The hundred of Salford

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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'The hundred of Salford', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, (London, 1911) pp. 171-173. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]


containing the parishes of
ECCLES BURY (Part) and the Township of Aspull in Wigan

In 1066 King Edward held Salford, with its 3 hides and 12 ploughlands, its forest 3 leagues square with many heys and a hawks' eyry, and a hide in Radcliffe, where a second hide was held as a royal manor. The churches of the manor of Manchester had a plough-land in Manchester. The rest of the 'manor or hundred,' including Rochdale, was divided into twenty-one berewicks, held by as many thegns, assessed as 11½ hides and 10½ plough-lands, with extensive woodlands. The whole manor rendered £37 4s. for farm of the plough-lands. In 1086 the demesne was worth 100s.; there were two ploughs and serfs and villeins with one plough; and by the grant of Roger of Poitou five knights held 3 hides and 7 ploughlands, in which were thegns, villeins, and others, including a priest, having thirty-two ploughs; and the whole was worth £7. (fn. 1) The area was probably much the same as that of the existing hundred. (fn. 2)

The lordship of the hundred followed the same descent as the district anciently known as 'Between Ribble and Mersey,' (fn. 3) and with the honour and Duchy of Lancaster is now vested in the Crown. Nearly a third of the hundred continued to be held in thegnage, as the survey of 1212 shows, the parish of Rochdale being so held of the lord of Clitheroe; the principal military tenant at that time was the baron of Manchester, other prominent holders being the lords of Penwortham and Tottington—whose fees were acquired in the first half of the 13th century by the Lacy family and afterwards incorporated in the honour of Clitheroe—and the lord of Great Bolton. (fn. 4) These feudatories did suit to the hundred court of Salford from three weeks to three weeks. (fn. 5)


The administration was committed to a serjeant or bailiff. (fn. 6) In 1436 the king gave Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton the office of Steward of the Wapentake of Salfordshire, to descend by hereditary right; (fn. 7) by virtue of which grant the Earl of Sefton is the present high steward. The courts were formerly held at the Town Hall, Salford, (fn. 8) the ancient jurisdiction having been regulated and extended by an Act passed in 1846; (fn. 9) but they are now held in Manchester.

In 1237 a subsidy of a thirtieth of movable goods produced £81 7s. 8½d. for the hundred and £493 9s. 2d. for the whole county. (fn. 10) In 1332 the levy of a fifteenth of movable goods yielded £39 4s. for this hundred and £287 13s. 8d. for the whole county. This became the basis of the 'fifteenth,' amounting to £41 14s. 4d. for the hundred and £329 16s. 4d. for the county, which was regularly levied until the imposition of the Land Tax in 1693. Under the provisions for the levying of that tax at the rate of 4s. in the pound on the profits of land and 6 per cent. on personal estate, the valuation of this hundred amounted to £5,438 12s. 10d., that of the whole county being £21,265 16s. 8d. (fn. 11)

According to the certificate of a general muster made in 1574 this hundred supplied of furnished men 60 archers and 294 billmen, and of unfurnished men 72 archers and 309 billmen; total 735, out of 4,870 provided by the whole county.


  • 1. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 287.
  • 2. The possible exceptions are the township of Aspull, in Wigan parish; the northern extremity of Bury parish, now in Blackburn Hundred; and Saddleworth in Rochdale, now in Yorkshire.
  • 3. See the grant to Ranulf, Earl of Chester; Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 221; also the accounts of the honour of Lancaster and the hundred of West Derby in the present work. In 1257, during the minority of Robert son and heir of William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, the hundred was in the hands of Prince Edward by the king's gift; Lancs. Inq. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 205. In 1324 the issues of the hundred or wapentake amounted to £58 per annum; ibid. ii, 203.
  • 4. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 52–72.
  • 5. Ibid. 248, 268. Court rolls of the wapentake from 1324 to 1326 are printed in Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 150–64. The judices or doomsmen of Withington, Oldham, Middleton, Barton, Stretford, and Bolton were fined, as were a number of townships (p. 157). Other court rolls (1510 onward), surveys, and ministers' accounts are preserved in the Record Office.
  • 6. Ellis son of Robert [de Pendlebury] was master serjeant in 1199; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 116; but about 1222 Richard de Hulton held the wapentake at the will of the king; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 133. Henry son of Wenne was chief bailiff in 1246, and Henry de Lea in 1257; Assize R. 404, m. 16; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 205. In 1355 Adam del Hegleghes, bailiff, and his under-bailiffs were indicted for having ridden where they should have gone on foot; Assize R. 436, m. 1.
  • 7. Croxteth D. W 2. The grant was renewed and confirmed in 1446, and in later times; ibid. W 3, &c.
  • 8. About 1857 the court leet for the hundred was held twice a year at Salford Town Hall, but has long since ceased.
  • 9. 9 & 10 Vict. cap. 126; the court was empowered to try actions up to £50. In 1868 a similar Court of Record for the city of Manchester (founded in 1838) was amalgamated with the Salford Court, and the sittings were transferred from Salford Town Hall to Manchester. The Earl of Sefton, as hereditary steward, used to nominate the registrar, but now the City Council nominates him. The judge is appointed by the Crown through the chancellor of the duchy, and he appoints the bailiff.
  • 10. Lancs. Lay Sub. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches. xxvii), 50. Manchester township paid £5 and Bury parish £6.
  • 11. Exch. K.R. Accts. of Land and Assessed Taxes, 1693.