Townships: Church

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

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'Townships: Church', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 399-404. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Church", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 399-404. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Church", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 399-404. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

In this section


Chirche, 1202 and usually; Chiereche, 1203; Chierche, 1204.

The township of Church or Church Kirk lies on the eastern bank of Hyndburn Brook, into which, at the northern boundary, flows another brook running north-west from Accrington, and the older part of the town lies between these brooks. At the north end of it is Ponthalgh. The surface slopes down from east to west. The area measures 528 acres. (fn. 1) The population in 1901 was 6,463. The chapelry embraces Oswaldtwistle and Huncoat also.

The principal road is that from Blackburn to Accrington, crossing the southern end of the township. The road from Blackburn through Oswaldtwistle enters the south end at Alleytroyds, (fn. 2) crosses the main road mentioned, and winds north to the church and then turns west to Rishton. From the main road another goes north, as Henry Street, by Church Hall and Dill Hall to Clayton-le-Moors. Elmfield lies to the east of it. The Blackburn and Accrington line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway crosses the southern end of the township, where there is a station named Church and Oswaldtwistle. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal goes north on the west side of the township.

A local board was constituted in 1878, and in 1894 this became an urban district council; there are twelve members. The town is supplied with gas and water in conjunction with Accrington. The outfall works of the Accrington and Church Joint Sewerage Board, formed in 1884, (fn. 3) are at Coppy Clough in this township. The cemetery in Dill Hall Lane belongs to Church and Clayton-le-Moors, and is controlled by a board of eight members. (fn. 4)

Calico printing and dyeing are the principal industries (fn. 5); there are several cotton factories, also chemical, naphtha and soap works, and iron foundries. Collieries are worked. The agricultural land is returned as 156½ acres in grass. The soil and subsoil are clay.

Windham William Sadler, one of the earliest of British aeronauts, was killed at Parsonage Field, Church, on 29 September 1824, his balloon being dashed against a tall chimney by the wind during its flight from Bolton to Blackburn. (fn. 6)

To the county lay of 1624, when the hundred was called upon for £100, Church paid 17s., Oswaldtwistle £1 5s. 6d., and Huncoat 17s. 4¼d.—a total of £2 19s. 10¼d. from the chapelry. (fn. 7)


In the 13th century CHURCH was held of the lords of Clitheroe by a rent of 6s. (fn. 8); it was assessed as one ploughland. There is nothing to show how it was first obtained by the Church family, but in 1202 Uctred de Church acquired half a plough-land there from Henry de Clayton. (fn. 9) There are charters showing later generations of the family, (fn. 10) but before the end of the 13th century the lordship had been acquired by the Rishtons, probably by marriage, and they retained it for more than 300 years. From the site of their residence the manor was in later times named PONTHALGH. (fn. 11)

Rishton of Ponthalgh. Argent a fesse embattled sable and in chief two mullets of the second.

The earlier descents of the lords have been related in the account of Rishton, (fn. 12) a manor forfeited about the time Church was acquired. The first to appear at the latter place was Gilbert de Rishton, who made various grants to Robert his eldest son, (fn. 13) Adam son of Uctred de Church, in one place styled 'formerly lord of the vill,' (fn. 14) giving releases both to Gilbert and Robert. (fn. 15) Robert occurs in pleadings from 1291 onwards (fn. 16) in 1311 he held the plough-land in Church of Henry de Lacy by 6s. rent and doing suit to the court of Clitheroe. (fn. 17) A number of his charters have been preserved. (fn. 18) His son Gilbert in 1325–6 obtained lands in Church from Roger de Altham. (fn. 19) Robert son of Gilbert prosecuted the claim for the manor of Rishton in 1356 (fn. 20); in 1376 he received from his trustees lands in Oswaldtwistle which had belonged to Robert son of Henry de Rishton. (fn. 21) Ralph de Rishton acquired further lands. (fn. 22) He died in 1417, leaving a son Richard, on whose death without issue in 1425 a younger son Roger succeeded. (fn. 23)

