The parish of Warrington: Introduction, church and charities

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'The parish of Warrington: Introduction, church and charities', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 304-316. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "The parish of Warrington: Introduction, church and charities", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 304-316. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "The parish of Warrington: Introduction, church and charities", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 304-316. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section



The ancient parish of Warrington lies along the northern bank of the Mersey between Sankey Brook and Glazebrook; the township of Burtonwood, however, lies to the north-west of this area, on the western side of the Sankey. The total area is 12,954 acres, and the population numbered 69,339 in 1901. (fn. 1) The surface is level and lies low. From Penketh on the west to Glazebrook on the east, the geological formation consists wholly of the new red sandstone or trias, and mainly of the upper mottled sandstone of the bunter series of that formation. In Great Sankey and Burtonwood the pebble beds of the same series occur, and in Rixton-withGlazebrook the keuper series, owing to the effect of a fault running from south-east to north-west through the township. The soil is loamy and fertile, and the neighbourhood has long been famous for potatoes and other vegetables. (fn. 2)

For the county lay, fixed in 1624, each of the four townships paid equally, this parish contributing £6 5s. when the hundred gave £100. (fn. 3) To the ancient fifteenth Warrington itself paid £2 12s. 8d., Burtonwood 18s. 4d., Woolston-with-Poulton £1 2s. 8d., Rixton £1 2s. 4d., and Glazebrook 8s., making £6 3s. 8d. (fn. 4)

The history of the parish is largely that of the town of Warrington. This place is supposed to have been of British origin. Two Roman roads, from the south and from Chester, (fn. 5) met at Latchford on the south bank of the Mersey, near which point considerable discoveries have been made; crossing probably at this ford, the north road was continued through Warrington to Winwick and Wigan. (fn. 6) Sometime before the Norman Conquest Warrington became the head of a hundred.

Afterwards the lordship was divided. Warrington and Rixton seem to have been original parts of the Warrington barony, created early in the twelfth century, and long held by Pain de Vilers and his descendants the Boteler family. Woolston, Poulton, and Burtonwood were retained by the lords of the district 'between Ribble and Mersey,' the two former in time becoming part of the fee of Makerfield, and Burtonwood being added to the fee of Warrington. The lords of Warrington established their residence or castle at the mote hill, (fn. 7) from which the town spread westward along the road to Prescot. (fn. 8) A bridge was built, (fn. 9) perhaps early in the thirteenth century, and this soon became one of the principal means of communication between the north and south of England. The street leading north from it was called the Newgate as late as 1465. Near the bridge, on the west side of Newgate, was a house of Austin Friars, and at the point where this new street crossed the old road to Prescot a market was established about 1260. (fn. 10) The town gradually increased round this point, and in time the parish church, at the extreme east end, became somewhat isolated; the change was no doubt assisted by the removal of the lord's residence from the mote hill to Bewsey in Burtonwood. (fn. 11)

A borough was created about 1230, but its growing strength appears to have alarmed the lord, who contrived to repress it before 1300, granting certain privileges to the free tenants as compensation; and the town remained under the authority of the lords of the manor until the beginning of last century. A survey of the portion belonging to Sir Peter Legh in 1465 has been printed; (fn. 12) this shows that the houses had extended from the church westward as far as the market, and a little way along Sankey Street; also south from the crossing down Newgate to 'the place where the bridge formerly stood.' Other streets, north and south of Church Street, are mentioned; on the north side of the market-place was a row of houses called Pratt Row; their long back gardens touched the great heath, (fn. 13) on which stood a windmill. Across the heath the main road led north by Longford to Winwick, but there was a branch to Bewsey. To the south of the town were the great meadows of Howley and Arpley. The water-mills were on Sankey Brook. The visit of Henry VII to Lathom in 1495 induced the earl of Derby to rebuild the bridge and provide for its maintenance. (fn. 14)

Leland about 1535 thus records his impressions: 'Warrington, a paved town; one church (and) a Freres Augustine at the bridge end. The town is of a pretty bigness. The parish church is at the tail of all the town. It is a better market than Manchester.' (fn. 15)

The Reformation was here received as elsewhere in the district. The chantries were suppressed and the services of the parish church altered; but the grammar school, founded in 1526, was preserved. A lease of the rectory made in 1544 reduced the rector's stipend to £20, at which sum it remained for 200 years. The Butlers conformed to the Elizabethan order in religion, (fn. 16) but this did not stave off their ruin; their successors, the Irelands, were also Protestants. Most of the gentry remained attached to the Roman Catholic religion; and Woolston and Rixton provided refuges for the missionary priests in the times of persecution. How the townsmen of Warrington were affected is not so clear. After the Restoration congregations of Presbyterians and Quakers were formed, and have continued to the present. James I visited Sir Thomas Ireland at Bewsey in 1617 (fn. 17) in his progress from Scotland southwards.

The Civil War necessarily affected Warrington through the town's situation on the road to the north, which made it 'the principal key of Lancashire.' Hitherto the people of the district had known of war only at a distance, (fn. 18) now they had personal experience of it. The earl of Derby in September, 1642, marched through the town with 4,000 men for his futile attack on Manchester; (fn. 19) and at the end of November he was stationed at Warrington, which he made a garrison, in order to secure the passage of the Mersey. (fn. 20)

Sir William Brereton was defeated on 3 April, 1643, at Stockton Heath when advancing to attack Warrington. (fn. 21) Sir William afterwards crossed the Mersey and attacked the town from the west; but Lord Derby began to set the town on fire, on which the parliamentary forces desisted. (fn. 22) Colonel Edward Norris, eldest son of the lord of Speke, was left in command of the king's garrison. He was attacked on 22 May by Sir William Brereton, and after six days' siege gave up the town, leaving arms, ammunition, and provisions behind. On Trinity Sunday, 28 May, Sir George Booth, a parliamentary commander, and lord of the manor, made a formal entry into the town, and was received by the people with the usual tokens of joy. (fn. 23) The townspeople were treated with great leniency by the victors. (fn. 24)

The next five years were uneventful, but the duke of Hamilton's Scottish force on being defeated at Winwick 19 August, 1648, retreated to Warrington, where 4,000 surrendered upon quarter for life—arms, ammunition, and horses being relinquished. (fn. 25) There were skirmishes near the town in 1651 when Charles II with the Scottish army forced the bridge on their march to Worcester, (fn. 26) and in August, 1659, part of Sir George Booth's troops, after their defeat at Winnington, surrendered at Warrington to the parliamentary garrison. (fn. 27)

The rising of 1745 occasioned the partial destruction of the bridge in order to prevent the Young Pretender from crossing the Mersey there. Some Highlanders are said to have been captured near Rixton, at which point the duke of Cumberland crossed the Mersey in his pursuit. (fn. 28) In 1798 a body of volunteers was raised, on threats of a French invasion, but their only active service was in suppressing a riot in Bridge Street in 1799. (fn. 29) In 1859 a corps of volunteers was formed; it is now known as the 1st V.B. Prince of Wales Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment).

In 1693 an inquiry was held at Warrington as to certain lands and moneys devoted to 'superstitious uses,' Lord Molyneux, Sir William Gerard of Ashton, William Standish of Woolston, and other gentlemen of the neighbourhood having been reported to the government as holders of money or lands for the use of the Jesuits, Franciscans, or secular clergy. (fn. 30)

The prosperity of the town does not seem to have been affected by the Civil War or later troubles. (fn. 31) In 1673 it was thus described: 'Warrington is seated on the River Mersey, over which there is a curious stone bridge, which leadeth to Cheshire. It is a very fine and large town, which hath a considerable market on Wednesdays for linen cloth, corn, cattle, provisions, and fish, being much resorted to by the Welshmen, and is of note for its lampreys.' (fn. 32)

Dr. Kuerden, who passed through the town about 1695, recorded his passing the Mersey 'over a fair stone bridge of four arches,' and 'through the Market Gate to the height of the market'; then 'keeping the road northward over the common at a distance of about half a mile stands a spacious hall or mansion called Bradshaw. . . . You meet with two roads, one leading to Bewsey Hall on the left, and that on the right towards a fair hall with a spacious garden and orchard belonging to Mr. Jonathan Blackburne, justice of the peace.' Then he crossed the Orford Brook by 'an arched bridge of stone,' and through 'a plashy way' to Hulme. (fn. 33)

About 1730 Warrington looked 'a large, populous, old built town, but rich, and full of good country tradesmen. Here is particularly a weekly market for linen . . . a sort of table linen called Huk-a-back or Huk-a-buk.' The writer adds: 'I was told there are generally as many pieces of this linen sold here every market-day as amount to £500 value, sometimes much more, and all made in the neighbourhood of the place.' (fn. 34)

