Townships: Droylsden

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

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'Townships: Droylsden', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1911), British History Online [accessed 16 July 2024].

'Townships: Droylsden', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Edited by William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1911), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024,

"Townships: Droylsden". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4. Ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill(London, 1911), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024.

In this section


Drilesden, 1502.

This township, (fn. 1) on the south side of the Medlock, has an area of 1,621½ acres. The surface is comparatively even, rising towards the eastern boundary, and falling on the north, towards the river. Droylsden proper (fn. 2) forms the eastern half of the township, and is parted from Clayton, the western half, by Edge Lane, running south from Newton to Openshaw; Little Droylsden (fn. 3) is a detached area of 2 acres in extent in the extreme east of Openshaw. In the south-east corner of Droylsden lies the hamlet of Fairfield.

The principal road (fn. 4) is that called Ashton New Road, leading east from Manchester to Ashton; (fn. 5) another road leads north-east from Openshaw near the eastern boundary of Droylsden; it is along this road chiefly that the houses are built, though at Clayton there is another group, forming an extension of Bradford. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's Manchester and Ashton railway cuts through the northern part of the township, and at Droylsden station (fn. 6) has a junction with the London and North Western Company's line from Stockport. The Manchester and Ashton Canal winds along near the southern boundary; at Clayton it has a junction with the Stockport Canal, coming from the south, and near Fairfield one with the Oldham Canal, from the north.

At Greenside, to the west of the village of Droylsden, is a cemetery.

A stone celt, some Roman coins, and an axe have been found in the mosses at the eastern end. (fn. 7)

There were coal-mines at Clayton; potter's clay has been found on the moss. In 1859 the older people still clung to farming and the hand-loom, and a few to hatting; oats were the principal crop. (fn. 8) Bleaching was introduced as early as the time of James I; (fn. 9) hat-making (fn. 10) and linen and cotton weaving (fn. 11) were ancient industries; but the first factory of the modern type was erected in 1785. (fn. 12) There are now several cotton mills, print and dye works, chemical works, and a rope walk in Droylsden; with similar industries, iron foundries, printing, and brickmaking in Clayton.

In 1666 the hearths liable to the tax numbered ninety-three. The largest houses were Clayton Hall (James Chetham), with eighteen hearths, and John Gilliam's with six. (fn. 13)

The government of the township was formerly in the hands of the constables elected annually at the town's meeting An Act for lighting Droylsden with gas was passed in 1860. (fn. 14) A local board was formed in 1863; (fn. 15) but in 1890 the Clayton moiety was taken into the city of Manchester, and became part of the new North Manchester township in 1896. The population of the remaining part, the present Droylsden, was 11,087 in 1901. (fn. 16) It is governed by an Urban District Council of twelve members. The institute, built in 1858, is now used as a school and council office.

The wakes, or rush-bearing of the Newton wakes, had a singular custom called Threedy wheel, introduced in 1814. (fn. 17) The stocks disappeared long ago. Clayton Hall and other places were supposed to be haunted by 'boggarts.' (fn. 18) 'Rocket,' for frock, occurs in the old township accounts.


Although a 'manor' of DROYLSDEN is spoken of in the 16th century the word seems to have been used improperly. The only manor in the township was that of CLAYTON, for four centuries the seat of the Byron family. (fn. 19) To Robert de Byron the elder Robert Grelley, between 1194 and 1212, granted fourteen oxgangs of his demesne of Manchester to be held by the service of half a knight. (fn. 20) The original grant was of Clayton and Barnetby; this was increased by land in Tunstead and two oxgangs of land in Failsworth, but Tunstead was soon afterwards surrendered. (fn. 21)

Byron. Argent three bendlets enhanced gules.

Robert de Byron married Cecily, and had several sons; (fn. 22) in 1212 Robert's heirs were in possession of his lands; but one son, Robert, who appears to have been the eldest, afterwards surrendered all his rights to his brother Richard, (fn. 23) and it was this Richard who had a grant of the king's moiety of Failsworth. Richard de Byron's name occurs as early as 1203; (fn. 24) several grants by and to him are known. (fn. 25)

The next known (fn. 26) in possession of Clayton was John de Byron, later a knight, who appears all through the latter part of the 13th century. (fn. 27) He was son of Richard, (fn. 28) probably a second bearer of the name. Sir John married Joan, with whom he had lands in the parish of Rochdale. (fn. 29) He acquired also the estate of Royton. (fn. 30) He and his wife Joan were still living in 1298. (fn. 31) He had a son John. (fn. 32) Sir John de Byron died before Easter, 1318, (fn. 33) and his widow Alice afterwards married John de Strickland. (fn. 34) Sir Richard, son of Sir John, succeeded; in 1308 he had obtained a grant of free warren for his demesne lands of Clayton, Butterworth, Royton, and other manors; (fn. 35) by his wife Agnes he had sons, James and John, (fn. 36) and he died about 1347. Sir James, the succeeding lord of Clayton, who died about five years later, left two sons, Sir John (fn. 37) and Sir Richard; and the former, who took part in the battle of Crecy and the siege of Calais, (fn. 38) dying without issue, was followed by his brother in 1380. (fn. 39)

