Townships: Halliwell

Pages 12-20

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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In this section


Haliwell, 1246; Harywal, 1273; Halewell, Haliwelle, 1277–8.

Halliwell is divided into two portions by a brook which runs east into the Tonge; the southern portion, Halliwell proper, adjoins Bolton, of which it is becoming a suburb; the north-western, Smithills, is still rural. The whole has an area of 2,479½ acres. (fn. 1) Halliwell proper has a breadth of about two miles; the surface rises a little from east to west. Smithills stretches about three miles in a north-westerly direction, rising steadily from under 500 ft. to over 1,475, on the border of Horwich. To the north of Deane Brook, almost to the limit of the township towards Bolton, the geological formation consists of the Millstone Grit. The town of Halliwell and Smithills Hall lie upon the Lower Coal Measures.

The principal road is that from Bolton to Horwich and Chorley, on both sides of which dwelling-houses are spreading; another road leads more northerly through the Smithills portion.

The population in 1901 was 25,849, but this includes Heaton also.

Halliwell has for a century been famous for its bleach works; there are also cotton mills.

A local board was formed in 1863. (fn. 2) In 1877 part of the township was taken into the borough of Bolton. In 1894 a separate civil parish was formed for Smithills, but four years later this also was absorbed.

Tokens issued in 1652 and 1666 are extant. (fn. 3)

In the latter year seventy-five hearths were assessed to the tax; the manor-house at Smithills (Sir Rowland Bellasyse) had nineteen hearths, but no other dwelling had more than four. (fn. 4)


The manor of HALLIWELL was originally a member of the lordship of Barton, (fn. 5) and seems at first to have been part of the possessions of the Pendlebury family. (fn. 6) William son of Roger de Pendlebury in 1289 granted to Richard son and heir of David de Hulton the whole vill of Halliwell with its appurtenances, with the homages of Robert de Shoresworth and Hugh de Halliwell for the lands they held; an annual rent of a silver penny was payable. (fn. 7) In 1302 it was held by Richard de Hulton of the lord of Manchester by the tenth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 8) Three oxgangs of land here contributed to the sustenance of the foresters of Horwich. (fn. 9) In 1325–6 Richard de Hulton granted to his brother John land in Hulton and Westhoughton, (fn. 10) and this is supposed to be the John de Hulton of Halliwell, whose son and heir Richard was in 1351 contracted to marry Margery daughter of Adam the Ward of Sharples. (fn. 11) Nothing further is known of this branch of the Hulton family, but in 1473 Robert Hulton held the lordship of Halliwell by the ancient service. (fn. 12) Adhering to the Yorkist side his lands were confiscated in 1487 and conferred by Henry VII on the Earl of Derby. (fn. 13) The manor descended regularly for a century; in 1601 it was held by Edward Stanley. (fn. 14) About that time it seems to have been sold, part going to Robert Marsh of Halliwell, (fn. 15) whose son-in-law Samuel Shipton, clerk, was in possession in 1638; (fn. 16) afterwards it descended to Samuel Aspinall, (fn. 17) and then disappears from notice. (fn. 18)

SMITHILLS was held by the Hospitallers, and appears to have been held under them by the Hulton family, passing with the manor of Blackburn to the Raddiffes in 1335. (fn. 19) The Radcliffes of Smithills occur during the 15th century, having made the place their chief manor. (fn. 20) Sir Ralph Radcliffe, the third of the same name in succession, dying about 1460, (fn. 21) the estates went to the heir male, Ralph son of Sir Ralph's brother Edmund; and he leaving a daughter and heir Cecily, they passed to her husband John Barton of Holme, near Newark, (fn. 22) and they and their descendants retained possession until the 18th century.

John Barton, having made a settlement of his manors and lands in 1514, and seen his son Andrew married to Anne or Agnes daughter of Sir William Stanley of Hooton, renounced the world, and in July 1516 entered the monastery of the Observant Friars at Richmond in Surrey, and was there professed. (fn. 23) Andrew Barton added a moiety of the manor of Oswaldtwisle (fn. 24) to the family possessions, recorded a pedigree at the visitation of 1533, (fn. 25) and died in 1549, leaving a son and heir Robert, then twentyfour years of age. (fn. 26) Robert Barton, who succeeded, was the justice to whom George Marsh surrendered in 1554; the story went that Marsh, in his emphatic denial that his teaching was heretical, stamped so forcibly on the hall pavement at Smithills that the mark of his foot remained in the stone. (fn. 27) Robert Barton dying childless in 1580, (fn. 28) the manors went to his brother Ralph, reader in Gray's Inn. Ralph, who died in 1592, (fn. 29) was succeeded by his son Randle (fn. 30) and grandson Sir Thomas. (fn. 31)

Grace, the daughter and heir of Sir Thomas, married Henry Belasyse son of Thomas, first Viscount Fauconberg. (fn. 32) Henry died during his father's lifetime, leaving among others two sons, Thomas, second Viscount and first Earl Fauconberg, who died without issue in 1700; (fn. 33) and Sir Rowland Belasyse, who seems to have resided at Smithills, (fn. 34) and whose son Thomas in 1700 succeeded his uncle as third viscount. (fn. 35) Thomas, his son, the fourth viscount, sold Smithills in 1722 to the Byroms of Manchester. (fn. 36) About a hundred years later it was purchased by Richard Ainsworth, owner of extensive bleach works in the neighbourhood, (fn. 37) and has descended to his grandson, Colonel Richard Henry Ainsworth, the present owner.

Barton. Azure a fesse between three harts' heads caboshed or.

Belasyse, Viscount Fauconberg. Argent a cheveron gules between three fleurs de lis azure.

