Townships: Farnworth

Pages 34-39

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

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Farnworth, Farneworth, Farnewrth, 1278–9.

Farnworth, anciently a hamlet in Barton, afterwards became a separate township, and in modern times has grown into a small town, with numerous industries.

It measures about 2 miles from east to west, with a breadth of a little over a mile. The area is 1,502 acres. (fn. 1) The surface slopes generally from west to east, the lowest ground being in the north-east corner, where the River Croal forms the boundary; this part is called Darley. Will Hill Brook, part of which has been utilized to form reservoirs, forms the northern boundary. The town has grown chiefly in the eastern half of the area, on both sides of the great road from Manchester to Bolton, and the main road, which here joins the former, leading north from Eccles. A third important road, known as Plodder Lane, goes westward through the centre of the township, the hamlet called Dixon Green lying upon it. Highfield lies in the south-west corner; to the east of it is Blindsill, and the hamlet of New Bury is near the middle of the southern boundary. Presto Street, near the eastern boundary, indicates the position of Prestall, which stood on the boundary of Kearsley, perhaps partly within it. Halshaw Moor is in the same quarter. Birch House is situated on the northeast side of the Manchester and Bolton road, there called Market Street. Moses Gate is the district on the northern boundary, through which the same road passes, and Harper's Green lies to the south-west. The population in 1901 numbered 25,925. (fn. 2)

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's line from Manchester to Bolton (fn. 3) goes through the north-eastern corner of the township, and has a station called Farnworth and Halshaw Moor and another called Moses Gate on the southern and northern limits respectively. The London and North Western Company's line from Bolton through Eccles to Manchester crosses the centre of the township from north to south, and has a station called Plodder Lane, close to Dixon Green.

In 1666 there were ninety-one hearths liable to the tax; the largest houses were those of Urian Leigh and Jonathan Doming, with six hearths each. (fn. 4)

There were large paper mills, (fn. 5) iron foundries, (fn. 6) and cotton mills; (fn. 7) brick and tile works, and extensive collieries. A newspaper is published on Fridays.

A local board was formed in 1863. (fn. 8) The township is now divided into six wards, denoted by points of the compass, each returning three members to the urban district council, which replaced the local board in 1894.

Gas is now supplied by a company formed in 1854. (fn. 9) There are market, park, baths, and cemetery under public control. Monday and Saturday are the market days. There is a fair held on the third Monday in September. (fn. 10) The Bolton Workhouse is built in the north-west corner of the township.

For a few years there were races on the moor. (fn. 11)

Dorning Rasbotham, writing in 1787, recorded that the Croal was 'extremely subject to floods,' by which 'great quantities of paving stones and gravel' were carried down. It then produced 'trout, shoulers, dace, gudgeons, and eels.' Farnworth Hall, the property of the Duke of Bridgewater, was then standing; butter had been churned by a late tenant by means of a water-mill. The farms were small, and occupied by manufacturers, willing to pay something from the labour of their looms for the convenience of a few acres to support two or three cows. Oats and potatoes were grown. Coal was worked and conveyed to Worsley by subterranean canals. In all the cloughs or dingles the alder grew spontaneously; charcoal was made of it; oak and ash also grew. (fn. 12)

Coins have been found. (fn. 13)


Originally merely a hamlet in Barton, FARNWORTH does not seem to have been recognized as a manor or lordship till late in the 13th century. At that time, it was divided, being held partly of the lords of Manchester directly and partly of those of Barton. (fn. 14) Thus in 1282 'a certain plat' rendered 5s. a year to Robert Grelley. (fn. 15) In 1278 Richard de Redford and Richard the Chief of Farnworth were described as lords of the place. (fn. 16) Soon afterwards the heir of Richard the Chief seems to have disposed of his share to the Hulton and Lever families. (fn. 17)

At the Manchester Barony Survey of 1320 Adam de Lever of Great Lever, Henry de Hulton, and Richard de Redford held Farnworth by homage and fealty, a rent of 6s., and puture of the serjeants. Henry de Hulton further paid 3s. a year for the Mossyhalgh; and John son of Adam de Farnworth held lands by a rent of 6d. and puture; the total rent was thus 9s. 6d. (fn. 18) In 1326 three parts of the manor of Farnworth was settled on the heirs of Adam de Lever. (fn. 19) In 1473 it was found that the Lever portion of the manor paid a rent to Manchester of 3s. 6d., the Hulton portion 4s. 6d., and the Redford portion —divided between Adam Prestall and Richard Seddon —1s.; a total of 9s. (fn. 20) The 6d. from Geoffrey de Farnworth has been omitted. (fn. 21)

Of these different shares of the manor the principal was that of the Hultons, and was usually described absolutely as 'the manor.' The Lever share has descended with Great Lever to the Earl of Bradford; the descent of the Redford part, which seems to have been diminished by many alienations, is given under Kearsley.