Clayton Hall from the South-west

Sir Richard by his marriage with Joan de Colwick increased the family estates. (fn. 40) He died in June 1397, holding the manor of Clayton, and lands in Royton, Butterworth, Woodhouses in Ashton, and others outside Lancashire; John, the son and heir, was then only ten years of age, (fn. 41) and his wardship was granted to Sir John Ashton. (fn. 42) A settlement of lands in Droylsden was in 1415 made on the occasion of the marriage of Sir John Byron's daughter Elizabeth with Thomas son of Sir John Ashton. (fn. 43) Sir John is stated to have married Margery daughter of Sir John Booth of Barton, by whom he had three sons and five daughters. (fn. 44) He acquired lands in Blackley from Lord La Warre and in Gorton from Sir Robert Booth; (fn. 45) in 1435 he did homage to Nicholas Thorley, one of the feoffees of Lord La Warre; (fn. 46) and in 1440 he made a settlement of his lands in the counties of Lancaster, Lincoln, and Northampton. (fn. 47) Two years later he made a grant to John Byron, said to be the son of his younger son Nicholas, who ultimately became heir to the whole of the Byron manors and lands. (fn. 48) Sir John was sheriff of the county from 1437 to 1449; (fn. 49) when he was succeeded by his son Nicholas, a grant of the reversion having been obtained in 1444. (fn. 50)

Nicholas Byron remained sheriff till 1460. (fn. 51) He was made a knight the year following at the coronation of Edward IV, (fn. 52) but died in 1462, (fn. 53) when he was succeeded by Sir John Byron, above mentioned. Sir John, made a knight by Henry VII as he came from York in 1486, (fn. 54) died 3 January 1488–9, holding the manor of Clayton of the lord of Manchester in socage, by 7s. rent, also the manor of Blackley, with lands there and in Gorton, Royton, Butterworth, Ogden, and Ashton. His heir was his brother Nicholas, who in 1498 was stated to be thirty years of age. (fn. 55) Nicholas was made a Knight of the Bath in 1501 at the marriage of Prince Arthur, (fn. 56) and died three years later. (fn. 57) It would appear that before this Colwick had become the principal residence of the family, (fn. 58) and John, son and successor of Sir Nicholas, (fn. 59) is usually described as 'of Colwick'; he was 'not at home' at the Heralds' Visitation of Lancashire in 1533. (fn. 60) In 1540 he procured a grant of Newstead Priory, Nottinghamshire, (fn. 61) which afterwards became the chief seat of the family. He had no issue by his wife, and his connexion with Lancashire led to his living in adultery with Elizabeth daughter of John Costerdine of Blackley and wife of George Haugh. He had several children by her and afterwards married her. (fn. 62) In 1547 he made a settlement of his estates in favour of his bastard son John, (fn. 63) and died in 1567, expressing penitence in his will, (fn. 64) which contained his open profession of adherence to the old religion, as in his desire that an honest priest be hired to sing or say mass for his soul in Colwick Church, (fn. 65) and confirmed the grant of all his manors, lands, leases, &c., to his 'base son' John, whom he appointed executor.

This son, who was made a knight in 1579, (fn. 66) died in 1603, leaving as heir his son, a third Sir John Byron, (fn. 67) who, having many children and being encumbered with debts, sold the Lancashire estates, so that the connexion of the family with the county almost ceased. The manor of Clayton, with the appurtenances in Droylsden and Failsworth, was purchased by the brothers George and Humphrey Chetham in 1621. (fn. 68) By a settlement made in 1625 it was agreed that the survivor should take the whole in fee. (fn. 69) George Chetham died at Clayton about the end of 1626, without issue, (fn. 70) and Humphrey seems to have lived there for some years, (fn. 71) afterwards granting the hall on lease. (fn. 72) He died at Clayton on 20 September 1653, unmarried, and by a settlement he had made this manor passed to his nephew George, son of James Chetham of Crumpsall. (fn. 73) George Chetham died at the hall in 1664, (fn. 74) but the family do not seem to have resided there afterwards. Clayton descended, like Turton, to the heirs of Alice Bland, who is now represented by the Freres and Hoares. (fn. 75) Clayton Hall became part of the share of Peter Richard Hoare, as husband of Arabella Penelope Eliza Greene, great-granddaughter of Alice Bland. (fn. 76)

Clayton Hall stands in an open space on the north side of the new road from Manchester to Ashtonunder-Lyne (Ashton New Road). It is entirely surrounded by a moat, about 100 yds. square, still filled with water, the inclosed space measuring about 2 acres, the south-east portion of which is occupied by the house. The approach is from the south by a stone bridge of two arches across the moat.

