Townships: Worthington

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

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'Townships: Worthington', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 222-224. British History Online [accessed 25 June 2024].

. "Townships: Worthington", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 222-224. British History Online, accessed June 25, 2024,

. "Townships: Worthington", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 222-224. British History Online. Web. 25 June 2024,

In this section


Wurthington, 1220; Worthinton, 1242; Worthington, 1290; Werthinton, 1302. The 'g' seems to be inserted or omitted indifferently.

This triangular township, lying between the Buckow and Bradley Brooks, has an area of 659 acres. (fn. 1) The surface rises to about 280 ft. near the north-west corner. The Buckow Brook falls into the Douglas, which at this point has been formed into reservoirs for the Wigan Corporation Water Works. The population numbered 258 in 1901.

The principal road is that from Wigan to Chorley. The London and North Western Company's line from Wigan to Preston passes through the western corner of the township; there are some colliery railway lines.

The soil is clay and gravel, with subsoil of sand and gravel; wheat and oats are grown, and some of the land is in pasturage.

In 1666 there were in the township only twentythree hearths charged to the hearth tax. The largest house, Mr. Worthington's, had four hearths. (fn. 2)


In 1212 it was found that WORTHINGTON and Coppull were held of the lord of Manchester by the service of half a knight's fee, Thomas de Worthington being the immediate tenant. (fn. 3) Suit to the court of Manchester was required, the lord of Worthington being one of the judges (fn. 4); the grith-serjeant also could demand puture, the township being in the upper bailiwick of the barony. (fn. 5) The connexion with Manchester continued to be recognized, at least nominally, down to the 17th century. (fn. 6)

Thomas de Worthington's tenure was 'of ancient time' in 1212, but, though the family continued to hold the manor until the end of the 17th century, little is known of their history. Thomas, called son of Robert de Worthington, gave a part of his land to Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 7) In 1227 Robert Grelley agreed with Thomas de Worthington as to the suit due to the court of Manchester. (fn. 8) Thomas's son William de Worthington held the half-fee in 1242, (fn. 9) and as late as April 1282. (fn. 10) Soon afterwards Hugh de Worthington appears, (fn. 11) but he did not hold the manor long, William de Worthington contributing to the aid of 1302 for half a fee, except the tenth part, in Worthington. (fn. 12) William, who appears to have had four sons or more, (fn. 13) was still in possession in 1320, (fn. 14) and perhaps in 1332, (fn. 15) but his son Hugh de Worthington and John de Heaton paid in 1346–55 to the aid in respect of the half-fee in Worthington and Heaton. (fn. 16) The wardship of the manor and lands of Hugh de Worthington and of John his son and heir was in 1369 granted to Thomas de Worthington and Nicholas his brother. (fn. 17) William son of Hugh, however, seems to have succeeded, (fn. 18) and the manor descended to Hugh Worthington, who held it in the time of Edward IV by the ancient services. (fn. 19) Pedigrees were recorded in 1613 (fn. 20) and 1664, (fn. 21) and the sale of the manor took place between 1682 and 1690. (fn. 22) The purchaser was Thomas Clayton, and the manor has descended, with the adjoining Adlington, to Mr. J. R. B. Clayton Dawbeny. (fn. 23) Sir Richard Clayton was almost sole landowner in 1783. (fn. 24)

Worthington. Argent three dung-forks sable.

WORTHINGTON HALL, now a farm-house, stands on the east side of the high road from Wigan to Chorley, 3½ miles north of the former town and about 1¼ miles north-east of Standish Church. It is a rather lofty two-story building very much altered and renewed, the back and end walls having been rebuilt in stone and brick, the roof covered with blue slates, and the interior almost entirely modernized. The front, however, which faces north, retains a good deal of the original half-timber work, with a cove at the line of the floor and under the eaves. The hall was formerly lit by a long window of thirteen lights, placed high in the wall, but now built up. Much of the work is of a somewhat elaborate character, the sill at the level of the first floor being richly carved. On the head of the door, which is slightly arched, are the name and date 'Edwarde Worthington 1577,' and in one of the spandrels the initials M.O. At the west end of the front a short low wing has been erected against the main building, and a portion of the front at the east end has been rebuilt in stone and brick. The interior shows some of the old oak construction, but is otherwise uninteresting.

