12 acres in 'Houuerechaderoc,' from Rams Brook as far as the sike between the two Kaderokes; paying to the lords of Hale the farm contained in Richard de Meath's charter to Walter de Arderne, then rector of Frodsham, i.e. 2s. of silver at Michaelmas and a pig at Martinmas should they have pigs there; Norris D. (B.M.), 127. Richard de Holand attested local charters down to nearly the end of Edward II's reign; sometimes 'Robert his son' is added. John de Holand occurs from 1316 until 1349; and William de Holland, of Halewood or Hale, from this year until the end of the reign. William de Holland was a free tenant in 1350; he had lands from William son of Roger le Mayorson in 1365; Final Conc., ii, 170. William occurs as a complainant in 1358, Hugh de Adlington and others having broken into his house at Hale; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 6, m. 4, 5 d. In 1339 Henry de Holland and Agnes his wife held land in the Wro in the Overfield (as dower), and its reversion to the heirs of Henry de Ditton was arranged; Norris D. (B.M.), 184.
  • 51. It gave half of all the land of Halewood with the father's share of the old mill between Ditton and the demesne of Alan le Norreys, and of the new mill between Tarbock Park and Halewood; Hale Charter R. This was confirmed and extended by Robert son of the above Robert de Holand, who in 1305 granted to Adam de Ireland and Avina his wife 60 acres in Hale, with the £7 annual rent which his grandfather Thurstan had by the gift of Nicholas de la Hose; his share in the water-mill, four oaks a year from the wood, and other easements were added, the service being the nominal one of a rose annually; Hale Charter R. It will be noticed that the grant of N. de la Hose is here said to have been made to Thurstan.
  • 52. Norris D. (B. M.), 130; made about 1270. The grant of Henry de Walton is No. 234 in the same collection. Thomas le Waleys gave to Alan, son of Alan le Norreys, and Margery his wife, various lands and tenements and the third part of a mill in Hale and Ditton, with pannage, &c. At the beginning of 1309 Thomas, rector of Aston, granted all his land in Hale, as well in the wood as in the vill, and in Ditton to the same Alan and Margery, and six years later Patrick their son made over his lands in Hale, with the territory near the bridge, and his share of the aforesaid water-mill, to his uncle John le Norreys of Speke; Norris D. (B.M.), 131, 134, 135. One of Adam Austin's early suits was against Alan le Norreys and others, demanding the customs and services due from their free tenements in Hale; De Banc. R. 31, m. 31 d.; 32, m. 41.
  • 53. Her name is printed Anne and Amicia.
  • 54. Plac. de quo Warr., 370, 378, 379, 227–8. There were numerous smaller holdings, including Thomas the Forester 16 (or 18), Thurstan son of Henry 17, Jordan the Tailor 14, William son of Richard de Tranmore 12, Richard del Bank 12, Adam del Bank 6, Robert de Thornihead 8, and Simon son of Award 8.
  • 55. There were several persons in Lancs. in the thirteenth century who used Ireland as a surname. A Roger de Hibernia was a witness to the charter of Richard de Meath, already quoted. He had a son Robert. See notes above, also Whalley Coucher, ii, 556–7, 567; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 731. In 1258 Margery, Maud, and Mabel, daughters of Robert de Hibernia, paid a mark for an assize of mort d'ancestor, and the sheriff of Lancs. was commanded accordingly; Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), ii, 287; Orig. 42 Hen. III, m. 10, 11. This Robert appears to have had a son Ralph; and a Ralph de Hibernia is a witness to several of the local charters; Orig. 43 Hen. III, m. 3; Moore Charters, 501, &c. He had a son William and several daughters. In 1302 Ralph de Ireland held Hartshorn in Derbyshire (jointly with Robert de Farnham) as half a knight's fee, and in 1346 William de Ireland held Hartshorn, formerly of the fee of Robert de Ferrers; while eighty years later (1428) Roger Wolley held it in place of William de Ireland. Feud. Aids, 251, 260, 265. Avice (or Avena) Ireland of Hartshorn (c. 1380) married (1) Godfrey Foliambe, and (2) Sir Rd. Green; Top. et Gen. i, 336. For John de Hibernia of Staveley see ibid. iv, 2.
