The parish of Huyton: Introduction, church and charities

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

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'The parish of Huyton: Introduction, church and charities', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) pp. 151-157. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

In this section



The extreme length of the ancient parish of Huyton from north to south is over seven miles, and its breadth about three and a half. The area is 10,383½ acres. (fn. 1) The highest ground is in Knowsley Park, about 330 ft. above sea level.

Before the Conquest half was held by Uctred and half by Dot, each holding one hide. After the Conquest, though Croxteth Park was cut off, the parish was given, perhaps not all at once, to the barons of Halton as part of their fee of Widnes. (fn. 2) By these again the whole, as one knight's fee, was granted to the Lathom family or their predecessors in title. The partition indicated in Domesday Book again reveals itself, Roby and Knowsley being retained as demesne, while Huyton and Tarbock became parted among junior branches of the Lathom family.

To the old county lay, the three townships paid equally; (fn. 3) to the fifteenth Huyton with Roby paid £1 14s. 6¼d., Knowsley £1 0s. 6¼d., and Tarbock £1 18s. 8d. (fn. 4)

The story of the parish is uneventful. The Reformation seems to have made no commotion here. (fn. 5) In the subsidy roll of 1628 only one man—Peter Stockley of Knowsley—paid double as a convicted recusant. (fn. 6)

The Civil War also produced little or no disturbance in Huyton. Lord Derby's property was of course seized, but Knowsley was reserved for his children and countess, and of the sequestrations for religion or politics there are only the cases of Bootle, (fn. 7) Brookfield, (fn. 8) Holme, (fn. 9) and Hutchins (fn. 10) in Knowsley, and Harrington in Huyton. The influence of William Bell, vicar of Huyton during the Commonwealth, was sufficient to bring round him a congregation of Nonconformists after the re-establishment of the Anglican system, and he ministered to them for some years.

The agricultural land in the parish is thus returned: Arable land, 3,481 acres; permanent grass, 1,954 acres; woods and plantations, 1,021 acres. The following are the details:

Arable Grass Woods, &c.
ac. ac. ac.
Huyton with Roby 1,620 579 15
Knowsley 1,861 1,375 1,006

The later history of the parish has been just as even and tranquil. The growth of Liverpool has had the effect of transforming Huyton to some extent into a suburb, and Roby has also been affected; but Tarbock remains agricultural, its collieries having given out, and Knowsley is divided between agricultural land and the park.

The freeholders in 1600, in addition to the manorial families, were William Spencer and Edward Stockley of Huyton, Robert Knowles and John Easthead of Tarbock. (fn. 11) The subsidy roll of 1628 shows as landowners John Harrington and Thomas Wolfall in Huyton, Robert Knowles in Tarbock, and Peter Stockley in Knowsley (fn. 12); the two first-named compounded on refusing knighthood in 1631. (fn. 13)

The hearth-tax return of 1662 shows a considerable number of houses with four hearths and upwards. (fn. 14)


The church is dedicated in honour of St. Michael, and stands on high ground in the north-west of the village, the ground falling from it on all sides. Being built of the local red sandstone, which weathers badly, it has been almost entirely re-faced in modern times, and shows no ancient work outside, except some rubble masonry at the north-west angle of the original nave and a few details on the tower.

In 1555 the church of Huyton was reported to be in a very ruinous condition, and Philip and Mary ordered an inquiry. The chancel, measuring 31 ft. by 30 ft., was so dilapidated that service could not be held there, the body of the church only being used. The stonework seems to have been sound, for about £5 was the estimated cost of repairs, but the roof was 'ready to fall,' and the timber and workmanship would cost £22; in addition the slating would be £5, and the glass and other small necessaries about 50s. (fn. 15) It does not appear that any substantial repairs were made, for about 1592 the lay rector was called upon to repair the chancel, which was 'ruinated.' (fn. 16)

The building consists of chancel 34 ft. by 24 ft., with north vestry and organ chamber, nave 60 ft. by 25 ft., with aisles and south porch, and west tower. So little ancient work remains that nothing can be said of the development of the plan, but the irregularity of the line of the south arcade of the nave is noticeable. The north side of the nave was rebuilt in 1815, and the south, east, and west (fn. 17) walls in 1822, while a further general repair took place in 1873. (fn. 18) The chancel roof is stone slated, the aisles have blue slates, and the nave is covered with copper sheeting. The chancel has a five-light east window with tracery and three singlelight windows in the north and south walls, all being modern. On the south side is a small priest's doorway with a four-centred head, which appears to be of late fifteenth-century work, and retains its old door, though now built up. The chancel roof dates from the repairs of 1663, and is an interesting example, with hammer beams and turned pendants, and curved brackets below the lower hammer beams. (fn. 19) There is no chancel arch, and no evidence of the date of removal of any which formerly existed, the chancel roof being designed for the present arrangement.

The north arcade and aisle of the nave are modern, but the south arcade is of the latter part of the fourteenth century, with plain chamfered arches of two orders, and octagonal moulded capitals and shafts. The curve which is to be seen in its line is doubtless due to some process of adaptation to older work which has now disappeared. The south doorway of the nave is in part of the fifteenth century, having a pointed head under a square label, with panelled spandrels and quatrefoils in the hollow moulding of the head and jambs. The ornamental tooling in the quatrefoils seems to be in part old, and is a curious detail.

