The parish of Prestwich with Oldham

Pages 67-76

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

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In this section


I. Prestwich; Great Heaton; Little Heaton; Alkrington; Tonge; Pilkington; II. Oldham; Crompton; Royton; Chadderton

This large parish, stretching for 13 miles from east to west, was probably in earlier times still larger, as the receipt of tithes from part of Tottington in Bury and the claim to church land in Radcliffe suggest that Bury and Radcliffe, and therefore Middleton also, were at one period under the care of the priest or colony of priests who gave a name to Prestwich. Not only did the three parishes just named become independent, but Oldham also, though remaining nominally a chapelry to the present day, early secured a practical independence for the eastern part of the parish. (fn. 2) Oldham Church is 7 miles from the parish church. The area of the whole is 22,022½ acres, including Prestwich 9,983 acres, and Oldham 12,039½. The geology of the entire parish is represented by the Coal Measures, and on the eastward side of a line drawn from High Crompton to Greenacres, of the Lower Coal Measures or Gannister Beds.

The Roman road from Manchester to Ribchester passed through Prestwich and Pilkington; that from Manchester to York passed through the southern part of Oldham, where Roman coins have been found. (fn. 3)

The parish has no united history. In the western portion the Pilkingtons ranked among the great families of the county, until their adherence to Richard III and the Yorkist side brought about their overthrow. The other manorial families were either non-resident or of only local importance.

Though the Elizabethan reformation found the rector of Prestwich at first reluctantly compliant and then an avowed opponent, there is little evidence of opposition to the change of religion; recusants were few, and the district soon became strongly Puritan. Nevertheless, it is one of the few parishes in which any resistance was made, with a show of popular support, to the abolition of the Prayer Book and Episcopacy; but even this resistance seems to have been due less to principle than to a strong antipathy to the domination of the Manchester Classis. In 1662 the rector complied, but the curate of Oldham was expelled. The chapels at Stand and Greenacres bear testimony to the existence of convinced Nonconformists, as does also the Quaker meeting-house at Royton. (fn. 4)

The Young Pretender's march through the district has left a trace in the story of the arrest of two of his officers in Prestwich. (fn. 5) Volunteers were raised in 1779 and 1803, and again in 1859. (fn. 6)

Under the Redistribution Act of 1885 Prestwich gives a name to one of the Parliamentary divisions of south-east Lancashire, returning one member.

The Prestwich part of the parish remained comparatively rural till recently; but some sections have now become manufacturing, and others have practically merged in Manchester. The Oldham part, on the other hand, early felt the manufacturing impulse, and has steadily gone on increasing its mines and mills, till it has become the predominant partner. The following is the present apportionment of agricultural land in the whole parish: Arable land, 3,683 acres; permanent grass, 11,395; woods and plantations, 367. The details are thus given (fn. 7) :—

Arable Acres. Grass Acres. Woods, &c. Acres.
Prestwich 506 1,697 125
Alkrington 113 556 10
Tonge 10 139
Outwood 580 886 213
Unsworth 679 708 16
Unsworth 1,207 294 2
Whitefield 431 622 1
Oldham 3 1,562
Crompton 3 2,002
Royton 52 574
Royton 11 748
Chadderton 88 1,607

For the County Lay of 1624 Prestwich proper was divided into two parts, each paying equally, so that Prestwich and Pilkington each paid £2 12s. 1½d. when the hundred paid £100. Oldham township paid £1 18s. 8d., Royton 19s. 4d., Chadderton and Crompton £1 9s. each, or a fourth part of the contribution from Oldham, which for this purpose was considered a parish. (fn. 8) To the more ancient fifteenth, out of £41 14s. 4d. for the hundred, Prestwich contributed 18s., Pilkington 23s., Oldham 17s., Royton 11s. 4d., Crompton 13s., and Chadderton 21s. 8d. (fn. 9)


The church of ST. MARY (fn. 10) is situated on the south-west side of the town on an eminence overlooking the valley of the Irwell, set in very picturesque surroundings. It consists of a chancel with organ chamber and quire vestry on the north, and a chapel on the south side, nave with north and south aisles, each with a chapel at its east end, north and south porches, and west tower. The main body of the church belongs to the 16th century, and the tower to the 15th, while the whole of the east end, including the chapels at the end of the aisles, is modern.

The tower presumably belongs to a 15th-century building whose east wall was about where the chancel arch now is, and whose width was the same as at present. This 15th-century church had a chancel about 34 ft. long occupying the space of the two eastern bays of the present nave, and a nave of three bays, the lines of the arcade of which are still retained. The aisles were probably of the present width, but whether the chapels at their east ends belonged to this building in the first instance it is impossible to say. The aisles probably overlapped the chancel for about 15 ft., and may have been extended and carried further eastward when the chantries were founded. At some time in the first half of the 16th century the chancel, both arcades of the nave, and the north and south aisles were rebuilt, destroying all traces of the former work. The 16thcentury church also had a south porch and a low vestry east of the chancel. There is no record as to when this rebuilding took place, and the work itself is of a very plain description, and does not help much in fixing a date. At first sight the clearstory seems to be of later date than the arcade, but the evidence of the building appears to indicate that they were built at the same period. The rebuilding left the church pretty much as it was till the restorations and additions of the 19th century, with chapels the full length of the chancel on each side, and 6 ft. wider than the north and south aisles. The chancel had a traceried window of seven lights under a pointed head, possibly belonging to the 15th-century church. The east vestry was a low building whose roof was below the sill of the chancel window and was entered from the church, as at Sefton, by a door on the south side of the altar. The south porch was rebuilt in 1756, and at the same time, according to an inscription upon the porch, the church 'was raised.' This probably refers to the raising of the aisle walls in order to obtain light for the galleries, though there is only record of one gallery being erected at that time, and that probably in the north chapel. (fn. 11) The line of the original aisle roofs may still be seen outside at the west end. In 1782 there were some repairs done to the tower, which was reported to be decaying fast. In 1803 the east vestry was rebuilt, but it seems to have been destroyed about 1860 in order to effect a lengthening of the chancel on its site, having a vestry on the north side. In the same year the body of the church was repewed, and in 1872 a new chapel (the Birch chapel) was built south of the extended chancel and at the east end of the south (Lever) chapel, which was rebuilt two years later. In 1882–3 the tower was underpinned and repaired, the roof of the nave restored, and new roofs put on the north and south aisles, and in 1888–9 the Wilton (north) chapel was rebuilt, and a chancel with organ chamber and vestry on the north side erected, eastward of the line of the original church. (fn. 12)

The building is constructed of red sandstone, which has been considerably renewed from time to time, and the roofs are covered with stone slates. Those of the original structure, including the aisles, have overhanging eaves, but the north and south chapels had straight parapets, and these have been retained in the rebuilding, and are also used in the new chancel and buildings north of it. The chancel has a clearstory, and the roof is slightly higher than that of the nave. The organ-chamber on the north is of the full height of the chancel, forming a kind of transept, and the vestry in the angle thus formed north of the chancel is a lower building of two stories.