  • 56. As grandson and heir of Richard de Meath through Edusa he appeared as plaintiff in 1321–2; De Banc. R. 240, m. 237. For pedigree see roll 219, m. 248 d.
  • 57. Assize R. 408, m. 46 a, 57, 58 d.
  • 58. Parl. Writs. ii (1), 639.
  • 59. Assize R. 425, m. 6; 426, m. 7d.
  • 60. Ibid 426, m. 1.
  • 61. Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 8.
  • 62. Robert de Ireland, who had the manor of Kirkdale, early in 1322 granted to his father and mother, Adam and Avina, all the lands he had of their gift in Hale and in Kirkdale in order that they might create a sure rent of 5 marks a year for a chaplain celebrating in a perpetual chantry at Hale. He gave and exchanged at the same time other lands to his brother John; Moore Charters, 514. He was described as 'lord of Hale' in 1334, acting perhaps as trustee of his brother John; Norris D. (B. M.), 520. The 'manors' of Yeldersley, Hale, Ditton, and Kirkdale descended to Robert, son of Robert de Ireland, who was a minor in 1381–2; perhaps Hale, like Ditton and Yeldersley, is to be understood of a portion of the manor; Hale D.
  • 63. Richard Spoch in 1316 transferred to him a messuage and half an oxgang of land; John, son of Roger de Crosbyhouses, leased him other lands for twenty years from 1320; and he had more from Robert, son of John de Wallehul, and others; Hale D.
  • 64. In an action against Robert del Mulne for diverting a watercourse; De Banc. R. 286, m. 263.
  • 65. Agatha the wife of John was perhaps a sister of Randle de Merton, who in the pedigree is described as 'of Bebington'; Ormerod's Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 178. The Irelands were afterwards in possession of certain lands and a fishery in Bebington supposed to be derived from this marriage; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. p. 245.
  • 66. Hale D. Randle de Hale seems to be the Randle son of Henry Malinson named above. John de Ireland had a contest with Robert, son of Simon Awardson— Award having been a son of Geoffrey de Barlow—concerning a messuage and 10 acres of land. The latter called the superior lord to warrant, viz. Robert, son and heir of Robert de Holand, and the case lasted several years; Hale Chart. R. This was followed by another with the same Robert and William his brother, which also lasted some time. Part of the delay was caused by the absence of Sir Robert de Holand, who was abroad in the retinue of the earl of Warwick; De Banc. R. 336, m. 217; 344, m. 262; 348, m. 235d.; 356, m. 405d. On the other hand he had to defend himself in an action brought by Thomas le Norreys of Derby (by writ of formedon) concerning 7 acres in Hale granted by Patrick, son of Alan le Norreys, to his uncle John le Norreys, with remainder to this John's son William, father of the plaintiff; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4, m. 5, 25d.; 5, m. 7d., 15; 6, m. 3d.
  • 67. A formal inspeximus of the charter of John was secured from the king (5 April, 1338), with a confirmation, 'to our wellbeloved John son of Adam de Ireland and next of kin and heir of the aforesaid Richard [de Meath]'; and a year later a writ of allowance of the same was directed to the judges of assize in Lancs. Hale Chart. R., Cal. Rot. Chartarum, 174.
  • 68. Hale D. The writ Diem clausit extremum was issued on 3 March, 1383–4; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii. App. p. 356, The Awardson plea above mentioned was prosecuted against David de Ireland; De Banc. R. 433, m. 436.
  • 69. Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 16b.
