Townships: Great Crosby

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

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'Townships: Great Crosby', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907), pp. 91-95. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Townships: Great Crosby", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907) 91-95. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Townships: Great Crosby", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, (London, 1907). 91-95. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section


Crossebi, 1176; Major Grosseby, 1211; Crosseby, 1212; Micle Crosseby, 1292; Much and Great Crosby were both used in the sixteenth century.

The ancient township of Great Crosby, which includes Waterloo, lies on the northern shore of the estuary of the Mersey, with a level sandy beach extending over three miles from north-west to southeast; it stretches inland some two miles, and has an area of 2,168 acres, (fn. 1) of which 1,907 acres belong to the present diminished township. The population in 1901 was 7,555, and that of Waterloo 9,839.

The country is flat and sandy, being in places still very marshy, so that deep ditches, especially in the north, are required to drain the fields and meadows. The crops grown are principally oats, rye, and potatoes. At Hall Road there are golf-links on both sides of the railway, and a broad stretch of sandhills, yet unbuilt upon, extends along the northern half of the sea coast. The geological formation consists of the keuper series of the new red sandstone or trias, being represented almost entirely by lower keuper sandstones, but in the southern part of the township the waterstone is found overlying the former. From the shore inland for three-quarters of a mile the underlying formation is obscured by blown sand.

The village, which lies more than a mile inland, is becoming modernized and growing quickly, especially along the principal road, that from Liverpool to Southport, which crosses the township in a northerly direction, with roads branching off to the shore and to Thornton. The Liverpool and Southport line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, opened in 1848, with stations at Waterloo and Blundellsands, also passes through the township. An electric tramway connects Great Crosby with the Seaforth terminus of the Liverpool Overhead Railway.

The township of Waterloo has been carved out of the southern part of Great Crosby. To the north of it are Brighton le Sands and Blundellsands; these places consist principally of modern residences, which afford Liverpool people convenient dwellings at the seaside. In 1889 Colonel Nicholas Blundell gave 3½ acres to the local board for a recreation ground. (fn. 2)

Crosby Channel forms the principal entrance to the Mersey; it is about three-quarters of a mile wide. By constant dredging a sufficient depth of water for the passage of the great liners is maintained. There is a lightship in the channel.

A copper token was struck in 1667 by a Crosby man. (fn. 3) A view of the place in 1715 is extant. (fn. 4) The village festival, known as the Goose Feast, was kept in October. (fn. 5)

The Crosby races used to be held once or twice a year—the first week of August was the proper time— on a course on the shore side of Great and Little Crosby, which had been 'stooped out' by William Blundell in 1654 at the request of Lord Molyneux. The date is noticeable. (fn. 6)

The little triangular green of the village is now paved. Here is the ancient St. Michael's Well, which has been covered in, and is surmounted with steps and a wooden cross. (fn. 7) There are sundials dated 1766 and 1795 at the Mulberries and Crosby House.

The 'submerged forest' off the coast of Great and Little Crosby was described as visible in 1796. (fn. 8)

A great boulder stone, found close by, is placed in the village, protected by an iron railing.

Lawrence Johnson, educated at Oxford and Douay, executed in 1582 and declared 'Blessed' by Leo XIII in 1886, was son of Richard Johnson of Great Crosby, and laboured for a short time in Lancashire. (fn. 9)

A local board for the part not included in Waterloo-with-Seaforth was formed in 1863; (fn. 10) this in 1894 became an urban district council with nine members.


GREAT CROSBY is not mentioned by name in Domesday Book, being in 1066 one of the six berewicks dependent on the royal manor of West Derby. (fn. 11) This dependency continued after the Conquest, the manor, assessed as four plough-lands, forming part of the demesne of the honour of Lancaster (fn. 12) attached to West Derby, until it was sold by Charles I in 1625 to Lord Mandeville and others. (fn. 13) From this time it descended with Sefton until in 1798 it was sold, the purchaser being a trustee of the Blundells of Little Crosby. (fn. 14) The present lord of the manor is Mr. William Joseph Blundell. (fn. 15)

Blundell of Little Crosby. Sable, ten billets, 4, 3, 2 and 1, argent.