Smithills Hall stands on high ground 2 miles north-west of Bolton, on the slopes of the moors from which the town takes its name which, less than 2 miles away, attain a height of over 1,200 ft. The hall itself is situated just above the 500 ft. contour line, well outside the town radius, protected by trees on the north and set in picturesque grounds, but with a view southwards from the house embracing the smoke and chimneys of Bolton. The site is a naturally defensive one, being close to the junction of two streams, one the Astley Brook, a quarter of a mile to the south, and the other the Raveden Brook, more immediately to the east. (fn. 38) The other sides were protected by a moat which existed at no very remote period, and the moors behind the house would form a natural protection in that direction.

There is a tradition of a house on the present site as far back as the year 680, and that date is rather humorously carved on a stone over the door to the great hall, (fn. 39) but the oldest part of the present building probably belongs to the early part of the 15th century, and may be even later. The rest of the house is of different dates continually altered and added to. The western part has been so much altered that it is difficult to reconstruct the original plan, but the north and east wings of the older part of the house yet constitute one of the most interesting examples of timber construction in Lancashire, though much changed in appearance by later additions in stone.

With its modern extensions at the west, the house, which is of two stories, has a long frontage facing south of over 270 ft., well broken up both as regards plan and skyline, and forming a composition of great picturesqueness. The walls are variously of stone and timber, these materials being used in the modern work, and all the roofs have stone slates. Almost the whole of the walling to the old part of the house, however, has been restored or otherwise renewed, whether in stone or timber and plaster, but portions of the ancient construction are preserved and show in several places. The greatest part of the ancient work, however, is best seen from the inside.

Plan of Smithills Hall (The modern west wing is not shown)

The oldest part of the house lies to the east and is built on three sides of a quadrangle about 60 ft. wide and 70 ft. from north to south, open on the south side. The great hall occupies the north wing, with the great chamber at its east end, and the kitchen and offices on the west. The east wing, containing the family apartments, terminates at the south with the domestic chapel, approached by a corridor next the courtyard. The staircase is in the north-east angle, forming an external bay with a gable facing west. Between the chapel and the great chamber is a large room, possibly a withdrawing - room, with a large bay window looking east. The north and east wings being no longer inhabited retain the original characteristics of the ancient plan, though much altered from time to time; but the old west wing has been so much modernized that the original arrangement of rooms has been to a great extent lost, though the kitchen and offices occupy pretty much their old position. The house seems to have been extended westward beyond this at different times, but chiefly probably about the year 1579, (fn. 40) by the addition of stone gabled wing facing south, which now forms the central portion of the main front. The whole of the building west of this again, with frontages both north and south, is modern work executed within the last twenty-five years, (fn. 41) but in harmony with the older parts.

The original house seems to have been confined to the three sides of the existing quadrangle, there being no indications of buildings having existed on the south side, except that a former gateway which stood at the south end of the west wing would seem to suggest that the courtyard might have been inclosed all round, or was intended to be so. It existed, however, in this position (where the south end of the modern drawing-room now is, immediately opposite the west door of the chapel) till a comparatively recent time, and is so shown in old illustrations of the house. (fn. 42)

Smithills Hall, East Side of Quadrangle

Against this, however, must be quoted Nathaniel Hawthorne's description of the place in his notebooks, 25 Aug. 1855, in which he says: 'The house formerly stood around all four sides of a quadrangle, enclosing a court, and with an entrance through an enclosure. One side of this quadrangle was removed in the time of the present Mr. Ainsworth's father, and the front is now formed of the remaining three sides.'

Very little of the black and white work facing the quadrangle is original, and much of it—the quatrefoil panel to the great hall and the gable in the northeast corner facing south—is paint on plaster. On the west of the quadrangle it is all modern, and only that on the east wing between the chapel and the great hall has any semblance of old work. The walls on the north and east are of stone up to half their height, above which is a wide band of quatrefoils with a cove above under the eaves. The west wing was originally built without any corridor, but in the 17th century a passage was made on the first floor supported on an arcade of oak columns, forming a verandah to the lower rooms. This has been retained, and in a reconstructed form is one of the most picturesque features of the courtyard.

The great hall, which is 34 ft. 6 in. long (including the screens) by 25 ft. wide, has been a very fine apartment, but is now much mutilated, though fortunately the screen and original open-timber roof still remain, and the restoration of the room to its original appearance would not be difficult. Towards the end of the 18th century the hall was used as a brewhouse, and the outer walls are then supposed to have been raised and a new roof of flatter pitch was added above the old one, the original ridge-line being retained. (fn. 43) A floor was probably also inserted, but the hall is now open to the roof for a little more than half its length at the east end, the present floor being over the screens and the first bay beyond—a distance of about 16 ft. From the evidence of the timber framing of the roof and screens the hall would appear to have been erected during the first half of the 15th century, (fn. 44) and therefore before the Bartons came to Smithills, but the original timber-framed walls seem to have been rebuilt in stone about a century later. The walls have been again largely rebuilt in recent times and are about 3 ft. thick to their original height, above which they are set back on the inside. All the windows are modern, replacing older square-headed ones of plainer type. The screens are at the west end and the dais at the east, but a brick wall and the floor above at the west effectually hide from view the old arrangement at that end. The screen or 'speeres,' is however still in position, and the passage way remains intact with its original oak outer door, at each end and a stone porch on the north, and with the three usual openings (two of which are built up) opposite to the hall, leading to the kitchen passage, buttery, and pantry. The 'speeres' stand 4 ft. 6 in. from the walls, on a low stone base, with octagonal angle posts 12 in. in diameter having moulded caps, from which the curved braces forming the underside of the principal spring. The roof (which is about 27 ft. to the ridge) is divided into five bays of unequal size, the disposition of the principals giving a short bay at each end (6 ft. over screens and 4 ft. over dais), and in the centre, with larger bays of 8 ft. between. The two central coupled principals probably indicate the presence of a louvre, as there is no fireplace in the hall or sign of there having been one. The timbers of the roof are very massive and plain, the chief ornament consisting of shaped wind braces forming quatrefoil panelling along the whole length. At the east end of the room the original timber construction of the wall behind the dais remains, but the dais and canopy over have disappeared. The roof over the short eastern bay is modern. The whole of the wall west of the screens preserves its ancient timber construction and is enriched with curved braces to its full height, those in the upper part forming large quatrefoil panels. The roof of the hall is carried on stone corbels about 10 ft. from the floor, one of which is carved with an eight-leaved rose. One of the middle principals, however, is continued on the south side down to the floor, which was most likely the case with the others before the rebuilding of the walls in stone. The west end of the hall between the 'speeres' was probably occupied by a standing screen and without a minstrels' gallery, but there are traces of one having been inserted later, the floor of which would probably be about the height of the present modern floor over the screens. (fn. 45)

