A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.
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Acheton, Dom. Bk.; Acton, 1235, common; Hacton, occasionally; Aghton, 1330, and common to sixteenth century; Aighton and Auton also occur. Aughton appears in the sixteenth century. Local pronunciation is Aff'n.
Literland, Dom. Bk.; Uplitherlond, 1199; Litherland, 1212, and common; Uplederland, 1226; Uplytherlond, 1297; Lytherlond, 1322.
This parish consists of a single township of the same name. The area is 4,609½ acres. (fn. 1) The population in 1901 was 3,517.
The southern and south-western boundary is formed by the Sudell Brook. The hilly ridge, over 200 ft. high, stretching west through the neighbouring parish of Ormskirk, comes to an end in the central portion of the township, a height of 260 to 270 ft. being attained at the Devil's Wall; there is a fine view from this point. Gaw (fn. 2) Hill is a little to the south. (fn. 3)
Aughton proper is on the south-western slope of the hill. Here is the church, with the old hall to the north-west, and water-mill and windmill formerly adjacent. Further to the north-west is Walsh Hall. A mile east of the church is Town Green, with Moor Hall still further to the east. Holt Green is south-east of the church, and has the Mickering a little to the south. From near the last-mentioned farm the Cock Beck flows west to Sudell Brook, and in the angle between the confluence is Brookfield, to the south of which, on the border of Maghull, was formerly a water-mill. Beckington or Bickiston Brook rises, or rose, by the church, to flow west to the Sudell. Gerard Hall and Bowker's Green lie in the south-eastern corner.
The north-western slope of the hill is properly Litherland, (fn. 4) formerly a separate manor. The New Hall, (fn. 5) almost on the northern boundary, is called Aughton New Hall. Aughton Moss is on the top of the hill. The greater part of the country is flat, and divided into cultivated fields, where wheat, oats, potatoes, and other root crops are successfully raised. There are also extensive market gardens, which give employment to the villagers. The northern portion of the district is bare and open, with very few trees, but on the south there are clumps of trees, and good hawthorn hedges divide the fields. The upper mottled sandstone of the bunter series (new red sandstone) occurs throughout the parish except on Cleave Hill, where a narrow strip of the lower keuper sandstone extends for a mile and a half along the western side of the road leading to Halsall, and another small strip three-quarters of a mile north-east of Aughton village. The soil is light and sandy, with clay in some places. There are now in the parish 3,407 acres arable land, 357 in permanent grass, and 7 of woods and plantations.
The principal roads are those from Liverpool to Ormskirk; one passing northward through Melling, the other north-eastward through Lydiate and Aughton village. There are numerous intersecting roads and footpaths; one of the latter connects Town Green and the parish church. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's railway from Liverpool to Preston, opened in 1849, goes through the parish northward; there is a station at Town Green.
Being easily accessible from Liverpool numerous residences have sprung up in recent years, particularly on the high ground. In the same district is Whimbrick Mill, formerly a windmill, but now worked by steam. Excellent sand for casting purposes is found here. A quarry is also worked. There is a brewery near the Ormskirk boundary.
Formerly there were races, known as 'the Ormskirk Races,' held on Aughton Moss; they are mentioned as early as 1705 and continued until 1815. In 1813 an Act for the enclosure of the common was passed, (fn. 6) and the racing was stopped.
A perambulation of the boundaries took place in 1876; it was discovered that a small plot of ground had escaped rates for many years.
Pace-egging is kept up on Good Friday; a troop of boys go round acting a degenerate version of St. George and the Dragon, and asking for eggs (or money). (fn. 7)
Holt Green, a triangular piece of ground, still remains open; the other four greens have been enclosed, viz., Town Green, Codpiece Green, Bowker's Green, and Hollinhurst Green.