The nave clearstory is of a very plain type, not uncommon in the neighbourhood, with square-headed windows of three uncusped lights, and the roof is of low pitch with moulded tiebeams, ridges and purlins, and carved brackets, probably late fifteenth-century work. Over the eastern tiebeam is the Stanley crest, and on the next beam a cherub's head of seventeenthcentury style.

The west tower is of three stages, with a vice in the south-west angle, and has retained but little old detail. Over the west doorway is a band of panelling, and the west window above it has a fifteenth-century crocketed label, though all the rest of its stonework is modern; The tower buttresses also retain the stumps of pinnacles on their lower sets-off. The tower arch is of two orders, the inner order dying out above the springing.

The chancel screen is a very good example, with a wide central doorway and seven openings on either side, their heads and those of the solid panels below being filled with elaborate tracery. Above is a cornice carved with a vine pattern and surmounted by open cresting. The screen dates from c. 1500, and has two canopied niches on either side of the central opening, and above it a shield bearing a fret [Harrington] impaling six fleurs de lys with a crescent for difference [Ireland]. In the spandrels are crowned roses flanked by two other shields.

There was formerly an interesting inscription on the screen as follows:—


This was taken away at the last 'restoration' and has not yet been recovered.

No other woodwork in the church is old, except the litany desk, which is a curious piece of work, apparently of seventeenth - century date, rectangular, with carvings on each side, the Five Wounds, the IHS monogram, the Agnus, with an inscription ECCE AGNUM (sic) DEI, and a shield between the letters A S.

The font now in use is octagonal with a panelled bowl and moulded base, and dates from the latter part of the fifteenth century; the bowl appears to have been cut down. At the east end of the south aisle is a second font, found under the west tower in 1873. It belongs to the first half of the twelfth century, and has a round bowl ornamented with eleven arched panels, in each of which is a human head, and above a row of five-pointed stars. (fn. 20) It is set on a modern pedestal. In the east part of the churchyard is what may be a third font, quite plain, with a hole in one side, which is probably the ground for a tradition that it was formerly used for grinding corn.

Before 1871 the font now in use stood in the chancel near the priest's door, and the middle of the east end of the nave was taken up with a large 'three-decker' of pulpit, reading desk, and clerk's desk.

At the east end of the south aisle is a slab with a tonsured effigy wearing a monastic habit, much damaged but of very good style, c. 1300, and in the chancel are several late brass plates, one to Jonathan Fletcher, archdeacon of Sodor and Man, 1668, (fn. 21) another to John Stockley, 1695, another to John Lowe, vicar, 1706, and another to Elizabeth Farren, countess of Derby, 1829.

The church plate consists of a silver cup and cover paten of 1695, the cup inscribed 'The gift of Capt. John Case of Redhassles, Anno Domini 1695'; two plates inscribed 'The gift of Dorothy Case,' with the mark of Benjamin Branker, a Liverpool silversmith; a breadholder of 1714; a flagon of 1719 with the arms of Case; two modern chalices of Sheffield make, 1873; a silver-topped glass cruet; and a strainer of 1799.

There are six bells, the treble, second, and fourth by C. and G. Mears of Whitechapel, 1846, the third and fifth by the same firm as Mears and Stainbank, 1872, while the tenor is inscribed:—


A small bell formerly here was given to the new church of St. Gabriel in 1894.

'On Sunday one bell is rung at 7 a.m., and two bells at 8 a.m., in addition to the ordinary ringing for divine service. The passing bell is tolled as follows— two for a child under twelve, three for a woman, and four for a man; after a short interval the bell is again tolled for a number of strokes equal to the age of the deceased. The curfew bell is rung from the first Thursday after the 12 October—this date being what is known as Huyton Wakes—and continues ringing each evening to the 25 March.' (fn. 22)

North-east of the church stands the late seventeenthcentury mausoleum of the Case family, now used as a quire vestry. On its east wall is a tablet to Elizabeth wife of John Case, 1681.

The registers begin in 1578. In a terrier of 1778 they are described as in three old books—1578–1667, 1672–1726, and 1727–1759; and two new books beginning in 1759 and 1754 respectively.

One volume of churchwardens' accounts exists for 1783–1834.


The church of Huyton was granted by Robert son of Henry de Lathom to the priory he founded at Burscough about 1189. (fn. 23)

In 1277 Roger de Meulan, bishop of Lichfield, ordained a vicarage. Its possessions were to be the competent residence (manse) which the chaplains had been accustomed to have, next to the cemetery, and three selions of land extending as far as the wood, the prior and canons having right of way across them to their grange. Its revenues were to be various offerings, as those at marriages and burials, in Lent, candles at the Purification, &c., also small tithes. The vicar was, however, to pay half the ordinary charges upon the church, such as synodals and the like, and to be responsible for extraordinary ones, on the assumption that his income was 10 marks. The dean and chapter of Lichfield saw and confirmed this ordinance, as did the prior and convent of Coventry. (fn. 24) The vicars were sometimes canons of Burscough Priory and sometimes secular priests. The prior and convent were patrons down to the suppression; after which the crown presented to the vicarage until it sold the rectory.