Roger Rishton was then thirty-three years of age. He was outlawed in 1447, (fn. 24) and an inquiry into his possessions was made. (fn. 25) He no doubt obtained pardon, for in 1453 Thurstan Rishton, rector of Stanhope, gave Dutton Place in Church to Roger Rishton, Richard his son and Alice Harewell daughter of Richard son of Henry Rishton. (fn. 26) Richard son of Roger Rishton in 1473 granted the mese place in Church called Ponthalgh to Henry Rishton, (fn. 27) and he occurs as late as 1488, in which year he gave the manor of Ponthalgh to Ralph his son and heir at a rent of £7. (fn. 28)

Ralph Rishton (fn. 29) died in 1527 holding the capital messuage called Ponthalgh Hall and various messuages, rents, &c., in Church of the king as Duke of Lancaster by 6s. rent; he had other lands, &c., in Oswaldtwistle and Rishton. His son Roger, then twenty-two years of age, had been married to Anne daughter of Giles Livesey. (fn. 30) Roger was living in 1561 (fn. 31); he had two sons, of whom the elder, Ralph, acquired Dunkenhalgh, (fn. 32) but left no legitimate issue, (fn. 33) and Ponthalgh passed to the younger, William, (fn. 34) who died in 1589, holding it as before, and leaving a son and heir Ralph, aged ten. (fn. 35) At Ralph's death in 1625 the estate passed to his son William, then nineteen years of age. (fn. 36) In the Civil War time Ponthalgh was sequestered by the Parliament (fn. 37) and in 1652 declared forfeit and sold. (fn. 38) William Rishton, however, survived his troubles, and was living in 1664, when he recorded a pedigree; his son William was then thirty-one years old. (fn. 39) The family from that time falls out of notice.

The manor of Church was acquired by the Walmesleys of the adjacent Dunkenhalgh, (fn. 40) and has descended with that estate to Mr. G. E. Petre. (fn. 41)

There were various minor families in the township, but little can be recorded of their estates. The names of Radcliffe, (fn. 42) Church, (fn. 43) Cattlow, (fn. 44) Rodes, (fn. 45) Aspden, (fn. 46) Wallbank (fn. 47) and Collinson (fn. 48) occur among the earlier deeds, and the inquisitions show that the Nowells of Read (fn. 49) and other neighbouring landowners had small estates. (fn. 50) William Hindle died at Church in 1616 holding a messuage, &c., there of the king and another in Over Darwen; his heir was a nephew John Hindle, aged forty-four, son of William's brother Michael, but he left the messuage in Church to John son of Christopher Duckworth on condition that he married one of the daughters of his eldest brother Thomas Hindle. (fn. 51)

The Subsidy Roll of 1626 shows the landowners contributing to be the heir of Ralph Rishton and William Carus in right of his wife; Dorothy Rishton and three other women were convicted recusants. (fn. 52) Only thirty-one hearths were liable to the tax in 1666; Matthew Tootel had six hearths and Richard Walmesley of Ponthalgh had five. (fn. 53)


From the name of the township it might be supposed that the chapel there was of ancient origin and of independent standing. At the first positive record, however, the Survey of 1296, it was no more than a chapel, served by a priest who had 4 marks a year; the altarage was worth 5 marks, the demesne lands 10s., and the tithes of the chapelry (fn. 54) £12. In 1334 the chapel was in such bad condition that the priest could not celebrate mass therein on a rainy day, and the parishioners were ordered to keep in repair the chancel as well as the nave, according to old custom. (fn. 55) At the same time they were ordered to find and pay a clerk to serve the priest at mass, for it had sometimes happened that the chaplain had been unable to say mass on Sundays and festivals through the lack of an assistant. (fn. 56)

The church of ST. JAMES stands on high ground to the north-west of the town, and consists of chancel with north organ chamber, nave and western tower, with vestry on the north side. Only the tower is ancient, and belongs probably to the end of the 15th or beginning of the 16th century, the rest of the church having been pulled down in 1805, in which year the present nave, which is 81 ft. 6 in. long by 41 ft. wide internally, was erected. A chancel was added in 1870, but was rebuilt on a larger scale in 1895. In 1848 the church was re-roofed, and in 1881 it underwent a thorough restoration, when the old galleries were taken down and new ones erected, a new chancel arch was built, the floor renewed and new seating inserted.

