Townships: Knowsley

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

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'Townships: Knowsley', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1907), British History Online [accessed 15 July 2024].

'Townships: Knowsley', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Edited by William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1907), British History Online, accessed July 15, 2024,

"Townships: Knowsley". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill(London, 1907), , British History Online. Web. 15 July 2024.

In this section


Chenulveslei, Dom. Bk., Knuvesle, 1199; Knouselegh, 1258; Knouleslee, 1261; Knusele, 1262; Knouslegh, 1346. Pronounced Nowsley, sometimes Nosely.

This township has an area of 5,058 acres. (fn. 1) A projecting corner, Radshaw Nook, in the north-west lies between two brooks, which there form the boundary, and after joining flow into the Alt. The population in 1900 was 1,325.

The country is generally flat, very slightly undulating on the east, where it reaches 330 ft. above sealevel. The land which lies outside the park itself is divided into rich arable fields, yielding crops of potatoes, turnips, and cereals. The soil is variable, sometimes sandy loam, or peat. In the south-eastern part of the township the geological formation consists of the millstone grit and coal measures; on the western side and in the north-eastern corner of the lower mottled sandstone of the bunter series, and all the central and northern parts of the pebble beds of this series of the new red sandstone.

Game, in the shape of pheasants, partridges, and hares, is particularly abundant in the district.

The north of the township lies on the edge of mossland, the birches and bracken in the plantations being typical of moss vegetation. The village of Knowsley, which is situated in the north-west, is entirely modern.

In the north-east is Longbarrow; Bury is within the park, on the north. The well-wooded park surrounding Knowsley Hall is the principal feature of the township, occupying the eastern half of its area, and stretching over the boundary into Eccleston. 'The scenery in the park, which is beautifully undulating, is exceedingly varied, abounding in charming lawn and woodland views, with noble groups of trees in different elevated positions. From almost every part of the park, but more especially that portion of it more immediately in front of the hall, the view of the surrounding country is commanding and beautiful, not being confined to inland scenery, but embracing on the west a splendid marine and sea prospect. … The park throughout is magnificently wooded, more especially that portion which is known as the Gladewoods, in which there is one large tree constantly attracting much attention and interest from the fact of its having been twisted in the stem either by some freak of nature or other singular agency, which gives it the appearance of a huge corkscrew. The park also contains a large and artistically arranged lake, upward of 90 acres in extent. … Near the head of the lake there is a nude statue called the "White Man," the tradition being that the statue was found in the lake. … A large portion of the eastern side of the park, consisting of several hundreds of acres, forms the deer park, in which there are numerous herds of red, fallow, and other deer. The gardens and pleasure grounds, which are very extensive, are most artistically laid out and beautifully decorated with works of art.' (fn. 2)

The principal road is that from Prescot, west, north, and east, skirting the park and passing the church. Another road, crossing this, leads northward from Huyton, passing near the hall, and ultimately turning to Kirkby.

Six almshouses, erected in 1883; a parish hospital, 1899; and a recreation ground are gifts of the Stanley family.

The township is governed by a parish council.

Henry, earl of Lancaster, granted a charter at Knowsley in 1343. (fn. 3)


The manors held by Uctred in 1066 take precedence in Domesday after the royal manor of Derby; and the first of them were Roby and KNOWSLEY. These were together rated at 1 hide, Knowsley by itself being 4 plough-lands. (fn. 4)

Before 1212 the whole parish of Huyton had become part of the barony of Widnes, as the Lancashire part of the Halton fee is called. Its four manors were by the lords of Halton considered as one only— Knowsley; so that this must very soon have become the principal residence of those lords or their undertenant. The superior lordship of Halton is recognized in all the inquisitions; Knowsley with its members, Huyton, Roby, and Tarbock, being considered as one knight's fee, and rated at 12 plough-lands in all. (fn. 5)

Knowsley and its members were held by the Lathom family from before the year 1200, but how they acquired it is unknown. In 1199 Amabel, widow of Robert son of Henry de Lathom, sued her step-son Richard for her reasonable dower from her late husband's estate, and the whole of Knowsley was assigned to her, as well as Anglezark. (fn. 6) Her sons appear to have taken Knowsley as a surname, and to have divided Huyton among themselves. Tarbock was held by another of the Lathom family, while Roby remained manorially part of Knowsley, though as a township it became merged in Huyton.

In the survey of 1212 it was found that the Knowsley knight's fee was held by Richard son of Robert. (fn. 7) One alteration had been made since the Conquest; for Henry II had placed Croxteth Park within the forest, so that at the inquest made in 1228 it was returned it ought to be given back to Knowsley. (fn. 8) This, however, was not done; Croxteth Park remained a royal park and extra-parochial. The service for the manor is not stated quite uniformly in the inquisitions—apart from its being that of one knight's fee. (fn. 9)

Of the Lathoms' dealings with Knowsley there is not much record. (fn. 10) Sir Thomas de Lathom about 1355 obtained a grant of free warren in Knowsley and Roby with liberty to empark, and in 1359 was allowed to enclose an adjacent place called Grimshurst. (fn. 11) It was probably at Knowsley that his son Thomas's melancholy death took place in 1382. He lay feeble and decrepit for three months before his death, and during this time his wife Joan refused to pay him any attention, living in open adultery in the high chamber at Knowsley with Roger de Fazakerley. There was no reconciliation, and immediately after her husband's death Joan sent his body to Burscough to be buried, there being present neither priests nor gentry, as there should have been. Immediately afterwards she married her paramour. (fn. 12)

Stanley of Knowsley. Argent, on a bend azure three buck's heads cabossed or.

It was Joan's children by Sir Thomas de Lathom who were in the end the heirs of the family estates. The eldest daughter Isabel marrying Sir John de Stanley brought Knowsley into the possession of the family which still holds it. (fn. 13) The marriage took place about 1385, (fn. 14) for their son and heir was twenty-eight and more in 1414; but it was not till 1398 that a dispensation was asked and obtained from Pope Boniface IX, it having been shown by Sir John Massy of Tatton that they were related in the third and fourth degrees. (fn. 15)

At the beginning of 1386 Sir John de Stanley was appointed deputy of Robert Vere, earl of Oxford, in the government of Ireland, (fn. 16) and subsequently held other offices under the Crown. (fn. 17) In June, 1397, he purchased from John le Strange the manor of Bidston in Wirral, with the adjacent Moreton and Saughall Massie. Soon afterwards he secured an annuity of 40 marks. (fn. 18) He received in 1405 a grant of the lordship of Man, forfeited by the Percys for rebellion. (fn. 19) In February, 1407–8, the king granted to Sir John Stanley, steward of his household, and Isabel his wife free warren within their manors of Lathom and Knowsley, and their lands in Childwall, Roby, and Anglezark, although the same were within the metes of the forest. (fn. 20) Stanley was again sent to Ireland as lieutenant, (fn. 21) dying there at the beginning of 1414. (fn. 22) His widow Isabel did not long survive him, dying in October, 1414, her son John being her heir. (fn. 23)

The heir, who was soon afterwards made a knight, had several public appointments. Just after his father's death he was made steward of Macclesfield (fn. 24) and master forester of Macclesfield and Delamere; in November, 1414, he was elected a knight of the shire. (fn. 25) He is frequently mentioned as justice, &c., in Cheshire. (fn. 26) He was at the capture of Rouen in August, 1418. (fn. 27) Sir John Stanley died at the beginning of December, 1437. (fn. 28) He granted the prior of Burscough a buck in the park of Lathom and another in the park of Knowsley in greasetime, and a doe in winter. (fn. 29)

His son Sir Thomas Stanley was thirty-one years of age on succeeding. It was in July, 1424, that he had been attacked in his father's tower at Liverpool by Sir Richard Molyneux, a dangerous tumult being created. He had taken part in the government of Ireland from 1429 to 1436, (fn. 30) and succeeded his father in his Cheshire offices. In 1446 he received a grant of the manor of Bosley, near Macclesfield, from Humphrey, duke of Buckingham. (fn. 31) He was knight of the shire for Lancashire from 1447 to 1455, (fn. 32) and summoned to the House of Lords as Baron Stanley, January, 1455–6. He died in February, 1458–9, Thomas his son and heir being twenty-six years of age. (fn. 33)

Sir Thomas Stanley, the second Lord Stanley, married Eleanor Nevill, sister of the King-maker, and succeeded to his father's dignities in Cheshire, some additional offices and lordships being added. (fn. 34) His first wife, who brought him into connexion with the leading Yorkist family, died in 1472, and soon afterwards he married, as her third husband, Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry, earl of Richmond, the hope of the Lancastrian party. (fn. 35) In 1475 Lord Stanley accompanied the king to France. (fn. 36) At the siege of Berwick in 1482 he took part in the assault which gained the town, and afterwards made several knights. (fn. 37) He and his brother Sir William stood aloof from Richard III at the battle of Bosworth in 1485, and then opposed him, thereby giving the decisive turn to the contest. (fn. 38) As a reward he was created earl of Derby. (fn. 39) After the battle of Stoke in June, 1487, more substantial rewards were granted; the forfeited estates of Sir Thomas Broughton of Furness, Sir James Harrington, Francis Lord Lovell, Sir Thomas Pilkington and his wife, and Robert Hulton were conferred on him. (fn. 40)

After the execution of his brother Sir William for participation in the plot of Perkin Warbeck, the earl received a visit from the king at Knowsley and Lathom, and part of the existing hall at the former place is said to have been erected in anticipation of this visit, which lasted about a month. The earl died 29 July, 1504. (fn. 41)

His son George, made knight of the Bath in 1475, had married Joan, daughter and heir of John, Lord Strange of Knockin, and was in her right summoned to Parliament from 1482 onwards as Lord Strange. He fought at Stoke and took part in several military excursions, including the invasion of Scotland in the autumn of 1497; (fn. 42) soon after his return from this he died at Derby House, London, where is now the College of Arms, on 5 December. (fn. 43) His eldest son Thomas succeeded his grandfather in 1504; (fn. 44) a younger son James, settled at Cross Hall in Lathom, is the ancestor through whom the title has descended to the present earl of Derby.