In 1291 the church was said to be worth £10. (fn. 25) In Henry VIII's time £21 7s. 2d. was the value of the rectory, and £6 9s. that of the vicarage. (fn. 26) From a rental of this time it appears that £6 13s. 4d. (10 marks) was paid to the vicar by the prior and canons, who also paid a fee of 26s. 8d. to their bailiff at Huyton. (fn. 27)

In 1553 Queen Mary leased the rectory of Huyton to Sir Urian Brereton for twenty-one years; and in 1568 Queen Elizabeth demised it to Lawrence Mynter, for thirty-one years after the expiry of the preceding lease, at a rent of £21 3s. 11d. The rectory was in 1602 sold for £955 19s. 2d. to Edward Cason and Richard Barrell, to be held at the same rent. Three years later, the grantees transferred it to Edward Torbock, junior (afterwards Sir Edward), for £1,380; the rent of £21 3s. 11d. was to be paid 'at the audit to be holden in the honour and fee of Halton.' The rectory, like the manor of Tarbock, came into the possession of Sir Richard Molyneux. The latter's descendants have since sold various portions of the rectory (fn. 28) —the advowson and the tithes of all the townships except Tarbock—to the earls of Derby and the Seels; the earl of Sefton is still the rector of Huyton, being responsible for the due repair of the chancel, and has the tithes of Tarbock. (fn. 29) The earl of Derby presents to the vicarage.

The Commonwealth surveyors in 1650 reported that the tithes were worth £150 per annum; of this £80 was paid to Mr. Bell. The vicarage was worth £10, and the profits were in the hands of Mr. Starkie. (fn. 30) Bishop Gastrell about 1720 found the value of the vicarage to be £42, including the house and tithes; there was also £5 a year for a charity sermon. (fn. 31) In 1778 the value was about £65, including the modus in lieu of tithes, £42, the vicarage house and 'fourteen young lime trees in the churchyard.' (fn. 32) The value is now given as £600.

Copyhold land in Deysbrook Lane, West Derby, is held by the churchwardens of the parish church in trust for the repair of the building. (fn. 33)

Of the earlier clergy of Huyton the names of two only have been preserved—Ernald, who was chaplain in 1191, (fn. 34) and Richard son of Robert (formerly rector of Walton), who was rector about 1228, probably the 'Richard rector of Huyton' occurring a little later than this, and the Richard de Walton rector in 1254. (fn. 35)

The following is a list of the vicars:—

Institution Name Patron Cause of Vacancy
oc. 1291 Henry (fn. 36)
Thurstan de Wigan
12 March, 1308–9 Adam de Ashton (fn. 37) Burscough Priory d. of Th. de Wigan
Adam de Ruycroft (fn. 38)
25 Jan. 1338–9 William de Donington (fn. 39) Burscough Priory d. of A. de Ruycroft
William Bryde
23 Sept. 1349 Simon le Walsschs (fn. 40) Burscough Priory d. of W. Bryde
Robert de Breton (fn. 41)
15 April, 1378 John de Forneby (fn. 42) Burscough Priory d. of R. de Breton
oc. 1381–2 John Layot (fn. 43)
oc. 1394 Thomas del Ryding (fn. 44)
oc. 1418 Richard de Kar (fn. 45) (or Baxter)
27 Oct. 1433 Robert Laithwayte (fn. 46) Burscough Priory
5 Feb. 1454–5 John Lathom (fn. 47)
20 May, 1461 Ralph Langley (fn. 48) Burscough Priory res. J. Lathom
7 Sept. 1473 Thomas Reynold, LL.B. (fn. 49) " " d. of R. Langley
oc. 1488 John Tyrell (fn. 50)
— Dec. 1495 John Haydock (fn. 51) Burscough Priory d. of J. Tyrell
3 May, 1517 Roger Mason (fn. 52) " " d. of J. Haydock
— 1558 James Smith
8 Aug. 1558 Edward (Edmund) Lowe (fn. 53) The Crown res. of Jas. Smith
oc. 1569 William Wade
1 July, 1587 Roger Devias (fn. 54) The Crown d. of last incumbent
27 Jan. 1607–8 Samuel Hankinson, B.A. (fn. 55) Edward Torbock d. of Roger Devias
13 July, 1615 Lawrence Starkie (fn. 56) Sir R. Molyneux d. of S. Hankinson
oc. 1645 (1653) William Bell, M.A. 'Free election of the people'
16 Feb. 1662–3 John Lowe (fn. 57) Earl of Southampton ejection of W. Bell
30 Sept. 1706 James Lowe Duke of Somerset d. of John Lowe
25 May, 1708 Thomas Fleetwood, M.A. (fn. 58) William Farington
14 Dec. 1737 Edward Jones Jacob Jones d. of T. Fleetwood
10 July, 1765 Thomas Mallory, LL.B. (fn. 59) Lord Strange d. of E. Jones
26 May, 1786 John Barnes, M.A. (fn. 60) Earl of Derby d. of T. Mallory
10 Sept. 1809 Geoffrey Hornby, LL.B. (fn. 61) " d. of J. Barnes
12 Aug. 1813 Ellis Ashton, B.D. (fn. 62) " res. of G. Hornby
18 Aug. 1869 Oswald Henry Leycester Penhryn, M.A. (fn. 63) " d. of E. Ashton
15 July, 1890 Edward Manners Sanderson, M.A. (fn. 64) " res. of O. Penrhyn

