Townships: Bretherton

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.

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'Townships: Bretherton', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 102-108. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "Townships: Bretherton", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 102-108. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "Townships: Bretherton", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 102-108. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section


Bretherton, 1242 and usual; Brotherton, the principal variant, occurs 1292 (fn. 1); Bertherton, 1292. Thorp, 1212.

The present Bretherton includes also the ancient Thorp, the position of which appears to have left no trace. The south-west half of the township, known as the Ees, is below the 25-ft. level, the village being situated about the centre of the township, where the ground begins to rise a little. Bank Hall is on a slight elevation to the west, near the Douglas, the old course of which river forms the boundary on that side. The new and straighter course lies within the boundary. The area is 2,436½ acres, (fn. 2) and in 1901 there was a population of 809 persons.

A road from Rufford crosses the old and new Douglas near Bank Hall and goes through to Much Hoole and Preston. At Carr House on the north it is joined by the road from Croston, which passes in several branches through the village of Bretherton, from which a road goes east to Leyland. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's Liverpool and Preston railway crosses the north-east corner of the township, where there is more moss-land. The soil is clay, loam and peat; wheat, oats, potatoes and fruit are grown.

CARR HOUSE, which 'tradition' associates with the name of Jeremiah Horrocks, is situated at the extreme north-west of the township, half-way between the villages of Tarleton and Hoole. The building faces south to the Bretherton road, from which it stands back some distance and has a foreyard inclosed on the west side by farm buildings. The house belongs to the early part of the 17th century and is of two stories, with slightly projecting end wings and a central porch with gable over. It is built of red bricks which have weathered a very pleasant colour, relieved with a blue-brick diaper pattern similar to work of the same period at Rafford Old Hall, Bank Hall and Hoole Church, and with stone quoins of irregular length. The building has not been altered very much externally, all the old stone mullioned windows remaining on the principal front, though one of them is built up and the original lead lights have disappeared from them all. The roof, however, is covered with blue slates instead of the usual stone slabs which give so good a contrast of colour in most of the old brick houses of this district. But apart from this the exterior is pretty much as it was in the 17th century. The porch, which is 9 ft. 6 in. wide, is the principal feature of the front, being centrally situated, with a projection of 4 ft. 6 in., and rising in a third story or attic above the roof. The wings, which measure 14 ft. across, only project a little over 2 ft. in front of the middle part of the building, or less than half the distance of the porch, but the general grouping of the front, which is 52 ft. in length, is very good, the recessed middle portions, which are rather narrow, not being in too deep a shadow. The house is simply roofed with a central ridge and plain gable at each end. The ridge of the small gable to the porch is of the same height as that of the main roof, giving room for a five-light window to the attic above the eaves, and the projection of the wings being so small the roof is continued down over them, the line of the eaves only being broken. There are ten windows on the principal front, four on the ground floor, five on the first, and one in the attic, with hood moulds, all of four lights except those over the porch, which have five. Between the upper and lower windows are four vertical chases 4½ in. wide cut in the brickwork and now filled in with plaster or cement, the object of which is said to have been a partial evasion of the window tax, the upper and lower windows thus connected counting as one. An inscription in raised letters on the stone head of the doorway reads: 'Thomas Stones of London haberdasher and Andrewe Stones of Amsterdam merchant hath builded this howse of their owne charges and giveath the same unto their brother John Stones: (fn. 3) Ano Domni 1613. Laus.' The inscription is curiously divided towards the end by the head of the doorway breaking into it. The plan of the house falls naturally into three parts. In the middle is a room 15 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft. entered from the porch by the original oak nail-studded door, with what has been a very good fireplace with deeply recessed cupboards in the thickness of the wall at each side. On the east are a small room and a passage leading to what is now a farm kitchen, a large room 19 ft. 6 in. by 12 ft. 10 in. occupying the whole of the wing, and on the west side is a smaller room about 11 ft. square, behind which is the staircase contained within four walls, with a small central open well and square newels. The first floor follows the plan of the ground story, the middle room only being bigger by the addition of the recessed window over the porch at its south-east corner, with a light on each return. (fn. 4) The interior has no features of architectural interest. The walls of the upper rooms are stated to have been formerly panelled in oak, but the panelling is said to have been removed to Bank Hall about 1832. (fn. 5) At the back of the house are two good brick chimney stacks with diagonal shafts.

The pedestal of the village cross still exists, and there is another in Sarah Lane. (fn. 6)

In 1666 ninety-nine hearths contributed to the tax; Bank Hall was the largest house, having twelve hearths, John Sharples had eight and John Cliffe five. (fn. 7)

Bretherton has a parish council.