Judge Curwen in 1777 was less complimentary: 'Streets narrow, dirty, and ill-paved; like many other towns, with a gutter running through the middle, rendering it inconvenient passing the streets. This town abounds in dissenters, and has an academy for young preachers of that persuasion.' (fn. 35)

The most notable institution in the modern history of the town was the Academy just referred to, founded in 1757 for the education of candidates for the ministry among the Protestant Nonconformists. It endured for nearly thirty years, when, owing chiefly to internal dissensions, it was dissolved, a similar institution at Manchester (the 'ancestor' of Manchester College, Oxford) replacing it in 1786. John Seddon, minister of the Presbyterian congregation, was its projector; among the tutors were John Taylor, Joseph Priestley, F.R.S.; John Aikin, sen.; Reinhold Forster, William Enfield, George Walker, F.R.S.; Gilbert Wakefield, Nicholas Clayton, Pendlebury Houghton, and John Holt. Most of these have a place in the Dictionary of National Biography. (fn. 36) Thomas Barnes, president of the Academy after its transference to Manchester, was a native of Warrington. (fn. 37)

Among other natives or residents calling for some notice were the Ven. James Bell, a Marian priest executed at Lancaster in 1584; (fn. 38) Charles Owen, a resident Presbyterian minister; (fn. 39) Edward Evanson, an Anglican divine who became heterodox; (fn. 40) John Macgowan, a baker and satirist. Thomas Percival, a physician, founder of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, was born at Warrington in 1740. (fn. 41) Peter Litherland, the inventor of the lever watch, was a Warrington man; and John Harrison, of chronometer fame, resided in this town. Samuel Fothergill (1715–72), a Quaker minister, brother of Dr. John Fothergill, resided here. (fn. 42) John Blackburne of Orford and Anna his daughter were famous for their studies of plants and birds. Michael Adrian Hankinson, O.S.B., became bishop of Port Louis, Mauritius. (fn. 43) Among artists Hamlet Winstanley, a painter of note, who died in 1756; (fn. 44) and John Warrington Wood, a sculptor, who died in 1886, were natives.

In addition, many others might be named, as William Beamont of Orford, the indefatigable local historian, who died in 1889. His son, the Rev. William John Beamont, the two Kendricks, John Fitchett, Thomas Kirkland Glazebrook, George Crosfield, William Wilson, John Fitchett Marsh, and Peter Rylands have found places in the Dictionary of National Biography. (fn. 45)

The printing press was not regularly established until the eighteenth century. The first newspaper, the Warrington Advertiser, was published here in 1756, but soon ceased. It was issued from the Eyres Press, which had been at work since 1731. (fn. 46) A recent paper called the Advertiser was issued from 1862 to 1889. The Warrington Guardian (now issued twice a week) was established in 1853; the Examiner, founded in 1875, and the Observer in 1888, (fn. 47) are weekly papers. The Review is also published weekly.

The river was formerly the great means of communication with Liverpool, (fn. 48) and was improved by the Mersey and Irwell Navigation; (fn. 49) 'the communication between Manchester and Liverpool' by its means was, in 1825, described as 'incessant; the brickdustcoloured sails of the barges are seen every hour of the day on their passage, flickering in the wind.' The first stage-coach (fn. 50) in the county issued from this town, according to the same authority, and 'between sixty and seventy coaches on an average passed through Warrington every day, and the principal streets were kept by them in a state of perpetual animation.' (fn. 51)

The fishery was formerly a valuable one. In 1825 it belonged to John Arthur Borron and Edward Pemberton, but by that time it had ceased to be of much importance. (fn. 52)

The agricultural land in the parish is now occupied as follows: Arable land, 7,635 acres; permanent grass, 1,546; woods and plantations, 164. (fn. 53)


The church of St. Elphin stood till after the middle of the last century at the extreme east end of the town of Warrington, but has since become surrounded by houses. The churchyard is of irregular shape, the longest dimension being from north to south. The fabric of the church has in the last two centuries undergone many changes and reconstructions, and retains nothing of mediaeval date except the chancel. The site is undoubtedly one of great antiquity, but the oldest work that has been found belongs to the latter part of the twelfth century; a series of small capitals of this date, found during the rebuilding of the nave, being preserved in Warrington Museum.

The present building consists of chancel with south vestry, central tower and transepts, and nave with north and south aisles.

The chancel of three bays is recorded to have been built in 1354, and its details agree well with the date. In common with the rest of the church it is entirely faced with red sandstone ashlar. It has an east window of five trefoiled lights with flowing tracery, and on each of the north and south sides three three-light tracery windows of similar style, those in the western bay being modern. The original windows in this bay were destroyed by a fall of part of the tower some fifty years since. Beneath the eastern bay is a contemporary crypt, vaulted in two bays with a modern ribbed vault springing from old corbels, and lighted by two two-light windows on the east, and one each on the north and south. It is approached by stairs on north and south, but only the stair on the north is ancient. This is contained in a broad buttress, and leads down from the chancel to the crypt, and formerly led upwards from the chancel to the roof, though this part of it is now broken away. The buttress in which it is contained dies into the wall before reaching the top, the upper part being modern. The door from the chancel to the stair is modern, but replaces an original doorway which stood a little farther to the west, and after having been hidden by panelling for a long time was rediscovered in 1824. Before this date the crypt had been inaccessible, probably for some centuries, as it had never had an entrance from the churchyard, and had also at some time been filled in with earth, and the crown of its vault destroyed, in order to lower the level of the floor at the east end of the chancel. The window in the buttress which lights the stair is modern, and the west jamb of an older window is to be seen close to it. The doorway at the foot of the stair, opening to the crypt, is also modern, but occupies the site of the original entrance. It seems unlikely that the crypt has ever contained an altar, and as the sills of its two east windows were originally carried down to the floor level, it may have been a charnel, and it is to be noted that many bones were found in it when it was cleared out. But against this must be set the fact that it is unusually well lighted for such a purpose, and it is possible that it was intended for a vestry. Under the second window on the south side of the chancel is an original doorway, once external, but now opening into a vestry built about 1740; it is designed for a door opening inwards, but the present door opens towards the vestry, to the detriment of the mouldings of the outer arch.

The central tower dates from 1860, and is carried on four moulded arches of fourteenth-century style. There are two two-light belfry windows in each face, with crocketed gabled hood-moulds, and above them a pierced and panelled parapet with angle pinnacles, and a tall stone spire with three tiers of spire-lights, the total height being 281 ft. The former central tower is recorded to have been built in 1698 in place of an older one damaged in the Civil Wars, but it is not clear whether the older tower was taken down to the ground or not. Sir Stephen Glynne, (fn. 54) describing the church in 1843, says that the tower arches are part of the original structure, and have continuous mouldings of great depth, and that there is stone groining under the tower with strong ribs. This points to the fact that the upper part only of the tower was rebuilt in 1698, and extant views seem to confirm this. It had an embattled parapet with pinnacles, and large belfry windows, in poor Gothic style, with labels and large dripstones, four of which, representing a lion, a griffin, a dog, and a swan, are preserved in the Warrington Museum.

The north transept, or Boteler chapel, in which was the Lady altar, was rebuilt in 1860. It contained work of the fourteenth century, as the two arched tombrecesses in its north walls appear to be copied from former recesses of this date, and retain carved corbels of c. 1320. The windows were of fifteenth-century style, that in the east wall having five lights.

The south transept, or Mascy chapel, was perhaps originally of the same date as the north transept, but underwent several alterations before the final rebuilding in 1860. It seems to have had an altar of St. Anne, and a chantry was founded in it by Richard Delves, rector, in 1486. In 1723 the Patten chapel was built, adjoining it on the west, and this, after being rebuilt in 1773, was pulled down together with the transept in 1860, and rebuilt in its present form.

The nave and north aisle date from 1860, and replace a nave built in 1770, which had no arcades, and being designed for galleries, had two tiers of windows on north and south. A south aisle was added in 1835, of the width of the south transept, apparently by the process of removing the south wall of the nave of 1770 to its present position, and refacing the south end of the Patten chapel to correspond with it. The upper tier of windows is in a pseudo-Gothic style, evidently intended to harmonize with the fourteenth-century windows of the chancel, and the south doorway has a clumsy ogee head, on which is cut 'Rebuilt 1770.'

The present west front of the church has three gables flanked by pinnacles, with a large tracery window of seven lights in the central gable.

The earlier history of the development of the church is difficult to read on account of the rebuildings of the last few centuries, but something may be deduced from old illustrations and the copy of a small plan of 1628, unfortunately not drawn to scale, which was formerly among the church papers. From these it may be seen that the old tower was narrower than the transepts, the line of its west wall being eastward of that of the transepts. The mediaeval nave certainly had arcades, and consequently aisles, as foundations of the former were discovered in 1860, not being in line with the north and south arches of the tower, but further to the north and south, like the present arcades. The tower arches appear to have been of the fourteenth century, and perhaps coeval with the chancel, which is of the same width north to south as the tower.

