Townships: Everton

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

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'Townships: Everton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 20-22. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "Townships: Everton", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 20-22. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

. "Townships: Everton", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 20-22. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

In this section


Evreton, 1094; Euerton, 1201; Erton, 1380; Everton, usual from xiii cent.

This township lies on the hill to the north-east of Liverpool, the highest point being at St. George's Church. From that point there is a very rapid slope to the north and to the west, the elevated ridge continuing southward to Low Hill and Edge Hill. The height allows an extensive panorama of the city of Liverpool, including a distant view of the Cheshire side of the River Mersey. At sunset the windows of the houses on Everton Brow flash back the glowing radiance, showing that nothing impedes the wide prospect westwards. The foot of this ridge is the western boundary. The area is 693 acres, the township being about a mile and a quarter from north to south, and less than a mile across. The population in 1901 was 121,469. The geological formation is triassic, the lower ground on the eastern side consisting of the basement beds of the keuper series, which have been thrown down by a deep fault running north and south; the remainder of the township, including all the higher ground, consists of the pebble beds of the bunter series.

Formerly the approach to it was by a road leading eastward from Liverpool. (fn. 1) The old village (fn. 2) stood at the top of the ascent in what is now Village Street, above the old roundhouse or bridewell, (fn. 3) which still remains. About half way up the slope Netherfield Lane turned away to the north, with a branch leading up the hill. From the top of the village the road led—north to the summit where the Beacon stood, destroyed by a gale in 1803, and then dividing, down the hill to Kirkdale and to Anfield; (fn. 4) and south to Low Hill; this road remains one of the main thoroughfares of Everton, as Heyworth Street and Everton Road. The road from Liverpool after passing through the village divided, the more northerly branch, Breck Lane, (fn. 5) leading to Walton Breck, and the other, which also divided, to Newsham and West Derby. (fn. 6) The mere, afterwards called St. Domingo Pit, was below the Beacon, to the east; Mere Lane led down to it.

The commanding situation of the village occasioned its earliest prominent connexion with the general history of the county, for here Prince Rupert fixed his head quarters when attacking Liverpool in 1644. (fn. 7) In more peaceful times the wealthier merchants of Liverpool chose it for their country mansions, and in 1824 it was thus described: 'This village has become a very favourite residence of the gentry of Liverpool, and for the salubrity of its air and its vicinity to the sea, may not inaptly be called the Montpellier of the county.' (fn. 8) The roads were shaded with fine trees, and a walk to the top of the hill was a pleasant exercise for dwellers in the town. The growth of Liverpool northwards, with the erection of chemical works and other factories by the riverside, destroyed the amenities of the situation, and within the last fifty years the great houses in their spacious grounds have been replaced by closely packed streets of small dwellings. The roads above described remain the principal ones, having been widened and improved. The Liverpool electric tramways serve the district.

There was a large sandstone quarry on the northern slope of the hill.

Until 1820 the shaft of the market-cross stood upon a flight of stone steps in the open space of the village; a sundial had been fixed upon it. (fn. 9) There was formerly a holy well here, but the site has been lost. (fn. 10) The Beacon, already mentioned, was a plain rectangular tower of two stories, about 18 ft. square and 25 ft. high, built of local red sandstone. (fn. 11)

The little open green by the roundhouse is maintained by the corporation of Liverpool, and has been slightly extended by the demolition of some cottages on the north side of it, among them being the Old Toffee shop. (fn. 12) In 1825 the Necropolis was enclosed as a burial place for Nonconformists. (fn. 13) It is now a public garden maintained by the corporation. Shaw Street, the principal street on the Liverpool side of Everton, was formed in 1828 by Thomas Shaw, a councillor of Liverpool. (fn. 14) On its eastern side is a triangular piece of rocky ground called Whitley Gardens maintained by the corporation. (fn. 15)