BRETHERTON, assessed as two plough-lands, was a member of the fee of Penwortham, (fn. 8) and appears to have been given by the Bussels to Richard le Boteler of Amounderness, who made grants to Cockersand Abbey (fn. 9) and Lytham Priory, (fn. 10) and possibly a further grant to Richard son of Roger, lord of Woodplumpton, whose heirs are found to have held Bretherton by knights' service. (fn. 11) These mesne lordships, however, soon disappeared from view, (fn. 12) and the immediate owners of the land were considered the lords of the manor. Thus in 1242 Richard Banastre, Walter de Hoole, Richard de Thorp, William de Brexes, Thomas de Gerstan and Simon del Pool were stated to hold the twelfth part of a knight's fee in Bretherton of the heir of the Earl of Lincoln, as lord of Penwortham. (fn. 13)

The six tenements here indicated were in time consolidated into two, each described as a moiety of the manor and held by different branches of the Banastre family. One moiety belonged to the Banastres of Bank, whose descent will be traced more fully, and the other to Sir Thomas Banastre, K.G., (fn. 14) from whom it descended to the Balderstons, (fn. 15) and thence in halves to the Harringtons and the Radcliffes of Winmarleigh. The former half was on forfeiture (fn. 16) granted in 1489 to the first Earl of Derby, (fn. 17) and descended like Knowsley till about 1717 (fn. 18); while the latter half passed by marriage to Sir Gilbert Gerard, Master of the Rolls in the time of Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 19) These subdivisions appear to have been acquired by the Heskeths of Rufford about a century ago, and they were esteemed as lords of a moiety of the manor (fn. 20) until about 1880, when Sir Thomas Hesketh sold it to Lord Lilford, who thus became sole lord, having the other moiety by inheritance. (fn. 21)
The now forgotten vill or hamlet of THORP, assessed as one plough-land, was held of the Crown in chief in 1212 by Richard son of Roger de Freckleton, who rendered 10s. annually. (fn. 22) It was held of the Freckletons by a local family surnamed Thorp for a century and a half after this time, (fn. 23) and being in 1369 sold by the heirs of Thorp to Sir Thomas Banastre, (fn. 24) it became completely merged in his moiety of Bretherton, and ceased to be noticed. (fn. 25)

The early history of the Banastres of BANK, though apparently they were lords of the manor of Bretherton, is very obscure, (fn. 26) much of the uncertainty resulting from the co-existence of several families of the same surname (fn. 27) in the township and neighbourhood. Henry Banastre died in 1526 seised of a capital messuage called the Bank and other messuages and lands in Bretherton; also lands in Tarleton, Becconsall and Hesketh. The Bank estate was said to be held of the king as of his duchy of Lancaster by the twentieth part of a knight's fee and a rent of 4½d. yearly. Richard Banastre, his son and heir, was forty-four years of age. (fn. 28) The said Richard, who recorded a pedigree in 1533, (fn. 29) died in 1548 holding an augmented estate; the Bank was stated to be held of the heirs of Richard le Boteler in socage; William, his son and heir, was forty-eight years old. (fn. 30) William Banastre died in 1555, just after arranging for the marriage of his grandson Adam and Dorothy daughter of Hugh Anderton; Henry, the son and heir of William and father of Adam, was thirty years of age. The tenure of the 'manor of Bretherton' was recorded as in 1548. (fn. 31)

BANASTRE. Argent a cross patonce sable.

Henry (fn. 32) was succeeded by a younger son William, Adam having died without issue, and William by his son Henry, (fn. 33) who died in 1617, leaving as heir a son Henry, only a year old. The tenure of the capital messuage called the Bank and lands, windmill, &c., In Bretherton, no 'manor' being named, was recorded as in 1526, viz. of the duchy of Lancaster by the twentieth part of a knight's fee and 4½d. rent. (fn. 34) Henry Banastre died in London 13 June 1641, and was brought to Croston for burial (fn. 35); his eldest son Henry, aged twenty-eight when the pedigree was recorded in 1664, (fn. 36) was killed in Cheshire by a Manxman named Colcoth, (fn. 37) and Bank passed to his brother Christopher, high sheriff in 1669–70. (fn. 38) Christopher, who died in 1690, left two daughters and co-heirs; the elder, Anne, married Thomas Fleetwood, (fn. 39) the first to attempt the draining of Martin Mere, and their daughter and heir, Henrietta Maria, (fn. 40) carried Bank and the moiety of Bretherton to the Leghs of Lyme, from whom it has descended to Lord Lilford, (fn. 41) who, as stated above, is now lord of the manor of Bretherton. Courts are held annually.

Bank Hall is a fine brick mansion of two stories with curved gables and a square tower centrally placed on the south or principal front. The house was erected in 1608, but was restored and considerably enlarged in 1832–3, when a new wing was added at the west end, a porch built on the north side, the original north-west wing refaced, and the roofs covered with blue slates. The new work was carried out in a style corresponding to that of the original building, but the difference is clearly marked by the colour of the brickwork and the sharpness of the detail. Nearly all the windows were renewed during the restoration and new bay windows were added in the south front, considerably altering its original appearance. The tower, which contains the original oak staircase, is the chief architectural feature of the building on the south side, and gives a great deal of distinction and picturesqueness to the house as seen from the garden. It has a clock in the top story facing south, and preserves most of its original features, the staircase windows not having been altered, and terminates in a battlement with angle and intermediate ornaments, the latter, however, belonging to the 19thcentury restoration. The interior is almost wholly modernized, but one of the lower rooms in the north-west wing is panelled with oak said to have been brought here from Carr House, and in one of the upper rooms is a good 17th-century fireplace with a peacock boldly carved on the chimney-piece above.

