The parish of Rochdale

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

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'The parish of Rochdale', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 5, (London, 1911) pp. 187-201. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]

In this section


Castleton; Spotland; Butterworth; Hundersfield:—; Wuerdle and Wardle; Wardleworth; Blatchinworth and Calderbrook; Todmorden; and Walsden.

Recedham, Dom. Bk. ; Rachedale, 1242.

Excluding the large chapelry of Saddleworth, which lies entirely in Yorkshire, the parish of Rochdale has an area of 41,828½ acres, lying in a compact area, measuring 10½ miles from north to south, and 9 miles from east to west. (fn. 1) The high moorlands in the north and east are cloven by many streams, descending mainly to the south and west, among them being the Roch, (fn. 2) from which the parish takes its name. This stream rises near the Yorkshire border, and flows south-west to join the Irwell at Radcliffe. It is joined near the town of Rochdale by the Beal from the east and the Spodden Brook from the north.

The ancient divisions or townships of the parish were Castleton (in which also stood the parish church), Spotland, Butterworth, and Hundersfield. (fn. 3) Their boundaries were, speaking roughly, lines drawn to the four points of the compass from a point to the north of the church. Afterwards Hundersfield was parted into four townships; while in recent years the ancient divisions have been almost entirely obliterated, for the township of Rochdale has been formed in the south, Todmorden has, for administrative purposes, been taken into Yorkshire, and part of Brandwood into Bacup; the remainder of the parish is divided into the modern townships of Milnrow, Littleborough, Wardle, Whitworth, and Norden. (fn. 4)

The population of the part of Rochdale within the administrative county in 1901, comprising 32,532 acres, numbered 120,433; the districts separately were as follows:—Castleton, 40,699; Spotland, 19,137; Wardleworth, 20,272; Whitworth and Wardle, 20,918; Littleborough, 11,166; Milnrow, 8,017.


Various prehistoric remains have been found, chiefly in the hills; a Roman road over Blackstone Edge is still visible, and part of a silver statue of Victory, coins, &c, have been found. (fn. 5) The whole parish appears to have been a single lordship in 1066; the date at which Saddleworth (fn. 6) was separated from Lancashire does not appear; the Lacys added it to their forest. There seems to have been only one manor properly so called, but the Holts of Stubley once held a share of the inferior manor, and were the principal resident family. A considerable part of the land was held by the abbey of Whalley and other ecclesiastical bodies. Thus numerous minor families sprang up, generally ranking as yeomen, each hamlet or farm almost affording a surname, (fn. 7) and the history of the district during the mediaeval period was comparatively uneventful.

The 16th century introduced a great change. Rochdale was one of the towns in which the aulnager was to have a resident deputy, according to the Act of 1565. Camden in 1582 described it as 'a market town well frequented.' (fn. 8) Manufacturing and mining industries became important; (fn. 9) the confiscation of the Whalley lands and the general suppression of religious houses produced a new race of landlords, whose number was increased by the sale of Byron estates in the early part of the 17th century. (fn. 10) About that time also many wastes appear to have been inclosed. For the old tax called the fifteenth, the townships paid thus:—Castleton, 15s. 8d.; Spotland, £1 17s.; Butterworth, £1 1s.; and Hundersfield £1 12s. 4d., or £5 6s. for the parish —when the hundred of Salford had to contribute £41 14s. 4d. in all. (fn. 11) The county lay, fixed in 1624, provided that Castleton should pay £1 9s., Spotland and Butterworth each £2 18s., and Hundersfield £4 7s.—£11 12s. in all—when the hundred paid £100. (fn. 12)

The Protestation of 1641—2 was signed by nearly 2,100 inhabitants, 'none refusing.' (fn. 13)

In addition to those who recorded pedigrees in 1664–5 it appears that Joshua and Thomas Buckley and Edward Leigh were summoned. (fn. 14)

During the Civil War the people of Rochdale were generally on the side of the Parliament, (fn. 15) as might be expected in a Puritan district. A number of the gentry and others joined the king, but they seem to have made peace with the Parliament early. (fn. 16) The passage from Yorkshire was guarded, by the care of Colonel Rosworm, by a small force which could call upon a garrison at Rochdale; (fn. 17) but there was no fighting within the parish. Since that time its history is a history of the growth of its trade; (fn. 18) the invasion of 1745 did not touch it. A volunteer force was raised in 1794 on account of the war with France. (fn. 19)

Some notion of the importance of the parish may be gleaned from the hearth-tax returns of 1666. In Rochdale and Wardleworth there were 228 hearths liable; the largest houses were those of James Brearley (perhaps an inn), with ten hearths; James Scofield, nine ; Gabriel Gartside and Sarah Leach, seven each; Edward Lee, Robert Stringer, John Hamer, Joshua Stansfeld, Judy Roades, Edmund Holme, and Joseph Dearden, six each. In Spotland, nearer side, were 156 hearths; James Chadwick with seven, Ellis Haslam and Thomas Baskerville with six each, had the largest houses. In Spotland, further side, were 150 hearths taxable, but no house had as many as six. In Wuerdle, Wardle, and Blatchinworth were 199 hearths; the largest houses being those of Robert Holt, with eleven hearths; Alexander Kershaw, Mary Scholfield, and Samuel Hamer, eight each; and James Halliwell, six. In Todmorden and Walsden were 94 hearths in houses with less than six hearths. In Butterworth freehold side, 120 hearths were taxed; Alexander Butterworth's house had fourteen and Samuel Newbold's nine, but no other had more than five ; in the lordship side were 101 hearths, no house having as many as six. In Castleton were 219 hearths; Robert Holt had fifteen, Henry Pigot (the vicar), and Grace Harper seven each, and Matthew Hollas six. (fn. 20) The total for the parish was 1,267 hearths.

Celia Fiennes, writing about 1700, after describing the crossing of Blackstone Edge, from which she surveyed the country below, 'as a fruitful valley, full of enclosures and cut hedges and trees,' proceeds: 'From the foot of this Blackstone I went to Rochdale, four miles; a pretty neat town, built all of stone. Here I went to an acquaintance's house (Mr. Taylor) and was civilly entertained. Here is a good large meetingplace well filled; these parts religion does better flourish than in places where they have better advantages.' (fn. 21) Defoe about 1724 described Rochdale as 'a good market town, and of late much improved in the woollen manufacture, as are also the villages in its neighbourhood.' (fn. 22)

The first stage coach to Manchester began to run in 1790. The canal to Sowerby Bridge was opened in 1788, and the continuation to Manchester in 1804. (fn. 23) The Manchester and Leeds Railway was opened in 1838.

Rochdale led the way in co-operative trading, the Equitable Pioneers' Society having been founded in 1844. (fn. 24)

The woollen trade has long been the staple industry ; coatings, baize, flannel, friezes, and carpets being manufactured. Calicoes also are made, as well as silk plush and velvet. There are foundries and machine works. This applies chiefly to the town of Rochdale, and in a smaller degree to Littleborough and Todmorden; but cotton and woollen factories are spread all over the parish, the numerous watercourses having been utilized by manufacturers. Stone is obtained at Blackstone Edge, and Spotland contains extensive quarries of flags and freestone; there are collieries in Spotland, Butterworth, and near Littleborough, and chemical works at Walsden.

The following is the present apportionment of the agricultural land:—Arable land, 484 acres; permanent grass, 14,896; woods and plantations, 135. Details are as follows:—

Arable Grass Woods, &c.
acres acres acres
Castleton 352 1,527 8
Milnrow 12 2,966 1
Littleborough 6 2,929 80
Wardle 22 1,883
Norden 28 2,122 9
Whitworth 4 1,767 8
Rochdale 60 1,702 29

The Lower Coal Measures extend over the southern and central portions of the parish, with some patches of the Middle Coal Measures around the town of Rochdale. In the eastern and western portions large areas of the Millstone Grit Series protrude through the Lower Coal Measures.

Some of the Byrons, lords of the manor, attained distinction, and among the later vicars there have been noteworthy men, but the most conspicuous of the natives of the parish is John Bright, the famous Radical orator. He was born, in 1811, at Greenbank near Rochdale, where his father had a mill; entered Parliament in 1843, was a leader of the AntiCorn Law League, became President of the Board of Trade in 1868, and held other offices. He died at his residence, One Ash, near Rochdale, on 27 March 1889. (fn. 25) His younger brother, Jacob Bright, also took part in public affairs; he died in 1899. (fn. 26)

Roger Brerely or Brierley, founder of the 17thcentury sect of Grindletonians, is believed to have been a Rochdale man. He died at Burnley in 1637. (fn. 27) The Lancashire poet, Edwin Waugh, who wrote poems in the local dialect remarkable both for humour and pathos, 1817–90, is another celebrity. William Nuttall, d. 1840, wrote Rochdale, a fragment. (fn. 28)

'Tim Bobbin' lived at Milnrow, and the 'Whitworth doctors' were famous a century ago. Canon Raines of Milnrow was a distinguished antiquary.

The date of the rush-bearing was the third Sunday in August at Rochdale. (fn. 29) A custom of going to Knoll Hill or Blackstone Edge on the first Sunday in May used to prevail. (fn. 30)

A club, supposed to have been Jacobite, met at Rochdale from 1712 onwards, and called itself the 'Honourable Corporation of Rochdale.' (fn. 31)

Several tradesmen's tokens were issued at Rochdale and Milnrow in the 17th century. (fn. 32)

The first printer known was Mark Nield, 1796. (fn. 33) The first theatre was a little earlier. (fn. 34)

Two newspapers are now printed at Rochdale: Observer, 1856, and Times, appearing twice weekly. (fn. 35) A weekly paper, the News, is published at Littleborough, and three appear at Todmorden—Advertiser, News, and Herald.

Knoll Hill, Brown Wardle, Blackstone Edge, and other hill-tops formerly had beacons. (fn. 36)

The stocks at Rochdale used to be just outside the churchyard ; on the post are cut the letters W. W. and 1666. (fn. 37)


In 1066 ROCHDALE was held by Gamel, one of the twenty-one thegns of Salford Hundred, who was free of all customs except six; his holding was assessed as 2 hides or 12 plough-lands. (fn. 38) A reduction was afterwards made in this to 8 plough-lands. Before 1212 the whole manor had been given to the lord of Clitheroe and was held by Roger de Lacy. (fn. 39) It descended like Clitheroe, (fn. 40) and thus came to the Earls and Dukes of Lancaster and finally to the Crown. (fn. 41) Charles I, in 1625, sold the manor to trustees for the Earl of Holderness, (fn. 42) who immediately afterwards sold it to Sir Robert Heath, Attorney-General; (fn. 43) and Sir Robert first mortgaged and then sold it to Sir John Byron in 1638. (fn. 44) In this family it remained (fn. 45) until in 1823 Lord Byron the poet sold it to James Dearden, (fn. 46) whose grandson, Mr. James Griffith-Dearden, is the present lord of the manor. (fn. 47) Manor courts are still held at Whitsuntide. (fn. 48)

Byron. Argent three bendlets enhanced gules.

There appears to have been no manor-house in Rochdale, the house so called, a red-brick building of no architectural distinction, on the north side of the river opposite the town hall, being rightly styled the Orchard. (fn. 49) This house was described as a new building in 1702, and was the residence of the Deardens before they purchased the manor.