Thomas, the second earl, married (fn. 45) Anne Hastings daughter of Edward Lord Hastings. He took part in various public affairs of the time, as in the French expedition of Henry VIII in 1513; and was one of the judges of the duke of Buckingham in 1521. This was just before his own death on 24 May of that year. He died at Colham in Middlesex, and was buried at Sion Abbey. (fn. 46) There were several inquisitions taken after his death. (fn. 47)

As Edward Stanley his son and heir was only eleven or twelve years old at his father's death, (fn. 48) his wardship fell to the king, who placed him in the household of Cardinal Wolsey. (fn. 49) Of most of the Lancashire estates a full account has been preserved for the first year of the minority. (fn. 50) From these it appears that from Lancashire the earl had a gross income of about £700, which various allowances, fees, and charges reduced to about £550. Apart from this there was the produce of the lands devoted to the maintenance of the household. (fn. 51)

The young earl, brought up by Wolsey, and after the latter's fall married to Dorothy Howard, daughter of the duke of Norfolk, (fn. 52) appears to have gone with the court. He was among the peers who asked the pope to grant the king a divorce (1530) and he assisted as cupbearer in the coronation of Anne Boleyn, being then made knight of the Bath (1533). He was also zealous in resisting the Northern risings under Aske (1536–7), (fn. 53) and took a share of the plunder of the monasteries, including Eynsham and Shefford in Oxfordshire. (fn. 54) He assisted at the coronation of Edward VI. In 1552 he was made lord-lieutenant of Lancashire.

He did not sign the letters patent of 16 June, 1553, whereby the succession of Mary was put aside in favour of Lady Jane Grey, though his eldest son Lord Strange signed; and on Edward's death three weeks later, he assisted in securing the crown for Mary, who showed her gratitude by several favours. In the religious controversies of the time it is obvious that he was hostile to Protestantism. (fn. 55) On the accession of Elizabeth when Edward's church discipline was re-enacted, the earl of Derby was continued upon the Privy Council, made chamberlain of Chester in 1559 and lord-lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire in 1569, (fn. 56) but his known opposition to the change of religion cost him the queen's favour. (fn. 57) In 1562 he with the bishop of Chester and others was appointed on a commission to enforce the royal supremacy and the use of the Common Prayer Book in Lancashire and Cheshire, but nothing much appears to have been done. Five years later, the earl and bishop were again urged to exert themselves to secure some degree of conformity to the new order, and the earl, 'upon small motion made to him, caused all such persons as have been required to be apprehended,' and showed himself 'very faithful and careful.' (fn. 58)

He was celebrated for the great retinue he maintained, and the splendour of his living. (fn. 59) He took care to entail Lathom, Knowsley, and others of the ancient possessions of the house upon the heirs male. (fn. 60) He died on 24 October, 1572, at Lathom, and was buried with great pomp six weeks later at Ormskirk. (fn. 61)

The earl was thrice married; his successor was the eldest son Henry, by his first wife, born in 1531. The new earl appears to have spent a large part of his life at court, and had from time to time various public appointments. (fn. 62)

The view of the county written in 1590 states that 'Henry earl of Derby hath in that hundred (West Derby) three of his chief houses, Lathom and New Park in Ormskirk parish, Knowsley in Huyton parish. He hath preaching in his house sabbathly by the best preachers in the county, and he giveth honourable countenance to all the professors of religion, and is very forward in the public actions to religion,' and his son 'Ferdinando, Lord Strange, giveth good countenance to religion, when he is with us.' (fn. 63) The household record bears this out. He added Burscough to the family inheritance by a grant from Queen Elizabeth. His wife was Margaret Clifford, granddaughter of Mary, the younger sister of Henry VIII. He had by her Ferdinando and William, successively earls of Derby, and three other children who died young. (fn. 64) He died on 25 September, 1593, and was buried at Ormskirk. (fn. 65)

His son Ferdinando, who had already (1589) been summoned to Parliament as Lord Strange, succeeded his father in his titles and property, and in the lord-lieutenancy of Lancashire and Cheshire. He had been mayor of Liverpool in 1588. He was a friend and patron of literature, being praised by Spenser among others. (fn. 66) He married Alice, daughter of Sir John Spencer of Althorpe, (fn. 67) and by her had three daughters. Through his mother he was one of the nearest heirs to the crown, for, excluding the king of Scots as a foreigner, in accordance with the Act of Henry VIII, he came next after Lord Beauchamp, son of Lady Katherine Grey, whom many considered illegitimate. (fn. 68) The English exiles for religion, now that Elizabeth was growing old, were endeavouring to secure the succession of a sovereign who, if not in communion with Rome, would mitigate the persecuting laws and allow liberty for the ancient worship. It was believed that Ferdinando was so inclined, (fn. 69) and Sir William Stanley, of the Hooton family, (fn. 70) and the Jesuit Father Holt, sent Richard Hesketh to sound him on the matter. (fn. 71) Lord Derby, however, handed Hesketh over to the authorities and he was executed in November, 1593. Four months afterwards the earl was taken ill, and after a fortnight's suffering died on 16 April, 1594. (fn. 72) He was buried at Ormskirk. (fn. 73)

His brother William, then thirty-two years of age, succeeded to the earldom and estates. He was called 'the wandering earl,' and was the hero of several ballads, having travelled much and lived an adventurous life. (fn. 74) He married in June, 1594, Elizabeth, sister and coheir of Henry de Vere, earl of Oxford; was made chamberlain of Chester 1603 and lord-lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire 1607; these offices were shared by his son, Lord Strange, from 1626. (fn. 75) For some reason unknown he retired from public life about this time, living as a private gentleman chiefly at Bidston and at a house he built by the side of the Dee, near Chester, Lord Strange taking up the public duties and the management of the estates. He died 29 September, 1642, and 20 years later was buried at Ormskirk. (fn. 76)

His son Lord Strange, the 'Martyr Earl,' and the most famous of the line, now succeeded to the earldom. He had served in numerous public offices; was member for the borough of Liverpool in 1625 (fn. 77); mayor of that town 1626. He married in June, 1626, Charlotte de la Tremouille, daughter of the duke of Thouars, one of the Protestant nobility of France, and a granddaughter of William of Nassau, prince of Orange. (fn. 78) After a short experience of the court he preferred to live in Lancashire, spending his time chiefly at Lathom and Knowsley. (fn. 79)

The Civil War had begun before his father's death, and he had taken his side decisively for the king. After some endeavours to secure peace in Lancashire, he attempted to seize Manchester, and was proclaimed a traitor by the Parliament. In 1643 he took part in the unsuccessful assaults on Bolton and Lancaster, and recovered Preston; he fortified Lathom House, which his countess in 1644 bravely defended against the Parliamentary forces. Lord Derby had in the meantime been settling grievances in the Isle of Man; in 1644 he joined Prince Rupert, who was hastening to the relief of Lathom, took part in the storming of Bolton, and later in the year fought at Marston Moor. His countess having retired to the Isle of Man, after this defeat he joined her there, taking no further part in the war, but retaining the island for the king. (fn. 80) Parliament retaliated by excepting him from pardon, by the renewed siege and destruction of Lathom House, and by the confiscation of his great estates. (fn. 81)

In 1651 he repulsed an attack on the island by Parliamentary forces, and having learnt that Charles II, who had been crowned in Scotland, was about to invade England, Lord Derby determined to join him, and left the Isle of Man in August with 300 men. He endeavoured to raise as many men as possible in Lancashire, but after the defeat in Wigan Lane, where he was wounded, he fled southwards to join Charles at Worcester, and fought gallantly there on 3 September. The royalist cause now appearing hopeless, the earl turned north again, no doubt wishing to reach the Isle of Man, but on the way he and his party surrendered to Captain Edge as prisoners of war. He was taken to Chester and tried on the charge of treason; his death had already been determined upon, and he was sentenced to die at Bolton on or before 16 October. (fn. 82) The place was chosen as it was supposed the inhabitants cherished a hostile feeling against the earl on account of the slaughter there seven years before. The sentence was duly carried out, (fn. 83) but it was found that the people were sympathetic instead of hostile. The executioner, named Whewell, was a farmer of the district. (fn. 84) The earl was buried at Ormskirk. Shortly after this the Isle of Man was captured by the Parliament.