Plan of Prestwich Church

The chancel, which measures 40 ft. by 22 ft. 6 in., together with the whole of the eastern part of the building, has no archaeological interest. The east window is one of seven lights under a segmental head and with straight uncusped bar tracery above. A modern pointed arch of two moulded orders without capitals now divides the chancel from the nave, and the west half of the chancel has an arch on each side, that on the north opening to the organ-chamber, and that on the south to the Birch chapel.

The nave now consists of five bays with an arcade of pointed arches on each side, of two chamfered orders, on octagonal piers with chamfered bases but without capitals, the inner order dying into the pier at a height of 15 ft. from the floor. The two eastern bays of the nave occupy the position of the old chancel, and the third pier from the west on the north side is wider than the other two, marking the position of an ancient pier containing the staircase to the rood-loft. It has been entirely rebuilt, and has a capital on the south side of which is carved a shield held by two angels. The original staircase pier was 3 ft. 7 in. square, and the present pier retains this dimension from east to west, but is only 2 ft. deep, the width of the other piers of the nave. (fn. 13) In the 16th-century rebuilding this pier seems to have been left standing and the new arcade set out westward between it and the tower. There being no corresponding wide pier on the south side of the chancel it resulted that in the setting out of the south arcade the spacing of the arches was slightly different, and that the piers did not come opposite to those on the north side. The nave, which is about 80 ft. long and 20 ft. 6 in. wide, (fn. 14) has a continuous range of two-light squareheaded clearstory windows, and a flat panelled roof much restored but retaining a good deal of its original 16th-century timber. The Wilton chapel occupies the two eastern bays of the aisle on the north side, and being entirely rebuilt in 1888 is of no particular interest. Its walls are considerably higher than those of the aisle, and its windows loftier, and it has a separate open timbered gable roof. The chapel is lit by three windows of three lights, with plain tracery, and has a door at its north-west corner. The easternmost arch of the nave is new, and springs from corbelled shafts on each side. The first pier from the east seems to be the west portion of a former length of straight wall to the original chancel, and measures 3 ft. 10 in. on the face, its east half being new. The west half and the arch on that side are old, and the pier has on its north face a recess with a pointed head sunk in the stone above, which was perhaps a cupboard in the original chapel at the end of the north aisle. On the south side of the nave a similar pier also marks the end of the outer wall of the old chancel. The arch to the east of it is much lower than the other arches of the nave, and springs from moulded half capitals on each side, that on the east forming a respond, and that on the west being set in the eastern part of the pier. Both capitals are new, but appear to have been suggested by a mutilated fragment at the back of the first pier, which may be seen from the gallery in the Lever chapel. The arch, though apparently of 16th-century date, must have been a later insertion when the chapel was extended eastward, a blocked window still visible in the wall above proving it to have been at one time an outside wall.

The Lever chapel, the floor of which is a foot above that of the nave, occupies a position on the south side similar to that of the Wilton chapel on the north, but has a lean-to roof, plastered between the spars. It retains its gallery, which has a front of poor early 19th-century gothic panelling, and is lit by two four-light windows on the south side. There is a door with a semi-octagonal porch and gallery staircase in the south-west corner, an addition to the plan of the chapel in its rebuilding of 1874. The nave aisles proper are 12 ft. wide, and have each two pointed windows opposite the second and third bays respectively of three cinquefoiled lights with hollow chamfered mullions running up to the heads. The north aisle has a doorway opposite the first bay from the west, with a modern north porch, and at the west end is lit by a two-light pointed window with trefoiled lights and quatrefoil over in the style of the 14th century, with external chamfered jambs and head and without a label, said to be a copy of an old window formerly in the same position. The south aisle has a doorway with a four-centred arch, under an open porch, opposite the first bay, and a three-light window at the west end. The porch which, as already stated, was rebuilt in 1756, has a semicircular arch on imposts, and a stone gable with date and inscription. There is a stone bench on each side, and the door is an old one studded with nails. There are iron gates to the outer doorway. Each aisle has a second set of three square-headed windows of three lights each, placed high up in the wall to light the galleries. The galleries themselves are good specimens of 18th-century woodwork, with panelled fronts above a classic cornice. The aisle roofs are modern with exposed rafters and purlins and curved wind braces. A stone half-arch is carried across each aisle at the east end between the chapels and the aisle proper, and opposite the piers from which the old chancel arch would spring.

The tower, which is of three stages, is 19 ft. square outside, and rises 42 ft. above the ridge of the roof, its total height being 86 ft. It has buttresses of seven stages with moulded set-offs set square at the angles, the top and bottom stages having panelled fronts, and the buttresses finish in gablets under an embattled parapet. There is an external vice in the north-east corner to the height of the ringers' story, finished with an embattled top lighted by quatrefoil openings. It is entered from the outside, but is a modern addition, the original staircase having been in the south-west angle. The tower arch is now opened out to the nave and the west window exposed. The arch has two chamfered orders of original masonry, but the jambs, which have moulded bases and capitals, are new. (fn. 15) The west door is a restoration with continuous mouldings to jambs and head, and a stringcourse over. Above there is a new window in the style of the 15th century, of three lights with traceried head. Above this again in the ringing chamber is a modern square-headed window of two trefoiled lights, replacing a smaller single-light window which formerly lit the chamber already mentioned in the note. The ringers' room also has a single-light window on the south side, and above this, facing north, south, and east, is a clock, placed here in 1811. The north and south sides of the tower are plain and unrelieved up to this height, but above the clock is a moulded stringcourse on each face. The belfry stage above has a three-light louvred window on each side with traceried head and hood-mould, and the tower is crowned by an embattled and panelled parapet, originally with angle and intermediate pinnacles, above a moulded string-course with gargoyles at the angles. (fn. 16) The tower has a pyramidal roof covered with grey stone slates, and a good 18th-century weather vane. (fn. 17)

The fittings, including the font and pulpit, are all modern, but there is an oak chest of 16th-century date in the vestry with three locks and strong iron bands, and a good 18th-century brass chandelier in the nave. The gallery fronts have already been mentioned. Booker mentions a penance form in 1743. (fn. 18) The chancel has a carved oak screen and canopied stalls of good modern workmanship. The organ was not introduced till 1825. (fn. 19)

The church contains but few monuments, and these for the most part of little interest. The Wilton chapel was the burial place of the family of the Earl of Wilton, but the vault was finally closed in 1885. There was formerly a conspicuous monument to the first Earl of Wilton (died 1814) and members of his family in the chapel, but during the rebuilding and restoration it was removed, and has not been reerected. (fn. 20) The chapel contains memorials to other members of the Egerton family, but all are of modern date. (fn. 21)

In the vestry safe are kept fourteen old deeds relating to the church, eleven on parchment and three, in the nature of memoranda, on paper. They mostly refer to relations between the churches of Prestwich and Oldham, and one is a very interesting contract for the building of the nave of Oldham Church. These were recovered by the Rev. J. Booker when writing his 'Memorials of Prestwich Church,' they having been parted with by a former recotor and their existence forgotten.

There is a ring of six bells. Originally there were four, but in 1721 they were recast into five by Abraham Rudhall and a sixth by the same founder added. Of these, two still bear the date 1721, and four have since been recast, three in the years 1742, 1761, and 1788 respectively, and one, the second bell, again recast in 1884. by Taylor of Loughborough.