Of more interest was the structure known as the Great House, or Amen Corner, (fn. 50) a stone building (fn. 51) which stood a little to the east of the Orchard, but was pulled down in 1910 for street improvements. At the time of its demolition it was probably the oldest house in Rochdale, though in a very dilapidated state, and quite surrounded by modern buildings. It was of two stories and had a frontage facing west of about 45 ft., with a large projecting central bay window going up both stories with six mullioned and transomed lights in front and two lights on the returns on each floor. In the 17th century the Great House stood in a large garden which sloped down to the river. An account of the house is extant as it stood in 1692, at which time it was already let in several portions, one consisting of 'the porch, the body of the house, the kitchen, the brewhouse, the buttery, the little parlour, the great parlour, the staircase, the great chamber over the house, and the chamber over the little parlour,' together with 'a place to lay coals in' and 'a garden of eight falls.' A second portion contained 'three chambers in the Great House'; two other chambers formed a third, and the rest of the rooms a fourth. (fn. 52) It is clear, therefore, that the house was originally of some size, and that the building remaining in 1910 was but a fragment.

From the survey of 1212 it appears that the manor was held by a number of under-tenants. Hugh de Eland held 3 plough-lands and 2 oxgangs of land of Roger de Lacy, by a rent of 48s., and Roger had given the monks of Stanlaw 6 oxgangs in alms; thus one moiety of the manor is accounted for, and it appears from the later survey that Hugh de Eland paid a rent of 60s. in all. Of the other moiety one-third was granted by Roger to Robert de Flainsburch or Flamborough in marriage with the daughter of Robert de Liversedge, to be held by 20s. yearly; another third was granted by Roger at the same rent to Gilbert de Lacy with Agnes daughter of John de Himerum or Hipperholm; while the remaining third was held by Roger de Thornton and Thomas de Horbury by the same rent of 20s., making a total rent of 60s. from this moiety. (fn. 53)

Each of these estates might be called a manor. The moiety of Hugh de Eland (fn. 54) descended to the Savile family, (fn. 55) and was in 1587 sold to Sir John Byron; (fn. 56) it has presumably become merged in the superior manor purchased in 1638. The sixth part of Robert de Flamborough was about 1292 surrendered to his lord, Henry de Lacy; (fn. 57) the sixth part held by Thornton and Horbury probably reverted to the lord also, as nothing further is known of it; (fn. 58) while the remaining sixth descended for some time in the family of Lacy of Cromwellbottom, (fn. 59) being sold about 1353 to Geoffrey son of John de Holt, (fn. 60) ancestor of the Holts of Stubley, and has probably been dissipated in the sale of the estates of this family. (fn. 61)

Inclosures were made in the time of Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 62)

Rochdale: Amen Corner

The Hospitallers had rents of 2s. and 6d. from Rochdale mill-house. (fn. 63)

The town of ROCHDALE lies in three of the ancient divisions of the parish, having grown up near the church, on both banks of the Roch. The road from Oldham going north, joined south of the church by the old road from Manchester, reaches the river to the north-east of the church, where the ancient bridge is built; from the further side of the bridge roads spread out in all directions. One going north, called Toad Lane, was the boundary between Wardleworth and Spotland; the market-place is situated in it, near the bridge.


In 1251 Edmund de Lacy procured a charter for a weekly market at Rochdale on Wednesday, and an annual fair on the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude (28 October). (fn. 64) Probably about the same time a borough was created, but there were only twelve burgesses, and it quickly fell into decay. (fn. 65) The town continued to be governed through the manor court until 1825, when a Police Act was obtained. (fn. 66) As there was never any township of Rochdale, the area assigned to the new commissioners was a circle, with the old market-place as centre and a radius of three-quarters of a mile. In 1832 a parliamentary borough was created, one member being returned; (fn. 67) and in 1856 a municipal charter was granted, the powers and property of the old commissioners being conferred on the corporation in 1858. The town was divided into three wards— Castleton, with four aldermen and twelve councillors; Wardleworth, the same ; and Spotland, two aldermen and six councillors. (fn. 68) In 1868 the parliamentary boundary was extended to include Wardleworth, Spotland, Wuerdle, Belfield, Newbold, Buersill, and Marland; (fn. 69) and four years later the municipal boundary was extended so as to be almost conterminous with the parliamentary one, and the area was divided into ten wards, each with an alderman and three councillors. (fn. 70) The wards took their names from the townships, viz. Castleton (4), Spotland (2), Wardleworth (3), and Wuerdle. In 1894 the borough was constituted a township, the whole of Wardleworth being absorbed, with parts of Castleton, Spotland, and Wuerdle and Wardle. (fn. 71) In 1900 most of Castleton outside the borough was added, a new ward called Castleton Moor being thus formed; (fn. 72) so that the council now consists of a mayor, eleven aldermen, and thirty-three councillors. Under the Act of 1888 Rochdale became a county borough. It has a commission of the peace and a police force.

Borough of Rochdale. Sable on an escutcheon within an orle of eight martlets argent a woolpack within a wreath of laurel proper.

The town hall, by the Roch, to the north of the church, was built in 1870–1, and is a fine building, ranking high among modern examples of Gothic style; (fn. 73) a bronze statue of John Bright was erected in front of it in 1891. The free library was built in 1884. (fn. 74) An art gallery was opened in 1903. There is a public park near the town hall; Falinge Park was presented to the town in 1903 by Alderman Samuel Turner. The baths were built in 1868. The cemetery in Bury Road was opened in 1855. Waterworks were first established in 1809; (fn. 75) they were acquired by the corporation in 1866; the gas-works, begun in 1824, are also owned by the corporation, (fn. 76) as are the electric light works. An electric tramway system has been inaugurated. The market rights were purchased from Lord Byron in 1823; (fn. 77) the market hall, built in 1844, is still in the hands of a private company. The cattle market is in Manchester Road. A school board was formed in 1870.

The infirmary and dispensary, originally established in 1832, is now housed at the north side of the town, a new building having been given in 1883 and enlarged in 1896 and again in 1907. (fn. 78) Other public buildings in the town include union offices, county court offices, county police court, Temperance hall, Central hall, used for entertainments, and theatre. The 2nd V.B. Lancashire Fusiliers has its head quarters at Rochdale; there is a troop of yeomanry.


The church of ST. CHAD consists of chancel with north and south aisles, nave with north and south aisles, south porch and west tower, with a vestry at the west end of each aisle north and south of the tower. It is finely placed on high ground about 80 ft. above the river, on the south side of the town, and is gained on the north side by a flight of 124 steps. These steps, reconstructed in 1810, were probably in existence in some form in the 17th century. (fn. 79)

The site is an ancient one, (fn. 80) but the oldest part of the present church belongs to the 13th century, though fragments of Norman masonry are said to have been discovered in the renovation of 1815. (fn. 81) Whatever the earliest church may have been, the structure seems to have been entirely rebuilt on a large scale during the 13th century, the present nave pillars being of that date and probably in their original position. Of the 13th-century chancel no traces now remain, but it was apparently the same width as the nave, and of three bays or more in length. (fn. 82) The church of this date would apparently be not very much less in area than the building as it existed previous to the modern additions at the east end, and consisted of a chancel 19 ft. 6 in. wide and about 35 ft. long, nave of equal width and 60 ft. long, with north and south aisles, and probably a western tower. (fn. 83) The first change seems to have been the rebuilding of the tower in the 14th century, but whether any other work was done at this time, or whether the 13th-century church stood down to the middle part of the 16th century, it is impossible to say. Trinity Chapel on the south side of the chancel existed in 1487, and the chapel of St. Katherine on the north side was founded probably about the same time or a little earlier (it is mentioned in 1514), and it is likely that many other changes had been effected in the structure before the middle of the 16th century when (c. 1558) the greater part was rebuilt, the piers to the nave and chancel and the west tower alone being retained. This building stood substantially without change till the beginning of the 19th century. (fn. 84)

In 1815 the building was in a ruinous condition, but a proposal to take it down and rebuild it was abandoned in favour of restoration. (fn. 85) The work then done was supplemented in 1835 by a further restoration of the interior, (fn. 86) and again in 1854–5 when the north aisle was taken down and rebuilt, the galleries removed (a new west gallery, however, was erected), and the organ, which had been in the west gallery, transferred to the east end of the north aisle, which was extended so as to be flush with the east end of the chancel. The vestry, which then occupied the site of St. Katherine's Chapel north of the quire, was transferred to the west end of the north aisle, and the north aisle of the chancel was opened out. The chief work of rebuilding, however, was not begun till 1873, when the south aisle as far as the chancel, together with the south porch, was pulled down and rebuilt, and the tower raised by the addition of a lofty belfry and otherwise altered. In 1885 the chancel was entirely reconstructed (fn. 87) and extended, along with both north and south aisles, 25 ft. eastward, all traces of the old work being lost. The whole of the east end of the church and nearly all the work on the exterior of the building are therefore modern, and apart from the nave arcade and the lower part of the tower the building has little antiquarian interest.

The church is built of wrought stone, but on the north side is faced with parpoints, and the walls in the interior are plastered. The east gable has a plain coping with cross and angle pinnacles, and the walls to chancel, nave, and aisles have embattled parapets. The chancel roof is slightly higher than that of the nave, and both are covered with green slates, while those of the aisles are lean-to roofs covered with lead.

The chancel consists of six bays with an arcade of pointed arches, on clustered shafts open to the north and south aisles. It has a lofty clearstory of six square-headed three-light windows on each side, and a rich double hammer-beam roof with angel terminations. The quire stalls occupy the first four bays from the west, those to the first and second bays being old. The sixth bay contains the sanctuary, the fifth being open at each side to the aisles. The whole of the east end of the church being new possesses no antiquarian interest except in certain fittings afterwards mentioned, but it is a very good example of modern Gothic. The extent of the former north and south aisles is marked on the outside by diagonal buttresses, and on the inside by a slight break in the wall. At the west end of the north aisle an organ-chamber was built in 1886, projecting northwards in front of the old St. Katherine's Chapel, which is now lost, but originally the wall ran straight through. Trinity Chapel, on the south side of the chancel, now occupies the four easternmost bays of the south aisle, its eastern end being therefore entirely modern. It is divided from the rest of the aisle at the west end by a screen. The outer wall of the old south aisle up to the diagonal buttress has been refaced since the rebuilding of 1815, though the windows are apparently of that date. In the second bay is a small door between two closely-spaced buttresses, which probably served the Trinity Chapel, and was called in the 17th century the 'little door.' The aisles of the chancel are separated from those of the nave by stone arches, and on the north side there is a screen. The Trinity Chapel passed to the Dearden family in 1823, (fn. 88) and was very much altered in 1847 by Mr. Dearden, who placed there numerous memorials to his imaginary ancestors, (fn. 89) including the effigies of a cross-legged knight and a bishop, incised slabs, and brasses.

The chancel arch (fn. 90) is modern and very lofty, the line of its springing being above the crowns of the arches of the chancel and nave arcades. There is no screen between the chancel and nave, the only division being a low stone wall.