On the Parliament taking possession of his estates they had first to satisfy the demands of various claimants under wills and settlements. Lady Vere Carr claimed £1,000 under the will of her grandmother the countess of the sixth earl. (fn. 85) The countess of Lincoln, formerly wife of Sir Edward Stanley, brother of the seventh earl, claimed rent-charges from various lands in Lathom, Burscough, and Childwall, and Upton Hall in Cheshire, for the benefit of herself and her sons Charles and James Stanley, under deeds of 1637, and a large amount for arrears. (fn. 86) The almsmen of Lathom also put in a claim. (fn. 87)

After the earl's execution his countess desired to compound, (fn. 88) and in 1653 was allowed to do so after the rate of five years' purchase for the estates in fee simple, four years' purchase for estates in tail, three years for estates of one life, &c., the values of the year 1640 to be taken as the standard; and personal estate after the rate of one-third. (fn. 89)

In 1647 (fn. 90) the six surviving children of the earl had been permitted to live at Knowsley. A little after this the eldest son, Lord Strange, went abroad, and in 1650 married in Holland Dorothea Helena de Rupa, (fn. 91) a maid of honour to Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia. He returned to England early in 1651, and found that two of his sisters (Katherine and Amelia) were in prison in Liverpool, (fn. 92) having no allowance from their father's estate and depending entirely on charity; the other children were in the Isle of Man. He therefore 'cast himself on the wisdom and the mercy of Parliament,' being 'desirous as well to obedience and his good affection and loyalty to the Commonwealth, as to preserve some small ruins of his unhappy family.' Himself, his wife and child, and the family were quite destitute of means. After taking the engagement he was granted 'twofifths of the four parts yet undisposed of,' and allowed to live at Knowsley. (fn. 93)

He appears to have been unacquainted with his father's movements in August, 1651, but on hearing of his capture and imprisonment at once visited him, made strenuous efforts for his pardon, and attended him to his execution, and then at the burial. He lived at Knowsley, the widowed countess joining him in 1658. He engaged in the premature rising of 1659 in favour of Charles II. After the restoration he was, of course, restored to his father's honours and to much of his estates; he bore a sword before the king at the coronation, and was made lord lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire, and (in 1662) chamberlain of Cheshire for life. He wrote and published two controversial tracts in favour of Protestantism (1668–9), (fn. 94) and died at Knowsley 21 December, 1672, being buried at Ormskirk nearly six weeks later. (fn. 95)

His son and successor was William George Richard, ninth earl, who left two surviving daughters, Henrietta and Elizabeth. He was lord lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire from 1676 to 1687, when he was arbitrarily displaced by James II, to be restored in the following year, when the king discovered how much this action was resented. He retained the office till his death. He preferred a county retirement to court offices, and set himself to the work of rebuilding Lathom, which, however, he did not finish. (fn. 96) His daughter Henrietta became sole heir by the death of her sister Elizabeth in 1714. She was twice married—to John Annesley, earl of Anglesey, in 1706, and to John, earl of Ashburnham, in 1714, having a daughter by each husband. (fn. 97) She died on 26 June, 1718, and her second and surviving daughter, Henrietta Bridget Ashburnham, died unmarried 8 August, 1732.

James, tenth earl, succeeded to the title and the bulk of the estates on the death of his brother in 1702. He was a member of Parliament for Lancashire boroughs and for the county from 1685 to 1702; (fn. 98) served in the campaigns of Flanders under William III, with whom he was in high favour; had court offices, was a Privy Councillor, lord lieutenant of the county 1702–10 and 1714 to 1736, and chancellor of the duchy 1706 to 1710. He was mayor of Liverpool in 1734. He rebuilt Knowsley Hall, putting up an inscription as to the ingratitude of Charles II, 'who refused a bill unanimously passed by both Houses of Parliament for the restoring to the family the estates which he had lost by his loyalty to him.' (fn. 99) He died on 1 February, 1735–6, at Knowsley without surviving issue. (fn. 100)

The title of earl of Derby, with Knowsley, Halewood, Bury, and other manors, went to the heir male of the second earl, who had died so far back as 1521, through the Sir James Stanley of Cross Hall of whom mention has been made above. (fn. 101) He had a numerous family, including Henry Stanley of Aughton, who married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Peter Stanley of Bickerstaffe, and was succeeded in 1598 by his son Edward, created a baronet by Charles I in 1627. His eldest son Sir Thomas, second baronet, strove for the Parliament in the Civil War as strenuously as his great relative the earl of Derby did for the king; he died in 1653, leaving a son, Sir Edward Stanley, who was succeeded in 1671 by his son, Sir Thomas Stanley (died 1714), the father of Sir Edward Stanley, fifth baronet, who became eleventh earl of Derby in 1736. He was sheriff of Lancashire in 1722, and knight of the shire from 1727 till his succession to the earldom; lord lieutenant 1742 to 1757 and 1771 till his death on 22 February, 1776. His widow died two days after him, and they were buried together at Ormskirk.

Their son James married Lucy, daughter of Hugh Smith of Weald Hall in Essex, and assumed in accordance with Mr. Smith's will the additional surname of Smith. He was knight of the shire (1738) till his death, also lord lieutenant from 1757, and chancellor of the duchy from 1762.

He died in June 1771, (fn. 102) and his son Edward, at twenty-three years of age, succeeded his grandfather as twelfth earl. He also was knight of the shire 1774 to 1776, and lord lieutenant from 1776 till his death. He married in 1774 Elizabeth, daughter of James, sixth duke of Hamilton, (fn. 103) who afterwards separated from him, and died in March, 1797. In the following May Lord Derby married Eliza Farren, an actress of some fame, commemorated by an inscription in Huyton church. 'A passion for horse-racing and cock-fighting was the absorbing one of his life,' and 'Derby Day' preserves his memory.

His son and heir Edward, born in 1775, had been member for Preston 1796 to 1812, and for the county 1812 to 1832, when he was summoned to the House of Lords as Baron Stanley of Bickerstaffe; two years later, on succeeding to the earldom, he also succeeded to the office of lord lieutenant of Lancashire. He took a great interest in natural history, and formed a large menagerie at Knowsley, (fn. 104) and also a museum, which he bequeathed to Liverpool, where it is still preserved. He died 30 June, 1851. (fn. 105)

His eldest son, Edward Geoffrey, the most brilliant and distinguished of the modern earls, after a successful career in the House of Commons, was called to the House of Lords on his father's barony in 1844, and succeeded to the earldom in 1851. He served in many ministries, being thrice prime minister himself (1852, 1858, 1866), and becoming leader of the Conservative party. He was celebrated as an orator, being known as 'the Rupert of debate,' and maintained his reputation for scholarship by a translation of the I liad. He died at Knowsley on 23 October, 1869, and was buried there. (fn. 106)

He was succeeded by his eldest son Edward Henry, born at Knowsley in 1826, and distinguished for a long and useful public career, having filled numerous ministerial positions. He died in 1893, (fn. 107) and was succeeded by his brother Frederick Arthur, the present (sixteenth) earl of Derby, who after being a member of the House of Commons for many years, and holding office several times, was in 1886 summoned to the upper chamber as Baron Stanley of Preston; he was governor-general of Canada from 1888 to 1893. At home, after the extension of the boundaries of the city in 1895, he was lord mayor of Liverpool. (See Pedigree next page.)

Leland in Henry VIII's time notices the place thus: 'Knollesley, a park having a pretty house of the earls of Derby, within a mile of Prescot.' (fn. 108) Camden passes it over.

Until the Civil War Lathom was the principal residence of the family, but after its destruction Knowsley took its place. Here, as already stated, the children, and then the widow, of the seventh earl took up their residence with the permission of those in power, and the dowager countess died there on 21 March, 1663–4. (fn. 109)

The house is L-shaped, with an east wing some 415 ft. long, joined towards its south end by a south wing about 290 ft. long, the latter being the older portion, and said by Pennant to have been built 'by Thomas, first earl of Derby, for the reception of his son-in-law Henry VII.' (fn. 110) Parts of the walls may be as old as this time, but there are now no architectural features which can be older than the latter part of the seventeenth century, with the doubtful exception of the three pointed arches in the kitchen. The entrance to the south wing is on the north side, somewhat to the east of the middle, and is flanked by circular stair-turrets. It opens to a passage running along the whole of the north side of the wing, as far west as the entrance to the kitchen, and opening into a line of rooms on the south. These have a cloister in front of them, and have been completely refaced on the south, a large block of building projecting southward from the middle of the south front having been added at the same time. The kitchen measures about 50 ft. by 35 ft., and is divided lengthwise by an arcade of three pointed arches with octagonal pillars, which have preserved no ancient detail, if indeed any part of them is of ancient date. It is to be noted that the walls here and for some distance eastward are thick, and may be older than any architectural features which they have to show. (fn. 111) The fittings seem to be nowhere older than the early part of the eighteenth century, to which date belongs the staircase opposite the north entrance mentioned above. At the west end of the wing, on the south side, is a modern block built round a small court, containing the estate office, muniment rooms, &c.

The east wing is of several dates, and for the middle of its length has a thick central wall which may be its oldest part. The south end of the long range of buildings seems to have been begun about 1730, and is the work of James, the tenth earl of Derby, who died in 1736. Dates on the rain-water heads range between 1731 and 1737. The range has a central portion of three stories, about 70 ft. long, flanked by shorter wings which were originally of two stories, but have since been raised to the same height as the central block. (fn. 112) It is of red brick with stone dressings, with the characteristic moulded architraves and sash windows of the time, and is finished with a rather dull panelled parapet. On its south front is a two-story portico carried by pairs of columns, and on this part of the building is the inscription which records the ingratitude of the Stuarts to the great house of Stanley, which had lost so much in their cause.