Smithills Hall, East Side

The great chamber at the east end of the hall is now cut up and hardly recognizable, but was formerly a room 33 ft. long by 14 ft. 6 in. wide with windows north and south and a large fireplace on the east side, all of which features still remain though difficult to distinguish. The ceiling is low and crossed by four moulded beams and a single one its full length forming ten square panels, and there is a room over. The window at the south end under the gable facing the quadrangle is an original square-headed one with moulded wood mullions and diamond quarries.

Beyond the great chamber a small lobby marks the junction of the north and east wings, with a door to a small open court on the north. From this court some external timber construction can be seen on the north and west sides, together with the massive stone chimney of the great chamber—one of the few parts of the building that have not been much restored. On the floor of the lobby itself is shown the footprint of George Marsh, the Protestant martyr, carefully preserved under a grating.

The large room at the north end of the east wing may have been used as a dining-room after the abandonment of the great hall, or possibly as a withdrawing-room. It is 33 ft. in length and 19 ft. wide, and at its south-east corner is a large bay window 11 ft. square separated from the room by an arched opening with carved spandrels. The great distance of the room from the kitchen is rather against its having been used as a banqueting hall, though there appears to have been a doorway to a cellar (at a lower level) at the north-east end. The ceiling is divided into four bays by three richly moulded oak beams with moulded brackets supported on wood corbels and longitudinally by three smaller beams, similarly moulded, making twelve squares, each square being enriched by moulded joists about a foot apart. The ceiling of the bay is boarded, with thin moulded ribs nailed on forming a star-shaped panelling. The bay itself preserves its old timber construction, and goes up two stories, finishing in a gable; but the windows are only old on the north and south sides, where the original diamond quarries and moulded mullions and transoms remain. (fn. 46) On the east the window frame is modern with square chamfered detail and large square quarries. The north and east walls of the room have been rebuilt in brick, but the west and south walls show the old timber and plaster construction, but are otherwise plain. The fireplace on the east side and the windows near it are modern. Originally the room was richly panelled in oak, (fn. 47) and must have presented a very handsome appearance, but a good deal of the oak panelling is now in the modern dining-room on the other side of the house. The room over was called the Green Chamber, and is that in which the examination of George Marsh is said to have been held.

The domestic chapel is 42 ft. long and 21 ft wide at the west end, tapering to 18 ft. at the east. In 1856 a fire did much damage, entirely destroying the roof and all the furniture, and the interior has therefore little archaeological interest, all the fittings being modern. The entrance from the house corridor is at the north-west corner, and there is a door at the west end opening to the garden. There is a large square-headed mullioned and transomed window at each end, three smaller windows of three and four lights in the south side, and one of four lights at the east end of the north side. The coloured glass is all new, except in the east window, where portions of the original heraldic glass are preserved, with the Stanley arms and badge conspicuous among them.

On the north side, separated from it by a wall, a room was formerly used as a vestry, (fn. 48) 18 ft. by 14 ft., above which, open to the chapel, was the family pew approached by a door from the corridor above. The vestry has now been thrown into the chapel as a kind of transept, and the pew turned into a gallery. The chapel is still used for public worship.

The rooms in the ancient west wing have been wholly modernized and have no particular interest. They consist of an ante-room and a modern drawingroom of irregular shape, with a narrow staircase on the west side adjoining the fireplace, which, carried up with an external timber gable next to the chimney, makes a rather happy feature in the garden front. In the ante-room is a good carved oak mantel with the date 1694 and the initials A.B. West of these the house is more or less modern, the 17th-century additions which immediately adjoin the old west wing having been a good deal reconstructed and restored. The dining-room and library, however, are interesting rooms on account of their oak wainscot, that of the dining-room being, as before stated, the original panelling from the later hall on the other side of the house. It consists chiefly of long linen pattern panels, with square panels below and an elaborate cornice above. On the west wall is a series of fourteen panels carved in the top part with heads within circles, and below with various designs, four having the Barton oak leaf and acorn, three the buck's head, two a molet, and the rest various patterns of interlaced work. A central additional panel has the sacred monogram " I.H.S." as an interlaced pattern under an ogee head. (fn. 49) The library adjoining (between the dining and drawing-rooms), is also elaborately fitted up with black oak but mostly of later date than that of the dining-room, the detail being of very pronounced renaissance type, and consisting of scriptural and other subjects with quaint inscriptions. The wall between the library and the ante-room contains an old fireplace now built up and completely hidden, and north of the library is a room lit from the ceiling, now called the dome-room, which is in the site of a former open area. It has a good carved oak 17th-century mantel and door, (fn. 50) and contains a sideboard dated 1642.

