Townships: Rainford

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

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'Townships: Rainford', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 382-386. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "Townships: Rainford", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 382-386. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "Townships: Rainford", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 382-386. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section


Raineford, 1190; Reineford, 1202; Rayneford, 1256; Raynesford, 1262; Reynford, Rayneford, and Raynsford, 1292.

This is a large township, having an area of 5,872½ acres, (fn. 1) embracing open country, flat on the north and west and undulating on the south-east. The highest ground, rising to 300 ft. above sea level, is near the village of Crank, a bare exposed spot. In the northern portion of the district there are coal mines; the remainder is agricultural, the principal crops raised being potatoes, oats, wheat, and clover. The soil is clayey. The Sankey or Rainford Brook flows through the whole length of the township from north-west to south-east, on its way towards the Mersey. The geological formation consists mainly of the coal measures, but from Rainford village to the chase in Knowsley Park there is a belt three-quarters of a mile in width of the lower mottled sandstone of the bunter series (new red sandstone), and the pebble beds of the same series are just touched at Kirkby Moss. Formerly the land can have been of comparatively little value, the large area of moss being shown by such names as Reeds Moss, Rainford Moss, and Mossborough; occasional patches of unreclaimed mossland are still met with. About 1720 the northern half was called Chapel end, and the southern, Haysarm end. The village of Rainford is in the former, and the hamlet of Crank in the latter. Rainford Hall (Col. Pilkington, J.P.) is a large modern house on an old site, east of the village.

The principal road is that from St. Helens to Ormskirk; it runs alongside the brook, which it crosses before reaching the village. Here it is joined by another road coming from Prescot in the southwest. The London and North-Western Company's line from St. Helens to Ormskirk also runs parallel to the brook, with stations at Crank, Rookery, and Rainford. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's line from Liverpool to Manchester crosses the northern end of the township, and where it passes under the other railway is a station called Rainford Junction.

The population in 1901 numbered 3,359.

A local board was formed in 1872; (fn. 2) and in 1894 became an urban district council of fifteen members.

Rainford has several collieries. It has long been known for the manufacture of tobacco pipes, but this industry is now decaying; firebricks and crucibles were also made here.


The early history of RAINFORD is obscure. In 1324 it was held by Robert de Lathom in socage, without any service; (fn. 3) it descended from the Lathoms to their heirs the Stanleys, (fn. 4) and the earl of Derby is the lord of the manor. No manor court is now held, but eighty years ago one used to be held on the first Tuesday after Easter. (fn. 5) The land was early divided among a large number of free tenants, one or more of whom took the local surname, (fn. 6) others being known as Haysarm, (fn. 7) Parr, (fn. 8) and Forshaw, (fn. 9) but no connected history of these families can be given.

The descent of HAYSARM, now owned by Lord Derby, is to some extent cleared by pleadings of 1539–40. Alan Haysarm, seised of the hall and estate, granted it to his son John, with remainder to Alan's sister Alice, wife of Thomas More. As John died childless the hall and lands were claimed by John Marsh, son and heir of Henry, son and heir of Janet, wife of John Marsh and daughter and heir of Alice. The plaintiff further alleged that the said Alice was formerly in the custody of one Margaret Haysarm, who in conjunction with her husband Jenkin Parr caused her to marry Thomas More, Parr's servant, and that by More's consent a Robert Parr obtained possession. Edward Parr, the actual holder, in defence stated that the said Robert, his grandfather (died 1492), was in lawful possession, and was followed by a son and heir William (died c. 1536), to whom Edward (born 1489) had succeeded as son and heir. (fn. 10)

The number of the free tenants in 1246 is indicated by the complaint by Richard Whitehaud and Alice his wife, and Henry de Lascelles and Agnes his wife, against Alan de Windle, Hugh the Serjeant, and twenty others, including Cecily de Rainford, as to 10 acres, of which the plaintiffs alleged they had disseised them, and which hereupon were restored to them. (fn. 11) References to other early suits bearing witness to the same subdivision will be found in the notes. (fn. 12)

Sir Robert de Lathom, who died in 1324, is said to have given Rainford to his brother Thomas, who settled at MOSSBOROUGH. (fn. 13)