Roger Mason, instituted in 1517, seems to have held the benefice for forty years. (fn. 65) His stipend of 10 marks had been paid by Burscough Priory, and he himself was described in 1535 as 'canon.' In 1541 there was a staff of six priests; (fn. 66) in 1548 the visitation list shows an increase to eight. In 1554 the number had fallen back to six, and the two chantry priests appear to have died shortly afterwards; the staff consisted practically of the aged vicar and his curate, who seems to have been absent. (fn. 67) Roger Mason was for a brief period succeeded by James Smith, whose place was filled by Edmund (or Edward) Lowe on the presentation of Philip and Mary. In 1562 Edmund Lowe appeared as vicar; the name of the curate, Hugh Brekell, was erased, and John Whitefield (fn. 68) written instead. In 1565 Lowe appeared alone, the six or eight clergy of the pre-Reformation times having been reduced to one. (fn. 69) Though he must have complied with the Elizabethan changes to some extent, he showed himself hostile as far as he dared. (fn. 70) How long he continued at Huyton is unknown, but in 1569 William Wade was vicar. (fn. 71)

Nothing appears to be known about him or his successor, Roger Devias, except that the latter in 1590 was described as 'no preacher.' (fn. 72) Mr. Hankinson, however, is said to have been an excellent one; he was one of the King's Preachers for the county. (fn. 73) There was a 'lecturer' at Huyton in 1622. (fn. 74)

William Bell is probably the most distinguished of the vicars of Huyton. He was son of William Bell of Manchester, and is described as M.A. of Oxford. (fn. 75) He was one of the King's Preachers in Lancashire, but willingly conformed to the Presbyterian constitution in 1646, joining the 'Harmonious Consent' of 1648. The commissioners of 1650 described him as 'a man well qualified for all parts, and a godly, studious preaching minister, who came into that place [the vicarage] by the free election of the people and the approbation of the Parliament.' On his tombstone it said that he was vicar 'above twenty years,' but the 'free election of the people' suggests an appointment later than 1642. (fn. 76) He was ejected in 1662, not being able to accept everything in the revised Prayer Book, and retired to Manchester; after a time he returned to Huyton and opened a meetinghouse for Nonconformists (1672), dying there in 1683–4, in his eightieth year. (fn. 77) His will has been printed. (fn. 78)

St. Gabriel's chapel of ease at Huyton Quarry was consecrated on 1 November, 1894. (fn. 79)

Two chantries were founded here at the altar of St. Mary by Richard de Winwick, canon of Lincoln, as brother and heir of John de Winwick, formerly treasurer of the cathedral of York, who was buried in Huyton church. John appears to have procured the rectory of Radcliffe-upon-Soar in Nottinghamshire from the prior of Norton in 1358, with the intention of endowing at Oriel College, Oxford, exhibitions for poor scholars. He died in the following year, and his brother obtained, in 1381, the appropriation of the rectory to the priory of Burscough on the ground of the poverty of the house; the canons, however, in addition to paying the vicar of Radcliffe, were to pay stipends of 10 marks each to two fit secular priests in Huyton church. (fn. 80) These cantarists were to say mass, &c., daily for the souls of Edward III, John de Winwick, and the faithful departed; and to keep in good repair the chapel on the south side of the church, in which the said John was buried. His obit was also to be solemnly kept in Burscough Priory church. (fn. 81)

In accordance with the statutes the Ashtons of Croston afterwards presented. Hugh de Pemberton acted as patron in 1421 and 1423. Sir William Molyneux and Richard Standish presented in 1530, and in the following year Alexander, son and heir of Ralph Standish, and the other feoffees of Thomas Ashton, deceased. (fn. 82)

At the confiscation Robert Standish and William Prescot were the cantarists, celebrating according to their foundation for the souls of John Winwick and his family, with a yearly obit for the said John. Their stipends (20 marks) (fn. 83) had been paid by the priory of Burscough, and were continued after the dissolution by the receiver in virtue of a decree of the Duchy Chamber. (fn. 84)

The 'Chantry Well' marked on the six-inch Ordnance map is about a hundred yards north of the church; it is a walled-in dipping well. (fn. 85)

The tithe maps are kept at the vicarage.

A grammar school at Huyton was founded in the sixteenth century or earlier.


The charities of Huyton, (fn. 86) apart from a recent benefaction by Sir Thomas Birch, (fn. 87) are small in amount. (fn. 88) Knowsley has a share in the charity founded by William Marsh in 1722. (fn. 89)