Rochdale Church

The nave piers, (fn. 91) as before stated, are of 13thcentury date, alternately octagonal and round, 18 in. in diameter, with moulded capitals and bases. The responds at each end are semi-octagonal, and the two eastern bays are less in width than the others. The details of the capitals and bases are unusually good for Lancashire work, the bases having the water-moulding and the capitals a moulded abacus and fillet. Four of the capitals, two on each side, in addition, have carving in the bell. The third pier from the west on the south side has good but rather flat stiff leaf foliage, and the first pier on the north side foliage of an apparently later date running round the bell. Two other capitals, one on each side, are carved with small human heads. One of these capitals is now very much mutilated. The floor of the nave was lowered 13 in. to the original level in 1885, and the pillars lengthened by about 10 in. of stone. (fn. 92)

The nave clearstory consists of five square-headed windows upon each side spaced without reference to the arcade beneath, and the roof is a good modern one put up a few years after 1855, with rich ornamental tie-beam and curved pieces under, carried down the walls between the windows and resting on brackets, but intersecting both the tower and chancel arches rather awkwardly. (fn. 93)

The west tower is 13 ft. square inside, with walls 5 ft. thick, and has a vice in the south-west corner. The tower arch is lofty and open to the nave, but an oak screen has recently been erected inclosing the baptistery. Though the original tower was retained in 1873 not very much ancient detail has been left, the west door and window above being new, and the old diagonal buttresses having been replaced by square ones of four stages, finishing with detached pinnacles at the new belfry stage. The clock, which was a conspicuous feature of the old tower, was removed, but the old two-light pointed belfry windows still remain on each face of the tower, those on the south and west sides being slightly out of the centre, occasioned no doubt by the space occupied by the vice in the south-west angle. On the south side, to the west of the 14th-century window, is an old sculptured stone built into the wall. The old tower finished above these windows with an embattled parapet and angle pinnacles, but was raised by a new belfry stage with two lofty stone louvred windows of three lights on each face. Above this it finishes with a new embattled parapet and angle pinnacles, and has a good 18th-century weather vane.

The screen at the east end of the north aisle and that at the north end of the Trinity Chapel are old, and perhaps belong to the restoration of 1558, with a series of coats of arms on the bottom panels. There are new oak screens at the west end of each aisle inclosing the vestries.

Some old fronts and bench-ends are worked into the chancel seats, and bear a number of heraldic shields in their panels. The arms are: a cross moline; a bend wavy; France and England quartered ; on a chief three roundels; eight martlets impaling a griffin, a cross moline, or a shackbolt; a fleur de lis with a chief ermine; the quartered coat of Byron and Colwycke ; four fusils in a border engrailed, and in chief two bars, impaling a cross moline.

The screen at the east end of the north aisle bears the cross moline and shackbolt, and an inscription: 'In te Domine speravi . Deus Deus meus . In Domino confido.'

The screen at the east end of the south aisle has carved panels on its east side as well as the west, with an inscription: ' Miserere mei Deus . Domine exaudi . inclina Domine . parce nobis Domine . Libera nos Domine.'

In the north aisle of the chancel (St. Katherine's Chapel) is a plate of copper to the memory of Susanna Gartside (d. 1668), with a skeleton at each side of the words, ' As you are, so were we ; as wee are, so you must be.'

The font now in use, which stands under the tower, was found buried in the vicarage garden in 1892, and consists of an octagonal sandstone bowl 2 ft. 8 in. in diameter at top and 1 ft. 10 in. in height, on a new base. It is entirely without ornament and of rough workmanship, and dates apparently from the latter part of the 15 th century. It is very much worn, but the top still shows the holes for fastenings. There is a modern cover. (fn. 94)

The churchyard is on the south and east sides of the church, and being paved with flat headstones, has a rather desolate appearance. On the north the ground drops suddenly, the church being built almost on the edge of the declivity. The churchyard contains some fragments from the old 16th-century church—pinnacles, gargoyles, &c.—and a new stone lych-gate has been erected on the south side opposite the porch. Amongst the graves is that of Tim Bobbin (John Collier, d. 1786) with a rhyming inscription. The oldest gravestone is dated 1656.

There is a ring of eight bells, two cast by John Rudhall in 1787, and four in 1752 by Abel Rudhall. The tenor, which bears the motto, 'Success to the town and trade of Rochdale,' was cast in 1719, recast in 1756, and again in 1812.

The plate consists of a paten of 1698–9, inscribed 'Ex dono Tho. Holden Filii Ric. Holden in usum Ecclesiae Rochdaliens. 1696,' (fn. 95) with the maker's mark S.H. under a crown; a chalice presumably of 17thcentury date, without marks and inscription, but with an engraved band under the rim ; a paten of 1702, inscribed 'Ex Dono Sarae Holden Filiae Richd. Holden in usum Ecclesiae Rochdaliensis 1702' ; an almsdish of 1722, 'The gift of Mrs. Sarah Chadwicke of Chadwicke to the parish church of Rochdale who dyed Aug. 21, 1722'; two flagons of 1724, inscribed ' Ex dono Alexandri Butterworth Armigeri,' and with the arms and crest of Butterworth, and bearing the mark of Jonah Clifton ; a tall flagon of 1772–3, inscribed 'The gift of Thos. Wray, D.D., vicar of this parish, 1773,' with the maker's mark I.C., probably that of John Carter ; two chalices of 1807 with the mark of William Abdy ; and a chalice of 1892, a replica of the 17th-century one.

The plate was twice stolen and recovered in the 18th century, in the years 1773 and 1779. In 1783 it consisted of the three present flagons, the two Holden patens, and the Chadwicke dish, together with five cups and chalices, one of which was marked on bottom M/H.B. and another R.B./M.H. In 1829 two of the old chalices were exchanged for two new ones. (fn. 96)

The registers begin in 1582. The earlier portions, 1582–1641, have been published. (fn. 97)

There are no tithe maps at the church.

A new archdeaconry of Rochdale was formed in 1910, the vicar being appointed.

The relics preserved in the church about 1200 are mentioned in a deed printed in the Whalley Coucher (fn. 98)


The compact nature of the parish favours the supposition that its church is very ancient, but there is no record of it until near the end of the 12th century. Then Robert de Whalley, rector of the church of Rochdale, gave to Alexander de Spotland certain lands which Adam de Spotland had just given to St. Chad and the church of Rochdale. (fn. 99) As it appears that Geoffrey, Dean of Whalley, held the church in 1195, (fn. 100) the grant cited may be of a somewhat later date. The advowson, like the manor, was held by the lord of Clitheroe, and Roger de Lacy, who died in 1211, granted the church and the right of presentation to the abbey of Stanlaw. This grant was confirmed by his successor and by others interested. The Bishops of Lichfield also concurred, it being decreed that after the death of the rector in possession a vicarage should be instituted, to which a stipend and the 4 oxgangs of church land should be annexed, and the consent of three of the popes was obtained. (fn. 101) A later bishop in 1277 made a fresh decree regarding the vicarage; in addition to the 4. oxgangs, the vicar, who was to reside in his church, was to have a fit house and a stipend of 18 marks. (fn. 102) This arrangement was sanctioned by the capitular bodies (fn. 103) and the Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 104)

The value of the church was returned as £23 6s. 8d. in 1291, (fn. 105) but the ninth of sheaves, wool, &c, in 1341 amounted to no more than £10. (fn. 106) In 1535 the value of the rectory was estimated as £49 13s. 4d., (fn. 107) and that of the vicarage as £11 4s. 8d. (fn. 108) These sums were probably much below the actual value, for in 1650 the yearly value of the glebe lands, rents, and profits of the vicarage was stated as £160 a year, (fn. 109) and seventy years later was 'about £300.' (fn. 110) The glebe land having been utilized for building, (fn. 111) the income has greatly increased; but the land is now in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who pay £1,500 a year o the vicar. (fn. 112)

After the confiscation of the possessions of Whalley Abbey, the advowion of Rochdale came to the Crown, and Henry VIII gave it to Archbishop Cranmer in exchange for a much more valuable estate. (fn. 113) The tithes were sold in 1813, (fn. 114) and the right of presentation was in 1848 transferred to the new Bishop of Manchester, whose successor holds it.

The following is a list of the vicars:— (fn. 115)

Institution Name Patron Cause of Vacancy
c. 1210 Geoffrey the Dean (fn. 116)
c. 1230 William de Dumplington (fn. 117) Whalley Abbey res. Geoffrey
c. 1260 John de Blackburn (fn. 118)
oc. 1304 Richard (fn. 119)
oc. 1307 Roger (fn. 120)
9 Dec. 1312 Richard de Parbold (fn. 121) Whalley Abbey
25 Oct. 1317 Thomas de Bolton (fn. 122) " d. R. de Parbold
22 May 1350 Ralph de Dewsbury (fn. 123) " d. T. de Bolton
1 Jan. 1361–2 Ralph de Trumpington (fn. 124) "
11 Feb. 1369–70 Roger son of William de Manchester (fn. 125) Whalley Abbey res. R. de Trumping-ton
13 Nov. 1389 John Fitheler (fn. 126) exch. R. de Manchester
17 Apr. 1402 John Salley (fn. 127) d. J. Fitheler
3 May 1403 Richard Twistfield (fn. 128) Whalley Abbey res. J. Salley
31 July 1426. Henry Marland (fn. 129) " res. R. Twistfield
4 March 1455–6 Richard Salley (fn. 130) " d. H. Marland
23 Feb. 1471–2 Thomas Brotherton (fn. 131) d. R. Salley
24 March 1473–4 John Walton (fn. 132) Whalley Abbey res. T. Brotherton
20 Sept. 1483 William Ashton (fn. 133) d. J. Walton
c. 1522 Gilbert Haydock (fn. 134) Whalley Abbey
2 March 1553–4 Richard Gorstilow (fn. 135) The Queen d. last vicar
16 Nov. 1557 John Hampson, M.A. (fn. 136) Cardinal Pole depr. R. Gorstilow
17 March 1560–1 — Huntington (fn. 137) Abp. Parker depr. J. Hampson
— 1561 Richard Midgeley (fn. 138) "
21 Dec. 1595 Joseph Midgeley (fn. 139) Abp. Whitgift res. R. Midgcley
9 March 1606–7 Richard Kenyon, M.A. (fn. 140) Abp. Bancroft depr. J. Midgeley
—Oct. 1615 Henry Tilson, D.D. (fn. 141) Abp. Abbot d. R. Kenyon
17 March 1635–6 Robert Bath, M.A. (fn. 142) Abp. Laud res. H. Tilson
18 Oct. 1662. Henry Pigot, B.D. (fn. 143) Abp. Juxon depr. R. Bath
27 Sept. 1722 Samuel Dunster, D.D. (fn. 144) Abp. Wake d. H. Pigot
3 Aug. 1754 Nathaniel Forster, D.D. (fn. 145) Abp. Herring d. S. Dunster
12 Nov. 1757 James Tunstall, D.D. (fn. 146) Abp. Hutton d. N. Forster
10 April 1762 Thomas Wray, D.D. (fn. 147) Abp. Secker d. J. Tunstall
6 July 1778 Richard Hind, D.D. (fn. 148) Abp. Cornwallis d. T. Wray
28 July 1790 Thomas Drake, D.D. (fn. 149) Abp. Moore d. R. Hind
14 Jan. 1820 William Robert Hay, M.A. (fn. 150) Abp. Sutton d. T. Drake
28 Dec. 1839 John Edward Nassau Molesworth, D.D. (fn. 151) Abp. Howley d. W. R. Hay
—1877 Edward Craig Maclure, M.A. (fn. 152) Bp. of Manchester d. J. E. N. Molesworth
—1890 James Maurice Wilson, D.D. (fn. 153) " prom. E. C. Maclure
31 Oct. 1905 Arthur Frederic Clarke, M.A. (fn. 154) " res. J. M. Wilson