These irregularities, and the evidence of the existence of work in the north transept of earlier date than the rebuilding of the chancel, 1354, go to show that the church was not completely rebuilt at the latter date, but followed a gradual process of development, after the usual fashion, having originally consisted of an aisleless nave and chancel, which was afterwards made into a cross church, the tower being built on the west part of the chancel.

The traces of ritual arrangements in the church are naturally scanty. In the south wall of the chancel are three sedilia and a piscina, with ogee arched heads and trefoiled spandrels under a horizontal string, poor modern work of wood and plaster, but in the old position. Parts of the old masonry remain at the backs of the recesses, which have been altered since Sir Stephen Glynne's visit in 1843, and do not at all correspond to his description. There is no ancient woodwork in the church, but the altar table in the Boteler chapel was given to the church in 1720. In this chapel is a fine alabaster altar tomb, on which are the effigies of Sir John Boteler, ob. 1463, and his wife Margaret. The tomb was taken to pieces in 1847, and when it was reset the east end was made up in plaster. On the other three sides are a row of canopies alternating with shields now blank, and under the canopies are alabaster figures or groups: on the north side, St. James, St. Michael, St. Christopher, St. George, St. John Baptist, and the Holy Trinity; on the west a Crucifixion with our Lady and St. John, an angel holding a shield, and an Assumption; and on the south St. Faith, our Lord's Pity, St. Barbara, St. Catherine, St. Margaret, and our Lady and Child. The figure of Sir John Boteler is armed in plate, but the arm defences, except the elbow-cops and gauntlets, appear to be of leather. He wears a collar of St. George, and holds his right gauntlet in the left hand, while his bare right hand clasps that of his wife. She wears a collar of St. Agnes, and has a lamb at her feet. (fn. 55)

In one of the arched recesses in the north wall of this chapel is the sandstone effigy of a lady of late fourteenth-century date. In the floor of the Patten chapel is a cross slab formerly covering the grave of Thomas Mascy, rector, who died in 1464, and close to it is a modern altar tomb with the white marble effigy of the late Lord Winmarleigh.

On the north side of the chancel, opposite the south doorway, formerly stood the tomb of Richard Delves, rector, 1527.

The font is modern.

There are eight bells, all cast by Henry Bagley of Ecton in 1698. (fn. 56)

The church possesses a fine secular standing cup and cover, silver-gilt, with the London date letter for 1615.

The registers begin in 1591.


Before the Conquest the church of St. Elphin had a plough-land in Warrington free from all imposts except the geld. (fn. 57) The patronage, except for a grant to Thurgarton Priory about 1160, which was a century later granted back, (fn. 58) remained with the lords of Warrington to the latter half of the sixteenth century, when it passed by sale to the Irelands of Bewsey, and has descended like Bewsey and Great Sankey to Lord Lilford, the present patron. (fn. 59)

In 1291 the value of the benefice was found to be £13 6s. 8d; (fn. 60) and fifty years later the ninth of the sheaves, wool, and lambs was estimated at twenty marks, i.e. the same sum. (fn. 61) The gross value in 1535 was £41 15s. 4d., of which the glebe brought in 16s. 8d.; the payments included one of 20s. to the abbot of Shrewsbury, and the net value was £40. (fn. 62) The Commonwealth surveyors in 1650 found that the tithes, valued at £150, were farmed by Gilbert Ireland, who allowed the rector £20 a year; (fn. 63) this was increased by an allowance of £50 a year out of the sequestered tithes of Childwall, (fn. 64) reduced later. (fn. 65) Bishop Gastrell in 1717 found the income to be £61 18s. 3d. (fn. 66) At present the gross value is stated to be £965. (fn. 67)

Warrington was from early times the head of a deanery comprising the parishes in West Derby hundred. (fn. 68) In 1535 the revenue of the dean was estimated at £15 11s. 11d. (fn. 69)

The following is a list of the rectors:—

Date Name Patron Cause of Vacancy
c. 1180 Richard (fn. 70)
c. 1220 James (fn. 71)
c. 1250 Jordan de Hulton (fn. 72)
c. 1265 William de Eybury (fn. 73)
oc. 1289 William le Boteler (fn. 74)
(?) Feb. 1298–9 William de Sankey (fn. 75)
24 Nov. 1325 Stephen le Blund (fn. 76) Sir W. le Boteler res. W. de Sankey
3 April, 1330 Robert de Houton (fn. 77) exch. S. le Blund
10 June, 1343 John de Luyton (fn. 78) Sir W. le Boteler d. R. de Houton
1 June, 1346 John de Stamfordham (fn. 79) exch. J. de Luyton
10 May, 1351 Nicholas de Waddington (fn. 80) Sir W. le Boteler d. J. de Stamfordham
22 June, 1357 John de Swinlegh (fn. 81) exc. N. de Waddington
13 Jan. 1361–2 John de Donne (fn. 82) John earl of Lancaster res. J. de Swinlegh
(?) Dec. 1367 John Parr, senior (fn. 83) Urban V
5 June, 1368 Ellis de Birtwisle (fn. 84) John duke of Lancaster res. John Parr
4 April, 1370
17 May, 1374 Robert de Sibthorpe (fn. 85) Sir William le Boteler and Sir John his son d. Ellis de Birtwisle
(?) 1374 William (de Burgh) (fn. 86) John duke of Lancaster "
20 Mar. 1390–1 Richard de Carleton (fn. 87) Sir John le Boteler
21 Aug. 1396 Richard le Walker (fn. 88) " d. R. de Carleton
27 April, 1435 Thomas Mascy (fn. 89) Hamlet Mascy, &c. d. R. le Walker
4 July, 1464 Thomas Neilson (fn. 90) Richard Browne, &c.
18 May, 1466 Thomas Byrom (fn. 91) " res. T. Neilson
7 Sept. 1476 Mr. James Stanley (fn. 92) John Holcroft d. T. Byrom
Hugh Reddish
16 June, 1486 Richard Delves (fn. 93) T. Boteler res. Hugh Reddish
6 Dec. 1527 Thomas Maria Wingfield (fn. 94) H. Wingfield, &c. d. R. Delves
8 Nov. 1537 Edward Keble, M.A. (fn. 95) Sir T. Boteler res. T. M. Wingfield
20 Nov. 1554 Nicholas Taylor (fn. 96) John Grimsditch and Richard Penketh depr. E. Keble
31 Dec. 1556 Thomas Amery (fn. 97) d. N. Taylor
24 April, 1574 John Butler (fn. 98) Thos. Butler
26 Nov. 1579 Simon Harward, M.A. (fn. 99) Edward Butler d. J. Butler
4 July, 1581 Michael Johnson, B.A. (fn. 100) Sir Hen. Scurwen
3 June, 1589 John Ashworth (fn. 101) Thos. Ireland
1 Mar. 1607–8 William Gillibrand (fn. 102) " d. J. Ashworth
29 May, 1621 William Ward (fn. 103) Sir T. Ireland d. W. Gillibrand
oc. 1646 James Smith (fn. 104) " res. W. Ward
— Dec. 1646 Robert Yates (fn. 105) Gilbert Ireland "
17 Jan. 1662–3 Samuel Ellison (fn. 106) Sir G. Ireland exp. R. Yates
4 Oct. 1664 Joseph Ward, B.A. (fn. 107) "
10 Jan. 1690–1 Samuel Shawe, M.A. (fn. 108) James Holt d. J. Ward
22 Jan. 1718–9 Thomas Egerton, M.A. (fn. 109) Ric. Atherton d. S. Shawe
21 June, 1723 John Haddon, M.A. (fn. 110) " res. T. Egerton
27 Dec. 1766 William Farington, B.D. (fn. 111) R. V. A. Gwillym. d. J. Haddon
14 Sept. 1767 Edward Owen, M.A. (fn. 112) " d. W. Farington
3 June, 1807 Robert Atherton Rawstorne, M.A. (fn. 113) Lord Lilford d. E. Owen
3 Jan. 1832 Hon. Horatio Powys, M.A. (fn. 114) " res. R. A. Rawstorne
2 Sept. 1854 William Quekett, M.A. (fn. 115) The Queen prom. Bp. Powys
20 May, 1888 Frederic William Willis, M.A. (fn. 116) Lord Lilford d. W. Quekett

The most noticeable feature of the above list is the rapidity of the succession in many periods. About 1360 the title appears to have been uncertain. The lease of 1534 having reduced the income from tithes to £20 a year for two centuries, Warrington was not as a benefice very attractive.