There were within recent times traces of seven ancient crosses; the pedestal of one remains on Holt Green, and two other pedestals stand at the junction of Mill Lane with the Liverpool and Ormskirk Road, and in Green's Lane. (fn. 8) Sundials exist at Island House (1719), the churchyard (1736), and Walsh Hall (1738). It is said the parish clerk used formerly to read out notices from the sundial in the churchyard. (fn. 9)
Pudding Street is an interesting name; it has been renamed Brookfield Lane. Brats, duding-strings, muckindalf (handkerchief), and barmskin (leather apron) are words occurring in the overseer's accounts. (fn. 10)
The church bell used to be rung at eight and one o'clock on Sundays.
The wakes were held on the first Sunday after Michaelmas Day, and lasted most of the following week. (fn. 11)
Two items of folk-lore may be mentioned; one concerns the building of the church, averring that what was done in the day was overthrown in the night until the proper site was fixed upon; (fn. 12) the other describes the building of the Devil's Wall. (fn. 13)
The open ground on the hill is said to have been used as a training ground for the forces assembled in anticipation of the Spanish Armada in 1588. With the exception of the battle in 1644 the history of the parish has been quite peaceful. Aughton paid £2 17s. 6¼d. to the fifteenth; (fn. 14) and to the county lay a quarter of what Ormskirk paid, viz. £2 1s. 8d. towards a contribution of £100 payable by the hundred.
The Reformation entailed persecution on the Heskeths and some others who adhered to the Roman Catholic faith. In 1592 the churchwardens were ordered to levy the 12d. of 'the absents.' (fn. 15) In 1606 Jane, wife of Gabriel Hesketh, Edward Stanley and Bridget his wife, Elizabeth Gerard, widow, Margaret Hesketh, Gabriel Shaw, Jane Moorcroft, widow, Alice wife of Barnaby Molyneux, Margaret wife of James Burscough, Richard Wolsie and his wife, and a number of others were named to the bishop as 'not coming to church.' (fn. 16)
In 1628 the landowners who paid the subsidy were Bartholomew Hesketh, Henry Starkie and Mary Starkie (widow), Peter Stanley and Bridget his mother, Thomas Gerard and Mary Rigby, Robert Walsh, James Burscough, and the heirs of James Rainforth. (fn. 17) The Sankeys also were landowners at this time. (fn. 18)
The Civil War affected the parish directly. The principal landowner, Bartholomew Hesketh, tried to preserve a strict neutrality; but Gilbert Burscough was killed at Newbury fighting for the king in 1644, while Edward Starkie served on the side of the Parliament. A somewhat important engagement took place in Aughton itself, known as the 'battle of Ormskirk.' A body of Cavaliers were retreating from the Fylde district, when, on 20 August, 1644, they were overtaken by Major-General Meldrum on the hill to the south-west of Ormskirk. They stood in battalia, but upon the first charge of the Parliament's musket-men, fled, and were then routed by the horse; three hundred prisoners were taken, and Lord Byron and Lord Molyneux were forced to leave their horses and hide in a cornfield. Had it not been late in the evening there would probably have been a greater victory for Meldrum; as it was, the scattered fragments of the defeated party made their escape into Cheshire. (fn. 19) Barnaby Molyneux had been deprived of two-thirds of his tenement for recusancy; but his son, Thomas, who was 'a Protestant and conformable,' applied for its restoration to him. (fn. 20)
The hearth tax of 1666 found a total of 181 hearths in Aughton. (fn. 21)
The defeat of the Young Pretender, whose march through Wigan had brought terror to the people of the district, was hailed with great delight, the churchwardens paying 16s. 'for ringing night and day for good news about vanquishing the rebels,' and 2s. 6d. more for ringing when the news of Culloden came. (fn. 22)
The following 'Papists' registered estates here in 1717: John Bamber, Peter Butchard, James Halsall, Christopher Ince, Thomas Leatherbarrow, and Thomas Molyneux, of Lydiate. (fn. 23) The land tax return of 1798 shows that there were then a large number of freeholders, the principal being Charles Stanley and Catherine Stanley, Thomas Plumbe, and the executors of Julia Clifton.
In 1774 the first stage coach, running between Liverpool and Preston, passed through the parish. (fn. 24)
Aughton is governed by a parish council.