The plate, which is all modern and silver gilt, consists of a chalice of 1883, another of 1887, and a third of 1897; three patens of 1885, and a flagon of 1880.

The registers begin in 1603, and are complete to the present time, with the exception of the registers of marriages, the entries of which cease in October 1658 and are not resumed till January 1661. The churchwardens' and overseers' accounts begin in 1647 and are continued to the present time. (fn. 22)

The churchyard, which is almost encircled by a number of fine beech trees, lies principally on the south and west, and was extended in 1824 and again in 1886. In it is buried Charles Swain, the poet (died 1874); also Henry Wyatt, an artist, who died in 1840. The oldest gravestone is 1641.

The tithe map is kept at the office of Messrs. Marchant, Bury.

The old rectory house, called The Deyne, or Deyne Hall, which stood a little to the north of the present rectory, was a timber and plaster building, said to have been originally quadrangular in plan, but at the time of its demolition in 1837 it consisted of a centre and two wings, on the H-type of plan. In 1644, when rector Allen was ejected, a portion of the house was pulled down, (fn. 23) and it was never restored to its original dimensions. The present rectory took its place in 1840. (fn. 24)


The rectory is mentioned early in the 13th century, and in 1291 its annual value was given as £18 13s. 4d. (fn. 25) Fifty years later the ninth of the sheaves, wool, &c., was only ten marks. (fn. 26) At this time the tithes of half of Tottington in the parish of Bury were paid to the rector of Prestwich. This may have been the result of some grant by the lord of Tottington, or may indicate that originally the parish also included Bury, Middleton, and Radcliffe. (fn. 27) The income of the benefice in the time of Henry VIII was estimated at £46 4s. 4d. (fn. 28) This was probably much below the real value, for in 1650 the glebe and tithes of Prestwich were £120 a year, and the tithes of the chapelry of Oldham, which had then been made an independent parish, £140. (fn. 29) By 1720 the income had risen to £400, (fn. 30) by 1792 to £700, (fn. 31) and by 1834 to £1,230. (fn. 32) It is now returned as £2,000. (fn. 33)

The patronage was vested in the lords of Prestwich until the death of Sir Robert Langley in 1561, when on the division of his estates it was given to one of the co-heirs, Dorothy, wife of James Ashton of Chadderton. (fn. 34) In 1710 William Ashton, rector of the parish and heir male, sold it to Thomas Watson Wentworth of Wentworth Woodhouse, (fn. 35) whose son Thomas, Earl of Malton, in 1744 sold it to Dr. John Griffith, rector from 1752 to 1763. In 1755 it was sold to James Collins of Knaresborough, and by him in 1758 to Levett Harris, rector from 1763 to 1783. Two years before his death this rector sold the advowson to Matthew Lyon of Warrington, whose son James became rector in 1783. In 1815 the Marquis of Westminster purchased it and gave it to his son Thomas, Earl of Wilton. (fn. 36) It was again sold, by the present earl, Sir Frederick J. W. Johnstone, bart., being the patron. (fn. 37)

The following is a list of the rectors:—

Institution Rector Patron Cause of Vacancy
c. 1200 Thomas (fn. 38)
c. 1230 Robert (fn. 39)
oc. 1301 Mr. Matthew de Sholverx (fn. 40)
4 May 1301 Mr. William de Marklan (fn. 41) Adam de Prestwich
23 Oct. 1302
7 Aug. 1316 John called Travers (fn. 42) " d. W. de Marklan
11 Dec. 1320 Richard de Parr (fn. 43) Sir Ric. de Holland res. John Travers
15 Oct. 1332 Nicholas de Trafford (fn. 44) Thos. son of Adam de Prestwich d. R. de Parr
26 July 1334. Richard de Warton (fn. 45) Thos. son of Adam de Prestwich res. N. de Trafford
15 April 1347 Robert de Donington (fn. 46) Ric. de Radcliffe d. R. de Warton
29 June 1357 John de Radcliffe (fn. 47) " d. R. de Donington
1362–5 Richard de Pilkington (fn. 48) Ric. de Radcliffe, sen.
13 Sept. 1400 Geoffrey del Fere (fn. 49) Rob. de Langley d. R. de Pilkington
Thurstan de Atherton (fn. 50) "
18 Mar. 1401–2 Nicholas de Tyldesley (fn. 51) The King
28 April 1417 Philip Morgan, J.U.D. (fn. 52) "
12 Dec. 1417 Thurstan Langley (fn. 53) Robert Langley
16 Feb. 1435–6 Peter Langley (fn. 54) " d. T. Langley
20 Aug. 1445 Ralph Langley (fn. 55) " d. P. Langley
1 May 1493 Ralph Langley, B.Decr. (fn. 56) " d. R. Langley
4 Sept. 1498 Thomas Langley (fn. 57) " d. R. Langley
5 April 1525 William Langley, M.A. (fn. 58) Rob. Langley d. T. Langley
28 May 1552 William Langley (fn. 59) W. Davenport d. W. Langley
19 July 1569 William Langley, M.A. (fn. 60) James and Dorothy Ashton depr. W. Langley
10 May 1611 John Langley, M.A. (fn. 61) James Ashton res. W. Langley
26 Sept. 1632 Isaac Allen, M.A. (fn. 62) Edm. Ashton d. J. Langley
30 Oct. 1660 Edward Kenyon, B.D. (fn. 63) " d. I. Allen
— 1668 John Lake, D.D. (fn. 64) d. E. Kenyon
19 Nov. 1685 William Ashton, B.D. (fn. 65) Edward Ashton res. Bp. Lake
6 April 1732 Richard Goodwin, D.D. (fn. 66) Lord Malton d. W. Ashton
28 Oct. 1752 John Griffith, D.D. (fn. 67) John Simpson d. R. Goodwin
9 Dec. 1763 Levett Harris, M.A. (fn. 68) Abraham Balme d. J. Griffith
22 Mar. 1783 James Lyon, M.A. (fn. 69) James Lyon d. L. Harris
1 Feb. 1837 Thomas Blackburne, M.A. (fn. 70) Earl Grosvenor d. J. Lyon
— 1847 John Rushton, D.D. (fn. 71) Earl of Wilton d. T. Blackburne
— 1852 Henry Mildred Birch, M.A. (fn. 72) " res. J. Rushton
— 1884 William Thomas Jones, M.A. (fn. 73) " res. H. M. Birch
29 Jan. 1900 Frederic Wilson Cooper, M.A. (fn. 74) Sir F. Johnstone res. W. T. Jones

As in the case of most 'family livings,' the incumbents of Prestwich call for little notice. Before the Reformation the most distinguished seems to have been the Ralph Langley who was also Warden of Manchester; and of the later ones, Dr. Lake, one of the Seven Bishops of 1688. Others, no doubt, like Isaac Allen and James Lyon, were useful in their time and place.