EVERTON was one of the six berewicks dependent on the royal manor of West Derby in 1066; its separate assessment was three plough-lands. (fn. 16) Subsequently it formed part of the demesne of Roger of Poitou, who gave its tithes to the abbey of St. Martin at Séez in 1094. (fn. 17) During the twelfth century an assized rent of £4 from this vill was accounted for in the corpus comitatus or total sum rendered yearly as farm of the honour, but in 1201 it was increased to £4 16s., (fn. 18) the increment perhaps representing the sheriff-scot or fee for the sheriff as farmer of the demesne manors. (fn. 19) The manorial history of Everton is the same as that of West Derby. (fn. 20) In 1315 Sir Robert de Holand entered into the manor by the favour of Thomas of Lancaster and held it until the earl's attainder in 1322. (fn. 21) Thirty years later it was given to John Barret in fee, but he appears to have died without issue, and this grant also failed. (fn. 22)

Being granted by the crown in 1629 as an appendage of the manor of West Derby, (fn. 23) the tenants of Everton refused suit and service at the patentees' court, asserting that their manor was distinct and separate from that of West Derby. After legal disputes the patentees thought it best to obtain new letters patent in 1639, in which the vill of Everton and the rents and services of the tenants were named. The manors of West Derby, Everton, and Wavertree were then sold to James, Lord Strange, and in 1717 were purchased by Isaac Greene of Liverpool, whose descendant, (fn. 24) the marquis of Salisbury, is the present lord of the manor. Some land is still held as copyhold of the manor of West Derby.

The Everton tenants had successfully asserted the rights of their vill in 1620. In this year the copyholders of West Derby and Wavertree, having obtained a commission confirming to them their copyhold estates and for granting the wastes and commons by copy of court roll, surveyed and proposed an allotment not only of the wastes of West Derby and Wavertree, but also of Everton, to be allotted among the copyholders of the three vills. The people of Everton, however, insisted that theirs was a distinct vill, (fn. 25) with known bounds; that the benefit of the wastes had from time beyond memory been taken and enjoyed by the inhabitants; that the tenants of Kirkdale paid Everton 6s. 8d. a year for liberty of common in part of the wastes, and that the inhabitants of Wavertree and West Derby had no rights in them. (fn. 26)

In 1642 it was found that the people of Everton paid £5 11s. 3½d. for their enclosed lands and 13s. 4d. for their commons—Hongfield (Anfield), Whitefield and Netherfield; this last payment was known as Breck silver, the commons lying on the Breck or slope of the hill. (fn. 27) An agreement was made in 1667 between the tenants and the earl of Derby, as lord of the manor, for enclosing a third of the commons, which then extended to 180 acres large measurement; they were afterwards leased to the tenants. (fn. 28) Then in 1716 Lady Ashburnham granted to the copyholders a lease for a thousand years of 115 acres of the 120 acres unenclosed, for £115 paid and a rent of £5 15s. a year. (fn. 29)

Everton was incorporated in the borough of Liverpool in 1835. It formed a single ward until 1895, when it was divided into four—Everton, Netherfield, St. Domingo, and Brockfield wards, each with its aldermen and three councillors.

The first place of worship erected in the township in connexion with the Church of England was St. George's, on the summit of the hill. It was planned in 1812 somewhat as a commercial speculation, the land being given by James Atherton, and the money raised in shares of £100 each, any profits to be divided among the proprietors. It was opened in 1814. (fn. 30) The incumbents, now called vicars, were the chaplains of the proprietors until 1879, when, the conditions having totally changed and any 'profit' ceased with the migration of the wealthier inhabitants many years before, the proprietors made the church over to the district. (fn. 31) The next, St. Augustine's, Shaw Street, was built in 1830, shares being subscribed and Thomas Shaw giving the land. (fn. 32) Christ Church, Great Homer Street, was built in 1848 by the family as a memorial of Charles Horsfall, mayor in 1832–3. St. Peter's, Sackville Street, followed in 1849. St. Chrysostom's in 1853 replaced a chapel of ease in Mill Road, which had been built in 1837. (fn. 33) The preceding benefices are in the gift of various bodies of trustees. Emmanuel Church, West Derby Road, erected in 1867, is in the gift of Mr. R. D. Anderson. (fn. 34) St. Saviour's, Breckfield Road, 1870, originated in an iron church erected in 1867; (fn. 35) the incumbents are presented by trustees. St. Timothy's, near Everton Brow, was built in 1862; a mission room has been acquired. (fn. 36) St. Chad's, Everton Valley, was opened as a school-church in 1881, the permanent building soon following. The bishop of Liverpool is patron of both churches. St. Ambrose Church was built in 1871. (fn. 37) St. Benedict's, erected in 1887 in succession to an iron church, stands near the old village. The patronage of these churches is vested in bodies of trustees. St. Cuthbert's, on the Anfield side, was built in 1877; the Simeon trustees have the patronage. (fn. 38) St. Polycarp's, Netherfield Road, was erected in 1886. St. John the Evangelist's, Breck Road, was built in 1890 as a memorial to Charles Groves, a well-known Liverpool churchman. The patronage of both churches is vested in trustees.