The chancel, which measures 30 ft. by 25 ft. 9 in., is in the style of the 14th century, and has a pointed east window of five lights. The nave retains its flat ceiling and has galleries on each side and at the west end. There are two tiers of semicircular-headed windows on each side. The original plain woodenbarred frames, with bars crossing in the heads, were removed in 1881, and modern wood frames with traceried heads substituted. The walls are built in coursed blocks of dressed stone, the whole of the work being of the plainest description. There were originally two doorways on the south side, but when the chancel was built the easternmost one was made into a window. The roofs of both chancel and nave are covered with blue slates and have overhanging eaves.

The tower, which is at the south-west corner of the nave, measures internally 13 ft. 9 in. by 13 ft., the longer length being from east to west, and is of two stages. The vice is in the south-west corner, and there are diagonal angle buttresses of four stages on the west side, stopping below the belfry string. There are also square buttresses north and south on the east side. The detail is poor, the masonry coarse, and the work generally of little architectural merit. The tower was restored in 1848, when the battlements were renewed and the present angle pinnacles erected. The belfry windows are of two lights with straight-sided pointed heads and labels, except on the west side, where there are three lights. The south window is now built up and a clock dial fixed in front. The west doorway has a flat arch with square label, and above is a three-light window similar in detail to those in the belfry. Between the west window and the string above are two small openings, one with rounded head and the other apparently of later date. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders, but is now only visible from the ringing chamber, the west wall of the nave having been built in front of it on the east side. The vestry was built in 1895 and enlarged in 1899.

The font is octagonal and apparently of the same date as the tower, and has a blank shield on each face. The rest of the fittings are modern, the wood pulpit dating from 1850 and the quire stalls from 1895. An organ was first provided in 1815. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1849 and again in 1895.

Some old stained glass, including a mutilated figure of St. Mary and the arms of the Walmesleys and Petres of Dunkenhalgh and the Whalleys of Clerk Hill, which was formerly in the east window of the 1805 building and was the gift of Mr. George Petre, (fn. 57) is now preserved in one of the lower south windows of the nave.

There is a ring of six bells by W. Blews & Sons, Birmingham, 1876. (fn. 58)

The silver communion plate consists of two chalices, a breadholder and a flagon of 1841 and a paten of 1904.

The registers of baptisms and burials begin in 1633, and those of marriages in 1654.

The old stipend of £4 (fn. 59) was before the Civil War augmented to £10, (fn. 60) and about 1650 the Committee of Plundered Ministers ordered £50 a year to be paid to the minister out of tithes sequestered from Thomas Clifton, a 'Papist delinquent.' (fn. 61) This would cease at the Restoration, and in 1717 the certified income was only £12 17s. 8d. (fn. 62) Soon afterwards an augmentation was secured from Nathaniel Curzon, (fn. 63) who thus obtained the patronage, and Queen Anne's Bounty; additional endowments were given, and the net annual value is now £610. (fn. 64) The Hulme Trustees acquired the advowson about 1837. Before the Reformation, though there was no endowed chantry, there seem to have been two priests to serve the chapelry, the names appearing in the visitation lists of 1548 and 1554; but in the lists of 1562 and later only one name is given. (fn. 65) Afterwards it is probable that Church was served in conjunction with some other chapel in the district, for in 1717 the curate of Altham read service and preached a sermon once a fortnight. (fn. 66) The following are the more recent curates and rectors (fn. 67) :—

1720 Edward Cort (fn. 68)
1726 Robert Mitton, B.A. (fn. 69)
1739 Christopher Hall (fn. 70)
1763 Thomas Armitstead (fn. 71)
1814 John Swainson (fn. 72)
1824 Richard Noble (fn. 73)
1840 Joseph Birchall, M.A. (fn. 74) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1879 Thomas Farmer Collins, M.A. (fn. 75) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1891 Joseph Glasson Denison, M.A. (fn. 76) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1903 Arthur John Morris, M.A. (fn. 77) (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)

Some Nonconformists were known in the chapelry in 1717, but they died out. The present Baptist church was built in 1870; a chapel had existed about 1850. (fn. 78)


An official inquiry was made into the charities in 1899, and the report issued in 1900 affords the following details:—

Ellen Darwen, widow, in 1776 left money for a bread charity for Rishton and Church Kirk. About 1826 the sum of £60, a moiety, seems to have been given to the churchwardens of the latter place to continue the charity. The money, with other sums intended for the endowment of an organ, was invested in cottages, £5 being reserved from the rents as interest on the Darwen capital. The money is laid out in 4-lb. loaves, which are distributed after morning service on the first Sunday of each month among poor persons of all denominations; attendance at the service is not required.

