Townships: Adlington

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

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'Townships: Adlington', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1911), British History Online [accessed 14 July 2024].

'Townships: Adlington', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Edited by William Farrer, J Brownbill( London, 1911), British History Online, accessed July 14, 2024,

"Townships: Adlington". A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6. Ed. William Farrer, J Brownbill(London, 1911), , British History Online. Web. 14 July 2024.

In this section


Adelventon, 1202; Adlinton, 1292; Adlincton, 1295; Addelyngton, 1346.

This township is bounded on the south-east by the Douglas, and is separated by Buckow Brook from Worthington on the west and by the Ellerbeck from Duxbury on the north. The village or small town of Adlington lies near the north-east border; in the south is the district called Crawshaw. The area is 1,064 acres, (fn. 1) and there was in 1901 a population of 4,253.

The principal road is that from Manchester through Blackrod to Chorley and Preston, which is crossed at the village by a winding road from Wigan to Rivington. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Company's railway from Bolton to Preston passes through the village, where there is a station, and a junction with the joint line of the same company and the London and North Western, coming from the south, with a station called White Bear. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal also passes through, to the west of the railway.

The soil is clayey, with subsoil of clay; wheat, oats and potatoes are grown. Cotton-spinning, bleaching and printing works are the chief industries.

A monstrous birth in 1613 was the subject of a pamphlet by Mr. Leigh, the rector of Standish. (fn. 2)

Sixty-two hearths in all were enumerated for the hearth tax of 1666, the largest houses having six each. (fn. 3)

A local board was formed in 1872 (fn. 4); this has since 1894 been replaced by an urban district council of twelve members. The cemetery is controlled by a board of six members.

A grammar of the dialect of Adlington, by John Hargreaves, was published at Heidelberg in 1904. (fn. 5)


ADLINGTONappears to have been part of the five plough-lands belonging to the barony of Penwortham granted by Warine Bussell to Randle son of Roger de Marsey, (fn. 6) and held in later times by the Ferrers family and the lords of Leylandshire. In this way it became joined with Heath Charnock in the feodaries. In 1378 it was stated that Sir Nicholas de Harrington and his parceners held the third part of a knight's fee in these townships, (fn. 7) and in 1445–6 Lord Ferrers of Groby and Thomas Harrington held the same third part. (fn. 8) There seems to have been a partition between them, for in the later inquisitions certain lands are stated to be held of Lord Mounteagle, the successor of the Harringtons, while others were held of the lords of Leylandshire.

The immediate lordship was held by a local family, but in 1202 Walter de Adlington granted 6 oxgangs of his land to Siward de Duxbury, (fn. 9) and thus it was found that in 1288 Adlington was held of William de Ferrers in moieties, Hugh de Adlington holding one by a rent of 2s. 9d., suit to the wapentake court, and half a pound of cammin, value 1½d., while Adam de Duxbury held the other by a rent of 2s. 9d. (fn. 10)

Of the Adlington family there are but scanty records till the 16th century. (fn. 11) Hugh Adlington died 28 September 1525 holding messuages, &c., in Adlington, Duxbury, Chorley, Coppull, Worthington and Thornton. The estate in Adlington and Duxbury, which is not called a manor, was held of Lord Mounteagle by fealty and a rent of 3s. 9d. Hugh's son Robert having died before his father, the heir was Hugh son of Robert, then ten years old. (fn. 12) Hugh Adlington the herald 'spake not withal' at the visitation of 1533 (fn. 13); he died in 1556 holding the same estate and leaving as heir his son John, aged eighteen years. (fn. 14) Pedigrees were recorded in 1567, 1613 and 1664, (fn. 15) so that the descent of the estate is clear for this period. Hugh Adlington died at Adlington in 1640 holding the 'manor' of Lord Morley and Mounteagle by the old rent of 3s. 9d., but no other lands are named in the inquisition. His son and heir Hugh was forty years of age. (fn. 16) Hugh's eldest son John died before him—being killed, it was stated, while assisting the king's forces at the siege of Chester in 1644 (fn. 17) —so that he was succeeded by a younger son, Peter; but, he having no surviving issue, the manor descended to John's daughter Eleanor, who married Samuel Robinson of Chester, a settlement of the estate being made in 1664. (fn. 18)

Adlington. Sable a cheveron between three antelopes' heads argent attired or.