During the mediaeval period there is little to record of the history of the church. (fn. 155) The vicars were men of no more than local note; for two short periods monks of Whalley held the benefice. (fn. 156) Though there were chapels of the Holy Trinity (fn. 157) and St. Katherine (fn. 158) at the south and north sides of the chancel, there does not seem to have been any regularly endowed chantry. (fn. 159) In 1541 there were, in addition to the vicar and his curate, seven priests in the parish, some no doubt serving the chapels of ease at Littleborough, Milnrow, and Whitworth. (fn. 160) The church seems to have been well furnished. (fn. 161) Eight names appear in the Visitation List of 1548, but the vicar and two others died before 1554, when four of the old clergy and two new ones were recorded. In 1563 the vicar, an assistant who did not stay long, and the three chaplains, two of them 'decrepit,' appeared, while two years later the staff had been increased by one name. (fn. 162)

Gilbert Haydock, vicar from about 1522 to 1554, was one of the scandal-giving clergy of the time, having acknowledged, though illegitimate, offspring ; his successor had to be deprived for not attending to his duties, and Hampson, vicar at Elizabeth's accession, though a conscientious man, was non-resident. Hence the people more readily attended to the active minister who was appointed just after his deprivation, and who for nearly thirty-five years laboured among them. (fn. 163) For a century, except for a brief interval, (fn. 164) the church was in the hands of Puritan clergy, and their successors, after the Restoration, do not appear to have been men able to counteract this teaching. (fn. 165) Hence the power of Nonconformity in the district is readily accounted for. (fn. 166)

The growth of the population as Rochdale became a manufacturing centre led to the enlargement of the parish church and the building of new ones. St. Mary's, Wardleworth, was consecrated in 1744; (fn. 167) St. James's, Wardleworth, in 1821; (fn. 168) St. Clement's, Spotland, in 1835; (fn. 169) and Christ Church, Healey, in 1850. (fn. 170) In the last half-century the following have been added: St. Alban's, 1856; (fn. 171) All Saints', Hamer, 1866; (fn. 172) St. Peter's, Newbold, 1871; (fn. 173) St. Mary's, Balderstone, 1872; (fn. 174) St. Edmund's, Falinge, 1873; (fn. 175) St. Luke's, Deeplish, 1892; (fn. 176) and the district of the Good Shepherd has been formed, though a permanent building is wanting. The Bishop of Manchester collates to St. Luke's, All Saints', St. Clement's, St. Edmund's, St. Peter's, and the Good Shepherd, and has the presentation of Christ Church alternately with the Crown; the vicar of Rochdale presents to St. Mary's, St. James's, and St. Alban's ; and trustees to St. Mary's, Balderstone.

The grammar school, now extinct, was founded by Archbishop Parker. (fn. 177) The income, £62 a year, is used to provide exhibitions at the universities.

Methodism was introduced into the town about 1746, and Wesley, on visiting the place in 1749, was received with ' shouting, cursing, blaspheming, and gnashing of teeth.' A chapel was built in Toad Lane in 1770, and after being sold in 1793 was used as a theatre. A new chapel was opened in this year in Union Street, and rebuilt in 1825. (fn. 178) TheWesleyans have now six other churches in the town; the New Connexion has one, built in 1867, but the story of this section of Methodists goes back to 1819; the United Free Methodists have ten churches, the largest, in Baillie Street, originated in 1837 in a secession from Union Street ; the Primitive Methodists, have four, but their earliest chapel, built in 1829, was afterwards a music hall. St. Stephen's Church was opened in 1812 for the Countess of Huntingdon'sConnexion, which still retains it. (fn. 179)

The Baptists began services in 1772, and in the following year nine persons were publicly baptized in. the Roch; a small chapel was built in 1775, replaced in 1833 by that in West Street. The original Ogden and Hope chapels date from 1785 and 1810 respectively, and there are now six churches of this denomination in Rochdale. (fn. 180)

The Congregationalists have four churches. Providence Chapel was acquired in 1814, having been built for a congregation gathered by Joseph Cooke, who had been expelled by the Wesleyans. Milton Church originated in a dispute in 1852. There are two more recent churches. (fn. 181)

The Salvation Army has a barracks, and there are several other places of worship belonging to less defined bodies. The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists have a church.

The Society of Friends has had members in Rochdale almost from its foundation, but the meetinghouse in George Street was not built until 1807–8. John Bright is interred in its burial-ground. (fn. 182)

The Unitarian Church in Blackwater Street represents the congregation formed by Robert Bath, the vicar ejected in 1662. A meeting-house was licensed during the temporary Indulgence of 1672, and Oliver Heywood preached there to 'a mighty auditory,' but no chapel seems to have been built until 1716. It was rebuilt in 1856. The congregation became Unitarian during the 1 8th century. (fn. 183) There was formerly another Unitarian chapel in Clover Street. (fn. 184)

The population rapidly became Protestant after the Reformation, (fn. 185) and it was not till 1815 that mass was said again in the town, in a hired room. St. John the Baptist's Church was opened in 1830, and St. Patrick's in 1861.


Apart from a number of educational endowments, (fn. 186) the principal charities of Rochdale are those founded by John Kenion in 1789 for the apprenticing of children, (fn. 187) and by Josiah Gartside in 1712 for clothing the poor, now utilized for providing nursing and other medical assistance. (fn. 188) In Spotland the gifts of Mary Shepherd (fn. 189) and Mary Hill (fn. 190) produce £27 a year, distributed to the poor in kind. There are a few others, chiefly for particular churches or districts. (fn. 191)