Richard son of Thomas de Lathom, perhaps acting as trustee, made a grant to Henry de Haysarm in 1325–6, and a further one ten years later; while, as Richard de Lathom, lord of Rainford, he leased four acres to the same Henry de Haysarm and Margery his daughter in 1340. (fn. 14) In the actions for dower brought by Maud widow of William de Rainford, in 1323–4, Richard the son and Joan the widow of Thomas de Lathom were principal defendants. (fn. 15)

Richard appears to have held the manor for about fifty years. He was twice married; by his first wife, Margaret, he had a son and heir Thomas, against whom his widow Hawise recovered dower in 1377. (fn. 16) The next to occur is John Lathom, of whom Sir Thomas Gerard held his land in Rainford in 1416. (fn. 17)

Some change in the tenure seems to have occurred at this time. The lands of Sir Peter Gerard, who died in 1447, were found to be held of Sir Thomas Stanley; (fn. 18) and in the much later inquisitions of the Lathoms of Mossborough no 'manor of Rainford' is claimed, but Mossborough is said to be held of the earls of Derby by the old 4s. rent or more. (fn. 19)

In 1444 Sir Thomas Stanley brought a suit against John Lathom of Rainford for cutting down trees and doing other damage. (fn. 20)

For the next century little is known concerning the family. (fn. 21) The inquisition after the death of John Lathom of Mossborough, taken in 1558, shows that he held lands also in Prescot, Wigan, Billinge, and Ashton in Makerfield. (fn. 22) His son and heir Henry was only seven years old at the time. He appears to have been brought up strictly in the Roman Catholic faith, and suffered much for it in Elizabeth's reign. 'On 22 March, 1583, the Council was advised that Henry Lathom of Mossborough had lately fled out of the county of Lancaster, and was supposed to be hiding in the house of Lady Egerton at Ridley in Cheshire. Shortly afterwards Mossborough Hall was visited by the queen's officers and ransacked. Not content with carrying off everything of a sacred character, they declared all the goods, movable and immovable, confiscated to the royal exchequer, and put seals on all the doors, chests, &c. Mrs. Lathom, who was in the house at the time, was treated in a most barbarous manner by the miscreants, who tore open her dress even to her under-garments, under pretence of examining her person for medals, rosaries, or other pious objects. At length Mr. Lathom was apprehended and imprisoned at Lancaster, where he was lying in 1590. In November, 1592, he was sent up to London, and brought before Archbishop Whitgift, who committed him to the Fleet. There he lay for some years, but ultimately appears to have obtained his release and to have returned to Mossborough.' (fn. 23) He died on 11 April, 1620; his heir being his son Henry, forty-three years of age. (fn. 24)

Henry Lathom the younger followed in his father's steps as regards religion, suffering accordingly. (fn. 25) He married Frances daughter of Richard Molyneux of Cunscough; by her he had three sons and several daughters. The eldest son, Thomas, took up arms in the royal cause in the Civil War, and was slain at Newark; (fn. 26) the second, Henry, became a monk at Paris; (fn. 27) and the third, William, came into possession of Mossborough. After his death it passed, by his daughter Frances' marriage with Robert Molyneux of Melling, to this family. (fn. 28) Their sons Robert and William in succession followed. (fn. 29) The last-named married Anne, daughter of John Harrington of Huyton; and, secondly, Gertrude Frances, daughter of James Gorsuch of Scarisbrick, and on his dying in 1745, Mossborough passed to Frances his daughter by the second marriage. She married Sir Edward Blount of Sodington in 1752. (fn. 30) Mossborough was sold by the trustees to the earl of Derby in 1786; (fn. 31) his descendant, the present earl, now owns it.

James Collier of Rainford compounded for his estate in 1649, (fn. 32) and Richard Hilton, as a 'Papist,' registered an estate here and at Westhoughton in 1717. (fn. 33)

Excluding Mossborough Hall, there were in 1666 only fifteen houses having three hearths and more. (fn. 34)

The improvement of Rainford Moss was begun about 1780 by John Chorley of Prescot. (fn. 35)

In 1785 Mr. Samuel Booth, excise officer, contributed £9, the earl of Derby £3 15s. 6d., and Edward Falkner £1 18s. 9d. towards the sum of £43 3s. 2d. in which the township was assessed to land tax.