It was before 1700 purchased by a merchant, Thomas Clayton, who also acquired Worthington, and died in 1722, aged ninety-one. The estate descended to his grandson Richard Clayton, chief justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland. After his death in 1770 it went to his nephew, Sir Richard, created a baronet in 1774. (fn. 19) He died while consul at Nantes in 1828, and was ultimately succeeded by his daughter Henrietta wife of General Robert Browne, who assumed the surname of Clayton. (fn. 20) Their only son, Richard Clayton BrowneClayton, died at Bournemouth in November 1886, and, his only son having fallen in the attack on the Redan at Sebastopol, Adlington Hall went to Mr. James Robert Browne Clayton Dawbeny, (fn. 21) now lord of the manor. No manor courts are held, but such courts were held a century ago. (fn. 22)

Claynton of Adlington, baronet. Argent a cross engrailed sable between four toureaux.

Adlington Hall (fn. 23) is a modern classic mansion of brick and stone, standing on high ground, erected about 1770 by Sir Richard Clayton, bart., on the site of an ancient timber and plaster house. The front, which faces south, has a projecting middle part with rusticated base and pediment, and is two stories in height with an attic.

The Duxbury moiety of the manor appears to have been sold or otherwise alienated early in the 14th century, becoming much subdivided. (fn. 24) Among the later holders, (fn. 25) some probably holding fractions of this moiety, are found the families of Asshaw (fn. 26) and Radcliffe, (fn. 27) Allanson, (fn. 28) Aughton (fn. 29) and Anderton, (fn. 30) Crosse (fn. 31) and Breres, (fn. 32) Lancelyn (fn. 33) and Worthington of Crawshaw. (fn. 34) Lands once belonging to St. Nicholas' chantry in Standish Church (fn. 35) seem to have been acquired by William Heaton, who died in 1619, leaving a son and heir Thomas, eighteen years of age. (fn. 36)

John Pilkington, who had at first adhered to the king, but, becoming convinced of his error, had then borne arms for the Parliament in the Civil War, yet found his estate sequestered, and begged leave to compound in 1651. (fn. 37) Sir Richard Clayton and Thomas Gillibrand were the chief landowners in 1783, the former paying about half the land tax. (fn. 38)

In connexion with the Church of England Christ Church was built in 1839; it is now used as a chapel of ease to St. Paul's, erected in 1884. (fn. 39) The vicars are collated by the Bishop of Manchester. There is an iron mission church. A Reformed Episcopal church was built in 1900.

There are Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and Congregational churches. (fn. 40)