  • 1. A description of the parish boundary made in 1609 is printed in Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1868), i, 489. See also the survey of the manor, 1610, as below, now in the Free Library. An elaborate Hist, of the Parish of Rochdale, by Lieut.-Colonel Henry Fishwick, F.S.A., appeared in 1889; much use has been made of it in the present account.
  • 2. The old spelling was Rach or Rached.
  • 3. These townships are found in the subsidy roll of 1332, printed by the Record Society of Lanes, and Ches.
  • 4. The arrangement was sanctioned in 1894.; it followed the lines of the existing local board districts; see Local Govt. Bd. Orders 31646 and 32287. Milnrow includes the greater part of Butterworth, with parts of Castleton and Spotland; Littleborough includes the whole of Blatchinworth and Calderbrook, with parts of Butterworth and Wuerdle and Wardle; Wardle is composed of part of the old Wuerdle and Wardle, and a small part of Butterworth; Whitworth and Norden are formed out of Spotland, being its northern and central portions.
  • 5. Fishwick, Rockdale, 3–13; Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xvi, 171; xvii, 233.
  • 6. No account of Saddleworth is given in the present work, but considerable materials will be found among the Raines MSS. in the Chetham Library
  • 7. See for instance the names of donors and witnesses in the numerous Rochdale charters in the Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc). The court rolls, which go back to 1324,and the subsidy rolls also give evidence. Two of the latter (1381 and 1523) are printed in Fishwick, Rochdale, 34, 36.
  • 8. a Brit. (ed. 1695), 745. Details of some merchants' complaints of the time of Elizabeth are printed in Fishwick, op.cit. 40–4, where it is shown that the hat trade was probably established about that time.
  • 9. An iron mine in Whitworth was worked as early as 1338 ; and coal mines are rmntioned in 1576 and 1585 ; Fishwick, Rochdale, 84, 43, 24. The survey of the manor made in 1610 says that there was nft lead mine but one coal mine; that of 1626 records two coal mines in Butterworth,' very beneficial to the occupiers' ; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), i, 109 ; xxi, 58.
  • 10. A long list of freeholders in 1600 is printed in Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 246–51. About forty are in Rochdale.
  • 11. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 18.
  • 12. Ibid. 22. At a somewhat later date the divisions of Hundersfield were as follows:—(1) Wardleworth, (2) Middle Hundersfield, (3) Walsden and Todmorden; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), i, 8.
  • 13. The lists are printed in full in Fishwick, Rochdale, 541–52.
  • 14. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), v.
  • 15. Thus Colonel Ralph Assheton of Middleton had no difficulty in obtaining supplies in 1643 from the Rochdale people; 'the country people furnished him with all speed'; War in Lanes. (Chet. Soc), 31.
  • 16. Richard Holt of Stubley and Castleton, Alexander Butterworth of Belfield, and Gabriel Gartside of Butterworth compounded.
  • 17. War in Lancs. 43; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc), 146. Col. Assheton wrote to Colonel Moore on 18 March 1643–4 that 'about 5,000 Scots are come this night to Rochdale and marching towards Sir William Brereton '; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. x, App. iv, 71.
  • 18. A Rochdale man named Valentine Holt is said to have joined the Young Pretender at Manchester, and to have been shot at Carlisle ; Fishwick, op, cit. 57.
  • 19. Ibid. 60.
  • 20. Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9, Lancs.
  • 21. Through England on a Side-Saddle, 186, 187.
  • 22. Quoted in Fishwick, Rochdale, 57; some later travellers' accounts are added. See also Local Gleanings Lanes, and Ches, ii, 17.
  • 23. Fishwick, op. cit. 59.
  • 24. See Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1868), i, 498, 499.
  • 25. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 26. Ibid.
  • 27. Fishwick, Rochdale, 535; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 28. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 29. A. Burton, Rushbearing, 71; Harland and Wilkinson, Legends and Traditions, 112–20 (where the date is given as 19 August).
  • 30. Fishwick, op. cit. 534.
  • 31. See J. P. Earwaker in Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), iv, 93–120 ; the record roll is printed.
  • 32. Lancs, and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, 90, 86.
  • 33. Local Gleanings Lancs, and Ches. i, 43, 50; ii, 85; Fishwick, op. cit. 530; and in Pal. Note Bk. iv, 12.
  • 34. Fishwick, op. cit. 530.
  • 35. Earlier newspapers were the Recorder, 1827, and the Sentinel, 1853; they did not continue very long; Baines, Lancs. i, 503, 504.
  • 36. Fishwick, op. cit. 537.
  • 37. Ibid. For the crosses of Rochdale see Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xxii, 126–31.
  • 38. See V.C.H. Lancs. i, 287. The six excepted customs were theft, heinfare, forestel, breach of the peace, not keeping the term set by the reeve, and continuing a fight after oath given; the fine for such was 40s. Gamel is supposed to be the same man as the Gamel who in 1086 held 2 plough-lands in the hundred as one of the knights of Roger of Poitou.
  • 39. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 38–40. Rochdale does not seem to have been part of the five knights' fees of Clitheroe, and no indication is given as to the time or manner of its acquisition by the Lacys. It may be noticed that in the early 13th century Rochdale is described as a wapentake; Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc), iii, 684. See also Lancs, and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 12 ; ii, 240, 291.
  • 40. See the account of the honour of Clitheroe. In 1241–2 the lands of John de Lacy included Rochdale with the appurtenances, held for 37s. 10d.; Hugh de Eland also paid £8; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 157. The accounts of the lands of Henry de Lacy in 1296 and 1305 show that the profits of the manor amounted to about £24 a year; De Lacy Compoti (Chet. Soc), 7, 96, 101–2. Part was within the forest; ibid. 16. In 1311 the receipts from Castleton (Rochdale) were returned as £9 5s. 6d.; De Lacy Inq. (Chet. Soc), 20.
  • 41. John, Duke of Lancaster, in 1383 leased to Robert de Needham his demesne lands in Castleton and the mill there; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xiv, fol. 108d. Henry de Lacy, in December 1281, granted to Adam de Balshaw in fee the serjeanty of his free court of Rochdale in exchange for land in Rossendale and 'Holkenheved,' at a rent of 2 marks a year; Byron Chartul. (Towneley MS.), 1/248. In 1298, accordingly, the 'heir of Adam de Balshaw' paid 26s. 8d. for the bedelry; Compotus, 7; and in 1311 the holder was John de Balshaw; De Lacy Inq. 20. John de Balshaw, probably the same man, in 1341 sold the bailiwick of the serjeanty to John de Radcliffe; Byron Chartul. 9/249. It accordingly appears in the Radcliffe of Ordsall inquisitions of 1380 and 1422, as held by knight's service and a rent of 26s. 8d.; at the latter date it was stated that the outgoings exceeded the profits; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 9, 148. At Pentecost 1352 John de Radcliffe the elder complained that the Abbot of Whalley, one of his monks, and 'the Parson's man' had disseised him of the putures pertaining to his bailiwick; he claimed suitable meat and drink at the abbot's table every Friday at noon and at supper and at breakfast the following (Saturday) morning for two of his underbailifts, and other putures on two other days in the year; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2, m. 4. In 1360 an agreement was made; John de Radcliffe renounced his right to puture in Castleton and Whitworth, the abbot in return paying 12s. a year; Byron Chartul. 44/259. John son of Sir John de Radcliffe of Ordsall in 1427 granted the bailiwick to Sir John de Byron for life, and in 1430 sold it outright; Byron Chartul. 4/253, 16/251. The Byrons had long held considerable lands in the manor, as will be seen from the township accounts; and from this time till the beginning of the 17th century were usually lessees of the manor from the Crown; the hereditary bailiwick was perhaps surrendered for the lease. See Fishwick, Rochdale, 21–6, where details are given of various disputes with the tenant. The last lease expired in 1619; Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), ii, 68. In 1481 the king ordered Sir John Byron to allow Sir John Savile the younger to occupy the manor of Rochdale, assigned to him for ten years ; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xix, fol. 90. In 1499 a lease for forty years was granted to Nicholas Byron ; ibid, xxi, fol. a/56 d.
  • 42. Pat. 1 Chas. I, pt. 3 ; the grant included various mines and lands in Rochdale, Hundersfield, Spotland, Castleton, and Todmorden. The whole was to be held in socage of the manors of Greenwich and Enfield. See Raines MSS. ii, 68. The sale was made originally by James I in August 1624, as appears by a grant of arrears of fines for copyhold lands made in 1626 to Anne daughter of Sir Thomas Lyon; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxv, fol. 86.
  • 43. Fishwick, op. cit. 26. An inquisition on behalf of the Crown was made in 1610; the record was presented by Captain Clowes to the Rochdale Free Library, and a brief summary by Col. H. Fishwick appears in the Rochdale Literary and Scientific Society's Transactions, 1903. Castlehill was held of the king by Gabriel Taylor at a rent of 6s. 8d. Details of the Hospitallers' rents are given. There is an account of the common lands, and of the approvements recently made. The market was held 'usually every Monday'; the fairs on 3 May, Whit Tuesday, and 28 October. There was no lead mine, but coal mines existed on Featherteam Common near Crook, at Trough in Spotland, Brown Wardle, Butterworth Common, and Micherden Clough in Walsden; and stone quarries in Brown Wardle, Middle Hill, and Farrett Moss. The court leet was held twice a year, and another court was held several times in the year, but there was no manor-house ; and the king had no mill. The account of the copyhold lands is added. A detailed survey of the manor was in 1626 made for Sir Robert Heath, a copy of which may be seen in Raines MSS. xxi. For a recovery of the manor in 1636 see Com. Pleas Recov. R. East. 12 Chas. I, m. 15.
  • 44. Fishwick, op. cit. 27. Inquiries as to the boundaries made from 1637 to 1639 may be seen in Raines MSS. i, 145 ; ii, 74; Duchy of Lanc. Spec. Com. no. 1178. The earlier history of the Byron family will be found in the account of Clayton in Droylsden. After the sale of Clayton they retained Royton for a time, but this was sold about 1622 and afterwards the family had no residence in Lancashire. Sir John Byron, the purchaser of Rochdale, was an active partisan of the king in the Civil War, and in 1643 was created Baron Byron of Rochdale. An account of him will be found in Collins, Peerage (ed. 1779), vii, 129–36. He died in 1652 in France, and was succeeded by his brother Richard, in virtue of the limitations in the patent. See also Dict. Nat. Biog. The manor of Rochdale shared in the sequestration of the Byron lands by the Commonwealth authorities; Fishwick, op. cit. 27.
  • 45. For the descent see Collins, loc. cit. ; and G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 98–100. The following fines and recoveries of the manor may be given for reference: In 1703 William (4th Lord Byron) Baron of Rochdale, and Elizabeth dowager baroness, were deforciants in a fine respecting the manor of Rochdale, with its courts leet, courts baron, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 250, m. 120. In 1744, in a recovery of the manor, William (5th) Lord Byron was vouchee; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 561, m. 3. In a recovery in 1773 William Byron, esq., was tenant; ibid. 618, m. 8 ; Com. Pleas, Recov. R. Trin. 13 Geo. III, m. 136.
  • 46. The particulars are given in Fishwick, op. cit. 29, 30. The sale was hastened by a long suit between the Byrons and Deardens as to the right of getting coal.
  • 47. For pedigree see Raines MSS. iii, 17, 18 ; James Dearden, who died in 1791, was father of James the purchaser of the manor; the latter, by his will of 1828, left the manor to his son James, and died in the same year. The son, a barrister, died in 1862, leaving by his wife Jane Griffith a son and heir James, who in 1865 assumed the name of Griffith before Dearden. The more extended pedigree recorded at the College of Arms is printed in Fishwick, Rochdale, 450.
  • 48. The rolls from 1323–5 are printed in Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 16–23, 141–50. Those for 1335 and 1336 are printed by Col. Fishwick, op. cit. 286–92 ; and in the same work will be found copious abstracts of the later rolls, 1566–7, and 1586–1624. Canon Raines also made very full notes of the rolls from 1591 to 1826; Raines MSS. vii; ii, 31–7; xiv, 293–332. See also Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 78, no. 1006; bdle. 78, no. 1025–7.
