Townships: Dalton

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

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'Townships: Dalton', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 4, (London, 1911) pp. 97-101. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

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Daltone, Dom. Bk.; Dalton, 1212.

Dalton occupies hilly ground south of the River Douglas. The highest point is Ashhurst Beacon, known locally as the 'Beetle,' 569 ft. above sea level. From it the land slopes away gradually on every side. The district is extensively cultivated, fields of corn, potatoes, and other root-crops alternating with pastures. Plantations of trees appear more especially on the north-east under the lee of the hill and away from the assault of westerly sea winds. A few insignificant brooks find their way towards the Douglas, which forms the northern boundary of the township and divides the Hundred of West Derby from that of Leyland. The view from the top of the hill near the Beacon is an extensive one, affording a fine panorama of the surrounding country. The preponderance of holly trees and hedges on the sheltered side of the district is a noticeable feature. There are many picturesque stone-built houses in the neighbourhood. The soil appears to be loam and clay, over solid sandstone rock. The area is 2,103½ acres. (fn. 1) The population in 1901 was 422.

The road from Upholland to Newburgh crosses the township in a north-west direction, ascending and descending; Ashhurst Hall and the church lie on the western slope of the ridge; to the north are Hawksclough and Dalton Lees, and to the south lies Elmer's Green. Prior's Wood is in the north, and Cassicarr Wood on the eastern boundary.

There is a colliery.

The township is governed by a parish council.

Ashhurst Beacon was erected a century ago, when a French invasion was regarded as imminent. Watchers were stationed day and night to be ready to light the beacon fire, and thus give notice of the enemy's landing.


At the death of Edward the Confessor, DALTON was held by Uctred as one plough-land; its value was the normal 32d. (fn. 2) On the formation of the Manchester fee Dalton was included in it, and probably about 1150 Albert Grelley the elder enfeoffed Orm son of Ailward, of Kirkby Ireleth, of a knight's fee in Dalton, Parbold, and Wrightington, in marriage with his daughter Emma. The heirs of Orm held it in 1212. (fn. 3) Dalton was reputed part of the Manchester fee down to the 17th century. (fn. 4)

The descent of the mesne lordship it is not possible to trace clearly. The descendants of Orm were the Kirkbys of Kirkby Ireleth, who long retained an interest in part of the fee of Dalton, Parbold, and Wrightington. Dalton and Parbold as half a knight's fee seem very early to have been granted to the Lathom family, (fn. 5) and Parbold and part at least of Dalton were in turn granted to younger sons. In the 13th century Dalton was held by Richard de Orrell, Richard le Waleys of Aughton, and Henry de Torbock, but how their interests had arisen there is nothing to show, though the Torbocks no doubt held their quarter of the manor by a grant from the Lathoms.

The Orrell portion, called a fourth part of the manor, (fn. 6) was like Orrell itself acquired by the Holland family, (fn. 7) and descended in the same way to the Lovels, (fn. 8) and, on forfeiture, to the Earls of Derby. (fn. 9) The latter sold it about 1600 to the Orrells of Turton, (fn. 10) who soon afterwards sold all their rights to the Ashhursts. (fn. 11) The Dalton family, who took their name from this township, but who are better known as lords of Bispham in Leyland and afterwards of Thurnham, probably held under the Hollands and their successors. (fn. 12)

The Waleys portion was divided, half being given to a younger branch of the family. Richard le Waleys had a brother Randle, whose son Richerit was a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 13) Adam the son of Richerit sold his quarter share to Robert, lord of Lathom, who granted it to the priory of Burscough. (fn. 14)

The priory continued to hold this quarter of the manor to the Suppression, after which its fate has not been ascertained; but all or most was probably acquired by the Earls of Derby, (fn. 15) and remained with this family till the sale of Lady Ashburnham's estates. (fn. 16)

Orrell. Argent three torteaux between two bendlets gules, a chief sable.