Benjamin Walmesley in 1852 left £100 to found a similar charity at Oswaldtwistle; bread was to be given every alternate Sunday after morning service to old women members of the congregation. The fund produces £3 a year. For the aged poor of the same township George Walmesley in 1891 left £3,000, now producing £81 14s. yearly; this is given quarterly in groceries, clothing, &c., to the value of 5s. each gift, to poor persons over sixty years of age resident in Oswaldtwistle for at least five years.


  • 1. The Census Rep. 1901 gives 529 acres, including 21 of inland water.
  • 2. Apparently the Ollertrodes of 1618; see below.
  • 3. Acts 47 & 48 Vict. cap. 214 and later.
  • 4. Acts 49 & 50 Vict. cap. 61 and later.
  • 5. The print works on the Hyndburn were first established by Jonathan Peel, uncle of the famous Sir Robert; Abram, Blackburn, 222.
  • 6. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 7. Gregson, Fragments. (ed. Harland), 23.
  • 8. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 218; De Lacy Compoti (Chet. Soc.), 9, 104.
  • 9. Final Conc. i, 151 (York) and addenda (Westminster). In the same year Uctred released his claim in Upholland to Matthew de Holland; ibid. 14. Uctred attested a Harwood charter in 1192; Pontefract Chartul. (Yorks. Arch. Soc.), ii, 326. He was fined half a mark (1202–4) for not having the man he had pledged; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 169, 178.
  • 10. Most of the charters by 'Uctred de Church' are probably by a later Uctred than the one living in 1202. An Uctred son of Uctred de Church occurs; Towneley MS. DD, no. 857. About 1250 the Abbot of Kirkstall granted to Richard son of Adam de Tottleworth land called Wallbank in Church which had been received from Uctred de Church; a rent of 6d. was to be paid; Towneley MS. HH, no. 57. Uctred de Church gave land in the Imps and Smerebutts, a little island called Oldmill holme, and a messuage by St. Oswald's Well, to Richard the alumnus and assignee of Henry the chaplain of Rishton; ibid. no. 59. Uctred gave lands to Roger de Dunkenhalgh, and to Roger son of Adam de Radcliffe by Agnes he gave 2 oxgangs of land in Church; one of them had been held by Robert son-in-law of Paulinus, it being the eighth part of the vill of Church, and the other had been held by Robert son of Warine de Koul; ibid. no. 64. Uctred de Church gave a messuage and garden once occupied by Roger son of Henry to William son of Uctred de Koul; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1017.
  • 11. This is a modern spelling; the old one was Powthalgh, or some variation of it.
  • 12. The following is the outline: Henry de Blackburn -s. Gilbert de Rishton -s. Henry -s. Gilbert -s. Robert -s. Gilbert -s. Robert -s. Ralph.
  • 13. He gave all his land in Church at a rent of 2d. payable to the chief lords; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1378. Also land bought from Adam son of Uctred de Church; ibid. no. 1389. He also gave a release of his rents in Church, viz. 1d. for the Rodes from Adam son of Alan de Rodes, and 5d. from Robert son of Henry de Church; HH, no. 46. Adam de Rishton the illegitimate son of Gilbert also had land in Church. Thus Robert son of Henry de Church gave to Adam son of Gilbert de Rishton and Mabel his wife land between certain bounds, and Ponthalgh which he had by the gift of Adam son of Uctred de Church; DD, no. 1407. Adam de Rishton and Mabel his wife gave a messuage in Church to Agnes their maid, daughter of Peter de Radcliffe, and this was confirmed by Mabel as widow in 1300; HH, no. 39, 40. In 1295 Robert son of Alan the Turner of Church granted a house, &c., in Church to Adam de Rishton, which his wife (Alice daughter of Uctred) had granted Adam while her husband was absent on business; Brockholes of Claughton D.; Add. MS. 32104, no. 432.
  • 14. Assize R. 407, m. 1 d.