A Free Church of England has been established in Everton; its minister is the bishop of the northern diocese.

Liverpool College, Shaw Street, was established in 1841.

The Wesleyan Methodists have several churches— Great Homer Street Chapel, built in 1840, (fn. 39) and Whitefield Road, 1866; also a mission chapel and a preaching room. There is a large Welsh-speaking population, and two chapels are devoted to them by the Wesleyans. The Primitive Methodists have two churches; the Methodist New Connexion one; and the United Free Methodists two.

Fabius Chapel, Everton Road, built by the Baptists in 1868, represents the first place of religious worship known to have existed in the township. Dr. Fabius, a well-known physician, who lived close by, built a chapel about the year 1707; a yard attached was used as a burial ground. (fn. 40) The congregation increased, but secured a meeting-place in Liverpool in 1722, and the Everton chapel was abandoned. The burial ground, however, remained in possession of the denomination; and upon it stands the present building. The same denomination have churches in Shaw Street, built in 1847, and in Breck Road, called Richmond Chapel, built in 1864. The Welsh Baptist Chapel, built in 1869, in Village Street, is a migration from Ormond Street, Liverpool, where a congregation had gathered as early as 1799.

The Congregational church in Everton Crescent is the result of a separation from the Establishment in 1800; Bethesda Chapel in Hotham Street was then erected, but in 1837 the congregation moved to the Everton chapel. The church has maintained several mission stations. The Chadwick Mount Church was built in 1866–70. For Welsh-speaking Congregationalists there is a church in Netherfield Road, opened in 1868, being a transplantation of the old Tabernacle in Great Crosshall Street, Liverpool. (fn. 41)

The Calvinistic Methodists have three places of worship where service is conducted in Welsh, and two others for English-speaking adherents. The United Free Gospellers have two churches. The Presbyterians have two churches. (fn. 42) There is a Church of Christ in Thirlmere Road. The Salvation Army has a barracks. The Unitarians have a church in Hamilton Road.

Everton is considered an extremely Protestant district, but the Roman Catholics have several churches within it. The earliest is St. Francis Xavier's. The Jesuits, who had served Liverpool during the times of persecution, were able to return in 1840, when land was secured on the border of the rapidly-growing town. Two years later they opened a school in Soho Street, and in 1845 the church was built. A large educational work has been gradually established. (fn. 43) St. Mary Immaculate's, on the northern slope of Everton Hill, was erected in 1856 as the Lady Chapel of a proposed cathedral, and was enlarged in 1885. The bishop's house and St. Edward's College occupy the adjacent St. Domingo House, perhaps the only one of the great Everton mansions still remaining. (fn. 44) St. Michael's, West Derby Road, was erected in 1861 to 1865, and has since been practically rebuilt. St. George's Industrial School adjoins it. (fn. 45)

The Mohammedans have a mosque in Brougham Terrace.