The fourth part retained by the Waleys family descended like Uplitherland to the Bradshaghs, (fn. 17) and was sold in 1546 to Matthew Clifton, (fn. 18) and then apparently to the Ashhursts, who before that seem to have been the tenants under Waleys and Bradshagh.

The remaining quarter, that of the Torbocks, descended for some time with the principal manor of Tarbock; but this portion of Dalton became, like Turton, the share of the Orrell family. (fn. 19) The estate was often called the manor of Walton Lees. A family named Lascelles, of long continuance in this township and Upholland, appear to have been the immediate holders. (fn. 20)

In 1598 William Orrell of Turton was called lord of 'three-fourths' of the manor, holding his hereditary share and that of the Holland family; and William Ashhurst lord of 'one-fourth,' i.e. probably the Waleys share. (fn. 21) The Burscough quarter does not seem to be accounted for. Shortly afterwards, as stated above, the Ashhursts acquired the Orrells' lands and rights, and became sole lords of the manor. In 1751 they sold it to Sir Thomas Bootle, and it has since descended with Lathom, the Earl of Lathom being lord of the manor.

In the absence of records it is not possible to give a satisfactory account of the Ashhurst family. (fn. 22) The earliest known is Simon de Ashhurst, who about the end of the reign of Henry III granted to his son Robert all his land in Dalton, and to his son John all his land in Ashhurst. (fn. 23) Robert son of Simon next occurs; (fn. 24) and in 1300 Richard son of Robert de Ashhurst made a release of lands in Pemberton. (fn. 25) This Richard acquired lands about the same time from Henry the Miller of Skelmersdale, whose daughter Alice afterwards released her right in the same. (fn. 26) Richard's son Adam was the most distinguished member of the family until the Commonwealth period. He fought in the French wars under Edward III and was knighted, receiving also a grant of lands in Essex and Hertfordshire. (fn. 27) He was succeeded by his son John, who married Margery, daughter of Henry de Orrell, (fn. 28) and had a son Roger. This Roger about 1385 married Maud, (fn. 29) daughter of Henry de Ince, leaving a son Robert, whose son John de Ashhurst about 1437 married a daughter of Roger de Dalton. (fn. 30) From this date there is an absence of documentary evidence until the middle of the 16th century, (fn. 31) about which time, as already stated, William Ashhurst acquired, probably from the Bradshaghs of Aughton, a quarter of the manor, and afterwards acquired the remainder from William Orrell.

This William Ashhurst was in 1590 reported to be 'soundly affected in religion'; (fn. 32) and the family continued Protestant, adopting Puritan and Presbyterian tenets. William Ashhurst died in 1618, (fn. 33) and was succeeded by his son Henry, who married Cassandra Bradshaw, (fn. 34) and had several children, including Henry, the draper and alderman of London, a wealthy man and a consistent Puritan. (fn. 35) The eldest son William was a member of the Long Parliament, and also of Cromwell's Parliament of 1654. (fn. 36) He died in January 1656–7, and was succeeded by his eldest son and heir Thomas, who recorded a pedigree in 1664. John Ashhurst, the brother of William and Henry, took an active part in the Civil War on the Parliamentary side, having a commission as captain and major. He engaged in the second siege of Lathom, and was present at the surrender in December 1645; he was subsequently governor of Liverpool. (fn. 37)

Ashhurst. Gules a cross between four fleurs-de-lis argent.

Thomas Ashhurst, aged twenty-five in 1664, (fn. 38) was succeeded in 1700 by his son Thomas Henry, who made a settlement of the manor of Dalton in 1706, (fn. 39) and about thirty years later succeeded also to the manor of Waterstock in Oxfordshire, which had been bought by the above-named Alderman Henry Ashhurst. In 1751 the manors of Dalton, Upholland, and Skelmersdale, with various lands, were sold to Sir Thomas Bootle by Henry Ashhurst, son of Thomas Henry, (fn. 40) and apparently an elder brother of Sir William Henry Ashhurst, the judge.