  • 70. He exchanged a piece of land in the Gervasefield with Roger Dicmonson, and acquired some in Redale and Hopkinsriding. He took on lease the land of Norris of Derby in Hale (except pasture in the wood of Lynale), and acquired from John, son of Robert de Walton, the latter's possession in Much Woolton for life, being named in the remainders to the manor of Walton; Hale D.
  • 71. Ibid. bdle. A, No. 6.
  • 72. Family of Ireland Blackburne, p. 45 (from Harl. MS. 2129).
  • 73. Lancs. and Ches. Wills (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), p. 158. Thomas de Ireland of Lydiate and Garston is said to have been a younger son of Sir John.
  • 74. William de Ireland in 1416 acquired certain lands from John, son and heir of Richard Award of Halewood, in particular a close of ground and a garden called the Milne hey, the boundaries beginning at the milne stead lately belonging to William de Holland and following the ditch as far as Rommes brook; along the brook to the southern end of the close as far as the West Street, and along this street leading from the Wro to the old windmill stead; Hale D. The same John Award afterwards granted a further 2½ acres called the Middle hey, next to the Wro and between the Milne hey and the Danefield; and John del Milne surrendered a messuage called the Peel, and the lands called the Peelfield; Hale D.
  • 75. Hale D. About the same time Ralph de Merton and Agnes his wife leased their lands in Hale to Bartholomew de Standish and Ellen his wife (Ralph's daughter), with remainder to Nicholas de Harrington; ibid. An English indenture records the purchase for 10 marks from Geoffrey de Standish of a messuage and 9 acres of land formerly belonging to William de Garston, who had them from Maud of Bradley, daughter and heir of Henry of Bradley of Halewood, after the divorce between her and Robin of Garston. Geoffrey was to swear on a book to deliver all the deeds he had concerning it, and also that he had made no alienation; 'the which covenants and the accord well and leally and truly to hold and to perform on both sides without fraud or male engyne'; ibid. William de Ireland granted a lease to John of the Mill of 6 acres called the Porterstacke, in 1424; and purchased land in the Gervasefield in 1432, and in the Moorcote in May, 1434; ibid. The last deed mentions 'the rector's mediety of the church of Hale.'
  • 76. The writ Diem clausit extremum was issued 14 August, 1435; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 35.
  • 77. Hale D. A detailed description of the boundaries accompanies this.
  • 78. Ibid. A curious indenture between him and Jenet Short the younger, the daughter of Stene Short of Hale, bound Jenet not to give or sell 'a house, two chambers, a port and a farthing of land' to no man living 'nyff to no man nyff woman that shall lyff in time to come' except to John Ireland; should she remove he was to have it at farm, giving as much for it as any other man would; ibid.
  • 79. Family of Ireland Blackburne, 46 (from Harl. MS. 2129, fol. 67b). In 1460 William Whalley, prior of Upholland, granted an annual rent of 6 marks to George Ireland, citizen and grocer of London, and Christopher his brother for life, within the parish of Childwall; Lord Ellesmere's deeds.
  • 80. A receipt dated June, 1462, is extant showing that he had paid for a garden and croft in Hale just purchased by him; he also acquired in 1464 lands belonging to Thomas, son and heir of Richard Eves, late of Hale; Hale D. The writ of Diem clausit extremum after the death of William Ireland was issued 1 August, 1503; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl., App. 542.
  • 81. Metcalfe, Book of Knights, 31.
  • 82. Hale D. Richard del Crosse of Liverpool had land in Hale in 1423–4; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 18.
  • 83. He also held lands in Cronton of the abbot of Whalley in socage for a rent of 12d.; other lands and messuages in Garston, Much Woolton, Tarbock, and Aigburth; the last-named were held of the Hospital of St. John outside the north gate of Chester for a rent of 12d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, n. 75.
  • 84. There is a bond in relation to this marriage in the Moore Deeds, 743.
  • 85. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 160. The will is wrongly dated. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 129.