  • 49. The street now of that name is so called from the house.
  • 50. The name of Amen Corner is said to have arisen from the fact that in 1745 part of the building was occupied by the parish clerk, but another explanation is that the name arose from the proximity of a Presbyterian meeting-house. Probably the title Amen Corner was first bestowed on the immediate vicinity and then transferred to the house itself.
  • 51. In a deed of 1565 there is mention of a house in this position 'where Robert Garside dwelleth,' which seems to have been the Great House (see Fishwick, Rochdale, 523–4). The portion which was standing till 1910, however, was of 17th-century date, and may have been a rebuilding by Adam Gartside about 1692.
  • 52. Fishwick, op. cit. 523, where the title deeds are quoted.
  • 53. Inq. and Extents, i, 38–40. Each separate township, and perhaps each then existing hamlet, was divided into moieties and distributed among the parceners. The following is believed to represent the shares:—
    Castleton Oxg. Butter worth Oxg. Spotland Oxg. Hundersheld Oxg.
    Hugh de Eland. 8 8 8 8
    R. de Flamborough 4 4 22/3
    R. de Thornton 4 4 22/3
    T. de Horbury
    Gilbert de Lacy 4 4 22/3
    There is nothing to show how the various partitions were effected.
  • 54. The pedigree of the family is given in the Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 641 n. Hugh de Eland was in 1296 responsible for £7 19s. 9½d., farm of various lands held in Rochdale; Compotus, 6. In 1311 John de Eland held I plough-land in Hundersfield by homage and a service of 60s. yearly. The remainder of the Eland holding in 1212 had therefore been granted out, but John was responsible for the full ancient rent.
  • 55. From inquisitions made in 1520 and 1521 it appears that one Thomas Savile in 1421 held the manor of Foulridge with lands and rents there, and in Rochdale, Inchfield, Todmorden, &c., of the king as of his duchy of Lancaster by the eighth part of a knight's fee and a rent of £8 1s. 8d.; his great-grandson Sir John Savile (son of John, son of John), who died in 1505, was succeeded by Henry Savile his son, a minor, who was of age in 1520; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ii, no. 11; v, no. 5, 32.
  • 56. In 1551 Sir Henry Savile and Robert Savile—believed to have been Sir Henry's illegitimate son—made a settlement of the manors of Foulridge, Inchfield, and Rochdale, with houses, lands, mills, dovecote, &c.; the remainders were to Robert Savile for a week, to Anne his wife for her life, to the same Robert and his male issue, in default to Sir Henry Savile and his male issue, in default to the male issue of Thomas Savile of Lupset, deceased, and in default to the right heirs of Sir Henry; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 14, no. 223. In 1574 Robert Savile and Anne his wife granted a messauge, &c., in Rochdale to Peter Heywood for thirty-two years; ibid. bdle. 36, no. 91. Then in 1587 Sir John Byron and John Byron (his son) purchased from John Savile his manor of Rochdale with lands, &c., in Hundersfield, Butterworth, Spotland, and Castleton; ibid. bdle. 49, m. 14.
  • 57. Alice widow of Robert de Flamborough was plaintiff in 1246; Assize R. 1045, m. 53. Robert de Liversedge seems to have been the actual holder of the sixth part of the manor; he had a son Roger, whose son and heir, Robert, resigned to Lacy; Whalley Coucher, ii, 706, 720.
  • 58. It may have been the basis of the holdings of the Chadderton and Prestwich families in Spotland, Ogden, &c.
  • 59. a Henry de Lacy of Cromwellbottom in 1311 paid the old rent of 20s., but his tenement is described as no more than 'half a plough-land in Spotland'; De Lacy Inq. 20. A settlement of lands in Spotland, Hundersfield, Butterworth, and Castleton in Rochdale was made in 1326 in favour of Henry son of John de Lacy of Cromwellbottom, and Beatrice his wife; Add. MS. 32104, no. 467.
  • 60. In that year Geoffrey son of John de Holt had licence to agree with Henry son of John de Lacy, concerning the manor of Rochdale; and the latter granted him the services of his tenants, viz. the Abbot of Whalley, John de Byron, John de Radcliffe, Roger son of Maud Stikewind, and John de Savile and Isabel his wife; AssizeR. 435, m. 18 d., 8. Geoffrey de Holt was soon after his purchase engaged in disputes respecting lands in Hundersfield; De Banco R. 408, m. 79; 425, m. 301 d.; 432, m. 246. A settlement of the Holt estates was made by Robert son of Geoffrey de Holt in 1388; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 31.
  • 61. See further in the account of Stubley.
  • 62. A commission for dividing the wastes was granted in 1588; it was this which compelled Sir John Byron to purchase the Saviles' interest; Fishwick, Rochdale, 23–5. See also Lancs. and Cbes. Rec. ii, 273, 286. 294.
  • 63. From Robert Holt, 2s.; from Lawrence Buckley, 6d.; Rental, c. 1540, in. Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 84.
  • 64. Col. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 362. Margaret Countess of Lincoln then held the manor in dower. A fair was till recently held on 7 Nov., the eve of Old St. Simon's day. Other fairs were also held; in 1588 there were two—on Whit Sunday and 23 (? 28) Oct.; Wm. Smith, Descr. of Engl. The toll and stallage of the markets and fairs produced 53s. 8d. in 1296, and 53s. 4d. in 1305, but were valued at only 30s. in 1311; Lacy Compoti, 6, 102 ; Inq. 20. The other manorial profits show similar variations. Thus the eighth part of the mill paid 5s. in 1296, but the fourth part only 4s. in 1311; the perquisites of the courts were £4 4s. 4d. and the fines for lands 43s. 2d. in the former year, but the value of the three-weeks court was given as only 26s. 8d. in 1311. In 1292 Henry de Lacy was required to show by what warrant he held the market and fair; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 382. The market day was changed from Wednesday to Monday during the 18th century, and Monday continues to be the manufacturers' market day; there is a provision market on Saturday. The market hall is open daily.
  • 65. John de Lacy (1211–40) gave a charter to his men of Rochdale and their heirs, acquitting them of the judges both in the county and the wapentake; pleas were to be held from month to month instead of from fortnight to fortnight, and in the pleas attorneys of knights and free men might be received; Byron Chartul. 1/256. The charter of the borough does not seem to have been preserved; the statement that there had been twelve burgesses is derived from an inquisition of uncertain date quoted from Dods. MSS. clxi, by Baines, op. cit. (ed. 1868), i, 483. In 1296 there was received of the farm of the burgesses of Rochdale 6s. ; this is not named in 1305 or in 1311 ; Compoti, 6. The burgesses are named in 1341–2; Mins. Accts. bdle. 1091, no. 6.
  • 66. 6 Geo. IV, cap. 128. The commissioners, with a qualification of £3 5 yearly value as owners or occupiers, had powers to watch, light, and cleanse the town. The chairman was entitled the chief constable. By an Act of 1844 the commissioners were made elective, the parliamentary voters, or £10 householders, having the right to elect. A further Improvement Act was obtained in 1853. See Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1868), i, 491–2. What remained of the utility of the manor courts was destroyed by the formation of a Court of Request in 1839, and the County Court in 1847; Fishwick, op. cit. 30.
  • 67. The area was a little larger than that of the commissioners' authority, the threequarters of a mile distance being measured from the edge of the market-place instead of from its centre. For the members, including Richard Cobden (1859–65), see Pink and Beaven, Lancs. Parl. Repre. 331–5.
  • 68. Baines, op. cit.
  • 69. Pink and Beaven, op. cit.; by the Act 31 & 32 Viet. cap. 46.
  • 70. Fishwick, Rochdale, 63; by the Act 35 & 36 Vict. cap. 49.
  • 71. a Information of the Town Clerk. The old townships were abolished; Local Govt. Bd. Order 31646.
  • 72. Local Govt. Bd. Order P. 1639.
  • 73. Baines, i, 495; the corner-stone was laid in 1866. It stands on the site of an old house called the Wood; Fishwick, op. cit 333–6.
  • 74. A circulating library was established as early as 1770; Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1868), i, 501; N. and Q. (5th Ser.), ii, 113.
  • 75. In 1760 there was a small reservoir in Leyland Brow near the church steps. It was in private hands and purchased by the company formed in 1809; Fishwick, op. cit. 62. See also Baines, op. cit. i, 494.
  • 76. A dispute as to the price charged for lighting the public lamps led to the Act of 1844, mentioned above, by which the gasworks were acquired by the commissioners.
  • 77. Fishwick, op. cit. 63 ; 'The old stalls in the streets were then done away with . . . The lord of the manor reserved the right to hold fairs, &c, and as late as 1872 the horse fair was held in Cheetham Street. The right was then purchased by the Corporation, who have provided ground for fairs and cattle markets.'
  • 78. For the older charitable societies, see Baines, Lancs, i, 501.
  • 79. The churchwardens' accounts for 1660 contain an item of 24s. for eight loads of 'great stones from Blackstone edge for the steps.' Fishwick, Rochdale at the beginning of the 17th century (Hist. Soc. Lancs, and Ches. xxxviii).
  • 80. There is a local version of the wellknown story of the stones having been carried up the hill-side from a proposed site on lower ground by supernatural agency. The legend is used by Roby in his Goblin Builders.
  • 81. Fishwick, Hist, of Rochdale, 12.
  • 82. So much alteration was done in later years that the length of the original 13thcentury chancel cannot be accurately stated. There were three arches and columns similar to those of the nave in 1863 (John Owen MSS. in Manch. Ref. Lib.), but these did not extend the full length eastward. There was a good deal of alteration in the north arcade of the chancel in 1854.
  • 83. Glynne (no date) states that when he visited the church there was a range of 'lancet arches upon imposts, which seem Early English,' in the east wall of the tower facing the nave.
  • 84. Changes in the 17th century were: 1635, chancel repaired; 1646, south porch repaired; 1693, west gallery erected; 1699, south gallery erected; 1700, south porch rebuilt; Fishwick, Rochdale at beginning of 17tb century (Hist. Soc. Lancs, and Ches., xxxviii).
  • 85. 24 July 1816, Sir Jeffrey Wyatt, architect, reported to the Bishop of Chester that he had made a survey of the church and found the repairs done in a workmanlike manner.
  • 86. These repairs included the rebuilding of the wall of the Trinity Chapel, repairs to the roof, and the removal of the gallery then existing at the east end in front of the rood screen. The screen remained till 1854.
  • 87. J. S. Crowther, architect.
  • 88. There is an interesting description of its fittings at that date in Fishwick, Hist. of Rochdale, 149.
  • 89. These memorials are described in a book called Popular Genealogists, or the Art of Pedigree Making, by George Burnett, Lyon King of Arms (Edinburgh, 1865), 95–6. Only a few of the brasses remain. The rest of the memorials have since been buried under the floor.
  • 90. It replaces one which seems to have been built in 1815.
  • 91. The pillars and arches were rechiselled in the middle of the last century; Owen MSS. Manch. Ref. Lib. 1863.
  • 92. Fishwick, op. cit.
  • 93. a The latter, however, is later than the nave roof.
  • 94. See Proceedings of the Soc. of Antiquaries, xiv, 320 (1893).
  • 95. a The date mark is two years later than the date on the inscription.
  • 96. Fishwick, Rochdale, 142–3.
  • 97. a Edited by Colonel H. Fishwick, 1888–9.
  • 98. b Whalley Coucher, i, 146.
  • 99. Ibid. iii, 727, 729. The rectors of Whalley are traditionally stated to have held Rochdale Church by hereditary right; ibid, i, 187. Though the phrase 'church of Rochdale (or Rachedham)' was in general and early use, the correct expression seems to have been 'church of Castleton in Rochdale'; ibid. i, 145, 151; iii, 729.
  • 100. Ibid, i, 137. Whitaker's explanation must be taken into account: Robert, a clerk, was son of Geoffrey, and held the rectory for a time by his father's grant, resigning or dying in his father's lifetime. Geoffrey's father was also a Robert.