Families named Arrowsmith, (fn. 41) Prescott, (fn. 42) and Hol land (fn. 43) also held lands in Dalton. In 1600 William Ashhurst and William Moss were the only freeholders recorded. (fn. 44)

The Knights Hospitallers had land. (fn. 45)

In the 13th century an estate called Sifredlea is recorded; it disappeared later. (fn. 46)

About 1400, 2 acres of land in Dalton, granted without royal licence for the repair of Douglas Bridge, were confiscated, but restored. (fn. 47)

For the adherents of the Established Church John Prescott of the Grange, owner of the great tithes of the township, turned the tithe barn into a place of worship; a district was assigned to it in 1870, (fn. 48) and it was consecrated in 1872; but five years later the present church of St. Michael and All Angels was built on an adjoining site, and the old one destroyed. The patronage is in the hands of Mrs. Prescott. (fn. 49)


  • 1. 2,102, including five of inland water; Census Rep. of 1901.
  • 2. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 284b.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 55.
  • 4. Ibid. 154 (Dalton probably included with Parbold) and 248. For claims by Lord La Warr see Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 264; ii, 74. From the Manchester Ct. Lect Rec. (ed. Earwaker) it appears that constables for Dalton and Parbold were summoned to the court leet down to 1733, though they did not appear; vii, 25.
  • 5. Inq. and Extents, i, 55; see also Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 18. Robert de Lathom was holding the knight's fee in Parbold and Wrightington in 1242 (p. 154). Robert de Lathom was one of the tenants in 1282, but Thomas de Ashton did suit; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), i, 136. The Lathom tenure was remembered in 1349; ibid. 443; and even in the Feodary of 1483 it is stated that 'Lord Stanley holds Allerton and Dalton of Lord la Warre'; see also Feud. Aids, iii, 94.
  • 6. In the grants to Burscough of a quarter of the vill John de Orrell has the position of a superior lord, confirming the grant; Burscough Priory Reg. fol. 31b. The same John granted to Burscough land held of him by Robert son of Henry the Smith of Lees; ibid. He and his father Richard were benefactors of Cockersand Abbey. One of the father's grants was the half of Lithurst, the other half of which seems to have belonged to Richard le Waleys, with lands of Burscough Priory adjacent. John de Orrell made grants of Nelescroft and Fernyhurst and of a piece of land, the bounds of which cause the naming of Full clough, Mickle clough, the Hill, Edwin's ridding, Barn lache, the Dyke, the carr, Lithurst and Buke side; acquittance of pannage for thirty pigs in Dalton Wood was allowed with other easements; Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 621–5.
  • 7. See the account of Orrell. In 1320 Sir Robert de Holland was the principal mesne tenant, Richard le Waleys, the Prior of Burscough and Ellen de Torbock following; Dalton and Parbold are joined, but the tenant of the latter is omitted; the service was 3s. for sake fee and 5s. for ward of the castle of Lancaster. From the later statement of rents it is evident that half of this was due from Dalton, and the other half from Parhold; thus each of the four quarters of the former should pay 1s. In 1341 and again in 1349 it was found that Maud de Holland held the fourth part of Dalton of the lord of Manchester in socage by a rent of 13d. and the lord of Manchester of the Earl of Lancaster by the same service; Inq. p.m. 15 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 30; 23 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 58. In the latter year it was worth, in all issues, 53s. 4d.
  • 8. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 2. The rent is this time stated as 6d., so that half had been alienated, probably to the Daltons. A Manchester rental of 1473 shows the division of the manor at that time: The Prior of Burscough, 6d.; William Orrell, jun. (of Turton), 12d.; Richard Bradshaw of Uplitherland, 12d.; William Arrowsmith of Warrington, 6d.; Lord Lovel, 6d.; — Dalton, 6d. (making 4s.); Edward de Lathom (of Parbold), 4s.; making up the 8s. paid for sake fee and castle-ward as in 1320; Mamecestre, 491.