The present building is but a fragment of the original house, and consists of a two-story block of timber construction measuring about 33 ft. in length from north to south and 20 ft. in width, to which has been added on the north a brick building probably of early 18th-century date, and on the west a corridor 6 ft. wide with a projecting staircase and gable over, which appears to be of 17th-century date. There are no traces of the rest of the building, which must have been considerably larger than at present, probably quadrangular, or of three wings. It is said that the north-west corner of the inclosure was the site of the chapel which was standing till the beginning of the 18th century. A licence for an oratory dated 1400 probably gives the date of its erection, and fragments of masonry said to belong to it have been discovered from time to time, and are lying about in front of the present house.

The timber building already referred to consists of two rooms on each floor divided by timber partitions which are not at right angles to its outer walls. This may be accounted for by the supposition that the south wing of the building, which must have abutted near this point, was not set at right angles to the east wing, and that the internal divisions of the east wing followed the lines of those which adjoined them in the south wing. The south wall, however, which is now of brick with a central stone chimney, is at right angles to the outer walls, having superseded a timber end which followed the line of the partitions.

The east front is the most interesting portion of the building with its projecting wooden bays forming an almost continuous line of mullioned and transomed windows. The added corridor on the west front is of timber and plaster on a lower stage of brick, the gable of the staircase being filled in with half-timberwork, while on the roof is a cupola containing a bell.

The newer northern part of the building has little interest, being built entirely of brick, with a central entrance doorway and windows on each side. At the back (east side) it stands about 8 ft. in front of the older structure, but the length of its frontage is about the same. By reason of the skew in the cross walls already mentioned there is a cavity between the walls of the older and newer parts of the building at their junction, diminishing in width from east to west. There is a door connecting the two houses between the corridor and the parlour of the later house, otherwise the buildings are quite distinct. The dining-room (parlour) of the 18th-century portion has a large projecting fireplace, and in the room above is a large hole behind the chimney - breast. The fireplaces in the older part of the house are of stone, but have been rebuilt.

Plan of Clayton Hall

Both parts of the house are covered with stone slates, the pitch of the 18th-century building being the flatter of the two. Over the timber building the original roof timbers remain at a fairly steep pitch, and the east slope is still intact. Over the west slope, however, a roof of flatter pitch running over the added corridor was constructed in 1863.

A very thorough restoration of the hall was made in 1900. The south wall on each side of the great chimney was then rebuilt and the 18th-century wing remodelled inside and new windows inserted in the front. The front of the older building was stripped of its coat of plaster and patched in brick, but the general aspect of the house remains unaltered. In front of the entrance is a mounting block with the date 1686 and the initials J. C. (James Chetham).

The bridge, as before mentioned, is built of stone, and is of two arches with a cut-water pier in the centre forming angular recesses above. It has a low parapet, and on the side next the house a tall iron entrancegate between two well-designed stone piers. The bridge was originally very narrow, but was widened at the beginning of the 19th century, when it assumed its present appearance.

The inside of the house contains nothing of its ancient fittings. The building now belongs to the Manchester Corporation, and the newer portion is used as a caretaker's house. The older part remains unoccupied, but some old furniture, said to have belonged to Humphrey Chetham, is kept in the lower rooms, a proposal to use the building as a museum having been at one time put forward.

The bell in the turret over the staircase bears the inscription: 'Je atende meleor,' together with a rose and crown. (fn. 77)

The old road from Clayton Hall after crossing the bridge ran eastward along the edge of the moat till it joined an old bridle path leading in a south-easterly direction to the Fold, an inclosure of about 4 acres, in which stood three timber buildings. From the Fold a narrow and winding lane led to Manchester. These buildings were designated the wheat barn, the oat barn, and the great barn. The wheat barn was converted into a farm-house (which is still standing); the great barn, which is described as having been a picturesque edifice with a steep-pitched thatched roof and with carved oak roof principals, was burnt down in 1852; the oat barn, which stood till about the year 1877, was a fine example of a building on crucks, 116 ft. in length and 25 ft. in width. It contained six pairs of crucks internally, but none in the gables, giving a span of a little over 16 ft. to each bay.