The church of St. Michael consists of chancel with north chapel and vestry, north tower and spire, and nave with south porch and a large north aisle, and stands on a fairly level site some way to the west of the station, at the junction of two roads. (fn. 25) The south wall of the nave is the earliest part of the building, the blocked south doorway and the walling for some fifteen feet westward being what remains of a probably aisleless nave and chancel church of the middle of the twelfth century. The internal dimensions must have been about 50 ft. by 21 ft. for the nave, and perhaps 25 ft. by 18 ft. for the chancel; of the latter no traces now remain. In the thirteenth century the nave was lengthened westward to approximately its present size, the eastern part of the south wall rebuilt, and a chapel added to the north of the chancel. Other work, such as the building of a north aisle, may have been done at this time, but no evidence remains on the point. To the fourteenth century belongs the tower, built at the west of the north chapel. A north aisle to the nave was built, or rebuilt, at this time, but has in its turn given place to a later building. In the fifteenth century the chancel was rebuilt or remodelled, the south nave doorway blocked, and a new doorway with a porch over it inserted farther to the west, as the thirteenth-century extension of the nave westward had made the old south doorway seem inconveniently far to the east, and the west wall of the nave refaced or rebuilt. The north arcade was rebuilt about the same time. The large north aisle dates from the middle of the sixteenth century, and about the same time the north chapel was lengthened eastward to the line of the east wall of the chancel. The vestry north of the chapel seems to be of seventeenth-century date. In recent years the chancel has been completely rebuilt in fifteenth-century style, a copy of the twelfth-century doorway of the nave inserted in the north wall of the north chapel, the roofs, except that of the nave, renewed, and the west window and part of the south porch rebuilt. The church is faced with the wrought stone of local origin, of much the same quality throughout; the best masonry is to be seen in the tower, but the material does not admit of elaborate workmanship.
Of ancient ritual arrangements no trace exists, though the sixteenth-century canopied niche on the east jamb of the south-east window of the nave may have been connected with the south nave altar. (fn. 26) The chancel, having been completely rebuilt in 1876, is of no archaeological interest. The east window is of five lights, and there are three four-light windows and a doorway on the south. An arcade of two bays opens into the north chapel, and in the eastern part of the north wall is a recess containing a monument. The disproportionately large corbels of the modern roof perpetuate the memory of some interesting carvings in the roof of the old chancel, which disappeared at the rebuilding. The chancel arch is of two orders, with engaged shafts with octagonal capitals and bases. The north chapel (fn. 27) is of two dates, the western part being the earlier. Its north wall between the tower and the vestry shows masonry similar to that in the south wall of the nave, and is probably of the same date, the first half of the thirteenth century. On the east face of the tower is the weathering for a steeppitched roof which formerly covered the chapel, but has long been replaced by one of a lower pitch. No architectural features of original date remain, and the eastern part of the north wall is hidden by the vestry, so that its exact termination in this direction is unknown; it was, perhaps, some ten feet short of the east wall of the chancel. Coming to the present east wall of the chapel it will be noted that at the south end of its east face, where it abuts on the modern chancel, there is a length of old plinth with projecting footings, apparently of the fifteenth century, against which the plinth of the east wall of the chapel stops. The footings and plinth have belonged to a buttress running north from the chancel wall, and show that in the fifteenth century the eastern part of the chancel stood free on the north side, or in other words that the north chapel did not extend as far east as the chancel. But at a later date, which from the character of the work may be the second half of the sixteenth century, the chapel was lengthened eastwards to its present size. Its east window is square-headed, of three trefoiled lights, which seem to be old work re-used, of late fourteenth century date, and perhaps formed part of the east window of the chapel before its extension.
