Townships: Rusholme

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

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'Townships: Rusholme', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, (London, 1911) pp. 303-309. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

In this section


Russum, 1235; Russhum, 1420; Rysshulme, 1551; Risholme, 1568.

This township has an area of 974 acres. It is crossed by the Gore, or Rushbrook, the portion to the north of which has now become urban in character, being a residential suburb of Manchester; part of it, known as Victoria Park, was laid out by a company formed in 1837. On the brook, in the centre of the township, is the district called Birch; to the west lies Platt, and to the east Slade. The Heald in the north-west is part of a district of the name stretching west into Moss Side. In 1901 the population was counted with Ardwick.

The principal road is that from Manchester through Withington into Cheshire, on the western side of the township. On the eastern border is the ancient road from Manchester to Stockport. There are numerous streets and cross-roads. The Great Central Company's railway crosses the southern end of the township.

A hoard of Roman coins, A.D. 253–73, was found at Birch. (fn. 1)

The Green was near the centre of the township, touching Dickenson Road. (fn. 2)

A Local Board was formed for Rusholme in 1851; (fn. 3) the boundaries were afterwards altered, (fn. 4) and the district was taken into the city of Manchester in 1885. The township ceased to have a separate existence in 1896, becoming part of the new township of South Manchester.

A Public Hall and Library was built in 1860; after the transfer to Manchester Corporation it was opened as a free library in 1892. There is a park at Birch Fields, and another called Platt Fields. Whitworth Park, (fn. 5) in the north-west corner, lies partly in Chorlton-upon-Medlock.


While there was never any manor of RUSHOLME, which was only a district in Withington, it gave a surname to a local family, (fn. 6) and there were several estates within it that demand notice—Platt, Birch, Slade, and Holt. Formerly the name of the township covered, at least in popular language, a much wider area, extending over the western portion of Gorton; (fn. 7) while on the other hand the custom of using the name Withington to include Rusholme and other districts makes it difficult in many cases to be sure of the exact locality of the lands in the charters and pleas quoted.

In the time of Henry II or Richard I Matthew son of William granted to the Hospitallers the land of PLATT, with its appurtenances in Withington, in pure alms. (fn. 8) In 1190 Garnier de Nablous, the prior in England, granted this, together with other lands of his order, to Richard de la More at a total rent of 4s., payable at the Hospitallers' residence in London. (fn. 9) William son of Richard de More gave a moiety of Platt, in marriage with his daughter Cecily, to Henry son of Gilbert at a rent of 6d. (fn. 10) The other moiety seems about 1260 to have reverted to the Hospitallers, who granted it to Richard son of Adam de Farnworth, at a rent of 4s. (fn. 11) While the former moiety became divided among a number of tenants, (fn. 12) the latter remained undivided in the possession of the descendants of the grantee, who assumed the name of Platt (fn. 13) and retained it, paying the rent of 4s. until 1625. It was then sold to Ralph Worsley, (fn. 14) whose descendants and their legatees long retained the estate. (fn. 15)

Worsley of Platt. Argent on a chief gules a mural crown or.

The most prominent member of the family was Major General Charles Worsley, a sincere Puritan, who took an active part in affairs on the Parliamentary side, (fn. 16) and had the doubtful honour of dispersing the remnant of the Long Parliament by force in 1653 and taking charge of the 'bauble' which Cromwell ordered to be removed. (fn. 17) He was also engaged in the government of Lancashire, (fn. 18) confiscating the property of Royalists, filling the gaols with 'Papists,' (fn. 19) suppressing horse-races, and otherwise promoting the public good according to his light. Worn out with his labours, he died in June 1656, at the early age of thirty-five. (fn. 20) The estate was until recently owned by Mr. Nicholas Tindal-Carill-Worsley, who married Elizabeth the daughter and heir of Charles Carill-Worsley, and assumed her surname. (fn. 21) Platt Hall and estate is now the property of the Manchester Corporation.

The Hall is a large plain brick house built about the year 1764 (fn. 22) by John Carill Worsley, in place of the old timber and plaster building which stood not very far away on a site comprised within the area of the present garden. In an inventory of the contents of the old house taken in 1669, the following rooms and places are mentioned: 'The hall, the great parlor, the buttery, the milk-house, the woman's parlor, the little parlor, the brewhouse, the kitchen with Bessy parlor, the drink-house, the cheese chamber, the cake chamber, the board loft, the little chamber, the general's chamber, the great chamber, the middle chamber, the high chamber, the little chamber and closet, the yarne chamber.'

Platt Hall, Rusholme

The BIRCH estate (fn. 23) descended from about 1260 to 1743 in a family taking a surname from it. Matthew son of Matthew de Haversage granted to Matthew son of Matthew de Birches the whole land of Hindley Birches, at a rent of 3s.; the bounds show that it lay between Gore Brook on the north and the Great Ditch on the south. (fn. 24) Several of the family are said to have distinguished themselves in the French wars of the 15th century, (fn. 25) but its most noteworthy member was Colonel Thomas Birch, (fn. 26) a Puritan and Parliamentarian of a somewhat brutal type, (fn. 27) who took an active part in the Civil War in Lancashire. He was made Governor of Liverpool on the recapture of the town in 1644, and represented it in Parliament from 1649 to 1658. (fn. 28) On the Restoration he retired into private life, (fn. 29) and was in 1678 succeeded by his son Thomas Birch the antiquary. (fn. 30) Thomas's son died without issue, and his brother, Dr. Peter Birch, a prebendary of Westminster, came into possession. (fn. 31) He died in 1710, and his son Humphrey, who took the surname of Wyrley, sold Birch in 1743 to George Croxton of Manchester; by him it was transferred two years later to John Dickenson, another Manchester merchant, who gained some wider notoriety for becoming the host of Prince Charles Edward during his stay in the town. (fn. 32) His great-granddaughter Louisa Frances Mary Dickenson, who died in 1837, carried the Birch estate to her husband General Sir William Anson, bart.; it has remained in the possession of their descendants.