  • 101. The documents are given ibid, i, 135–153, &c.; Roger de Lacy's grants are on pp. 135, 137 ; his son John's confirmation, p. 138 ; John de Eland's release of any claim, p. 141; and John de Lacy's of Cromwellbottom, p. 145; Assize R. 408, m. 74; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 1179. In addition, Geoffrey son of Geoffrey the Dean of Whalley resigned his title to the church to his lord John de Lacy; Whalley Coucher, i, 141. Richard son of the same Geoffrey the Dean released all land belonging to the church for an annuity of 20s. (p. 153); and Geoffrey de Buckley resigned his right to a third part of the tithes, which he had received from his patron Geoffrey the Dean (p. 142). The assent of William, Bishop of Lichfield, who died in 1223, with his ordination of a vicarage, to come into force after the death of the then rector, is given, ibid, i, 139; the Prior and convent of Coventry gave their consent in 1222 (p. 140), and Alexander, the succeeding bishop, also ratified it (p. 140). Geoffrey the Dean resigned his ' vicarage ' to the same bishop, who united it to the rectory (p. 143), and afterwards, on the presentation of the abbot and convent, admitted William de Dumplington to the new vicarage (p. 145). As Alexander de Stavenby died in 1238 the who'e transaction must have been completed by this year. The popes who confirmed the arrangements weie Honorius III, in 1218 (to take effect 'after the death of Geoffrey, Dean of Whalley'), Innocent IV, about 1250, and Alexander IV, in 1255 and 1259; ibid. i, 168, 170, 169, 174.
  • 102. The bishop was Roger de Meulan in 1277; ibid, i, 69, 85. The vicar was to provide that the chapels dependent on his church should be served by fit priests and clerks.
  • 103. Ibid, i, 86, 87.
  • 104. John de Peckham, 1280; ibid. i, 88.
  • 105. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249.
  • 106. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 39; Castleton was answerable for 26s. 8d., Spotland for 50s., Butterworth for 50s., and Hundersfield for 73s. 4d.
  • 107. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 229. The glebe lands produced 20s., the tithes £34 6s. 8d., oblations, Easter roll, &c, £14 6s. 8d.
  • 108. Ibid. v, 227. The lands produced £4, and a pension of '£8 was received from the Abbot of Whalley; but 15s. 4d. was due to the Archdeacon of Chester.
  • 109. Commonwealth Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 19.
  • 110. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 121; 'the vicar has a large glebe, and all the houses of two of the best streets in the town belong to him—130 houses'; ibid, ii, 123.
  • 111. A plan of the glebe in 1754–7 is given in Fishwick, Rochdale, 56. In 1764 the vicar was authorized by Act of Parliament to grant building leases of ninety-nine years ; it is printed in Raines, Vicars of Rochdale (Chet. Soc), 202. A terrier of 1783 is printed in full; ibid. 235.
  • 112. This was in accordance with an Act passed in 1866 (29 & 30 Vict. cap. 86, and 31 & 32 Vict. cap. 114), by which the glebe was given to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who were to pay the then vicar £4,000 a year and his successors £1,500, the remainder to be used for church purposes; see Raines, Vicars, 361, &c. In the Manor Survey of 1626 the glebe is estimated as 208 acres.
  • 113. Ibid. 32–6.
  • 114. The sum realized was £63,426. The purchasers were in general the owners of the titheable estates. The sale was in virtue of an Act passed in 1807, and some particulars may be seen in Raines, Vicars of Rochdale, 282, 283.
  • 115. Detailed accounts of the vicars, which have been used in these notes, will be found in Canon Raines, Vicars of Rochdale, with additions by the editor, Sir H. H. Howorth; also in Fishwick, Rochdale, 223–49.
  • 116. He is spoken of as ' vicar,' and in his resignation mentions the charter he had from the abbot and convent and the confirmation of the bishop; Whalley Coucher, i, 146, 141. He was son of that Geoffrey the Dean who was ' rector ' in 1195. It is doubtful whether he was in orders. He succeeded his father at Whalley and at Rochdale, and may have had a share of the revenues of the latter assigned to him (as a 'vicarage') when the church was given to Stanlaw. In 1218 as Geoffrey the Dean he was certainly in possession, as appears by the confirmation of Pope Honorius ; see note 94 above.
  • 117. Ibid, i, 145 ; as ' W. vicar of Rochdale' his name appears as witness to several charters in the same volume, one of which appears to be as late as 1260 ; ibid, ii, 614.
  • 118. Ibid, i, 144 ; he promised to claim from the monks of Stanlaw nothing but the land which his predecessor William had held, the pension of 5 marks, and the tithes of corn and beasts upon his own land. This vicar also frequently occurs as attesting charters.
  • 119. Ibid, ii, 632, as witness to a charter.
  • 120. He was amerced for a breach of the forest laws; Wakefield Ct. R. (Yorks. Arch. Soc), ii, 77.
  • 121. Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 32b; he is described as a chaplain.
  • 122. Ibid, i, fol. 85; a chaplain. In his time, in 1330, the bishop held an ordination at Rochdale ; ibid, i, fol. 162.
  • 123. Ibid, ii, fol. 127; a chaplain.
  • 124. Ibid, iv, fol. 80 ; a priest. In 1365 he was made penitentiary for the deanery of Manchester ; ibid, v, fol. 11b.
  • 125. Ibid, iv, fol 85; a priest. A burgage in Manchester belonging to Roger son of William, vicar of Rochdale, is named in a deed of 1383; Hulme D. no. 7. He was otherwise known as Roger de Lache. See further in the account of the rectors of Radcliffe.
  • 126. Ibid, vi, fol. 54; by exchange for the rectory of Radcliffe. Ellen the sister and executrix of John le Fitheler accepted 20s. from the Abbot and Convent of Whalley in satisfaction of all arrears; Add MS. 32104, no. 949.
  • 127. Lich. Epis. Reg. vii, fol. 88; a monk of Whalley. He became vicar of Whalley in 1411.
  • 128. Ibid. vii, fol. 89; a chaplain.
  • 129. Ibid.ix, fol.118b. His seal is engraved in Corry, Lancs, ii, pi. vi.
  • 130. Lich. Epis. Reg. xi, fol. 13b; a chaplain. His original name was Smith; Raines, Vicars, 25. A dispute with his executors, Lawrence Helme and Grace his wife, occurred in 1476; Add. MS. 32104, no. 960.
  • 131. Lich. Epis. Reg. xii, fol. 106; a monk of Whalley.
  • 132. Ibid. xii, fol. 108.
  • 133. Ibid. xii, fol. 116. The Abbot of Whalley, on 18 Nov. 1506, granted the next presentation to the vicarage to Nicholas Towneley and Richard his son; ibid, xiii-xiv, fol. 92b. It is not known whether any presentation was made under this grant. The next vicar known is said to have been nominated by the Abbot of Whalley.
  • 134. In a return made in 1523 the parish church was stated to be worth £200 ; Gilbert Haydock had been vicar for a year, and his vicarage was worth 20 marks ; Raines, Vicars, 29, quoting Duchy Plead. Hen. VIII, x, R. 7. He was a priest of evil life, having several bastard children, as he names them and a grandchild in his will dated 15 Feb. 1553–4 ; Raines, op. cit. 38.
  • 135. Act Bks. at Chester Dioc. Reg. He paid his first-fruits 3 Mar. 1553–4; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 408. (The later records of these payments are from the same volume.) Gorstilow was deprived because he had neither resided nor provided a priest to minister in the church ; Raines, Vicars, 39. Peter Prescott is said to have paid firstfruits for Rochdale on 21 Mar. 1553–4. Nothing further is known of his connexion with this church; see the account of North Meols. The queen claimed the right to present, the archbishopric of Canterbury being vacant, against Sir Henry Stanley and others; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton, file 1 Mary.
  • 136. Reg.'Pole, Add. MS. 6086, fol. 50b; quoted in Raines, Vicars, 40. He did not appear at the Elizabethan visitation in 1559, and was deprived in Mar. 1561. The name is also spelt Hanson, and this vicar may safely be identified with the John Hanson, Archdeacon of Richmond, who was deprived in 1559, and is said to have gone into exile before 1562; Gee, Elizabethan Clergy, 88, 89, 184.
  • 137. Add. MS. 6088, fol. 55, quoted in Raines, Vicars, 41. It is supposed that he was never actually inducted.
  • 138. There is a long biography of him in Raines, Vicars, 42–68. From this it appears that he was a zealous Protestant, who seldom wore the prescribed surplice. He gave a part of the glebe for the new school. See also Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 255. That his resignation was brought about by his nonconformity to the queen's regulations seems clear from a memorandum concerning clergymen who refused to wear the surplice. Among them was 'Richard Midgeley, vicar of Rochdale, a country scholar, yet discreet, sober, and very peaceable, the only first planter of sound religion in this corner of our country in her majesty's time,' who since his first entrance had not used the surplice, yet had ' used his ministry very peaceably, and had at his monthly communions above 800 communicants that zealously cried, "Thy kingdom come."' The writer thought that the vicar would conform, 'or else peaceably give over his ministry.' The date appears to be about 1590; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 602.
  • 139. The church papers at Chester begin at this point. First-fruits paid 5 Nov. 1595. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and became a more uncompromising Puritan than his father. The church had no surplice in 1598, and the regular Prayer Book service was cut down to allow of longer sermons; and in 1605 it was found that the communicants sat instead of kneeling, the surplice was not worn, the sign of the cross was omitted in baptism, and flesh was eaten during Lent. He was soon afterwards deprived. See the notice in Raines, op. cit. 72–7.
  • 140. First-fruits paid 7 Mar. 1606–7. He was also a fellow of Manchester, 1602–15, and probably did not reside much at Rochdale. He was rector of Stockport, 1614–15. See Raines, op. cit. 77–81; Earwaker, East Ches. i, 383. He was returned as 'a preacher' about 1610; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 12.
  • 141. First-fruits paid 13 Mar. 1615–16. He was of Balliol College, Oxford, M.A. 1601, at which time he was fellow of University College; Foster, Alumni. He was promoted to the deanery of Christ Church, Dublin, in 1634, and to the bishopric of Elphin in 1639, but driven from Ireland by the rebellion of 1641 and later troubles. He died near Dewsbury in 1656. He was a friend of Stratford, Laud, and Bridgeman, and no doubt agreed with their policy in Church and State; see Raines, Vicars, 81–92. A survey of the vicarage estate, made in 1626, is printed, ibid. 83. Henry Tilson, a portrait painter, was a grandson of the bishop ; see Dict. Nat.Biog
  • 142. First-fruits paid 23 May 1636. The institutions from this time have been compared with those in the Inst. Bks. P.R.O., as printed in Lancs, and Cbes. Antiq. Notes. He was educated at Oxford, but the college is uncertain; see the notice in W. A. Shaw's Bury Classis (Chet. Soc), 212. He joined the Presbyterian party, and in 1648 signed the 'Harmonious Consent.' Rochdale at this time formed part of the Bury Classis. In 1650 he was described as 'a godly minister and well qualified'; Commonwealtb Cb. Surv. 19. He was expelled for nonconformity in 1662, and afterwards ministered to the Dissenters. See Raines, Vicars of Rochdale, 92–109.
  • 143. He was of Lincoln College, Oxford, B.D. 1660 5 Foster, Alumni. Though he was appointed rector of Brindle (1651– 1722) in the Commonwealth period, he was an Episcopalian in principle, as is proved by his seeking ordination in 1654 from Bishop Tilson. He reintroduced the surplice at Rochdale, and was 'remembered as a whimsical textuary, who intended to divert rather than to instruct his hearers.' He conformed to the Revolu tion. He founded two scholarships at Wadham College, Oxford, and endowed Brindle School. See the full account in Raines, op. cit. 109–44; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 230 ; also O. Heywood, Diaries, ii, 276, 290. The dispensations to hold Rochdale with Brindle were granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the king on 1 Oct. and 10 Oct. 1662.
  • 144. He was of Trinity College, Cambridge ; M.A. 1700, D.D. 1713, and became Prebendary of Salisbury in 1717. He translated Horace, and was satirized in the Dunciad. At Rochdale he built ' a very good new house ' as vicarage. Of a volume of sermons supposed to be his, Canon Raines remarks: ' They contain no controversial matter, and there is more absence of Christian doctrine in them than might have been expected.' See Raines, op. cit. 144–67; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 145. Educated at Pembroke and Corpus Christi Colleges, Oxford, of which latter he became fellow ; M.A. 1739, D.D. 1750. He was chaplain to Bishop Butler, and became a canon of Bristol in 1755. He was a scholar and preacher, also F.R.S. He resided very little in Rochdale, where he was regarded as a miserly pluralist. See Raines, op. cit. 167–82 ; Dict. Nat. Biog.—a list of his works is added.
  • 146. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge; M.A. 1731, D.D. 1744. See Raines, op. cit. 182–97, where a list of his works will be found ; also Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 147. Educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, of which he became fellow ; M.A. 1747, D.D. 1762. Soon after coming to Rochdale he obtained the Act allowing the vicars to grant building leases. He was a charitable and good man, a peacemaker, active in catechizing the young, 'a consistent Churchman, and a Tory of the Pitt school' ; see Raines, op. cit. 197–225.