There are but few references to the place in the plea rolls (fn. 25) or inquisitions. (fn. 26) A manor of Worthington appears to have been claimed by Thomas Langtree of Langtree in 1653. (fn. 27)

North Hall was the property of James Hodson of Ellerbeck in Duxbury, and descended to the late Lord Cardwell, whose trustees are the present owners. (fn. 28)

Lydia Rycroft of Aspull in 1717, as a 'Papist,' registered her life estate in Coppull mill bridge tenement. (fn. 29)


  • 1. 658, including 20 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. Subs. R. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 54; Withington has here been miswritten for Worthington, as in other cases, and Wrightington also is sometimes confused with it. The lord of Worthington paid 3s. 8d. sake fee and 5s. castle ward; Mamecestre (Chet. Soc.), ii, 288; iii, 479. The half-fee also included a portion of Heaton-under-Horwich in the parish of Deane; this was held by the Heaton family as the tenth part of a fee.
  • 4. Mamecestre, ii, 286.
  • 5. Ibid. 374.
  • 6. The constables of Worthington were formally summoned to attend the court leet in 1658 and later; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. iv, 235, &c.
  • 7. Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 512–13. The bounds in one grant started from the Harestone and went round by Greenlache, near Hungercroft, Blakelache, the highway to the bridge over the brook from Langtree, and along the Langtree boundary to the street. Thomas de Salghall and Roger his son afterwards released land to the canons in Worthington and Langtree. The other grant conferred the land called Trepcroft on the canons. Thomas lord of Worthington confirmed the grant of Perburn in Coppull to Burscough Priory; Burscough Reg. fol. 47b.
  • 8. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 47.
  • 9. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 154. William son of Thomas de Worthington also confirmed the grant of Perburn; Burscough Reg. loc. cit.
  • 10. Inq. and Extents, i, 248. William de Worthington was defendant in a Blainscough suit at Michaelmas 1282 and his son Hugh in the following Jan.; De Banco R. 47, m. 63 d.; 48, m. 21.
  • 11. He was a juror at an Aughton inquisition in Dec. 1282; Inq. and Extents, i, 258. In 1288 he was found to render a pair of spurs annually for having common in the Ferrers holding in the Standish district; ibid. 272. Hugh de Worthington and Dionysia his wife occur at Halsall in 1280; Final Conc. i, 157, and see the account of Halsall. Henry son of Henry del Lee in 1290 called Hugh de Worthington to warrant him respecting a tenement in Worthington claimed by Adam son of Roger de Thornley. It had once been held by Thomas de Turnley, whose sister and heir Isabel had released to William de Worthington father of Hugh; Assize R. 1288, m. 12 d. There was more than one William de Worthington in the place in 1292–1302. Thomas son of Richard de Worthington was non-suited in a claim for land against William de Worthington; Assize R. 408, m. 36d. John de Chisnall established his right to lands against William son of William de Worthington, Ralph de Catterall and others; ibid. m. 74 d. In 1302 William son of Thomas de Worthington was one defendant to Ellen de Torbock's claim for common of pasture; ibid. 418, m. 4 d.
  • 12. Inq. and Extents, i, 315; the name is wrongly given as Writington. William son of Hugh de Worthington, perhaps acting as trustee, in 1310–11 granted land in Standish to Hugh de Standish (of Duxbury) and Alice his wife, with remainder to the right heirs of Robert de Haydock; Kuerden fol. MS. 96, no. 72.
  • 13. A settlement of part of the estate of William and Alice his wife was made in 1318, by which two messuages with land and meadow in Turley Moor were to remain to Hugh and John sons of William. Henry son of William de Worthington and Henry son of John le Waleys put in their claims; Final Conc. ii, 29. Two years later the manor of Worthington, apart from the portion just referred to, was settled on William son of William de Worthington; Henry de Worthington again put in his claim; ibid. ii, 39. The position of Henry son of William de Worthington, who 'put in his claim,' has not been clearly ascertained. To Henry his son William son of Hugh de Worthington granted lands in the township; Kuerden MSS. iii, W 26, s. d. Hugh was in 1339 called to warrant Richard son of Hugh de Standish in a claim for dower by Alice widow of William de Worthington; De Banco R. 319, m. 101 d. There are several notes of charters by Henry son of William de Worthington from 1318 to 1334, and by Alan Henry's son in 1344, in the Kuerden MSS. vi, fol. 96. Mabel widow of Henry de Worthington is named in 1340 and William son of Henry in 1347; ibid. Alan son of Henry de Worthington in 1343 demised to Matthew son of John de Derwaltshaw of Wigan land in Worthington between the moor and the long acre, one head extending to Crawlache and the other to land held by John de Worthington of Alice his mother; Standish D. In 1373 Henry son of Alan de Worthington claimed a messuage and land in Worthington against William son of Hugh de Worthington and against Hugh de Standish (of Duxbury); De Banco R. 452, m. 76. Henry son of Alan de Worthington in 1407 made a grant of land in Worthington to William son of Hugh de Worthington; Kuerden MSS. iii, C 33. In the account of Burgh in Duxbury a notice will be found of Henry de Burgh son of William de Worthington. Robert son of William de Worthington (who may have been a different William) made grants to Hugh de Haydock, who in 1299 gave land to William son of William de Worthington. The lastnamed soon afterwards regranted it to Hugh de Standish; Kuerden MSS. vi, fol. 96. This Robert may have been ancestor of the Worthingtons of Blainscough. In 1334 William son of William de Worthington claimed common of pasture against William son of Hugh de Standish and others. It appeared that Thomas de Worthington, lord of the manor in the time of Henry III, had granted the tenement to Thomas de Wallhull, who was succeeded by a son Richard. Afterwards by escheat it returned to the lord of the manor William de Worthington, father of the claimant, who made grants both to Hugh de Standish and to his own son William; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 115.