Birch of Birch. Azure three fleurs de lis argent.

Birch Hall stands in a pleasant situation to the east of the church, well protected on three sides by trees, and overlooking Birch Fields on the north. The original site would seem to have been determined by a small brook, which still forms the boundary of the grounds of the hall on the south side. (fn. 33) The house was originally a timber and plaster building of considerable extent, to judge from the list of rooms mentioned in an inventory taken in 1678, (fn. 34) but the only portion now remaining has been so much modernized and added to that it presents little or nothing of its former appearance. It consists of two wings at right angles facing north and west, the latter of which appears to be part of a 17th-century building. A good deal of the timber construction of the outer walls, and the old roof, still remains, though the walls have been much restored and filled in with brickwork at a later time and new windows inserted. The west elevation and the end gable facing north, however, retain something of their old black and white appearance, though the gable has been mutilated by later work, and portion of the 'half-timber' framing is only plaster and paint. The north wing is of brick with stone quoins, and is probably a rebuilding of a former timber structure. In front of this, at a later time, most likely at the beginning of the 19th century, a new brick front, consisting of two rooms and entrance, has been added, projecting considerably in front of the north wing, and altogether altering the appearance of the house. The building is of two stories with grey stone slated roofs, and all the brickwork is painted yellow. In the west wing are three upper rooms with good 17thcentury oak wainscot, but the panelling is not all in its original position, and in one room is painted over. There is a small oak stair to an attic, and one or two old windows remain with diamond quarries. There are portions of 17th-century woodwork in different parts of the house, the fittings of the old building no doubt being treated with little respect in the later alterations. These have been so effective that nothing very definite can be stated as to the original plan or arrangement of the house. There are brick outbuildings on the south side at the end of the west wing.


SLADE, anciently Milkwall Slade, was a composite estate, partly in Rusholme and partly in Gorton, (fn. 35) but the mansion-house was in the former district. From about the middle of the 13th century until the reign of Elizabeth it was the property of a branch of the family of Manchester, who adopted the local surname. (fn. 36) It was then sold to the Siddalls, (fn. 37) Manchester people, whose descendants retain it to the present time. Edward Siddall, who died in 1588, held the capital messuage called Milkwall Slade, with 24 acres in Rusholme and Withington and 20 acres in Gorton, also a burgage in Manchester and a third part of the manor of Kersal in Broughton. The Rusholme part of Slade was held of Nicholas Longford by a rent of 2s. 6d. and the Gorton part of John Lacy then lord of Manchester. (fn. 38)

Slade Hall is a timber house on a low stone base built at the end of the 16th century, and still preserving its ancient front. It is of two stories, the upper one projecting on a plaster cove, and has two gables on the principal elevation facing east. The front has been extended northward by an addition, built about 1681, the end of which faces the road, and is now painted to imitate half-timber work. The north end of the house was formerly continued eastward as a projecting wing, but the buildings, which were of brick, and two stories in height, have been pulled down in recent times. The present front of the 17th-century addition was rebuilt after the demolition of these buildings in a style harmonizing with the original timber elevation. The length of the principal front is now about 70 ft., but the original building consists only of the middle portion under the two gables and the wing to the south. These stand on three different planes, the main gable being 18 ft. in front of the southern end of the house, and the porch and staircase bay occupying the angle between them. The timber front is composed principally of straight diagonal pieces between the constructional timbers, but has quatrefoil panels in the smaller gable.

Slade Hall: East Front

On a beam over the porch is cut, or stamped, the date 1585 and the initials E. S. for Edward Siddall the builder of the house. Underneath are the initials G. S. (George Siddall, his son). The date 1585 is also on another beam in the front. The two dates and the initials E. S. are inclosed in ornamental borders. The west and south sides have been faced in brick, and a block added at the north-west, which is a rather good specimen of the dignified brick architecture of the early part of the 19th century. The roofs are covered with modern blue slates, and the chimneys are of brick.

The dining-room, on the right of the entrance, retains its old oak ceiling crossed by massive beams, and the upper room over the drawing-room in the south wing has an elaborate plaster frieze on its north and south walls. In this room the original timber construction of the house can be seen all round. though faced with brick on two sides. The frieze on the south wall has three shields, the centre one bearing the royal arms of Queen Elizabeth encircled by a garter and supported by a lion and a dragon. Above are the queen's initials E. R. On the right is a shield of eleven quarters of Stanley with supporters, encircled by a garter and with the initials E. D., and on the left is another quartered shield with coronet and supporters, having above it the initials E. S. Between are two female figures, said to represent Queens Mary and Elizabeth. The frieze on the opposite wall has a representation of a stag hunt with a tree in the centre bearing the Stanley crest of the eagle and child. There was formerly a moulded plaster ceiling in this room, but it has been removed.


