A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
In this section
Euckeston, 1212; Eukeston, 1242 and usual; Euesketon, 1275; Euketon, 1276; Eukestone, 1304. Pronounced Exton locally.
The township of Euxton is divided by a brook running from east to west to join the Yarrow, which river forms the southern boundary. The surface of the ground rises to the south and to the north of the brook, attaining 250 ft. in the north-east. The village, Euxton Burgh, (fn. 1) is somewhat to the east of the township's centre, and has Buckshaw to the northeast, Runshaw to the north-west, (fn. 2) and Shaw Green to the west. The area measures 2,934 acres, (fn. 3) and the population in 1901 numbered 1,132. Around Euxton Hall there is a park of about 100 acres.
The principal road is that going from south to north through the village; it is part of the Wigan and Preston road. There are two cross roads; that from Chorley goes through the southern part of the township to Shaw Green, and that from Hartwood Green through the northern part, dividing so that one branch goes north past Runshaw to Leyland and the other branch turns south to Shaw Green. The London and North Western Company's main line runs from south to north, having a station named Balshaw Lane and Euxton to the south of the village; it is joined near the northern boundary by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's line from Bolton to Preston, the latter having a station, Euxton Junction, just at the junction.
The soil is loamy, with subsoil of clay. Corn is grown.
The township is governed by a parish council.
Charles II lodged at the Andertons' house at Euxton in 1651 when on his way south to Worcester. (fn. 4)
There are remains of an ancient cross. (fn. 5) The stocks are standing.
In 1666 the principal houses were those of John Farnworth and Hugh Anderton at the lower end of the township and Edward and John Robinson at the upper end; also Seth Bushell and William Shorrock. (fn. 6)
About 1690 Dr. Kuerden stated: 'There is a water corn mill, called Pincock mill, standing upon the river of Yarrow, and adjacent to it a fair arched stone bridge over the said river in London post-road . . . and below the bridge standeth a paper-mill, and a little below that another corn-mill called Armetriding mill. Upon the banks of this river are some quarries of stone of very large flags and slate.' (fn. 7)
The church historian, Hugh Tootell, better known by his alias of Charles Dodd, is believed to have been a native of Euxton. He was related to the Tootells of Healey in Chorley and was born in 1671. He went to Douay in 1688, and was ordained and sent on the English mission about ten years later, returning to the Continent after a short time. He was author of many historical and controversial works, and a vigorous opponent of the Jesuits, but his fame rests on his Church History from 1500 to 1688, published in three folio volumes, 1737–42. He died at Harvington in 1743. (fn. 8)
The manor of EUXTON, assessed at two plough-lands, was a member of the barony of Penwortham, and land was early granted out to a number of tenants. The abbey of Evesham had 2 oxgangs of land there. (fn. 9) In 1212 it was found that Roger de Lacy had granted the service of the two plough-lands in Euxton to Robert Bussel, together with other lands in Longton and Leyland, the service for the whole being that of the tenth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 10) Thirty years later Robert Bussel, no doubt the same person, held it of the fee of the Earl of Lincoln, who held of Earl de Ferrers. (fn. 11) Shortly after this, however, Adam de Holland is found to be the most important personage in the place (fn. 12); he is supposed to have married a daughter and co-heir of Bussel. Certain it is that the holding was divided, Longton and Leyland going to the Walton and Farington families, while Euxton remained with the Hollands and their heirs. In 1302 the tenth of a knight's fee was held by John de Farington and others. (fn. 13)
Adam de Holland was succeeded by his son Robert, (fn. 14) and he by William de Holland, (fn. 15) his son. In 1301 the king granted Robert 'de Euxton' (Holland of Euxton) a charter for a market every week on Tuesday, and a fair every year on the feast of St. Barnabas; also for free warren in his demesne lands of Euxton. (fn. 16) Here as in many other places Thomas Earl of Lancaster created a mesne manor in favour of Sir Robert de Holland, which was forfeited after the rebellion of 1322. Thus in 1323 it was found that William de Holland had died holding certain lands, &c., in Euxton of Robert de Holland, which were then in the king's hands by reason of the forfeiture; the manor, demesne lands, and watermill were held of the king as of the fee of Penwortham in socage by suit at the six weeks' court at Lancaster and at the three weeks' court of the wapentake, and by a rent of 1lb. of cummin. Other lands were held of the master of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in England by a rent of 6s. 2d. Robert, his son and heir, was eleven years of age. (fn. 17)
Robert de Holland (fn. 18) was succeeded by William, probably his brother, (fn. 19) but ultimately by Joan the daughter of Robert. She married William de Molyneux (who died in 1358), son of the lord of Sefton, (fn. 20) their son Sir William de Molyneux succeeding to Euxton, in which his widow Agnes had dower after his death in 1372. (fn. 21) Down to 1729 the manor remained in the Molyneux family, (fn. 22) but was then sold, with lands in the township, and disappears from the records for nearly a century. It is stated to have been acquired by James Longworth of Liverpool, whose descendants afterwards sold it to William Ince Anderton of Euxton, (fn. 23) in whose family it has remained till the present time.