The rooms on the first floor have no points of interest.

Externally the north front of the house is almost entirely modern, the only old portions being at the east end, where some of the old stone windows and a moulded string-course remain. The east elevation is the least altered, showing as it does the old timber and plaster bay and gable over in an almost unrestored condition.

The gardens lie on the south and east of the house, a terrace wall extending along the whole length of the south and east fronts, the coping of which is on a level with the grass of the lawn so as to keep the view over the park uninterrupted from the ground-floor windows. The terrace staircase enhances the general effect of the external elevation by increasing its height, and the long terrace walk, which is 15 ft. wide and extends the full length of the south front, is below the level of the lawn. At its west end is a raised mound approached by three flights of steps.

Egburden, later Egbert Dene, seems to have included the whole north-western part of Halliwell, known as Smithills Dene and Smithills Moor. (fn. 51) It was part of the lands of the barons of Manchester, (fn. 52) and was held of them by the Bartons of Smithills. (fn. 53)

In addition to the Hospitallers the Canons of Cockersand had land in alms in Halliwell. (fn. 54)

The local surname occurs. (fn. 55) Richard Lees was a freeholder in 1600. (fn. 56) Adam Mort of Astley (fn. 57) and others are recorded to have held lands here in the times of Charles I. (fn. 58)

William Swinburne, a Halliwell recusant, in 1653 petitioned to be allowed to contract for his sequestered estate. (fn. 59)

The principal landowner in 1788 was Miss Byrom, others being Roger Dewhurst, — Aspinall, and Escrick. (fn. 60)

The most notable man springing from the township is the George Marsh, already mentioned, who was condemned and burnt to death at Chester on 24 April 1555 for teaching Protestant doctrines, and refusing to compromise. (fn. 61)

In recent times several places of worship have been erected in the township. For the Established Church St. Peter's was built in 1840, (fn. 62) followed by St. Paul's in 1848; (fn. 63) in 1874 and 1875 respectively St. Luke's (fn. 64) and St. Thomas's (fn. 65) were added. The patronage is in the hands of trustees, except in the case of St. Paul's, to which Colonel R. H. Ainsworth presents. There is a chapel at Smithills, (fn. 66) and a Wesleyan chapel at Delph Hill.

The Roman Catholic church of St. Joseph, which originated in 1881, was opened in 1900. (fn. 67)