  • 1. The census return of 1901 gives 10,527 acres, including 95 acres of inland water.
  • 2. Half at least before 1086.
  • 3. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 16; the whole paid £6 5s. when the hundred contributed £100.
  • 4. Ibid. 18; the total is £4 13s. 8½d., when the hundred paid £106.
  • 5. In 1584 George Stockley, yeoman, 'went to church, but kept mass at home for his wife'; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 227, (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. clxxv, n. 21). An informer sent the following list: 'Mr. Woofall, Hugh Parr, gent., Rafe Gorsage, yeoman, and John Molinex'; ibid. In 1590 John Ogle of Roby, a 'gentleman of the better sort,' was 'a comer to church but no communicant'; Gibson, op. cit. 226, 246. At the bishop of Chester's visitation in 1592, Hamlet Ditchfield, Elizabeth wife of William Ditchfield, Margaret wife of John Ditchfield, Mary Wolfall, widow, and Isabel her maid, Elizabeth wife of Michael Tyldesley of Huyton, and two others were excommunicated as being noncommunicants for a year or more. Afterwards, however, the two first-named were said to have begun to attend church regularly; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), x, 186.
  • 6. Norris D. (B.M.). The recusant roll of 1641 gives nine families of recusants and non-communicants in Huyton, and twelve in Knowsley (including James Stockley and his wife); Tarbock is omitted; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 242–3.
  • 7. Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 209–10. The petition of the widow and children of John Bootle of Knowsley showed that two-thirds of his land, held on lease from the earl of Derby, had been sequestered for 'delinquency.' Henry Bootle, as a tenant of the earl's, had to take part in the war and had actually fought at Edge Hill on the king's side; afterwards, however, he had an opportunity of changing, and served for two years for the Parliament.
  • 8. Margaret Brookfield being a papist had had two-thirds of her tenement in Knowsley sequestered for her life; ibid. i, 250.
  • 9. Anne Holme had suffered a similar penalty for the same divergence from the laws in force; after her death the heirs prayed for a removal of the sequestration; ibid. iii, 251.
  • 10. Benjamin Boult, of Knowsley, petitioned for the restoration of the estate of an uncle, William Hutchins, B.D. sequestered for delinquency; ibid. iii, 307.
  • 11. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 238–43.
  • 12. Norris D. (B.M.).
  • 13. Misc. (Rec. Soc.), i, 213.
  • 14. In Huyton, John Harrington and William Wolfall each had ten, Thomas Wolfall seven, the vicarage six, Thomas Lyon and John Case five each. Jonathan Williamson in Roby had eleven hearths; Robert Hutchins five. Tarbock had John Marshall's house with five. At Knowsley Hall there were seventy-two hearths; then come the dwellings of John Greenhalgh with seven and Mrs. Isabel Houghton five. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xvi, 135.
  • 15. Duchy Pleadings (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 191–2.
  • 16. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), x, 186.
  • 17. Except the north-west angle, as noted above.
  • 18. A view of the church in 1816 is in Gregson's Fragments, 228. See also Glynne, Lancs. Churches (Chet. Soc.), 100.
  • 19. Gothic tracery has been inserted in the spandrels.
  • 20. Trans. Hist. Soc. xxvi, 83; ibid. (New Ser.), xvii, 70.
  • 21. With an inscription in Latin elegiacs full of false quantities.
  • 22. Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiv, 86.
  • 23. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 350. This grant was confirmed shortly afterwards by Geoffrey de Muschamp, bishop of Lichfield, and his successors William de Cornhill and Alexander de Stavenby. The latter in one of his grants about 1228 specially mentions the poverty of the canons as a reason, and reserves the ordination of a vicarage. The dean and chapter of Lichfield also agreed to the charter of 1232. See Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxv, App. 35; Rep. xxxvi, App. 200; Burscough Reg. fol. 68b, 69, 68b, 25b, 65b, 66. Pope Gregory IX, in 1228, gave a general confirmation of the grants to the canons, including the church of Huyton; ibid. fol. 63b.
  • 24. Burscough Reg. fol. 67. The prior and canons had in later times disputes with the vicars as to tithes; for instance with John Layot, the agreement with him being confirmed by Urban VI in 1377–8; ibid. fol. 104.
  • 25. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249. The value of the ninth of sheaves, wool, and lambs in 1341 was stated at 16 marks; Huyton and Roby 5 marks, Knowsley 5½, and apparently Tarbock (not named) also 5½; Inq. Nonarum (Rec. Com.), 40.
  • 26. Valor. Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 222. In a return made in 1527 the value to the priory is given as 20 marks; Duchy of Lanc. Rental 5/15.
  • 27. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, 5/2. Among the revenues of the dissolved priory from this parish were 20s. from the earl of Derby for 'St. Leonard's lands' within Knowsley park; 3s. 6d. rent from Red Hazels at Huyton, and other small rents from fields and cottages in Knowsley, Huyton, and Tarbock, the vicar of Huyton being in several cases the tenant. The tithe barn at Tarbock had been leased in 1522 by Prior Robert Harvey to the vicar for thirty-four years at a rent of £6; the tithe corn of Huyton, Roby, and Wolfall had been leased by him in 1531 to the vicar and two chantry priests for £7 13s. 4d., the vicar to give 10s. for his heriot and the others 5s. each. The yearly value of the tithe of corn in Knowsley was estimated at £4, and 6s. 8d. was the profit of tithe in Huyton in the occupation of Robert Bethom. These seem to have been let by the royal commissioners to Sir William Leyland for 106s. 8d., 'and not more because the demesne lands of the manor of Knowsley which were wont to be sown yearly are now enclosed within the park of Knowsley and there lie for pasture.' Tithe hay of Knowsley and Roby produced 10s. 4d., and 40s. was due from the tithe of sucking beasts; Duchy of Lanc. Mins. Accts. 136/2198. The last item is explained in one of the rentals thus: For each cow having a calf 1d. was paid; for each calf less than seven ½d.; if there were seven calves the parson could claim one on paying 1½d., if eight or nine on paying 1d. or ½d., if ten a calf was due without any payment. For each swarm of bees 1d. was paid, and for each colt also 1d.; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals 4/6b. A dispute as to this class of tithes was settled in 1422; Anct. D. L. 276. See Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxv, App. 35.