The commissioners of 1535 found a rector and four endowed chantry priests serving the church; one of these also taught the school, and another served the chantry at Hollinfare. (fn. 117) The clergy list of 1541–2 shows that besides the rector, probably non-resident, and the four cantarists, there were in the parish eight priests, one of them being the curate, and the others paid by private persons or living on casual fees and offerings; two of them seem to have removed soon afterwards. (fn. 118) The visitation list of 1548 records the names of the rector and eight other clergy, four being chantry priests; two died about the same time. Six years later the rector, just deprived, is not named; six names are recorded, two of the bearers, however, appear to have been absent; the four chantry priests were still living, though unemployed. The diminution in the number of clergy went steadily on at Warrington; in 1562 the rector Thomas Amery, his curate, and two others were named in the list; but one of the latter did not appear. The rector, appointed in Bishop Cotes's time, had thus conformed to the Elizabethan statutes, and continued to hold his benefice. In the following year five names appear, two of them being new. In the margin is the record—'They took oath according to the statute,' i.e. acknowledging the queen's supremacy, the formal act of separation from the ancient system. (fn. 119) One of the five, John Barber, curate of Rixton, appears to have repented quickly, a note stating that he had 'fled.' In 1565 the rector and two others appeared; these two were survivors of the 1548 clergy, one being the schoolmaster. (fn. 120)

Block Plan of Site of Augustinian Friary, Warrington

Warrington thus fared better than other parishes in the neighbourhood in maintaining a staff of three clergy, there being only one chapel to serve in addition to the parish church. The school stipend was, of course, a means of supporting one beside the rector. At Hollinfare chapel the new services were probably not kept up regularly. As to the parish church the visitation of 1592 showed that the chancel was 'in great decay'; there were wanting Bible, Communion Book, Jewell's Reply and Apology, a 'comely table covering and table cloth,' and surplice. (fn. 121) An improvement no doubt took place as time went on, the Stuart bishops and the puritan ministers of the seventeenth century bringing it about. The later rectors, with one or two exceptions, do not call for remark. (fn. 122)

There were three chantries established in the parish church, and another at Hollinfare. St. Mary's Chantry was endowed or re-endowed by Sir Thomas Boteler, apparently the Sir Thomas who died in 1522. (fn. 123) By his will, carried out by his son Sir Thomas, he founded also the grammar school, the master of which was the priest at a second chantry. (fn. 124) Richard Delves, rector from 1486 to 1527, founded the chantry at the altar of St. Anne. (fn. 125) The chantries were suppressed in 1548, but the school was preserved. (fn. 126)

A house of Austin Friars, the only one in the county, was established near the bridge. (fn. 127) Its church, the Jesus Church, was probably the popular one, being situated near the centre of the town. The friars had an oratory on the bridge. The property was confiscated by Henry VIII and granted to Sir Thomas Holcroft. (fn. 128) Nothing now remains of the buildings. (fn. 129) It is supposed that the church was used for worship, at least occasionally, down to the Civil Wars. (fn. 130)

The site of the house was partly explored in 1886, and from the remains then found a plan of the church was drawn up by Mr. William Owen. (fn. 131) It shows a quire 58 ft. long by 24 ft. wide, an oblong crossing typical of a friars' church, with screens to east and west, a nave 86 ft. by 27 ft., and a very large north transept 62 ft. by 44 ft. The evidence for some part of the plan is slight, but there seems no doubt that Mr. Owen is correct in his reading of it, which has been confirmed, as to the size of the transept, by recent excavations. The details point to c. 1280 for the earliest work, and the large north transept seems to be little, if at all, later than the rest of the building. The crossing was doubtless surmounted by an octagonal tower as in other friars' houses. Part of the tile pavement of the quire was uncovered, and is illustrated in Mr. Owen's paper, being a very good specimen of its kind, dating probably from the early years of the fourteenth century. The shaped tiles of the central panel are specially interesting, though not so elaborate as those in the well-known Crauden chapel at Ely. Part of this pavement was taken up and is preserved in the Warrington Museum. Of other parts of the friary nothing has been found except the north end of a buttressed building south-east of the church and about 120 yards distant from it. It is 15 ft. wide, but its length and purpose cannot at present be determined.

CHARITIES (fn. 132)

The principal charity of Warrington, apart from the grammar school (fn. 133) and the bluecoat school, (fn. 134) is the infirmary, with an income of nearly £740 a year from investments. (fn. 135) Of the minor charities some are for Warrington proper (fn. 136) and others for different townships of the parish—Burtonwood, (fn. 137) Rixton, (fn. 138) and Woolston; (fn. 139) that for Poulton has been lost. (fn. 140)

Plan of Church of Augustinian Friary, Warrington

The Warrington Clergy Institution for the relief of widows and orphans of clergymen in the old archdeaconry of Chester, which included Cheshire and South Lancashire, was founded in 1697, and still continues its benevolent work. In conjunction with it is a school for the orphan daughters of clergymen, founded in 1842; the buildings were erected on the site of the old mote hill, but the school was removed to Darley Dale, Derbyshire, in 1905. There is a training college for schoolmistresses in connexion with the Established Church.