HOLT, described sometimes as in Withington and sometimes as in Rusholme, seems to have been on the north-east side of the township, and may perhaps be the detached portion of Moss Side. (fn. 39) Henry de Rusholme, about 1260, made a grant to Hugh de Haslum, including half an oxgang of land in Rusholme and the Holt, at a rent of 6d. (fn. 40) In the 15th century the Holt was in the hands of the Bamfords of Bamford, (fn. 41) and descended to John Bamford, who died in 1557 holding the capital messuage called Holt Hall in Rusholme of Nicholas Longford in socage by a rent of 12d. (fn. 42) The change of tenure may imply an escheat and re-grant. Anne Bamford, the daughter and heiress, married George Birch of Birch, (fn. 43) and Holt has since descended with Birch in the manner above described.

The family of Edge of Birch Hall-houses appears in the 17th century. (fn. 44) Captain Oliver Edge, an officer in the Parliamentary army, comes into notice as the captor of the Earl of Derby in his flight after the battle of Worcester. The place of capture was a little south of Nantwich. The earl writes: 'Lord Lauderdale and I, having escaped, hired horses and falling into the enemy's hands were not thought worth killing, but have quarters given us by Captain Edge, a Lancashire man, and one that was so civil to me that I and all that love me are beholden to him.' (fn. 45)

The Traffords had land in Rusholme from an early date. (fn. 46)

The land tax returns of 1787 show that the land was much divided; the principal owners then were John Dickenson and John Carill Worsley, who between them owned about half; William Egerton and John Gartside had smaller estates. (fn. 47) The landowners in 1844 numbered a hundred and twenty, of whom Sir J. W. H. Anson, T. Carill Worsley, and John Siddall represented the ancient owners of Birch, Platt, and Slade; Richard Cobden owned 21 acres. (fn. 48)


The chapel of Birch, known as St. James's, is supposed to have been built about 1580 by the Birch family. (fn. 49) The minister was paid by the scanty and precarious offerings of the people, until in 1640 an attempt was made to establish an endowment fund. (fn. 50) Land was purchased, which Colonel Thomas Birch in 1658 settled upon his son Thomas as sole trustee, to the use of 'an orthodox preaching minister of the Gospel, to be constantly resident,' and to perform divine service in the chapel. The neighbours objecting to having a single trustee, a new trust was created in 1672, the income of the land being placed at the disposal of a majority of the trustees. This was probably done with the design of preparing the way for a Presbyterian minister as soon as the persecution of Nonconformists should come to an end. (fn. 51) The chapel in fact remained in the hands of the Presbyterians until 1697, when, on the death of Colonel Birch's widow, George Birch seems to have allowed the claims of the Bishop of Chester and other ecclesiastical authorities, and the Presbyterian minister, Henry Finch, was ejected. (fn. 52) After two years a Conformist curate was nominated by George Birch, in whose family the patronage seems always to have vested, and the succession remains unbroken to the present. In 1708 the endowment was still only £3 10s. a year, and the contributions of the congregation were about £16; (fn. 53) but the Dickenson family and others have provided more adequate endowments. (fn. 54) The chapel was rebuilt in 1845–6, (fn. 55) and a district was assigned to it in 1839. (fn. 56) The present patron is Sir W. R. Anson.

The following have been curates and rectors:— (fn. 57)

1699 Samuel Taylor, M.A. (fn. 58) (Emmanuel College, Camb.)
1707 No curate
1717 Joseph Dale (fn. 59)
1720 Thomas Wright, B.A. (fn. 60) (Brasenose College, Oxf.)
1721 John Tetlow, B.A. (fn. 61)
1742 John Leech, B.A. (St. Catharine's Hall, Camb.)
oc. 1746 Robert Twyford, B.A. (fn. 62) (Brasenose College, Oxf.)
1746 William Twyford, B.A. (fn. 63) (St. John's College, Camb.)
1752 Thomas Ainscough, M.A. (fn. 64) (St. John's College, Camb.)
1762 Miles Lonsdale, M.A. (fn. 65) (Brasenose College, Oxf.)
1769 Henry Ainsworth
1795 Rowland Blayney, B.A. (St. Alban Hall, Oxf.)
1838 Francis Philips Hulme, B.A. (St. Alban Hall, Oxf.)
1839 George Gardner Harter, M.A. (fn. 66) (Trinity College, Oxf.)
1840 Oliver Ormerod, M.A. (fn. 67) (Brasenose College, Oxf.)
1841 George Dugard, M.A. (fn. 68) (St. John's College, Camb.)
1846 George Henry Greville Anson, M.A. (fn. 69) (Exeter College, Oxf.)
1898 Frederick George Buller, M.A. (fn. 70) (Trinity College, Oxf.)

Holy Trinity Church was consecrated in 1846; the patron is Mrs. N. Tindal-Carill-Worsley. (fn. 71) St. John's, Longsight, was consecrated in the same year; the patronage is vested in trustees. (fn. 72) St. Chrysostom's, Victoria Park, was first consecrated in 1877, (fn. 73) and St. Agnes's in 1885; the Bishop of Manchester is patron of both. There is a chapel at St. Mary's Home.