This family's connexion with the place began in the twelfth century, John, count of Mortain, having granted it between 1189 and 1194 to his forester, Robert de Ainsdale, at a yearly rent of 100s. (fn. 16) This grant was probably revoked after John's rebellion in 1194, (fn. 17) for on coming to the throne he confirmed it. (fn. 18) It was, however, very soon resigned or forfeited, for in 1212 it was found that Robert de Ainsdale held only an eighth part of the manor, that is four oxgangs of land, and that by the service of being steward; (fn. 19) the tenure was converted during the reign of Henry III into fee farm, for 10s. yearly. (fn. 20) This portion remained with Robert's descendants, (fn. 21) whose history is given in the account of the adjacent manor of Little Crosby.

Another eighth portion or the manor was in 1212 held by Simon de Crosby. (fn. 22) He was followed about 1225 by Robert de Crosby; (fn. 23) Richard de Crosby (fn. 24) and others bearing the local name (fn. 25) occur later; but during the thirteenth century one Sturmi de Crosby succeeded, and sold it to William son of Henry de Walton. (fn. 26) This William was followed by his son Simon (fn. 27) and grandson Henry, the latter being returned as holding half a plough-land here in 1323–4. (fn. 28) Yet it would seem clear that before this date Simon de Walton had sold his lands to Nicholas Blundell, (fn. 29) for they were settled as dower upon Agnes, (fn. 30) the widow of Nicholas's son David; and were afterwards granted to his grandson Richard, who married Emma daughter of Thomas de Molyneux of Sefton. (fn. 31) They were in 1346 held by Emma's brother Thomas de Molyneux, perhaps as trustee. (fn. 32) There were no children by the marriage, and in 1352 William, as son and heir of Nicholas Blundell, a brother of David, claimed from Thomas son of Thomas de Molyneux two oxgangs of land in Great Crosby which he alleged should have descended to him. (fn. 33) It does not appear whether this estate reverted to the Blundells of Crosby or passed to the heirs of Thomas. (fn. 34)

Another portion, also originally an eighth, was held in 1212 by Roger Mallot or Malloc, (fn. 35) and descended soon afterwards to Robert Mallot. (fn. 36) Thomas Banastre held it by charter in 1298; (fn. 37) while in 1323–4 John and William sons of Roger had the same portion. (fn. 38) A sub-division followed, and in 1346 the tenants of each of the three oxgangs of land which composed the tenement were separately recorded thus: Richard de Wall, paying 1s. 6d.; Robert de Wyresdale, Roger Bolymer, and Margery daughter of Thomas Jordanson, 3s.; and William Rogerson with John del Dale, half; and Henry Woodward, half, 3s. (fn. 39) Some fragments can be traced further, and appear to have been acquired by Molyneux of Sefton. (fn. 40)

The greater part of the land of the manor was held in villeinage, and in the extent of 1323–4 already quoted is a list of the twenty-four holdings, the tenements ranging from a quarter of an oxgang to three and a half oxgangs, with a note appended that the oxgang of land contained 5 acres, the assized rent being at the rate of 4s. 6d. for each oxgang of land. It is further stated that 'the commonalty of the town of Crosby holds a certain field called the Ford, and pays 10s. yearly at Michaelmas.' (fn. 41) The extent of 1346 enters much more minutely into the customs and conditions of the township. (fn. 42) The free tenants remained as formerly, but William de Liverpool, clerk, and Nichola his wife, had acquired 6 acres next Balifield by charter of the lord's father. (fn. 43)

In 1246 the town of Great Crosby was amerced 40s. for wreckage found on the shore, because the booty was taken without warrant and hidden. (fn. 44)