  • 9. Pat. 4 Hen. VII, 25 Feb.
  • 10. Bridgeman, Wigan Ch. (Chet. Soc.), 257. Bishop Bridgeman recorded the division of the manor among four lords, of whom the Prior of Burscough was one; and says—'All these four lords called themselves lords thereof, and sometimes kept courts all jointly and sometimes severally'; 258.
  • 11. Thomas Parker, who died in 1600, held various messuages and lands in Dalton of William Orrell, which in 1622, when the inquisition was taken, were held of Henry Ashhurst; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 307.
  • 12. Robert de Dalton is mentioned as early as 1293; Inq. and Extents, 276. In 1305 Robert de Dalton was claiming common of pasture from Ellen, widow of Henry de Lathom, and from the Prior of Burscough; De Banco R. 154, m. 252 d.; 156, m. 119. There was another family bearing the local name, who held of the Torbocks; thus Gilbert son of Alan de Dalton speaks of 'my lord, Henry de Torbock'; Kuerden MSS. iii, T, 2, no. 15. Robert de Dalton allowed the Prior of Burscough to approve in the hey of Dalton; Burscough Reg., fol. 34b. The most conspicuous of the early members of the family was Sir John de Dalton, kt., whose exploit in carrying off Margery de la Beche in 1347 has been mentioned in the account of Upholland. Robert de Dalton, his father, was then living. Sir John died in 1369 holding 40 acres in Dalton of Roger La Warr, lord of Manchester, in socage, by the rent of 9d. yearly; Inq. p.m. 43 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 31. The service does not agree with the 6d. named in the rental previously quoted. Ellen, wife of Robert de Urswick, was executrix; De Banco R. 454, m. 141 d. For later descents see the accounts of Bispham in Leyland and Thurnham.
  • 13. By a charter made in the first quarter of the 13th century Richard le Waleys, with the consent of his brother Randle, gave land to Cockersand; Dolfin and Itharthur were two of the tenants; Cockersand Chart. ii, 616. This was followed by grants and confirmation from Richerit son of Randle le Waleys; the first of these states that the quittance of pannage had the consent of John de Orrell; while another was for the benefit, among others, of 'the soul of Thomas Grelley, my patron' (advocatus); ibid. ii, 617–20. These charters contain a number of local names, as Hawk's nest clough, Rushy lea, Rodelea pool, Sandyford, &c. Adam the son of Richerit was also a benefactor; ibid. ii, 621. The Cockersand lands were afterwards held in 1451 by Henry Birchinshaw by a rent of 12d., in 1501 by the Earl of Derby, and in 1537 by the Prior of Burscough (who denied); ibid. iv, 1244, &c.
  • 14. Burscough Reg. fol. 31, 31b. John le Waleys released to Sir Robert de Lathom the annual rent of a pair of gloves due to him from the fourth part of the vill, which Richerit de Aughton and Adam his son had held of the lord of Uplitherland by that rent; ibid. fol. 33. John le Waleys also granted lands in Bokeside, the bounds beginning at Liveldsbridge; this charter mentions the house which Robert de Legh founded on the land of Blessed Nicholas of Burscough; ibid. fol. 33b; see also fol. 32b for another gift. His son Richard confirmed these grants; ibid. fol. 35. The other Burscough charters include an agreement between the prior and Richard son of Stephen de Lees and Denise his wife as to land in Rodelea carr; an engagement by Richard son of Simon de Haselhurst for himself and his heirs, to pay 6d. a year to the prior and canons to the end of the world; and a grant of Gibhey, between Priors' Hey and the Douglas, made by Geoffrey de Wrightington; ibid. fol. 34, 35. At the Dissolution the priory was drawing a rent of £6 3s. from its lands in Dalton, viz. £4 from Dalton Hey, Richard Prescott being tenant at will; 10s. from Gorstilow or Gorstifield, the same tenant; 25s. from Haselhurst, Buckshead, and Willins carr, leased to John son of Ralph Orrell for 509 years from 1533, when Edward Prescott was tenant; the second best animal, or 6s. 8d., was paid as heriot; and 8s. from a quarter of the Helde in Dalton, formerly Walsh's, William Shaw being tenant; Duchy of Lanc. Mins. Accts. bdle. 136, no. 2198, m. 7 d.
