Townships: Edgeworth

Pages 281-282

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

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In this section


Eggewrthe, 1212; Egewurth, 1221; Egeword and Eggeword, 1292; Eggeworth, 1292, and usually; Eggeswrth, 1277, 1292.

Edgeworth village lies in the extreme southern corner of its township between Bradshaw Brook, here expanded artificially to form a reservoir, and Quarlton Brook. The ground from this point rises continuously from 690 ft. or less till over 1,250 ft. is reached on the border of Musbury, the watershed being the boundary between the parishes of Bolton and Bury. In the northern part of the township is Broadhead, and here the surface again rises from Bradshaw Brook until a height of 1,100 ft. is attained at the boundary. The area is 2,924½ acres. The population of Edgeworth, Entwisle, and Quarlton was 2,518 in 1901.

The principal road is that from Bury to Blackburn, passing north-west through the western part of the township.

The land is chiefly in pasture. There is a cotton mill, and a stone quarry is worked.

The Children's Home, established in 1872, is situated high up on the hill-side, more than a mile to the north of Edgeworth village.

In 1898 the township or civil parish of Edgeworth was extended to include Entwisle and Quarlton also, and at the same time, for local government purposes, Edgeworth was added to the Turton Urban District. (fn. 1)

There were thirty-eight hearths liable to be taxed in 1666, but no house had as many as six hearths. (fn. 2)


The manor of EDGEWORTH was in 1212 held of the king in thegnage by William de Radcliffe of Radcliffe; it then included Entwisle and Quarlton, and was assessed as one plough-land, the annual service being a rent of 10s. (fn. 3) Within a century it had been granted to the Traffords of Trafford, (fn. 4) and was held by them as the twelfth part of a knight's fee. In 1589 it was sold to Nicholas Mosley, (fn. 5) who in 1598 sold it to Richard Orrell and Alexander Bradshaw; (fn. 6) shortly afterwards Edgeworth as a manor disappears from the records. (fn. 7)

Among the landowners named from time to time in pleadings, &c, are the Edgeworths, (fn. 8) Bartons of Smithills, (fn. 9) Asshawes, (fn. 10) Entwisles, (fn. 11) and others. (fn. 12) The land was divided into a number of small tenements. (fn. 13)

At Whowell's Farm, near the northern boundary, dwelt the executioner of Lord Derby in 1651. (fn. 14)

The moor was inclosed in 1797. (fn. 15)

Church of England services are held in the schoolroom. The Wesleyan Methodists have a chapel, built in 1863. The Congregationalists' first chapel was erected in 1822, and replaced by the present one in 1867. (fn. 16)