Of the origin of the chapel and its ancient dedication no record has been found. In 1541 Lawrence Robe(y) was the curate in charge. (fn. 36) Its fate at the Reformation is unknown. In 1590 it was distinguished by having 'a preacher' as curate, (fn. 37) but in 1592 the curate, having given no monitions, was excommunicated, as were the principal man in the township, Henry Lathom, and his wife Margaret. (fn. 38) By 1610 it had sunk to the usual level of chapels of ease, being served by 'a reading minister,' who was 'no preacher.' (fn. 39) Mr. Cheeseman was curate in 1622. (fn. 40) The Parliamentary Committee, with their usual care for religion, in 1645 ordered that £35 should be paid out of the tithes of Prescot, sequestered from the earl of Derby, towards the maintanance of a minister at Rainford. (fn. 41) In 1650 Mr. Timothy Smith, 'an orthodox, godly, preaching minister,' was in charge, with a stipend of £40 out of the sequestrations; in addition there was a capital stock of £60 or more given by various benefactors for the minister, when there might be one, or for the poor of the township. On the chapel-yard was erected a small building called the chapel chamber, in which the minister had lived in former times, and which had also been used as a schoolroom. In 1650 Ralph Smith was in occupation during the town's pleasure. (fn. 42) Two years later, however, Mr. James Smith was minister at Rainford, with an allowance of £50 a year. (fn. 43)

The chapel remained in the hands of the Presbyterians, (fn. 44) apparently with the approval of the township, until about 1700, when it was recovered for the Established Church, a body of trustees being appointed, with the right of nominating the curate, the vicar of Prescot approving. (fn. 45) The township was formed into a district chapelry in 1869, (fn. 46) and the present church of All Saints was built near the old one in 1878. The registers date from 1718.

The later incumbents, nominated by the vicar of Prescot, have been (fn. 47) :—

1702 Ralph Sherdley
1722 Robert Peploe (fn. 48)
1739 Edward Jones, B.A.
1745 Richard Hunt
1778 Matthew Robinson
1807 William Ellam
1846 Charles Bullen
1853 Henry Walker
1855 Samuel Cavan
1873 Gilbert Coventry Master
1879 John Barnacle, M.A. (St. John's College, Cambridge)
1888 John Wright Williams
1892 John Bridger (fn. 49)

The old congregation of the chapel, on being evicted, continued their worship elsewhere. Reynald Tetlaw seems to have been minister for about forty years; his congregation numbered 665, of whom sixty-three had county votes. (fn. 50) A chapel was built in 1702 or 1703, and was succeeded in 1867 by the present Congregational church. (fn. 51)

The Primitive Methodists have two chapels, built in 1857 and 1883.

So long as the Lathoms held Mossborough the Roman Catholic faith and worship were maintained in the district, (fn. 52) and there seems to have been a resident priest down to the time when the estate was sold. (fn. 53) At Crank also in the seventeenth century the old form of worship was conducted, Anne Singleton in 1676 bequeathing £40 for the priest there, who was to 'celebrate every year six masses for the good of her soul and the souls of the family of Mossborough and Crank and the rest of the souls in Purgatory'; this was kept up until the beginning of the eighteenth century. (fn. 54) For about a century there was no Roman Catholic chapel in Rainford itself; but in 1873 land was purchased, and a school-chapel built; the church of Corpus Christi was opened in 1875. (fn. 55)