Among the ancient families which occur was one that assumed the surname of Droylsden. (fn. 78) The Ashtons of Ashton (fn. 79) under Lyne had lands, and the Barlows of Clayton are named also. (fn. 80)

Much of Droylsden appears to have been by the Byrons sold in small lots to the occupiers. (fn. 81) The Halls of Clockhouse were among the principal of these. (fn. 82) A few other names can be obtained from the inquisitions and other documents. (fn. 83)

The land tax returns of 1783 show that then Mordecai Greene paid nearly a third of the tax; the other considerable landowner was Edward Greaves, about a sixth. (fn. 84)

Droylsden was recognized as a township by 1620. (fn. 85)

For the Established Church, St. Mary's, Droylsden, was built in 1848; (fn. 86) the Crown and the Bishop of Manchester present alternately; while St. Cross's, Clayton, built in 1874, is in the gift of Mr. C. A. R. Hoare. (fn. 87)

Methodism made its appearance about 1779, but the first society was not formed till 1806, a cottage being used. A chapel was built in 1825. The Wesleyans have now three churches in the township; and the Primitive Methodists two, the first of them being erected in 1845. (fn. 88)

The Congregationalists began with a Sunday school in 1837; a special building was raised ten years afterwards, and a church in 1859. (fn. 89)

The earliest and most celebrated religious establishment is that of the Moravians at Fairfield. It was intended to be an industrial village exclusively of their own community, where their special discipline could be freely exercised. The land was acquired in 1783, and the chapel opened two years afterwards. (fn. 90)