In the middle of the east wing rises a large modern tower with a high roof, and an oriel on the east face, overlooking the site of a building which formerly projected from the front at this point, and contained the chapel. From extant drawings this seems to have been a poor eighteenth-century building whose loss is not to be deplored on aesthetic grounds. To the north of the tower is a two-story range, of early eighteenth-century date, or perhaps a little earlier, with tall sash windows of good proportion, and this and the southern part of the east front are by far the most pleasing pieces of architecture in the building. At the north end of the range are modern buildings, and the whole west face has been modernized, the old sashes being replaced by plate glass with much detriment to the general effect. The main entrance to the house is now in the middle of the west front of this range, and is covered by a large modern carriage porch. The fall of the ground is from east to west, and a terrace has been formed by levelling the wide lawn which lies before the entrance.

Thomas Pennant visited the hall in 1773. 'About a mile and a half from Prescot,' he writes, 'lies Knowsley, the residence of the earls of Derby, seated in a park, high, and much exposed to the fury of the west winds; for distant as this place is from the sea the effect is visible in the shorn form of the trees.' Then, after describing the house, he enumerates the pictures, collected chiefly by James, the tenth earl, this being his preface: 'I surveyed with great pleasure the numerous portraits of this illustrious family, an ancient race, long uncontaminated by vice or folly. The late venerable peer, Edward, earl of Derby, supported the dignity of his family; aged as he was, there was not a person in his neighbourhood but wished that his years could be doubled.' (fn. 113)

The court rolls are preserved at Knowsley.

Apart from the Lathom and Stanley families there is little record of the township. The Stockley family, already mentioned several times, occurs as early as 1302, when Richard son of Adam de Stockesley brought some small action against Robert de Lathom. (fn. 114)

Edmund de Prescot occurs as a landowner here in Richard II's reign. (fn. 115)

In 1717 Sampson Erdeswick, of Healy in Audley, and Thomas Howard, registered estates here as 'papists.' (fn. 116)

From the mention of the 'place of St. Leonard' at Knowsley in the charter of Burscough, it may be inferred that there was already a chapel of some kind here. (fn. 117)

In later times the English Presbyterians had a chapel in the village, the doctrine in the ordinary course of development becoming Unitarian; (fn. 118) but at the expiry of a lease in 1830, it was consecrated as a chapel of ease to Huyton, (fn. 119) Knowsley becoming an independent ecclesiastical district in 1844, and a vicarage in 1869. The incumbents are presented by the earl of Derby. A new church, St. Mary's, was built in 1843–4 at the expense of the thirteenth earl. In 1871 a memorial chapel was added at the expense of the personal friends and admirers of the fourteenth earl; a monument to him was placed therein, the recumbent figure being by Matthew Noble; stained-glass windows were added. (fn. 120)