The Hultons of Farnworth descended from John, said to have been a younger son of David de Hulton. (fn. 22) Henry son of John de Hulton is frequently mentioned about the end of the 13th century, (fn. 23) and, as stated above, held a share of the manor in 1320. John the son and successor of Henry (fn. 24) had a grant of Harpurhey in Manchester from John La Warre in 1327, (fn. 25) and a few years later had Oakenley in Horwich. (fn. 26) He was followed by William de Hulton, who, apparently as a child, had a lease of Mulwardscroft in Manchester in 1337, (fn. 27) and made a settlement on his heirs male of the manors of Rumworth and Farnworth, and various messuages and lands in Farnworth, Rumworth, Lostock, Kearsley, Irlam, Barton, Breightmet, Snydale, Westhoughton, Middleton, Great Lever, Bolton, and Lower Hulton; also in Worsley, Manchester, Harpurhey, Denton, Gorton, and Gotherswick. (fn. 28)

William lived on till late in the century, (fn. 29) and was followed by his son John (fn. 30) and his grandson James, who came into possession at the beginning of the reign of Henry VI. (fn. 31) He had two sons, William and John, whose descendants enjoyed the manor. William Hulton (fn. 32) had a son John, whose only child Alice married Adam Hulton of Over Hulton. The manor and entailed lands on John's death in 1487 (fn. 33) passed to his brothers and their heirs; Richard, the eldest, was an idiot; (fn. 34) Christopher, who married Margaret one of the daughters and co-heirs of Sir James Harrington of Wolfage, was one of the feoffees of his brother John; (fn. 35) and James left a son William, who succeeded to Farnworth. (fn. 36) His son John died before him, leaving an infant son William as heir to his grandfather, who died in 1556, (fn. 37) and two daughters, Christian and Katherine. (fn. 38)

The estates went to the descendants of John the younger son of James Hulton, named above. John, it is stated, had a son Alan, whose eldest son John Hulton (fn. 39) was a clerk, and the right descended to a grandson Alan son of John's brother Alexander. (fn. 40) The younger Alan had several sons—Thomas, John, George, and William; George is stated to have received the larger share of the inheritance. (fn. 41) George Hulton, who was the issue of a second marriage, left sons and daughters; (fn. 42) they sold the manors of Farn worth and Rumworth, and the rest of the inheritance. (fn. 43) The manors were acquired by the Hultons of Over Hulton. (fn. 44)

John the elder brother of George Hulton was seated at Darleys in Farnworth. He died at Blackburn 21 July 1606, holding also lands in the Fylde and at Over Darwen. Darleys was held of Nicholas Mosley as of the manor of Manchester, and was entailed on John Hulton's male issue, with remainder to George Hulton of Farnworth; John Hulton the son and heir was thirteen years of age. (fn. 45)

The small part of the manor held by a family which adopted the local name, appears as early as 1246, when Emma de Farnworth mother of Adam claimed half an oxgang of land then in possession of Adam the Chief. (fn. 46) Nine years later Adam de Farnworth claimed that Gilbert de Barton, as mesne lord, should acquit him of the service for his oxgang and a half demanded by the superior lord, Thomas Grelley. (fn. 47) It was probably about this time that Gilbert de Barton released his claim to half of the 2s. rent due from Adam's land. (fn. 48) Adam left two sons, Richard (fn. 49) and Roger. (fn. 50) Of these the former left issue, (fn. 51) but the inheritance, or the chief part of it, appears to have descended to the heirs of Roger. (fn. 52) By the end of the 15th century the heir was Nicholas Mitchell alias Farnworth, (fn. 53) who, in conjunction with his mother, sold it to Dame Joan Stanley, the heiress of Worsley, (fn. 54) and it has since remained part of the Worsley estate, now owned by the Earl of Ellesmere.

Some of the Lever estate in Farnworth was granted to the Byroms on the marriage of John Byrom with Margaret daughter of William Lever in I437. (fn. 55) Part was sold to Adam Crompton in 1584. (fn. 56)

The Hospitallers had lands in Farnworth before 1292. (fn. 57) It was held under them by the Worsleys of Booths, (fn. 58) who, however, did not long retain it. After the suppression of the order their Farnworth estate became the property of the Earls of Derby, under whom the Rishton family held it, having, it is said, purchased from the Worsleys in 1573. (fn. 59) The mansion-house, known as Birch House, has passed through many hands. In the latter half of the 18th century it was the property and residence of Dorning Rasbotham, a man of literary tastes, who made collections for the history of Lancashire; he died in 1791, and there is a mural tablet to commemorate him in Deane Church. (fn. 60)

George Hulton and Henry Schoolcroft were freeholders in 1600. (fn. 61) Among earlier landowners appear the names of Lynalx (fn. 62) and Dutton. (fn. 63)

The land-tax returns of 1789 show that the township was divided among a great number of proprietors. Of these the Duke of Bridgewater contributed the largest individual share of the tax—about a twelfth. (fn. 64)

The commons were inclosed in 1798. (fn. 65)

There are four churches in the township in connexion with the Established religion; of these All Saints', Moses Gate, opened in 1881, is a chapel of ease to St. John's, Halshaw Moor. (fn. 66) St. James's, New Bury, was built in 1862–5; the patronage is vested in trustees. (fn. 67) St. Peter's, consecrated in 1886, is in the gift of the vicar of Farnworth. (fn. 68) Of St. Thomas's, Dixon Green, built in 1879, the Bishop of Manchester is patron. (fn. 69) The Church Army has a mission hall.