Families named Tarleton (fn. 42) and Bretherton (fn. 43) also occur, but no particulars can be given of their tenure. A few of the other landowners' names can be obtained from the inquisitions and pleadings. (fn. 44) In 1542–3 the following as landowners contributed to the subsidy: Richard Banastre, the wife of Henry Banastre, the wife of Hugh Banastre and Henry Smith. (fn. 45) Henry Banastre and Henry Smith occur similarly in 1564. (fn. 46) In 1600 the freeholders recorded were Henry Banastre of Bank and —Cliff, (fn. 47) while in 1628 the only landowner contributing to the subsidy was Henry Banastre of Bank, a minor. (fn. 48) During the Commonwealth the estates of George Robinson and Henry Snart were confiscated and sold for some 'delinquency.' (fn. 49) In 1783 the principal contributors to the land tax were Peter Legh and Henry Porter, together paying over a fifth of the tax for the township. (fn. 50)

Old Schoolhouse, Bretherton

The Hospitallers had a considerable estate in Bretherton, (fn. 51) and lands were also held by Lytham Priory, (fn. 52) Burscough Priory (fn. 53) and Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 54)

A chapel, 'recently built,' is named in a charter of 1344 preserved by Dodsworth. (fn. 55) Its fate is unknown. In modern times the first buildings erected for divine worship were a Methodist chapel, 1824, rebuilt in 1836 and again in 1883, (fn. 56) and a Congregational one, called Ebenezer, 1819, (fn. 57) replaced by a new one in 1896.

For the Church of England St. John the Baptist's was built in 1840 and a chancel added in 1909; the rector of Croston is patron. (fn. 58) It was declared a rectory in 1866. (fn. 59)

A school was founded in 1653. (fn. 60) Over the porch of the old schoolhouse is the following inscription:—

'this free schoole was erected and bvilt at the proper costs: and charges of james fletcher of london marchant: and at the reqvest of mistris lane fletcher his wife who was borne in this towne Ivne the forteenth: anno doni: 1653.'

Over the doorway of another cottage opposite the old schoolhouse is a stone inscribed—