  • 86. Ormerod, Ches. (Helsby), ii, 135; i, 622; Gregson, Fragments, 129–30. The inquisition taken after his death gives a full list of the Ireland properties at that time. These included the manors of Hutt and Hale, with Halewood and Halebank, held of the earl of Derby, in free socage, by fealty and the rent of two roses annually, the values of the manors being respectively £5 and £10; lands in Much Woolton of the queen, by a rent of 12d.; in Tarbock, of Edward Torbock, by a rent of 21d.; in Denton and Farnworth, of the barony of Widnes; in Bold, of Richard Bold; in Wigan, of the mayor and burgesses; in Warrington, of Thomas Ireland (by knight's service); in Walton le Dale, of Thomas Langton; and various lands and tenements in Cheshire and Flintshire. In the Cal. of S. P. Dom. 1566–79, Add. p. 375, is a curious story of his dealings with the tithes of Daresbury. A pedigree was recorded in 1567; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 95, 96.
  • 87. See Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 135; Funeral Certs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 205. By his will (26 September, 1611) he left his brother Gilbert his silver and gilt plate, his armorial signet ring that had been their father's, and the horn of Crowton. To his wife he bequeathed various pieces of plate 'made by one Holme, now or later a goldsmith in Knowsley,' a gold chain (worth £20) which had been his mother's, and other goods; Lancs. and Ches. Wills (Chet. Soc., New Ser.), ii, 178. A pedigree was recorded in 1613; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), p. 105.
  • 88. He had matriculated at Oxford (Brasenose) in 1578; Foster, Alumni. A younger brother, Thomas, was member of Parliament for Liverpool in 1614.
  • 89. Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 171.
  • 90. P. R. O. List, p. 73.
  • 91. By his will, dated on the previous 30 January, he left jewellery and other articles to his wife Barbara, his best horse (with the armour and furniture belonging to a lance) and other gifts to his eldest son John, with a request that this son 'do not put in suit a certain bond of £100 which was at the time of his marriage taken in his name to no other purpose but to stir up and cause my Lady Yonge to be more open-hearted and liberal to him and her daughter in future time, in respect of her former large promises made to me how good she would be to them and what great gifts she would bestow on them after their marriage and especially at their going to keep house'; Lancs. and Ches. Wills (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), pp. 126–130; Ormerod, Ches. ii, 135.
  • 92. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii, n. 50.
  • 93. Three of his sons died before 1638 without issue; two of the daughters died unmarried, and the others were Eleanor, who married (i) Edward Aspinall, or Aspinwall, of Ormskirk—their son Gilbert succeeded to Hale—and (ii) … Crompton, a Puritan minister; and Martha, who married Arthur Squibb.
  • 94. As such he published the proclamation issued after the execution of Charles I, forbidding any one to be styled 'king of England'; Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 163. There is a long account of him in W. Beamont's Hale and Orford, 55–130. Fines referring to his manors in Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. Sept. 1649; and 1661, bdle. 167, m. 72.
  • 95. Pink and Beavan, Parly. Rep. of Lancs. pp. 73, 190.
  • 96. A pedigree was recorded in 1664; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), p. 165.
  • 97. Gregson, op. cit. 102.
  • 98. Funeral Certs. (Chet. Soc.), pp. 82–88. See further Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. 13, App. v, 266.
  • 99. A settlement of the manors of Hale and Hutt was made in 1698, by Edward Aspinwall and Mary his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 240, m. 116.
  • 100. Ireland, son of Edward Aspinwall, was admitted to St. John's College, Cambridge, as a fellow commoner in 1721; R. F. Scott, Admissions, iii, 31.
  • 101. See the account of Childwall.
  • 102. P. R. O. List, p. 74.
  • 103. Pink and Beavan, op. cit. p. 87.