  • 1. 5,877, including eleven of inland water; Census Rep. of 1901.
  • 2. Lond. Gaz. 2 July, 1872.
  • 3. Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 33. An inquisition taken in 1370 after the death of Thomas de Lathom states that he held Rainford of the duke of Lancaster in socage; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ii, n. 7. Later inquisitions join Childwall, Rainford, and Anglezarke together as one knight's fee held of the barony of Manchester, a rent of 3s. being rendered; but apart from this nothing is known as to any dependence of Rainford on Manchester; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), 338, and Add. MS. 32104, fol. 425b, for the Inqs. p.m. of the second and fifth earls.
  • 4. Almost all the inquisitions respecting land held in Rainford state that it was held of the Stanleys or of the earls of Derby; see for example Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 168; ii, 128, 215.
  • 5. Baines, Lancs. Directory, 1824, ii, 706. There are numerous court rolls at Knowsley, seventeenth to nineteenth century.
  • 6. Randle and Ralph de Rainford were among the witnesses to a charter granted by Robert son of Henry de Lathom, in the time of Richard I; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 353. Ralph de Rainford appears in 1202 in a fine by which he acquired a part of three oxgangs of land in Rainford, between Blackstone clough and Launclough; the bounds being: From Blackstone clough to Brokkar lee, and thence to Birchley (in Billinge), and downwards to Sankey Brook. The annual service was to be 2d.; and Ralph and his men were to have common of pasture as well in wood as in plain; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 15. A grant by John de Westlegh among the Norris deeds (B.M.), n. 934, shows the same place-names. It was made to Thomas son of Saylsel (? Cecily) de Dalton; and in addition land in Roudicroft was granted, the bounds beginning at the pit at the spring-head and following the syke to Russilache, and thence to Sankey; along this to Launclough. In 1208 Siward de Derwent and Juliana his wife, who in 1246 held part of Halsnead in Whiston, acquired from William de Rainford part of his three oxgangs of land, between the place called Bicswahe and Holcroft Ford, tenable by the free service of 6d.; Final Conc. i, 29. William, son of Hugh, and Emma his wife agreed with Adam, son of Hugh, and Agnes his wife, concerning half an oxgang of land in Rainford in 1256; ibid. i, 127. In 1288 Adam de Rainford claimed common of pasture for certain land of which he alleged Robert de Lathom had disseised him; Assize R. 1277, m. 32a. There were at that time two Adams, one being son of John and the other son of Benedict; Assize R. 408, m. 65. The former Adam was great-grandson and heir of John de Westleigh, who had been enfeoffed of land in Rainford by a certain Hawise, grandmother of Richard son of Henry at the Cliff, claimant in 1292. Adam son of John de Rainford in 1292 granted to John son of John de Rainford land in the Lund; Blundell of Crosby evidences, K. 277. Adam son of John the rector of Westleigh held land in Rainford, of which he granted a portion to Cockersand Abbey; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 614. His charter mentions Luthecrofts Head, Bicshaw, Holcroft, and Aldcroft in the description of the boundaries. Alan, another son of John de Westleigh, gave 4 acres on Shishaw Bank to Cockersand; ibid. ii, 615. The land granted by Adam de Westleigh was the subject of a quitclaim by Richard de Wolfmoor and Cecily his wife in 1272; ibid. ii, 615. Richard and Cecily had ten years earlier confirmed to Agnes de Crookhurst in Billinge half an oxgang of land in Rainford; Final Conc. i, 141. The abovenamed Ralph de Rainford had in 1202 land in Wolfmoor (in Lathom); ibid. i, 16. In 1290 Ralph de Bickerstath sued for the recovery of certain land of which he asserted Adam de Rainford, William de Rainford, and William his son and a number of others had disseised him; but on inquiry it was found that the land was in Rainford and not in Bickerstaffe; Assize R. 1288, m. 12. William de Rainford was one of the defendants to the suit of Richard at the Cliff already mentioned; he called the abbot of Cockersand to warrant. He was also defendant in a claim by Adam de Rainford, but the latter was non-suited; Assize R. 408, m. 58. Maud, widow of William de Rainford, was plaintiff in 1323–4; De Banc. R. 248, m. 69 d. William son of William de Rainford occurs in 1332 as defendant in a plea by Adam de Vesey and Margery his wife, widow of William de Crookhurst, concerning dower in six messuages, 200 acres of land, etc. in Rainford; De Banc. R. 292, m. 482d. An exchange of lands was made in 1354 by John son of William de Rainford, and John son of Alan son