The Clergy List of 1541–2 shows that, in addition to the rector and one or two chantry priests, there were five other priests in the parish of Prestwich with Oldham, two paid by the rector and the others by private persons. (fn. 75) The Visitation List of 1548 shows the rector, his curate, and four other priests at Prestwich, one of them—a chantry priest—dying about that time; and the curate and three priests at Oldham. There was, therefore, a full staff of ten. In 1554 the same nine priests were in the list, but all do not seem to have attended the visitation. In 1563 the rector and his curate appeared at Prestwich, and two other priests lived there, but were 'decrepit,' and are not named again; and there was a curate at Oldham. The same three names recur in 1565. (fn. 76) Prestwich at that time is of interest because its rector, appointed in 1552, continued under the restoration of the old religion in the following reign, and then again conformed to the changes made by Elizabeth. (fn. 77) However, he did so 'against his conscience very sore,' and 'grievously repenting' was summoned before the Bishop of Chester's commissioners in 1569, and refusing to tamper further with his convictions, was deprived. (fn. 78) His successor was a zealous Protestant. In 1591 he was convicted of uttering 'unadvised, untrue, and undutiful speeches' regarding the queen's ecclesiastical authority, but protested that he had not intended to suggest that 'the sincere professors of religion' were persecuted by her. (fn. 79) In the following year he was under censure for not catechizing and for neglecting the perambulations. (fn. 80) He was, however, held in high respect by the Puritans. (fn. 81)

During the Commonwealth period the parish was prominent in its opposition to the newly-established Presbyterian system. The rector was forbidden to minister and his benefice was sequestrated, but the ministers who were placed in charge were changed rapidly; and the schoolmaster was said to baptize children according to the old form. (fn. 82) Rector Allen regained his place before 1660, and his successor appears to have become a zealous adherent of the episcopal discipline then restored. (fn. 83)

For the next century there is little to record. Many of the rectors appear to have been non-resident, a curate having charge. A view of the condition of the parish in 1778 states that the rector had for twenty years constantly resided and had kept a curate, also in constant residence. Seven chapels of ease were regularly served, each having its minister. At the parish church there was divine service twice each Sunday, with sermon each time, and 'on stated holidays.' Catechizing took place for eight Sundays in the summer. 'The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was duly administered every first Sunday of the month, besides the great festivals and Good Friday.' There were chapels for the Presbyterians and the Methodists, and a few Quakers were known; but these Nonconformists were mostly of the lower ranks. 'Popery' was represented by eight or ten persons, 'all of lower rank'; there was no resident priest, meeting-place, or school. (fn. 84) Since then the conditions have greatly changed, owing especially to the growth of Oldham, Middleton, and Radcliffe; but it is of interest to have this statement of what an 18th-century rector thought was an orderly and wellequipped parish.

Among the curates of Prestwich should be named the Rev. John Booker, whose histories of this and other churches are of great value. (fn. 85)

There were formerly two endowed chantries in the church. At the altar of St. Margaret, on the south side of the chancel, was the Langley chantry, founded by Agnes daughter of John Langley of Agecroft, and wife of Sir Thomas Holt and then of Thomas Manne. (fn. 86) The other chantry was founded by Ellis Hulton. (fn. 87) At the confiscation the priests were celebrating according to their several foundations.
Schools were founded at Oldham in 1606; at Ringley in 1626; and at Stand in Pilkington in 1696; the last-named belonged to the Protestant Nonconformists in 1718. (fn. 88)


Various charitable endowments existed at the date just named. (fn. 89) For the Prestwich half of the parish £10 for the poor represents a gift by Sir Thomas Egerton in 1756. (fn. 90) For the township of Prestwich the principal endowments are those of the Earl of Wilton in 1814 and Lewis Novelli in 1844, producing nearly £60; there are also a poor's stock and some special funds. (fn. 91) The stock for Great and Little Heaton has been lost. (fn. 92) Pilkington has a share in the benefaction of William Baguley, 1728; its poor's fund has been lost, but for the hamlet of Unsworth Miss Jane Margaret Birkett, daughter of a former incumbent of the church there, in 1872 left £500 for the sick poor. The other endowments of this township are for churches and schools. (fn. 93)