The Wesleyan Methodists have five churches— Wesley, in Church Street, Moses Gate, Long Causeway, Plodder Lane, and New Bury. (fn. 70) The Primitive Methodists and Independent Methodists also each have one. (fn. 71) The New Connexion formerly had a preaching room at New Bury, but gave it up in 1846. (fn. 72)

The Baptists opened a chapel in 1879; (fn. 73) this was succeeded by the present church in 1907.

The Congregationalists were the first to establish a place of worship in Farnworth, the old chapel being built in 1808. Now they have three churches. (fn. 74)

There is a Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel.

The Catholic Apostolic church has an iron building.

There is also a barracks of the Salvation Army.

The Roman Catholic church of St. Gregory the Great originated in 1852. After using an old warehouse and other buildings a small chapel was built, which in twenty years' time proving too small, the present church in Presto Street was erected, and opened in 1876.

Dixon Green School was founded in 1715.


  • 1. 1,504, including 42 of inland water, according to the census of 1901.
  • 2. Pop. Returns, 1901.
  • 3. Opened 29 May 1838; Dixon Fold Bridge, Stoneclough Bridge, Tunnel (now Farnworth), and Moses Gate were the stations in Kearsley and Farnworth.
  • 4. Subs. R. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 5. At Darley Mill in 1783 two vats were employed, making six packs of coarse paper weekly; Dorning Rasbotham in B. T. Barton's Farnworth and Kersley (Bolton, 1887), 9. This work gives a good account of the history of the townships during the 19th century. The story of the Crompton family and their paper and cotton factories is related; p. 266, &c. The old Pack Horse Road is described on p. 30.
  • 6. Ibid. 263; the first foundry started in 1838.
  • 7. For an account of James Rothwell Barnes (who died 23 Mar. 1849), and the foundation of the Farnworth cotton mills see the above-quoted work, pp. 83–6, 272– 87.
  • 8. Lond. Gaz. 11 Sept. 1863.
  • 9. Barton, op. cit. 60–6. From 1835 it had been supplied by James Berry, a brazier, who, without authority, ran pipes from his own apparatus.
  • 10. It is said that the 'wakes' owe their date to the opening of St. John's Church in Sept. 1826; ibid. 74. A fair, however, had been held in July for some time before 1783; ibid. 14.
  • 11. Ibid. 79.
  • 12. Ibid. 9–15. Farnworth Hall had been purchased from Lord Semple, who had it with his wife, Miss Gaskell, of Manchester. Raines says that in 1849 it was occupied as cottages.
  • 13. Ibid. 7, 15; mediaeval and later.
  • 14. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 54. Sir Gilbert de Barton afterwards released his right in the 'vill' of Farnworth to Thomas Grelley; De Trafford D. no. 298.
  • 15. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 245. A Leinsig de Farnworth occurs in 1184–5; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 55.
  • 16. Assize R. 1238, m. 34. They were defendants in a plea for common of pasture brought by Roger de Farnworth; Adam son of John de Lever, Adam son of Eve de Prestall, Henry de Blindsill (Blyndeshull), and Matthew son of Siward de Farnworth, were the other defendants. They asserted that Roger held of them, but the jury found that he held most of his land of Robert Grelley, only 6 acres being held of John father of Richard (? the Chief), still surviving; thus a verdict was given for the plaintiff.
  • 17. Adam the Chief of Farnworth was living in 1246; Assize R. 404, m. 6. The same Adam granted to Adam son of Robert land in Farnworth beginning at Walkden Brook; Ellesmere D. no. 78. To John son of Emma de Lever he quitclaimed all right in the lands of Leising de Lever except one oxgang in Farnworth; Lever Chartul. (Add. MS. 32103), no. 15. Richard the Chief, already mentioned, is the next of the family to occur. He seems to have died before 1295, leaving sons Richard and William. Richard son of Richard, 'called the Chief,' made several grants to Adam son of John de Lever at the beginning of 1295; in one of them Farnworth is described as 'a hamlet in the vill of Barton,' the land being held of the chief lord of the honour of Manchester; but in another a share of 'the liberties and easements of the vill of Farnworth' was included; ibid. no. 54–6. William son of Richard the Chief succeeded his brother very quickly. In Sept. 1295 he enfeoffed Richard de Redinall, clerk, of Whitcroft, formerly held by his uncle William, and Hawkley, held by Henry de Hulton, as well as of his lands in Kearsley; they were held of the lord of Manchester by a rent of 3d.; ibid. no. 61–3. These were soon afterwards restored to him by the feoffee; no. 65. He sold his lands to Adam de Lever and Avice his wife in 1277, with all buildings and gardens, corn and hay, homages, rents, reliefs, &c.; ibid. no. 64. Avice was probably the widow of Richard the brother of William the Chief; she had already granted lands to Adam; no. 66. William sold some of his estate to Henry de Hulton; no. 45. He does not appear again except in releases of actions in 1299 and 1304; in the former case to Adam de Lever and his sons, Henry de Hulton and his son Henry, Adam de Heaton, and others; in the latter case also to the parties named (except the younger Henry de Hulton); no. 70, 74. John the Chief made a similar release of actions in Oct. 1303; no. 73; There does not seem to be any later notice of the family. It seems very likely that this was the family which held the 'plat' in Farnworth of the lord of Manchester by a rent of 5s.