  • 1. A valuable account of the township was published in 1859 by John Higson, a resident, under the title of Droylsden Past and Present. It contains (p. 57, &c.) an interesting description of the condition of the people in the early part of last century.
  • 2. This portion had in 1859 four hamlets—Fairfield, Edge Lane, Greenside, and Castle; the last name was derived from a dwelling built about 1790, and nicknamed Netherlands Castle; Higson, op. cit. 11, 15. 'The boundary line across the moss [at the east end] before its reclamation and allotment to adjoining estates, was indicated by long oaken poles, fixed upright at distances of from 20 to 30 yards apart'; ibid. 10. For the tenants' moss rooms see ibid. 160.
  • 3. The local legend respecting it is given by Higson, op. cit. 12. It was added to Openshaw in 1889.
  • 4. The condition of the roads in former times is described by Higson (op. cit. 19); they were repaired in short sections by the owners of the land, some well, some ill; ibid. 25.
  • 5. It was formed under a turnpike Act, 1825–6; ibid. 20.
  • 6. The line was formed in 1846; the station was at first called Lum.
  • 7. Higson, op. cit. 29, 30.
  • 8. Ibid. 33, 71, &c.
  • 9. Ibid. 82–5.
  • 10. Ibid. 86. In 1832 the village was 'chiefly inhabited by hatters;' E. Butterworth.
  • 11. Higson, op. cit. 86–8.
  • 12. Ibid. 89–100.
  • 13. Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 14. a 23 & 24 Vict. cap. 4.
  • 15. Lond. Gaz. 20 Nov. 1863.
  • 16. The area of this part is 1,010 acres, including 18 of inland water.
  • 17. Higson, op. cit. 63–6.
  • 18. Ibid. 66–71.
  • 19. The name is said to be derived from the village of Buron in Fresnoy le Vieux. Two of the family—Erneis and Ralph de Buron—appear in Domesday Book, holding lands in the counties of York, Lincoln, Derby, and Nottingham. The Byrons of Lancashire, ancestors of the Lords Byron of Newstead, are supposed to have descended from them, but the connexion, if any, is unknown. In Lancashire documents the prefix varies between de and le, and is sometimes absent; the surname has a great variety of spellings—Buron, Burun, Byron, Biroun, Byrun, &c.
  • 20. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 56. It seems to have been made up thus:—Clayton, 1 plough-land; Droylsden, 4 oxgangs; Failsworth, 2 oxgangs.
  • 21. Albert Grelley about 1175 gave land in Tunstcad, Norfolk, to Albert son of Robert de Kent, Robert de Byron being a witness; then Robert Grelley granted to Robert de Byron the same land in Tunstead, 'which his (Byron's) brother, Robert de Kent, had formerly held,' adding the Failsworth land, in order to make up the lands in Clayton and Barnetby to half a knight's fee; the surrender of Tunstead follows; the three deeds are tied together. Duchy of Lanc. Anct. D. LS. 187; see also the account of Failsworth. The relationship between Robert de Byron and Robert de Kent may have been by marriage.
  • 22. See the account of Failsworth, where Robert, Cecily, Robert their son, and John another son are mentioned. From the terms of Cecily's grant to Cockersand it might be supposed that she had an independent or hereditary title to the land in Failsworth, but this seems excluded by the terms of Robert Grelley's charter concerning it. Margery de Byron, widow (probably of Robert the elder), in 1213 claimed dower against Gilbert de Notton; Curia Regis R. 59, m. 3. There was perhaps some dispute as to the bounds of their moieties of Failsworth. Geoffrey de Byron and his descendants appear in connexion with Eccles during the 13th century. In a deed of not much later than 1200 there appear among the witnesses Robert de Bur' and Geoffrey his brother; Hulme D. no. 1. Another branch of the family a little later had an interest in Melling and other manors in West Derby Hundred.
  • 23. The Byron Chartulary, usually called the 'Black Book of Clayton,' was compiled about 1450, and seems to be the MS. now in the Bodleian Library, Rawlinson B. 460. A transcript of it, rearranged by Christopher Towneley in 1665, in the possession of W. Farrer, is that quoted in the following notes. The charters preserved in it relate mostly to Butterworth and other lands in Rochdale. Robert de Byron released to Richard his brother his whole right and claim in Clayton, Failsworth, and Droylsden, Richard paying 30 marks; Byron Chartul. no. 3/11. He further released to Richard 'the whole vill of Droylsden, to wit, that which I hold of him and the homage and service of Jordan Ruffus,' in return for 22 marks; ibid. no. 24/4. The said Jordan Ruffus (le Rous) granted to Richard de Byron the site of a mill; ibid. no. 25/5. A Robert de Byron occurs a little later in Ashton charters; possibly he was the brother of Richard.
  • 24. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 167.