  • 15. A grant of Burscough lands, including Dalton, was made to the Earl of Derby in 1603; Pat. 1 Jas. I, pt. v, 21 July. William Rigby of Lathom, who died just before this date, held land in Dalton of the Earl of Derby, as parcel of the possessions of the dissolved monastery of Burscough; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 20; see also i, 30, and ii, 185. Part of the Burscough lands was later granted to Robert Hesketh; Pat. 12 Jas. I, pt. 5.
  • 16. Lands in Dalton were included in a fine concerning the Derby manors, &c., in 1708, John Earl of Anglesey and Henrietta Maria his wife, being deforciants; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 260, m. 53. They were sold under a decree of 14 July 1719 to Thomas Franke; Cal. Exch. of Pleas, D. 3; see the account of Lathom.
  • 17. John le Waleys acquired land in Dalton in 1283; Final Conc. i, 161. Richard le Waleys in 1322 held a fourth part of the manor of Dalton; ibid. ii, 46. This was in possession of Eleanor wife of Thomas de Formby in 1372; ibid. ii, 183.
  • 18. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 12, m. 173; William and Edward Bradshagh were the vendors. About a year afterwards Matthew Clifton had a dispute with John Orrell and others regarding a coalmine in Dalton; Ducatus, i, 222. William Clifton was hanged at Lancaster 28 Aug. 1562 for participation in the murder of William Huyton of Blackrod; he had lands in Dalton held of William, Lord La Warr, by knight's service and the rent of 12d.; also lands in Mawdesley and Ormskirk; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 40.
  • 19. For the descent see the account of Tarbock. See also Final. Conc. ii, 183, Maud widow of Richard de Torbock granted her annuity from Walton Lees to Gilbert de Haydock in 1340; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxxviii, 45; also 247, &c., for other arrangements, in one of which John the son of Maud is named; he is not otherwise known. In the endorsement of one deed Maud is called 'de Standish.' Walton Lees and Turton were early secured by the Orrells, according to the award of the arbitrators in 1425; Croxteth D. Z. i, 21. Ralph Orrell, who died in or before 1535, held messuages and lands in Dalton of the Earl of Derby by a rent of 14d. and of Lord La Warr by a rent of 12d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, no. 1; those said to be held of the Earl of Derby were perhaps in Upholland or Orrell. In 1543 a formal agreement was made between Lord La Warr and John Orrell of Turton, setting forth that the latter held his lands, &c. in Dalton of the lord of Manchester by fealty and the yearly rent of 12d., and by doing suit at the court of the manor of Manchester twice a year; Manchester Corp. D.; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 74. A grant or confirmation of lands in Orrell and Dalton was made to William Orrell in 1599; Pat. 41 Eliz. pt. 11.
  • 20. Walton Lee is mentioned in a grant to Cockersand; Chart. ii, 629. Richard son of Thurstan de Waltonlees in or before 1270 released 2 acres in the vill of Walton Lees to Henry de Torbock; Kuerden MSS. iii, T. 2, no. 17. In 1292 Denise, wife of Richard son of Stephen de Dalton Lees claimed lands in Upholland and Sivardslee against Richard Lascelles and Amice (or Avice) his wife; William son of Warine son of Matthew, a minor, was called to warrant; Assize R. 408, m. 33. The defendants are named in an earlier suit; Assize R. 1238, m. 31 d. In 1322 Henry son of Richard Lascelles quitclaimed to Ellen de Torbock all his right in the Green in Dalton; Kuerden MSS. iii, T. 2, no. 14. In 1341 Gilbert de Haydock granted lands in Dalton to Burscough Priory. Part at least was held of Maud widow of Sir Robert de Holland by a rent of ½d.; and part had been purchased from Warine Lascelles; Inq. p.m. 15 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 30; Kuerden fol. MS. fol. 175. Three years later Henry Lascelles of Walton Lees claimed certain lands in Dalton against Adam del Ley of Welch Whittle, John the Prior of Burscough, Gilbert de Haydock, Maud de Standish, and