  • 1. 1,062 acres, including 21 of inland water; Census Rep. of 1901.
  • 2. Fishwick, Lancs. Library, 377.
  • 3. Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9. The houses of Peter Adlington and Ralph Bayley were those having six hearths; Lawrence Worthington's had five.
  • 4. Lond. Gaz. 13 Sept. 1872.
  • 5. Note by Mr. Anderton.
  • 6. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 29. The Earl of Lincoln, as lord of Penwortham, had in 1311 an ancient yearly rent of 3s. from Duxbury and Adlington; De Lacy Inq. (Chet. Soc.), 22. The free rents due to Penwortham were claimed as late as 1590; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 89, 240.
  • 7. Harl. MS. 2085, fol. 123.
  • 8. Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20.
  • 9. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 18. As an assize of mort d'ancestor had been summoned between them the division was perhaps due to inheritance through co-heiresses. Siward de Duxbury, however, was to hold of Walter, paying a rent of 3s. 6d. at Martinmas.
  • 10. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 269, 270.
  • 11. From the change of rent payable according to the 16th-century inquisitions it appears that the Adlington family then had more than the moiety held in 1288, but land in Duxbury was included in the later tenement. Some notes of the family charters are preserved in Kuerden MSS. iii, A 2, and iv, A 2. See also an account of the family in Pal. Note-book, v, 4–7. In 1246 Roger, John and Randle de Adlington called upon William de Ferrers (as successor of Marsey) to acquit them of the services demanded by the guardians of the Earl of Lincoln's lands (in right of the fee of Penwortham); Assize R. 404, m. 14 d. Richard de Adlington was a juror in 1254; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 193. Alice widow of Richard de Adlington resigned to Hugh her eldest son part of her land in Adlington, to be held of William de Ferrers; Kuerden MSS. iii, A 2, no. 23. She also granted to William son of William de Worthington and his wife Mabel her daughter lands in Edcroft, Chollaycroft and Godithcroft, with the service of Robert le Noreys; ibid. no. 24. Hugh de Adlington, as stated in the text, was tenant of a moiety in 1288. In 1292 he was non-suited in a claim against Robert le Noreys respecting a tenement in Adlington, while William de Worthington and Mabel his wife were non-suited in a claim against Hugh de Adlington; Assize R. 408, m. 46, 57. In the same year Hugh conceded a moiety of the waste in Adlington to William de Worthington and Mabel; Kuerden, loc. cit. no. 25. There was another Hugh then living, son of John de Adlington. He granted to William his son land between Blackden and the lands of Hugh de Adlington with the homage, &c., of Hugh the brother of William and of William de Blackburnshire and Isabel his wife. This land was held of Henry de Duxbury; ibid. no. 22. Ellen widow of Hugh de Adlington in 1320–1 gave half the manor of Adlington to William her eldest son; ibid. no. 4. Robert le Noreys the younger in 1319 called Thomas son of Hugh de Adlington to warrant him; De Banco R. 230, m. 70 d. Thomas de Adlington made an exchange of lands in 1345; Kuerden, loc. cit. no. 6. Thomas and John de Adlington contributed to the subsidy in 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 53. The latter is probably the John son of Hugh de Adlington to whom his father's trustee in 1307 (?) gave certain lands in Adlington; Kuerden, loc. cit. no. 2. At the same time John de Adlington gave to Gilbert de Standish, rector of Standish, the manor of Adlington and lands in Duxbury and Chorley; ibid. no 1. The date (1 Edw. II) is a difficulty, because Gilbert did not become rector till 1357. The first witness was Sir William Banaster, kt. Robert le Noreys, already mentioned, in 1322 made a settlement of his estate in Blackrod and Adlington; Final Conc. ii, 48. His son Hugh in 1359 granted to Richard son of Hugh de Duxbury lands in Adlington received from Thomas son of Thomas de Adlington; Kuerden MSS. iii, W 31, no. 1174. In 1374 Sir Nicholas de Harrington complained that Robert de Rishton had abducted Thomas son and heir of Hugh de Adlington, and he claimed wardship; De Banco R. 455, m. 168 d., 424. Hugh de Adlington, Cecily his wife, Nicholas de Worthington and Joan his wife had in 1443 a plea respecting land with John son of Robert del Street; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 5, m. 8. Robert Adlington was in 1450 the husband of Elizabeth, one of the daughters and heirs of William Thornton of Thornton in the Fylde, and her share of the manor descended in the Adlington family till 1601; Final Conc. iii, 117. Hugh Adlington the elder in 1469 granted to Robert his son and heir the manor of Adlington with appurtenances and lands there and in Duxbury, Coppull, Worthington and Chorley; Kuerden MSS. iii, A 2, no. 7. Robert at once made a feoffment of the manor, and it was regranted to him in 1476 with successive remainders to his sons Hugh and Christopher; ibid. no. 8, 9. In the following year the Abbot of Abingdon gave leave to Robert Adlington, Elizabeth his wife and others to choose a confessor with plenary indulgence; ibid. no. 16. This Elizabeth was a daughter of Henry Rishton; Dunkenhalgh D. (1475). A marriage between Robert son of Hugh son of Robert Adlington and Lora daughter of Gilbert Langtree was agreed upon in 1489–90; Kuerden, loc. cit. no. 21. In 1495 Robert Adlington the elder demised to Hugh his son and heir the manor of Adlington; ibid. no. 10. Hugh Adlington in 1512 granted to Robert, his son and heir, and George Carleton the manor of Adlington, &c.; ibid. no. 12. This may have been a settlement on the occasion of Robert's marriage.