  • 1. This number includes Latchford, but not Orford.
  • 2. Baines, Lancs. Direct. ii, 587.
  • 3. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 16, 22. In Rixton-with-Glazebrook the former part of the township paid twice as much as the latter. Poulton and Woolston were treated as one township.
  • 4. Ibid. 18; that was when the hundred paid £106.
  • 5. For the Roman remains at Wilderspool and Stockton Heath see Thompson Watkin, Roman Ches. 260–73; and T. May, Warrington's Roman Remains (1904). In Warrington proper only slight evidence has come to light of the Roman occupation; Watkin, Roman Lancs. 224–5.
  • 6. The road across Howley meadow, which the ford at Latchford would require, has disappeared.
  • 7. The mote hill was in recent times counted as part of Burtonwood for rating purposes; probably when Bewsey became the residence of the lord of Warrington his old residence, or its site, was supposed to be attached to it. The 'castle' of William le Boteler is mentioned in the Perambulation of the Forest in 1228; Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 372; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 422.
  • 8. The 'burgages' named in Warr. in 1465 (Chet. Soc.) are chiefly in Church Street, Bridge Street, and the east side of the town, but one or two seem to have been in Sankey Street.
  • 9. The history of this bridge is given in the work just cited, 86–91. The Boydells of Dodleston had the grant of the tolls for the passage of the Mersey at Latchford; foot passengers were free, but horsemen and carts had to pay toll; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 603–4. The privilege was asserted as late as the sixteenth century; Duchy Pleadings (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 39–41. The 'bridge of the Mersey at Warrington' is named in a charter of 1305; Beamont, Lords of Warr. (Chet. Soc.), i, 133; at p. 136 are given the tolls chargeable in 1310. In 1364 it was at least intended to reconstruct it; but possibly the work was not carried out, for although John Boteler in 1420 left 20 marks for the repair of the bridge, in 1465 it is spoken of as a thing of the past—'ubi pons quondam stetit'; Warr. in 1465, pp. 88, 91 (quoting Rymer, Foed. iii, 740–1); Lords of Warr. ii, 277 (quoting Sir John Boteler's will). A passage was then maintained by boats; Duchy Plead. loc. cit.
  • 10. The charters for the markets are dated 1255, 1277, and 1285. From the position of the Austin Friars' house and of the market (at least in the fifteenth century), it seems clear that the road northward across the bridge had already become a popular highway.
  • 11. Before 1280 the manor of Burtonwood had been purchased by William le Boteler.
  • 12. Chet. Soc. vol. xvii (ed. W. Beamont), quoted above.
  • 13. Ibid. 41–59; one of the seven holdings in this position is described as follows: 'A fair messuage newly built, with two fair high chambers, with a kitchen, large garden containing a new oven at the north end; . . . worth to Sir Peter Legh 11s. a year in addition to the service of two days in autumn, worth 4d.' Among the local words are Wroe and Warth (in Arpley), Crimble, and Pighull. It is noteworthy that the Mersey is called the 'sea.' Burgages in Church Street had an oxgang of land in Arpley appurtenant in two cases; pp. 67, 71. A large number of place and field names have been collected in the Introduction, pp. lxviii-lxx.
  • 14. In 1453 the archbishops of Canterbury and York granted indulgences to all who should contribute to the building and re-erection of the bridge over 'the great and rapid water commonly called the Mersey'; Lords of Warr. ii, 278. Again, in 1479, a forty-days' indulgence was granted by the archbishop of York for the same object; ibid. ii, 336. The contributions elicited, with £20 granted about the same time from the duchy revenues (Lancs. and Ches. Rec. ii, 300), were probably too small for the purpose, so that the first earl of Derby is justly credited with the work; his interest in it is shown by the 300 marks he bequeathed for the redemption of the rents and tolls of the bridge; Lords of Warr. 353, 363. The bridge was shortly afterwards declared free; ibid. 365–70. Later earls of Derby charged themselves with its maintenance, but the Civil War so impoverished them that they refused to do it any longer, and the expense was then charged on the counties of Chester and Lancaster; Ormerod, i, 604 (quoting Seacome, House of Stanley). Henry VII arrived at Warrington 28 July, 1495.
  • 15. Itin. vii, 47.
  • 16. Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 195, quoting S. P. Dom. Eliz. xlviii, n. 35. This is a report dated 1568 from W. Glaseor to the queen's commissioners; it states that 'from Warrington all along the sea-coast of Lancashire, except Mr. Butler, beginning with Mr. Ireland, then Sir William Norris, and so forward, other gentlemen here be of the faction and withdraw themselves from religion.'
  • 17. Metcalfe, Book of Knights, 171.
  • 18. The Botelers had been a military race, and their tenants and dependants would accompany them to the wars. They had sided with Simon de Montfort in the Barons' War, and among the miraculous cures attributed to that popular hero several were reported by Warrington people; Beamont, Warr. Ch. Notes (quoting app. to Rishanger, Chron. Camd. Soc.). The market charter of 1277 was granted to William le Boteler at Rhuddlan; Sir William Boteler accompanied Hen. V to France and died at Harfleur in Sept. 1415; Sir Thomas Boteler fought at Flodden in 1513, and John Mascy of Rixton was killed at the same battle.
  • 19. Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 64, 66; War in Lancs. (Chet. Soc.), 7.
  • 20. Burghall, Civil War in Ches. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 239; War in Lancs. 15. In the following year many Royalists, driven from other parts of the county, took refuge in Warrington; ibid. 39. This accounts for its description as 'the last hold the Papists had' in the county; Civil War Tracts, 101.
  • 21. This was one of the few successes gained by Lord Derby; it is alleged that it was partly due to the ruse of dressing some of his men in the same style as those of Brereton's force; see Civil War Tracts, 95, 135; also Burghall, Civil War in Ches. 44.
  • 22. It was only two days after his repulse at Stockton Heath that Sir William Brereton, having received help from Sir John Seaton, who had just captured Wigan, 'beset Warrington and fiercely assaulted it, having gotten Sankey bridge, a fair house of one Mr. Bridgeman's, and some of the outer walls, and within a short space of time [they] were likely to have the whole; which the earl perceiving set the middle of the town on fire, protesting he would burn it all ere they should have it; which the Parliament forces perceiving, seeing the fire still increasing, to save it from utter desolation, withdrew their forces after they had been there three days and more, and so departed for that time'; Burghall, 45. To this assault probably belongs the story of the attack by the Manchester force, which, marching through Cheshire, crossed at Hollinfare and made a strong assault on Warrington church and the works about it; 'but the soldiers within, defending it with manhood and great valour,' the attacking forces withdrew, having lost some men; War in Lancs. 31.
  • 23. Burghall, 56–7; Civil War Tracts, 101. The terms of surrender were that 'the captain and commanders should depart every man with his horse and pistols, and all the soldiers to pack away unarmed and leave all their arms, ammunition, and provisions behind them.' Shortness of supplies and a defeat of the Cavaliers in Yorkshire, which destroyed the hope of relief, were the reasons for the surrender. Some documents relating to this siege and the later fortunes of the town were discovered in 1851 or 1852 in a house at Houghton Green near Winwick; two of them are requisitions of provisions and men by Colonel Norris, in view of the expected attack; Trans. Hist. Soc. iv, 18–32.
  • 24. But few Warrington cases appear in the Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.). John Bate, who had gone to reside in the enemy's quarters, but had since taken the National Covenant, was allowed to compound in 1646; i, 152; as also was Anne Fearnley, a widow, whose delinquency was similar; ii, 314.
  • 25. Cromwell reported: 'We prosecuted them home to Warrington town; where they possessed the bridge, which had a strong barricado and work upon it, formerly made very defensive. As soon as we came thither, I received a message from General Baillie desiring some capitulation. To which I yielded. Considering the strength of the pass, and that I could not go over the River Mersey within ten miles of Warrington with the army, I gave him these terms: That he should surrender himself and all his officers and soldiers prisoners of war, with all his arms and ammunition and horses, to me; I giving quarter for life and promising civil usage. Which accordingly is done; and the commissioners deputed by me have received and are receiving all the arms and ammunition; which will be, as they tell me, about 4,000 complete arms; and as many prisoners: and thus you have their infantry totally ruined.' Baillie was acting under the express orders of the duke of Hamilton; Civil War Tracts, 287–8.
  • 26. War in Lancs. 71; General Lambert was hanging on the flank of the king's army, but unable to check its progress. A few Scots were captured and sent to Chester, and sentenced to be shot; Civil War Tracts, 309. After the defeat at Worcester many of the scattered Royalists found their way north by Hollinfare, Warrington Bridge being well guarded; ibid.
  • 27. Ormerod, Ches. i, p. lxv; the battle was fought 19 Aug.
  • 28. W. Beamont, Trans. Hist. Soc. ii, 184.
  • 29. Trans. Hist. Soc. vi, 22; with a plate showing the uniform and equipment. For the volunteers of 1803 see Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. ii, 217.
  • 30. Jacobite Trials (Chet. Soc.), 2–3; it was stated that William Standish had conveyed lands at Woolston worth £100 a year for the benefit of the Franciscans. He explained that it was partly a debt and partly a legacy of his father. There is an account of the inquiry among the Norris Deeds (B. M.); some of the witnesses were religious and others who had embraced Protestantism. For an example see Payne, Engl. Cath. Rec. 126.
  • 31. A number of tokens issued by Edward Borron and other local men between 1666 and 1672 are described in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, 91.
  • 32. Blome, Britannia (quoted by Baines).
  • 33. Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 208.