  • 1. It is now called Everton Brow; the old name was Causeway Lane—'a deep, sandy lane, the cops or hedges on each side not being many yards asunder.' There was a small ale-house in it called 'The Loggerheads,' which gave an alternative name to the road; Robert Syers, Hist. of Everton, 1830, p. 236.
  • 2. In Syers's Hist. of Everton there is a very interesting map, said to have been drafted in 1790, from which the separate areas of copyhold, leasehold, and freehold land may be calculated. The dwelling-houses stood in the centre of the copyhold land, represented by 24 oxgangs, the area being 97¾ acres, large measure. An area of 58 acres of freehold land on the southern and south-western borders of the township appears to represent the 'lands improved upon the waste' mentioned in 1297, with more recent enclosures. The '60 acres' enclosed in 1667 in Anfield and Netherfield are described as freehold also, the areas being 37½, 12½, and 11 acres; while the '115 acres' enclosed in 1716 are called leasehold, and measure 113 acres, lying upon Hillside, by the Beacon, by the mere, between Walton Cop and Breck Lane, on the Walton boundary, between Breck Lane and the freehold enclosures of 1667, and in the Rake. The total area was thus about 329 acres large measure, somewhat more than the 693 acres statute measure allowed by the Ordnance Survey.
  • 3. Built in 1787; Syers, Hist. of Everton, 354.
  • 4. Here were fields called Sleepers. In the fork between the roads stands St. Domingo House.
  • 5. Now Breck Road. A dwelling called the Odd House stood in this road.
  • 6. See the plan in Enfield's Liverpool, drawn in 1768.
  • 7. Rupert's Lane and Prince Rupert's house (standing in 1830) commemorate this visit of royalty. The militia barracks adjoin it. Rupert's camp is supposed to have been to the north; Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), p. 149. See also Trans. Hist. Soc. iv, 71–3. In 1803 Prince William, son of the duke of Gloucester, resided at St. Domingo House as commander-in-chief of the district; Syers, 371. His father visited him there.
  • 8. Baines, Lancs. Dir. ii, 712.
  • 9. Syers, Hist. of Everton, 70. The pound originally stood near it, and the smithy also.
  • 10. Lancs, and Cbes. Antiq. Soc. xix, 196. On the common near the Beacon a 'headless cross' is supposed to have stood, from the description on old maps; Syers, op. cit. 71.
  • 11. Ibid. pp. 56–61, where there is an engraving. There is also a small drawing of it in Gregson, Fragments, 143.
  • 12. Molly Bushell's original manufactory of the sweet to which Everton has given a name was in Village Street; Syers, 68. She was living in 1759.
  • 13. Syers, Hist. of Everton, 210.
  • 14. Ibid. 216. According to this authority he was the son and heir of John Shaw, who had acquired lands in Everton by the gift of his wife, who in turn had had them by gift of her first husband, named Halsall; 204–5. It appears that Mr. Halsall died between 1764 and 1775; 418. See also Picton, Liverpool, ii, 341, 351.
  • 15. This takes its name from the late Edward Whitley, M.P. for the Everton Division, who died in 1892.
  • 16. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 283
  • 17. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 290, 299.
  • 18. In 1226 the total payable was £4 16s.; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 136. The increment of 16s. a year first appears in the Pipe Roll accounts of 1200–1; Lancs. Pipe R. 131.
  • 19. In 1206 the manor was tallaged at 68s. 4d. (ibid. 202); and in 1227 at 70s.; Inq. and Extents, 135.
  • 20. As in the case of other adjoining demesne manors the villeins of Everton had a prescriptive right to obtain timber in the underwoods of West Derby for building or repairing their houses and enclosing their arable lands. In or before 1225 this right had been contested, probably by the forester, but upon the complaint of the 'king's men of Everton' the sheriff was commanded to let them have their right of taking estovers, as they had enjoyed the same before the barons' war, and not to exact other services and customs than they had been used to perform before that time; Close R. 1225–7, p. 64b. In 1252 William de Ferrers, earl of Derby, had a grant of free warren here; Chart. R. 36 Hen. III. m. 24. Upon the death of Edmund, earl of Lancaster, in 1296 it was found that the men of Everton held 24 oxgangs, for which they rendered £4 16s. a year, and 34½ acres and a rood and a half of improvement from the wastes for 17s. 5¼d.; Inq. and Extents, 286.