  • 15. He quitclaimed the Rodes to Gilbert de Rishton as to the chief lord; HH, no. 50. Further to Gilbert he released all lands, and to Robert son of Gilbert lands and rents; DD, no. 1408–9. To Robert he also granted land in Langelyn furlong, a piece of meadow between the church and the house of Robert son of Henry de Church, and a rood of land on the north side of the house of Maud daughter of Uctred de Church; HH, no. 43. Adam son of Uctred de Church granted to his sister Alice five selions on the east side of the church road (via ecclesie) of Church, an arrow to be rendered yearly; HH, no. 24. To his lord Henry de Lacy he gave his mill of Church; ibid. no. 36. In two places Adam brother of Uctred de Church occurs; ibid. no. 38, 48. He may have been son of one Uctred and brother of another. Agnes daughter of Uctred de Church, as a widow, gave to Robert her son land which had been given to her in free marriage; ibid. no. 41.
  • 16. Adam de Church complained in 1291 that his common of pasture had been diminished by various approvements by Adam son of Uctred and his successor Robert de Rishton, but the verdict was against him; Assize R. 407, m. 1 d. In 1301 there were cross-suits between Robert de Rishton and Agnes daughter of Peter de Radcliffe; Assize R. 1321, m. 8 d. Agnes daughter of Peter de Church in the same year released to Robert de Rishton lands (Holderth, &c.) formerly held by Robert son of Henry de Church; HH, no. 44, 135. Peter de Church in 1315 called upon Robert de Rishton as mesne to acquit him of the services demanded by Thomas Earl of Lancaster as due from Peter's tenement, which was held of Robert; De Banco R. 212, m. 407 d. Peter de Church, while William de Tatham was steward of the hundred, released all his lands to Robert de Rishton; DD, no. 1405.
  • 17. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 11; the name is wrongly given as John. In 1323 the king, in right of Clitheroe, had 12s. 6d. of the farm of court, meadows, ridding, &c.; ibid. 193.
  • 18. From Roger Nowell he obtained the assart of Richard the Chaplain's son in exchange for land by Wallbank; HH, no. 12. Robert the son and Maud the daughter of Henry de Church released to him their right in land between Lege and Antley syke; ibid. no. 52, 19. Armetridding in Church was released to him by Richard son of Adam de Church; DD, no. 1417. Robert the Turner and Alice his wife granted him five selions by the church road; ibid. no. 1372. Alice was a daughter of Uctred de Church; see notes 13 and 15 above.
  • 19. HH, no. 5. The Altham family appear earlier, for in 1284 John de Altham claimed a messuage and an oxgang of land then held by Richard le Rous and Alice his wife, alleging that his father Alexander de Altham had been seised thereof; Assize R. 1268, m. 11; 1271, m. 12 d.; 1277, m. 32b.
  • 20. See the account of Rishton. In 1355 William del Wallbank gave lands in Church to Robert de Rishton; Towneley MS. HH, no. 114.
  • 21. Ibid. no. 10.
  • 22. Ralph was son of Robert, as appears by the inquisition cited below. In 1391–2 William de Haleghs (of Accrington) and Elizabeth his wife gave lands in Church to Ralph de Rishton, Elizabeth as widow releasing in 1401; HH, no. 110, 106. Ralph in 1413 gave lands in Church to trustees; DD, no. 1366. His widow Cecily in 1421 received from John son of William Talbot lands on the west and south of Hyndburn, pertaining to an oxgang in Church which had formerly belonged to Roger Stephenson; HH, no. 8. She was living in 1426; DD, no. 1367.
  • 23. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 13. The manor of Ponthalgh was stated to be held of the king as duke by a rent of 6s. See also Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 78, no. 1010.
  • 24. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 539.
  • 25. Lancs. Rec. Misc. Inq. p.m. no. 8. The return (1449) is torn and illegible. Roger Rishton held in Nov. 1443 a messuage and lands in the vill of Church called le Povthalgh, worth eight marks a year clear; also messuages occupied by Isabel widow of William Collinson, Robert Tomlinson, &c.
  • 26. DD, no. 1385; the deed mentions the 'cemetery of the parochial church of Church' and the confluence of Hyndburn and Aspden Brook.
  • 27. HH, no. 148. Richard Rishton of Ponthalgh is named again in 1482; ibid. no. 112.
  • 28. Ibid. no. 83.
  • 29. In 1517–18 Ralph Rishton of Ponthalgh made a feoffment of lands in Ponthalgh, Church and Rishton; HH, no. 142. In 1518 marriages were arranged between Roger son and heir of Ralph Rishton and Anne daughter of Giles Livesey; also between James son and heir of Giles and Ralph's daughter Alice; DD, no. 1392.