others; afterwards the estate was described as a fourth part of four messuages, 2 oxgangs of land, &c., and the resulting suits show the descent of the Torbock quarter of the manor; Assize R. 1435, m. 38 d.; De Banco R. 346, m. 155 d.; 348, m. 146, &c. Isolda widow of Warine Lascelles claimed dower in 1348 from Thomas, Prior of Burscough, and Henry de Molyneux of Halsnead, respecting the grant to the priory; Assize R. 1444, m. 6. In 1501 John Lascelles held the Cockersand lands in Upholland by a rent of 12d.; Cockersand Rental (Chet. Soc.), 7. In 1574 Thomas 'Lassell' and Elizabeth his wife had a water-mill and other property in Upholland; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 36, m. 25. Thomas Lassell, who seems to have married a second wife named Margaret, had a son Edward, whose first wife was named Grace, and second Ellen; there are various fines concerning their estate in Dalton and Upholland, and in 1586 they sold land in Upholland to Anne Halsall; ibid. bdle. 41, m. 136; 48, m. 103, &c. The name occurs in later documents.
  • 21. Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 362. John Orrell was deforciant of the manors of Turton and Dalton in 1607; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 72, m. 5. William Orrell of Turton died in 1612 seised of the manor of Dalton, which was held of Sir N. Mosley as of his manor of Manchester by a rent of 12d.; thus only the rent of a quarter of the manor was paid; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 224.
  • 22. There are a few brief notes of the family deeds in Harl. MS. 2112, fol. 95. Pedigrees were recorded in 1613 and 1664; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), p. 97 and p. 9 respectively; abstracts of some deeds are printed with the former. There is a later one in Foster's Lancs. Pedigrees. The place-name occurs in a charter by Richard le Waleys early in the 14th century, mention being made of lands which Hugh son of Osbert held in Ashhurst; Burscough Reg. fol. 35b. The following other members of the family are named in the deeds in Harl. MS. 2112; Roger, in Scarisbrick; Hugh, with John and Adam his sons, in Shevington; Thomas, whose mother was Hannah daughter of Robert Torbock, in Lathom; William in Winstanley; Ralph and Henry his son in Upholland; all in undated deeds.
  • 23. Harl. MS. 2112; Visit. of 1613; grants from Simon to his sons Robert and John. Simon de Ashhurst was defendant in a plea concerning 20 acres in Dalton in 1292; the plaintiff, Robert son of William de Senington (? Shevington) and grandson of Robert son of Osbert, was nonsuited; Assize R. 408, m. 30.
  • 24. Harl. MS. 2112; Ashhurst is called a vill.
  • 25. Harl. MS. 2112.
  • 26. Ibid.; Visit. of 1613. Richard and Adam de Ashhurst contributed to the subsidy of 1322, the former paying 5s. out of a total of 16s.; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 8.
  • 27. Staff. Hist. Coll. (W. Salt Soc.), xviii, 38, 85, &c. Pardons were granted at his request in 1347; ibid. 277. His retinue consisted of four esquires and two archers; ibid. 200. In 1336, already a knight, he received a grant of land in Dalton from John the Harper of Dalton; Visit. of 1613. Three years after he had a protection from the king, dated at Brussels, as being in the royal service in parts across the seas; Harl. MS. 2112. There are also references to him in the Cal. Pat. In 1341 he acquired land in Dalton from Richard son of Adam de Huyton and Alice his wife; Final Conc. ii, 114; see also De Banco R. 328, m. 155 d. He was still living in 1366, when he granted his lands to his son John; Harl. MS. 2112.
  • 28. Visit. of 1613; Harl. MS. 2112.
  • 29. Visit. of 1613.
  • 30. Ibid. A John Ashhurst of Dalton in 1481 granted to William Bolland, Abbot of Cockersand, a rent of 12d. and 6s. 8d. at death as an obit; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1553.
  • 31. About 1540 William Ashhurst was tenant of the Hospitallers' land in Dalton, at a rent of 12d.; Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84. The rent suggests an alternative origin for the 'fourth part of the manor' subsequently claimed for this family. In 1559 a settlement was made of lands in Dalton by William Ashhurst and Cecily his wife, who according to the pedigree of 1613 were the parents of the William Ashhurst of 1590; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 21, m. 143.