  • 148. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford; M.A. 1736, D.D. 1750. He was also vicar of Skipton in Yorkshire, and a prebendary of St. Paul's. See Raines, op. cit. 225–47.
  • 149. Educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, of which he was elected fellow ; M.A. 1771 ; D.D. 1784. He acquired the esteem of his parishioners, who erected a memorial over his grave. See Raines, op. cit. 247–83; R. F. Scott, Admissions to St. John's Coll. iii, 167, 696.
  • 150. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford; M.A. 1783. He entered the Inner Temple, and was called to the Bar in 1788. Ten years later he was ordained, but always remained the magistrate rather than the clergyman. He was chairman of the bench responsible for the ' Peterloo Massacre' of 1819, and this naturally made him unpopular in Rochdale. He was frequently absent, being also rector of Ackworth and Prebendary of York. See Raines, op. cit. 284–325.
  • 151. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford ; M.A. 1817, D.D. 1838. His efforts caused ' the resurrection of the Church in Rochdale.' He was engaged in constant warfare, the church-rate disputes troubling his early years as vicar; disputes with the Bishop of Manchester and some moderate ritual changes, including robing the choir in surplices, the later ones. The Vicarage Act was passed in his time. See Raines, op. cit. 325–76, where a list of his publications is given; also Dict. Nat. Biog. His son, William Nassau Molesworth, incumbent of St. Clement's, Spotland, and Hon. Canon of Manchester, who died in 1890, was author of a History of England from 1830; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 152. Of Brasenose College, Oxford ; M.A. 1858; Dean of Manchester from 1890 till his death in 1906.
  • 153. Of St. John's College, Cambridge, of which he was fellow ; M.A. 1862. Archdeacon of Manchester, 1890; Residentiary Canon of Worcester, 1905, when he resigned the vicarage and archdeaconry.
  • 154. Of Trinity College, Oxford ; M.A. 1874; Hon. Canon of Manchester, 1905; formerly vicar of Cockerham, 1881–1905, and Archdeacon of Lancaster, 1895–1905.
  • 155. A dispute as to a kneeling-place in the church in 1475 was settled by John Byron as arbitrator ; Raines, Vicars, 26.
  • 156. In 1402–3 and 1472–83.
  • 157. A deed of 1487 regulating the appointment and duties of the 'Trinity priest,' chaplain of the brotherhood of the Holy Trinity, is printed in Raines, Vicars, 120–1. The chapel was afterwards the property of the Butterworths of Belfield, and was sold to James Dearden in 1823; ibid. The goods taken by the Crown from a chapel at Rochdale may have belonged to this brotherhood; Raines, Chantries, ii, 270.
  • 158. The altar of St. Katherine is mentioned in a deed of 1514; Raines, Vicars, 28.
  • 159. About 1370 there was a chaplain of Our Lady in Rochdale Church, but the lands appropriated to his use, having been taken without the royal licence, appear to have been seized by the Crown. A certain Cecily de Bromley bequeathed a messuage and 2 acres to the service of a chantry chaplain in the time of Edward III; L.T.R. Memo. R. 163, m. 13. Thomas son of Henry Huetson in 1371 gave land called the Bankhouse, valued at 3s. a year, to God and B. Mary, for a chaplain celebrating divine service in Rochdale Church; ibid. R. 166, m. 113. An inquiry into the matter made in 1370 will be found in Chan. Inq. p.m. 45 Edw. III, no. 64. St. Mary Croft is named in a Holt of Stubley deed in 1621; Raines MSS. vi, 217. It was situated in Spotland; ibid. xxi, 153.
  • 160. Clergy List (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 13.
  • 161. Cburcb Gds. 1552 (Chet. Soc.), 48. The three altars were fully provided for ; the church had a 'pair of organs,' and there were five great bells.
  • 162. These details are from the visitation lists preserved at Chester.
  • 163. Hollinworth, speaking of the influence of Vaux at Manchester, says: 'This was one reason why many thereabouts were lother to be reclaimed from Popery than about Rochdale'; Mancuniensis, 81. The presentments at the Bishop of Chester's visitations (in Chest. Dioc. Reg.) prove that the Puritan irregularities went on without check. In 1589 there was 'no surplice ' at Rochdale. In the following year the vicar was a 'painful' preacher; S.P. Dom. Eliz. xxxi, 47. The details printed in Lancs, and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xiii, 68, appear to belong to this parish. In 1598 there was again 'no surplice,' and the service was shorter than the Book of Common Prayer by reason of sermons. In 1601 the vicar did not wear the surplice, and similar reports were made in 1604 and 1605. In the latter year the Communion was celebrated sitting; the sign of the cross was not used in baptism. Again in 1609 the four curates in the parish did not wear the surplice.
  • 164. Say from 1607 to 1636, while Kenyon and Tilson were vicars. In 1635 the chancel was paved and the seats made uniform (choirwise) by order of the Bishop of Chester; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635–6, p. 157.
  • 165. See the Introd. (pp. x-xii) to Raines's Vicars.
  • 166. Bishop Gastrell found in 1717 that at Rochdale avowed Presbyterians were numerous; there were also a few in Littleborough, Milnrow, and Saddleworth, while Todmorden was largely Nonconformist; Notitia, ii, 121, &c.
  • 167. Fishwick, Rochdale, 216. A district chapelry was formed for it in 1844; Lond. Gaz. 30 Nov. It was formerly known as ' Baum chapel.' The neighbourhood was once haunted by a white rabbit ghost, known as the Baum Rabbit; Fishwick, op. cit. 537.
  • 168. Fishwick, op. cit. 220; built under an Act of Parliament obtained in 1815. For district see Lond. Gaz. 30 Nov. 1844.
  • 169. Fishwick, loc. cit. ; built out of the Parliamentary grant. For district see Lond. Gaz. 30 Nov. 1844.
  • 170. Fishwick, op. cit. 221; chancel added in 1864. The district was formed in 1846; Lond. Gaz. 18 Sept.
  • 171. For district see Lond. Gaz. 9 May 1856.
  • 172. For district assigned see Lond. Gaz. 1 Mar. and 9 Apr. 1867.
  • 173. For district see Lond. Gaz. 5 Nov. 1867.
  • 174. For district see Lond. Gaz. 10 Jan. 1865.
  • 175. For district see Lond. Gaz. 5 Nov. 1867.
  • 176. The chancel was built in 1889, and the nave eight years later. A parish was assigned to it in 1895.
  • 177. Fishwick, Rochdale, 270–4.
  • 178. Ibid. 257—8.
  • 179. Ibid. 268.
  • 180. Ibid. 261—4. The original congregation was of Particular or Calvinistic Baptists; A. J. Parry, Cloughfold Church, 199; Rippon's Bapt. Reg. iii, 21. The Central hall, now used for entertainments, was until 1890 a Baptist chapel.
  • 181. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iii, 244–9.
  • 182. Fishwick, Rochdale, 266–8. Barnes's Dir. of 1825 names the Quaker meetinghouse as in Garden Lane, Wardleworth, built in 1817. This was the only one.
  • 183. Ibid. 251–6; Nightingale, op. cit, iii, 240–4. Oliver Heywood frequently passed through Rochdale, and records having preached there between 1672 and 1679; Diaries, ii, 104, 110; iii, 111, &c He gives the place a bad character at that time ; ibid, ii, 261, 285 ; iii, 211. Thomas Threlkeld, minister from 1778 to 1806, was famous for his power of memory; see Mancb. Guard. N. and Q. no. 190.
  • 184. It was built in 1818 ; Fishwick, op. cit. 256.
  • 185. Not a single ' Papist' was reported to Bishop Gastrell about 1717 (see Notitia), but in that year Sarah Chadwick of Lambourn, Berks., widow of Thomas Chadwick, registered her annuity from lands in Rochdale. She was, however, a Somerset woman; Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Catb, Nonjurors, 150, &c.
  • 186. A report on the charities, issued by the Commissioners in 1828, is reprinted (except for Todmorden) in the End. Char. Rep. for Rochdale, excluding the borough, issued in 1904. The Saddleworth Charities were included in 1828, but not in 1904. The educational endowments are those for a grammar school, £55 6s. 8d.; for the Free English School, founded by the Hardmans about 1770, £164 18s. 8d.; for clothing and teaching six poor girls, founded by Dorothea Holt, 1717, £6 14s. 4d.; for Milnrow School, £23 15s.; for Ogden School, £92 4s. 2d., partly applicable to clothing poor children; for Hollinworth School, £28 17s. 8½d., also partly applicable for clothing; for Littleborough School, £17 5s. 4d.; for Smallbridge National School, £2 2s.; for Whitworth Free School, £14 10s.; for John Taylor's Charity, formerly Toad Lane School, Spotland, £89 14s., now applied to the Technical School. The report of 1828 also records an endowment of £150, producing £6 15s. a year, for the school at Todmorden. A benefaction by Thomas Guest, 1731, was intended for a school at Blackwater, but this had failed before 1828. For the Hardman family above mentioned, see the account of Allerton in Childwall.
  • 187. The endowment in 1826 consisted of £6,365 consols, which has been increased by the addition of unused income, so that the stock is now £8,872, producing an income of £221 16s. This is expended in apprenticing boys and girls from the whole parish of Rochdale, about sixteen grants being made yearly.
  • 188. The original endowment consisted of four cottages in Spotland. In 1828 these were occupied as two public-houses, and the gross income was £116 a year. After repairs, &c., had been paid, also £1 to the incumbent of Todmorden for a sermon, about £50 was expended in clothing for the poor, according to the benefactor's desire. In 1893 the estate was sold, and the purchase money invested in £5,383 10s. consols in the name of the official trustees. A new scheme was made in 1896, by which, after the payment of £1 to the vicar of Todmorden for the charity sermon, £10 yearly is specially appropriated to the old township of Castleton, and the remainder to the whole parish (including Castleton). The money is to be expended on subscriptions or donations to a convalescent home, and to assisting patients to travel to such home; also in providing nurses for the sick and infirm. The annual income now amounts to £134 11s. 8d.
  • 189. Mary Shepherd in 1702 left £120 to buy land or a rent-charge for the benefit of six poor women in Whitworth. Land in Butterworth was purchased, but has since been sold, and the proceeds invested in £680 consols. The income, £17 0s. 4d., is distributed by the vicar of Whitworth in doles to the poor.
  • 190. Miss Mary Holt of Broadhalgh, in Spotland, by her will of 1869 left £500 for the poor. This is now represented by £403 consols held by the Official Trustees, and producing £10 1s. 4d. yearly. The vicar of St. Clement's, Spotland, and others administer the fund under a scheme made in 1899, orders for clothing, flannel, or blankets to the value of 10s. each being distributed once a year.
  • 191. Mrs. Grantham, mother of Dorothea Holt, about 1700 left £30 for the poor, the interest of which had been distributed in baize mantles to six poor widows of Castleton and Rochdale. The daughter continued the charity, and by accumulations the capital had reached £80 in 1828. It was found difficult to distribute the income as the testatrix directed, and further accumulations have increased the capital to £107 consols, now held by the official trustees. The vicar of Rochdale now devotes the interest, £2 13s. 8d., to the stipend of a nurse working in Castleton. Alexander Butterworth in 1714 charged Croft Head Farm with £5 payable at Christmas to the poor of Milnrow chapelry. The charge is still paid, the vicar and churchwardens of Milnrow distributing it to the poor in doles of 2s. or 2s. 6d. John Wolfenden in 1688 left £100 for the poor of Hundersfield; this was lost about 1800, because the attorney who held the capital could not recover money owing by the township, and therefore discontinued paying interest. John Brearley in 1692 left £50 for the poor of Spotland. The money was spent on land in Whitworth and Wardle, and the rent in 1828 spent on linen distributed by the overseers. The land was afterwards sold, and the capital is now represented by a rent-charge of £11 vested in the official trustee. The money is expended, under a scheme of 1897, in subscriptions to the Rochdale Infirmary and the Rossendale Blind Society for the benefit of the poor of Spotland. The Rev. Francis Allen Minnitt in 1889 gave to the official trustees £200 for the poor of Christ Church, Healey, the vicar and churchwardens having the distribution. The income, £6 7s. 3d., is given chiefly to the sick and destitute, but money has also been given to cricket clubs, &c., entertainment and instruction being among the objects contemplated by the founder. The ecclesiastical endowments include the Milnrow Bellringers' Charity, Littleborough Church Repair Fund, Wesleyan Chapel at Bagslate; St. Saviour's Church, Bacup; and Providence Baptist Chapel, Bacup. In the 1828 report it is stated that Richard Clegg, vicar of Kirkham (d. 1720), gave £16 to Todmorden and Walsden to be lent, without interest, in sums of £4 each, to poor men or widows. This charity still existed when the report was drawn up.