  • 28. There appears to have been a temporary alienation of the rectory about 1660, for the earl of Southampton presented in 1663, and about 1670 Charles earl of Maryborough paid the crown a rent of £21 0s. 7d. for the rectory of Huyton; Pat. 22 Chas. II, pt. 2 (1st R.).
  • 29. Croxteth D. Z. ii, 2, 3; iv, 11; &c.
  • 30. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 71. A petition from the inhabitants of Huyton about the beginning of 1649 complained that Lord Molyneux had as yet, under compulsion, made no 'settlement' of the rectory of Huyton, and that Mr. Bell, 'a learned and painful divine, being appointed by the Parliament vicar there,' had not above £20 per annum to maintain him; and the parish being very great, consisting of about 1,000 persons, so it could not be expected that any good painful man would continue long to officiate the said cure upon so small an allowance; Royalist Comp. Pap. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 154.
  • 31. Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 177.
  • 32. Terrier preserved in the church. The church furniture consisted of the communion table with cloth covering, a linen cloth and napkin; two surplices, a Bible and two Prayer Books, and Book of Homilies. The plate, all of silver and kept in an oak chest, consisted of a flagon, a chalice (given by Captain John Case, of the Red Hazels, in 1695), two plates (given by Dorothy Case), a paten and a salver; there were also four bells, three biers, and two hearse cloths; three old registers and two new ones.
  • 33. The earliest entry in the West Derby Court Rolls is dated 1476, and mentions Ralph Knoll of Knowsley, deceased, as the benefactor. In 1829 the land was let at a rent of £16, and in 1900 at £13, out of which 2s. 6d. was allowed to the tenant for bringing the money to Huyton. No manorial payments have been made nor any of the incidents of copyhold tenure observed within living memory; End. Char. Rep. (Huyton), 1900.
  • 34. Burscough Reg. fol. 68b, 69.
  • 35. Ibid. fol. 69b; Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxii, 188; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 116; Pipe Roll, 39 Hen. III, oblata.
  • 36. He had a son Adam; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 270, n. 68, 73, 139.
  • 37. Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 56b.
  • 38. Adam de Ruycroft appears as early as 1315 in one of the Ince-Blundell charters. It is possible he is the same as Adam de Ashton.
  • 39. Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 113.
  • 40. Ibid. ii, fol. 124. He was there in 1369 (?); Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 231.
  • 41. Vicar in 1367 (?); ibid. fol. 270. One of the dates must be wrong.
  • 42. Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 89b; he was a priest.
  • 43. Ibid. v, fol. 126b; a notice of his ordination. See the account of Hale.
  • 44. Occurs in various charters from 1394–1407. He was previously chaplain at Huyton; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 270, &c.
  • 45. Towneley MS. in Chet. Lib. C. 8, 20. He was in 1433 promoted to Sefton.
  • 46. Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 122; he was priest.
  • 47. Ibid. xi, 10b, 11.
  • 48. Ibid. xii, 99. He was a canon of Burscough, and had an augmentation of his stipend as vicar; see Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 200.
  • 49. Lich. Epis. Reg. xii, fol. 107b.
  • 50. Kuerden MSS. iii, T. 2, n. 2.
  • 51. Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii, fol. 158b.
  • 52. Ibid. xiii–xiv, fol. 59b.
  • 53. Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 36.
  • 54. Act Books at Chester.
  • 55. Ibid. He was educated at Magdalen Hall and St. Edmund Hall, Oxf. (B.A. 1585); and was vicar of Hillingdon, Middlesex, in 1588, and of Aughton in 1602. In 1613 he was presented to Holy Trinity, Chester, by the earl of Derby, and held it with Huyton till his death in 1615. See Foster, Alumni Oxon.; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 332. He died at Huyton 10 July, 1615, and was buried there; Harl. MS. 2177.
  • 56. Act Books. For dates of institution of most of the later vicars see Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, from the Institution Books, P. R. O.; also Croston's ed. of Baines, v, 69–72. Lawrence Starkie, described as of the 'University of Oxford,' was also master of the grammar school; Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. ii, 115. He is not in Foster's Alumni. In 1650 as above stated the Parl. Com. found that 'the profits of the vicarage were in the hands of Mr. Lawrence Starkie,' though William Bell is called 'vicar' in 1645. Starkie was buried at Huyton 10 March, 1652–3; Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiv, 100. The king's preacher at Huyton in 1609 was William Harrison, celebrated for 'the extraordinary impressions which his preaching often produced on the minds of the young and thoughtless, especially on occasion of his lecturing at markets or fairs'; Halley, Lancs. Puritanism, i, 237. A sermon of his, printed in 1614, is in the Warrington Library.