  • 1. Census of 1901:—5,061, including 79 acres of inland water.
  • 2. Pollard, Stanleys of Knowsley, 20–3.
  • 3. Knowsley D. bdle. 1402, n. 10.
  • 4. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 283a.
  • 5. The plough-lands were not always divided among the members in the same manner. In other parts of Widnes barony 10 plough-lands seem to have formed a knight's fee.
  • 6. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 8.
  • 7. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 40. In 1242 it was found that Robert de Lathom held one fee in Knowsley, Huyton, and Tarbock of the earl of Lincoln, then lord of Halton; ibid. 148. In 1302 Robert de Lathom paid 40s. to the aid for marrying the king's daughter, for one fee in Knowsley; ibid. 312.
  • 8. Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 372. Thus it appears that the Alt was the original boundary of Knowsley on the south.
  • 9. This is changed to a knight's fee and a half in the De Lacy Inq. of 1311 (Chet. Soc.), 24. After the death of Sir Robert de Lathom in 1324–5 it was found that he and his wife had held the manor of Hugh le Despenser as of the fee of Widnes, by the service of one knight and doing suit at the monthly court of Widnes. At this time there was at Knowsley a messuage worth 2s. a year; the lands were 116 acres arable, worth 6d. an acre, and 3 acres of meadow each worth 1s. 6d.; there was a park with herbage worth 20s. The water-mill and windmill were valued at 26s. 8d. The rents of the free tenants amounted to £30, and there were also pleas and perquisites of courts worth 13s. 4d. a year. Inq. p.m. (18 Edw. II), n. 72; Whalley Coucher, ii, 553. He had a wood 'which was called a park' in 1292, but claimed no right of warren; Plac. de quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 387. The mill is mentioned in an early grant to Burscough. Of about 1320 also is the Halton feodary, which records that Sir Robert de Lathom held Knowsley, Huyton and Roby, and Tarbock for one fee, giving for relief when it should happen £5; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 708. The extent of Halton made in 1328 records that Thomas de Lathom held the manors, performing suit at Widnes for the vill of Knowsley from month to month; Inq. p.m. 42 Edw. III (1st nos.), n. 61. His grandson Sir Thomas, who died in 1382, held it as the fee of one knight by the service of 15s. per annum and suit of court at Widnes from three weeks to three weeks; he held Knowsley and Roby in demesne and Huyton and Tarbock in service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ii, 7; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 17.
  • 10. Robert son of Henry gave to his foundation at Burscough 'the place of St. Leonard of Knowsley' with its appurtenances; Lancs. Pipe R. p. 350. A lease of common of pasture in Knowsley (early thirteenth century) is in Harl. 52, i, 44. In 1223 Robert's grandson Richard was found dwelling there by the four knights who had been sent to Lathom to discover whether his excuse of sickness in answer to a summons was a valid one or not; Cur. Reg. R. 82, m. 3. Amabel, widow of Robert, calling herself 'de Knowsley,' granted to St. Werburgh's of Warburton certain of her land called Bury. This was all the land between two cloughs coming from the carr by Waterhurst and running down to the head of Stockley, where they met each other; also the clearing which used to belong to William son of Gamel, the bounds starting from the rise of the brook at Watercarr, across to the road to Glest (in Eccleston), along this way up as far as the cross, then at right angles to the syke between the clearing aforesaid and the land of St. Nicholas (of Burscough), down the syke of the brook, and up the brook to the spring of Wetecarr, guided by the meres and crosses of the canons; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 606.
  • 11. Cart. Misc. Edw. III, n. 209; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 312; also Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 346. See also Duchy of Lanc. Forest Proc. 1–17, m. 6 (8 Edw. III), where Thomas de Lathom claimed free park in Knowsley. There was a park at Knowsley much earlier, as is shown in a preceding note.
  • 12. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 19.
  • 13. Her husband is supposed to be the John son of William son of John de Stanley who in 1378 was pardoned for the death of Thomas de Clotton at Storeton in Wirral, the pardon being granted at the prayer of Sir Thomas Trivet in consideration of the good service of the said John done and to be done in Aquitaine, whither he was about to depart in Sir Thomas's company; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 443. If this identification be correct, Sir John de Stanley was a younger son of one William de Stanley of Storeton; brother of the next William de Stanley of the same, who married Alice daughter of Sir Hamlet Mascy of Timperley and died in 1397; and uncle of Sir William Stanley, who married the heiress of Hooton in Wirral, which remained the chief seat of the senior branch of the family till the early part of last century; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 415. The pedigree is not quite satisfactory at this point.
  • 14. Isabel had been married to Sir Geoffrey de Worsley, who died in 1380; see the account of Worsley.
  • 15. Ormerod, Ches. ii, 415; Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 109.
  • 16. Cal. Pat. R. Ric. II, 1385–9, see p. 232; also Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 444. Thomas del Ryding, afterwards vicar of Huyton, was among those who accompanied him to Ireland.
  • 17. Cal. Pat. 1385–9, p. 114, &c.; ibid. 1388–92, p. 499; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 444–6.
  • 18. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvi, App. 444; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 467.
  • 19. When the lordship came to be contested in 1594 between the daughters of Ferdinando, fifth earl, and his brother William, sixth earl, the crown lawyers contended that the grant had been invalid from the first, having been made before the Percy estates had legally come into the king's hands. This was overruled. The grant had at first been made for life, but a little later (6 April, 1405), on surrender of this and other grants, was regranted to him, his heirs and successors, with the castle and peel of Man, all royalties and franchises, and the patronage of the bishopric; to be held of the crown by liege homage, paying the king at his coronation a cast of falcons; Seacome, Hist. of the Stanley Family; Rymer, Foedera (Syllabus), ii, 554. In some later coronations the earl of Derby bore the sword called Curtana; William the ninth earl based his claim to do so on his lordship of Man; Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 228.
  • 20. Chart. R. 9 Hen. IV, n. 9. The grant included permission to make a saltus at Knowsley. The royal patent recites that there had been a park there time out of mind, and that Henry duke of Lancaster, 'our grandfather,' had confirmed it; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 106. In 1406 he obtained licence to fortify his house at Liverpool, called the Tower. The Stanleys were sometimes described as 'of Liverpool'; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 69.
  • 21. Cal. Pat. 1422–9, pp. 96, 99, 157.
  • 22. In compiling the account of the Stanley family the following works have been consulted:—Bishop Stanley, Family Poem in Halliwell's Palatine Anthology. Dugdale, Baronage (1675), ii, 247–54. This appears to be the basis of Collins' account. John Seacome, Hist. of the House of Stanley, first published in 1741; it brings the story down to the death of the tenth earl in 1736. The author had been steward of the household. He prints a number of Civil War documents. Collins, Peerage (ed. 1779), iii, 37–83. G. E. C. Complete Peerage, iii and vii. David Ross, House of Stanley (1848); the author was editor of the Liverpool Chron. William Pollard, Stanleys of Knowsley (Liverpool, 1868); useful for recent history. Baines, Lancs. (ed. Croston), v, 81–91. Foster, Lancs. Pedigrees. Biographies of the more prominent members of the family are given in the Dict. of Nat. Biog. A fuller account of the descent will be found in the Pedigree Volume.
  • 23. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 105. The writs of Diem cl. extr. were issued for Sir John Stanley on 26 March, 1414, and for his widow, 12 March, 1414–15, See Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii. App. 12.
  • 24. Cal. Pat. 1422–9, p. 62.
  • 25. Pink and Beavan, Parl. Rep. of Lancs. 50.
  • 26. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 666, 672. He was not the John Stanley who was constable of Carnarvon Castle, 1428, &c., and living in 1439; ibid. 672.
  • 27. Peck, Desid. Curiosa, vii, 6.
  • 28. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 672, 343. The writ of Diem cl. extr. was issued on 14 Dec. The inquisition taken in Cheshire has been preserved; he held no lands in that county in chief; Ormerod, Ches. ii, 412.
  • 29. Inq. after the death of Thomas, second earl of Derby.
  • 30. Norman R. (Dep. Keeper's Rep. xlviii), 284, 294, 315.
  • 31. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xlvii, App. 672. He was comptroller of the king's household in 1443 and later years; ibid. 674; Rymer, Foedera (Syllabus), ii, 667. A grant of Toxteth Park and the moss of Smithdown was made in May, 1447, at a fee farm of 11s. 7½d. This was renewed by Queen Elizabeth in 1593. Both are recited in the Inq. p.m. of the fifth earl, referred to later.
  • 32. Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 56.
  • 33. Writs of Diem cl. extr. were sent out on 26 Feb. and 9 and 10 Mar. and two Cheshire inquisitions are printed in the Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 676, 677. For a further account of him see Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 34. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 680–2. His son John, who became parker of Shotwick in 1475, is not recognized on the pedigrees. He seems to have died in 1477, being succeeded by his brother George; ibid. 680–1, 653.
  • 35. Lady Margaret's second husband died before 1472, when she made provision for 'the costs and making of a tomb to be made for the said Henry [Stafford, knight] at Plessy [in Essex], where his bones lie.' In 1478 letters of confraternity were granted by the prior of the Grande Chartreuse to Sir Thomas Stanley lord of Stanley, and the Lady Margaret his living wife, and the Lady Elinor formerly his wife, now dead, also to Sir Thomas [i.e. George] Stanley, knight, and Joan his wife; see the documents in the Eagle, Dec. 1894 and Dec. 1897.
  • 36. Cal. of Pat. 1467–77; Rymer, Foedera (Syllabus), ii, 706. See also Seacome's History and Collins.
  • 37. Metcalfe, Book of Knights, 7.
  • 38. It is probable that they had already communicated with Henry; indeed the old ballad of 'Lady Bessie' (Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV) makes them the principal agents in the coming and triumph of the new king. The name of Lord Stanley frequently occurs in the Patent Rolls of Edward IV and Richard III; see printed calendar, especially the grant to him and his son Lord Strange on 17 Sept. 1484; Cal. 1476–85, p. 476. This is recited in the Inq. p.m. of Ferdinando the fifth earl.
  • 39. The letters patent are recited in the Inq. p.m. of the fifth earl. For other grants see Rymer, Foedera (Syllabus), ii, 716, 720, 721.