  • 1. By the Bolton, Turton, and Westhoughton Extension Act, 1898.
  • 2. a Subs. R. Lancs, bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lanes. and Ches.), i, 67. In 1221 Eugenia, the widow of William de Radcliffe, demanded dower in a plough-land in Edgeworth, and shortly afterwards she rendered 40d. to the king from her land in Salford Hundred, showing that the service due from Edgeworth was 10s.; ibid. 129; Curia Regis R. 78, m. 14 d. In 1246 Eugenia de Radcliffe recovered 8 acres in Edgeworth against Jordan de Quickenlow, who could not be found; Assize R. 404, m. 3. On partition Edgeworth seems to have been reckoned as half a plough-land, and Entwisle and Quarlton each 2 oxgangs of land.
  • 4. The time and manner of the grant are unknown, but the Radcliffes did not entirely yield up their interest in the manor, the Quarlton part being retained by them. The sheriff was in 1295 ordered to inquire whether Henry de Trafford held 8 oxgangs, &c, in Edgeworth of Richard de Radcliffe by the service of ½d. and the eighth part of a knight's fee, as Richard asserted, or by the ½d. only as Henry said; De Banco R. 109, m. 22. In 1276 and later Henry de Trafford had disputes with Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, arising probably out of the undefined boundary between Edgeworth and Tottington; Assize R. 405, m. 2; R. 1235, m. 11 d.; R. 1265, m. 4 d. A ditch having been made was thrown down by the earl's bailiffs, the moor lying between the two townships all animals could enter by the breaches in the ditch; Assize R. 1271, m. 12. In 1292 Richard de Radcliffe was the plaintiff in a claim against the earl respecting 50 acres of moor and moss, but withdrew; Assize R. 408, m. 61 d. In the same year Edgeworth was included in a Trafford settlement; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lanes, and Ches.), i, 170. William de Radcliffe was in 1312 summoned to answer Henry de Trafford respecting the seizure of a cow at Edgeworth, and in defence said that Henry formerly held the manor of one Richard son of Robert de Radcliffe by the service of ½d. a year, and the cow was taken because this rent was in arrears; De Banco R. 195, m. 268. In 1324 Henry de Trafford held [part of] a plough-land in Edgeworth by a rent of 7s. 7d., William de Radcliffe holding the remainder by 2s. 6d.; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 104–5. The versions differ. In 1346 it was returned that Henry de Trafford, Richard de Radcliffe and John de Entwisle held 2½ plough-lands in Edgeworth and Quarlton by the fourth part of a knight's fee, paying 2s. 6d. as castle ward; also that Henry de Trafford paid 7s. 6d. for the manor of Edgeworth at the four terms 5 Add. MS. 32103, fol. 146. Henry de Trafford died in 1395 holding two parts of a third of the manor of Edgeworth of the Duke of Lancaster by knight's service; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 63. His estate is called two parts of two parts of the manor in the inquisition after the death of his widow in 1421, when her third was stated to be worth 8s. 6d. a year clear; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1505. In another inquisition (1414) in Dods. MSS. cxxxi, it iscalled two parts of two parts of half the vill of Edgeworth, the service beingknight's service, and the rent of 2d. Sir John Trafford, who died in 1489, held two parts of the third part of the manor of Edgeworth by the sixteenth part of a knight's fee; the clear value was 10s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 85. Sir Edmund Trafford, who died in 1533, held a third part of the manor by the third part of the fourth part of a knight's fee; ibid, vi, no. 20. In the above the 'third part of the manor' probably means Edgeworth proper, as distinct from Entwisle and Quarlton. Edmund Trafford, who died in 1563, held the manor of Edgeworth of the queen as of her Duchy of Lancaster by the third part of the fourth part of a knight's fee, and a rent of 8s. yearly; ibid, xi, no. 11.
  • 5. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 51, m. 115; the Trafford estate in Harwood and Bolton was included.
  • 6. The purchasers in the same year, reciting the sale by Nicholas Mosley of London, complained that Giles Entwisle and others had wrongfully entered several tenements in the manor. James Shippobottom alias Nevill replied that about 1566 Edmund Trafford, then in possession of the manor, had for services done to his father consented to the marriage of the said James with Elizabeth, daughter of William Holden, ancient tenant of the messuage and lands in dispute, appertaining to which were rights of turbary and pasture on the waste and moors of Edgeworth; the tenement was to go to James and Elizabeth for life. Peter Horrocks, another defendant, also claimed under a grant by Sir Edmund Traffbrd. The purchasers replied that the manor had been conveyed free of all incumbrance; Duchy of Lane. Plead. Eliz. clxxxiv, O, 5; clxxxix, O, 4. A fine relating to the sale of the manor by Nicholas Mosley and his wife Elizabeth was made in 1600; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 64, no. 194. The purchasers appear to have sold large portions of it in parcels. Richard Orrell at his death in 1624 held a messuage and lands in Edgeworth of the king by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee. James Orrell, his son and heir, was seventeen years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 419.