  • 1. For parish map see Radcliffe.
  • 2. In the Charity Rep. of 1826 Oldham is treated as a separate parish.
  • 3. Watkin, Rom. Lancs.
  • 4. See also the account of Shaw Chapel.
  • 5. See p. 81 of the Hist. and Traditions of Prestwich (1905), by the Rev. W. Nicholls, Congregational Minister, who hag also written accounts of Raven stonedale and Mallerstang Forest.
  • 6. Ibid. 59–66.
  • 7. Inf. from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 8. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 15, 22.
  • 9. Ibid. 18.
  • 10. The supposed dedication to St. Bartholomew was an error which arore in the 18th century; Booker, Mem. of the Ch. in Prestwich, 54; Nicholls, op. cit. 67.
  • 11. 1756; faculty granted to Sir Thomas Grey Egerton to erect a gallery 26 ft. by 14 ft. at his own expense. 1791; faculty granted to twelve parishioners for erecting a gallery on the north side of the church 28 ft. front by 15 ft. at east and 12 ft. at west end, and to raise the roof of the north aisle. 1800; faculty granted to Rev. J. Lyon and others who had erected [the previous year] a south-west gallery 16 ft. by 12 ft. to let and sell same, Churchwardens' Accts. (Booker). None of these measurements fits the present galleries. The gallery in the north (Wilton) chapel was taken down when the chapel was rebuilt. The west gallery, erected in 1760, was taken down in 1882.
  • 12. A plan of the church as it was in 1852 is in Booker, Mem. of the Cb. in Prestwich, 54.
  • 13. In the middle of the 19th century the pulpit stood on the south side of this pier, through which access was gained to it by means of a staircase.
  • 14. The original nave was 48 ft 6 in.
  • 15. Formerly the ringers' chamber occupied the upper part of the lower stage of the tower, and there was a smaller chamber above it from which access was obtained to the roof of the church.
  • 16. During some repairs in 1782 the pinnacles were taken down, and nave not been replaced; Booker, Prestwich.
  • 17. On the battlement is cut: 'This roof was repaired in 1763 by the parish.'
  • 18. Op. cit. 37.
  • 19. Booker, op. cit. 44. In 1761 Sir John Prestwich had promised an organ, but the parishioners were not unanimous as to accepting it, and it was not given. A bassoon, hautboy, and bass viol were in use; ibid. 39, 40.
  • 20. The inscription is given by Booker, op. cit. 63.
  • 21. A list of all the monumental inscriptions in the church is given in Booker, pp. 60–70, and the more recent ones in Geo. Middleton, Annals of Prestwich, 1902.
  • 22. G. Middleton, op. cit. Numerous extracts are given in Booker, Prestwich. See also an article in Manch. Guardian Local N. and Q. no. 351.
  • 23. 'Ten or fourteen bays of buildings'; Walker, Sufferings of the Clergy.
  • 24. a Nicholls, Prestwich, 139; for view of the old house see Booker, op. cit. 88.
  • 25. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 249.
  • 26. Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 39. The details are as follows: Prestwich, 20s.; Pilkington, 22s. 2d.; half of Tottington, 31s. 2d. (the other half going to Bury); Chadderton, 16s. 6d.; Oldham, 23s. 2d.; Royton, 7s.; Crompton, 13s. 4d. It will be noticed that Heaton, Alkrington, and Tonge are not named.
  • 27. The upper end of Tottington, with Musbury, Cowpe Lench, Newhall hey, Duerdon, Clough, and Graine continue to pay a moiety of the tithe (or rent charge) to Prestwich. Traditionally the gift of these tithes is attributed to John of Gaunt, who on one occasion desired the rector of Bury to say mass for the success of his journey. Being refused, he asked the same of the rector of Prestwich, and in return for his compliance gave the moiety of the tithes; W. Nicholls, Prestwich, 29. John of Gaunt was only two years old in 1341.
  • 28. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 226. The rents of the glebe lands were 102s. 7d.; tithes of grain, £24 5s. 9d.; other tithes, £6 0s. 8d.; mortuaries, 10s.; Easter offerings, &c., £11 1s. The fee of the bailiff and the synodals and procurations amounted to 15s. 4d.
  • 29. Commonwealth Ch. Survey (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 15, 22.
  • 30. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 107. There was an established composition of 10s. in Ringley and 4s. 2d. in Prestolee for corn tithes. There were then six churchwardens; each on retiring nominated two, the rector choosing one as successor.
  • 31. Aikin, Country round Manch. 235; 'the tithes are for the most part paid by a moderate composition: 20s. per Cheshire acre for wheat; 15s. for barley (of which very little is grown); and 10s. for oats.'
  • 32. Booker, Prestwich, 52.
  • 33. Manch. Dioc. Dir. 1905.
  • 34. See the presentations in 1569 and later years; also Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 318. About 1610, however, it was stated that 'the patrons in several courses are Mr. Holland, Mr. [James] Ashton of Chadderton, and Mr. Reddish'; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 11. The advowson of Prestwich was included in a fine of 1562, James and Dorothy Ashton being deforciants. Dorothy died without issue; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. xvi, 22. Her husband died in 1612. He appears to have had an absolute gift of the advowson, for in 1607, he stood 'lawfully seised of an estate of inheritance in fee simple or fee tail of and in the advowson,' and had granted the next presentation in 1593 to trustees, who were to present James Ashton of Moulton in Lincolnshire; Raines, D. (Chet. Lib.).
  • 35. Notitia Cestr. loc. cit.; the price was £1,000 in hand and £100 a year for ten years. A piece of ground called Salters Croft was conveyed with the advowson.
  • 36. Booker, Prestwich, 53.
  • 37. Manch. Dioc. Dir.
  • 38. He attested a grant of half Denton by Matthew de Reddish; Lord Wilton's deeds.
  • 39. Robert rector of the church of Prestwich granted to Richard son of Gilbert de Scolecroft half the land which Sir Gilbert de Barton granted to God and B. Mary the Virgin of Prestwich in the vill of Chadderton; Hornby Chap. D. clergy' of 1689 (Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 230), nor in the Chester Visitation List of 1691, the curate, Archippus Kippax, answering for the parish. Probably therefore he did not reside. Ultimately he became the heir of his family, and, as already stated, he sold the advowson of Prestwich in 1710. For his benefactions see Booker, Prestwich, 115. He died 25 Feb. 1731–2, and was buried three days later in the family chapel.
  • 40. In Feb. 1300–1 the bishop granted him leave to take part in the obsequies (stands in obsequiis) of Roger de Pilkington until the following Pentecost; Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 23. Long afterwards it was alleged that he had without licence appropriated to the church of Prestwich a messuage called Palden in Oldham, and in 1397 and 1404 his successors were called upon to account for 10s. rent which should have accrued to the Crown for the same; L.T.R. Mem. R. 163, xiiij.
  • 41. On 4 May 1301 the bishop entrusted the church of Prestwich to him for a fortnight; and again on 23 Oct. 1302 the administrators of the bishopric granted him the custody of Prestwich, revocable at their good pleasure; Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 23b, 24. The peculiar licence may have been due to his illegitimate birth—see the account of the rectors of Wigan—or to his possession of another benefice; for in 1311 Clement V, reciting that William de Marklan had already been dispensed on account of illegitimacy so as to be ordained and hold a benefice, granted him a further dispensation to hold the rectories of Castle Donington and Prestwich and the deanery of Chester in Durham; Cal. Papal Letters, ii, 82. He appears as rector in a suit of 1304; De Banco R. 149, m. 255.
  • 42. Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 62b. A John Travers was about the same time rector of Broughton Astley in the diocese of Ely, resigning it in 1322; Cal. Pat. 1321–24, pp. 84, 112; the same or another was Canon of York in 1332; Cal. Papal Letters, ii, 358. Another John Travers was a prominent public official; see Foss, Judges.
  • 43. Lich. Epis. Reg. i, fol. 87b; the benefice had been vacant for a month. The new rector was an acolyte. In 1324 he had permission to let his church to farm for two years; ibid, ii, fol. 7b. He was plaintiff in 1325; De Banco R. 258, m. 418 d.
  • 44. Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 108b; he was a clerk.