  • 57. In 1665 John Lowe, vicar, was presented 'for not reading divine service as he ought,' omitting and slighting the prayers 'as his pleasure is, to the great displeasure of the parishioners'; Visit. Rec. at Chester. John Lowe was returned as 'conformable' in 1689; Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 229.
  • 58. Thomas Fleetwood, son of Thomas Fleetwood of Prescot, 'plebeian,' entered Brasenose Coll. Oxf. in 1696, aged sixteen; Foster's Alumni Oxon. The patron for that turn was a kinsman.
  • 59. Thomas Mallory, son and heir of George Mallory of Mobberley, in Ches. was born 28 Nov. 1727; educated at Trinity Coll. Camb. (LL.B. 1754); became rector of Mobberley 1770, and held the two benefices till his death at Huyton on 28 Jan. 1786. His son, also rector of Mobberley, became a fellow of Manchester Church; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 421.
  • 60. John Barnes was son of a clergyman, Thomas Barnes of South Molton in Devonshire, and brother of Dr. Francis Barnes, master of Peterhouse, Camb. He matriculated at Oxf. (Balliol Coll.) in 1770, being eighteen years old; M.A. 1778; Foster, Alumni.
  • 61. Geoffrey Hornby, LL.B. (Peterhouse, Camb.), was nephew of the patron; he became vicar of Ormskirk in 1812, rector of Aylmerton and Felbrigg, Norfolk, in 1813, on which he resigned Huyton; and of Bury in 1818; Foster, Index Eccl. 91.
  • 62. Ellis Ashton was a younger son of Nicholas Ashton of Woolton. He was educated at Brasenose Coll., Oxf.; (M.A. 1813, B.D. 1821), of which he became a fellow; he was presented by the college to the rectory of Begbroke in 1821, and held this with Huyton until his death, 11 July, 1869, aged eighty. Foster, Alumni.
  • 63. Previously vicar of Bickerstaffe from 1858, and now rector of Winwick and honorary canon of Liverpool.
  • 64. Educated at Trinity Coll., Camb. (M.A. 1875); was formerly vicar of Weston St. Mary's, Linc. (1875–90); Liverpool Dioc. Cal. He is a descendant of Dr. Manners Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1805–28.
  • 65. Valor Eccl. v, 222, 224; Clergy List, 1541–2 (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 15; Visit. Lists of Chest. The 'Thomas Mason' of 1541–2 is probably an error. Roger's will is dated 12 May, 1557. He bequeathed 20 marks for as many poor maids of Huyton to help them to convenient marriage, 20s. to the mending of the way from Huyton to Prescot, and 13s. 4d. to the mending of Ditchfield lane, also various sums to the poor, and in particular 'penny dole' to the poor who should attend his funeral; Wills (Lancs. and Ches. Rec. Soc.), 181.
  • 66. The vicar, his curate, two chantry priests, and two others paid by Harrington and Tarbock.
  • 67. Visit. lists.
  • 68. Hugh Brekell was ordained priest 17 Dec. 1558. A John Whitfield was ordained priest on the previous 24 Sept. Ordin. Book (Rec. Soc.), 115, 112.
  • 69. The above particulars are from the Visit. books preserved at Chester.
  • 70. In 1564 Edmund Lowe was presented for having 'made holy water and otherwise offended against the queen's majesty's proceedings'; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 232.
  • 71. 1569—Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 56 (called 'Wood'); 1576—Pennant's Acct. Bk. (MS.); 1578—Trans. Hist. Soc. xxxiv, 98.
  • 72. Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 248. The will of Roger Devias was proved at Chester, 1607.
  • 73. Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 12.
  • 74. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 65.
  • 75. Not in Foster's Alumni.
  • 76. He was called vicar in Aug. 1645; see Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 9. It is probable that Bell was never legally vicar, as Starkie does not seem to have been disturbed, and did not die till 1653. Starkie must have conformed to the Presbyterian discipline, but may have been practically superseded as 'no preacher.'
  • 77. Halley, Lancs. Puritanism, ii, 186–7; Royalist Comp. P. i, 173; Commonw. Ch. Surv. 75; see Baines, Lancs. (ed. Croston), v, 70.
  • 78. Wills (Chet. Soc., New Ser.), ii, 112; see also 48.
  • 79. It cost £4,600. Part was defrayed from a bequest by Miss Lucy Ashton (who died in 1889), £2,000 of it being applied to the endowment. She was daughter of a former vicar of Huyton. See End. Char. Rep. (Huyton), 7.
  • 80. The foundation was described as 'two chantries, or one chantry with two chaplains.'
  • 81. In 1383 this was ratified by Robert Stretton, bishop of Lichfield, whose successor sanctioned in 1386 the statutes of the chantry. Considering that the said chantry was founded for the honour of God, and the no small increase of divine worship, the bishop ordained that Master Richard de Winwick should be patron whilst he lived, and then Master William de Ashton; afterwards the heirs of William de Winwick, father of Richard. On a vacancy a fit and honest priest was to be presented within fifteen days; if none was presented, the right for that turn devolved on the priory of Burscough for another fifteen days; after which it lapsed to the bishop of the diocese. The two chaplains were to live together in the same house, namely, the manse by the churchyard recently built for them, without strife or discord; but should one of them be quarrelsome or a frequenter of taverns, or otherwise found a transgressor against good morals, he must be deprived. They were to have a suitable tonsure, and to wear a gown not too short. They were not to be absent longer than twenty days at a time. They were not to hold any benefice which would hinder the performance of their duties. They were to celebrate their masses in the chantry at a convenient hour for rousing the devotion of the people and without inconvenience to the vicar; they must also recite the full office of the dead (Placebo, Dirige, and Commendation) except on greater and principal feasts. They were to keep solemn obits 'cum nota' for John de Winwick and certain others. After vespers the two chaplains were to recite the 'De Profundis' and other suitable prayers at the tomb of John de Winwick, and each