An 'English School,' not free, existed at Birch about 1720. (fn. 74)

The Wesleyan Methodists, Primitive Methodists, and United Free Methodists have churches, and the last-named denomination has a theological college in Victoria Park. The Congregationalists began services in 1839, and a small chapel built by Baptists was acquired in 1853. After many vicissitudes the present church was built in 1864. (fn. 75) The Baptists have a college for students for the ministry, (fn. 76) with a chapel attached; they have another church at Longsight.

On the ejection of Henry Finch from Birch Chapel he continued to minister in the neighbourhood, and in 1700 Platt Chapel was opened for the use of the Nonconformists—the Worsleys, donors of the site, Edges, and Siddalls being the principal members of the congregation. (fn. 77) The teaching became Unitarian in the course of the 18th century, and Platt Chapel is now used by the Unitarians of the neighbourhood. Their Home Missionary College, founded in Manchester, is now in Victoria Park.

The Roman Catholic Church of St. Edward was built in 1861. There are two industrial schools, called St. Joseph's, for boys and girls.


  • 1. Lancs. Archaeol. Surv. 7.
  • 2. Manch. Guard. N. and Q. no. 763.
  • 3. Lond. Gaz. 18 Feb. 1851.
  • 4. 19 & 20 Vict. cap. 26; 45 & 46 Vict. cap. 72. The district was extended to include the detached portion of Moss Side on the north-east corner, and that part of Withington known as Fallowfield.
  • 5. The land formerly belonged to the Entwisles of Rusholme House, as their residence was called. It had been purchased from the Traffords and the Lloyds. It was acquired in 1888 by the Whitworth legatees, afterwards added to the Whitworth Institute, and in 1904 presented to the corporation of Manchester; H. T. Crofton, Old Moss Side, 7.
  • 6. Among the Birch charters are a number which show that one Henry de Rusholme, who lived in the time of Hen. III, owned a large part of the later township. Possibly he had no heirs, and so the lands reverted to the lord of Withington. A number of the charters referred to are printed in full in Booker's Birch Chap. (Chet. Soc.), 183, &c., and abstracts are preserved in Harl. MS. 2112, fols. 178b, &c. Henry de Rusholme granted to Geoffrey son of Luke de Manchester various parcels of land 'within the bounds of Rusholme,' including a messuage by the Out Lane, an acre touching the Menegate, a half-acre touching Gooselache, a selion called the Quickhedge land stretching from Gooselache to the Menegate, 6 acres next Hugh de Haslum's land and stretching from Gooselache to the old ditch, and other lands, the rent being a pair of white gloves; Booker, op. cit. 183. He further gave Geoffrey his right in 20 acres held by Robert de Hulton; and released to his lord, Matthew de Haversage, all his own claim to the homage and service of the said Geoffrey son of Luke de Manchester; ibid. 184. The Manchester family appear again in grants to Jordan son of William de Fallowfield; ibid. 185, 186, 231.
  • 7. See the notices of the Swineshead land and '40 acres' in Gorton.
  • 8. Booker, op. cit. 189; the Worsley charters relating to Platt occupy 189–223. The bounds of the grant were: From the Great Ditch to the lower end of the Little Ditch, up to the cross-marked tree, thence to Gooselache, and so to the path 'Eite' (? Out Lane) between Platt and Rusholme, by this path to Gorebrook as far as the mere (mara) of William de Handforth, and so to the Great Ditch. The land is named among the Hospitallers' estates in 1292; Plac. de Quo War. (Rec. Com.), 375.
  • 9. Booker, op. cit. 189; Richard de More was probably identical with the tenant of the Swineshead land in Gorton, which descended to the Strangeways family. This family appear in Rusholme as attesting charters.
  • 10. Ibid. 190.
  • 11. Ibid. 191; Adam the Clerk had formerly held it. In addition to the rent of 4s. there had to be paid at the death of each holder an 'obit' of the third part of the goods and chattels of the deceased.
  • 12. A genealogical note dated 1418, on the back of the third deed quoted (Booker, op. cit. 191), was perhaps intended to show the subdivisions. Roger del Platt, son of Cecily, in 1289 granted to Ellen daughter of Henry del Platt (perhaps a half-sister) 2 acres stretching from Thornyditch to Gooselache; ibid. 192. The Prior of the Hospitallers in 1332 made a claim for services against Robert del Platt; De Banco R. 292, m. 354 d. In 1352 Joan daughter of Robert del Platt, William Forstes and Margery his wife, Robert Tele and Agnes his wife, William del Hull and Cecily his wife (these in right of the wives) made a claim for an acre in Withington against Thomas de Sheldreslow and Robert son of Henry de Trafford; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2 (Pent.), m. 4 d.; (July), m. 8. The Hospitallers' rental of about 1540 shows the following: Edward Shelmerdinc, a messuage in Rusholme, 1½d.; Edmund Trafford, a messuage (probably in the same place), ½d.; the feoffees of the lands of Richard Radcliffe, by the warden of the College of Manchester, 4d.; Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84. The last rent is of interest, as it identifies a fragment of the Hospitallers' land in Platt with the obit land of the college in Withington in 1547; see Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc.), i, 23, where the gift is stated to have been made by Thomas Radcliffe of Osberton (or his ancestors). The land was probably secured by the college on its refounding by Philip and Mary, for in 1645 the warden and fellows leased to Ralph Worsley of Platt their messuage, &c., called the Yield House, now Heald House, situate in Rusholme, except a part called the Gorse [? Goose] Crofts, which lease was renewed from time to time; Booker, Birch, 4, 5. It is stated that 'Mr. Worsley's tenants for several generations were a family named Travis.' The tenant in 1547 was Thomas Travers. Thomas Shelmerdine of Rusholme occurs in 1619–20; Manch. Sess. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 98. One of the name gave £2 to the endowment of Birch Chapel in 1640; Booker, op. cit. 137.