  • 32. Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 246; quoting S.P. Dom. Eliz. ccxxxv, 4.
  • 33. Manchester Ct. Leet Rec. iii, 19; 'his will dated 6 February 1615–16 was proved at Chester 9 April 1618. He mentions his wife Margaret; his son Henry Ashhurst, and his daughter Anne Elston, and Robert, Elizabeth, Margaret, Henry, Anne, and Mary Elston, children of the latter. Henry Ashhurst was to pay his mother £40 a year; in default of which she was to have all the testator's lands in Bispham and Wrightington for her life.'
  • 34. Visit. of 1613, p. 98; Local Glean. Lancs. and Ches. ii, 250; marriage settlement dated June 1606. Baxter says that he 'was a gentleman of great wisdom and piety, and zealous for the true reformed religion in a country where papists much abounded. And when King James, the more to win them, was prevailed with to sign the book for dancing and other such sports on the Lord's days, he being then a justice of the peace, as his ancestors had been, and the papists thus emboldened sent a piper not far from the chapel to draw the people from the public worship, he sent him to the house of correction. And being for this misrepresented to the king and council he was put to justify the legality of what he did at the assizes; which he so well performed that the judge was forced to acquit him—though he was much contrary to him; and an occasion being offered to put the oath of allegiance on his prosecutors, their refusal showed them papists, as was before suspected'; ibid. 251. Henry Ashhurst was the only Dalton landowner contributing to the subsidy of 1628; Norris D. (B.M.). He and Cassandra his wife were in possession of the manor in 1630; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 115, no. 3. In the following year he paid £25 as composition on refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 212. About the same time he was engaged in the trial of Anne Spencer, a known witch; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 55.
  • 35. 'A very holy man,' according to Oliver Heywood; Diaries, ii, 142. His career and virtues are recorded by Richard Baxter in the funeral sermon quoted in the last note. See also Wood, Athenae Oxon. (Eccl. Hist. Soc.), i, 157–8; and Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 36. Local Glean. ii, 272, 275; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Rep. of Lancs. 280, 73. He was a member of the fourth Presbyterian Classis in 1646; Baines, Lancs. (ed. Croston), i, 308.
  • 37. Local Glean. ii, 276. Afterwards, as a leading Presbyterian, he joined in the attempt to set Charles II on the throne in 1651, and took refuge in the Isle of Man; Cal. of Com. for Advance of Money, iii, 1464. See Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 77, &c.; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 176–7.
  • 38. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 9.
  • 39. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 256, m. 3. The estate is described as the manor of Dalton, with messuages, barns, dovecote, lands, wood, common of pasture and turbary, and 20s. rent in Dalton, Wrightington, Ormskirk, Lathom, Bispham, Skelmersdale, Shevington, Orrell, and Hutton. In 1721 King's Silver was paid by Thomas Ashhurst and Diana his wife for a fine concerning the manors of Dalton, Upholland, and Skelmersdale; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 512, m. 8.
  • 40. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 347, m. 26. This Henry is omitted in the pedigree in Foster, but appears in the Alumni Oxonienses as son of Thomas Henry Ashhurst, having entered Exeter College, Oxford, in 1739, aged eighteen; he was made D.C.L. in 1754, being then of Waterstock, Oxfordshire. Sir William Henry Ashhurst is stated to have been born in 1725; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 41. William Arrowsmith of Warrington in the rental of 1473, already quoted, paid 6d.; this was possibly a part of the Burscough quarter, the prior being returned as paying 6d. only. Hugh Arrowsmith occurs in 1555; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 15, m. 40. In 1598 there was a dispute as to land between William Ashhurst and Robert Arrowsmith; Ducatus (Rec. Com.), iii, 393.