  • 1. In a pleading of that year (Assize R. 408, m. 21) the defendants alleged that there was no vill called Brotherton in the county, though there was one called Bretherton.
  • 2. 2,428 acres, including 3 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901. There are also 13 acres of tidal water and 1 of foreshore.
  • 3. John Stones was the donor of the font to Hoole Church in 1633.
  • 4. This is the room in which it is commonly asserted that Horrocks made his observation of the transit of Venus, 24 Nov. 1639. No sufficient authority, however, has yet been brought forward for accepting definitely the statement that Horrocks was living at Carr House at the time, though it is quite possible that he did reside there as the guest or lodger of Mr. Stones.
  • 5. J. E. Bailey in Palatine Note Bk. vol. ii (Dec. 1882).
  • 6. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xvii, 12.
  • 7. Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 8. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 36.
  • 9. Richard le Boteler (Pincerna) of Bretherton granted the canons 16 acres of his demesne there in Siverthesargh, with exit for the man who should settle upon the land; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 471. The date is about 1200.
  • 10. As lord of Bretherton he gave to God and St. Cuthbert a 'land' between Arapul and Hortepul in alms; one side extended to the water and the other to waingate and the halfland to which Carrbutts extended; Durham Cath. D. 2.2.4. Ebor. no. 48. Adam Banastre and Adam his son were witnesses.
  • 11. Quenilda widow of Roger Gernet and one of the heirs of Richard son of Roger held in 1252 one plough-land in Bretherton in chief of the Earl of Lincoln, but 'received nothing therefrom except wardship and relief'; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 190. Two years later Ralph de Beetham, one of the heirs of Quenilda, held a plough-land (probably the same) by knights' service, 'but another has been enfeoffed therein and pays nothing'; ibid. 195, 202. It is stated that here nine plough-lands made a knight's fee. In 1288 the vill of Bretherton paid 2s. 3½d. to William de Ferrers, who was lord of Leylandshire; ibid. 271.
  • 12. It will be seen below that Sir Nicholas le Boteler claimed wardship in 1358, and that as late as 1555 Bank was said to be held of the heirs of Richard le Boteler.
  • 13. Ibid. 149. Some of the tenants (or their relatives) named in the text occur elsewhere. Walter de Hoole gave three selions in Bretherton to Lytham Priory; Kuerden MSS. iii, B 15. He was also a benefactor to Cockersand Abbey, giving a 'land' and a half in Siverthesargh, a selion extending to the Asland (Douglas), another between the high road and Ladpool, three in Wetfield, &c.; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 477, 483. Richard de Brexes gave a half selion stretching from the highway to Elremurcarr in Bretherton field, and another selion (in the same field) pertaining to his oxgang of land in Thorp; ibid. 477. Maud wife (widow) of Simon de Poole was also a benefactor; ibid. 475, 484. It may be added that in 1355 the tenants were: Thomas Banastre of the Bank, Thomas son of Sir Adam Banastre, John de Thorp, Ralph Bickersteth and William son of William Banastre; Feud. Aids, iii, 86.
  • 14. This branch of the family appears to have descended from Adam Banastre, who had sons Richard (named in the text) and Thomas, the descent being thus given by Dodsworth (MSS. cxlix, fol. 45): Adam –s. Thomas –s. Thomas –s. William –s. (Sir) Adam –s. (Sir) Thomas, K.G. The first step has to be proved. Margery daughter of Henry son of Sweyn gave to Thomas Banastre land in Bretherton held in part from Adam Banastre and in part from the Knights of St. John, in exchange for lands in Scarisbrick which Thomas held of the Abbot of Cockersand; ibid. Richard son of Richard de Thorp in 1293 granted Thomas son of Thomas Banastre lands in Bretherton and Thorp; ibid. fol. 37b. Maud widow of Thomas le Boteler gave to Thomas son of Thomas Banastre land in Hillcroft in Bretherton formerly held by Adam his brother; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 44b. Thomas son of Thomas le Boteler also made a grant to him in 1293; ibid. One Thomas Banastre (father or son) in 1288 held a third part of Heath Charnock; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 270. The son Thomas married Joan de Singleton and thus acquired estates in the Fylde; he died in or before 1303; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 201. The remainders were to William and Adam Banastre, brothers. The Adam Banastre who raised an insurrection in 1315 was almost certainly son of the younger Thomas. Thus in 1307–8 Sir Adam Banastre gave Sir William Banastre, his brother, a rent of £16 11s. 6½d. from his manors, &c., of Broughton, Salefield, Heath Charnock, Adlington, Duxbury and Shevington; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 47b. Thomas son of Thomas le Boteler granted land in Bretherton on the Hovenefurlong next Hallstudgreen to William son of Thomas Banastre; ibid. fol. 44b. William Banastre died in or before 1323 holding lands in Singleton, Claughton, &c.; Inq. p.m. 17 Edw. II, no. 45. His son Adam, afterwards a knight, was said to be sixteen years of age; see Memo. R. (L.T.R.), 88, pt. ii, m. 6 d.; Parl. R. ii, 31. As Adam son of Sir William Banastre he in 1344 granted William de Stirzaker a messuage and lands in the High moor with appurtenances in Bretherton for the celebration of divine service in a certain chapel then newly built in Bretherton for the welfare of the souls of the grantor, his wife, his parents (William and Philippa), &c.; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 45b. He married Pernell, afterwards wife of John Trussell of Cublesden. His executors (1346, &c.) were John and Nicholas sons of Thomas Banastre; De Banco R. 348, m. 429; 350, m. 203, &c. In the same year John Trussell of Cublesden and Pernell his wife were suing for the latter's dower in Bretherton; ibid. 347, m. 165; 354, m. 300. The wardship and marriage of Thomas son and heir of Adam Banastre were in 1344 given by the Earl of Lancaster to Sir Adam de Hoghton; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 44. Thomas son of Sir Adam Banastre appeared as plaintiff in 1365; he alleged waste in his lands at Bretherton, naming a hall, dovecote, &c., oaks, ash trees, apple trees and pear trees; De Banco R. 419, m. 203 d. He purchased Thorp in 1369; Final Conc. ii, 177. He was made a knight in 1360 and in 1375 elected K.G.; his plate is on his stall at Windsor. He was lost at sea, 16 Dec. 1379. He held two parts of the manor of Bretherton of Thomas Banastre of the Bank, the other part being included in the dower of Pernell widow of Sir Adam Banastre. See Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 14, where there are references to Froissart's Chronicle and to G. F. Beltz's Memorials of the Order of the Garter, 208; also Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 358, 365; xl, App. 521.