of Dandi; Kuerden MSS. iii, R. 1, 477. The bishop of Lichfield in 1391 granted John de Rainford a licence for the celebration of divine service by a priest in his oratory in his manor house at Rainford; Lich. Epis. Reg. vi, fol. 127. Henry brother of John de Rainford held the manor in 1443; his brother's widow Margery held part in dower; Knowsley D. bdle. 301, n. 1, 2. In 1451 the heir of John de Rainford paid 4d. to Cockersand for the abbey's manor in the township; and in 1501 the earl of Derby paid it; Cockersand Chartul. iv, 1242–7. The above-named Adam son of Benedict had a son Alan, defendant in several suits in 1323 and later years; he may have been father of the John son of Alan de Rainford who purchased land in 1356 from Richard son of Gilbert de Eccleston and his wife; Assize R. 425, m. 1 d, 3; 426, m. 6. In this case Robert son of John de Rainford was said to have enfeoffed the defendants. Alan de Rainford occurs in 1361; Assize R. 441, m. 3 d. An Alan de Rainford was reported as one of the invaders of several of Sir Robert Holand's manors in the time of Edward III; R. of Parl. ii, 380. Many other instances of the local name may be found in the Plea Rolls; also in Kuerden fol. MS. p. 98, n. 343; iii, R 1, T 2.
  • 7. Adam de Haysarm granted to Henry his son, for a rent of 22d. land in Rainford held of Alan de Westleigh, Adam his brother, and Benedict de Rainford. This was, perhaps, about 1260; later, Henry son of Adam de Haysarm transferred the grant to his brother Richard, who, in addition to the 22d. rent, was to give a barbed arrow every year; Kuerden MSS. iii, R 2. Richard de Haysarm, sen. was defendant in 1323–4; De Banc. R. 248, m. 69 d. Land was settled on Henry son of Richard de Haysarm in 1325–6, with remainders to his sisters Amabel, Mary, Alice, and Agnes. Henry de Haysarm and his wife Ellen are mentioned in 1336; and a daughter Margery in 1340; Kuerden, iii, R 2.
  • 8. In 1358 William de Parr of Rainford and Katherine his wife were defendants in a claim made by William son of Richard de Fazakerley respecting a messuage and land in Rainford; Assize R. 438, m. 3d. Alice widow of John de Parr of Rainford gave a release of her lands to Alan de Ditton and Richard her son in 1426–7; Kuerden MSS. iii, R 1, n. 417. She was Alan's sister; Blundell of Crosby evidences, K. 68, 97, 104. John son and heir of Richard Parr held lands here in 1503; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 96, m. 3.
  • 9. Forshaw is a contraction of Fouroaks Shaw; the ancient spellings are numerous—Fouracshagh, &c. In 1292 Robert, Roger, Alan, and Adam de Forshaw were defendants to the claims made by Richard at the Cliff; Assize R. 408, m. 65. Of these Robert and Adam called Adam son of John de Rainford to warrant them; Roger said his tenement was the right of Amery his wife; and Alan held by the law of England, of the inheritance of Adam his son. There are several early grants to Robert son of Alan de Forshaw; William son of Hugh de Rainford gave him land called Shalinghead; Adam son of John de Rainford, an acre in his waste; and Alan son of Richard de Barrow, a part of the Lund next to Raueden; in 1291 the above Adam de Rainford leased Ramdencrook to him for twelve years; Blundell of Crosby evidences; K. 69, 74, &c. A settlement of certain land was made by Adam de Forshaw in 1315; it was to go to his son Robert, or in default of heirs, successively to his other children, Alan, Mariota, and Alice. Roger son of Adam put in his claim; Final Conc. ii, 21. It appears from a later plea that Roger was Adam's son by his first wife Alice, and Robert by his second, Margery. The tenement had once been held by Adam de Haysarm, who gave it in free marriage to Alan de Forshaw and Alice his wife; their son and heir was the Adam above mentioned. Robert the son of Adam was still under age in 1323; Coram Rege R. 254, m. 57 d. Margery widow of Adam de Forshaw put in a claim against Robert in 1325–6; De Banc. R. 260, m. 3. Robert was a minor at his father's death; Assize R. 425, m. 3 d. Four sons of Roger de Forshaw—Alan, William, Roger, and Randle—were charged with assaulting Thomas Baudrick at Rainford in 1348; De Banc. R. 356, m. 511 d. The name does not occur frequently after this.
  • 10. Duchy of Lanc. Pleadings, Hen. VIII, xii, M3; Depos. xxxv, P1. Edward Parr made a settlement of his lands here by fine in April, 1555. One of the same name was freeholder in 1600 and 1628; Pal. of Lanc. Feet. of F. bdle. 15, m. 37; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 242; Norris D. (B.M.) From a deed of 1658 it appears that Edmund Parr had sold lands in Rainford to Thomas Bowyer, who agreed to give him the refusal in the case of re-sale; Croxteth D.