The tower, which stands to the north of the nave, between the north chapel and the north aisle, is of three stages, square below and octagonal above, with an octagonal spire. It is of the type of the neighbouring towers of Halsall and Ormskirk, but earlier than either, being of the first half of the fourteenth century. The octagonal spire has two tiers of spire lights, those in the upper tier being single trefoiled openings under a crocketed gablet, and those in the lower having two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil in the head and a crocketed gablet as in the upper tier. At the base of the spire is a plain parapet set out on moulded corbel-courses. The octagonal belfry stage has four two-light windows, trefoiled, with a quatrefoil in flowing tracery in the head and a moulded label. The next stage below forms the transition from octagon to square, and has a single trefoiled light in the north face. On the east and west faces are weather-mouldings for steep-pitched roofs long since destroyed. The lowest stage of the tower is square, with a window in the north face, once of two lights, but now without tracery, two massive buttresses at east and west of the same face, and a fine moulded plinth of three stages, which stops without a return against the wall of the north chapel, the evidence being clear that the chapel wall is older than the tower. Internally the tower has open arches of two plain chamfered orders, without capitals or shafts, on the south, west, and east, and a vice in the north-west angle. In the north wall below the window is a recess 18 in. deep with a cusped and moulded arch, with a label of the same date as the tower. Its floor is considerably above the level of that under the tower—which has been lowered some six inches from its original level—and though probably sepulchral, it shows no trace of a slab or monument of any kind.
The nave retains in its south wall the only remaining part of a probably aisleless church of about 1150. The blocked south doorway, of this date, is of two plain orders, with jamb-shafts with scalloped capitals and moulded bases. The blocking dates from the fifteenth century, at which time a doorway was inserted in the twelfth-century wall to the west of the original doorway. Walling of the first date exists on both sides of the blocked doorway, stopping in the one direction a little to the west of the south porch, in the other below the east jamb of the window next the doorway. The plain weathered plinth of the first date stops at this point, and another plinth of slightly different section runs eastward at a higher level to the buttress at the eastern angle of the nave. This plinth and the walling above it belong to a rebuilding, partly with the old materials, in the thirteenth century; the same type of walling continues westward from the end of the twelfth-century masonry to within eighteen inches of the west wall of the nave, and contains a blocked lancet window, now almost completely hidden by a sixteenth-century buttress. The whole length of the south wall has been thrust outwards, probably by an insufficiently tied roof, and the upper part has been rebuilt or heightened, and set back to the vertical line, while a buttress has been added, as has been said, in front of the lancet window in the sixteenth century, and another at a later date against the blocked south doorway. The present south doorway is of the fifteenth century, with continuous mouldings, and is covered by a porch of perpent ashlar of the same date, whose outer arch and wall have been rebuilt. The windows in the south wall are of the poorest description, having lost all tracery and everything but their outer order; they are now filled with plain glazing. From the shape of their arched heads they should not be later than the fifteenth century, but they have lost all characteristic features. High in the wall are two small three-light square-headed windows which have formerly lighted a gallery.
The west wall of the nave is considerably thicker than those adjoining it, and though now faced with fifteenth-century masonry and buttresses is probably in part of earlier date. The west window is modern, of three-lights in fifteenth-century style. The gable shows signs of rebuilding in the upper portion. The face of the wall has bulged considerably, and this has been corrected by the simple expedient of chipping back the stone face to something nearer a vertical line. The north arcade of the nave is of four bays with octagonal columns and coarsely-moulded capitals and bases, with pointed arches of two chamfered orders, poor work of fifteenth-century date, probably coeval with the facing of the west wall. The nave roof appears to be of the end of the sixteenth century, with arched braces plastered on the under-side and shaped pendants hanging from the apex. The north aisle seems to have been built in the time of Brian Moorcroft, rector 1528–48, and the north arcade may be of the same dale. (fn. 28) Its four north windows are of three lights under a semicircular head with tracery of intersecting mullions without cusps, all of the simplest detail, with plain chamfers and no mouldings. A blocked four-centred doorway occurs between the first and second windows from the west. The west window is of four lights with a four-centred head and the same plain detail; outside the tracery is modern. In the gable is an ancient stone carved with two sunk quatrefoils.