  • 12. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 73. There are recited the provisions made by Hugh the elder for his grandson's wife Margaret daughter of Roger Asshaw. Besides Robert there was a younger son Gilbert.
  • 13. Visit. of 1533 (Chet. Soc.), 192.
  • 14. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 34. John Adlington made various settlements of his manor of Adlington, with its dovecote, water-mill, &c., and lands in the township in 1560, 1572 and 1591; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 22, m. 42; 32, m. 76; 41, m. 60; 53, m. 237. In the last his wife Margaret and his son and heir Hugh were joined with him. Out of one of these settlements a dispute arose in 1588, Roger Adlington brother of John claiming as next in succession; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. cxliv, A 22; cxcvi, A 1; cxliv, A 11. Hugh Adlington (1556) had had an elder son Robert, whose marriage with Katherine daughter of Ralph Orrell of Turton was agreed on in 1549. Hugh died, and his widow married Ralph Bradshaw, and they in 1564 claimed various lands against John the brother and heir of Hugh; ibid. Eliz. lviii, B 25.
  • 15. Printed by the Chetham Society: Visit. 1567, p. 70; 1613, p. 119; 1664. p. 1.
  • 16. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxix, no. 2. In 1625 Hugh son and heir of Hugh Adlington sold land called Jollycrofts to Peter Anderton of Anderton; Pal. Notebook, v, 6. William Anderton (son of Peter) sold the same in 1653 to George Shaw of Anglezarke; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 400.
  • 17. Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 11–17. The father's estate was seized by the Parliament for the son's 'delinquency,' and after being restored to the father was again 'secured,' he being called upon to show his title.
  • 18. See the visitation pedigree; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 173, m. 74; Cal. Exch. of Pleas, A 33.
  • 19. There is a memoir of Sir Richard Clayton, first baronet, in Dict. Nat. Biog.; he published essays and translations.
  • 20. See Raines in Notitia Cestr. iii, 393, and Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 515; Sir Robert, a younger brother of Sir Richard, had a life interest in the manor. Pedigrees of the family will be found in the older Baronetages and in Burke's Landed Gentry, but they are erroneous, and have been superseded by that of Mr. R. Stewart-Brown in the Genealogist. Thomas Clayton, the younger brother of Robert Clayton of Fulwood, was described as 'citizen of London' in the pedigree recorded in 1664 and as 'merchant of Liverpool' in the Preston Guild Roll of 1682. Thomas has a monument in Standish Church. His son Richard, who died in 1728, had a numerous family, Sir Richard the judge, who also has a monument in Standish Church, being the third son, and John, the father of the first baronet, being the fifth.
  • 21. Information of Mr. Dawbeny.
  • 22. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iii, 515, writes as if the courts had then ceased.
  • 23. There is an illustration in Twycross' Lancs. Mansions, i, 55.
  • 24. Perhaps it should not be spoken of as a moiety; see a preceding note. A branch of the Duxbury family continued to hold lands in Adlington as in Duxbury itself. Thus Ughtred Duxbury in 1513–14 made a feoffment of his lands, including some in Adlington; Standish D. (Local Glean. ii), no. 220. Thomas Duxbury had the same in 1525; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 11, m. 177. These were probably the lands in Adlington held by Edward Standish of Standish in 1610; the superior lord was Hugh Adlington, and a rent of 6d. was payable; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 191.
  • 25. Various suits introduce holders of land in the township. In 1292 Thomas Wen was non-suited in a claim against William de Worthington and Mabel his wife; Assize R. 408, m. 58. John son of Thomas Wen in 1305 claimed 7 acres in Adlington against Henry son of Thomas Wen, Henry Nightegale and others, Henry in the result being sent to gaol for denying his own charter; ibid. 420, m. 7. Henry son of Robert de Walhull also succeeded in his claim against Henry Wen; ibid. Thomas Wen, on the other hand, sought messuages and land in Adlington in 1343 against Alice daughter of Henry de Walhull and others; De Banco R. 337, m. 93 d. John Wen in 1346 demised for life to Adam de Perburn land from the waste in 'Foghmore' which he held by grant of Thomas son of Henry Wen; Kuerden MSS. iii, A 2, no. 3, 5. The Norris and Street families have been mentioned in preceding notes.
  • 26. Roger Asshaw's messuages and land in Adlington in 1540 were held of the heir of William de Ferrers by a rent of 8¼d. yearly; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii, no. 11.
  • 27. Ibid. xxv, no. 6. See further in the account of Heath Charnock.
  • 28. Reginald Allanson, who died in 1598 holding a messuage, &c., in Adlington, is noticed in Heath Charnock. The residence, however, seems to have been in Adlington, at a place called Rigshaw. George Allanson, who was the son and heir of Reginald, in 1627 made a small grant of land near Allanson House to Hugh Adlington; Kuerden MSS. iii, A 2, no. 18.