  • 40. Pat. 4 Hen. VII, 25 Feb. The grant, which was to the earl and his heirs male, included an annuity of £40 from the manor of West Derby, the following manors or lordships with their appurtenances: Holland, Nether Kellet, Halewood, Samlesbury, Pilkington, Bury, Cheetham, Cheetwood, Halliwell, Broughton-in-Furness, and Bolton-in-Furness— to be held by the ancient services; the moieties of the manors of Balderston, Little Singleton, Bretherton, Thornton; all the lands belonging to Francis lord Lovell in Holland, Orrell, Dalton, Nether Kellet, Halewood, Samlesbury, Cuerdley, Walton, Lancaster, Wigan, Aughton, Skelmersdale, and Sutton; all the lands lately belonging to Sir Thomas Pilkington, in Pilkington, Bury, Cheetham, Cheetwood, Tottington, Unsworth, Salford, Shuttleworth, Shufflebottom, Middleton, Hundersfield; all the lands lately of Robert Hulton in Halliwell, and Smithills; all the lands lately of Sir Thomas Broughton in Broughton-in-Furness, Bolton-in-Furness, Subberthwaite, Elslack, Urswick, Ulverston, Merton, Bretby, Cartmell; and all the lands lately of James Harrington in Balderston, Little Singleton, Bretherton, Thornton Holmes, Hambleton, Little Hull, Dilworth, Plumpton, Broughton, Elswick, Sowerby, Goosnargh, Claughton, Much Singleton, Preston, Ribbleton, Stalmine, Lancaster, Medlar, Freckleton, Croston, Halghton, Whittingham, Bilsborough and Farington.
  • 41. Will in P.C.C. 19 Holgrave; see also Bishop Stanley's poem and Dict. Nat. Biog. In his will he desired that his body should be buried in the midst of the chapel, in the north aisle of the church of Burscough Priory, where lay the bodies of his father and mother and others of his ancestors; the tombs he had prepared with the 'personages' to be duly set up, that those there buried might for ever be remembered in prayer, and the 'personages' of his parents and other ancestors to be set in the arches in the chancel. He had already made to the priory 'great gifts in money and jewels and ornaments and also done great reparations,' and now added £20 provided that the prior became bound to cause one of the canons 'daily to say mass in the said chapel for my soul, and that of my good lady now my wife after her decease . . . . and for the souls of them that I have in any way offended unto, and for all Christian souls for ever more. And at every mass, before the Lavatory, audiently to say for the said souls appointed by name, and all others in general De profundis clamavi and such orations and collects as are used to be said therewith.' He confirmed the jointure of his wife, and the provision for his son Sir Edward, desiring also that he should have Hornby Castle and its lands for life, as well as other manors and lands up to the annual value of 100 marks. He had in April, 1500, enfeoffed his son James and others of his properties in Freckleton, Preston, Manchester, and various places named, formerly the lands of William Huddleston and others, and now he made a number of bequests of annuities to servants and officials for good services they had done, 'and also to pray for my soul.' Among others Reynold Stanley was to have the office of keeper of the Little Park at Lathom, at 1d. a day, in addition to the annuity from the priory of Upholland. Sir Geoffrey Trafford was to be continued in the benefice given him, with board wages whenever there should be no household kept at Lathom, on condition that he prayed and said mass for his benefactor in the chapel there. Other gifts were made to the bishop of Man, several priests, and the abbeys of Whalley and Cockersand. Then 'to the purchase of the rent and toll of Warrington Bridge 300 marks of ready money, that is to say after the rate of the yearly farm and value thereof by twenty years or above, to the intent that the passage shall be free for all people for evermore, without any further toll or farm there to be asked, and also I give to the making up of the said bridge at Warrington 500 marks.' He also left £20 for the building of Garstang Bridge. The will was made on 28 July, 1504, and proved by John Legh in the following November.
  • 42. Metcalfe, Book of Knights, 31.
  • 43. Bishop Stanley's rhyming history states that he 'at an ungodly banquet was poisoned.'
  • 44. To his father's possessions licence of entry had been given him in the previous March; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 560.
  • 45. After 24 Nov. 1505. The marriage agreement is printed in the Memoirs of the House of Hastings, 36.
  • 46. For certain complaints against the earl see Brewer, L. and P. Hen. VIII, iii, 824.
  • 47. The Cheshire one is abstracted in the Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxix, App. 95. That taken at Lancaster (Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, n. 63) recites his lands in the county. From Henry VII's grant to the first earl came the manors of West Derby, Upholland, and many more. Further Lord Strange had held the lands of Wraysom (by grant of Henry VII) and Oxcliff and Osmotherley. Sir Thomas Lord Stanley had received from Henry VI the park of Toxteth and Smithdown moss, and all these had descended to the late earl. The more ancient possessions of the family with some recent additions are then enumerated, as the manors of Lathom, Childwall, Knowsley, Roby, and others, with houses, lands, woods, moss, and rents, and the advowsons of Winwick and Eccleshill. Various grants made by the deceased are next given. They include the stewardship of Knowsley, Roby, Kirkby, Bootle and Formby to Sir William Leyland, knight, who was also to be keeper of the manor and park of Knowsley for life, at a stipend of £10; and the stewardship of Thornley and other manors in north Lancashire to Sir E. Stanley, Lord Mounteagle. A feoffment made in 1513 is recited in the Inq. p.m. of the fifth earl. His will (in English) is appended to the inquisition. He desired to be buried at Burscough, should he die in Lancashire; otherwise at Sion or at Ashridge. Among other bequests he confirmed his gift to Dame Ellen Fairbaron, 'ancres' in his almshouse at Lathom. Concerning the parcel of ground which his ancestors had enclosed within the park of Knowsley and granted to the priory of Burscough he desired the prior to make a ninety-nine years' lease of it to his heir, and to take instead an equivalent amount of land in Dalton, 'to be measured by rope and rood,' which would be much more convenient for the canons, and £20 should be paid them for the erection of a grange; £30 was to be given for a bell for Ormskirk church. His uncle Sir Edward Stanley, Lord Mounteagle, having shown him great unkindness and breach of covenant, various grants to him were revoked. These were of the castle and demesne of Hornby and an annuity of £100 from Barrelborough in Derbyshire. Sir Edward also had the manor of Coppull for life. The earl had St. George as his patron. He desired to be buried 'according to mine honour without any pomp or excess.' The executors named were Hugh Hesketh, bishop of Man; Sir Henry Halsall, knight, steward of his house, Henry Sherman dean of his chapel, Thomas Hesketh, Edward Molyneux rector of Sefton, Richard Hesketh, Richard Snede, and Richard Halsall rector of Halsall; and the overseers were Cardinal Wolsey, Hugh Oldham bishop of Exeter, Geoffrey Blythe bishop of Chester, John Veysey dean of the king's chapel, and Thomas Larke rector of Winwick. The will itself is preserved (P.C.C. 21 Bodfield); it is undated, but written from 1516 to 1519; proved 27 June, 1524. The tenures of the various manors are next set forth. In particular the manor of Knowsley with Roby, and the various tenements were held from the king as of his duchy of Lancaster—the intermediate fee of Halton being omitted—by the service of one knight's fee, and the yearly rent of 15s. and were worth £10 a year clear. The manors of Childwall, Rainford, and Anglezark were held of Lord La Warre (Manchester barony) by fealty and the yearly rent of 3s. and were worth £44 17s. 6d. per annum. The premises in Ince Blundell were held of Sir Thomas Butler (Warrington Barony) by service unknown and were worth 26s. 8d. clear.
  • 48. He came of age before 24 Jan. 1530–1 when livery of his lands was given him; L. and P. Hen. VIII, v, 55.
  • 49. Rymer, Foedera (Syllabus), ii, 761.
  • 50. In the possession of Lord Lathom. Rentals for other years of the minority are in the Record Office. A brief summary and a list of the countess's dower lands may be seen in Brewer's L. and P. Hen. VIII, iii, 1186.
  • 51. A more particular account of Knowsley and adjacent estates is here added: The account of William Brettargh, bailiff for Knowsley, husband, with farm of the manor and demesne lands, shows rents at 3s. or 3s. 4d. per acre from closures called Millheys, Broadmeynes, Longbranderth, Shortbranderth, Copthorn hey, Old Meadow, Whingbutts, Peascroft or Barriers croft or Wheat croft, Ryecroft, Rye hey, and Birches. These rents had been fixed as far back as 1464; very slight changes had been made in the rents of one or two fields. Several of the meadows had been included in a lease of the grazing rights in the park made to Sir William Stanley of Hooton and Andrew Barton of Smithills at a rent of £11 1s. 4d., the agistment itself being farmed for £6. The lessees were to have the herbage and use of pasture lands and meadows specified in the lease, with the profits of conies also, but sufficient feeding was reserved for the deer and other wild animals in the park. The free tenants in Knowsley paid 42s. 9d.; 2d., the value of two pairs of gloves, was paid by Nicholas Eltonhead for the manor of Eltonhead in Prescot, with appurtenances in Knowsley; 2d. for a barbed arrow from Thomas Gillibrand and Matthew Ashton. The peppercorn due from John Harrington of Huyton for a close in Knowsley had not been paid. In Roby the free tenants paid 12s. 5d., and 2s. 8d. (the value of 4 lb. of wax) came from John Aldersey (lately from John Huyton) for a house and six acres of land there. The tenants at will in Knowsley and Roby paid £78 11s. 11d. according to the old rental, but increases had been secured from time to time, particularly from various potters desirous to dig clay in the park of Knowsley and make pots there. Beside rent each tenant in lieu of 'averages' or work to be done on the lord's land paid 6d. for a plough and 4d. for a harrow, but if he had no plough 2d. The old services are thus described: A tenant with a plough should work for one day on the sowing of the lord's oats, for the food of the said lord, also for one day in the autumn when demanded. A noteworthy payment is 24s. the farm of coal mines in Whiston. Turbary in Knowsley Moss produced 3s. 1d.; 7s. came from the sale of the bark of trees in the park cut down to make palings. The profits of the rabbits, as stated above, belonged to the lessees of the agistment of the park; 'ward and marriage' had produced nothing and no courts had been held during the year. Payments made by the bailiff follow. First was the rent paid to the king for the lordship of Knowsley, now 19s. 4d. per annum. Other payments were disallowed by the king's commissioners, including one of 2s. 8d. as the price of 4 lb. of wax, which had been paid to Huyton church out of lands in Roby, according to an ancient grant. The windmill at Roby was let at 20s. to Richard Whitfield instead of 26s. 8d. as formerly; it appears that the miller was to do all the repairs required, except the 'postez' and the mill-stones. The watermill at Knowsley paid 10s. only, instead of 23s. 4d., but the tenant William Heeton was to do all repairs except the heavy timber. Some small sums were respited for consideration by the king's council. These are not without interest. The wages of Nicholas Gorsuch and others for making and carrying hay from two acres of meadow in the new coppice in the park to the two deer houses, for the winter fodder of the deer, came to 4s. 6d. Edmund Tyrhare and others had been employed in felling trees and splitting the wood into pales, rails and posts, for enclosing the park and in carrying them, as also in setting up and repairing the paling between Longbarrow gate and Eccleston gate. Their charges were 12d. a hundred for splitting the poles, and 2½d. a rod for erecting. There had also been required 400 nails called 'double spikings' and 200 smaller ones called 'spikings' and others costing in all 3s. 10d. Childwall and Woolton grange were farmed out to Richard Whitfield and William his son for their lives for £20 a year; the lord to pay the rent resolute and the fifteenth (when levied), and the Whitfields to repair and maintain houses and granges, also hedges and ditches. For some reason the rent resolute (57s. 6d.), payable to the prior of the Hospitallers for Woolton grange was disallowed by the king's council. Lands bought by George Lord Strange included Coxhead (Cokkesshade) House in Little Woolton, rented at 15s., and a cottage in Wavertree, rented at 2s. These were copyhold under the Hospitallers.