  • 7. The 'manor of Edgeworth' is named in a recovery in 1786; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 643, m. 11d.
  • 8. Ellis son of Hugh de Edgeworth occurs in 1278; Assize R. 1265, m. 4d.; and Richard de Edgeworth about the same time; Assize R. 1271, m. 12. William de Edgeworth was in 1292 nonsuited in a claim against Hugh son of Ellis de Edgeworth, concerning a tenement there; Assize R. 408, m. 58 d. Roger de Edgeworth contributed to the subsidy of 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 40. Another ancient family was that of Quickenlow, already mentioned. They were perhaps of Quarlton, in which is Wickenlow. Edusa daughter of Geoffrey de Quickenlow in 1284 claimed 18 acres held by Henry de Trafford; she was the wife of Richard Tyder of Pemberton. It was proved that her father had enfeoffed one Henry son of Wenne of the land, so that it did not descend to Edusa; Assize R. 1265, m. 21. In 1347 Robert son of Ellis de Quarlton, Richard de Greenollers, and Richard del Quickenlow were accused of breaking a close at Edgeworth and depasturing the grass there; De Banco R. 351, m. 109 d.
  • 9. See the account of Quarlton, in which township all or the greater part of their estate seems to have been situated.
  • 10. Leonard Asshawe of Flixton was in 1595 found to have held lands in Edgeworth of Edmund Trafford in socage; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 11.
  • 11. Ellis Bradshaw in 1544 purchased three messuages, &c, in Edgeworth from George Entwisle; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 12, m. 235. In 1573 Richard Entwisle purchased two messuages and lands in the same place from Lawrence Bradshaw and Margaret his wife, and Ralph Entwisle purchased another; ibid, bdle. 35, m. 68, 77. In 1594 a settlement was made of an estate in seven messuages, various lands, a mine of stone, &c, by Alexander Entwisle and Alice his wife, Richard Entwisle and Margaret his wife, Giles Entwisle, Thomas Lowe alias Entwisle (bastard son of Edmund Entwisle) and Elizabeth his wife, Thomas Entwisle and Cecily his wife; ibid. bdle. 56, m. 71. Alexander Entwisle died 26 December 1602, holding two messuages, &c, in Edgeworth and two messuages, &c, in Musbury; Richard, his elder brother, had granted a messuage in the Broadhead to the use of the said Alexander and his heirs male, with reversion to Richard. Alexander's heir was a daughter Elizabeth, only two years old; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xviii, no. 13. Giles Entwisle died in 1620 holding a messuage and lands in Edgeworth of the king by knight's service; his son and heir Richard was forty years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 195. Thomas Entwisle had a small tenement in Edgeworth, held of the king as the three-hundredth part of a knight's fee, and by his will left it for life to William and Ralph Entwisle. He died in 1621; his widow Cecily survived him, and his heir was one Richard Entwisle, forty-four years of age; ibid, i, 225. Ralph Entwisle died in 1615, leaving a son William as heir; he held land of the king by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee; ibid, ii, 42.
  • 12. John Horrocks died 19 May 1637, holding lands of the king by the twohundredth part of a knight's fee; Lawrence his son and heir was over twentytwo years of age ; Towneley MS. C, 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), fol. 501. Adam Isherwood, who died 5 September 1634, also held lands of the king; his son Robert, the heir, was over forty years old; ibid. fol. 699a. Deeds relating to several properties in Edgeworth—Higher Barn, Horrocks Fold, and Wheatshaw Croft—are printed in Jas. C. Scholes' Turton Documents, no. 44–51.
  • 13. The land tax return of 1797 shows that Thomas Fogg was the principal contributor; his lands paid about an eighth of the total.
  • 14. Local Glean. Lanes, and Cbes. i, 110; Lancs, and Cbes. Hist, and Gen. Notes, ii, 119, 134.
  • 15. Lancs, and Cbes. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 56. The award is kept at the County Council Offices, Preston.
  • 16. A cottage for services was taken in 1807 at Crown Point, Edgeworth Moor, then ' a very benighted and populous part,' and a church was formed in 1814. See Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iii, 69–78; a view is given.