The growth of this branch of the Andertons is somewhat obscure. They do not appear to have owned any land in the township till 1600, though they resided there from the latter part of the 15th century and long farmed the tithes. (fn. 24) Oliver Anderton of Anderton, who died in 1466, by violence as it is said, had a younger son Hugh, described as 'of Euxton.' He was succeeded in 1516 or 1517 by a son James, who acquired lands in Bretherton and other places, (fn. 25) and in 1538 claimed lands in Healey, near Chorley. (fn. 26) His son was another Hugh, (fn. 27) who acquired a moiety of Clayton, which descended to his eldest son James, (fn. 28) some tenement in Euxton going to a younger son, William, who was probably an infant at his father's death. (fn. 29) The family adhered to the Roman Catholic religion, (fn. 30) and at the outbreak of the Civil War Hugh Anderton, (fn. 31) son of William, zealously espoused the king's side, was appointed commissary-general by the Earl of Derby and had the rank of major; he took part in the fighting alike in Lancashire and in Ireland and surrendered at Dublin. (fn. 32) His estates and those of his mother Isabel were sequestered by the Parliament, and his were ordered for sale in 1653. (fn. 33) He was living, sixty-four years old, in 1664, when a pedigree was recorded. (fn. 34) He died about 1670, (fn. 35) and was succeeded by his son William, who was accused of participation in Jacobite plots after the Revolution and imprisoned. (fn. 36) At his death in 1704 (fn. 37) William was succeeded by a son Hugh, whose estates were forfeited temporarily for high treason by some participation in the Jacobite rising of 1715. (fn. 38) Hugh's son William (fn. 39) succeeded in 1721, and at his death in 1744 (fn. 40) was followed (fn. 41) by a son of the same name, who increased the family estates by his marriage with Frances Sobieski, daughter and heir of Christopher Ince of Ince in Makerfield. In 1811 William Anderton was followed by his son William Ince Anderton, who, as stated above, purchased the manor of Euxton. He was succeeded by his son and grandson; the last-named, Major William Arthur Alphonsus Joseph Ince Anderton, is the present owner of the manor and estates. (fn. 42)
Euxton Hall was rebuilt in 1849–50, replacing a plain classic building of two stories, with pediment and pillared porch, erected in 1739 (fn. 43) on the site of a still older house.
A number of minor families occur in the earlier pleadings, as Armetriding, (fn. 44) Bussel, (fn. 45) Dacre, (fn. 46) Euxton, (fn. 47) Whalley, (fn. 48) and others. (fn. 49) The estate called RUNSHAW was held successively by Lancaster of Rainhill (fn. 50) and Farnworth. (fn. 51) Last century Runshaw Hall was acquired by William Bretherton, father of the rector of Eccleston, and he died there in September 1890, aged sixty-three. It is now the residence of Mr. Norris Bretherton.