  • 13. The deeds printed by Booker enable the pedigree to be made out fairly well. In 1314 William son of Hugh de Laghokes released to Robert son of Richard de Farnworth all his claim to the moiety of Platt; Booker, op. cit. 192. Laghok, or Laffog, in Parr, also belonged to the Hospitallers. Ten years later Roger del Platt (of the other moiety) agreed with Robert son of Richard del Platt as to the division of certain pasture lying between Roger's door and the Geldbrook; ibid. 193. The above-named Ellen daughter of Henry del Platt in 1343–4 sold her land to the second Platt family; ibid. 194–7. The remainders were to Richard and John sons of Robert del Platt. Certain suits between members of the different Platt families may here be noticed. Margery widow of Adam de Farnworth in 1290 appeared against Robert son of Richard de Platt and Geoffrey de Platt for dower in two messuages and 40 acres in Withington; and against Agnes widow of Richard de Platt for dower in a messuage and 15 acres; De Banco R. 82, m. 42. Roger del Platt was a plaintiff in 1295; ibid. R. 110, m. 12d.; 113, m. 137 d. In 1298 Cecily widow of Henry del Platt claimed 2 acres against Geoffrey del Platt; ibid. R. 122, m. 195d. In 1301 Robert del Platt did not prosecute his suit against Robert son of Richard de Faryngworth [Farnworth]; Assize R. 1321, m. 10. In the same year Ellen daughter of Henry del Platt failed in a claim for a messuage and land in Withington, formerly Geoffrey's, against Cecily del Platt, Roger her son, Agnes de Mascy, and Robert her son; the plaintiff was excused because she was under age; ibid. m. 12d. Geoffrey del Platt did not prosecute his claim against Cecily del Platt, widow of Henry; Assize R. 419, m. 13. Robert del Platt was in the following year fined for a false claim against Roger son of Henry de 'Bradlow'; Assize R. 418, m. 3 d. In 1307 he claimed a messuage and land against Adam son of Henry de 'Barlow'; De Banco R. 164, m. 233 d.; 171, m. 18. In 1324 Roger del Platt claimed a messuage and various lands in Withington against Richard de Holland, Hugh de Cheadle, Thomas de Mascy, Robert del Platt, Edith widow of Henry del Platt, Ellen her daughter, and William de Booth. It appeared that the plaintiff had leased the land to John de Byron, and that Hugh and Thomas had wrongfully obtained possession and granted to Richard de Holland, whose possessions were seized by the king for his adherence to Thomas Earl of Lancaster; Assize R. 426, m. 8; 1404, m. 25. It will be seen that there were two men named Henry del Platt. According to the genealogical note above referred to, one of them was son of Geoffrey del Platt, and Ellen his daughter married Alexander del Booth. The other Henry was father of Roger. The Laghok family appear again in 1341, claiming against the Traffords; De Banco R. 328, m. 366; and in the following year William son of Hugh de Laghok claimed a messuage and ploughland against Robert son of Richard de Farnworth; ibid. R. 331, m. 140; see also R. 335, m. 301 d.; 336, m. 511 d. Richard del Platt in 1345 complained of assault by William son of Alexander del Booth, who had also taken his cattle; ibid. R. 344, m. 353; 345, m. 211 d. Two years later Ellen daughter of Henry del Platt recovered two messuages, &c., in Withington against the said William del Booth and Robert son of Henry de Trafford; Assize R. 1435, m. 43 d. At the same time William del Booth began suits against Robert del Platt and Richard and John his sons regarding a messuage and lands in Withington, and seems to have had some success; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1, m.v; 3, m. 4 d.; Assize R. 438, m. 15; 441, m. 5, &c. In 1349 Robert del Platt (of the Farnworth family) made an elaborate settlement of his lands, &c., in Withington; they were to descend to his sons Richard and John, in default to the Milkwall Slade family, then to a Saddleworth family, and lastly to Margaret daughter of Robert del Platt; Booker, Birch, 197–200. He died in 1360, by his will desiring to be buried in the churchyard at Manchester; ibid. 200. The son John seems to have succeeded, and was in possession in 1374 and 1384; ibid. 201. Nicholas, the son of John del Platt, in 1391 made a settlement of his lands in the Platt, with remainder, in default of issue, to his sister Alona and others; ibid. 203. Two years later, perhaps on his marriage, he granted his lands in the Platt to Sir Ralph de Radcliffe and Ralph his son, excepting the Goosecroft house and the Medhap, and reserving to William del Birches a right of way from his dwelling to the common way in Rusholme; ibid. 204. In 1414 Nicholas made a feoffment of his lands, apparently in view of the marriage of his son Richard with Katherine; ibid. 205, 206. Richard died abroad (? at La Ferte Melin) about the end of 1439 (ibid. 208), leaving