  • 1. The Census Report of 1901 gives the area of Halliwell (with Heaton) as 4,229 acres, including 124 of inland water.
  • 2. Lond. Gaz. 27 Nov. 1863.
  • 3. Lancs, and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, 78; William Boardman issued one.
  • 4. Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9, Lancs.
  • 5. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 54.
  • 6. Roger de Pendlebury in 1246 recovered seisin of lands in Halliwell against Randle de Bolton, Mabel widow of Henry de Bolton, Adam de Heaton, Robert and Matthew his brothers, and others; Assize R. 404, m. 1. Amabel widow of Elias son of Roger the Clerk was in 1273 petitioner respecting lands in Pendlebury and Halliwell Roger de Pendlebury being defendant; De Banco R. 5, m. 102.
  • 7. Towneley MS. GG, no. 1808. In 1303 Alice widow of William de Pendlebury claimed dower in nineteen messuages, 180 acres of land, &c., against Margery widow of Richard de Hulton, and against Roger and William, sons of Richard; De Banco R. 164, m. 206.
  • 8. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 314.
  • 9. Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), 377.
  • 10. Hulton Pedigree, 5.
  • 11. Ibid.; three parcels of land, called Farnegoy, Rethfield, and Broxope in Halliwell, were granted to Richard and Margery and their issue, with remainder to Richard's brother Roger.
  • 12. Mamecestre, 480; the service was the tenth part of a knight's fee, puture, a rent of 8d., and 8d. for ward of the castle.
  • 13. Robert Hulton had taken part in the Simnel rising, and was attainted after the battle of Stoke; Rolls of Parl. vi, 397. Early in 1489 his manors of Halliwell and Smithills and various lands were granted to the Earl of Derby; Pat 4 Hen. VII, 25 Feb.
  • 14. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 63, no. 281. William, Earl of Derby, and Edward Stanley, esq., were the deforciants, the property being described as the manor of Halliwell, with twenty messuages, &c., 300 acres of land, &c., and 2s. rent in Halliwell and Smithills.
  • 15. The plaintiffs in the fine were the feoffees of Robert Marsh. He died in 1624 holding lands in Atherton of Thomas Ireland and the reversion of a messuage, 40 acres of land, &c., in Halliwell after the death of Alice, Countess of Derby, widow of the fifth earl, held of the king as the hundredth part of a knight's fee; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxv, no. 14. A rent of £13 9s. 6d. continued to be payable from the manor of Halliwell to the Earl of Derby, and in 1653 it was sold, together with the manor of Bolton, as part of the confiscated estates of the seventh earl, to Charles Worsley; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 240. This rent was recovered, and in 1715 formed part of the estate of the Derby family; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 276, m. 75.
  • 16. Ibid. bdle. 129, no. 13; the manor of Halliwell and land, &c., there and in Atherton were held by Samuel Shipton, clerk, and Abigail his wife, daughter and heir of Robert Marsh. An inquiry respecting it was made in 1641, after the death of Abigail, when her estate was described as three-twentieths of the manor, held of the Earl of Derby by a rent of 33s. 3d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxix, no. 69. Samuel Shipton, M.A., of Brasenose College, Oxford, was rector of Alderley, Cheshire, from 1630 to 1643, when he was ejected as a Royalist; he was reinstated in 1660 and held this benefice till his death in 1670. He recorded a pedigree in 1663. Abigail, his first wife, was born in 1614 and died in 1640, and bore a son and three daughters, who all died young. Shortly afterwards the husband married again; Earwaker, East Ches. ii, 633, 634.
  • 17. According to the Inq. p.m. of 1641 Abigail Shipton's heir was her aunt Margaret's son, Samuel Aspinall, who received the manor of Halliwell and lands there and in Atherton in 1651 from Samuel Shipton and Elizabeth his (second) wife, and Sir Henry Delves, bart., and Roger Wilbraham, junior, these being probably trustees; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 147, m. 135.
  • 18. A fine of 1747 concerning lands in Halliwell, Wigan, &c., also included the chief rents of the township; the deforciants were Edward Hurst, John Rothwell and Margaret his wife, William Battersby and Jane his wife; while the plaintiffs were Richard Rothwell and Thomas Marsh; ibid. bdle. 339, m. 93.
  • 19. This seems the most probable account of the matter, as Smithills and Blackburn afterwards descended together, but there are no charters concerning Smithills available, and it may, of course, have been held by the Radcliffes under the Hospitallers.
  • 20. Some family deeds, relating chiefly to the manor of Oswaldtwisle, are preserved in Towneley MS. OO, no. 1645–76. See also Abram, Blackburn, 251–5.
  • 21. The first Sir Ralph was knight of the shire in 1397 and 1404; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 44, 46. The writ of Diem clausit extr. af er his death was issued 12 May 1406; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 5. Ralph his son had livery soon afterwards; Abram, op. cit. 251. He was knighted by the Duke of Bedford at Leicester in 1426; Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 1. Sir Ralph Radcliffe II was a knight of the shire in 1413, 1423, and 1427; Pink and Beaven, op. cit. 49, 52, 53. In 1424 Ralph son of Sir Ralph Radcliffe made a feoffment of lands in Salford, &c., in which his brother George, rector of Houghton, is named; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1656. This was in connexion with the proposed marriage of his son Ralph with Ellen daughter of John Massey of Tatton, as appears by the above-cited inquisition, in which is also given a settlement of 1431 in favour of Cecily, Sir Ralph's second wife. There are named her son Edmund Radcliffe, and daughters Emma and Douce. Sir Ralph's brother Nicholas is named among the remainders. He died in Jan. 1432–3, but Smithills is not named in the inquisition after his death, though Ralph, his son and heir, then twenty-nine years of age, is described as 'of Smithills'; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 34–6. In the same year (1433) the feoffees delivered to Ralph son of Sir Ralph Radcliffe the manor of Smithills, and lands in Much Hoole, Croston, Leyland, Ulnes Walton, Edgeworth, Bradshaw, Turton, Halliwell, Egburden, Sharples, Harwood, Bolton, Blackburn, Flixton, Lostock, Tonge, &c.; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1658. The escheator also was ordered to deliver lands to Ralph Radcliffe of Smithills, son and heir of Ralph son and heir of Sir Ralph, and Ellen his wife, daughter of John Massey of Tatton; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 34. Two years later Cecily widow of Sir Ralph de Radcliffe was indicted for felony; ibid. 35. In 1436 Ralph Radcliffe granted to feoffees various lands, with the reversion of the lands in Heaton and Horwich, which Cecily widow of Sir Ralph had held in dower. This was for the benefit of his wife Janet, and there were a remainder to Edmund his brother and a dowry of 80 marks for his sister Katherine. Edmund was still a minor; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1657. The third Sir Ralph left a daughter and heir Joan and a widow Katherine; and disputes quickly arose between them and Elizabeth widow of Edmund Radcliffe and Ralph son of Edmund, the heir male; OO, no. 1645, 1646. The date of the former of these (29 Hen. VI) is uncertain; perhaps it should be 39, for it quotes deeds of 37 Hen. VI. The writ of Diem clausit extr. was issued 4 Aug. 1460; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 177. The daughter Joan is said to have married Ralph Barton of Holme.