  • 52. Pardons to the duke of Norfolk and the earl of Derby, for this marriage, which had taken place without the king's licence, were granted 21 Feb. 1529–30. The bride is erroneously called Katherine; L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv, 2810. A poem on the death of his second wife Margaret, daughter of Ellis Barlow, is printed in Halliwell's Pal. Anthology.
  • 53. A volume of his correspondence at this time has been printed by the Chet. Soc. (New Ser. xix.).
  • 54. St. Leonard's land in Knowsley and some other possessions of Burscough Priory were granted to him in 1553, in exchange for Derby House in London, now the Heralds' College; Pat. 6 Edw. VI, pt. iii, m. 20. The chantry at Huyton had been given to him and others in 1549; Pat. 3 Edw. VI, n. 11.
  • 55. At the time of Wyatt's rebellion (early in 1554), George Marsh was preaching 'most heretically and blasphemously' in the Manchester district, and Lord Derby being told of this at the council meeting in London, on his return to Lancashire, ordered Marsh's arrest. The latter at his subsequent trial taunted the earl in the customary manner with having himself 'acknowledged' the system for which he was trying another; but the earl replied that 'he with the Lord Windsor and the Lord Dacres and another did not consent to the acts (of Edward's council touching religion) and that the Nay of these four would be able to be seen so long as Parliament House stood'; Foxe, Acts and Monuments (ed. Cattley), vii, 45. The dissentient lords on the third reading of the Act establishing the Prayer Book of 1552 were—the earl of Derby, the bishops of Carlisle and Norwich, and lords Stourton and Windsor; Journ. House of Lords, i, 421.
  • 56. This was probably on account of the northern rebellion, to which he was opposed.
  • 57. While the earl attended the meetings of Parliament and the Privy Council in Mary's reign, it was otherwise afterwards. He was present at the earlier sittings of Elizabeth's first Parliament, but after 9 March, 1558–9, he was absent. Thus he did not vote on the second and third readings of the Supremacy Bill, and had nothing to do with the Act of Uniformity. He was present during most of the sittings of Parliament in 1563, but this was his last appearance at Westminster; Journ. House of Lords, i, 541, &c.
  • 58. Gibson, Lydiate Hall, p. 193–212. At Lathom in July, 1568, the commission sat with the earl of Derby presiding, to try John Westby and others who had refused conformity. Thus, whatever he thought himself he took part in the coercion of others, and by this means seems to have regained the queen's favour.
  • 59. He was also considered a good surgeon. His household expenses for the year 1560–1 have been printed. They amounted to £3,295, other expenses (including alms of £4 15s. 7½d.) came to £1,621, of which over £1,000 was for jewels and apparel. The rules of his household sanctioned in 1568–9 have also been printed. There is no mention of a chaplain or a chapel. See Stanley P. (Chet. Soc.), pt. ii, 1–10.
  • 60. The deed is recited in full in the inquest taken after the death of his grandson Ferdinando. But for it, it appears that the following manors would have been divided among the latter's daughters instead of descending to his brother William, the sixth earl: Lathom, Knowsley, Roby, Childwall, Bispham, Rainford, Chorley, Coppull, Anglezark, Thornley, Alston, Weeton, Treales, Little Marton, Rosacre, Wharles, Ulneswalton, Kellamergh, Whittingham, Broughton in Amounderness, Freckleton, Torrisholme, Oxcliffe, Aughton, Northolmley, Bolton le Moors, Claughton in Amounderness, Osmotherley, and Dunderdale; with others in Cheshire, Westmorland, Yorks. Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, and North Wales, and houses, lands, and various rights in these and other places.
  • 61. The order of this funeral is fully described by Seacome and Collins.
  • 62. He was a commissioner for ecclesiastical causes, and a member of the Council of the North (one of its principal duties being the persecution of the adherents of the ancient faith). As to his attitude in this matter, see the long correspondence in Peck, Desid. Cur. bk. iv. He was a commissioner on the trials of Mary queen of Scots, and of the Ven. Philip Howard, earl of Arundel. These offices were not particularly honourable to him, the less so as Howard was a near relation. The motto on his garter plate is Sauns Changier, the earliest known occurrence. His household regulations, approved in 1587, gave as the first rule that all his household 'daily repair unto and hear divine service.' The principal officers were the steward, controller, and receiver general, each with three attendants. There were seven gentlemen waiters, two clerks of the kitchen, a chaplain (Sir Gilbert Townley, rector of Eccleston), numerous yeomen officers and grooms, two trumpeters, the cook and his staff, and many artificers, as the candle man, armourer, malt maker, and the like; a yeoman of the horses and assistants in the stables; and 'Henry the Fool.' In all there was a staff of 118. The household books also give particulars of the provisioning of the house, the guests who came and went, and Lord Derby's own movements. See Stanley P. (Chet. Soc.)
  • 63. Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 243.
  • 64. By Jane Halsall, of Knowsley, he had several natural children—Thomas Stanley of Eccleshall and Broughton in Salford, Dorothy, wife of Sir Cuthbert Halsall, and Ursula, wife of Sir John Salisbury—for whom he made liberal provision.
  • 65. Seacome, Hist.; Dict. Nat. Biog.; see also Stanley P. pt. i, 20–29. By his will, dated four days before his death, he confirmed the dispositions of his manors already made, which may be seen in the Inq. p.m. of his son Ferdinando, adding West Lidford in Somerset to those granted to his second son William; P.C.C., 66 Dixy. Ferdinando dying before probate, administration was granted to his widow Alice (as his executrix), 17 October, 1594.
  • 66. Amyntas in Colin Clout's Come Home again. Ferdinando was a verse writer himself, and 'Lord Strange's Company of players' is heard of in 1589 and later. See Stanley P. pt. i, 13, 30, 37.
  • 67. 'Marrying the earl of Derby's son to the daughter of a mean knight' was alleged as an offence of the earl of Leicester; Cal. S.P. Dom. Addenda 1580– 1625, p. 138.
  • 68. See note in the Complete Peerage, iii, 72.
  • 69. In 1583, however, he had been very hostile, writing to Bishop Chaderton that he was 'willing to give in the first blow,' and in a 'secret letter' accusing his father of being lukewarm or hostile. See Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, iv, 24, 31.
  • 70. He had betrayed Deventer to the king of Spain and raised a regiment of exiles for the Spanish service.
  • 71. It appears from the cal. of State Papers that they had approached him before he came to the earldom. Perhaps his building of the solitary tower at Leasowe (1593) in Cheshire had something to do with these negotiations. Richard Hesketh was a son of Sir Thomas Hesketh of Rufford.
  • 72. A minute account of his sufferings has been preserved, printed in Pennant's Tour to Alston Moor, from the Somers Tracts, and in Baines' Lancs. (ed. Croston), v, 83, from Harl. MS. 247, fol. 204. At the time they were put down to poison or witchcraft, and the friends of Hesketh have been accused of avenging his death in this manner. It must be remembered, however, that Queen Elizabeth was specially sensitive in this matter of the succession and that suspected pretenders had very uncertain lives under the Tudors. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1591–4, p. 545. No one was punished.
  • 73. The inquisition taken after the death of Ferdinando is a long and elaborate document, it being necessary to give details of the conditions of tenure and descent on account of his heirs being three daughters. It therefore sets forth the grants of Toxteth and Smithdown by Henry VI, renewed by Queen Elizabeth; of Bolton, &c., by Richard III; of the earldom and the manors of Holland, Bury, &c. by Henry VII; of Wraysholme by the same; and of Burscough by Queen Elizabeth—all these being to the heirs male. The deed by which Edward the third earl entailed Lathom, Knowsley, and most of the other possessions of the family upon 'male issue' is also given in full; as also are feoffments made by the second and fourth earls. An elaborate account of the descent is also contained in it, to show that William the sixth earl was the heir male to whom all these manors legally descended. The lordship of Man not being included was claimed by Ferdinando's daughters; Add. MS. 32104, fol. 406, 453, 465–476. See also Chanc. Inq. p.m. 247 (92), 38 Eliz. Their cause was not settled till 1609, when an Act of Parl. was passed deciding the whole matter; private Acts of 4 Jas. I, and 7 Jas. 1. A statement of the case is in Cott. MS. Titus, B. 8, fol. 65.
  • 74. Halliwell, Pal. Anthology, 272, 282; Stanley P. pt. i, 47, 49.
  • 75. On first coming to the estates, he appears to have been a spendthrift; he sold Leasowe Tower to the Egertons in 1598, paid a gaming debt to William Whitmore by a grant of Neston, and sold Bosley to the Fittons. See Ormerod, Ches. ii, 474, 534, iii, 738. He is mentioned as hawking and dicing in Assheton's Diary (Chet. Soc.), 80.
  • 76. His body lay at Chester during the Civil-War period, and was 'buried in his own tomb at Ormskirk' on 30 June, 1662. An account of his estates made in 1601 gives the rental in Lancs. Westmorland, Yorks. Cheshire, Somerset, Warwick, Surrey, Essex and Lincoln as follows: —Total in possession £2,136 15s. 10¾d. in right of lady Elizabeth his wife, £560; in leases redeemable, £187; in reversion after the decease of Alice, countess of Derby (Ferdinando's widow) and Sir Edward Stanley, £1,151 14s. 9½d., making a total of £4,035 10s. 8¼d. beside advowsons, stewardships and bailiwicks; Cal. of S.P. Dom. 1598–1601, p. 541.
  • 77. Pink and Beavan, op. cit. 186.
  • 78. She is said to have been descended from one of the Greek emperors. She had come to England in the train of Elizabeth queen of Bohemia, daughter of James I. Denization was granted 12 Sept. 1626; Rymer, Foed. (Syllabus), ii, 866.
  • 79. At the latter place he formed 'a wellstocked library'; his widow recovered in 1654 'five pictures and maps in oil without frames, 76 pictures in frames, 360 books of great volume, and 570 books of lesser volume'; Stanley P. pt. iii, p. xxiv. In 1630 the duke of Tremouille, Lady Strange's nephew, visited Knowsley. The chaplain about that time was Dr. Peter du Moulin the younger; ibid. xxxv, xxxvi.
  • 80. For an account of the capture and plunder of the ship Mary, bound from Liverpool to Carrickfergus, by the earl's servants, see Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 131–5; and Stanley P. pt. iii, pp. clvi-clviii.
  • 81. The earl petitioned to compound on 22 Jan. 1648–9 (Royalist Comp. P. ii, 122), and this was apparently allowed him 'at a moiety.'
  • 82. The official record of the trial is printed in the Stanley P. pt. iii, cccxxxiv. 'Darbie will be tried at Chester and die at Bolton' was written on 29 Sept.; the trial began two days later; ibid. ccv.
  • 83. The earl was taken from Chester on Tuesday, reaching Leigh in the evening, and next morning taken on to Bolton.