A little original coloured glass remains in the western window of the four on the north side, consisting of a canopy of very late style and two sets of initials. At the east end of the aisle, across the western arch of the tower, is a beam painted with the names of some eighteenth-century churchwardens, which is locally said to be the rood-beam; but if so, it has been considerably altered. The remains of a west buttress of the tower, projecting into the aisle, give the probable line of the wall of a fourteenthcentury north aisle, the weathering of whose roof is to be seen above the west arch of the tower. The font, which stands under the tower, is of the fifteenth century, octagonal, with a moulded and embattled cornice to the bowl, which is 18 in. deep, the faces being each 10½ in. wide. (fn. 29)
There are brass plates commemorating Edward son of Hugh Dicconson, of Wrightington, who died in 1661; and the Mossocks (1686); this being a replica of the plate at Ormskirk.
The new church (Christ Church) on the hill at the highest point of the road to Ormskirk, begun in 1867 but not consecrated until 1877, is a chapel of ease. In 1888 the Cottage Lane Mission Room was opened.
The parish registers begin in 1541, but up to 1601 are copies. The entries from 1653 to 1657 are in a separate book; and there is a defect in the baptisms from 1608 to 1626, and in the burials between 1747 and 1753.
The churchwardens' accounts date from 1737.
The curious fact that the right of presentation to the church was supposed to reside in the lordship of Uplitherland is probably due to some decision of the lords of this place, who also held a third of Aughton; Litherland being their dwelling place, they attached to it the advowson, derived from their ownership of a portion of the other manor. (fn. 30) The right has regularly descended with Litherland to the present time, Sir Tristram Tempest-Tempest, baronet, now being patron.
In 1291 the church was omitted from the Taxatio of Nicholas IV as too poor to pay anything; in 1341 the value of the ninth of the sheaves and fleeces was returned as 100s. (fn. 31) The inquiry of 1534–5 found the annual value to be £15 9s. 8d. (fn. 32)
The Commonwealth surveyors of 1650 describe the parish as having a parsonage-house with barns and outbuildings, and about 3 acres of glebe in the incumbent's hands, worth 50s. a year; other portions of the glebe, with cottages upon it, were let out at small rents, but worth 36s. in all. The tithes were then worth £95 a year. (fn. 33)
About 1717, according to Bishop Gastrell, the income reached £120. There were two churchwardens. (fn. 34) The gross value is now given as £780, including £40 as that of the new church.
The following is a list of the rectors:—
|Institution||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|oc.||1246||Robert Blundell (fn. 35)||—||—|
|oc.||1292||Henry [le Waleys] (fn. 36)||—||—|
|26 June, 1303||Thomas le Waleys (fn. 37)||Richard le Waleys||not stated|
|oc.||1317||Gilbert le Waleys (fn. 38)||—||—|
|20 Jan. 1318–9||John le Waleys (fn. 39)||Richard le Waleys||—|
|3 Nov. 1337||Henry (son of Ric.) le Waleys (fn. 40)||Richard le Waleys||d. of J. le Waleys|
|27 Sept. 1369||John (son of Ric.) le Walsh (fn. 41)||Thomas de Formby, &c.||d. of H. le Waleys|
|17 Nov. 1382||John de Bradshagh (fn. 42)||Roger de Bradshagh and Maud his wife||d. of John Walsh|
|22 Mar. 1418–9||John Spink (fn. 43)||—||res. of J. Bradshagh|
|16 Apr. 1424||William de Litherland (fn. 44)||Maud de Bradshagh||d. of J. Spink|
|1 Oct. 1489||William Bradshagh (fn. 45)||Thomas Bradshagh||d. of W. Litherland|
|17 Dec. 1512||William Bradshagh (fn. 46)||James Bradshagh||d. of Roger Bradshagh|
|14 July, 1528||Brian Moorcroft, B. Decr. (fn. 47)||Sir W. Leyland, &c.||res. of W. Bradshagh|
|18 May, 1548||Edward Moorcroft (fn. 48)||[Barth. Hesketh]||d. of B. Moorcroft|
|8 Nov. 1548||Thomas Kirkby||[Geo. Kirkby, &c.]||do.|
|? Nov. 1554||[do.]|
|(?) 1559||Edward Moorcroft (fn. 49)||—||[exp. T. Kirkby]|
|17 June, 1577||John Nutter, B.D.||The queen||—|