In the reign of Henry VI there was a dispute between Henry Blundell, lord of Little Crosby, and the king's tenants of Great Crosby about the boundaries. By the assent of Sir Richard Molyneux, steward of the latter place, Thomas Lathom, then escheator, was made arbitrator, and taking sixteen of the tenants he rode with them himself to survey the boundary, setting up the meres then and there, after which Henry Blundell made a ditch along the boundary so marked out. (fn. 45)

It was an established rule that no man should build any house except within the precincts of the town, wherefore the king's tenants in 1532 complained that a certain Nicholas Johnson, supported by James Blundell of Ince and about forty companions, had built a house on a new site, in defiance of the other tenants and the constables of the town. Moreover 'the said Nicholas, with eight others, for about three weeks after the said house was built, armed with bows, arrows, bucklers, &c., kept watch by night, so that the said tenants durst not walk out in the evening as they had been accustomed to do, and see their goods.' Further, on the Eve of St. Michael in Monte Tumba he had gone into the chapel and kept the door shut, so that neither 'strange pilgrims' nor the townspeople could enter to pray or make their offerings. (fn. 46)

Queen Elizabeth in 1602 enclosed 200 acres of the common or waste lands of the manor, to be enjoyed by the tenants in severalty by copy of court roll according to the custom of the manor, paying 4d. for every acre improved, and to be subject to the usual fines. (fn. 47)

The Johnson family appear to have been among the principal tenants in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but it is difficult to trace the family back with certainty owing to the use of the christian name as surname in the precise sense, as 'son of John,' so that the surname varied from generation to generation. (fn. 48)

A number of 'Papists' registered their estates here in 1717—Henry Aspinwall of Croxteth, Richard Cartwright, Edward Hatton, John Hunt, John Johnson, Robert Johnson, John Lurting, Thomas Syers and Mary his wife, Thomas Thelwall, and Richard Westhead. (fn. 49)

The court rolls of the manor, dating from the time of Henry VIII, are kept in a box in St. Luke's church gallery. A few earlier ones are at Croxteth. (fn. 50)

Great Crosby Marsh was enclosed in 1816. (fn. 51) The old bull-croft, belonging to the township, stood in Marsh Lane; the assembly rooms are built upon a portion of it. (fn. 52)


Although from its name it may be supposed that there had been a chapel at Great Crosby from an early time, the first direct reference hitherto noticed is that quoted above, in 1532. From this it will be seen that it was a place of pilgrimage, and it may further be gathered that the feast day was St. Michael in Monte Tumba, 16 October. (fn. 53)

The Parliamentary Commissioners of 1650 described it as 'an ancient chapel well situated, the present incumbent being Mr. John Kidd, an able minister, who hath for his salary the tithes of the said place, being worth £30 per annum,' and they considered that it might be made an independent parish church. (fn. 54)

The old chapel of St. Michael was replaced in 1774 by a brick building with a tower. (fn. 55) This was pulled down in 1864, though the tower continued to stand until 1880. The present church of St. Luke, on the main road, some quarter of a mile from the old one, was built in 1854. There is a graveyard.

The church plate includes a paten (date 1724) given by Mrs. Elizabeth Martin in 1766; and a chalice (initials I.L.) of Elizabethan style, but apparently of eighteenth-century manufacture, the corresponding paten of which is among the Sefton church plate. There is a sundial (date 1752) in the churchyard.

The following is an imperfect list of curates-incharge and incumbents since the beginning of the seventeenth century (fn. 56); several of them were also masters of the grammar school:—

Bef. 1650 John Kidd, M.A.
1680 John Wareing, B.A. (? Emmanuel Coll. Camb.)
1711 Gerard Wareing, B.A.
oc. 1733 Robert Bellis
1733 Anthony Halsall
1756 Edward Owen, M.A. (Jesus Coll. Oxf.)
1758 Wilfred Troutbeck
1783 Nicholas Rigbye Baldwin, M.A. (fellow of Peterhouse, Camb.)
1817 Jacob Hodgson
1840 Edmund Boteler Chalmer, M.A. (T.C.D.)
1844 Richard Walker
1855 Joseph Clark
1870 Robert Love, M.A. (T.C.D.)
1902 Frederic Arthur Bartlett, M.A. (Pembroke Coll. Oxf.)