  • 15. Edward the son and heir of Sir Thomas died in 1382, leaving a daughter Constance, born in that year; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 16. Pernell widow of Sir Adam died in 1388, at which time Agnes widow of Sir Thomas was still living; ibid. 38. Constance, the daughter and heir of Edward Banastre, married William de Balderston, and the Bretherton estate descended in the same way as Balderston; see Abram, Blackburn, 414–15.
  • 16. The Sir James Harrington of Westleigh and Wolfage had lands in Bretherton, tenure unknown; his widow Isabel held them in 1518 of Henry Banastre; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 40; v, no. 2. These were not forfeited.
  • 17. Pat. 4 Hen. VII. The moiety of the manor of Bretherton is named in the Inq. p.m. of Thomas second Earl of Derby, 1521, but the tenure is not separately stated; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 68. See also for Edmund Dudley's interest in 1509 ibid. iv, no. 13.
  • 18. See Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 201, m. 37; 276, m. 52; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 487 (king's silver). Lord Ashburnham and others seem to have been owners in 1725; Com. Pleas Recov. R., Mich. 12 Geo. I, no. 13, 28. In 1754 a Private Act of Parliament (27 Geo. II, cap. 22) was passed for the sale of an estate at Bretherton, pursuant to the will of John late Earl of Ashburnham. Edmund Lodge was plaintiff and James Makon deforciant in a fine relating to a moiety of the manor of Bretherton, &c., in 1777; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 297, m. 74.
  • 19. Lands in Bretherton are named in the Balderston estate of Thomas son of Richard Radcliffe of Winmarleigh, 1521; and of his son Thomas in 1538; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 3; viii, no. 26. In 1561 the whole estate was said to be held of John Osbaldeston; ibid. xi, no. 7. A similar statement was made after the death of Sir Gilbert Gerard in 1593; ibid. xvi, no. 2. Lands in Bretherton and Croston are also named in the Inq. p.m. of Sir Alexander Osbaldeston (1544) as part of the fourth part of the manor of Balderston; ibid. viii, no. 1.
  • 20. This is an inference only, but as courts were held the lordship must have been known. The Hesketh family had long held lands in the township. In 1503 Thomas Hesketh purchased lands in Croston, Tarleton, Bretherton and Ulnes Walton from Thomas son and heir of William Banastre of Wigan; Final Conc. iii, 154. The Banastres here named were probably descendants of William, bastard son of Thomas Banastre of Bank, to whom in 1397 were granted a messuage and an acre of land in Bretherton; Towneley MS. DD, no. 291. Thomas Hesketh of Rufford died in 1523 holding seven messuages, 40 acres of land, and 6 acres of meadow of the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem in England by the rent of 3d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 16. The same estate is shown in later inquisitions; ibid. vii, no. 14; xv, no. 56. No moiety of the manor of Bretherton is named in fines, &c., concerning Hesketh settlements down to 1798.
  • 21. Information of Mr. John B. Selby.
  • 22. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 34. It was the only vill in Leyland Hundred held of the king in chief. In 1176–8 Thorp had contributed to the aids; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 35, 38.
  • 23. Gamel de Thorp in 1203–4 contributed half a mark to a scutage; Lancs. Pipe R. 179. He held a portion of Bretherton also, and as Gamel son of Cesar de Thorp granted part of it to the canons of Cockersand, as also lands in Thorp itself; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 478–9. Margaret wife of Gamel gave them a 'land' on the High moor; ibid. 483. Adam son of Gamel gave a half selion in Bretherton, near Ladepool; ibid. 474. Reginald de Thorp was also a benefactor, one gift being made with the assent and will of Gamel lord of Thorp; ibid. 480. A little later the brothers Richard and Roger de Thorp occur; ibid. 481–3, 485–6. Richard de Thorp, son of Gamel, made grants to Lytham Priory; Kuerden MSS. iii, B 15. He also gave lands in Bretherton to the Hospitallers; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 82. In 1226 he paid the 10s. rent due from a plough-land in Leylandshire; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 141. He appears again in 1242; ibid. 149. In 1276 John de Thorp complained that Thomas Banastre had taken his goods at Thorp; Coram Rege R. 20, m. 8. About the same time David son of Richard de Thorp claimed an oxgang of land in Thorp and Bretherton, and John de Thorp had halt an oxgang (or a share) in the same places; De Banco R. 21, m. 86; 31, m. 20 d. John de Thorp was a benefactor of Burscough Priory, granting land on Hullcroft; Burscough Reg. fol. 54. A charter of his, granting land 'with all liberties of the vill of Thorp,' is in Towneley MS. DD, no. 302. In the same volume is a grant by Agnes widow of William the White (Albi) of Thorp to Simon her son of land within the bounds of Thorp and of Bretherton, viz. upon the High moor; no. 292. William de Thorp in 1285 claimed the service due from Thomas Banastre for the latter's free tenement in Thorp; De Banco R. 59, m. 71 d. In 1288 it was found that William de Thorp held the hamlet of Thorp of William de Ferrers by the service of 10s. yearly, and suit to the wapentake court of Eccleston from three weeks to three weeks; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 270. There were at least three Williams at the time, one (probably the above-named William) the son of Richard, another the son of John, and the other the son of Hugh. In 1292 William son of Richard de Thorp