  • 22. Ralph Radcliffe died in Oct. 1485, his daughter Cecily being then twelve years of age; she was immediately married to John Barton. At the inquisition taken in 1506 it was found that Ralph Radcliffe had held the manor of Tingreave and various lands, but of whom the lands in Smithills, Heaton, and Halliwell were held the jury did not know. In 1475, as Ralph son and heir of Edmund Radcliffe, he had granted the manor of Smithills and all his lands in Lancashire to feoffees, and by his will directed them to make an estate to Agnes his wife of specified lands in Flixton and Lostock; to others he granted the mill of Smithills, the park, and a close called Croftliff, with lands elsewhere. Provision was made for Ellen, Ralph's sister; also for Elizabeth daughter of Sir Ralph Radcliffe; and 7 marks a year was to be paid 'to an honest priest to celebrate divine service in the church of Bolton.' Denis Haworth was the priest chosen, and he prayed for twenty years in Bolton Church for the said Ralph and his ancestors. As heir male of the Radcliffes Nicholas Radcliffe of Worsley in 1498–9 sought to regain the manors of Smithills and Tingreave against John Barton and Cecily his wife. He was son and heir of Ralph son and heir of the Nicholas Radcliffe named in the inquisition of his brother Sir Ralph in 1433; and claimed under a settlement by which Oliver and Nicholas, the brothers of Sir Ralph, should have succeeded in tail male; Pal. of Lane. Writs Prot. 14 Hen. VII; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 34. A change of feoffees was made in 1503, the manor of Smithills being then held for the use of John Barton and Cecily his wife; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1647. In 1504 there was a recovery of the manor, John Barton and Cecily being tenants; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 12, 97. John Barton was son of the abovenamed Ralph Barton and Joan; see Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc), 198, where is an account of the origin of the family, from Thoroton, Notts. (ed. Throsby), iii, 157.
  • 23. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, 82. The manor of Smithills and lands there and in the neighbourhood were stated to be held of Thomas West, Lord La Warre, but the services were unknown. Andrew Barton, the heir, was aged eighteen. The father's will is very lengthy; it provides that Smithills shall be given to his son Andrew on attaining his majority, with remainders to his younger sons Alexander, Leonard, and Francis; then to the heirs of Sir Ralph Radcliffe his grandfather. His brother, Stephen Barton, had an annuity of £4 to enable him to study at Cambridge or the Inns of Court. James Bolton, priest, was to have 7 marks a year, 'provided that he say divine service in the chapel of the manor of Smithills and pray for me, for the soul of Cecily sometime my wife and for the souls of all our ancestors,' and execute other duties assigned to him by the testator. By a later deed he gave £10 to Nicholas Clerk, priest, to study art or divinity at Cambridge or teach grammar at Bolton-le-Moors; money to the repairs of the Friars Preachers' house at Lancaster; to Bolton and Deane churches money for pixes, altar cloths, &c., 'so that the most high and excellent sacrament of the altar may be more reverently ministered there;' money to his brothers Stephen and Christopher, his sister Elizabeth Ardern, and his bastard brother John Barton; lastly he willed 'that a table of alabaster be bought and given to the chapel of Our Lady in the church of Holme, and that the table now being there be restored to the chapel of Smithills; the said chapel in Holme to be repaired and necessary ornaments to be given to the same.'
  • 24. In 1 547 a general pardon was granted to Andrew Barton of Deane and of the Inner Temple; Various Coll. (Hist. MSS. Com.), ii, 2.
  • 25. aVisit. (Chet. Soc), 197.
  • 26. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 27; he had held the manor of Smithills and lands there of the king, as of the late Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, in socage by a rent of 12d. He was a commissioner for levying the subsidy of 1541; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), i, 141. His will with an inventory is printed in Piccope's Wills (Chet. Soc.), ii, 98–103. He desired to be buried in Bolton Church; left £5 a year for the free school at Winwick, 12 marks to his chaplain, John Pincock, and £10 a year for some years to Ralph Barton (a younger son) 'towards his exhibition and learning.' Certain plate was given to his son Robert as an heirloom, and 'all the chapel gear except one suit of vestments, the best but one.' Various deeds of Andrew Barton's, 1538 to 1548, relating to Blackburn, are preserved in Towneley MS. OO, no. 1648, 1652, 1674–8.
  • 27. The story is given in Fuller's Worthies.
  • 28. Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 24.; the estates were unchanged. Ralph Barton, brother and heir, was fifty-seven years of age. A settlement was made in 1565; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 27, m. 100. A pedigree was recorded in 1567; Visit. (Chet. Soc), 21. Robert's will is printed in Wills (Chet. Soc. new ser.), i, 39–42; Margery, his wife, was the executrix; she afterwards married Richard Shuttleworth of Gray's Inn; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1654–6; Ducatus (Rec. Com.), iii, 118, 139. Some deeds by Robert Barton and Thurstan his brother are in Towneley MS. OO, no. 1649–51, 1653, 1674–6. For the muster of 1574 Robert Barton was required to equip two light horses, &c., being third on the list of gentry of the hundred; Gregson, Fragments, 30.
  • 29. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, 50.