of them to say devoutly on bended knees the 'Pater Noster' five times in honour of the five wounds, and the 'Ave Maria' five times in honour of the five joys, for the souls. On Sundays and other festivals (and especially on feasts of nine lessons) when divine service was sung in Huyton church, they were to be present at mattins, vespers, and the other hours, and to assist in the services. Moreover, as purity and chastity of life in His ministers is most pleasing to God, a chaplain lapsing a third time must be removed from his office and another fit one appointed. They were to preserve and transmit to their successors the various vestments and ornaments provided by the founder, or others as good, viz. a good missal, worth 5 marks; a beautiful and heavy chalice, worth 100s.; a beautiful and well painted 'Table de Lumbardia'; a beautiful vestment of red velvet, viz. a chasuble embroidered with various trees in gold, stole and fanon, alb and amice with apparels to match, and with two fair 'touwailes,' a 'frountell' of red velvet embroidered with divers 'compasses' (Cōpas') of gold; a beautiful cloth of red satin to hang before the altar, and another to match embroidered in gold with the Crucified and Mary and John for 'rierdose'; two other suits of vestments, one being for everyday use, altar linen and banners, two crosses and a 'paxbrede,' a black cloth for covering the tomb, and a box bound with iron. Another set of vestments was worth £4. There was also a great portiforium of Sarum use with musical notes, worth 10 marks; a great and beautiful psalter was worth 40s. The chaplains were not only to find their ordinary food from their stipends, but bread, wine, and wax for divine service, 'unless the vicar out of his courtesy should be willing to give these to them.' On their admission they were to take oath to keep all these ordinances. These particulars are from the Burscough Reg.; the bishop's statutes will be found on fol. 94b– 98; and in the Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 72b–75b.
  • 82. The following is a list of the priests, with references to the Lichfield Epis. Reg. First Chantry (B. V. Mary): 1383, William de Sallowe (iv, 94); 1391, Henry Holbrooke, exchanging the vicarage of Littlebourne for this with W. de Sallowe (vi, 56); 1409, Thomas de Legh, on the death of Holbrooke (Raines); 1423, Richard Tyrehare, on the death of Legh (ix, 113); 1443, John de Kyrkeby (ix, 126b); 1486, John Haworth, on the death of Kyrkeby (xii, 121);—, George Hyll; 1530, Humphrey Hart, on the death of Hyll (xiii-xiv, 65b); 1531, Robert Standish, on the death of Hart (xiii-xiv, 68). Second Chantry: 1384, Robert de Bolton (iv, 94b); 1390, John de Wolleton, in succession to Bolton (vi, 55b); he became vicar of Walton 1404; 1395, William Kane, on death of last chaplain, unnamed (vi, 59b); 1417, Thomas Baxter, on the resignation of W. de Cave, i.e. probably the last-named W. Kane (viii, 19); —, John Claning; 1421, Thomas Cosyn, on the death of Claning (ix, III); 1436, Roger Tyrehare, on the death of Cosyn (ix, 123); 1444, John de Lathom, on the resignation of Tyrehare (ix, 127); 1454, John Holme, on the resignation of J. de Lathom (xi, II); 1489, John Lathom, on the death of Holme (xii, 122b); 1517, William Prescot, on the death of Lathom (xiiixiv, 60).
  • 83. Out of this 33s. 4d. had to be given to the poor; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 222.
  • 84. They had a chalice (8 oz.), two vestments, a mass book, and two altar cloths. In 1548 Robert Standish was aged 57 and the other 64. They appeared at the bishop's visitation in that year, but in the list of 1554 'mortuus' is written after each name. See Lancs. Chant. Chet. Soc.), 93, &c.; and Chest. Visit. Lists. The property of the chantries was granted to the earl of Derby in 1549; Pat. 3 Edw. VI, pt. xi.
  • 85. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 200.
  • 86. The principal charity recorded by Bishop Gastrell in 1717—a bequest of £100 by Lady Derby—does not seem to have been paid; Notit. Cestr. ii, 180.
  • 87. The following notes are taken from the Report of the official Endowed Charities inquiry in 1900, which contains a reprint of that made in 1829. Sir Thomas Bernard Birch, bart. of the Hazels, who died in 1880, left £500 for the poor. This is invested in consols and produces £14 a year, distributed in doles of flannel and blankets. The vicar and churchwardens are the trustees; the recipients are chosen from the ecclesiastical district of Huyton and not the whole of the ancient parish.
  • 88. A table of benefactions dated 1710 shows that before that time £93 had been bequeathed to the poor of Huyton, and £60 to the poor of Tarbock. In 1829 the commissioners found that the overseers of Huyton and Roby had a Liverpool Corporation bond of £130, the interest of which was distributed in small sums to persons in distress belonging to the township named. Another bond of £160, including £40 given by the Case family, was regarded as bread charity, 2s. worth of bread being distributed each Sunday to poor persons of the township. These sums were in 1900 found intact and represented by Mersey Dock bonds. A share of the interest is now paid to Tarbock. It had been found that William Webster who died in 1684, and whose bequest is supposed to have been the principal portion of the £130, had not made any apportionment as between Huyton with Roby and Tarbock. The bread charity still continues. William Williamson Willink, by his will proved in 1884, left £50 each to the vicars of Huyton and Roby, the interest to be added to the Christmas offertories for the poor.
  • 89. This was a charge of 20s. a year on a house in Church Street, Prescot; half of the sum to be given to the poor of Knowsley. The commissioners in 1829 found that the payment had been discontinued for some time, but were able to identify the property from which it was due. The rent is now charged on three houses in Derby Street, Prescot, and paid to the parish council of Knowsley.