  • 34. Defoe, A Gentleman's Tour through Great Britain (ed. 1738), iii. 170.
  • 35. Loc. Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 262.
  • 36. An account of the Academy, with views of the buildings of 1757 and 1762, &c. is printed in Trans. Hist. Soc. xi, 1; see also Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iv, 271–87. In 1858 the Guardian was printed in part of the later building, another part being used as a Church Institute. This building has been demolished, but that of 1757, at Bridge-foot, is standing, and is the property of the Corporation. It is occupied by the Warrington Soc. founded in 1898 for the preservation of ancient buildings and other local monuments, the collection of books, &c. of local interest, and kindred aims. Of Warrington in the latter part of the eighteenth century there is an account by Dr. Kendrick in Trans. Hist. Soc. vii, 82; and in Aikin, Country Round Manch. 300–8.
  • 37. Thomas Barnes was born in 1747, and educated at the grammar school. He became minister of Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, in 1780, and died there in 1810. For life see Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 240; Sir T. Baker, Dissenting Chapel, 47 (with portrait); Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 38. He was a native of the town. He had conformed to the Elizabethan establishment of religion, and ministered according to the new services; but became reconciled with Rome in 1581. He afterwards resumed his priestly office, but was hunted down by the authorities and executed 20 April, 1584, for having said mass at Golborne the previous Christmastide; Challoner, Missionary Priests, n. 27 (from Bridgewater's Concertatio); Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Catholics, i, 173; Foley, Rec. S. J. ii, 136 (from S. P. Dom. Eliz. clxvii, n. 40). The first stage in the procedure of his beatification was reached in 1886.
  • 39. See Dict. Nat. Biog.; he was a strong supporter of the Hanoverian dynasty, and published controversial works. A list of these is given in N. and Q. (5 ser.), i, 90.
  • 40. He was born at Warrington in 1731 and educated at Emmanuel Coll. Camb. He became vicar of Tewkesbury and Longdon, but resigned in 1788, and died at Colford in 1805. He published several theological essays; see Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 41. See Dict. Nat. Biog.; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 238. He died in 1804, and was buried at Warrington; he wrote Medical Ethics, and other works.
  • 42. Dict. Nat. Biog. and life by George Crosfield (1843).
  • 43. He was born at Warrington in 1817, being of a Woolston family, and died at Douai in 1870; Gillow, Bibl. Dict. iii, III.
  • 44. Dict. Nat. Biog.; see Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. ii, 137–40.
  • 45. There is a notice, with portrait and list of works, of the younger Dr. Kendrick in Pal. Note Book, ii, 113. Miss Richmal Mangnall, author of the Questions, kept a school in Warrington from 1805 to 1811.
  • 46. A full account of this Press was contributed by Dr. James Kendrick to the Warr. Guardian in 1880–1. The first known product was a broadside issued by John Eyres, who was living in the town as a printer in 1731, and whose son William made the Press famous from 1760 onwards. One of William Eyres's books was Watson's Memoirs of the Earls of Warren, 1782. An account of some booksellers of Warrington in the middle of the seventeenth century may be read in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), i, 67; a list of books in stock in 1647 is given, pp. 77–111.
  • 47. A number of other newspapers and magazines have been issued from time to time, but have not continued. The Standard and Times, both begun in 1859, were united and continued until 1862. The Evening Post lasted from 1877 to 1880. The Catalogue of the Warrington Library gives particulars of these and others.
  • 48. 'In 1753 the ship Sacharissa, which … had a cargo of sugar on board, having left Liverpool for Bank Quay eight days before, was wrecked on the Long Duck Stakes near Sankey …; and the ordinary protest, such as is now made on the loss of a sea-going vessel, had to be made on the Sacharissa'; Beamont, Hale and Orford, 229.
  • 49. The Irwell and Mersey 'were made navigable under powers of the Act of Parliament obtained in 1720, when it was undertaken successfully by several adventurers'; Pennant, Downing to Alston Moor, 16.
  • 50. The 'Warrington coach' is spoken of by Matthew Henry in 1704; quoted by Beamont, Annals of Warr. from 1587, p. xi. On 9 June, 1757, 'it was announced that the Warrington flying stage-coach would set out every Monday and Thursday morning from the Bull Inn in Wood Street, London, and the 'Red Lion' in Warrington, during the summer season, and arrive at the above inns every Wednesday and Saturday evening. Each passenger was to pay two guineas and to be allowed fourteen pounds of baggage'; Hale and Orford, 231. On the same page will be found the advertisement of 1760 of the Manchester and Liverpool coach, which passed through Warrington and Prescot.
  • 51. Baines, Lancs. Direc. ii, 587, 590.
  • 52. Ibid. ii, 587. The same work is the authority for the statement that as late as 1760 'it was usual to insert a clause in indentures of apprenticeship at Warrington by which the masters stipulated not to oblige their apprentices to eat salmon more than twice a week'; this appears to be imaginary.
  • 53. The details are: Warrington—Arable, 4,568; grass, 1,121; wood, &c., 25; and Burtonwood, 2,977, 425, 139, respectively.
  • 54. Churches of Lancs. (Chet. Soc.). 70.
  • 55. For a full description of the Boteler monument with drawings, see Lords of Warr. 298. Armorial notes taken in 1582 and later are printed in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), vi, 269; others made in 1572 and 1640 are given in Beamont and Rylands' Attempt to identify the Arms in Warr. Ch. (1878).
  • 56. For inscriptions see Warr. Ch. p. ix.
  • 57. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 286b. Elphin was in course of time modified to Ellen, but the old name was restored at the rebuilding of the church in 1859– 60.
  • 58. Chart. in Beamont, Lords of Warr. (Chet. Soc.), i, 19, 83.
  • 59. See the account of Bewsey. A fine regarding the manor in 1332 included the advowson of the church; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 83. In 1361 Henry duke of Lancaster 'died seised in his demesne as of fee of the advowson of the church [of Warrington] for the term of the life of William le Boteler, knt., by the demise of Richard de Winwick, brother and heir of John de Winwick, who demised the said church to William le Boteler for the said term'; Inq. p.m. 35 Edw. III, pt. 1, n. 122. There were suits between the duke of Lancaster and Sir William le Boteler in 1374 and 1375 respecting the patronage; De Banco R. 456, m. 197; R. 457, m. 116. The duke recovered.
  • 60. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249.
  • 61. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 40. The sum was thus made up: Warrington and Burtonwood each £4 6s. 8d.; Glazebrook 9s. 4d.; the third part of Great Sankey 26s. 8d.; Woolston 33s. 4d.; Rixton 24s.
  • 62. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 219. An Easter roll of the year 1580 is preserved among the Norris D. (B. M.); the amount received at the 'houseling board' was 48s. 9d.; 12s. 6d. was laid out on bread and wine. This has been printed in full by Mr. J. Paul Rylands in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xix, with a number of illustrative particulars.
  • 63. Commonwealth Cb. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 51. Gilbert Ireland was a Parliamentarian, so that his estates were untouched. The value of the mansion-house, with its barn and garden, was £3.
  • 64. Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 34; this order was made in 1646. James Anderton, the farmer of the Childwall tithes, was a 'papist and delinquent,' whose estates were sequestered.
  • 65. Ibid. 288. £30 only was payable in 1655, but was increased to £40; ibid. ii, 132, 289.
  • 66. Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 230; apart from the £20 received from the lessee, the income was derived mainly from fees. There were then five churchwardens—two for Warrington appointed by the lord and Mr. Legh of Lyme, and one each for the other three 'quarters' of the parish, elected by house row.
  • 67. Liverpool Dioc. Cal. Some benefactions are noticed in the War. End. Char. Rep. 1890, pp. 63, 65.
  • 68. Some names of the deans have been preserved, e.g. Elias, xiii cent. (Whalley Coucher [Chet. Soc.], i, 126); Richard de Standish, c. 1240 (Kuerden, ii, fol. 219, n. 330); Roger was dean in 1277 (De Banco R. 21, m. 18); Henry de Wavertree, vicar of Childwall, 1319; Richard de Sutton, vicar of Walton, 1354.
  • 69. Valor Eccl. loc. cit. The deanery was in the hands of William Knight, archdeacon of Chester, and he farmed it out to Richard Clerk, chaplain. The sources of income were the probate dues on wills, estimated at £7 a year, and certain fees payable by the beneficed clergy.
  • 70. Richard, priest of Warrington was witness to a charter between 1175 and 1182; Lancs. Pipe R. 287. There is an account of the rectors in W. Beamont's Warr. Ch. Notes; see also Baines' Lancs. (ed. Croston), iv, 417–26.
  • 71. James rector of Warrington attested a grant to Stanlaw made before 1233; Whalley Coucher, ii, 416.
  • 72. Whalley Coucher, iii, 742, 919. Jordan had a son Robert, who occurs in the Lever Deeds; Add. MS. 32103, As. 66, 69, dated 1297 and 1298. William son of Jordan de Hulton complained in 1292 of an assault by Peter de Warburton and others; Assize R. 408, m. 50d. 61d. 96d.
  • 73. Beamont, op. cit. 28.
  • 74. Witness to a Warrington charter in 1289; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 15b, n. 3.
  • 75. 'William rector of Warrington' had on 22 Feb. 1298–9, licence to attend the schools for three years, during which time he was not to be compelled to enter the higher orders; Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 2b. He had probably just been appointed to the rectory. Richard de Astley sued William de Sankey in 1320 for six years' arrears of a rent of 2 marks, and at the same time Henry del Bruche sued for five years' arrears of a rent of one robe a year; De Banco R. 236, m. 286. In July, 1325, Sankey had the king's protection for twelve months, perhaps on going abroad in the king's service, and shortly afterwards he resigned the rectory; Cal. of Pat. 1324–7, p. 148.
  • 76. Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 101b.