acknowledged that he ought to find Alice daughter of Warine de Thorp competent maintenance in victuals and clothing for her life in respect of a certain tenement of hers which he held; Assize R. 408, m. 97 d. It appears that after Warine's death Alice did homage to the Abbot of Cockersand, chief lord, and afterwards John de Thorp received her custody. After John's death his son William held the said custody, but he displeased Alice, who went to William son of Richard de Thorp and enfeoffed him of the tenement; ibid. m. 26. In 1293 William son of Hugh de Thorp and Alice his wife sold land in Bretherton and Thorp to Thomas Banastre; Final Conc. i, 177. In the same year Richard son of John de Thorp agreed to sell to Thomas son of Thomas Banastre all his lands in Bretherton and Thorp; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 40b. The same or another is called Richard son of Richard de Thorp; ibid. fol. 37b. Robert de Thorp attested charters in 1325–6 and 1344; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 54; cxlix, fol. 45b. In 1345 he claimed the custody of the lands and heir of Sir Adam Banastre, alleging that Sir Adam had held of him by a rent of 8s.; but it was found that there was no knights' service; De Banco R. 343, m. 169 d. In 1351 John de Thorp and Isabel his wife received from the trustee lands, &c., in Thorp, Bretherton and Croston, the remainder being to Roger Knoll of Bowland; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 83. Twelve years later Ralph de Thorp granted to Sir Thomas Banastre the manor of Thorp with its appurtenances, and lands in Bretherton, Croston and Farington; ibid. fol. 40.
  • 24. See the preceding note and Final Conc. ii, 177. Of the vendors William del Howe and Isabel his wife it appears from a pedigree in Dodsworth (cxlix, fol. 40) that Isabel was the widow of John de Thorp.
  • 25. In 1457 Richard Balderston was found to have held the manor of Thorp and lands in Croston and Farington of the lords of Leylandshire by a rent of 12s.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 63.
  • 26. The first of the line known was an Adam Banastre, living about 1200. He, like Gamel de Thorp, was witness to Richard le Boteler's charter to Cockersand; Chartul. ii, 471. Richard son of Adam Banastre gave land upon Hullcroft in Bretherton to Burscough Priory; Burscough Reg. fol. 54. Stephen, son of Roger le Boteler of Warton, released to the canons of Cockersand the homage and service of Richard Banastre from 2 oxgangs of land in Bretherton held of Stephen by a rent of 12d.; Cockersand Chartul. ii, 474. Richard Banastre gave a piece of land on the Milnefurlong to the canons; ibid. He gave land on the High moor to the Hospitallers; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 82. Richard Banastre, probably the same, appears again in 1242; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 149. Richard son of Adam Banastre was defendant to a claim for land made in 1246 by Adam son of William son of Ulkelf, and his title being assured he released his claim for 'nativity' against Adam; Final Conc. i, 96. Adam son of Richard Banastre occurs in 1279 in a claim for the moiety of Becconsall, which long descended with Bank; see the account of Hesketh-withBecconsall. About 1240 Robert Banastre of Mollington in Cheshire granted lands in Newton near West Kirby to his brother Thurstan, and in later times the moiety of Newton was found to be held of the heirs of Adam Banastre of Bank (1415 and 1460) and of Henry Banastre of Bank (1495 and 1513); Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), ii, 499, 574.
  • 27. Another line of Banastre has been traced above; there were also the Banastres of Walton-le-Dale. In 1310 a grant by Richard son of Adam Banastre to William son of Master Richard Banastre was attested by John Banastre of Bank and John Banastre of Bretherton; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1558. The Richard Banastre of 1246 may have had a son of the same name, for by an undated charter Richard Banastre granted 2 oxgangs of land to his son Richard; ibid. no 1555. A Richard son of Richard Banastre was living in 1295, perhaps the Master Richard mentioned; ibid. no. 1557. About 1292 Adam Banastre seems to have been the principal man in the township. He was defendant in claims for common of pasture in respect of lands which had been inclosed; Assize R. 403, m. 22, 23, 66. Richard and Thomas Banastre were defendants in other suits; ibid. m. 34 d., 26, 21. Adam Banastre in 1298 settled 8 oxgangs of land in Tarleton upon his sons John, Thomas, William and Robert; Final Conc. i, 184. Two years later he settled two messuages, a mill, a ploughland, &c., in Bretherton upon John, William and Robert; ibid. i, 189. This was probably the Bank estate, the ploughland being a moiety of the manor. John Banastre of Bretherton was a juror in the same year (Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 305), and, as stated above, attested a charter in 1310. Richard son of Adam Banastre of Bank made a grant to William son of Master Richard Banastre in 1313–14; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1559. A settlement of an oxgang of land, messuages, &c., in Bretherton and Walton was made in 1306 by the said Master Richard in favour of his son John, with remainders to William son of John son of Richard Banastre, and to John son of Adam Banastre; Final Conc. i, 208. Master Richard had other children, William, Adam, &c.; ibid. 205. Adam Banastre of Bank occurs in 1326; Cal. Pat. 1324–7, p. 291. He was probably the son of the Richard son of Adam of 1310 and 1313. In 1332 Adam, William and John Banastre contributed to the subsidy in Bretherton; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 43. In the same year John son of Richard Banastre and Avice his wife obtained land in Bretherton, which was to descend to their son William; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 84. The witnesses included Sir Adam Banastre, Adam Banastre of the Bank and William son of Richard Banastre. In 1339 in a grant by Richard de Bretherton to Nicholas son of Sir Thomas Banastre the witnesses included Adam Banastre of Bank, William son of Master Richard Banastre and William son of John Banastre of the Moor; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1561. Hugh son of William Banastre of the Moor occurs in 