  • 84. Local Gleanings, Lancs. and Ches. i, 110. The axe was in 1875 said to be preserved at the Stone Inn, Church Gate, Bolton. The chair at which he knelt on the scaffold is at Knowsley. There are several narratives of the earl's last journey to Bolton and his execution there. One of them deserves particular notice, as it professes to give an account—derived, it would appear, from the Jesuit Father Clifton, who is said to have absolved him—of the secret reconciliation of the earl to the Roman Church on the morning before his execution, while riding to Bolton. This narrative has been received with natural suspicion, but in general agrees with the others. In his written speech, prepared of course some time before, the earl said, 'I die a dutiful son of the Church of England, as it was established in my late master's reign and is yet professed in the Isle of Man, which is not a little comfort to me.' This part of the speech was not delivered on the scaffold. The spoken words attributed to him are vague: 'The Lord send us our religion again; as for that which is practised now it hath no name; and methinks there is more talk of religion than any good effects thereof.' The above account has been extracted mainly from Canon Raines' biography in the Stanley P. (Chet. Soc.), pt. iii. There is an independent account of the last scene in Lancs. War (Chet.Soc.), 82–3; see also Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 320–3; Foley, Rec. S. J. ii, 9–17; Dict. of Nat. Biog.
  • 85. Royalist Comp. P. ii, 125.
  • 86. Ibid. 147–71.
  • 87. Ibid. 143.
  • 88. Various covenants relating to her marriage were considered. The estates brought in in 1625 were the manors of Lathom, Burscough, Childwall; also Ormskirk, Orton, Bispham, Bury, Heaton, Broughton, and various lands in Lancashire of the yearly value in demesnes, quit and improved rents, of £1,947 12s. 5d.; and in old rents £313 11s. 11d. Various other manors and lands—at Hawarden, Thirsk, Bidston, &c.—and the tithes (leased) of Prescot and other parishes were estimated as worth about £2,000 a year, out of which, however, a number of annuities were payable; ibid. 147–71.
  • 89. She stated that she held for life the manors of Knowsley, Bury, Pilkington, Halewood, Breightmet, and Sowerby (Great and Little), and various other lands and tithes in Lancashire, the value in 1640 being £312 16s. 8d., and the old rents £648 13s. 6½d. She had a like estate in the manor of Bidston, and other lands outside the county; and was seised in fee of the rectory of Ormskirk and its tithes, which in 1640 were worth £300. She also desired to compound for the plate and household goods in her possession in the Isle of Man. A more detailed statement places the demesne of Knowsley in 1640 at £220, and the old rents at £110 1s. 2d.; ibid. 179–91, 203–30. Her fine was accordingly set at £6,866 13s. 4d. and £336 6s. 8d. for a thousand pounds' worth of household stuff, making in all £7,200; and having paid half this sum into the treasury and given security for the other half the sequestration was discharged; ibid. 204. Various claims on her manors had to be considered. Edward Orme, parish clerk of Huyton, had for thirty-nine years received 10s. a year from Knowsley, and the vicar had had £1 6s. 8d., and he thought these sums should still be paid. Similar demands came from other manors. There were also a rent 'sook' of 11s. 6d. heretofore collected for the Crown and now for the Commonwealth by the bailiffs of the fee court of Widnes, and a wapentake rent of £2 2s. 10d. (?) issuing out of Knowsley 2s. 5d., Huyton 2s. 6d., Roby 2s. 6d., Tarbock 3s. 4d., and Holland 12s., which Thomas Booth, bailiff of the hundred, deposed were regularly paid down to 1642, when the estate was sequestered; ibid. 205–7. Edward Stockley of Prescot claimed Holker House in Knowsley by virtue of a lease made to him in 1639 at the ancient rent of 38s. 11d. and this was allowed; ibid. 157–63. Edward Stockley had been made ranger of the park in 1647. The earl's children petitioned in 1650 for the payment of arrears under an order of 1647 by which they were allowed a certain sum for maintenance and education; ibid. 222–26. Considerable portions of the estates were sold outright by the Parl. Com.; ibid. 230–43. This seems a convenient place for stating some of the changes of tenure in the manors. After the death of Ferdinando, the fifth earl, the manors of Lathom and Aughton and lands in Cross Hall and elsewhere in the neighbourhood were conveyed by the feoffees to Queen Elizabeth, who reconveyed them to William, the sixth earl and his heirs male, or in default of this, heirs male of George Stanley, Lord Strange; Pat. 43 Eliz. pt. xi. Other similar dispositions were made, and confirmed by an Act of 1606 (18 Nov. 4 Jas. I), by which in default of male heirs of the sixth earl, the various manors included in the Act were to go to Edward Stanley of Bickerstaffe and his heirs male. Charles I, however, at the petition of James, Lord Strange, made a grant of the manors of Upholland, Burscough, Lathom, and Childwall to him and his heirs and assigns; Pat. 13 Chas. I, pt. xxvii, m. 10. These dispositions were probably nullified by the confiscation under authority of Parliament in 1651; Scobell, Collection, pt. ii, 156. Two years later Charles the eighth earl had lands supposed to be worth £500 a year settled upon him; Commons' Journ. vii, 293, 349, 352; Royalist Comp. P. ii, 231–2. He was allowed also to repurchase such of his father's manors and lands as had not been sold outright, the contract being by Henry Neville and Anthony Samwell as agents or trustees; ibid. 238; Cal. S.P. Dom. (1653–4), 368–9. A further enabling Act was passed in 1657 (Commons Journ. vii, 471, 496, 518), which, according to Seacome, enabled the earl to 'sell several manors, lands, and chief rents, as Childwall, Little Woolton, part of Dalton, and all Upholland, with the chief rents of many of the manors and townships,' whereby he was enabled to pay off the debt to the Commonwealth on the lands repurchased, and to buy off certain family charges; House of Stanley (ed. 1793), 403.
  • 90. Permission granted 8 Sept.; Sea. come.
  • 91. Naturalized by Act of Parl. 29 Aug. 1660.
  • 92. Afterwards at Chester.
  • 93. Royalist Comp. P. ii, 222–4. This acceptance of the Commonwealth reaching his father in an exaggerated form greatly distressed him; Stanley P. pt. iii, cclxvi.
  • 94. Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 241.
  • 95. On 29 Jan. 1672–3, 'deplored by King, country, and Church'; Ormskirk Reg.
  • 96. There are numerous references to him in the Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), including his diary in Oct.-Nov. 1688, and a contemporary character sketch. For his action in 1688 see a subsequent note.
  • 97. In conjunction with Lord Ashburnham she sold a number of the family estates, including the manor of Lathom. In 1707 she appears to have held in her own right half the castle of Greenhalgh, the manors of Lathom,* West Derby,* Wavertree,* Everton,* Adgarley, Alston,* Skelmersdale,* Holland,* Bretherton,* Ormskirk, Newburgh, Great and Little Sowerby, and Bispham. Those marked with an asterisk were disposed of as well as other estates and the manors of Childwall, Much and Little Woolton, which last, however, had practically been lost to the family since the Civil War. With regard to the rest—as also Knowsley, Halewood, Bury, and Pilkington—the then earl of Derby seems to have been able to come to an agreement with her. These have accordingly come down to the present earl, together with Bickerstaffe, Thornley, and Chipping, the inheritance of the Bickerstaffe branch of the family. For details see Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 487, m. 4; 503, m. 5, 5 d.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 276, m. 67, 71, 75; and Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 540, m. 11; 567, m. 3; 623, m. 1a.
  • 98. He was a decided Whig, and the earls of Derby adhered to the same party till the time of the fourteenth earl, who himself down to 1834 was a zealous supporter of it.
  • 99. See Stanley P. pt. iii, cclxxv, and note.
  • 100. The lordship of Man, the barony of Strange, and a large part of his estates devolved upon the heir of his aunt Amelia Anna Sophia, youngest daughter of the seventh earl. She had in 1659 married John, second earl and first marquis of Atholl; her eldest son John was created duke of Atholl in 1703, and it was his son James, second duke, who became in 1736 heir general of the 'Martyr Earl.'
  • 101. For a fuller account of this family see Bickerstaffe.
  • 102. For his character by a particular friend, 'whose rank puts him above flattery,' see Collins.
  • 103. It is interesting to note that she was a descendant of James the seventh earl, and that the present and three preceding earls are descended from the same.
  • 104. Described and illustrated in Gleanings from the Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall, 2 vols. imp. folio, 1846 and 1850, privately printed.
  • 105. See Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 106. Ibid.
  • 107. Ibid.
  • 108. Leland, Itin. vii, 48.
  • 109. In Sept. 1688, William the ninth earl was at Knowsley. He had just been restored to office as lord lieutenant of the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. In Oct. he received a summons from the king, which took him to London; he was desired to use 'great care to keep his two counties quiet.' On 1 Nov. he met his deputy lieutenants at Knowsley. On the 17th he heard that there was a design on the part of the military at Wigan and at Liverpool to seize upon him at Knowsley, so as to prevent him from acting with Lord Delamere— with whom he had in fact concerted measures—against King James, and so he left Knowsley, going round by Winstanley and Astley to Preston; Kenyon MSS. 198, 202, 205. A letter dated in June, 1697, describes the household at Knowsley; 'We came to Knowsley on Wednesday last. . . We stayed at Knowsley till Monday last, and now we are ready the first wind (and) have a ship ready bound for the island. My Lord and Lady Strange are at Knowsley, keep a very few servants, and no gentlemen came there whilst we stayed, only Mrs. Lyme one day, and Parson Richmond another day. . . My Lord Derby did intend himself to go for the island, but is off that because of the danger of the sea, and the many privateers who are now in St. George's Channel, waiting for the ships that will come to Highlake (Hoylake) for Chester Fair'; Ibid. p. 418.
  • 110. Tour from Downing to Alston Moor, 22.
  • 111. The house was taxed for 72 hearths in 1662.
  • 112. The northern wing in 1808, the southern at a quite recent date.
  • 113. Pennant, op. cit. 21–47. Gregson supplements this by stating that the agent employed in collecting the pictures was Hamlet Winstanley, a painter and etcher; 'this lord, the patron of Winstanley, threw open his gallery at Knowsley, and many young men of those days studied architecture and drawing under his auspices; a circumstance not very common at that period, when there was not any academy of design in England.' Fragments (ed. Harland), 229.
  • 114. Assize R. 418, m. 2. Some other references to the plea rolls may be added. Assize R. 1425, m. 6; De Banco R. 348, m. 427d.; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1, m. iiii; 7, m. 7.
  • 115. Add. MS. 32107, n. 354.
  • 116. Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 119, 120.
  • 117. It is described later as standing near the centre of the 'place' and is called Ridding Chapel; Burscough Reg. fol. [4].
  • 118. Nothing seems to be known as to the origin of the chapel, but it is perhaps the Presbyterian meeting-house in the parish recorded by Bishop Gastrell about 1718; Notitia Cestr. ii, 177. In the Manchester Socinian Controversy, 141, it is stated that it was of 'orthodox origin,' the trust deed prescribing that the officiating minister should 'preach according to the doctrinal articles of the Church of England, and teach the Assembly's Catechism.' It was endowed with an estate in Chester. In 1825 the Rev. John Yates, a well-known Unitarian minister of Liverpool, had charge of the place, which had no settled minister. The Wesleyan Methodists had recently used it for preaching, and afterwards two laymen of the Established Church went from Liverpool, one reading the prayers and the other a sermon. See also Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iv, 196.
  • 119. The old chapel is still in use as the boys' school. It is half a mile west of the new church.
  • 120. Information given by the Rev. John Richardson, M.A., vicar.