  • 42. As will have been seen from the Burscough rental the Prescotts were tenants of the priory at the Dissolution for Dalton Hey and Gorstilow. Alice and Edward Prescott were among the defendants in a case regarding these lands in 1548; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 51. Richard Prescott and Ellen his wife occur in 1560; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 22, m. 108. He seems to have been a lessee of the Orrells for their manor of Walton Lees, and his children were orphans in 1596; Ducatus, iii, 206, &c. The Recusant Roll of 1641 includes two Prescotts, also Crosses, Holland, &c.; Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xiv, 239. The Earls of Derby owned the tithes of Dalton, and about 1782 sold their right to Mr. Prescott, in whose family it remains; Bridgeman, Wigan Ch. 258.
  • 43. In 1554 Lewis Orrell had a dispute with Robert, Ralph, Hugh, and Agnes Holland respecting a close in Dalton called the Barn Hey; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Edw. VI, x, O. 1. In 1560 Richard Holland and Margaret his wife had land at Dalton; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 22, m. 102. In a fine of 1572 concerning land in Dalton in which Richard Holland, Ralph Crosse, Philip Moss, and Edward Prescott were plaintiffs, and Richard Chisnall and Thomas Lathom deforciants, the latter warranted Richard Holland and his heirs against Lord La Warr, the heirs of William Bradshagh, deceased, James Howorth, and Margaret his wife, and Margaret's heirs, and John Parbold and Margery his wife; ibid. bdle. 34, m. 16. Richard Holland died 29 Apr. 1587 holding lands in Dalton, Parbold, and Ormskirk, which by his will he left to his wife Margaret for life and then to his son and heir James; the latter was sixtyeight years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 20. James Holland, perhaps a son of the last-named James, died in 1605, leaving a son and heir Richard, eleven years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 30. In 1717 Ellen Holland, daughter of James Holland, as a 'papist' registered an estate at Dalton for the life of her sister Mary; Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 131.
  • 44. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 239, 241. In 1653 Edward Moss of Dalton, two-thirds of whose estate had been sequestered for recusancy, asked leave to contract for the same; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 199.
  • 45. Plac. de Quo War. (Rec. Com.), 375; see also a preceding note.
  • 46. The name has a great variety of spellings. In 1202 Syfrethelegh was part of the tenement of Alan de Windle (or de Pemberton) in which Edusa his widow claimed dower; Final Conc. i, 38. In 1241 Robert de Holland released his claim to twelve oxgangs in Pemberton, on receiving from Adam de Pemberton the homage and service (viz. 5s. 6d. rent) of Thomas de Siverdelege in the latter place; ibid. 82. Very early in the 13th century Edrith de Sivirdeleie granted a portion of his land to Cockersand Abbey, the bounds commencing at a burnt oak by Swinley Carr, so to two oaks, and to Raven's Oak, and by syke and brook to the great bank, and so to the start; this was afterwards held by a tenant paying 12d. and a half a mark at death; Cockersand Chart. ii, 627. In 1271 or 1272 Robert son of Thomas de Siverthelege released to Matthew de Bispham and his heirs all his right in the abbey's land in Slverthelege, rendering to the abbot 12d. a year; this land was in 1268 held by Matthew de Holland; ibid. ii, 629, 630. It is clear that Matthew de Holland was the same as Matthew de Bispham, and it was for him probably that Robert de Holland had before bought out the interest of Adam de Pemberton.
  • 47. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 2.
  • 48. Lond. Gaz. 29 Nov. 1870; 23 Dec. 1870.
  • 49. Bridgeman, Wigan Ch. 789.