a widow, Katherine (ibid. 207, 209), and a son John, who with his wife Constance received an indulgence in 1456 from the Trinitarians of Knaresborough (ibid. 209), while in 1479 (the date is doubtful) they associated themselves with the Grey Friars; ibid. 206. Constance, the widow of John Platt, and Richard their son appear in 1490 and 1494; ibid. 210–12. Richard Platt and his wife Agnes were associated with the Black Friars of Chester in 1506; ibid. 218. John Platt was in possession in 1547, when he granted lands in Rusholme to Joan widow of James Lawrence of Manchester, perhaps on marrying her; ibid. 213. A year later he granted the Croft on Rusholme Green to his younger son William; ibid. 214. He died between March 1552 and March 1554 (ibid. 215–17; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. i, 10), leaving a widow Joan and a son Richard, who in 1577 set apart lands called Hallfield, Brockfield, and Midhope for the benefit of Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Birch on her marriage with his son John Platt; Booker, op. cit. 220. Richard Platt died in June 1593 holding a messuage and various lands in Rusholme of the queen as of the late Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem by a rent of 4s. and a third of his goods at death. John Platt had died before his father, and the heir was Richard's [grand-] son Edmund, then eight years of age; ibid. 221. The Manchester jury found that Edmund was the son of John Platt, and therefore grandson of Richard; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. ii, 76. Edmund Platt mortgaged the estate in 1623; Booker, op. cit. 23. Long Eyes and Short Eyes were among the field names.
  • 14. Booker, op. cit. 23. Charles Worsley, the father of Ralph, was a prosperous linen-draper in Manchester, and purchased lands in Rusholme, including the Breadie Butts, Hobearth, &c. in 1614; ibid. 25. Ralph's wife Isabel was daughter and heir of Edward Massy of Manchester; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. iii, 90.
  • 15. See Booker, Birch, 25–70, quoting the family papers.
  • 16. Ibid. 39–51, with portrait.
  • 17. Ibid. 40. He was chosen as the representative of Manchester in the Parliament of 1654, the first time the borough was called upon to elect a member; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. iv, 117.
  • 18. Booker, Birch, 42, &c.
  • 19. The Quakers also gave him work; 'they trouble the markets and get into private houses up and down in every town, and draw people after them'; ibid. 46.
  • 20. Ibid. 47; he was buried in Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey. There is a notice of him in Dict. Nat. Biog. His father Ralph recorded a pedigree in 1664 (Dugdale, Visit. Chet. Soc. 338), and dying in 1669 was succeeded at Platt by Charles's son, another Ralph, who built the Nonconformist chapel at Platt, and in 1728 was succeeded by his son Charles. Peter Worsley, the son and heir of Charles, died in 1759, leaving a daughter Deborah as heiress. A settlement of lands in Rusholme, &c., was made in 1759 by John Lees and Deborah his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 360, m. 116. John Lees took the name of Carill Worsley. Deborah had no children by him, and adopted her husband's son by a previous marriage, Thomas Carill Worsley. This Thomas accordingly came into possession of Platt, and on his death in 1808 was followed by his eldest son Thomas, who died in 1848, and then by his second son Charles.
  • 21. Burke, Landed Gentry.
  • 22. John Carill Worsley rebuilt 'the old mansion of the Worsleys with brick and stone ornaments in a very handsome style about thirty-five years ago, at the expense, as was then said, of £10,000'; Gent. Mag. lxix, 434, May 1799.
  • 23. Some of the Birch family deeds are printed in Booker's Birch, 183, 187, 223; others may be seen in Harl. MS. 2112, fol. 142b/178b, &c.
  • 24. Booker, Birch, 223; the date is about 1260. The next member of the family who appears in the records is Alexander de Birches, who with his wife Joan and daughters Joan, Ellen, and Susan, was defendant to a claim for lands in Withington made by Robert del Platt in 1301; Assize R. 419, m. 13. In 1319 Robert son of Alexander de Birches, who had married Alice daughter of Henry de Whitfield, made a feoffment of his lands, water-mill, &c., in the Birches in Withington, with the reversion of that part which Joan the widow of Alexander held as dower; the lands were regranted to him, with remainder to his son Henry; Booker, op. cit. 224–7. In 1322 the same Robert released to Robert son of Henry de Trafford all his claim to the water-mill; ibid. 224. In the following year Robert de Birches sold two messuages, 50 acres of land, &c., in Withington to Nicholas de Longford; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 49. From 1337 onwards Henry son of Robert de Birches is found pursuing a claim to lands in Withington against Nicholas de Longford, who alleged a grant by the said Robert; Assize R. 1424, m. 10d.; 1425, m. 2; 1435, m. 33 d. Henry was living in 1349; Booker, op. cit. 200. The cows of William son of Henry de Birches of Withington were seized for a felony in 1396; Pal. of Lanc. Chan. Misc. 1/8, m. 20; Booker, op. cit. 204. William de Birches in 1429 made a settlement of his lands in Withington; after the death of William and his wife Margaret they were to descend to his sons Ralph, Robert, Edmund, and Thomas; ibid. 228. Twenty years later Ralph Birches made