  • 45. Ibid, ii, fol. 109b; he was a priest, and had been vicar of Bolton. The name is spelt Wauerton at institution and Wareton at death. He was probably one of the Wartons of Little Hulton, being a trustee for William de Warton in 1335; Towneley MS. DD, no. 943. Complaint was made in 1346 that he had broken into the close of Henry de Bold at Prestwich; De Banco R. 345, m. 113. At the same time he claimed an account from his bailiff William de Parr, who made a counterclaim, for moneys received in Prestwich, Middleton, and Bolton-leMoors; ibid. m. 232.
  • 46. Lich. Epis. Reg. ii, fol. 120.
  • 47. Ibid, ii, fol. 134; he was a clerk, ordained sub-deacon in 1358, deacon in 1360, and priest in 1361; ibid, i, fol. 162; v, fol. 82–3.
  • 48. At Michaelmas 1362 Richard son of William de Radcliffe claimed against Richard de Langley the right to present a fit parson to the church of Prestwich, then vacant, but was nonsuited for failing to appear; De Banco R. 411, m. 214 d. On 7 Nov. 1362 the bishop gave leave to Richard de Pilkington, rector of Prestwich, to be absent for four years attending the studium generate, and dispensed him in the form of the constitution; Lich. Epis. Reg. v, fol. 7b. Then on '16 Kal. Apr. 1365.' Richard de Pilkington, priest, was admitted to the rectory, vacant by theresignation of John de Pilkington, priest; ibid, iv, fol. 83. The last name is probably an error for John de Radcliffe; but, if so, the incoming rector had deferred his institution for three or four years. He was defendant in a suit for debt at the end of the reign of Edward III; De Banco R. 456, m. 10, 453; R. 457, m. 186; in one place he is called Randle. He was a brother of Sir Roger de Pilkington; ibid. R. 460, m. 361 d. 323 d. Richard de Pilkington died in Aug. 1400.
  • 49. Lich. Reg. vii, fol. 87.
  • 50. Ibid.; on 24 Jan. 1400–1 the king sent his mandate to the Bishop of Lichfield that Thurstan de Atherton should not be molested in his occupancy of the church of Prestwich until the king's claim to the patronage had been proved by process of law. From the account of Pendlebury it will be seen that though Robert de Langley came of age in June 1400 he did not give formal proof of this till 1403, so that though he was patron of the rectory and of age, the presentation was the legal right of the king. In the record of a suit as to the right of presentation Thurstan is said to have been the nominee of Robert de Langley. The pleading, though of some length, is imperfect. It gives, but inaccurately, the rectors from 1302; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 1, m. 13, 14.
  • 51. Lich. Epis. Reg. vii, fol. 87b; he was a clerk. For the presentation see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 53. In 1404 he had to defend a claim made by the Crown to a rent of 10s. from Palden in Oldham, said to have been acquired without licence by Master Matthew, a former rector. Inquiry had been made in 1371, and account had been demanded from the executors of Robert de Donington, John de Radcliffe, and Richard de Pilkington; L.T.R. Mem. R. 163, xiiij (21 Ric. II), and 169, xij (5 Hen. IV).
  • 52. Again there was a dispute as to the presentation. The king presented first; Dr. Morgan, one of the royal officials, afterwards Bishop of Worcester(1419–35), being put in for the time; Lich. Epis. Reg. viii, fol. 19.
  • 53. Ibid; he was a clerk.
  • 54. Ibid, ix, fol. 123; a clerk. In or about 1448 Katherine, widow of Robert de Langley, and mother of Peter de Langley late rector of Prestwich, as executor of the said Peter's will claimed debts from certain persons; Pal. of Lanc. Writs of Assize.
  • 55. Lich. Epis. Reg. ix, fol. 127b; a clerk. He was also Warden of Manchester from 1465 to 1481. He rebuilt the chapel at Oldham. He was brother of the preceding rector; see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 147, and the account of Agecroft. His will is in P.C.C. 1 Vox.
  • 56. Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii, fol. 157. In 1497 he was one of the visitors appointed to inquire into disorders in the monastery of Upholland; ibid, xiii, fol. 236b. Ralph Langley graduated at Cambridge in 1490 as Bachelor of Decrees (Canon Law); he had had five years' study at Oxford and Cambridge; Grace Bk. B. (Luard Mem.), 7, 15, 20.
  • 57. Lich. Epis. Reg. xiii, fol. 231; a clerk. He was ordained priest in 1500: ibid, fol. 286b. It is noticeable that Thomas Langley is called 'late parson of Prestwich,' and William Langley 'now parson,' both being alive, in 1523; Raines, Chantries, 43 note.
  • 58. Raines, Rectors of Prestwich (Chet. Soc), 29, quoting 'Reg. Blythe, Lichfield.' This William Langley was rector in 1534; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 226. He was the son of Robert Langley of Agecroft; Piccope, Wills (Chet. Soc), ii, 17.
  • 59. Raines, 30, quoting 'Reg. Brid. Chester,' where it is recited that Robert Langley of Agecroft had in 1542 granted the next presentation to William Davenport of Bramhall, Thomas Holt of Gristlehurst, and Geoffrey Shakerley, of whom the first nominated. First-fruits were paid on 8 June 1552; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 408, where will be found dates of payment by following rectors. Though at first William Langley conformed to the religious changes made by Elizabeth, he grew bolder at length, and was deprived as a recusant in 1569; Chet. Misc. (Chet. Soc), v, 17–19, and below. He had a number of suits respecting the property of his church, of which the following short notes may be given here. At Michaelmas 1555 he complained that though the rectors had always been seised of thirteen messuages, two barns, and 160 acres of land, meadow and pasture, in Prestwich and Oldham, Sir Robert Langley had recently caused the tenants to pay rents to him and had taken away the tithe corn in Alkrington and Royton; Duchy of Lanc. Plead, xxxix, L 11; and again, xxxvi, L 6. A little later he complained that Sir Robert had broken into the tithe-barn at Cowleyshaw and seized the corn therein; ibid, xxxv, L 3. In reply to a further complaint by the rector the tenants in Oldham averred that the lands claimed belong to Sir Robert, to whom they had always paid their rents; ibid, xxxv, L4, and xxxix, L6. Sir Robert Langley also appeared as plaintiff respecting the two tithe-barns at Cowleyshaw in Crompton; the rector said the barn had been erected on the waste about 1521, by his uncle, William Langley, the preceding rector, with the consent of the owners, and had always been used for the tithe corn; ibid, xxxix, L 9, L 12; Depos. lxxv, L 1. With respect to the lands in Oldham the disputes went on after Sir Robert's death, James Ashton and Dorothy his wife being defendants; Duchy of Lane. Plead, xlix, L 5. Some of these statements are printed in Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 222,249.
  • 60. Raines, loc. cit. quoting 'Reg. Downham,' where it is stated that James Ashton of Chadderton and Dorothy his wife, daughter and co-heir of Sir Robert Langley, presented. He was 'a preacher;' Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App.iv, 11. Firstfruits were paid 24 Aug. 1569. Though ordained by Bishop Scott in 1558 (Ordin. Bk. Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches. 109), he became a zealous Protestant of the Genevan school; Chet. Misc. v, 19–27. He was buried at Prestwich 14 Oct 1613; and his widow Anne, on 12 Jan. 1627–8. The autobiography of the son of his curate in 1596 (who was a cousin) is printed in Chet. Misc. (Chet. Soc), vi, with introduction and notes by Canon Raines.
  • 61. Raines, loc. cit. quoting 'Reg. Lloyd.' First-fruits were paid 25 Oct 1611. He contributed to the clergy subsidies of 1620 and later; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 54, 66. He was buried at Prestwich 16 Aug. 1632.