  • 25. William de Notton, Alward de Awnley, and William de Werneth demised to Richard de Byron their claim to a parcel of waste near the Redebrook, and another; in future there should be free common up Harestoneshurst syke to the higher part of Bradley, and up Bradley syke between Wrigley and Bradley to Mossbrook; also in the higher moiety of Bradley; Byron Chartul. no. 22/29. The date is earlier than 1220; among the witnesses were Robert and Geoffrey de Byron. The land was apparently near the north-east corner of Failsworth. A supplementary grant, by Thomas son of Orm de Ashton, of the moiety of the land between Red Brook and Stony Brook, and the bounds of Werneth and the Medlock, provided that part should lie in common between the men of Ashton and Richard and his men of Failsworth and Clayton; ibid. no. 7/19. About 1220 Richard had some dispute with Thomas de Ashton respecting waste and destruction of land; Curia Regis R. 72, m. 21. Richard de Byron had the king's protection on going abroad in 1230 with the Earl of Chester; Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 360. To Robert Grelley Richard de Byron surrendered his common pasture right in the manor of Manchester, securing for himself and the men of Clayton common of pasture with the men of Ardwick within bounds which seem to include whole or parts of Ardwick and Bradford, thus: From the ford of Medlock by Saltersgate to the head of the hedge of Clayton which is set upon Saltersgate, by the hedge, ditch, and brook to Cornbrook, by Cornbrook to the hedge of Ardwick, by this to the bounds of Beswick and Bradford to Saltersgate; but Robert Grelley and his heirs had the right to inclose, &c., within these bounds; De Trafford D. no. 1. Saltersgate, Mr. Crofton thinks, is the present Mill Street, Bradford.
  • 26. a Alice de Byron, mother of Roger, had granted Royton to her son before 1246; Assize R. 404, m. 10d.
  • 27. He was a juror in 1282; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 244. He was described as knight in 1270; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 216.
  • 28. Richard son and heir of John, son and heir of Richard de Byron, in 1335 claimed the manor of Kirkby near Liverpool; Maud was the name of the grandfather's wife; De Banco R. 303, m. 205.
  • 29. Joan was the daughter of Baldwin le Tyas (Teutonicus) and widow of Sir Robert de Hoyland; Byron Chartul. no. 71/152, 13/70, 72/153. Sir Robert died at the beginning of the reign of Edward I.
  • 30. This was in or before 1260; Final Conc. i, 132. About the same time John de Byron attested a feoffment by Thomas Grelley; Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xvii, 54.
  • 31. A number of grants of land to Sir John de Byron and Joan his wife are contained in the chartulary; those that are dated lie between 1288 and 1298. An undated one (no. 34/9) concerns Droylsden—Robert son of Robert de Manchester releasing to Sir John and Joan all right in his father's land in that vill. The executors of Robert Grelley were non-suited in a claim of debt against John de Byron in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 15d.
  • 32. Sir John de Byron and John his son were witnesses to a Farnworth charter in 1292; Lord Ellesmere's D. no. 142. Ellen widow of James Banastre in 1291 stated that she held lands in Hindley of the inheritance of Alesia wife of John son of John Byron, which Alesia (granddaughter of Robert Banastre) was under age; De Banco R. 91, m. 157. (See the account of the Banastre family.)
  • 33. In 1311 Adam de Oldham granted his waste in Oldham and Werneth to Sir John de Byron, lord of Clayton; Byron Chartul. no. 1/33. John de Byron and Alice his wife, by charter dated at Clayton, 1312, gave to Sir Richard de Byron, kt., and Agnes his wife, their manor of Farlington, a rent of 70 marks being due to Sir John de Farlington; the remainder was to the right heirs of Sir Richard; ibid. no. 3/162. The manor of Farlington had been acquired by Sir John de Byron and Joan his wife in 1295; ibid. no. 33/163. In 1321 (but there is an error in the date) Adam de Oldham gave all his right in the waste of Oldham and Werneth (as in 1311) to Sir John de Byron, lord of Clayton; ibid. no. 12/33; and shortly afterwards Richard son of Adam de Oldham released to Sir Richard son of the late Sir John de Byron all his right in the said waste; ibid. no. 10/27.
  • 34. At the date named in the text Alice, widow of John de Byron, claimed dower against Richard de Byron, in Withington, Clayton, Butterworth, and Royton. Richard declared that Alice was detaining a number of his charters, and that as to the manor of Butterworth the deceased had nothing except for the term of his life by the law of England; De Banco R. 222, m. 229. The charters said to have been detained related to the lands of one James de Byron, whose kinsman and heir the said Richard was; which lands lay in Walesby, Croxton, &c. That the deceased John de Byron held Butterworth by the law of England shows that Alice was his second wife and that his first wife had been the heiress, viz. Joan. Richard de Byron and John son of Robert de Byron were in 1319 executors of the will of John de Byron; De Banco R. 231, m. 141. In 1321 (and later) Alice, then wife of John de Strickland, was claiming dower against Richard de Byron; ibid. R. 240, m. 192; 276, m. 159.
  • 35. Collins, Peerage (ed. 1779), vii, 124; the date is given as 1308, which is unlikely. There is no record of it in the Patent Rolls.
  • 36. In 1310 Thomas de Goldsbrough, archdeacon of Durham, probably a trustee, granted to Sir Richard de Byron, Agnes his wife, and James their son, his manor of Armeston in Northants; Byron Chartul. no. 2/103. Sir Richard acquired various lands in Oldham, Rochdale, &c. from 1319 onwards; 7/228; no. 8/30; no. 2/204. In 1333 he gave the manor of Huddersfield to his son John, with right of re-entry should John be promoted to an ecclesiastical benefice worth 100 marks or more; ibid. no. 5/137. In 1342 he, as Richard son of Sir John de Byron, granted his manors of Cadenay, Husum, and Walesby, to his sons Sir James and John; ibid. no. 12/45. Sir Richard de Byron had a settlement made in 1338 in favour of himself and his wife Elizabeth; Alice widow of his father Sir John was then living; ibid. no. 7/42. Grants to Sir Richard are recorded down to 1347; ibid. no. 11/36; no. 19/188, &c. Other references are Coram Rege R. Mich. 8 Edw. III, m. 162; L.T.R. Mem. R. 117.