  • 30. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 207–12. Randle Barton died at Smithills 10 Dec. 1611. By an indenture of 1607 there given, he settled the capital messuage called Smithills, the lands, meadows, &c., in Heaton, Halliwell, and Sharples, known as the demesne lands of Smithills, the water-mill in Halliwell called Smithills mill, and all pools, waters, water-courses, multure, toll, and suit thereto belonging; certain messuages and lands in Halliwell and Horwich, the coalmines found or to be found in the said tenements, &c., to the use of himself and Elizabeth his wife for life, for jointure of Elizabeth, and then to the use of Thomas Barton for life and heirs male. The tenure is stated as above—of the king, as of the late priory of St. John of Jerusalem, by 12d. rent; the clear annual value was £10. Thomas Barton the son and heir was twenty-eight years of age. For an Edward Barton who died in 1598 near Constantinople, see Pal. Note Bk. ii, 82.
  • 31. Sir Thomas was knighted in 1619; Metcalfe, Knights, 176. He was one of the commissioners for the subsidy of 1622; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 161. He made a settlement in 1627, probably on his daughter's marriage; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 111, no. 24. A further settlement was made in 1652, the deforciants being Sir Thomas Barton, Grace Belasyse, widow, and Thomas Belasyse; ibid. bdle. 152, m. 67. Sir Thomas does not appear to have taken any active part in the Civil War, being probably disabled by age, and his estates were not interfered with by the Parliament. There is a pedigree of the family in Whitaker's Whalley, ii, 319, 320.
  • 32. Henry Belasyse and his family were strong Royalists, and adherents of the ancient faith or favourable to it. Henry died in 1647; his epitaph is printed in Collins' Peerage (ed. 1779), v, 359. He had seven sons and seven daughters. His lands having been seized by the Parliamentary authorities, his widow Grace and her father in 1651 petitioned for the restoration of the manor of Oulston, the lease of which had been assigned to her on her marriage; Cal. of Com. for Advances, i, 421. A meeting of Roman Catholic gentry at Smithills in 1666 led to a disturbance, the Bolton women being convinced that they were met to cut the Protestants' throats; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xii, App. vii, 41.
  • 33. He was born in 1628. Though married to a daughter of Oliver Cromwell and a member of his House of Peers, he favoured the Restoration. He was put out of the lord lieutenancy of the North Riding by James II, and afterwards took part in the Revolution; in 1689 he was advanced to an earldom by William III; G.E.C. Complete Peerage, iii, 323. A settlement of the manors of Smithills, Quarlton, &c., was made in 1679; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 202, m. 4.
  • 34. Sir Rowland was made a Knight of the Bath at the coronation of Charles II. He died in 1699, and like his wife (heiress of Davenport of Sutton) was buried at Bolton; Earwaker, East Ches. ii, 442. He professed the old religion; Gillow, Bibl. Did. of Engl. Cath. i, 179.
  • 35. In 1717 as a 'papist' Thomas Lord Fauconberg registered an estate in the manors of Sharples, Quarlton, &c., subject to annuities to his brothers; Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 113, 114, 149. He died in 1718.
  • 36. He was born in 1699; sold Smithills and other estates after coming of age; conformed to the Established religion in 1737, and was advanced to an earldom in 1756. He died in 1774; G.E.C. ut sup.; Abram, Blackburn, 255. Some further particulars are given in the account of Pendleton, of which he had a moiety in right of his wife. The deed of sale is enrolled at Preston (Roll 8 of Geo. I), and recites that Thomas, Lord Fauconberg, had for £11,057 6s. sold to Thomas Eyre of Stockport and Thomas Foxley of Manchester his manors of Halliwell, with Smithills Hall and lands, Horwich (with lands there), Sharples and Quarlton; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 220. Joseph Byrom of Salford purchased Smithills in 1722 for £4,688; Raines, Byrom Ped. (Chet. Soc.), 38. Edward Byrom in 1779 paid 2s. 6d. to the duchy for Smithills; Duchy of Lane. Rentals, 14/25 m.
  • 37. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 46; here it is stated that traditionally Smithills was dependent on Sharples, the service being a pair of spurs and the use of the cellars at Smithills by the lord of Sharples for a week in each year. In 1749 the owner of Sharples Hall had a chief rent of 6s. 9d, issuing from Smithills Hall, and the demesne and other lands in Halliwell, then the inheritance of Edward Byrom of Manchester, mercer; Bolton Hist. Glean, ii, 188 (from Piccope MSS.). In Burke, Landed Gentry, is a pedigree of the Ainsworth family.
  • 38. The Astley Brook joins the Eagley Brook (above which is situated Hall-i'-th'Wood) a little more than a mile east of Smithills, the two streams together forming the River Tonge.
  • 39. The stone bearing this date is said to have been found about 1820 at Smithills and 'placed over the portico to be more conspicuous.' See Bolton Reflector, 16 Aug. 1823, quoted in Hist. Glean, of Bolton and District (First Series, 1881), 15.
  • 40. This date with the initials R. B. is on a stone in one of the gables.
  • 41. From designs by George Devey, architect.
  • 42. A writer in 1824 says: 'The courtgate which you observe on entrance exhibits nothing remarkable. . . . . On entering through this gate I came into a square courtyard partly paved and partly overgrown with moss and weeds. On the left hand is the principal entrance to the house, and this part of it is all that has not been altered by the present proprietors.' John Brown, Hist. of Great and Little Bolton (1824), 289.
  • 43. This may have been done before, when the corridor was added on the west side and the caves of both roofs brought into line
  • 44. The hall is very similar in construction and design to that of Baguley in Cheshire, and is sometimes said to have been copied from it. Smithills, however, is much less in height, Baguley being 37 ft. to the ridge.
  • 45. 'At some subsequent period, but still in Gothic times, a minstrels' gallery was inserted, the mortices for which are still conspicuous.' Henry Taylor, Old Halls in Lancs, and Ches. (1883).
  • 46. There is also a moulded sill on the south side, but that on the north is modern.
  • 47. Dr. Aikin, writing in 1795, says: 'At Smithells is still remaining a wainscotted room, the panels of which are adorned with upwards of fifty heads cut in the wood which are supposed to represent different persons of the family' (Descr. of the Country from thirty to fifty miles round Manchester). By 1824 a great part of the panelling had been taken away, some of it being in the room above, but the walls of the room were still 'particularly curious for containing carvings in wood'; John Brown, Hist, of Great and Little Bolton.
  • 48. According to the description in Brown's Hist, of Bolton (1824), this room originally formed part of the hall or withdrawing-room on the north side, which apartment had been thus curtailed by the then owner.