Modern churches connected with the Establishment are those of St. Nicholas, Blundellsands, and St. Faith, Great Crosby. The former was built in 1874, (fn. 57) the latter in 1900. The incumbents are presented by bodies of trustees.

The Presbyterian Church of England built a chapel at Blundellsands in 1898. There is a Wesleyan Methodist church at Blundellsands, built in 1891; it has a tall and graceful spire. The Congregationalists have a school church near the village, built in 1884. (fn. 58)

The Roman Catholic church of SS. Peter and Paul, Great Crosby, was opened in 1894. The mission was inaugurated in 1825. There are convents of the Sisters of Nazareth and the Sisters of St. Paul, the former occupying Crosby House. At Blundellsands the church of St. Joseph was opened in 1886. (fn. 59)

The grammar school was founded in 1619 by the will of John Harrison, citizen and merchant tailor of London, whose father had been born in Great Crosby. (fn. 60) Another school, at first called the Mistress's School, was founded by the will of Catherine Halsall, 1758. (fn. 61)


  • 1. Including 7 acres of inland water, in Census Rep. of 1901—Waterloo and part of Brighton le Sands being excluded; there are also 12 acres of tidal water and 807 foreshore. The area of Great Crosby and Litherland combined shows an increase of 344 acres over that recorded on the Ordnance maps of 1848.
  • 2. End. Char. Rep. Sefton, 1899, p. 27.
  • 3. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, 77; there is a specimen in Warrington Museum.
  • 4. Trans. Hist. Soc. vii, 179.
  • 5. Goose Feast Sunday was the nearest Sunday to St. Luke's Day. If the ancient day were St. Michael's on 16 October, St. Luke's, as the nearest remaining festival in the calendar, would probably be chosen after the Reformation.
  • 6. Cavalier's Note Book, 222–4, 253. It measured nearly two miles. The rules of the races, as fixed in 1682, are printed in the work cited, pp. 267–70. The races are often mentioned in the Diary of Nicholas Blundell, who was also a frequenter of the bowling green at Crosby.
  • 7. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xix, 178– 80.
  • 8. Gent. Mag. Lib. Topog. vi, 260; from the G. M. of 1796, where a plate was given.
  • 9. Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. iii, 635, where a number of references are given. Foster, in Alumni Oxon., calls him fellow of Brasenose, and refers to Oxf. Hist. Soc. xii, 18.
  • 10. Lond. Gaz. 24 April and 2 June, 1863. For Waterloo see below in the account of Litherland.
  • 11. See V.C.H. Lancs. i, 283a.
  • 12. See the account of West Derby; also Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.) 20, 23. In 1176–7 Crosby paid 36s. 8d. to the aid levied on the honour of Lanc.; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 35. After 1199 there appears an annual entry in the sheriff's accounts of '30s. of increment from Crosby'; ibid. 113, &c.
  • 13. Pat. 1 Chas. I, pt. ii, 24 May; Croxteth D. D. ii. The patent recites that the king, performing his father's intentions, granted to Robert Dixon and William Walley the manor of Great Crosby, in consideration of £12,500 paid by Henry, Viscount Mandeville. The sale included the rents, &c., of free as of bond and customary tenants, court-baron and fines, &c., in all valued at £13 18s. 0¾d., which sum was to be paid annually to the crown. On 13 March, 1625–6, Dixon and Walley transferred the grant to Sir Thomas Walmesley, William Fazakerley, John Nutter, and Edward Holt; Croxteth D. ibid. These four were no doubt trustees for Sir Richard Molyneux, the first viscount, as in the case of Liverpool; see Cal. of S.P. Dom. 1640, p. 200. This manor, however, does not appear in the inquisition taken after his death in 1636; but in 1646 the parliamentary commissioners reported that his son, the second viscount, had an estate in the manors of Great Crosby and Liverpool, and that there was a fee-farm rent payable out of the same of £13 18s. 0¾d.; the estate was worth over and above this rent, £30; Royalist Comp. P. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 150.