  • 37. Sir James appears to have been in possession in 1348; Byron Chartul. no. 21/189; and his son John in 1354; ibid. no. 27/10. Robert the Smith of Ashton in 1353 demanded a messuage and lands in Manchester against Elizabeth widow of Sir James de Byron and against John de Byron; Assize R. 435, m. 8.
  • 38. Wrottesley, Crecy and Calais (W. Salt Arch. Soc. xviii), 13, 115. Sir John de Byron had licence for divine service in his oratory at Clayton in 1365; Lich. Epis. Reg. Stretton, v, fol. 11b.
  • 39. The writ of Diem Clausit extr. was issued on 18 July, 1380; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 353. Sir John de Byron was plaintiff in 1377 respecting lands on the borders of Manchester and Ashton; Byron Chartul. no. 1/285.
  • 40. For Colwick see Byron Chartul. no. 32 (1362); no. 2/300 (1415); no. 5/305 (after 1426). Joan the widow of Sir Richard de Byron died in Dec. 1426 holding various manors and lands; Chan. Inq. p.m. 5 Hen. VI, no. 41. In 1415 she complained to the Lord Chancellor that her son Sir John Byron had forcibly carried her from Colwick to Lancashire, and made her promise not to alienate her lands; Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 6, no. 294.
  • 41. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 65.
  • 42. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 528.
  • 43. Byron Chartul. no. 1/23; no. 8/24. The feoffment included all Sir John Ashton's lands in Droylsden except the Pighill by Lumlache.
  • 44. The remains of what is believed to be his memorial brass in Manchester Cathedral are described by the Rev. E. F. Letts, in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. i, 87. The Bishop of Lichfield in 1420 granted Sir John Byron and Margery his wife licence for their oratories at Clayton and Begerworth; Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 3b. Sir John was knight of the shire in 1421 and 1429; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 51, 53. In 1424 there was an arbitration as to the boundary between Droylsden and Ashton; the limits fixed were—from Lumlache Head, by the moss towards Audenshaw, by the ditch to Hardhill next Oselache in Droylsden, eastward by the end of Overmost Ditch in Sinderland, across the Little Moss north to the far edge and by the bound of this moss to the starting point; Byron Chartul. no. 1/286; no. 2/287; no. 3/288. In 1429 there was a settlement of the disputes respecting the moorlands in Ashton and Droylsden between Thomas son and heir of Sir John Ashton and Sir John Byron; ibid. no. 9/289; no. 11/291, 13. In 1439 and 1441 settlements were made by Sir John Byron and Margery his wife of the manor of Clayton, and lands in Clayton, Manchester, Ashton, Withington, Heaton, Oldham, Crompton, Butterworth, Spotland, Edgeworth, and Turton; Final Conc. iii, 104, 106.
  • 45. See the accounts of the townships.
  • 46. Byron Chartul. no. 40/332.
  • 47. Ibid. no. 39/331.
  • 48. Recited in the later John Byron's Inq. p.m. (1498).
  • 49. P.R.O. List, 72.
  • 50. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 538.
  • 51. P.R.O. List, 72.
  • 52. Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 3.
  • 53. The writ of Diem Clausit extr. was issued in 1462; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 176; see also Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, 319 (he held no lands in Nottinghamshire and and Derbyshire).
  • 54. Metcalfe, op. cit. 13; the arms are given.
  • 55. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, 48, 61, 70; for livery to Nicholas see Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 544. The inscription on Sir John Byron's monument at Colwick states that he died 3 May 1488; Collins, Peerage (ed. 1779), vii, 126. The descent is given in a pleading in 1547, reciting a settlement made by Sir John Byron about a century before in favour of his son Nicholas, with remainder to another son named Ralph; it proceeds:—Sir John–s. Nicholas (who had a brother Ralph) –s. Sir Nicholas –s. Sir John (1547); Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 183, m. 48b.
  • 56. Metcalfe, op. cit. 35.
  • 57. Collins, op. cit. vii, 127.
  • 58. Sir John Byron had a monument in Colwick Church and his brother Nicholas put a window in the church, with a petition for prayers for himself and his wife Joan; ibid.
  • 59. He was a minor in ward to the king, as appears from a complaint by one of his tenants at Clayton; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 31. Described as 'squire of the body' he was in 1518 made chief steward of the lordship of Stoke Bardolph, Nottinghamshire; L. and P. Hen. VIII, iii, g. 55 (29). He was a knight two years later; ibid. iii, 2267, and p. 1546.
  • 60. Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 55.
  • 61. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xv, g. 733 (66).
  • 62. Booker, Blackley (Chet. Soc.), 184; the wife's name is given as Ann.
  • 63. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 13, m. 303. The remainders in default of issue were in succession to Thomas Wimbish; to Richard Townley and Frances his wife, Francis Norton and Habrea his wife, and the heirs male of Francis and Habrea; to Sir William Radcliffe of Ordsall, Sir Henry Sutton of Aram, Nottinghamshire, John Booth of Barton, Sir John Savage of Croxton, Leicestershire, Sir Edmund Molyneux, king's serjeant-at-law, Sir Richard Assheton of Middleton, and Edward Griffin, solicitor-general. A pedigree was recorded in 1567; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 4.