|25 Aug. 1602||Samuel Hankinson, M.A.||Gabriel Hesketh||d. of J. Nutter|
|28 July, 1607||Nicholas Banastre, M.A. (fn. 50)||The king||depr. of S. Hankinson|
|11 Apr. 1646||James Worrall, M.A. (fn. 51)||Edward Stockley||d. of N. Banastre|
|6 Mar. 1651–2||Peter Stananought, B.A. (fn. 52)||Barth. Hesketh||d. of J. Worrall|
|27 Oct. 1662|
|27 June, 1674||Alexander Baguley, B.A. (fn. 53)||Henry Farington||d. of P. Stananought|
|16 May, 1679||John Brownsword, M.A. (fn. 54)||The king||depriv. of A. Baguley|
|7 Oct. 1700||Christopher Sudell, M.A. (fn. 55)||Alex. Hesketh||d. of J. Brownsword|
|21 Nov. 1700||Alex. Hesketh and Rt. Scarisbrick|
|6 Jan. 1700–1||Robert Hindley, M.A. (fn. 56)||The king||depriv. of C. Sudell|
|13 July, 1721||Thomas Atherton, M.A. (fn. 57)||Thomas Heys||d. of R. Hindley|
|20 Feb. 1734–5||Thomas Plumbe, B.A. (fn. 58)||John Plumbe||d. of T. Atherton|
|20 Dec. 1769||William Plumbe, B.A. (fn. 59)||Thomas Plumbe||d. of T. Plumbe|
|6 June, 1786||George Vanbrugh, LL.B. (fn. 60)||Thomas Plumbe||d. of W. Plumbe|
|15 Aug. 1834||William Henry Boulton, M.A. (fn. 61)||R. Boulton||res. of G. Vanbrugh|
|4 Aug. 1885||Charles Warren Markham, M.A. (fn. 62)||Sir R. Tempest-Tempest||d. of W. H. Boulton|
|24 Nov. 1896||Roger Francis Markham, M.A.||Sir R. Tempest-Tempest||d. of C. W. Markham|
The story of the rectory in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is of some interest. Brian Moorcroft, presented in 1528 by the administrators of the estate of James Bradshagh, found his title challenged by Master Thomas Donington, (fn. 63) who alleged a presentation by William Browne and others, in virtue of a deed of James Bradshagh's dated 1515. Another dispute occurred after Brian's death, for in 1535 William Bradshagh had granted the next presentation to George Kirkby of Aughton and others, and less than a year afterwards he sold the patronage to Bartholomew Hesketh, who also became lord of the manor; (fn. 64) and Thomas Kirkby was presented by the former and Edward Moorcroft by the latter. (fn. 65)
In 1541–2 the clergy at Aughton, besides the rector, who may have been non-resident, were his curate and two others, paid by Thomas Starkie and Alice Hervey. (fn. 66) At the visitation in 1554 Edward Moorcroft was still rector, and Thomas Walsh was his curate; the other priests had disappeared. Immediately afterwards it appears as if Moorcroft lost the rectory. From his later history he seems to have been a Protestant, and was perhaps already married, but his removal was due to the right of patronage reasserted on behalf of the crown. (fn. 67) Kirkby received the benefice, but Moorcroft must have been reinstated on the accession of Elizabeth. (fn. 68)
In 1563 the same names occur as in 1554, but Rector Moorcroft was at Windsor, and the curate being ill had to be excused. The rector made his appearance in 1565, but the curate was again sick, (fn. 69) and he was buried in the following February. (fn. 70)
John Nutter, rector of Sefton, &c., was presented by the queen in February, 1576–7; (fn. 71) probably he paid little attention to this small parish. In 1592 it was reported at the visitation that there was no 'sufficient' Bible; the first tome of the Homilies and Jewell's Apology and Reply were lacking; there were no perambulations, and no collectors for the poor. (fn. 72)
The right of the Heskeths having been vindicated in the suits with William Bradshagh, (fn. 73) Samuel Hankinson was presented by Gabriel Hesketh, at the request of Sir Cuthbert Halsall, to whom he had been recommended by the bishop for the mastership of Halsall school. Again, however, a dispute occurred. The new rector was accused of simony, and the king intervened in consequence, presenting Nicholas Banastre, who was instituted in 1607. (fn. 74)
The parliamentary authorities appear to have made no objection to the appointment of James Worrall, who had indeed just been approved of as curate of the chapel of Maghull. (fn. 75) He joined in the 'Harmonious Consent' of 1648.