  • 14. Thomas Ryan was the purchaser for the Blundells. A deed of 9 Feb., 1799, completed the transfer. After the death of T. Ryan in 1802 his trustees or executors conveyed the estate to Clementina Blundell, widow of the late lord of Little Crosby; and in April, 1809, it was conveyed to their son and heir William Blundell; information of Mr. W. E. Gregson.
  • 15. See the descent in the account of Little Crosby.
  • 16. Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 124b, n. 172. The grant seems to be that of a manor, though the word is not used; it included the land with all its appurtenances in wood and open country, &c.; and all liberties and free customs.
  • 17. In 1194, Robert son of Osbert owed 100s. for having the goodwill of the king; implying that he had shared in the rebellion, or at least in its consequences; Lancs. Pipe R. 78.
  • 18. Kuerden MSS. loc. cit. n. 173; Rot. Cart. (Rec. Com.), xlb. This was granted at Sorham 18 June, 1199, in the same terms as the original. At the same time Robert engaged to pay 10 marks and a chaseur for the confirmation; Lancs. Pipe R. 106, 114, 127.
  • 19. Inq. and Extents, 23.
  • 20. Kuerden MSS. ii. fol. 254, n. 192. The grant altering the tenure was made by a charter of William de Ferrers, earl of Derby, to Adam de Ainsdale, and may therefore be placed between 1232 and 1248.
  • 21. Inq. and Extents, 117, 286. See for a later instance the inquisition after the death of Henry Blundell, taken in 1516, when it was found that he held various lands in Great Crosby from the king as duke of Lanc. in socage, by a rent of 10s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, n. 74.
  • 22. Inq. and Extents, 20. The service was 10s. a year.
  • 23. Pipe R. 10 Hen. III, n. 70, m. 9. Robert de Crosby was holding in 1226; Inq. and Extents, 136.
  • 24. Richard de Crosby attested local charters of Edw. I and Edw. II's time; Blundell of Crosby D. K. 231, K. 119, &c.
  • 25. Dicket of Great Crosby and Amabel his wife had grants of land there in 1285 from Adam son of Gilbert Midia of Great Crosby, and Roger son of Silvester of Great Crosby; Kuerden, fol. MS. 260, n. 575, 574.
  • 26. Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 254, n. 193. The four oxgangs are named; William de Walton was to pay 10s. of ancient farm and 4d. As Adam de Molyneux and Adam de Ainsdale were witnesses, the charter must be dated before 1250.
  • 27. In 1292 Richard son of Simon Sturmi complained that Simon son of William de Walton held half an oxgang in Great Crosby, of which William had disseised Sturmi; Assize R. 408, m. 35. In another plea the plaintiff is described as Richard, son of Simon son of Wyon; ibid. m. 29. He was non-suited. Simon de Walton was holding in 1298; Inq. and Extents, 287. In 1294 he granted to Richard son of Roger son of Abraham, half an oxgang in Great Crosby; Croxteth D. D. v, 2.
  • 28. Henry de Walton was holding in 1324; Rentals and Surv. 379, m. 3.
  • 29. Blundell of Crosby D. K. 119; by this charter Simon granted Nicholas all his lands in the vill, with his house and appurtenances, homages, services, &c. It is dated in April 1290. Another charter has been preserved (ibid. K. 231) by which Robert de Molyneux granted to Nicholas Blundell a windmill in Great Crosby, and all his right in the moiety of the site of the mill, formerly belonging to Simon de Walton and William de Aintree. In 1414 Edward Blundell, probably a trustee, granted to Nicholas Blundell two messuages and two oxgangs in Mickle Crosby which had belonged to Simon de Walton; Kuerden MSS. iii, C. 35, n. 330.
  • 30. She had the four oxgangs as dower, but they are not said to have been Simon's; Blundell of Crosby D. K. 176. In 1335 Agnes, widow of Richard de Holland of Sutton, enfeoffed Richard de Lund, clerk, of all her lands in Great Crosby, viz. one-eighth part of the manor; ibid. K. 208, K. 206.