  • 49. On either side of the bay window in this room are painted the arms of the different families connected with Smithills, as follows: 1. Radcliffe impaling Norley, 1330 2. Barton impaling Radcliffe, 1505 3. Barton impaling Stanley, 1567 4. Belasyse impaling Barton, 1641 5. Byrom impaling Bradshaw, 1723 6. Ainsworth impaling Aspinall, 1801 7. Ainsworth impaling Noble, 1807 8. Ainsworth impaling Byrom, 1833.
  • 50. No doubt brought from the other side of the house.
  • 51. In 1322 it seems to have been divided into two portions; one was called Haghead and joined with Horwich Lee; and the other was called Withinrod, a parcel of moorland; they were vaccaries. See Mamecestre, ii, 366, 367.
  • 52. Thomas La Warre, lord of Manchester, in 1404. made a feoffment of 1,000 acres of waste and pasture in the town of Heaton called Egburden; Chan. Inq. p.m. 5 Hen. VI, no. 54. From this and the preceding note it will be seen that the district was in or bordering upon Horwich and Heaton; it also adjoined Sharples, as is seen from a charter by Thurstan de Holland in 1429, quoted in the account of that township. It is marked in Halliwell, as Egbert Dene, in the ordnance map of 1848. It may have been attached to this township through being owned by the Smithills family.
  • 53. It is named in the Barton inquisitions, but the tenure is not stated; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, 82; xiv, 24; xvii, 50.
  • 54. Eight charters are recorded in the Cockersand Chart. (Chet. Soc), ii, 698– 702. Nesta de Westhoughton granted land next to the assart of the Hospitallers, the hedge of Crosscliff's End being a boundary; in 1268 Roger son of Robert held this land at a rent of 6d., half a mark being payable at death. The same Nesta gave another part of her land, held in 1268 by Roger son of William, at a rent of 8d. and half a mark at death. Thomas the Clerk of Eccles, Margery de Pendlebury, Ellis de Pendlebury, William Moscrop, and Robert his son, and Robert de Sharples were also benefactors. Among the field and boundary names there occur —Tahaureise, Swinbodeslache, Lanulache, Brentspert, and Longlands End. In 1294 Joan daughter of Austin de Crosscliff granted to Richard de Hulton all the land in Halliwell she had held of the Abbot of Cockersand; Hulton Ped. 5. In 1461 a Cockersand rental shows that Richard Hulton held the abbey lands freely at a rent of 2s. He would probably be of the Halliwell branch of the family.
  • 55. In 1292 Richard de Houlton and Hugh de Halliwell claimed a tenement against Ellis de Heaton, but were nonsuited; Assize R. 408, m. 14 d.
  • 56. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 250.
  • 57. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxv, 33; the property was held of the king.
  • 58. John Harper, who died in 1628, held three messuages and lands of the king as the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee; his son John, a clerk, was thirty-three years of age; ibid, xxvii, 72. Richard Johnson, who died in 1629, leaving as heir his ten-year-old grandson John (son of John); also held land in Halliwell of the king; ibid, xxviii, 33, 77. Thomas Worthington, chapman, held the Little House of the king; Thomas his son and heir was fifteen years of age; ibid, xxviii, 6. Robert Sharples alias Ward similarly held land of the king; dying in 1623 he left a son and heir Robert, aged thirty-one; Towneley MS. C, 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 1089. Martin Taylor, also a tenant, had a son Robert, aged twenty-eight, in 1636; ibid. 1178.
  • 59. Cal. of Com. for Compounding, v, 3178.
  • 60. Land tax returns at Preston. Roger Dewhurst purchased an estate in Halliwell in 1715, and died in 1728, aged fifty-six. His son Roger was born at Halliwell Hall in 1716, and died in 1806; his diary (1784–6) has been printed; Bolton, 1881.
  • 61. The only account is in Foxe's Acts and Mon. (ed. Cattley, vii, 39–68); see also Ches. Sheaf (3rd Ser.), iii, 37, &c; iv, 89. It is derived mainly from his own record of his earlier examinations; the source of the later portion of the story is not given. The Marsh family continued to reside at Halliwell; one of them, as shown above, acquired part of the manor; another, James Marsh, who died in 1637, held lands there of the king by the thirtieth part of a knight's fee; his son and heir Thomas was twenty-three years of age; Towneley MS. C, 8, 13, p. 859. George Marsh was born about 1520, and worked his farm till after the death of his wife, about the beginning of the reign of Edward VI. Embracing the Reformed doctrines he went up to Cambridge, and graduated in 1551 or 1552 from Christ's College. He became curate to Lawrence Sanders, who had benefices in London and Leicestershire, and was ordained deacon in London in May 1552, and priest later by the Bishop of Lincoln. On the accession of Mary, he returned to Lancashire, and had thoughts of going abroad; but in Jan. and Feb. 1553–4, seeing the overthrow of the reforms, he could not refrain from denouncing it, and was reported to have spoken 'most heretically and blasphemously . . . against the Pope's authority and Catholic church of Rome, the blessed Mass, the sacrament of the altar,' &c. This outburst being coincident with Wyatt's rebellion, attracted the attention of the court, and the Earl of Derby resolved to seize the preacher. Marsh, however, was a brave and resolute man; and after a mental struggle on the moors, he decided to surrender himself. He was sent to Lathom and examined by the earl and his council, while Dr. Brassey and others argued with him, endeavouring to induce him to recant. This was in vain, and he was in April sent to Lancaster to await trial. At the sessions Marsh was brought up, but no civil offence being proved against him he was at last handed over to the bishop, and about the end of the year taken to Chester. It is significant of his doctrine that 'children-confirming,' 'mass-hearing,' &c, were all classed by him as 'blasphemous idolatry' and 'heathenish rites forbidden by God.' After four months at Chester the bishop (George Coates) finding his arguments and persuasions of no avail, proceeded to trial, and there being no recantation, condemned him. There was a pathetic scene in the Lady Chapel of the cathedral, the old bishop pausing at times in reading the sentence in hopes of signs of yielding, and the people praying the accused to give way. Marsh, however, remained steadfast, and was burned at Boughton accordingly.
  • 62. For endowment see Land. Gaz. 8 Aug. 1873.
  • 63. Ibid. 24 July 1874, and 11 Aug. 1876, for endowments.
  • 64. Ibid. 31 Oct. 1876, district; 16 Nov. 1877, 11 June 1880, and 11 Nov. 1881, endowments. There is a mission chapel, St. Margaret's.
  • 65. Ibid. 1 July 1879, district; 25 Mar. 1881, endowment.
  • 66. The above-quoted will of John Barton, 1514 shows that he had a chapel there.
  • 67. Kelly, Engl. Catb. Missions, 199.