a settlement of his lands; ibid. 229, 230. In 1485 William Birches granted his son Robert 12 acres lying between Michewall Ditch on the south and Winnerhey on the north; ibid. 230. George the son and heir of William Birch, in 1519, agreed to marry Marion daughter of Thomas Beck of Manches ter; Booker, op. cit. 72. The will of George Birch, dated 1532, is printed ibid. 74–6. Thomas Birch, his son and heir, in 1548 agreed to marry Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Chetham of Nuthurst, deceased; ibid. 77. In 1551 Thomas Birch bought messuages, &c., in Rusholme from William son and heir apparent of Philip Strangeways; they were held by Robert Davenport and Katherine his wife, for the latter's lifetime; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 14, m. 226. Thomas's younger son, William Birch, a Protestant divine, was warden of Manchester for a short time. Thomas, who made a settlement of his estate in 1571, died in 1595; Booker, Birch, 78, his will being printed 78–80. George Birch, the son and heir of Thomas, died at Withington on 31 Jan. 1601–2, holding two messuages called Birch Hall, and other lands, &c., in Birch and Rusholme of Rowland Mosley as of his manor of Withington in socage by a rent of 4s. 2d.; also messuages in Manchester of Sir Nicholas Mosley by the fiftieth part of a knight's fee and a rent of 12d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xviii, 3. By his marriage with Anne daughter and heir of John Bamford he added considerably to the family estates; she survived him. George, the son and heir, was nineteen years of age at his father's death. He died in 1611, leaving a son and heir Thomas, aged five; see Booker, op. cit. 85–90, where the will and Inq. p.m. are printed; also Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 258–61; ii, 177. In this the free rent for Birch is recorded as 3s. 2d.
  • 25. This is the legendary origin of the family arms—Azure, three fleurs de lis argent; Booker, Birch, 72, quoting Burke.
  • 26. He was the above-named Thomas son of George Birch. For his life see Booker, op. cit. 90–8; also Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.).
  • 27. E.g. his treatment of Lord Derby and his family, of Humphrey Chetham, and of Warden Heyrick.
  • 28. Pink and Beaven, Parl. Rep. of Lancs. 189.
  • 29. A pedigree was recorded in 1664; Dugdale, Visit. 32.
  • 30. Booker, op. cit. 99. The 'Birch Feodary,' printed with other of his collections in Gregson's Fragments (ed. Harland), *333–59, takes its name from him.
  • 31. Booker, op. cit. 100–3, where his will is printed. He married Sibyl, a daughter and co-heir of Humphrey Wyrley of Hampstead. He was one of the High Churchmen of the time and has a notice in Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 32. Booker, op. cit. 104; the Dickenson and Anson pedigree is given ibid. 105.
  • 33. a In front of the house on the north is a ditch, said to be the line of a moat.
  • 34. In the inventory of goods of Colonel Thomas Birch at Birch Hall, 14 Aug. 1678, the following rooms are named:— The hall, the garden parlour, the white chamber, the middlemost room, the painted chamber, the dining room, the red chamber, Mrs. Birch's chamber, old Mrs. Birch's chamber, the yellow chamber, the old wench's chamber; Booker, op. cit. 97.
  • 35. In 1320 Hugh de Bloxden held lands in Milkwall Slade of the lord of Manchester by a rent of 12d., and was bound to grind at the mill; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), ii, 279.
  • 36. Booker, op. cit. 121, &c.; some deeds are printed on pp. 231–4. By on of these Thomas son of Geoffrey son of Luke de Manchester granted to Jordan his brother lands in Didsford and Milkwall Slade, an acre in 'Banereris' and lands in Akedone. The date is about 1240. A little later land in Didsbury was granted to Jordan son of Geoffrey. In 1349 a settlement of lands in Withington was made by Robert de Milkwall Slade, with successive remainders to his sons Robert and John; the elder Robert's wife was Ellen daughter of Robert del Platt.
  • 37. The Slades went to live at Breerhurst in Staffordshire and granted a lease of Slade to the Siddalls, who afterwards purchased it; ibid. 122. In 1565 a settlement of a messuage, &c. in Withington was made by Ralph Slade; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 27, m. 24. In 1580 Edward Siddall purchased a messuage, &c. from Thomas Slade, and four years later again from Ralph Slade, Joan his wife, and Thomas his son, this being the final conveyance; ibid. bdles. 42, m. 6; 46, m. 78; Booker, op. cit. 128. Edward Siddall had, in 1568, purchased half an acre in Rusholme and Withington from Ralph Aldcroft and William Hardy; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 30, m. 44. The will of Richard Siddall, lessee of Slade and father of Edward, is printed by Booker, op. cit. 124–7.
  • 38. Inq. p.m. (Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, 32) printed by Booker, op. cit. 128–31. George Siddall, the son and heir, was twenty-five years of age. For the pedigree of the family see ibid. 136. George, the son of George, who followed in 1616, sold Kersal and lands in Gorton; ibid. 133. He was summoned to the Heralds' Visitation in 1664; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), iv. In 1665 a settlement was made by George Siddall of the capital messuage called Milkwall Slade alias Slade, with other lands, &c. in Withington, Gorton and Grindlow, on the marriage of his son Thomas's eldest son John with Margaret daughter of William Robothom. Exception was made of the jointure of Katherine, wife of George Siddall, as set forth in an indenture of 31 July 1617; Manch. Free Lib. D. no. 101.