  • 18. Mamecestre (Chet. Soc), 289, 290. From the later rental it would seem that Adam de Lever paid 3s. 6d. of this sum, Henry de Hulton 1s. 6d., and Richard de Redford 1s. The two former amount to 5s., the rent from the 'plat' in 1282, of which 3s. 6d. is about three-quarters.
  • 19. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 62. Adam son of John de Lever had married Agnes daughter of Henry de Hulton, and in 1322 had settled upon her son John various lands in the hamlet of Farnworth, the bounds beginning at Lamford Brook; Hulton Ped. 36.
  • 20. Mamecestre, 478. At this time John Hulton of Farnworth was life tenant of the Lever portion in right of his wife Joan, previously wife of Adam Lever; Henry Grundy and Richard Halliwell were the actual occupiers.
  • 21. The list of free foreign tenants made about the same time includes— Ralph Ashton, John Hulton, and Richard Redeworth (? heirs of Richard Redford) for Farnworth; John Hulton for Mosshulme in Farnworth; and Geoffrey de Farnworth for tenements in Farnworth; ibid. 517.
  • 22. Hulton Ped. 5. For Richard de Wicheves, younger son of John de Hulton, see the account of Little Hulton.
  • 23. Henry son of John de Hulton granted to Adam son of John de Lever the Whitecroft with the sparth adjacent, and his part of the hey between Whitecroft and Walkden; Lever Chartul. (Add. MS. 32103), no. 25. This had been purchased by Henry de Hulton from William son of Richard the Chief; no. 45. Henry de Hulton was a witness in 1297 and 1302 (no. 64, 75), and made a grant in 1299 (no. 72).
  • 24. In 1316 John son of Henry de Hulton granted to his father all his lands in Farnworth, Great Lever, and the Wicheves; ibid. no. 80. John de Hulton made a grant in 1341; no. 93.
  • 25. Hulton Ped. 36. The grant was made to Adam son of Robert de Radcliff and Alice his daughter, wife of John son of Henry de Hulton, and to the heirs of Alice.
  • 26. Ibid. 20 Jan. 1333–4. In 1341 John de Hulton gave his son Adam and his issue certain land in Manchester, lying on Thourishul; ibid. 37. Margaret daughter of John de Hulton in 1332 released to her brother William all her claim to a burgage in Manchester lying between burgages of Adam de Chorlton and Roger de Radcliffe; ibid.
  • 27. Ibid. The lease was for nine years. It is possible there is some error as to the William de Hulton to whom this lease was granted. William son of John de Hulton in 1353 had a dispute with William son of Robert de Worsley, who had married Ellen, next of kin to the plaintiff, concerning Harpurhey and lands in Hulton and elsewhere; it appeared that Alice, William de Hulton's mother, was a bastard, and that William had been left a minor; Assize R. 435, m. 9 d.
  • 28. This was quoted in the 16th-century suits narrated below. In 1369 William de Hulton and John de Lever made an agreement by which the former granted to the latter the homage, relief, and rent of 2s. due from John son of Adam Quinneson; and John de Lever in exchange released all claim for the spoiling and cutting down of woods and timber in William's several tenements in Farnworth and Great Lever; Lever Chartul. no. 99.
  • 29. William de Hulton died in Oct. 1392; his son John was of full age and married to Elizabeth daughter of Sir William de Atherton; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 48 (the editor points out that there is some error in the dates).
  • 30. The writ of Diem clausit extr. after the death of John de Hulton of Farnworth was issued on 12 Mar. 1422–3; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 24. The Inquisition, as printed by the Chetham Society (ii, 5), states that he died 28 Dec. 1422, leaving a son and heir James, twentysix years of age. He had held 'certain lands in Barton called Farnworth' of the lord of Manchester; also in Rumworth and elsewhere. An arbitration in 1417 between John de Hulton, John Valentine, and Richard Valentine on the one part, and Adam de Hulton and Richard his son on the other, respecting lands in Tyldesley, resulted in favour of the former; Adam de Hulton was to pay 10 marks to John and restore to Richard Valentine a horse and three cows which he had wrongfully seized; Hulton Ped. 38. Ellen daughter of John de Hulton married Roger de Hulton of the Park; ibid. 12.
  • 31. A bond by James de Hulton of Farnworth, dated 1427, is printed in Hulton Ped. 39.
  • 32. In 1445 Randle Hulton of Manchester and another were acquitted of the charge of shooting Richard Whitehead and giving him a mortal wound; among the accessories were John Hulton, William son of James Hulton, and Edward, William's brother, all of Farnworth; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 8, m. 23b; 9, m. 29.