1356; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 23 d. Adam Banastre of Bank (? the elder) died c. 1348, having an heir Thomas, under age, whose wardship and marriage were claimed by Sir Nicholas le Boteler; De Banco R. 354, m. 232; 364, m. 89; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. I, pt. iii, m. 5 d.; 5, m. 7 d. In 1358 Sir Nicholas complained that Thomas had refused to marry Isabel daughter of William de Radcliffe and had instead married Isabel daughter of Sir John Fleming; Assize R. 438, m. 16 d. It appears that Adam Banastre the younger had left a daughter Emma, on whose death Thomas brother of Adam became the heir. He appears to have been son of the elder Adam; see below. Thomas Banastre of Bank remained in possession till about 1400, when he was succeeded by another Richard Banastre (1409–46) and he by a Henry Banastre the elder (1459 on), not the Henry named in the text, it would seem. A Richard son of Thomas Banastre of Bank was a grantee as early as 1381; Towneley MS. DD, no. 98. In an extent made in 1445–6 it was recorded that Richard Balderston and Richard Banastre held one plough-land in Bretherton for the tenth part of a knight's fee, the relief being 10s., of which Richard Banastre paid half; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. Henry Banastre of Bank is named in 1459; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 177. Thurstan Banastre of Bank (sometimes called son of Adam Banastre, at others brother of Thomas Banastre) occurs in many deeds from 1370 to 1395; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1580, 1588, &c. The two brothers seem to have purchased part or the whole of the inheritance of the above-named William son of Master Richard Banastre. Another Banastre family—perhaps descended from Thurstan—appears in the same collection of deeds (no. 1592 on); thus in 1413 land in the vill of Bretherton was settled on Hugh Banastre and Ellen his wife, with remainders to his brothers Ralph, Geoffrey (a chaplain) and Edward and their sister Margaret wife of Ralph Fairclough; to Thomas Banastre of Bank, bastard, and to Richard Banastre of Bank and his heirs; no. 1594. A grant was made to Ellen widow of Hugh Banastre in 1442 with remainders to Henry son of Hugh for life, and then to Thurstan son of Hugh; no. 1611. A later Thurstan son of Hugh and Agnes Banastre in 1518 sold to James Anderton of Euxton all his hereditary lands in Bretherton; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1612, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 11, m. 187. Thurstan Banastre married Isabel Fulford, and after his death at Hadleigh in Suffolk his widow in 1534 endeavoured to recover, their son Hugh being then ten years old; Duchy of Lanc. Dep. xxv, B 1. Again in 1569 the son, described as Hugh Banastre of 'Lyghe,' Somerset, yeoman—he calls himself 'a poor serving man'—made a further attempt; ibid. Plead. lxxviii, B 11. James Anderton died in 1552 holding lands in Bretherton of William Banastre by the rent of a pair of white gauntlets yearly, and the estate (including a windmill) descended to his son Hugh, who held it at his death in 1566; ibid. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 14; xi, no. 31.
  • 28. Ibid. vi, no. 34. Margery wife of Henry survived him.
  • 29. Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc.), 125.
  • 30. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 33; therein is recited the settlement on the marriage (1541) of Henry son of William son of Richard Banastre with Margaret daughter of Richard Worthington of Blainscough. An abstract of the will of Richard Ranastre (1548) is printed in Wills (Chet. Soc. new ser.), i, 200.
  • 31. Ibid. x, no. 37. About 1555 a servant of Henry Banastre complained that Sir Thomas Hesketh denied him right of fishery on Martin Mere; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 297.
  • 32. He recorded a pedigree in 1567; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 67. A settlement was made in 1565; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 27, m. 70.
  • 33. See pedigree in Visit. of 1613 (Chet. Soc.), 23. A grant of the manors of Bank Hall, Cuerden, &c., to Thomas Marbury is in Pat. 6 Jas. I, pt. xxi. The Preston Guild R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.) gives some particulars of the family.
  • 34. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 76. Christopher Banastre (brother of Henry), described as 'of Croston,' in 1631 paid £10 as composition on refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 214.
  • 35. Croston Reg. The inquisition records that he held the Bank of the king by 4½d. rent, also messuages, &c., and a windmill in Bretherton, with other lands in a dozen neighbouring townships. Henry, the son and heir, was six years old; his mother Elizabeth was living at Worden, and his grandmother Ellen Ireland, widow, at Wigan; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxix, no. 15. It is stated that the manor of Bretherton was forfeited by Nicholas Rigby and sold in 1653; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3100.
  • 36. Dugdale's Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 23.
  • 37. Towneley MS. OO, no. 1639 (end). Henry Banastre was buried at Croston 11 April 1665; Parish Reg.
  • 38. P.R.O. List, 73. Christopher Banastre in 1683 made settlement of the moiety of the manor of Bretherton, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 211, m. 46.
  • 39. See pedigree in Baines' Lancs. (ed. Croston), iv, 18. The marriage took place at Penwortham 19 November 1683. The younger daughter of Christopher (Elizabeth) married Robert Parker, ancestor of Parker of Cuerden.
  • 40. In other pedigrees called Elizabeth.