  • 62. Raines, loc. cit. quoting 'Reg. Bridgeman.' First-fruits were paid 6 Oct. 1632. He was educated at Oxford—Queen's and Oriel Colleges—graduating as M.A. in 1618; Foster, Alumni. In 1622 he married Anne, daughter of Richard Ashton of Chadderton, and thus was connected with the patron. His wife was buried at Prestwich 17 Oct. 1634. He contributed to various subsidies levied from the clergy; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches,), i, 95, 112. In politics he was Royalist, and objected to the religious changes made by the Parliament. His benefice was sequestered in 1645. From the evidence given before the committee it appears that he had dissuaded his parishioners from bearing arms for the Parliament, had refused to allow the bells of the church to be rung as a signal for the people to assemble to resist Lord Derby's attack on Manchester, would not sign the Covenant, as being against his oath of allegiance; had objected to the removal of the font, and defended the ceremonies in the Book of Common Prayer. It was fully admitted that his life was unblamable and his doctrine sound, that he faithfully discharged his ministerial functions, and was 'indifferent' as to the best mode of church government; and that the majority of the parishioners would prefer him to any other. In June 1645 he had endeavoured to secure a vote by the people as to whether he or Mr. Furness should be rector, but the churchwardens opposed. In December the sequestration took effect, but £40 a year was allowed for his maintenance. His books and goods were also allowed him. The documents are given fully in Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 18–34. He took refuge at Ripponden in Yorkshire, preaching to a congregation which 'loved him well'; O. Heywood, Diaries, iv, 7. In 1648 he made an attempt to regain his church, but was defeated. About 1650 he petitioned for the removal of the sequestration, urging that he had shown 'his good affection to the Parliament' by subscribing to its funds, and had taken the Solemn League and Covenant; Manch. Classis, iii, 402–5. The sequestration seems to have been removed about 1653; he returned to Prestwich in 1656, and died there just before the Restoration, being buried 2 Feb. 1659–60. Elizabeth, his widow, was buried there on 7 April 1661. Some further notes are given in Local Gleanings Lancs. and Ches. i, 119. For pedigree see Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 2. The dates of institution from this time have been compared with those in the Institution Books, P.R.O. printed in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes.
  • 63. Son of Roger Kenyon of Parkhead, Whalley, educated at Manchester and St. John's College, Cambridge; fellow, 1653; B.D. 1663; see Admissions St. John's C. i, 92. He was appointed before the Restoration; writing to his mother from London on 4 May 1660, he says: 'The commissioners having heard counsel on both sides, were fully satisfied with my patron's right, and proceeded to make trial of my fitness for the ministry, and thereupon did approve of me and give me the instrument '; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 67. Another of his letters is printed, ibid. 80. His connexions and training would put him on the Presbyterian side, but he seems to have conformed readily to the restoraation of episcopacy and the Prayer-book services, and held the rectory till his death. He was buried at Prestwich, 18 July 1668. Tablets commemorate him and his wife Anne, daughter of Richard Holland of Heaton; she died 23 Sept. 1706.
  • 64. Son of Thomas Lake, grocer, of Halifax; entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1637, when thirteen years of age; D.D. (by royal mandate), 1661; Admissions St. John's C. i, 38. Though a resolute adherent of the king and episcopacy, he accepted various charges during the Commonwealth period, including those of Prestwich and Oldham for a few years, and the vicarage of Leeds in 1659. In addition to Prestwich Dr. Lake had other preferments, becoming Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1682, and of Bristol in 1684, when he resigned the rectory. Charles II in 1682 granted letters patent allowing the Bishop of Sodor and Man to hold in commendam the rectory of Prestwich and the prebend of Fridaythorp in York Minster; Lancs. Charters (Turner and Coxe), 7. The patron had expected him to resign on appointment to Sodor and Man, but this he refused to do for reasons given at length in a letter to Roger Kenyon; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 147; see also 153. He did resign Carlton-in-Lindrick, being succeeded by William Ashton, who also followed him at Prestwich. Later as Bishop of Chichester he refused to publish the Declaration of Indulgence by James II, and was one of the famous seven bishops sent to the Tower in 1688. On the Revolution he refused the oaths to William and Mary and was suspended, but died in Aug. 1689, before the deprivation he anticipated; see Dict. Nat. Biog. and a contemporary account in T. Baker's Hist, of St. John's, Camb. (ed. Mayor), ii, 681–97.
  • 65. He was presented also by the king; Act Bks. at Chester. He was son of the patron; educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, of which he was elected fellow; B.D. 1684. He was also rector of Carlton-in-Lindrick. His name does not occur in the list of 'conformable having been parted with by a former rector and their existence forgotten.
  • 66. Son of Samuel Goodwin, farmer, of Shirland, Derbyshire; entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1696; became fellow; M.A. 1703; D.D. 1727; Admissions, St. John's C. ii, 140. He gave £200 to Shaw Chapel in 1732; Booker, op. cit. 116. He was a prebendary of York from 1720 until his death; Le Neve, Fasti, iii, 175,
  • 67. Probably of Christ's College, Cambridge; D.D. 1741; was also rector of Eckington in Derbyshire.
  • 68. Of Trinity College, Cambridge; M.A. 1753. Being in difficulties, and the benefice deeply mortgaged (Baines), he sold the advowson in 1781. He died at Bradford, Yorkshire, 17 Dec. 1782.
  • 69. Son of Matthew Lyon, who had purchased the advowson; educated at Warrington and Brasenose College, Oxford; M.A. 1783. In 1833, to mark the completion of the fiftieth year of his ministry, his parishioners held a series of festivities and made him a presentation of plate; his former curates also made a presentation, and a marble tablet was placed in the church, recording 'the affectionate regard and attachment' he had aroused by 'a character distinguished alike for simplicity of manners and integrity of principle,' and by the conscientious discharge of his duties. In 1792 an Act was passed enabling the rector to grant leases of the glebe for building purposes.
  • 70. Of Brasenose College, Oxford; M.A. 1815; son of John Blackburne, M.P., of Hale and Orford. He was vicar of Eccles from 1818 to 1836.
  • 71. He had been incumbent of Newchurch in Pendle from 1825; he was made Archdeacon of Manchester in 1843 and honorary canon in 1849. He resigned the archdeaconry in 1854 on becoming vicar of Blackburn.
  • 72. Of King's College, Cambridge; fellow; M.A. 1847. He was also made a residentiary canon of Ripon in 1868. He had been a tutor to the Prince of Wales, and was chaplain in ordinary to Queen Victoria. He died soon after resigning the benefice.
  • 73. Of Pembroke College, Oxford; M.A. 1858; vicar of Tilford, Surrey, 1865–79; rector of St. Nicholas, Guildford, 1879–84; hon. canon of Manchester, 1891. He enlarged the church in 1888–9. He died in June 1903.
  • 74. Of Keble College, Oxford; M.A. 1888; vicar of Longbridge Deverell, 1890; vicar of St. Paul's, King Cross, Halifax, 1897.
  • 75. Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches. 12.
  • 76. From the Visitation Lists at Chester. Even as late as 1552 the church seems to have been well provided with bells, vestments, and other church furniture; Church Goods (Chet. Soc), 41.
  • 77. He, however, refused to appear at the Visitation in 1559; Gee, Elizabethan Clergy. He subscribed to the queen's supremacy in 1563; Ches. Sheaf (3rd Ser.), i, 34.
  • 78. See Canon Raines in Chet. Misc. above quoted. William Langley averred 'that he would neither minister nor receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, because it is administered and given against the order of the Catholic Church.'
  • 79. Ibid. 21, 22. Thomas Cartwright and other Puritan ministers were imprisoned in 1590.
  • 80. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xiii, 69.
  • 81. Chet. Misc. v, 23; 'old Mr. Langley, that holy man of God and faithful servant of Christ in the House of God.' He was presented at the Visitations of 1601 and later for not wearing the surplice.