Peter Stananought, his successor, was expelled from Oxford by the parliamentary visitors in 1648, and for a time taught in a school at Sevenoaks in Kent. Here he began a correspondence with Dr. Henry Hammond. (fn. 76) In 1651 he conformed to the Presbyterian discipline established in the Church of England, becoming one of the ministers in the garrison at Liverpool; he relinquished this duty on appointment to Aughton. In 1660 he seems to have welcomed the restoration of episcopal government, conforming and receiving a new institution. He was also made one of the king's preachers for the county. (fn. 77)
His successor, Alexander Baguley, was very soon deprived for simony, (fn. 78) and the king presented the next rector. Christopher Sudell, on John Brownsword's death, was presented by Alexander Hesketh, but resigned six weeks afterwards to be presented a second time by Alexander Hesketh and Robert Scarisbrick. Three weeks later the benefice was declared vacant for simony. (fn. 79) The king for this reason again presented to Aughton.
The new rector, Robert Hindley, purchased the next presentation of the rectory for his son, who, however, died before him. (fn. 80) 'The old parsonage being extremely ruinous and upon inspection found incapable of tolerable repairs,' was in 1711 rebuilt by him at his own cost. (fn. 81)
From a list made it is evident that the furniture of the church a little later was of the simplest kind; the vestments consisted of 'two surplices'; at the communion table were a velvet cloth and cushion, a table cloth, a napkin, and two bosses (to kneel on); and the plate consisted of a silver chalice, two pewter tankards, and a salver. There were a pitch pipe and figured boards for the singers in the gallery. (fn. 82)
The Long Lane Baptist Mission began in 1872; the wooden building then erected was replaced by a stone-fronted building about 1887. (fn. 83)
There are two Roman Catholic churches within the parish. Formerly the chaplain of Moor Hall, (fn. 84) for whom an endowment of £300 had been given in 1728 by Mrs. Wolfall, served the mission. Simon George Bordley, an able but eccentric priest, had charge for many years, keeping a school also; but on some of the Stanley family coming to reside there, he in 1784 removed to New House, close to Gerard Hall. His successor built St. Mary's in 1823. (fn. 85)
St. Anne's, the church of the Ormskirk mission, is situate on the high road a little way outside that town. In 1729 Mr. Lancaster of Ormskirk gave £100 to the Benedictines in order to have mass said once a month at Ormskirk during his life and that of his wife. Fr. Anselm Walmesley of Woolston discharged this duty until 1732, when Fr. Bertram Maurus Bulmer came to reside here, and built a house which served as residence and chapel. (fn. 86) 'After the Jacobite rising of 1745 the chapel and mission house were attacked and partially burnt down by the mob. (fn. 87) In 1784 Bishop Gibson confirmed 94 persons here, at which time the communicants numbered 260.' (fn. 88) In 1795 a chapel dedicated to St. Oswald was built, adjoining the priest's house. St. Anne's replaced this in 1850. The Benedictines have continued to serve the mission to the present time. (fn. 89)
There was in 1721 an annual distribution of £6 1s., the result of gifts by several persons. (fn. 90) Various additions have been made from time to time, as well as benefactions for other purposes, but the principal charity is the almshouses founded by the Rev. George Vanbrugh. (fn. 91)