  • 41. Henrietta Maria Fleetwood (born 1684) married Thomas Legh, second son of Richard Legh of Lyme, and they lived at Bank; the husband was member for Newton in Makerfield from 1698 to 1710; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 286–7. He died before 1723, and his eldest son Fleetwood Legh, leaving two daughters (s.p.) at his death in 1726, was succeeded by his brother Peter Legh, who in 1744 inherited the Lyme and Newton estates on the death of his uncle, Peter Legh of Lyme. The younger Peter's heirs were his daughters Henrietta Maria and Elizabeth; the elder married (1763) Robert Vernon Atherton Gwillym-Atherton of Atherton, from whom Lord Lilford descends; while the younger, who died about 1816, and whose heir had the Bank Hall estate, married Anthony James Keck of Stoughton Grange, Leic., member for Newton 1768–80 (ibid. 289), and their son George Anthony Legh Keck inherited Bank. See Earwaker, East Cheshire, ii, 306. After his death without issue in 1860 it passed by bequest to a cousin, the Hon. Henry Littleton Powys, who took the surname of Keck, and then to his nephew, the late Lord Lilford, father of the present owner; Beamont, Warrington and Bewsey, 162. The Leghs of Lyme had held land in Bretherton from a much earlier time, for Peter Legh died in 1540 holding land there of the heir of Balderston and of Banastre of Bank; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii, no. 10.
  • 42. Agnes widow of William de Tarleton in 1246 sued Richard Banastre for dower in certain land; Assize R. 404, m. 2. Henry Tarleton of Bretherton, Thomas his brother, and many others of the name were in 1477 appealed of the death of John Hodgkinson; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 46, m. 5 d. In 1480 William Tarleton and Henry his son and heir made a feoffment of a messuage and lands in Bretherton; Towneley MS. DD, no. 276.
  • 43. William de Thorp in 1292 complained that William son of Ingott de Bretherton and Geoffrey son of Richard Banastre had disseised him of common of pasture; Assize R. 408, m. 51 d. Agnes daughter of John de Bretherton was a defendant in 1295; De Banco R. 118, m. 43 d. The following occur in Towneley's MS. OO: 1339—Adam son of Richard son of Roger Morisson (no. 1560); 1361—Thomas de Bretherton and Joan his wife (no. 1568); 1373—William Mareounson (no. 1575); 1387—Adam son of William (no. 1585); 1409— settlement by William Tomlinson (no. 1590–1); 1425–30—Richard son of William Tomlinson (no. 1602–3); 1440—Thomas and Margaret widow of Christopher (no. 1609). A certain Henry de Bretherton and Margery his wife about 1410 had lands in Wigan, Ashton in Makerfield, Wrightington, Croston and Euxton, which descended to their daughter Alice wife of John Standish and to Alice's son Christopher, and a new feoffment was made in 1440 after Alice's death; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 4, m. 21. Isabel Bretherton, widow, in 1533 sought lands held by James Anderton; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 47.
  • 44. James Scarisbrick died in 1502 holding an acre in Bretherton of the king as duke by the hundredth part of a knight's fee; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 10. Gabriel Hesketh of Aughton died in 1573 holding lands in Bretherton partly of the Earl of Derby by a rent of 9s. 2d. and partly of Henry Banastre of Bank by 1d. rent; ibid. xii, no. 32. Bartholomew the son of Gabriel appears to have sold most of it soon afterwards to Richard Taylor; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 48, m. 24, 292. Richard Taylor of Preston died in 1596 holding messuages, &c., of the Earl of Derby and Henry Banastre, and leaving a son Henry, aged sixteen; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 25. A later Richard Taylor died in 1631 holding the same estate by a similar tenure, and leaving a son Henry, sixteen years old; ibid. xxvii, no. 63. James Forshaw died in 1563 holding a messuage of the queen as of the late priory of St. John of Jerusalem by a rent of 4d., and leaving a son William of full age; ibid. xi, no. 41. John and William Forshaw in 1595 sold their estate in Bretherton, Penwortham and Preston to William Farington of Worden, who died in 1610 holding the land, &c., in Bretherton of the Earl of Derby in socage; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 184.
  • 45. Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 180, no. 106.
  • 46. Ibid. bdle. 131, no. 210.
  • 47. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 244. Richard Cliff paid £10 in 1631 on refusing knighthood; ibid. i, 214.
  • 48. Ibid. i, 166.
  • 49. Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 41. For Henry Snart see Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2767; v, 3218; and Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 116. He died about 1645; his daughter Jenet married Henry Dandy. John Hodges in 1649 compounded for his sequestrated estate, held of the Earl of Derby and Henry Banastre of Bank; ibid. iii, 230. George Norris was another who had to compound for his small estate, sequestered for 'adhering to the king in the beginning of the wars'; ibid. iv, 223.
  • 50. Land tax returns at Preston.
  • 51. It is named in 1292; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 375. Two grants to the order have been cited above. About 1540 the tenants and rents were: Edward Earl of Derby, for Somner's Croft, 12d., and another, 2s. 2d.; Thomas Lord Mounteagle, 6d.; Sir Robert Hesketh, 12d.; William Forshaw, 4d.; Richard Banastre, 12d.; James Anderton (bought from Thurstan Banastre), 12d.; Nicholas Todd, 8d.; John Smith, chaplain, 4d.; Kuerden MSS. v, fol. 83b.
  • 52. The gift of Richard le Boteler has been recorded above. Walter de Hoole gave two 'lands' in Hullcroft and a third in Rusfurlong; while Richard son of Gamel de Thorp gave two 'lands' in Thorp between the Hospitallers' land and the highway, and other pieces; Durham Cath. D. 2.2.4 Ebor. 49–51.
  • 53. Some grants have been quoted above. Walter de Hoole gave land, and Blakelache, Markpool and Crossford are named in the deed; Burscough Reg. fol. 53b. In 1536 Henry Banastre of Bank held land of the priory, paying 12d. rent; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 4, no. 6a, 6 b.
  • 54. The grants to Cockersand have been quoted. For the tenants 1451–1537 see Cockersand Chartul. iii, 2160–1.
  • 55. Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 45b, quoted above.
  • 56. Hewitson, Our Country Churches, 232.
  • 57. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 407; Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconformity, ii, 31–41. Preaching began about 1790 and met with much opposition from the rector of Croston and the people.
  • 58. For district see Lond. Gaz. 4 Apr. 1843.
  • 59. Ibid. 3 Apr. 1866.
  • 60. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 359. The founder, James Fletcher, a London merchant, was born at Bretherton. He purchased part of the confiscated estates of James seventh Earl of Derby; Royalist Comp. Papers, ii, 240.