  • 33. Hulton Ped. 41, where is printed the inquisition, not taken till 1496. This states that he held the manor of Farnworth, and lands there and in Kearsley, Westhoughton, Manchester, Harpurhey, and Lostock of Thomas West, Lord La Warre, and other lands in Breightmet and Bolton. Alice, his daughter and heir, in 1489 married Adam de Hulton, she being then fifteen years of age, and he fourteen. Christopher Hulton, brother of John, had taken the profits since his brother's death. In 1500 Christopher Hulton made a settlement of Farnworth Hall, &c., in favour of Margaret his wife, with remainders to the heirs male, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 89, m. 3; see also R. 95, m. 6 d. A feoffment by him in 1503 concerning the dower lands of Joan, the widow of John Hulton, is printed in the Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 543; she was the widow of Adam Lever; see Lever Chartul. no. 194, 195. Christopher Hulton seems to have died in 1509, when Richard Radcliffe, as trustee, claimed lands in Rumworth and Westhoughton for the benefit of Margaret his wife; other trustees had taken possession of Farnworth Hall; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 108, m. 18. In depositions taken in 1559 (Anderson D. no. 11) it was stated that Christopher Anderton had confessed to making untrue depositions in a Chancery suit brought by Adam Hulton of the Park, and so had retained possession of lands in Snydale in Westhoughton, &c.; repenting on his death-bed, he desired his wife to restore the deeds and the lands to the true owner, but she also retained them till her death, in spite of the counsel of 'divers of her ghostly fathers.' She died at Mobberley in 1516, and then desired her sister, Eleanor Leycester, and others to see that restitution was made.
  • 34. Hulton Ped. 39; his wardship was granted to his wife Elizabeth and to Thomas Hulton his cousin, £40 a year being payable to the Crown during his life. See Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, 26.
  • 35. Hulton Ped. 40.
  • 36. In 1521 William Hulton, in order to end the disputes with Adam Hulton of the Park respecting the inheritance of Alice daughter and heir of John Hulton, released his lands in Snythill (Snydale) in Westhoughton, Harpurhey, Denton, Openshaw, and Gorton, with reversion to William in the event of the failure of male heirs of Alice. Adam Hulton, on the other hand, allowed that the lands in Barton, Lever, and Bolton should remain to William and to the heirs male of James Hulton his father, according to the will of John Hulton, elder brother of James and father of Alice; Hulton Ped. 41–3. After William Hulton's death Adam Hulton claimed the fulfilment of the agreement—Christian, the widow, and Alan, the heir, being defendants; Duchy of Lanc. Plead, xxxviii, H. 21.
  • 37. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x. 32; he held the manor of Farnworth and lands there and elsewhere in the neighbourhood, of the lord of Manchester, by a rent of 56s. He also held the manor of Rumworth and other lands. His grandson and heir was four years of age. The agreement for the marriage of John, son and heir of William Hulton of Farnworth, and Alice, daughter of Sir William Radcliffe of Ordsall, was made in December 1548; there was some disputing concerning it; Duchy of Lanc. Plead, xxxiii, H. 11.
  • 38. Numerous references to the litigation which ensued will be found in the Ducatus Lanc. Christian Hulton, widow of William, aged seventy, stated that he had entrusted to her certain lands in Farnworth, &c., which he had received under the will of John Hulton his uncle fifty years before, to enable her to keep and educate William Hulton the grandson, also Christian and Katherine; and to find two priests to say mass daily for the souls of William her husband and John his uncle; Duchy of Lanc. Plead, xxxviii, H. 6. Francis Tunstall and Alice his wife, the widow of John Hulton the younger, also claimed the custody of her three children against the grandmother, as well as Farnworth Hall and certain parts of the estate from which they had been ejected; ibid, xl, T. 16, 21, 21a.
  • 39. Vicar of Blackburn 1561 to 1580; died 1582; Abram, Blackburn, 287.
  • 40. These details are from the pedigree recorded in 1567; Visit. (Chet. Soc), 11. Alan is called 'son and heir' of Alexander, and also 'base son'; probably he had been born before marriage, the second son, George, being legitimate. A claim was put forward by James Hulton of Chorley, as son of Edward, son of John Hulton, the great-grandfather of Alan, citing the feoffment by William de Hulton in the time of Richard II. John Hulton, clerk, and Alan Hulton were the defendants; Duchy of Lanc. Plead, xxxviii, H. 19; xlii, H. 10. John Hulton gave his pedigree as son of Alan Hulton, son of John Hulton, son of James Hulton, in reply to James Hulton; ibid. lix, H. 19. Katherine and Christian Hulton, the daughters, in 1564 laid claim to some or all of the Farnworth manors and lands as co-heirs; but John Hulton, clerk, as heir male, justified his title; ibid. lix, H. 19a; Ixxxii, H. 2. It was stated that Adam Hulton of the Park had claimed the manors of Farnworth and Rumworth as heir general. In 1560 there was a recovery of the manors of Farnworth and Rumworth, fifty messuages, a water-mill, &c., John Hulton, clerk, and Alan Hulton being the holders; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 207, m. 3. Alan Hulton was living in 1581; Ducatus Lanc, iii, 79.
  • 41. Hulton Ped. 43, 44; also contemporary pedigree in Lever Chartul. fol. 51. No reason is given for the preference shown to the younger son. As early as 1574 Alan Hulton became bound to Christopher Anderton and others not to disinherit his son John, but power was reserved to alter this, provided a majority of those to whom he became bound consented; and this power he exercised in 1587 when he bestowed all his manors and lands (with a small exception) on his second son George Hulton; Anderton D. no. 29, 49.