  • 31. In 1336 Richard de Lund gave them to Richard son of Nicholas Blundell, and Emma daughter of Thomas de Molyneux of Sefton and their heirs; the whole or part is now described as 'formerly Simon de Walton's'; the reversion was to Nicholas Blundell; ibid. K. 121.
  • 32. Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 32; Thomas de Molyneux at the same time had four oxgangs and Richard Blundell four.
  • 33. Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1 (Lent), m. iv; also De Banc. R. 360, m. 106; R. 362, m. 128. The defendant stated that the charters alleged had been misunderstood. At the first trial the panels were quashed, because Henry de Chaderton, the duke's bailiff, was related to the defendant, the sheriff's wife Rose being also a relative. At the adjournment William Blundell did not appear and was non-suited. The charters appear to be some preserved by Kuerden. Nicholas Blundell, about 1315, had enfeoffed Richard de Molyneux, rector of Sefton, of his lands, and exchanged them for those which had belonged to Simon de Walton; Blundell of Crosby D. K. 159. Soon afterwards the rector granted to Nicholas and his wife Margery the lands in Crosby which had belonged to Simon de Walton as he had had them from Nicholas; the remainders being to Nicholas son of Nicholas, and then to Richard son of David Blundell (brother of the younger Nicholas); ibid. K. 122, and Kuerden fol. MS. 261, n. 487. Margery, as wife of Thomas Penreth, in 1335 demised to Cecily, widow of Thomas de Molyneux, her life interest in the lands at Great Crosby; Croxteth D. D. i, 1.
  • 34. On the one hand it appears that Richard son of Nicholas Blundell, and husband of Emma, had in 1345 granted all his lands in Great Crosby to Richard son of Sir John de Molyneux of Little Crosby; and four years later Nicholas, father of Richard, gave to his son Henry the reversion of all the lands which had been held by his mother Agnes, and then by Emma widow of Richard; Blundell of Crosby D. K. 207, K. 205. On the other hand Thomas de Molyneux, as already shown, was the tenant in 1346; and his heirs, the Osbaldestons, held lands in Great Crosby as part of their manor of Edge in Sefton; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xii, n. 28. The rent payable to the duchy by the Blundells remained at 10s. instead of being increased to 20s.
  • 35. Inq. and Extents, 20; two of the four oxgangs had been forfeited because 'his ancestors put them to farm to the king's rustics.'
  • 36. Ibid. 136; Robert was paying 7s. 6d., showing that one of the forfeited oxgangs had been restored.
  • 37. Ibid. 287.
  • 38. Rentals and Surv. 379, m. 3. The father, Roger, may have been the son of Silvester mentioned in a previous note; Silvester land occurs in 1346 among the field names. In 1292, however, Margery, widow of Adam de Crosby, complained that John son of Roger de Crosby, and Roger son of Quenilda de Crosby, were detaining a charter from her; Assize R. 408, m. 11.
  • 39. Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 32.
  • 40. In 1393 it was found that Robert Dickson of Great Crosby died seised of a messuage, an oxgang of land, and a sixth, which descended to Roger Robinson as son and heir. This Roger had a daughter Alice, wife of William Higginson, but she and her nine sons all died before her husband. This husband married again, and had a son Thomas Wilson, who took possession unjustly, as William Tue son of Agnes daughter of Margery daughter of Simon the Porter, brother of Roger Robinson, was the heir, although Margery's sister Alice had released her right to William Higginson; Croxteth D. D. v, 6. William Tue granted his inheritance in 1432 to John the Cook; he about eighteen months afterwards sold it to John son of John of Great Crosby—i.e. John Johnson —who shortly afterwards