  • 11. Assize R. 404, m. 4. The plaintiff also made charges of assault; ibid. m. 19. If each of these free tenants had an average holding of half an oxgang of land, the portion of Rainford held by them would amount to a plough-land and a half. That some of the holdings were much larger than this is shown by references already given, and by a claim put forward by Andrew Scales in 1275, by which he demanded an oxgang and a half of land from Adam de Westleigh, the same from William de Crookhurst and Emma his wife, and half an oxgang from Richard de Barrow; De Banc. R. 11, m. 75. Two years later William de Lycester (or le Teynturer) and Margaret his wife claimed dower in a messuage and half an oxgang of land held by Richard de Barrow; ibid. R. 21, m. 62 d.; 23, m. 62.
  • 12. Besides those cited above one may be mentioned which came before the judges frequently for several years. In 1313 Margery daughter of Richard de Loughfield, and her sister Christiana, then wife of William de Woodfall, claimed from Robert son of John de Rainford and others certain lands of which they said their uncle Roger, son of Amice de Rainford, had been disseised. De Banc. R. 199, m. 75 d.; 206, m. 202, &c., to R. 223, m. 87 d., when the claim appears to have been decided in their favour. The same plaintiffs appeared in 1324 against Robert de Forshaw and Alan son of Adam de Rainford; Assize R. 425, m. 1 d.; 426, m. 6. In 1321 William de Woodfall and Christiana his wife sold some of their land to Richard son of Robert de Holland; Final Conc. ii, 44. Ralph de Bispham of Billinge had lands here in 1453, and Thomas Bispham and others appear in the time of Elizabeth; Blundell of Crosby evidences, K. 58; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 20, m. 112; 35, m. 19; 45, m. 78. In the latter period the Lyon family appear as purchasers; ibid. bdle. 35, m. 133; 50, m. 191; 55, m. 99. In the seventeenth century the Lyon family had lands here; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 35, m. 133; 50, m. 191; 55, m. 99; Exch. Depos. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 35.
  • 13. There does not seem to be any evidence of this grant extant, nor yet of the parentage of Thomas. Ormerod, in his account in the Parentalia, 67, refers only to the 'Lancashire pedigrees.'
  • 14. Kuerden MSS. iii, R. 2. Richard de Lathom is first in the contributors in this township to the subsidy of 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 22.
  • 15. De Banc. R. 248, m. 69 d. From Richard she claimed a third of 12 messuages and lands, and from Joan a third of 6 messuages, &c.
  • 16. De Banc. R. 458, m. 51; 463, m. 67. Thomas de Lathom of Lathom, who died in 1370, was found to have been seised of the service of Richard de Lathom, who held of him the manor of Rainford in socage by a rent of 4s.; under Richard he himself held a plot of land called the Hurstfield, by a rent of 21d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ii, n. 7.
  • 17. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 124.
  • 18. Towneley's MS. DD. n. 1465.
  • 19. Possibly there was some breach in the succession. The old pedigree states that John Lathom, son of the last-named John, was killed by Alan Rainford in 1437–8; Visit. of 1613 (Chet. Soc.), 106 —the only recorded pedigree.
  • 20. Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 6, m. 6; 7, m. 2b; 8, m. 15b; 9, m. 11b.
  • 21. John Lathom of Mossborough, gentleman, was summoned to answer the king on some charge in 1467, and five years afterwards was said to have been outlawed; Pal. of Lanc. Chanc. Misc. bdle. 1, file 10, n. 24, 23. Henry Lathom and Elizabeth his wife were complainants in 1503 as to trespass in Billinge; ibid. file 6, n. 33. In the pedigree she is called 'daughter and co-heir of — Eyves de Billinge.'
  • 22. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, n. 2. The Rainford estate is described as a capital messuage called Mossborough, with 11 houses, 3 cottages, 100 acres of land, 40 acres of meadow, and 140 acres of pasture, held of Edward earl of Derby by knight's service and a rent of 4s.; the value being estimated at £13 18s.
  • 23. Gillow, Bibliog. Dict. of Engl. Cath. iv, 146, quoting Bridgewater's Concertatio Eccl. Cath. (ed. 1594), fol. 223, 415; Crosby Rec. (Chet. Soc. new ser.), 22, 23; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 234, 246, 261, 262. In 1599 Bishop Vaughan reported Henry Lathom as one of the chief harbourers of seminary priests, and desired that he and others might be 'bridled from above and brought in with a strong hand'; Foley, Rec. S.J. i, 641 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. cclxxiv, n. 25).