  • 42. George Hulton complained in 1598 that certain persons were intruding on his lands in Farnworth and Kearsley, and digging coal pits there; Ducatus Lanc. iii, 376. He died 19 March 1609–10, at Farnworth, holding the manor of Farnworth, with the capital messuage and various lands, &c., there, of Sir Nicholas Mosley as of his manor of Manchester in socage, by the rent of 4s. 6d.; the manor of Rumworth, of the same, by the third part of a knight's fee and the rent of 4s. 6d.; and various lands in Kearsley, Bolton, and Lever. Thomas, his son and heir, was born in 1601. The inquisition recites the agreement made in 1593 on his marriage with Margaret, daughter of Robert Hyde of Norbury; gives the names of the children as Thomas, George, Richard, Elizabeth, Mary, and Katherine; and adds his will; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 468. The Hulton Pedigree gives an elder son William, born in 1594, who left issue, but this seems to be erroneous.
  • 43. In 1649 Judith Hulton, widow (of Thomas, the heir above-named), was plaintiff, and William Hulton (younger brother of George, father of Thomas) and Elizabeth his wife were deforciants of the manors of Farnworth and Rumworth, and houses, mill, lands, and common rights there and in Lever; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 146, m. 76. In 1658 Richard Bradshaw was plaintiff and Judith Hulton and George Hulton (probably the younger brother of Thomas) deforciants of the manors, &c.; ibid. bdle. 163, m. 67. A year later the same Richard Bradshaw was plaintiff and William Hulton and Elizabeth his wife deforciants of the manors; ibid. bdle. 164, m. 52. William son of George Hulton of Farnworth became minister of Ringley Chapel; Barton, Farnworth, 156.
  • 44. Farnworth and Rumworth appear among the manors of William Hulton of Over Hulton in 1738; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 321, m. 3. In 1787 it was recorded that 'William Hulton, esquire, of Hulton Park, claims the lordship of the waste of this township; hath frequently exercised the right of driving the commoners and hath gotten coal under Halshaw moor; but he holds no court, nor is there any tradition of a court having ever been held; and, except the instances I have given, and a few applications to him for liberty of making brick upon the waste, I can find no traces of any manorial title;' Dorning Rasbotham in Barton's Farnworth, 11.
  • 45. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 68. During last century Darley was a seat of Benjamin Rawson of Nidd Hall, Yorkshire, and his daughter Elizabeth.
  • 46. Assize R. 404, m. 6; Adam the Chief gave ½ mark for licence to agree.
  • 47. Final Conc, i, 116; Thomas Grelley had claimed 3s. from Adam de Farnworth for Gilbert's default. Gilbert promised to acquit him. The case proves that the Farnworths' land was held under Barton.
  • 48. Lever Chartul. no. 34, 35; Adam's mother Emma was a daughter of Leising de Lever, and she had had the oxgang and a half from her father on her marriage with Siward de Middleton. From a charter quoted below (Ellesmere D. no. 85) it appears that Adam's father was named Robert de Farnworth. Adam de Farnworth may therefore be identified with the Adam son of Robert son of Wrgem, to whom Adam the Chief and John de Lever granted land in Farnworth at a rent of 1d.; Ellesmere D. no. 78, 79, the latter deed being endorsed 'service of Richard de Farnworth.'
  • 49. Richard de Farnworth in 1277 brought an action to compel John son of Gilbert de Barton to adhere to the above-cited fine respecting acquittance of the service demanded by Thomas Grelley; De Banco R. 21, m. 10; R. 27, m. 87d.; R. 29, m. 10. In 1295 Richard son of Adam de Farnworth granted to Adam de Lever land which he had received from Roger son of Meredith de Hulton; Lever Chartul. no. 57. This Roger son of Meredith de Hulton was also called Roger son of Meredith or Marmaduke de Hulton, and was engaged in suits with the Levers in 1301 onwards concerning lands in Farnworth; Assize R. 1321, m. 4, 11, 13; 418, m. 11 d. 12.
  • 50. In 1283 Adam de Lever granted to Roger son of Adam de Farnworth the moiety of three parts of 12 acres, approved by Henry de Blindsill by the high road through Walkden to Manchester, and released all claim to certain homages and services from lands which Adam de Farnworth had purchased from John de Lever, a rent of 18d. being due; Lever Chartul. no. 48. This Roger is no doubt the Roger de Farnworth, clerk, who in 1278 was suing Adam de Lever for common of pasture in Farnworth; Assize R. 1238, m. 33 d. Some grants by Roger are preserved:—To Adam de Lever he gave a moiety of the wood inclosed adjoining Kearsley; and to Richard de Redford an approvement of the waste; Lever Chartul. no. 28, 38.
  • 51. In 1298 Roger son of Meredith de Hulton gave to Richard (? Robert) son of Richard de Farnworth land which had been formerly held by Henry son of Robert de Hulton; ibid. no. 71.