  • 104. Fragments, p. 203. See also Gent. Mag. 1824, i, 209, 200, and 1822, ii, 589. Among the plants was the 'great palm,' given to John Blackburne, father of the above-named Thomas, in 1737; it survived its removal to Hale for many years, and continued to bear flowers and fruit annually till its death in 1859; Family of Ireland Blackburne, p. 43.
  • 105. Pink and Beavan, op. cit. p. 292, 336.
  • 106. Ibid. p. 101.
  • 107. Some stone shields brought from Orford Hall are here set up, with the initials of John Ireland, and the Ireland arms quartering Hesketh, Holland, Columbers, Walton, and Merton.
  • 108. Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 14, 23.
  • 109. De Banc. R. 258, m. 163; 279, m. 330d.; 286, m. 266.
  • 110. Ibid. 348, m. 390 d.; 356, m. 436.
  • 111. Final Conc. ii, 170.
  • 112. Norris D. (B.M.), 144.
  • 113. The rental of Thomas Norris (about 1460) shows that he had ten undertenants in Halewood, Halebank, and Hale; of these Christopher Ireland was the most important, paying for Lenall £3 6s. 8d.; Richard Pemberton paid 6s. 8d. for the Wrohey. The total rental was £7 2s. 8d. There was also a survey (made in 1583) of their lands in Hale held by Thomas, son of William Webster, and Richard Wainwright; the tenant of the latter had been James Hulgreave, who was there when (in 1544) Sir William Norris purchased the Grosvenor lands in Lancs., of which this farm was a part.
  • 114. Norris D. (B.M.).
  • 115. Cal. of Pat. 1327–31, pp. 73, 74, 278.
  • 116. Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 12, 17.
  • 117. Norris D. (B.M.), 138, 140, 193, 194. In 1470 Thomas Laghoke, citizen and tallow-chandler of London, son and heir of William Laghoke, deceased, late of St. Neots in Huntingdonshire, granted to John Corker, Ralph Charnock, and Henry Laghoke, barber, his land in Hale; Ibid. 172.
  • 118. Richard Layot of Hale was defendant in a case of debt in 1353; Assize R. 435, m. 11. Some of the family settled in Chester; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 283; xxxix, pp. 266, 552; Norris D. (B.M.), 166.
  • 119. Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 126b.
  • 120. He paid a visit to Rome, for he procured a free burial place at Hale from Urban VI (1378 to 1389); Family of Ireland Blackburne, 48. At the beginning of 1389 he became rector of Fornham All Saints in Suffolk, and next year rector of Denford in Northants.; Cal. of Pat. 1388–92, pp. 10, 191. In 1393 he was rector of Coddington near Chest. resigning in 1394 on appointment as dean of St. John's, Chest. He was also a canon of this church, holding the second prebend of the Cross until his death. In 1405 he became rector of a mediety of Malpas, and also held Bangor Iscoed; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 735, 607; i, 308, 310; for other dignities see Le Neve's Fasti, i, 601, 630; ii, 203. In 1411 he went abroad, again visiting Rome; here he procured a dispensation from residence for purposes of study, Pope John XXIII testifying to his 'literary knowledge, moral rectitude, and other praiseworthy gifts'; Gregson, Fragments, 204; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 283. The pope granted an indulgence to benefactors of Hale chapel; Cal. Papal Letters, vii, which volume contains other references to Layot.
  • 121. Sir John Colville and Richard Leyot, dean of St. Asaph, were in 1419 entrusted with the negotiation of a marriage between John duke of Bedford and the daughter of Frederick burgrave of Nuremberg. Richard Leyot was in the king's service in 1435, and in 1447 was sent on an embassy to Denmark; Rymer Foedera (Syllabus), ii, 611, 661, 678. He succeeded his father as dean of St. John's, resigning in 1431, and became dean of Salisbury in 1446 (being then LL.D.), holding it until 1449, in which year probably he died; Ormerod, op. cit. i, 308, Le Neve, ii, 616.
  • 122. Norris D. (B.M.), 145, 146, 154.