  • 24. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 205. The rent is this time given as 5s. 4d. Of the 586 acres stated to be included in the Rainford portion, it is noticeable that 380 are described as moor, moss, heath, and briar. Besides the heir he had six other sons, all of whom became Benedictine monks, some returning to England to serve on the mission. In consequence of the practice of taking a fresh name on entering the order it is not always possible to be certain of the identity of the persons. John, Thomas, William, and George were mentioned in a settlement made in 1597, and there were two others, Vincent and Gabriel; all of them had died, unmarried, before 1652; Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 66. Thomas became a monk at Compostella before 1585 and died at Douay in 1624; William, after education at Douay, joined the Benedictines of Dieulwart, taking the name of Switbert; he died as chaplain of Mossborough in Dec. 1640; George was professed at Douay in 1619 and died in 1646; Gabriel was the first monk to be professed at St. Edmund's, Paris, in 1622, and died in 1635; Vincent, professed the same year as Gabriel, at Douay, died in 1640. These particulars are from Mr. Joseph Gillow's essay in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 128, 130, 136, 145. See also Wills (Chet. Soc. New Ser.), i, 218.
  • 25. 'Mr. Lathom and his five brothers, all priests, were at the meeting at Holywell in 1629'; Foley, Rec. S.J. iv, 534 (quoting S.P. Dom. Chas. I, cli, n. 13). His lands, among those of other recusants, were leased by the king in 1623 to Anthony Croston; Pat. 21 Jas. I (27 July). In 1628, as convicted, he paid double to the subsidy; Norris D. (B.M.). He made a settlement of his property in 1632, and died about Christmas, 1648, having been 'impotent in his limbs' for ten years previously, and having two-thirds of his property sequestered for recusancy; Royalist Comp. P. iv, 65, 66. In 1641 Frances wife of Henry Lathom, also Thomas, Anne, Margaret, and Frances Lathom, were on the recusant roll; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 240.
  • 26. Gillow, Bibliog. Dict. ut sup.
  • 27. Gillow in Trans. Hist. Soc. ut sup. 136. He was professed in 1640 at St. Edmund's, Paris, taking the name of Augustine; he died in 1677. From the account of Mossock of Bickerstaffe it appears that he laboured in Lancashire.
  • 28. William Lathom married Mary daughter of Sir Cuthbert Clifton; her second husband was Lawrence Breres of Walton; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 59, 86. He held the estate but a short time, dying in March, 1652. In 1662 Lawrence Breres and Mrs. Frances Lathom were living at Mossborough; Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xvi, 134. Mary Breres was there four years later; Lay Subs. 250–9. The house had twelve hearths, ranking third in the parish of Prescot. The sequestration of two-thirds of the estates continued, but on William's death Roger Bradshaw of Haigh, guardian of the daughter and heir, Frances Lathom, then about five years of age, petitioned the Parliamentary Committee for a removal of the sequestration, on the ground that she was as yet 'no ways guilty of any fault.' The guardianship had been entrusted to Roger Bradshaw as the nearest capable relation on the mother's side. See Royalist Comp. P. iv, 64–7. She was married in 1664; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 202. Frances Molyneux of Mossborough, widow, and her son and heir Robert are mentioned in a lease of 1688–9; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 242, from a Roll of Geo. II at Preston.
  • 29. From the Halsall registers it appears that Robert Molyneux was born early in 1668, and William in Sept. 1669. The former married Anne daughter of Sir James Poole of Poole in Wirral, and in 1717 registered his estate in Rainford, valued at £310 4s. 1¾d. a year, the remainder being to his wife Anne and his brother William; Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 115. His mother Frances is mentioned. He was living in 1725; Piccope MSS. iii, 230, from 12th R. of Geo. I, at Preston. His will was proved in 1729. William Molyneux at the same time was in possession of the house at Melling, registering an estate of £80 there; Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 122. He received Aigburth Hall from his brother-in-law John Harrington and afterwards sold it; see the account of Garston. The inscription in Melling church, placed there by his daughter Lady Blount, records that he died on 11 March, 1744, aged seventy-five, and his widow Frances on 18 October, 1750, aged fifty-five; they were not married till 1732; Piccope MSS. iii, 250, from the 5th R. of Geo. II at Preston. The will of William Molyneux mentions his manor of Ravensmeols and his capital messuage of Mossborough Hall; his daughter Frances was his heir, and a cousin, Robert Billinge, son and heir of John Billinge, was also named; ibid. 274, from 18th R. of Geo. II, at Preston.