  • 52. In 1292 Adam son of Roger de Farnworth gave a mark for licence to agree with Roger de Farnworth respecting the warranty of a charter; Assize R. 408, m. 7. Nine or ten years later Adam son of Roger de Farnworth and John the son of Adam made claims, as by inheritance, for lands held by Robert son of Richard de Farnworth; Assize R. 1321, m. 4; 418, m. 6a, 11 d. A dispute of some interest occurred in 1313–14, when Robert son of Richard de Farnworth claimed a messuage and lands in Farnworth and Walkden against John son of Adam de Farnworth and Hawise his wife, who alleged an enfeoffment by Roger de Farnworth. The places named had been called 'towns' in the writ, but the jury decided that Walkden was neither town nor hamlet, but only a place within Farnworth; Assize R. 424, m. 3. The family contentions appear to have been settled in 1328 by Robert son of Richard de Farnworth releasing to John son of Adam the lands in Hulton and Farnworth formerly held by Roger de Farnworth, Robert's uncle; Ellesmere D. no. 80. John de Farnworth, whose wife was named Mabel (no. 62), had a son Henry, living in 1373 when Adam son of John de Lever granted an inspeximus of a charter granted by his ancestor John de Lever to Adam son of Robert de Farnworth, the lands having come into Henry's possession; ibid. no. 85, and see no. 79. The witnesses' names prove that this Adam de Farnworth must be the Adam son of Emma already named. In 1366 Henry de Farnworth had granted lands to Richard de Farnworth (probably his son, though not so described), with remainders to Richard son of Agnes daughter of Henry Atkinson de Heaton, and to Richard son of Mabel daughter of Ellis de Ridley; to this deed Henry affixed his own seal and that of the said Richard de Farnworth; no. 84. In 1393 Henry de Farnworth of Worthington and Joan his wife were re-enfeoffed of lands in Hulton and Farnworth, with remainders to Henry's children, Richard, Avice, and Joan; no. 87. Henry was dead in 1394; no. 2. A William Tasker had had a bond from Henry de Farnworth in 1376, and received one from Henry's son Richard in 1394, while in 1397 he and his wife Emma had a grant of Mabotsfield in Farnworth; ibid. no. 86, 88, 89, 25. In 1426 Richard son and heir of William Tasker sold to Sir Geoffrey Massey of Tatton all his right in the lands of Richard de Farnworth; no. 92. Richard de Farnworth in 1405 gave to trustees his lands in Farnworth and Hulton; his father's widow Joan was still living; ibid. no. 90. Richard left a son Richard, who married Alice, daughter of Thomas Roper (no. 69), and two daughters Alice and Margery. Geoffrey son of the younger Richard in 1454 granted to feoffees his lands in Farnworth and Hulton, gave to Sir Geoffrey Massey Tasker's Place in Farnworth, formerly the property of his grandfather Richard, and also granted to Sir Geoffrey the marriage of Hugh Farnworth, his son and heir apparent; ibid. no. 93–5. In 1459 and 1466 various arrangements respecting Tasker's Place were made among the Masseys; no. 97–100. An arbitration in 1474 between Lawrence Farnworth and Alice daughter of Geoffrey Farnworth and wife of Nicholas Ashton, resulted in the latter's favour; it appeared that Geoffrey's lands had been tailed to the heirs general; Ellesmere D. no. 101. In 1485 Thomas Ashton, son and heir of Sir John Ashton, as his father's executor, granted a discharge of all claims on the Farnworth estate, having received £20 from Alice, widow of Robert Brown, Margery, widow of Robert Mitchell, Peter Bradshaw, and Ralph Brown; no. 103. Alice Ashton cannot long have survived, for in 1478 another arbitration was arranged in order to determine the heirship of the lands of Richard Farnworth, father of Geoffrey, lying in Deane parish; his issue had all died out, and therefore his heirs were his sisters, then still living— Alice Farnworth and Margery Mitchell, wife of Robert Mitchell, sometime of Nantwich; they were the lawful daughters of Dicon de Farnworth by Janet daughter of Dicon del Ford of Swinley in Wigan; ibid. no. 28.
  • 53. Nicholas Mitchell was the son of Margery above mentioned; he seems to have adopted his mother's maiden name on succeeding to the Farnworth inheritance.
  • 54. There are a large number of deeds among the Ellesmere collection relating to the transfer of the Farnworth lands in Farnworth and Hulton. In 1480 Robert Mitchell and Margery his wife and Robert Browne and Alice his wife released to Nicholas the son and heir of Margery the inheritance of the said Margery and Alice; Nicholas had married Margery daughter of James Hulme of Blackrod; no. 102. In 1498 Margery Mitchell alias Farnworth and her son Nicholas granted to feoffees all their lands in Hulton, Kearsley, Farnworth, and Barton, and the feoffees transferred to Richard Baron of Wigan, with remainder to his brother Ralph; 105, 106. In the following year Margery, widow of Robert Mitchell, and daughter and heir of Richard Farnworth, released to Joan Stanley, widow, daughter and heir of Sir Geoffrey Massey, the inheritance which had been sold to her by Margery's son Nicholas in 1490; Nicholas Mitchell confirmed the same; no. 111–13. Dame Joan afterwards (1504), as widow of Sir Edward Pickering, granted a lease of land in Over Hulton to Margery and Nicholas; no. 114.
  • 55. Lever Chartul. no. 124, 126–8, 132–3. The lands, to which an addition was made in 1561, were in the possession of Henry son and heir apparent of John Byrom at the beginning of 1582; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdles. 23, m. 18; 46, m. 160.
  • 56. Ibid. bdle. 46, m. 46; Henry Byrom was the vendor. There is no mention of lands in Farnworth in his Inq. p.m. of 1614. The Milnehouses or Milneheys was part of the Byrom property; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 227, m. 3. Adam Crompton at his death in 1590 held a messuage, &c. in Farnworth and Middleton of John Lacy, lord of Manchester, in socage, by a rent of 4d.; James, his son and heir, was twenty years of age in 1594; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, 18. James Crompton died 30 Aug. 1631 holding a messuage and land in Farnworth of the lord of Manchester; John, his son and heir, was thirty years of age; Towneley MS. C. 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 244.