  • 77. Ibid. ii, fol. 105b; the new rector had held Leatherhead ('Ledred') in the diocese of Winchester, exchanging it for Warrington. He is mentioned in 1334 in Coram Rege R. 297, m. 94. Sons of Robert de Houton were concerned in a plea by his executors in 1344; ibid. R. 337, m. 19.
  • 78. Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 116b. He had been rector of Whittington.
  • 79. Ibid. ii, fol. 119; the new rector had held Luyton, in the diocese of Lincoln.
  • 80. Ibid. ii, fol. 128b; the new rector was a priest.
  • 81. Ibid. ii, fol. 134; the new rector had been rector of Winwick, Huntingdonshire. He is probably the John de Swinlegh, priest of the diocese of Lichfield, who was made a notary by Clement VI in 1351, and had an indult to choose a confessor, &c.; Cal. of Papal Letters, iii, 447, 449. He became archdeacon of Huntingdon in 1362 on the king's presentation; see Le Neve, Fasti, ii, 50.
  • 82. Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 80. The rector was only a clerk; the name is written Donne, but possibly it should be Doune. On 10 Nov. 1362, he, being then a subdeacon, obtained the bishop's leave to be absent from his church for three years; ibid. v, fol. 7b. On 9 May, 1366, this was renewed for two years; ibid. v, fol. 13b. Thus he was absent almost all the time he held the rectory.
  • 83. He was ordained subdeacon 18 Dec. 1367, probably soon after his appointment; Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 93. He was ordained deacon and priest in the following March; ibid. v, fol. 94, 94b. In 1372 a dispute about the presentation was heard before Arnold Garnerii, the papal nuncio and collector, who had sequestered the church. It appeared that Urban V in April, 1364, had provided John Parr, senior, to Warrington. Ellis de Birtwisle alleged that there had been no vacancy since Nicholas de Waddington, who had been called an apostate, had been delivered by sentence of the court. The nuncio was satisfied; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks., xiii, fol. 14.
  • 84. Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 83b; he was a priest. The second institution (ibid. fol. 85) was made after Ellis de Birtwisle's free resignation into the lord's hands. It is clear from the preceding note that litigation had been proceeding as to Nicholas de Waddington, and that John Parr's resignation had been called in question. For Ellis de Birtwisle Innocent VI had in 1355 reserved a benefice with cure of souls, of the value of 25 marks, in the gift of the abbot and convent of Hyde, Winchester; Cal. of Papal Letters, iii, 570. Ellis died 6 March, 1373–4.
  • 85. Lich. Epis. Reg. iv, fol. 87b; he was a priest.
  • 86. On the 12 June William de Burgh, clerk, was presented by the duke of Lancaster; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xiii, fol. 46b. He appears to have obtained possession after a suit between the duke and the Botelers, for in Nov. 1389, the bishop allowed 'William rector of the church of Warrington,' a year's leave of absence, and released the sequestration of the fruits of the church; Lich. Epis. Reg. vi, fol. 125b. A William de Burgh was rector of Babworth, Notts. in 1384; Cal. Pat. 1381–5, pp. 465, 576.
  • 87. Lich. Epis. Reg. vi, fol. 55b; a priest. He died in August, 1396.
  • 88. Ibid. vi, fol. 61b; a priest.
  • 89. Ibid. ix, fol. 122b; a clerk. The patrons, Hamlet Mascy of Rixton and Wm. Arrowsmith of Warrington presented in right of a grant by Sir John Boteler. Thomas Mascy was still rector in 1458; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 73.
  • 90. Lich. Epis. Reg. xii, fol. 101b; a priest. The patrons, Richard Browne, vicar of Poulton, John Holcroft, and Richard Mascy, acted in virtue of a feoffment by Sir John Boteler, deceased.
  • 91. Ibid. xii, fol. 102b. Thomas Byrom was a canon of Lichfield from 1450 and rector of Grappenhall; the latter benefice he resigned on being presented to Warrington; Le Neve, Fasti, i, 627, &c. He was archdeacon of Nottingham from 1461 till his death; ibid. iii, 151. He was a witness to the will of his patron, Archbishop Booth, dated at Southwell in 1464; Raines, Abps. of York (Rolls Ser.), iii, 333. See Beamont, op. cit. 47.
  • 92. Lich. Epis. Reg. xii, fol. 110b; also rector of Winwick (q.v.), warden of Manchester and archdeacon of Chester. John Holcroft presented in virtue of a feoffment by Sir John Boteler. Archdeacon Stanley died in 1485.
  • 93. Ibid. xii, fol. 120b; a priest. He was son of Sir John Delves of Doddington and brother-in law of Sir Thomas Boteler; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), iii, 522. He became canon of Lichfield in 1485 (Le Neve, Fasti, i, 620, 587, 627); and he founded a chantry at Warrington. His will, dated 13 August, 1527, directed his burial either at Warrington or Wybunbury, and bequeathed to the schoolmaster at the former place a diaper cloth and a missal. He died 22 October following, and was buried in the choir; the epitaph has been preserved by Randle Holme; Beamont, Warr. Ch. Notes, 53.
  • 94. Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 63; he was a clerk. The patrons, Humphrey Wingfield and Robert Brown, clerk, acted by grant of Sir Richard Wingfield, deceased. Sir Richard, who was chancellor of the duchy from 1522 to 1525, probably obtained a grant of the presentation from Thomas Boteler. Thomas Maria Wingfield, who must have been a mere child, graduated at Oxf. in 1534; he afterwards renounced an ecclesiastical career and became member of parliament for Huntingdon borough in 1553; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
  • 95. Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii-xiv, fol. 36b. On 27 October, 1537, i.e. after granting a presentation to Edward Keble, Sir Thomas Boteler leased the advowson for sixty years to William Bruche, merchant tailor of London, and Hamnet Shaw; and on 15 July, 1540, William Bruche, the surviving grantee, gave his right to Richard Penketh and John West; ibid. fol. 5b. About 1540 Edward Keble complained that he had before institution granted a lease of the parsonage for sixty years to Sir Thomas Boteler, the rector to receive £40 a year; that Sir Thomas, before the new rector had come into possession, sold the lease to the above-named Bruche and Shaw for £186 13s. 4d.; plaintiff, 'seeing that the lease was not binding because he had nothing in the said parsonage at the time of the making thereof,' expelled the new lessees, who claimed their money back. Sir Thomas induced the rector to borrow it for him, and then planned a scheme with the lender to obtain the sum from the rector, who was therefore unable to pay his firstfruits to the king; Duchy Pleadings (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 120. He had previously been ordered to pay 50 marks to William Bruche, 'a very unruly person and a great unquietor of his poor neighbours,' and had leased the parsonage to him for ten years; ibid. ii, 121. Early in 1543 Rector Keble leased the rectory for 200 years to nominees of the patron, at a rent of only £20 a year; Beamont, op. cit. 57; and Lords of Warr. ii, 453 (quoting Lord Lilford's deeds). Abstracts of the deeds relating to 'this discreditable matter' are given in Ch. Gds. 1552 (Chet. Soc.), 59; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxx, App. 177. Keble was probably inclined to Protestantism, for in 1547 he was made a prebendary of Westminster; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 351. This as well as the rectory of Warrington he lost in 1554; the reason is not stated, but perhaps he had married. He does not appear to have claimed either preferment later, but is said to have been beneficed in Warwickshire from 1558 till his death. He must therefore have renounced Protestantism, if he had professed it, and returned to it again in 1559. For the vestments, bells, &c. in 1552, see Ch. Gds. 57. Richard Johns, parson of Warrington, is mentioned in 1547; Piccope, Wills (Chet. Soc.), i, 104. Possibly he was Richard Taylor the schoolmaster.
  • 96. He paid firstfruits 22 June, 1555; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 409. Later references to these payments are from the same source.
  • 97. His name appears in the Visit. lists in 1563 and 1565. In 1562 he obtained leave of absence for study for five years in all; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. iii, 292.
  • 98. Paid firstfruits 8 May, 1574.
  • 99. The name is also given as Harwood; he paid firstfruits 25 June, 1580. He was of Christ's Coll. Camb.; B.A. 1575; incorporated at Oxf. 1577; a man of some note as preacher and physician; see Dict. Nat. Biog. and Cooper, Athenae Cantab. ii, 478, where the titles of his works are given, with many references.
  • 100. He was of Cumberland; entered Queen's Coll. Oxf. in 1572; B.A. 1577; also rector of Heveringham, Yorks.; Foster, Alumni.
  • 101. He paid firstfruits 9 July, 1590. He had been vicar of Bolton le Sands. The registers begin in his time. In 1590 he was described as 'a preacher'; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 248.
  • 102. A William Gillibrand, of Brasenose Coll. Oxf. took the B.A. degree in 1569; Foster, Alumni. For his family see Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 121. He was a 'preacher'; Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 12.
  • 103. The institutions from this time have been taken from the entries in the Inst. Bks. P.R.O. as printed in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, ii. William Ward paid firstfruits on 18 February, 1621–2. He was promoted to the rectory of Walton in 1645 on the expulsion of the royalist Dr. Clare.
  • 104. James Smith seems to have been in charge in October, 1646, when an additional stipend was ordered; Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 38. No minister's name is given in the earlier order on p. 34. 'Erastus, son to Mr. James Smith, minister,' was baptized 9 August, 1646. Other ministers are named in the Warrington registers.
  • 105. 'Mr. Yates came in by the quest and presentation of Gilbert Ireland, esq., who claims to be patron and donor thereof, and also by the free election of the congregation there; and that the said Mr. Yates is a man of good life, and howbeit he doth disassent from and not submit to the present government, and did neglect to observe and keep the days of humiliation and thanksgiving enjoined by the present parliament'; Commonwealth Ch. Survey (1650), 51. In the church registers is the entry: '1646, Dec. Robert Yates, minister.' As 'pastor of the church at Warrington' he signed the Harmonious Consent at the beginning of 1648. His opposition to the Engagement led to his trial for treason; he was sentenced to death, but pardoned and restored to his benefice. At the Restoration, while loyal to the king, he could not agree to everything in the Prayer Book, and so was expelled from the rectory in 1662, and in the following year sent to prison. He died in 1678, being buried at Warrington 28 October. See Beamont, op. cit. 74–80.