  • 30. G. E. C. Complete Baronetage, ii, 203. Lady Blount died in 1787.
  • 31. Knowsley D.
  • 32. Royalist Composition P. ii, 73; he seems to have taken arms for the king in the 'first war.'
  • 33. Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 106.
  • 34. Lay Subs. 250–9.
  • 35. An account of his work may be seen in the Agricultural Surv. of Lancs. published in 1795, p. 99.
  • 36. Clergy List of 1541–2 (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 15.
  • 37. Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 248 (quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, n. 4).
  • 38. Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), x, 193.
  • 39. Kenyon MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), 12. One Harper was 'reader' in 1609; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 298.
  • 40. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 65. A Mr. Pyke was there in 1638; Prescot Church Papers. 'Before 1634 there were no seats in the chapel, except those belonging to the ancestors of Henry Lathom of Mossborough, upon whose ground it is said the chapel was built; but in this year there was a distribution of seats, made by commissioners appointed by the bishop; upon which distribution, over against the name of every person who had a seat assigned to him [were recorded] the sum he was to pay the minister for his wages, and another sum for his "fifteen" or assessment towards the repair of the chapel'; Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 213.
  • 41. Plundered Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 11.
  • 42. Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 79. Timothy Smith signed the 'Harmonious Consent' of 1648.
  • 43. Plundered Mins. Accts. i, 117, 248. The allowance now was from the tithes of Culcheth, sequestered from Mr. Culcheth, recusant; the endowment of the chapel itself did not exceed £5 a year. In 1649 and 1650 James Smith had been minister of Atherton; Commonwealth Ch. Surv. 57; Plundered Mins. Accts. i, 69, 119. Timothy Smith was in 1657 admitted to Longridge; ibid. ii, 202.
  • 44. Baptisms by Mr. Bradshaw, preacher at Rainford chapel, nonconformist, are recorded in 1677 in the Prescot registers. It is related that he retained the chapel without conformity by the connivance of friends on the bishop's staff and the neighbouring clergy; one of the latter would read the statutory services once or twice a year in the chapel, and then the wardens, being merely asked whether the service was read, were able to answer in the affirmative; Bridgeman, Wigan Church (Chet. Soc.), iv, 759. Nightingale gives a reference to the Nonconformists' Mem. (1802), ii, 364. Among the 'Presbyterian parsons and their meeting-places' in 1689 was James Bradshaw, of Rainford chapel; Kenyon MSS. 231.
  • 45. Gastrell, loc. cit.; the curate's salary was then £19 7s., made up of £5 interest on the 'old stock,' £1 7s. on £27 collected by letters of request from Bishop Stratford (probably when the chapel was recovered), £5 from King's College, and interest on benefactions by Mr. Wells of Wigan, J. Lyon, Thomas Lyon, and Mr. Parr. The vicar of Prescot very quickly recovered his right of nomination; Ches. Sheaf (3rd ser.), i, 65.
  • 46. Lond. Gaz. 22 June, 1869.
  • 47. This list has been supplied by the present vicar, from one in the church, and supplemented from other sources.
  • 48. Administration granted at Chester, 1727. A Robert Peploe, born about 1660, graduated at Oxford in 1682; Foster, Alumni Oxon.
  • 49. Formerly served in Guiana and the Sandwich Islands.
  • 50. Oliver Heywood, Diaries, iv, 320. His will is printed in full in Wills (Chet. Soc., New Ser.), i, 180–97. For John Marsh's benefaction, see End. Char. Rep. (Prescot), 1902, p. 93.
  • 51. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iv, 170–8; he mentions a local tradition that the nonconformists once worshipped in a cave in a field.
  • 52. The recusant roll of 1628 gives nineteen names at Rainford; Lay Subs. 131/ 318. Richard Hitchmough in 1716 reported that he had used a silver chalice and paten when officiating as priest at the hall; Gillow in Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiii, 145. In 1717 Bishop Gastrell recorded 120 families, with 8 'Papist,' 71 Presbyterian, and 5 Quaker families; there was a meeting place for the nonconformists. In 1767 there were seventy-one 'Papists' here. Gastrell, l.s.c.; Return in Ches. Dioc. Reg.
  • 53. It is stated that 'when Father George Fisher went to Appleton (about 1840) there was in the congregation an aged woman who had been baptized at Mossborough'; Liverpool Cath. Ann.
  • 54. Ibid.; Granke or Crank was sold by the executors of Richard Pennington of Muncaster to Mr. Pilkington of Rainford Hall.
  • 55. Ibid.