  • 64. Printed in Wills (Chet. Soc. new ser.), ii, 133–6.
  • 65. 'If the said stipend by any law or laws heretofore made and hereafter to be revived be made to cease, it [is] to go to the poor and needy people, amending and repairing of highways and bridges, or other charitable deeds'; ibid. 136.
  • 66. Metcalfe, op. cit. 134. A settlement was made in 1582 of the manors of Clayton, Droylsden, Failsworth, &c. with lands, mills, dovecotes, &c. in those places and many others in the Manchester and Rochdale district, view of frankpledge in Clayton and Royton, and free warren in Clayton, Royton, Droylsden, Failsworth, and Butterworth; Sir John Byron, Alice his wife, and John his son, were among the deforciants; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 44, m. 223. A further settlement of Clayton Hall and Newstead was made in 1600 after the marriage of John Byron the younger (son of John Byron the elder, and grandson of Sir John Byron of Newstead) with Anne, eldest daughter of Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton; Chet. Papers.
  • 67. He was made a knight in 1603; Metcalfe, op. cit. 140.
  • 68. See the account in Humph. Chetham (Chet. Soc.), 18–21.
  • 69. Ibid. 21.
  • 70. Ibid. 22; his will is printed.
  • 71. Ibid. 30.
  • 72. In 1635 the hall was leased to James Jollie, afterwards known as Major Jollie, a clothier, at the rent of £300; a few rooms and part of the demesne were reserved; Higson, Droylsden, 40. The lessee was afterwards provost-marshal for the Parliamentary forces, and died in 1666; two of his sons were ministers, ejected in 1662; ibid. 48, 49.
  • 73. Humph. Chetham, 204, 242–4
  • 74. Chet. Gen. (Chet. Soc.), 50.
  • 75. Ibid. 63.
  • 76. Higson, Droylsden, 44.
  • 77. a Tradition says the bell was removed to Clayton from the parish church at Manchester when it was collegiated, and was one of four hung in the chapel till its demolition in the 18th century.
  • 78. William de Droylsden granted to Alexander son of Richard de Withnell certain land with Ellen his daughter in free marriage; the bounds began at the middle of Hustude Clough, went down to the Medlock, up this to Cockshoot Gate, up this to the Hardings, and thence to the starting point, at a rent of 6d.; Byron Chartul. no. 20/8. The grantor had been free of multure in the mill of the lord of Clayton. Gilbert son of William de Droylsden made a grant to Thyerit his sister at a rent of 8d.; and afterwards sold his lands to Sir John de Byron for £10; ibid. no. 4/12; no. 5/13. In 1354 Robert son of Thomas del Snape granted to John son of Sir James de Byron lands in Droylsden which had formerly belonged to Gilbert son of William de Droylsden; ibid. no. 27/10.
  • 79. Ashton Custom R. (Chet. Soc.), 101.
  • 80. In 1357 Thomas de Barlow of Clayton was a debtor; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 6, m. 3d. In 1360 Alice widow of John de Whitewood gave to Thomas de Barlow 1½ acre in Clayton in Manchester; Byron Chartul. no. 29/14. In 1372 Sir John de Byron demised to her all the lands in Clayton and Droylsden which he had had from her, being the inheritance of her father Henry de Barlow; she was to pay a rent of 4s., and make two appearances at Sir John's court; ibid. no. 37/25. James de Barlow in 1400 gave to John del Booth 1½ acre in Clayton, lying between the high street and the Medlock; also another 1½ acre between the Medlock and Cronshaw Brook; and these lands were in 1417 transferred to John de Byron; ibid. no. 1/15; no. 7/16.
  • 81. Higson, Droylsden, 45.
  • 82. Ibid. 47–48; one John Hall of the Clockhouse in 1712 sold his estate to Miles Nield of Manchester, with whose daughter it descended to the Clowes and Birch families. Another Hall family also ended in an heiress, Anne wife of William Hulton of Hulton Park; she died in 1802. The list of ratepayers in 1655 is given ibid. 49.
  • 83. George Blomeley held a messuage, &c., in 'Droylesdale' of Edward Mosley as of his manor of Manchester; he died in 1640, having bequeathed it to his niece Mary Hulme. He had had four sisters— Jane widow of Robert Hulme, Elizabeth wife of James Swindells, both living, Anne wife of Richard Wood, Ellen wife of John Moore, both deceased, leaving sons Robert Wood and John Moore, under age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, 26. James Wallwork of Droylsden was in 1665 summoned by the heralds to appear at the visitation; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), iv.
  • 84. Returns at Preston.
  • 85. E. Axon, Manch. Sess. i, 118. Also in 1622; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 150; no landowner is named. The constables are mentioned in 1627; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. iii, 139.
  • 86. Service was first held in 1840 in a room in the institute; Higson, op. cit. 118, 119. The district was assigned in 1844; Lond. Gaz. 22 Oct.
  • 87. A Sunday school was begun in 1854, and a building was erected in 1857 in which services were held; Higson, op. cit. 124. A district was assigned in 1874; Lond. Gaz. 11 Aug.
  • 88. Higson, op. cit. 129–32.
  • 89. Ibid. 133; Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. v, 316–18.
  • 90. Higson, op. cit. 125–8; the settlement was founded under the direction of Benjamin La Trobe, one of the most eminent ministers of the Moravian body; ibid. 148. It was favourably noticed by Dr. Aikin in 1795; Country round Manch. 232 (with view). As a settlement it has long since passed away, but the chapel is still used for service, and religious work goes on; see Short Sketches of the Moravians in Lancs. (Leeds, 1888), 22–6.