  • 57. Plac. de Quo War. (Rec. Com.), 375.
  • 58. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, 5, of Robert Worsley, 1533; a rent of 12d. was paid. See also Kuerden, v, fol. 84. In 1787 a rent of 1s. a year was still paid to Bamber Gascoyne, lord of the manor of Much Woolton, as successor in title to the Hospitallers; Barton, Farnworth, 12.
  • 59. John Rishton, who died 22 Dec. 1633, held a messuage, garden, two orchards, 10 acres of land, &c. in Farnworth, of the Earl of Derby, as of the suppressed Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England. William Rishton, his son and heir, was thirty-five years of age; Towneley MS. C. 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 997.
  • 60. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 44; his collections were used by Baines. A portrait of Dorning Rasbotham is given. His father, Peter, married Hannah, one of the daughters and co-heirs of John Dorning of Birch House, by whom he acquired the estate. Dorning was born in 1730; in 1754 he married Sarah daughter of James Bayley of Manchester, and had five children—Anne, Dorothy, Peter, Dorning, and Frances. He wrote a tragedy called Codrus and various essays, and was also an artist. He was high sheriff in 1769. He died 7 Nov. 1791. After his death Birch House was sold to John Bentley, whose son again sold it; James Carlton and William Barton Whittam (who died in 1888) were successively owners; Bolton Journ. Aug. 1885.
  • 61. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 246, 251. Henry Schoolcroft of Farnworth died in 1614 holding of the lord of Manchester a messuage and lands in Farnworth, Kearsley, and Worsley by 6d. rent; these he devised to Anne his wife on condition that she maintained Henry Towneley and Ellen his wife and their issue in food and clothing. Ellen was the daughter and heir, and of full age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 283. Henry Tong of Farnworth died about the same time seised of messuages and lands held of the lord of Manchester; John, his brother and heir, was twentysix years of age; ibid. Evan Grundy died 15 Mar. 1630–1, holding a messuage and lands in Farnworth of the lord of Manchester; Robert, his son and heir, was fifteen years of age; Towneley MS. C. 8, 13 (Chet Lib.), 463. Robert Grundy died two years later, leaving a brother John, aged thirteen, as heir; ibid. 461.
  • 62. In 1342 William de Lynalx received lands in Farnworth and Barton from Robert, son and heir of Robert de Walkden; Ellesmere D. no. 81. These he released to John Maunton, chaplain (probably as trustee), in 1380; Manch. Corp. D.
  • 63. Richard Dutton in 1569 sold lands in Farnworth and Worsley to Christopher Anderton; five years later he sold others to Alan Hulton; the former parcel appears to have been sold in 1592 to George Hulton, who thus acquired the Dutton lands; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdles. 31, m. 136; 36, m. 197; 54, m. 3; see also Ducatus Lanc. iii, 449, 490.
  • 64. Land tax returns at Preston. Among the other contributors were:—Edward Whitehead, — Leighs, Richard Entwisle, John Green, Dorning Rasbotham, Richard Entwisle, jun., Abraham Lowton, and John Barnes.
  • 65. Barton, Farnworth, 383. In the Act William Hulton of the Park was described as lord of the manor, and the principal landowners were the Duke of Bridgewater, the Earl of Derby, Lord Bradford, Sir John Parker Mosley, Le Gendre Pierce Starkie, Rev. Walter Bagot, Peter Rasbotham, &c. There is a copy of the award, with a plan, at the County Council offices, Preston.
  • 66. Barton, Farnworth, 244.
  • 67. For the repair fund see End, Cbar. Rep. (Deane), 1903, p. 25; for district assigned, Lond. Gaz. 11 May 1866. The schools were built in 1839, the colliers of the neighbourhood making the start, and services were held there until the church was built; Barton, op. cit. 221–7.
  • 68. Barton, Farnworth, 246–50.
  • 69. Mancb. Dioc. Dir. For district see Land. Gaz. 14 Sept. 1880. Barton, op. cit. 241–4; schoolroom services had been held from 1867.
  • 70. Barton, op. cit. 227, 234. Assemblies for public worship began at Dixon Green about 1810. A chapel was built in Market Street in 1830, and a larger one in Church Street in 1860–1. A school chapel at Moses Gate was opened in 1872, and a chapel built five years later.
  • 71. Ibid. 232. A mission was begun in 1835 and the first chapel in Queen Street built in 1840, succeeded by a larger in 1860.
  • 72. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. iii, 143.
  • 73. Barton, op. cit. 409; services had begun in hired rooms and then in a cottage in 1873.
  • 74. Ibid. 162; the old chapel was enlarged in 1837, and the present Market Street Chapel opened in 1850, the old building continuing in use for classrooms, &c. Schools were established at Dixon Green and New Bury. Albert Road Chapel, originating at the former centre in 1856, was opened in 1862; the first Francis Street Chapel in 1869, and the second in 1884; ibid. 182–90; Nightingale, op. cit. iii, 135–49, views of the four churches are given. There is also a mission-room.