  • 82. See the account of Isaac Allen above. The following ministers were placed in charge during his enforced absence:— 1646. Toby Furness, 'a godly and orthodox divine'; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 36. The popular opposition was manifested by a number of charges as to his character and conduct; these were, at his request, investigated by the Classis and he was acquitted; Booker, Prestwich, 94–101. Nevertheless he soon afterwards removed to Bury. 1649. John Lake, afterwards (1668) rector; he was an opponent of the Presbyterian system, and therefore in constant trouble with the Classis. About 1651 he took charge of Oldham, but complaints were soon made against him for 'malignancy,' and he left about 1654; Manch. Classis, iii, 375–95; also ii, 134, &c. Hisgtipend at Prestwich was £80 a year; Commonw. Ch. Surv. 15. From this record it appears that other ministers had been tried at Prestwich — Langley, Porter, and Brierley. 1652. Nehemiah Rathband; Booker, Prestwich, 104.. In 1656 he moved to Keighley in Yorkshire; Manch. Classis, ii, 227; iii, 444. After Rathband's departure Rector Allen seems to have regained his church; in October 1656 a letter was sent to him desiring his appearance at the class, but he paid no attention; ibid, ii, 252–3. He thus replied to the summons of the Classis in 1658: 'We are unsatisfied what you mean by your church, whether you mean your church at Manchester, where your classia is, or you mean the church of England. If you mean the church of Manchester of your association, it is established not so much by an ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament as by later acts granting the free exercise of religion in doctrine and worship to all churches and congregations in their own way. . . But if your meaning be of the Church of England, you are certainly mistaken and dare not maintain it that the Protector or his Council own presbytery and none but that government'; Booker, Prestwich, 92, quoting his Excommunicatio Excommunicata, 294–5. An accommodation was attempted; Manch. Classis, iii, 296–9. Mr. Birch, the schoolmaster, who said he wag a deacon, continued to defy the Classis down to 1649, baptizing children and performing other ministerial acts; Manch. Classis, i, 47; ii, 101, 109, &c. In August 1657 John Angier and William Coulburne were ordained at Prestwich church; ' Mr. Meeke began with prayer, Mr. Newcome preached, Mr. Harrison prayed after, Mr. Newcome (for Mr. Heyrick) propounded the questions and gave the exhortation'; Manch. Classis, ii, 269. It does not appear that Mr. Allen was present.
  • 83. Edward Kenyon is mentioned a number of times in Newcome's Diary (Chet. Soc), showing that he was friendly with the Nonconformist divine; but in the case of Mr. Constantine of Oldham, ejected in 1662, he gave no satisfaction. 'Some men have a strange measure of stiffness; alas, what a temptation is this wretched world!" remarks Newcome, 220. The churchwardens' accounts show that the king's arms were set up in 1660; while a surplice and linen table-cloth were purchased in 1662, when also a stone font was again set up; Booker, Prestwich, 23, 24.
  • 84. Booker, Prestwich, 82–8. The curate's salary was £50 a year. A list of the curates is given in the same work, 118–31.
  • 85. He was of Magdalene College, Cambridge; B.A. 1844, M.A. 1855. He was ordained in the former year, and after serving various curacies, including Prestwich from 1848 to 1858, was appointed perpetual curate of Benhilton, Surrey, in 1863. He published Mem. of the Ch. in Prestwich in 1852; a Hist. of the Ancient Chapel of Blackley, 1854; and through the Chetham Society, Hist. of the Chapels of Denton, Didsbury, Chorlton, and Birch, 1855–8. He married the daughter of Dr. Lee, first Bishop of Manchester. He resigned his benefice in 1895, and died two years later.
  • 86. Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc), ii, 190–3. The endowment consisted of burgages in Manchester, and tenements in Halifax and Altrincham; the net revenue was 76s. 8d. The priest, John Hall, is named in the Visitation List of 1548, but as mortuus is written against him, he probably died about that time, being succeeded by Lawrence Wallwork. The chapel, as 'newly built,' is mentioned in the wills of Robert Langley of Agecroft and Eleanor his wife.
  • 87. Ibid, ii, 193; no particulars of the endowment are given, but Canon Raines found that lands in Hundersfield had belonged to it. The income was £4. 10s. 2d. and the incumbent was Thomas Dodson, who was still living in the parish in 1554.
  • 88. Gastrell, Notitia, ii, 111, 116, 119.
  • 89. Ibid, ii, 111, 116. An acre of land at Rainsough in Prestwich, bought by the inhabitants, brought in £4 a year, distributed in linen cloth. The land seems afterwards to have been used as the site of the workhouse, occupied till 1869, and sold in 1875.
  • 90. The following details are taken from the report of the Endowed Charities inquiry, held in 1903; in it the report of 1826 is reprinted. In 1826 the £200 bequeathed by Sir T. Grey Egerton was invested in a mortgage on land in Chadderton, and produced £10 a year, distributed by the churchwardens at Christmas time. The capital now consists of £333 railway stock, producing £9 19s. 9d. a year; the benefits have long been restricted to the poor attending the parish church of St. Mary.
  • 91. The poor's money in 1826 amounted to £101 5s., having been contributed by a number of benefactors from 1698 onwards. There is a list in Booker, Prestwich, 75. The money was in 1819 expended in building the workhouse mentioned above, and the overseers paid £5 a year as interest; this was expended on linen cloth given to the poor. In 1846 the auditor disallowed this payment; but when the workhouse was sold in 1875 £107 of the proceeds was set apart for the benefit of the poor. The income, £2 15s. 8d., is distributed with Sir Thomas Egerton's charity. Sir Holland Egerton in 1730 left £20 to the poor of Prestwich and Great and Little Heaton; in 1826 the interest was distributed in loaves once a month at Prestwich Church, but being paid out of the rates was afterwards disallowed by the auditor and lost. Thomas, Earl of Wilton, in 1814 left £500 to trustees for the benefit of the poor of the three townships named above, and another £500 for the poor of the Heatons; the possessor of Heaton Hall was to determine the manner of distribu. tion. In 1826 a distribution of clothing and blankets to the value of over £100 (of which about £40 was the interest of Lord Wilton's legacies) was made at the hall to the poor of the district. The capital is now £1,117 consols, giving an income of £27 18s. 8d.; this is distributed at Polefield Hall by the rector of Prestwich and Lord Wilton's agent, a gift of the value of 7s. being made to each chosen recipient. Lewis Novelli in 1844 bequeathed £1,000 for poor, aged, or sickly inhabitants 'being regular attendants at some Protestant Established Church' in the parish, the rector and churchwardens having the distribution. After some difficulties the money was paid to the official trustees in 1857, and is represented by £1,246 consols, producing £31 3s. yearly. The benefits are now confined to poor persons attending the parish church and St. Margaret's, Holyrood. The same Lewis Novelli left about £1,500 for the choir and organ fund of the parish church. A fund of £500 raised in 1890 to commemorate John St. Lawrance Beaufort, postmaster of Manchester, is invested for exhibitions for the scholars of Bury New Road National Schools. James Davenport in 1882 left money for the parish church and St. Margaret's and the schools. William Bradbury in 1882 left money for St. Margaret's Church, a Liberal Club, &c.; but these gifts are not yet available, his widow surviving. The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel has an endowment of £58.
  • 92. In 1826 it was supposed that some ancient benefactions were deposited in Sir Holland Egerton's hands and formed part of the £20 he left to the poor; but, as above stated, all this has now been lost.
  • 93. Various donations from 1698 to 1737 established a poor's fund of £112 for Pilkington. It is supposed the fund was given to the overseers for the workhouse; they in 1826 paid £5 as interest, linen cloth being given to the poor. The Pilkington Workhouse was demolished about 1850, and the interest ceased to be paid. George Hardman in 1762 left £40 for linen for the poor; by 1826 half the capital had been lost, but the remainder produced 18s. a year, distributed according to the benefactor's desire. Nothing, however, is now known of it. A share of a gift by William Baguley in 1728 was received by the poor of Outwood; this amounted to 40s. 10d. in 1826, and was distributed in linen cloth. This charity survives, and doles of calico and winsey are made in January. Miss Birkett's bequest brings £11 8s. 8d. a year, which is distributed in money gifts to poor persons of all religious denominations. The schools at Stand, Ringley, and Unsworth have endowments, as also the chapel at Ringley, and the Sunday school at Cinderhill. The Hollins Young Men's Institute is also noticed in the report.