  • 29. Thomas Aughton in 1468 complained of assault at Adlington by Hugh, Robert, Christopher, James and Robert son of Robert Adlington and others; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. file 8, Edw. IV. Thomas Aughton was a defendant in 1530; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 148, m. 13 d. James Aughton alias Hollins died in 1597 holding a messuage, &c., in Adlington of John Adlington as of his manor of Adlington by the moiety of a knight's fee and a rent of 3d. Hugh his son and heir was seventeen years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 78. According to a pedigree recorded in 1567 (Visit. p. 68), John Aughton of Adlington was descended from a Thomas Aughton who had married the heir of Charnock of Adlington. James Aughton's name is not given. The name Hollins occurs at Adlington in 1448; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 11, m. 32b. James Hollins of Adlington, tailor, in 1530–1 complained that whereas he and his ancestors had been used to carry by a certain way from his messuage to the common pasture of the town, John Lawrenson alias Gibson had obstructed it by making a ditch there; Pal. of Lanc. Assize R. 10. James Hollins made a settlement in 1539; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 169, m. 13. John Gibson was accused of trespass on Biggeshay Common in 1543; Pal. of Lanc. Writs of Assize, bdle. 20. A Reginald Gibson sold or mortgaged messuages, &c., in Adlington to Alexander and Nicholas Rigby in 1559; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 21, m. 93. James Aughton or Hollins and Margaret his wife demised part of their estate in 1588; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 50, m. 205. Hugh Hollins, the heir, was plaintiff in 1601; Ducatus Lanc. iii, 461.
  • 30. Roger Anderton in 1593 purchased from James Aughton and Alexander Sharples alias Ward and Anne his wife the 'manor' of Adlington and various lands; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 55, m. 197. From the pedigree above referred to it appears that Anne was one of the daughters and co-heirs of John Aughton. The purchaser was no doubt the son of Christopher Anderton of Lostock who had himself made various purchases in Adlington and Heath Charnock; see Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 27. As Roger Anderton of Birchley, near Wigan, the son held some land in 1640, but the tenure is not stated; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, no. 7. Roger Anderton, a convicted recusant, paid to the subsidy in 1628; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 167. In 1654 Robert Holt purchased the 'manor' of Adlington with lands, &c., in Adlington, Anderton and Blackrod, from James Anderton (of Birchley), Anne his wife, Roger Anderton, William Anderton (of Anderton), Magdalen his wife, William Anderton, Thomas Gillibrand, Anne his wife, John Gillibrand and Elizabeth his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 153, m. 195.
  • 31. Roger Crosse in 1522 held messuages and land in Adlington of the lords of Leylandshire by a rent of 8½d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 18.
  • 32. Lawrence Breres, the heir of Crosse, held land in Adlington in 1584 of the Earl of Derby and Sir Richard Shireburne by the above rent of 8½d.; ibid. xiv, no. 8. See ibid. xvii, no. 34, and Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 233. The houses, &c., were sold to Roger Fazakerley of Walton; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2521.
  • 33. The Lancelyns held lands, &c., in Adlington, Charnock Gogard and Duxbury of the heir of Lord de Ferrers; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 23; ix, no. 1. 'Lancelyn's meadow' was in the time of Edward VI in the possession of Lawrence Asshaw (Ducatus Lanc. i, 262), so that he may have purchased the Lancelyn estate in the neighbourhood.
  • 34. The descent of this family is unknown. It is possible that they represented the William de Worthington and Mabel his wife whose possessions about 1300 have been named in preceding notes. Thomas de Worthington and Nicholas his brother occur in 1369; Kuerden MSS. iii, W 27. The former seems to have been of Blainscough, the latter may have been of Crawshaw. Nicholas de Worthington and Joan his wife have occurred in 1443. A writ of diem claus. extr. after the death of Lawrence Worthington in 1446 may refer to one of this family; Lancs. Rec. Inq. p.m. no. 32. Pedigrees were recorded in 1613 (Visit. Chet. Soc. p. 126) and 1665 (Dugdale's Visit. p. 342). The former begins with a Christopher Worthington, probably living in the time of Edward IV. Christopher was no doubt the husband (1450) of Joan, another of the daughters and heirs of William Thornton already named; Final Conc. iii, 117. Joan died in 1501 holding part of Thornton and leaving a son and heir Lawrence, aged thirty; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 108. Thomas Worthington of Crawshaw died in 1627 holding a capital messuage and lands of Hugh Adlington as of his manor of Adlington; he also held lands, &c., in Chorley and Thornton in the Fylde. His son and heir Lawrence was forty-two years of age in 1641, when the inquisition was taken; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), p. 1292. Lawrence Worthington, living in 1665, is said to have been succeeded by three daughters—Agnes, who married Thomas Wesley of Chorley; Dorothy, who married William Barnes of Blackrod; and Anne; Piccope MS. Pedigrees (Chet. Lib.), ii, 317. The Worthingtons of Snydale in Westhoughton were an offshoot of this family.
  • 35. Pat. 25 Eliz. The tenant was Robert Sutton.
  • 36. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 160. The tenement was called Sutton House, and was held of the king as of his manor of East Greenwich.
  • 37. Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2757. The land seems to have been part of Roger Breres' estate. John Rigby of Shevington was a claimant.
  • 38. Land tax returns at Preston.
  • 39. For district see Lond. Gaz. 16 Aug. 1842.
  • 40. Services began in 1861 in a room over a workshop; the church was built four years later. See Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. ii, 25.