  • 14. Mamecestre, ii, 288.
  • 15. The name occurs first in the subsidy roll of that year; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 49. On the other hand Alice widow of William de Worthington was claiming dower as early as Michaelmas 1331; De Banco R. 287, m. 127.
  • 16. Feud. Aids, iii, 89. Hugh son of William de Worthington claimed the custody of Coppull during a minority in 1362; De Banco R. 411, m. 76.
  • 17. Kuerden MSS. iii, W 27. Ellen widow of John de Worthington occurs in 1403; ibid. C 33.
  • 18. Ibid. W 27; William son of Hugh de Worthington granted to Gilbert rector of Standish and to Thomas de Worthington the manor of Worthington. The same William is named in a deed of 1384–5; ibid.
  • 19. Hugh Worthington was tenant in 1473; Mamecestre, iii, 479. In the same year Hugh son of William Worthington agreed with Thomas Norris of Speke that his son William should marry Elizabeth daughter of Thomas; Norris D. (B.M.), no. 950. Hugh occurs also in 1461 and 1483; Kuerden MSS. iii, B 16. He is probably the Hugh with whom the recorded pedigree begins. From Blainscough inquisitions it appears that Richard Worthington was lord of the manor in 1526 and Edward Worthington in 1578 and 1591. Thomas the father of Edward Worthington died in 1566; Manch. Ct. Leet Rec. i, 108.
  • 20. Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 125. The succession given is: Hugh -s. William -s. Richard -s. Thomas -s. Edward -s. Thomas (living) -s. William (aged sixteen). William Worthington in 1631 paid £10 on refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 214. The manor of Worthington and various lands were in 1635 sold or mortgaged by William Worthington to James Halsall of Altcar; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 32.
  • 21. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 344. The last-named William was still living, and had a son Thomas, aged thirty-four. Thomas died in 1670, and the heir was a brother Edward, who sold the manor; Piccope MS. Ped. (Chet. Lib.), ii, 314.
  • 22. A fine was made in 1682 respecting the manor of Worthington, with messuages, water-mill, lands, &c., in Worthington, Coppull and Charnock Richard, the deforciants being Edward Worthington, Jane his wife and two others, perhaps mortgagees; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 208, m. 38. In another fine two years later the plaintiff was Reginald Bretland and the deforciants were Edward Worthington, William Salvin and Dorothy his wife; ibid. bdle. 212, m. 19. In 1690 the plaintiff was Thomas Clayton and the deforciants were Edward Worthington and Jane his wife; ibid. bdle. 225, m. 20.
  • 23. See the account of Adlington.
  • 24. Land tax return at Preston.
  • 25. Many of the references to Worthington appear to belong really to Coppull, originally a part of it. Richard de Salfordshire and Cecily his wife in 1292 claimed land in 'Wrthinton' against Richard Smult, alleging that Cecily was daughter and heir of Hamo son and heir of Roger de Ashton. Defendant said that Hamo had an elder brother William, who granted the disputed land, but it was alleged that William was a bastard; Assize R. 408, m. 30. The same plaintiffs also claimed land against Robert de Holland in 'Wythington'; ibid. William son of Clinkard of Golbourn in 1356 claimed a messuage and land in Worthington against Ralph son of Henry del Burgh; Duchy of Lane. Assize R. 4, m. 7 d. The defendant called Richard de Charnock to warrant him; ibid. 5, m. 4 d. Richard in turn called Henry del Burgh to warrant, who summoned John de Euxton; ibid. 7, m. 3 d. Robert de Prescot and Isabel his wife claimed common of pasture in Worthington against Clemency widow of Richard de Standish in 1316, and then against Hugh son of Richard de Standish; ibid. 7, m. 5; 8, m. 8. Adam de Dinkedley and Joan his wife in 1344 claimed dower in a messuage, &c., in Worthington against Edmund son of Roger Baret; De Banco R. 338, m. 291 d.; 340, m. 69 d.
  • 26. Hugh Adlington in 1525 held lands in Worthington and Coppull of Richard Worthington by a rent of 4s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 73. Thomas Standish of Duxbury in 1599 held lands in Worthington, but the services were unknown; ibid. xvii, no. 54. Thomas Fleetwood in 1576 held land in Worthington; ibid. xii, no. 2. Probably it was the Cockersand Abbey estate or chantry lands. Edward Standish of Standish in 1611 held lands in Worthington of Edward Rigby; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 185. Robert Finch, though described as 'of Worthington' in 1610, held no lands in the township; ibid. i, 155.
  • 27. Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iv, 60. Lands in the township were held by the family in 1519; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 128, m. 8.
  • 28. See the account of Duxbury.
  • 29. Engl. Cath. Non-jurors, 125.