  • 123. Family of Ireland Blackburne, 69.
  • 124. Gregson, op. cit. p. 204. Some uncertainty is created by the existence of a John Layot junior, perhaps a brother, who succeeded John Layot senior as rector of Coddington in 1394, and was soon afterwards presented to St. Peter's in Chester; Ormerod, Ches. (Helsby), ii, 735; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, 283; xxxix, 108.
  • 125. Norris D. (B.M.), 167, 168, and (Rydal Hall), F. 20. In a contemporary settlement for lands in Speke the remainders are thus given:—John Layot junior, Robert Layot, Thomas Layot junior, William Layot, Thomas Layot, clerk, senior, Joan Layot, the two lastnamed for life; then to William Norris (of Speke), and to William de Ireland; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 21. Thomas Layot, chaplain, took part in certain recognizances in Cheshire, in 1435–37; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, 441, 462.
  • 126. Norris D. (B.M.), 171.
  • 127. Norris D. (B.M.), 174–8. The lands included the house known as Layot's Hall, Part's House, and other lands granted out to various persons by Richard de Meath, Henry de Hale his son, and Robert de Holand. The relief paid at Hale is curious—a silver cup value 40s., 26s. 8d. in money, and a superaltar with all that a priest needed for ministering the sacrament.
  • 128. Family of Ireland Blackburne, 61–9; Norris D. (Rydal Hall), F. 32; ibid. (B. M.), 230.
  • 129. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals and Surveys, 379, m. 10. The separate holdings and services of the others include: John de Holland, a messuage and 30 acres, paying yearly a pair of white spurs or 2d.; Richard de Doustes, the same, but paying 1d. more; Roger de Culcheth, 9 acres and paying as John de Holland; the remainder paid money rents. There is a note recording that 'John le Norreys held a plot of land there and used to pay yearly 5s., and now pays nothing, because he gave the same to Robert de Holand in exchange for a tenement in [West] Derby.' The sum of the rental was £8 9s. 8½d. and three pairs of spurs (or 6d.) whereof 5s. 'was in decay.' Then follows a list of burgesses: William Hauk holds a messuage and a burgage and pays 12d. yearly, and so on; the total being 17½ burgages, paying 18s. The mention of burgesses may be supplemented by the name of one of the tenants at will— Richard le Mayre.
  • 130. Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84. Thomas Ireland was the tenant about 1540.
  • 131. Assize R. 430, m. 5d., 24, 27, 31d.
  • 132. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 243.
  • 133. Lancs. Chant. (Chet. Soc.), 273, 276; see also Inv. Ch. Gds. (Chet. Soc.), 91.
  • 134. Norris D. (B.M.), 130.
  • 135. The inscriptions have been preserved; see Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 215– 16. That on Layot's tomb ended—'Quicunque dixerit devote pro ejus anima Pater noster et Ave habebit ccc dies indulgencie pro sua anima.' The present church contains monuments of the Irelands and their successors.
  • 136. Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 66, 195. The 'advowson of the free chapel of Hale' is named in the Ireland inquisitions.
  • 137. Plundered Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 50, 100.
  • 138. Notitia Cest. ii, 170–1.
  • 139. Lond. Gaz. 4 July, 1828; endowed with tithe rent-charges, ibid. 15 Aug. 1879, and 24 Feb. 1882.
  • 140. Also curate of Farnworth.
  • 141. Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 298.
  • 142. 'An able and conformable minister.'
  • 143. Signed the 'Harmonious Consent.'
  • 144. Afterwards rector of Warrington.
  • 145. See Manch. School Reg. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 104; he became rector of Didcot in 1817.
  • 146. He was curate from 1810. In a leaflet, Memorials of Hale, he mentions that a vine on the west side of Parsonage Green, supposed to be 300 years old, was yielding a yearly vintage of grapes.
  • 147. Mr. Stewart has assisted in the compilation of this list.