settled it on himself and his wife Margaret for life, and then to their son Robert and his sons Thomas and Nicholas; ibid. D. v, 7–12. Richard, son of John the Cook, also granted half an oxgang to John son of John de Crosby in 1429; ibid. D. v, 5. Other Croxteth deeds concern lands of the Newhouses family. In 1392 Henry son of Robert del Newhouses settled his hereditary lands on himself and his wife Alice, with remainders to their children John and Catherine, and then to Robert and William sons of Richard del Newhouses; ibid. D. v, 3–4. Richard Newhouse was a reeve of the chapel in 1552; Ch. Goods (Chet. Soc.), 104.
  • 41. Rentals and Surv. 379.
  • 42. Add. MS. 32103, fol. 143b. The villeins were liable for the reaping of the lord's meadows at Derby, and for carrying firewood during the lord's stay in his castle of Liverpool, as also timber for building the houses of the same castle; these services were valued at 1s. 9¾d. yearly for an oxgang in addition to the rent of 4s. 6d. above mentioned. The villein was bound to come to the lord's hallmote whenever summoned, could not marry his daughter nor allow his son to be coroner without payment for redemption to the lord, and must serve the reeve without reward. At death the eldest son (or nearest heir) of a villein had to make satisfaction for the holding, as well as he could, with the lord's minister, but the widow's right to a third would be allowed by a separate agreement; the chattels belonged to the lord wholly, after payment of the dues of the church and the debts of the deceased, one-third being retained by him, and two-thirds returned to the widow and the children or next heirs. A list of the tenants at will follows, one of them did the 'services of the Forland'; and also those of the riddings, the latter being rented at 1s. an acre. It appears further that Thomas de Molyneux was then bailiff of the wapentake. William Rogerson, a native, had part of an oxgang of the lord's escheat, as of the free holding of Emma daughter of Alan son of Simon, late his wife, and owed 9d. to the free rent of the wapentake; Roger son of Hugh, also a native by blood, had free land of the inheritance of Almar his wife.
  • 43. Knowsley D. bdle. 1402, n. 10; dated at Knowsley, 8 July, 1343, and granting 6 acres of waste in the marsh of Great Crosby, adjoining a place called the Bailliffeld, between the bounds of Crosby and Litherland, at a rent of 3s.; also granting an acre and a rood in Liverpool.
  • 44. Assize R. 404, m. 19.
  • 45. Lansd. MS. 559, fol. 74b. Nicholas Lurting was one of the tenants. Thomas, de Lathom was escheator in various years from 1431 to 1459.
  • 46. Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 4. Nicholas Johnson was the husband of Margaret Blundell, sister of James; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 85.
  • 47. Croxteth D. D. ii, 1.
  • 48. Some mention of them has been made above, with examples of the change of surname. It is noticeable that B. Lawrence Johnson was also known as Richardson, his father being Richard. 'The family was of considerable antiquity, and suffered greatly for its religion. . . . About the middle of the seventeenth century John Johnson of Great Crosby, the representative of the family, married Jane daughter of John Molyneux of New Hall. She was a widow in 1667, and was then paying her fines for recusancy;' Gillow, l.s.c. In 1459 Nicholas son of Jenkyn Johnson and Joan his wife and John son of the said Nicholas entered upon a messuage and half an oxgang by demise of John Golding; and in 1474 Henry Nicholason sought entry into a messuage and oxgang by demise of Alice widow of Nicholas Jankinson; Court R. at Croxteth. An interesting document among the Moore charters (n. 744) is a record of the descent of the property of Tomlin Wilson, who in the presence of Nicholas Blundell, the father of Harry Blundell lately deceased, had declared that his heirs were his daughter, the