BUCKSHAW was long the seat of a family named Robinson, (fn. 52) who were considerable landowners in the district; they recorded a pedigree in 1664. (fn. 53) Buckshaw Hall, now a farm-house, is situated in the north-east corner of the township, and is a house of the H-type of plan, originally a timber and plaster building, probably of the 16th century, on a stone base. The house was considerably restored in 1885, when the spaces between the timbers were filled in with brick and the roofs covered with blue slates. Four stones found in an adjoining field, bearing the initials E.R., (fn. 54) three of them dated 1654, are now built into the house, one in the north gable and the others at the back. The front, which faces west and is about 56 ft. in length, retains many of its original characteristics, though all the windows and the barge-boards are new. The end wings are gabled, with plaster coves marking the line of floor and caves. The spaces between the framing seem to have had straight and curved pieces forming quatrefoil ornaments, and some of these remain. There is a projecting stone chimney at the south end, and at the back a good brick chimney of three detached shafts with zigzag filling between. The interior is uninteresting, being much modernized. The hall is entered through a porch in the north wing and measures 15 ft. by 17 ft. 6 in. The floor is flagged and the ceiling, which is 9 ft. 6 in. high, is plain and crossed by a single beam. In the kitchen in the north wing is a fireplace opening 10 ft. wide.
Some other names appear in the inquisitions. (fn. 55)
As already mentioned, the Hospitallers had an estate in the township. (fn. 56)
In addition to Hugh Anderton and his mother, several others of the township had their lands sequestered in the time of the Commonwealth for religious or political reasons, (fn. 57) John Smith's being confiscated altogether. (fn. 58) Richard Moore, William Roscow, and Elizabeth Woodcock, widow, as 'Papists,' registered small estates in 1717. (fn. 59) The principal landowners in 1786 were the heirs of James Longworth, paying about a seventh of the land tax, William Anderton (double assessed), the trustees of Goosnargh Charity, Peter Brooke (afterwards Townley Parker) and John Johnson (double assessed). (fn. 60)
A chapel, of which traces are extant, existed in the 14th century, and is supposed to have been rebuilt by one of the Molyneux family in 1513. (fn. 61) The curate from 1548 to 1563 was Thomas Shorrock. (fn. 62) After the Reformation the chapel seems to have been allowed to fall into decay, (fn. 63) and it is said that the only use made of it as a place of worship was by the missionary priests, who occasionally said mass there. (fn. 64) It had, however, a minister in 1650. (fn. 65) In the time of Charles II Lord Molyneux claimed it as his private property, (fn. 66) but it was recovered for the Church of England about 1700, repaired, and provided with a small endowment through Thomas Armetriding, vicar of Leyland, (fn. 67) whose heirs had the patronage. The present patron is the widow of the late Col. R. Cokayne-Frith. (fn. 68) No dedication is known. The registers begin in 1774. In the churchyard is a sundial, dated 1775.
The following have been curates and vicars (fn. 69) :—
|1729||Richard Clayton (fn. 70)|
|1751||John Heskin, B.A. (Christ Ch., Oxf)|
|1752||Richard Meadowcroft, B.A. (fn. 71) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)|
|1753||John Lowes (fn. 72)|
|1774||James Armetriding, M.A. (fn. 73) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)|
|1795||John Lowes (fn. 74)|
|1799||Robert Procter (fn. 75)|
|1838||John Williams, B.A. (fn. 76)|
|1892||Henry John Greswell Beloe|
A school was founded by John Longworth in 1759. (fn. 77)
There is a Wesleyan chapel.
As in other cases nothing is known of the provision for Roman Catholic worship for a century and a half after the Reformation. (fn. 78) A room in Euxton Hall, the residence of the Andertons, was used during the 18th century, and a chapel was built by subscription in 1817. Afterwards this was repurchased by William Ince Anderton, and a new church, St. Mary's, was built in 1865. The south-west transept is the Anderton chapel. (fn. 79) The registers begin in 1742.