  • 106. Samuel Ellison is no doubt the same who was appointed to Hale Chapel in 1659 on the nomination of Gilbert Ireland; Plund. Mins. Accts. ii, 300. He was a son of Henry Ellison of Wavertree; educated at Woolton School and St. John's Coll. Camb. which he entered in 1652; Admissions, i, 106.
  • 107. Joseph Ward of Emmanuel Coll. Camb. took the B.A. degree in 1661. He was 'conformable' in 1689; Kenyon MSS. 230.
  • 108. Of Queens' Coll. Camb.; M.A. 1677; incorporated at Oxf. 1677; master of the Boteler School, 1689; one of the four royal preachers, 1682; Stratford's Visit. List. James Holt presented as guardian of John Atherton, a minor.
  • 109. See the account of rectors of Sefton.
  • 110. Educated at Brasenose Coll. Oxf.; M.A. 1723; Foster, Alumni Oxon. In his time Keble's lease expired. He was a friend of John Byrom.
  • 111. See the account of vicars of Leigh.
  • 112. Educated at Jesus Coll. Oxf.; M.A. 1752; also master of Warrington school; Foster, Alumni. He had been a master at Great Crosby School and curate of the chapel there. See Beamont, op. cit. 104–14. He translated Juvenal and Persius, and was author of some educational works; and he also published sermons, one volume going under the name of his predecessor—Farington's Sermons; Trans. Hist. Soc. xxii, 120. He has a place in the Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 113. Educated at Brasenose Coll. Oxf.; M.A. 1803; rector of South Thoresby, Lincs. 1807 to 1852; perpetual curate of Penwortham and Longton, 1831 to 1852, when he died; Foster, Alumni. He was a relative of Lady Lilford. His attempt to make the head-mastership of the school a sinecure for the rector was defeated after an appeal to the court of Chancery; Beamont, 116.
  • 114. Son of the patron. Educated at St. John's Coll. Camb.; M.A. 1826; ministered to the sick during the cholera epidemic of 1833; bishop of Sodor and Man, 1854. See Beamont, 122–6.
  • 115. Educated at St. John's Coll. Camb.; M.A. 1831; incumbent of Christ church, Poplar, 1841. He rebuilt the church.
  • 116. Son of Daniel Willis of Halsnead; educated at Corpus Christi Coll. Oxf.; M.A. 1873; vicar of All Saints', Wellingborough, 1872; hon. canon of Liverpool, 1895.
  • 117. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 219.
  • 118. Clergy List (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 14.
  • 119. It is the only note of this kind in the deanery.
  • 120. These details are from the visitation lists preserved in the Chest. Dioc. Reg.
  • 121. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), x, 191. There had been no perambulations and no monitions for collectors. A register chest and book were wanting also. The mention of the 'houseling board' in 1580 (see above) shows that the altars had been taken away.
  • 122. See notes above on Yates and Owen.
  • 123. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 219. Robert Hall was chaplain; the income was £4 10s. 6d. The same chaplain remained to the end; in 1548 he was described as 'of the age of seventy years, a man decrepit and lame of his limbs.' The revenue was derived from various small tenements in Warrington and the neighbourhood; Raines, Chant. (Chet. Soc.), i, 59–61. He had a bequest of books from Randle Pole in 1545, including the Pica, which was 'to remain in Master Boteler's chapel at Warrington'; ibid. p. 60 note. That the chantry was of ancient date is at least suggested by the record of 'land called "St. Mary's Land" belonging to the church of Warrington,' situate on the Heath in 1465; Warr. in 1465, p. 58. A messuage in Church Street was bequeathed by Katherine Fisher to the maintenance of a chaplain celebrating before the cross in the parish church; ibid. 96, 102. Thus there seems to have been a Rood altar.
  • 124. Valor Eccl. loc. cit. The founders were Sir Thomas Boteler and Dame Margaret, widow of the late Sir Thomas, and his executors; also Sir Richard Bold and other feoffees. The schoolmaster-chaplain was Richard Taylor; of the gross income of £12 2s. 9½d. a distribution to the poor of 42s. 9d. was made on Sir Thomas's anniversary. This chantry is not mentioned in the text of Canon Raines' book, loc. cit., but in the notes he gives extracts from the will and the foundation deed. The latter provided elaborately for the anniversary to be kept on 27 April, 'for the souls of the said Sir Thomas and his ancestors and his heirs, and for the soul of Dame Margaret Boteler after her decease.' Eight priests and ten singing clerks or scholars were to say the office and mass for the dead; the bellman was to announce the celebration through the streets, and the clerk was 'to cause three long peals to be rungen with all the bells in the steeple except the sanctus bell.' Robert Wright in 1548 had an endowment of 21s. 8d. a year as 'stipendiary' priest of Sir Thomas Boteler's foundation; Raines, ii, 251.
  • 125. Valor Eccl. loc. cit. The gross rental was £7, out of which 20s. was distributed in alms at the anniversary of the founder, and 12s. 4d. paid in rents. William Caterbank was the chaplain in 1535, and Robert Halghton or Aughton paid first fruits on appointment in 1536; Lancs. and Ches. Recs. ii, 407. In 1547 the royal commissioners found him celebrating and distributing according to his foundation. This chantry had a chalice and eight vestments. Its lands were at Norton in Staffs. and Great and Little Worley; Raines, op. cit. 63–5. In 1553 Robert Aughton had a pension of £5; he died about that time; Ch. Gds. 59. For a grant of St. Anne's Chantry see Pat. 31 Eliz. pt. vii. The Mascy chapel, of unknown foundation, has been treated of by Mrs. A. C. Tempest in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), v, 97–104.
  • 126. For an account of the school see article on 'Schools.'
  • 127. The prior in 1400 complained that one Thomas Graner of Manchester had not properly constructed a horologium for him at Warrington; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 1, m. 25b.
  • 128. Pat. 32 Hen. VIII, pt. iv (18 June, 1540).
  • 129. For the history see 'Religious Houses'; also W. Beamont, Warr. Friary (Chet. Soc.). Accounts of the glass, tombs, &c., have been published by Messrs. Beamont and Rylands (1878).
  • 130. Beamont, Warr. Ch. Notes, 131.
  • 131. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), v, 175.
  • 132. The following details are from the End. Char. Rep. for Warrington 1899, in which is reprinted the report of 1828.
  • 133. The income of the grammar school is about £2,000.
  • 134. This charity has an income of £1,500 from real estate and £536 from investments; the income exceeds the expenditure by over £300 a year, so that the fund is not so beneficial to the town as it might be. The first acquisition of land was the Gallows Acre in Warrington in 1674; on this the school was built.
  • 135. See 63–4 of the Report.
  • 136. Brownfield's Almshouses were established by the will of John Brownfield, 1697, augmented by his wife and John Goulborne. Four houses were in 1828 supposed to belong to this charity. Part of the endowment was afterwards lost, the overseers being unable to identify the property on which the rent was charged; and in 1874 the houses, having become ruinous, were pulled down, and the site was afterwards sold. The proceeds were invested, and an annual income of 20s. 4d. is distributed by the rector among poor widows. Anne Royle, by will in 1731, left her cottage in Church Street to the rector that he might distribute the rent to poor housekeepers. In 1828 the house was found to be dilapidated. The last rent known to have been paid was in 1831; after which the rector is said to have sold the premises, and nothing further is known. Joseph Daintith in 1787 bequeathed £80 a year for the Sunday school which he had established, and a building was erected on the north side of Church Street. After several changes owing to the erection of other schools and altered circumstances the buildings were sold and the charity is represented by a capital of £388 consols, the income being applied by the rector in the purchase of Bibles, &c., for the use of the Sunday school. Shaw Thewlis by will in 1884 left £500 for the benefit of the aged poor; the income, £14 2s. 4d., is employed in the purchase of blankets for distribution to poor persons, chiefly widows. James Morris left in 1885 a net sum of £800 for the benefit of the poor attending the parish church, and Thomas Morris in 1897 left £500 for blankets for women over sixty years of age. The Ladies' School of Industry, the gymnasium and reading-room, and the Charles Middleton Scholarships and the School of Art are also noticed in the Report.
  • 137. Besides the school there was formerly an accumulated poor's stock of £63 10s., but this was lost by the failure of Thomas Claughton in 1823. Gaskell's charity, of unknown origin, has a stock of £20, the interest of which is expended in clothing, &c., for the poor; it is now under the control of the parish council.
  • 138. Thomas Clare in 1730 left an acre called the Town-field in Glazebrook for the benefit of the poor. In 1828 it was let at a rent of £9, and this sum was distributed by the agent of Charles Tempest, trustee. This arrangement continued until 1869, when trustees were appointed by the Char. Com. The present income, £6 10s., is spent on cotton cloth, which is given to about seventy poor persons. The Hon. Elizabeth Wilson-Patten, daughter of Lord Winmarleigh, in 1896 gave a room, with an endowment of £15 10s. for maintenance, to be used as club-room, reading-room, or the like, for the education or recreation of the people of the township.
  • 139. By an enclosure award in 1849 an allotment of 4 acres of mossland was assigned to the labouring poor. A rentcharge of £3 10s. was payable, but does not seem to have become operative. The land is divided into forty-eight allotments, let to poor persons at a rent of 6d. each. By the same award Martinscroft Green was reserved as a recreation ground.
  • 140. There was in 1786 a poor's stock of £220, the accumulation of gifts made by Peter Legh and others at various times. This seems for a long time to have been lent to the owner of Houghton, and in 1823 was in the hands of Thomas Claughton. He failed, and only £10 was recovered; this amount was spent on clothing for the poor, and the charity became extinct.