wife of Richard Johnson, and his grandson Thomas Linacre, son of another daughter. The former had a son, John Richardson, and the latter a daughter married to Wilkin Holt, and in 1470 Richard Johnson and William Holt were sworn before William Blundell of Ince and Robin Holt of the same to claim one half each and no more; and Thomas Linacre was to make no alienation. Feoffments by Richard Johnson of Little Crosby in 1447–8 mention lands there and in Ince Blundell; part he held in right of his wife Emma, then deceased, daughter of Thomas Wilson of Ince; Kuerden MSS. iii, C. 34, n. 437, 439. His son was John; ibid. n. 438. Nicholas Johnson of Crosby, aged sixty-six, gave evidence in a Downholland dispute in 1558; Duchy of Lanc. Depos. Phil. and Mary, lxxv, H. 3. The will of Nicholas Johnson, dated 24 April, 1610, and proved at Chester the same year, mentions his wife Elizabeth, his eldest son John, and other children—Richard, Nicholas, and Margery; also his grandchild Nicholas Johnson. This inventory, made 11 May, shows goods of the value of £234. The will of Jane Johnson, of the Moorside within Great Crosby, widow, dated 16 March, 1702–3, names her brother and sister Edward and Margaret Molyneux and other relations and friends, including Robert Breres of Walton Hall. She was a daughter of John Molyneux of Alt Grange. Her executors were to dispose of the residue of her estate according to a schedule annexed to the will. She devised £300 towards the maintenance of two youths, Edward son of Edward Molyneux of Altcar and Richard Smith son of Margaret Smith (who married a second husband, Thomas Widdowson of Bootle), and in 1716 this money was 'being paid to some Popish College beyond seas to make the said youths priests'; Payne, Rec. of Engl. Cath. 151, 126; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 203. Her house, still standing, was in 1666 the largest in Crosby, yet it had only four hearths; Lay Subs. Lancs. 250/9.
  • 49. Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 110, &c. For a son of Edward Hatton see Gillow, Bibl. Dict. iii, 163.
  • 50. In one of the Croxteth R. dated 1538, the officers are named as reeve, constables (2), aletasters (2), sworn men (4), and supervisors of wreck of the sea (2). The later rolls give bierlawmen, supervisors of waifs, estrays, and wreck of the sea, and chapel reeves.
  • 51. The Act was passed 28 Feb. 1812; and the award made four years later at the Ship Inn, Great Crosby. There is a copy with plan at the County Council Offices, Preston.
  • 52. End. Char. Rep. 1899 (Sefton), 26.
  • 53. For other notes, list of church ornaments, &c., see Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc.), ii, 268, 276, 277, where the chapel itself is valued at 30s.; and Ch. Goods (Chet. Soc.), 103.
  • 54. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 85. See also Plund. Mins. Accts. (same Soc.), i, 7.
  • 55. The church is called St. Luke's in 1836 in Baines's Lancs. (1st ed.), iv, 217. On the 6-inch Ordnance map, however, it is named St. Michael's, and so in Gore, Liverpool Dir. 1853.
  • 56. Compiled chiefly from the Bishops' Visit. Books.
  • 57. A school chapel, called St. Barnabas's, licensed in 1864, now the day school, was the origin of this church and parish.
  • 58. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. vi, 223. The congregation works and maintains a mission at Sandhills, Liverpool.
  • 59. Liverpool Cath. Ann. 1901; Gillow, Haydock Papers, 132. For the list of recusants in 1641 see Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xiv, 237.
  • 60. In 1570 Thomas Harrison and other inhabitants of Great Crosby had a dispute with the people of Litherland as to pasture of Great Crosby Marsh; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 393.
  • 61. See the End. Char. Rep. for Sefton, 1899, and the Educational Section of this work for these schools; also Trans. Hist. Soc. (New Ser.), xviii, 131– 72.