  • 39. See the bounds of Greenlow Heath as given in the account of Chorlton-upon-Medlock.
  • 40. Booker, op. cit. 184.
  • 41. Ibid. Didsbury (Chet. Soc.), 114– 20. The Bamford family are several times described as 'of Holt.'
  • 42. Inq. p.m. printed ibid. 117.
  • 43. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 178; the capital messuage called Holt Hall and its lands are stated to be 'in Withington,' though the 1557 inquisition described them as 'in Rusholme.'
  • 44. Booker, Birch, 10–12.
  • 45. Civil War Tracts, 311, quoting Seacome.
  • 46. Richard de Trafford in 1235 released to Robert de Hulton his right in common of pasture in Rusholme in the land between a ditch of Robert's and land formerly held by Hugh de Haslum; Final Conc. i, 65. Matthew the Tailor of Manchester in 1316 gave to Nicholas son of Henry de Trafford all his lands, &c. in Rusholme in the vill of Withington, with various remainders; De Trafford D. no. 135. The grants in Gildhouses (or Healdhouses) recorded in the account of Withington were perhaps in part or in whole in Rusholme. Lands in Rusholme are named in the later Trafford inquisitions as part of their estate in Withington. Sir Edmund Trafford in 1587 leased to one Anthony Scholefield a messuage and lands in Birch Hall at a rent of 25s. 5d. The lands were among those sold to Gregory Lovell; after Sir Edmund's death there was a quarrel between his son and the purchaser, and the dispute seems to have gone on until 1601, when Dame Lovell, widow of Sir Robert the son of Gregory, complained of loss; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. cxcviii, L. 11.
  • 47. Land tax returns at Preston.
  • 48. Booker, Birch, 171.
  • 49. This account is taken chiefly from Booker, op. cit. 137–59. The statement that the chapel was 'consecrated'—i.e. licensed for use—by Bishop Chadderton (1579–95) is derived from Warden Wroe; Gastrell, Notitia (Chet. Soc.), ii, 79. The visitation return of 1598 speaks of it as 'lately erected and now void of a curate'; Booker, op. cit.
  • 50. Ibid. 137. A ground plan of the chapel of the same date is printed ibid. 142. At the survey of 1650 there belonged to the chapel 'a house and a little land lately purchased by the inhabitants, worth £3 10s. per annum'; Commonwealth Cb. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 13. The minister had £1 a week allowed him in 1644 out of the sequestrations of Royalists' estates, but it was not regularly paid; and £50 more was allowed in 1649; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 58, 77. A grant of £50 or £40 a year out of the tithes of Manchester appears to have been substituted for the former grants in 1652; ibid. ii, 34, 55.
  • 51. Booker, op. cit. 137–9.
  • 52. Ibid. 147–51; the chapel seems to have been used only occasionally until 1672, when Henry Finch was formally licensed. In 1689 also it was regarded as a Nonconformist chapel; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 231.
  • 53. Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 79; the bishop reports that five of the forty families were Presbyterian.
  • 54. Booker, op. cit. 140, 141.
  • 55. Ibid. 156–9.
  • 56. Lond.Gaz. 29 Mar. 1839, 16 June 1854.
  • 57. This list is taken mainly from Booker. Among the earlier curates were: In 1622, Richard Lingard (Misc. Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches. i, 66); 1623, Thomas Norman; 1635, Bentley; 1641, Hall; 1644, John Wigan (Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 58; Local Glean. Lancs. and Ches. i, 299– 32); 1659, Robert Birch. Henry Finch, mentioned in the text, was the vicar of Walton-on-the-Hill, ejected in 1662. A Conformist was put into Birch for a time, but there being no maintenance Finch was left in undisturbed possession. A curious story of the visit of two German ministers in 1666 is given by Booker from Hunter's Oliver Heywood, 188.
  • 58. In the nomination by George Birch the chapel is styled 'my domestic chapel of Birch'; Booker, op. cit. 151.
  • 59. Also of Chorlton Chapel.
  • 60. Ibid.
  • 61. Brother-in-law of the patron.
  • 62. Also curate of Didsbury.
  • 63. Son of the preceding and curate of Didsbury for a time.
  • 64. Became one of the fellows of the Collegiate Church; Raines, Fellows (Chet. Soc.), 268.
  • 65. Afterwards rector of Gawsworth.
  • 66. He and his two successors were under bond to resign in favour of the patron's grandson.
  • 67. Afterwards rector of Presteign.
  • 68. Librarian of the Chetham Library 1834–7; incumbent of Barnard Castle, 1847.
  • 69. Archdeacon of Manchester 1870–90.
  • 70. Brother-in-law of the patron.
  • 71. Booker, Birch, 159.
  • 72. Ibid. The district assigned in 1851 was reconstituted in 1854; Lond. Gaz. 16 June.
  • 73. For district see Lond. Gaz. 21 May 1878. It was rebuilt a few years ago after a fire.
  • 74. Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 80.
  • 75. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. v, 162–5.
  • 76. It was founded at Chamber Hall near Bury in 1860 and removed to Rusholme in 1874.
  • 77. Booker, op. cit. 160–70. A plan of the chapel in 1700 is printed on p. 165. See also Nightingale, op. cit. v, 147–58; it is stated that 'no doctrinal test is applied either to minister or congregation.'