  • 21. Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. III, n. 88. No grant or livery of seisin was made to Holand. There is a rental of 1323 giving particulars of the holdings. William the reeve and his sons John and Robert contributed half the sum of 13s. 4d. collected here for the fifteenth granted in 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 5.
  • 22. Gregson, Fragments, 145. It was confirmed by the king; Pat. 33 Edw. III pt. i, m. 21.
  • 23. See the account of West Derby; and Gregson, 146–8.
  • 24. Syers, Hist. of Everton, 34, 35; see also the account of Childwall.
  • 25. Everton is called a manor in 1340; De Banc. R. 322, m. 279.
  • 26. Syers, Hist. of Everton 21–3.
  • 27. Ibid. 28.
  • 28. Ibid. 29. At 413 is a rental of Everton of 1692; William Halsall was the principal tenant.
  • 29. Ibid. 32. The names of the copyholders who shared the improved lands, also the field names, will be found on 400–3. It appears that each copyholder doubled his holding; thus Henry Halsall, who held 25½ acres of old land, received 26 acres of new. The other principal tenants were John Seacome, George Heyes, William Williamson, Samuel Plumpton, John Johnson, William Rice, and John Rose. The Heyes' house in Everton village bore the initials and date ; see Trans. Hist. Soc. iv, 70. A settlement as to disputed land at the Breck, on the border of West Derby, was effected in 1723; Syers, op. cit. 410. The 'lord's rent' of £5 15s., as also the ancient 'Breck silver,' 13s. 4d. was in 1830 raised and paid out of the rent of a cottage built, together with a new pinfold, on a waste spot by the mere or public watering-place; ibid. 113, 171. It had been agreed, as early as 1759, to pay these charges out of the town's lay; ibid. 417.
  • 30. An abstract of the Act of Parliament obtained in 1813 is printed in Syers' Hist. of Everton, 422. The patronage is now exercised by a body of trustees, of whom the rector of Walton is one. Thomas Rickman was the architect, and the building was called an 'iron church,' the metal being largely used in the construction.
  • 31. These particulars are mostly taken from a pamphlet issued in 1896, which also contained portraits of the different incumbents. The district was formally assigned in 1881; Lond. Gaz. 26 June. The churchyard was closed in 1854.
  • 32. A district was assigned in 1873; Lond. Gaz. 27 June.
  • 33. A district was assigned in 1855; Lond. Gaz. 6 April.
  • 34. Lond. Gaz. 6 Aug. 1867, for district.
  • 35. Ibid. 8 Feb. 1870.
  • 36. Ibid. 4 Aug. 1868, for assignment of district.
  • 37. Lond. Gaz. 13 Aug. 1872.
  • 38. Lond. Gaz. 1 March, 1878. There is a mission - hall worked from this church.
  • 39. This represents an older chapel in Leeds Street, Liverpool.
  • 40. For particulars as to Dr. Fabius and his wife Hannah, see Syers, Hist. of Everton, 217, 232, 402, 413. They are referred to in N. Blundell's Diary. Their house at the top of Brunswick Road was afterwards occupied by John and William Gregson in succession. A well by their garden wall is commemorated in the name of a public-house.
  • 41. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. vi, 164– 169; 179, 224–227.
  • 42. That in Shaw Street was built, in 1860, by the Reformed Presbyterians, and that in Queen's Road, in 1861–3, by the United Presbyterians. Both now belong to the Presbyterian Ch. of Engl.
  • 43. Liverpool Cath. Ann. 1901, and Xaverian, the monthly church mazagine. The spire was added in 1882, and the Lady Chapel in 1888.
  • 44. Cath. Ann. 1889; with a view. In Syers, Hist. of Everton a detailed history of the estate is given. From this it appears that the site belonged to Henry Halsall, one of the 1,000-years' leaseholders of 1716. George Campbell, a Liverpool merchant, in 1758 bought the land and built the first St. Domingo House. On his death, John Crosbie, another merchant, bought it for £3,800. After his bankruptcy it was purchased by John Sparling, a merchant; he built the great house, still existing, in 1793. At the summit of the hill the prospect is extensive, and formerly was beautiful. He died in 1800, and his heirs procured an Act enabling them to sell the estate, in spite of his care to preserve it in his family. William Ewart bought it in 1811, and next year sold it to the Government for barracks, to the great annoyance of the residents of Everton; Syers, op. cit. 109–11. It was soon afterwards sold in lots by the Barracks Commissioners. Alexander Macgregor acquired the house, which for some time was used as a school; ibid. 167. In 1841 it was purchased by Bishop Brown, vicar-apostolic of the Lancs. district, and opened as St. Edward's Coll. in the following year. A new wing was built in 1874–5. An observatory was formed in 1886. The college is for training candidates for the priesthood.
  • 45. Cath. Ann.