  • 30. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 24.
  • 31. In 1536–7 Roger Rishton of Ponthalgh, Henry Rishton of Dunkenhalgh and Nicholas Rishton of Antley are named in a bond; HH, no. 137. In 1536 Roger and others were concerned in the destruction of a bridge in the highway at Church, and had destroyed a pew in the church there, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Writs of Assize 28 Hen. VIII. In 1542 he granted to a trustee lands in Rishton and Church, the deed naming Ellen his wife and Ralph his son and heir; DD, no. 1394. Roger was in mercy for defaults in 1544, and in 1546 was summoned for debt by the executor of his brother Thomas; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 176, m. 10; 182, m. 9 d. He was dead in 1564, when his widow Ellen was administering his estate; ibid. 215, m. 14.
  • 32. See the account of Clayton-le-Moors. In 1561 as Ralph Rishton of Dunkenhalgh he gave to Giles Dewhurst his manor of Ponthalgh, then in the tenure of Roger Rishton his father, &c.; DD, no. 1373. Giles regranted the manor and water-mill to Ralph in 1562; HH, no. 152.
  • 33. In 1531–2 Roger Rishton agreed that his son Ralph should marry Ellen daughter of Richard Townley of Royle according to the time appointed by Nicholas Townley, clerk, king's chaplain; HH, no. 150. Ralph next allied himself with Elizabeth Parker of Horrocksford, but the union contracted at Clitheroe Church was afterwards declared illegal, as his first wife was still living. Elizabeth, calling herself his widow, sought dower in 1574; DD, no. 1404. The claim showed that Ralph and Ellen (Townley) had lived together as man and wife, thus ratifying the child marriage. Ellen afterwards went out of her mind, owing partly to sorrow for her father's death and partly to the anxiety caused by her husband's absence in the king's wars. Ralph then (c. 1545) during her life cohabited with Elizabeth, by whom he had several children; there was a form of marriage, as above stated, but by information of Ralph's father the parties came (c. 1552) under the censure of the ecclesiastical court and were ordered to separate. There was no valid marriage after Ellen's death (c. 1555). Then about 1560 Ralph Rishton married Anne Stanley, who had been his mistress, but had been (c. 1550) compelled by force to go through the ceremony of marriage with one John Rishton though she had refused cohabitation, and Ralph had several children by her; Dep. at Chester. See also Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 398; iii, 25, 58.
  • 34. In 1542 Roger Rishton of Ponthalgh gave lands in Rishton to his son William; DD, no. 1380. Ralph son of Roger Rishton of Dunkenhalgh in 1566 granted his brother William, described as of Lincoln's Inn, a rent of £3; Ellen Rishton, widow (of Roger), was tenant of Ponthalgh by Ralph's gift; ibid. no. 1387. In 1573, after Ralph's death, William son of Roger Rishton of Ponthalgh released his claim in certain lands which Thomas Walmesley, serjeant-at-law, had purchased from Ralph; ibid. no. 1365. In the following year he gave two messuages in Tottleworth to trustees; ibid. no. 1384. He gave the manor of Ponthalgh to Robert Charnock in 1578, probably in trust; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 40, m. 5. William Rishton was engaged in various suits respecting lands in Ponthalgh, &c.; Ducatus Lanc. iii, 25, 36, 59.
  • 35. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xv, no. 55. Ralph had married Dorothy, one of the daughters of George Talbot. William Rishton had a younger son William and three daughters. His will is in DD, no. 1393. He and his nephew Roger Rishton had in 1580 referred the succession to Ponthalgh to arbitration; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 239. In 1604–5 Anne Rishton of Huncoat Hall, spinster, gave a bond to her brother Ralph Rishton of Ponthalgh; HH, no. 105.
  • 36. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi, no. 37. In 1619 he had enfeoffed Thomas Walmesley and others in the estate, settling it upon his sons and their male issue. Ponthalgh is not called a manor, but the old rent of 6s. was payable. Dorothy the widow of Ralph was living at Ponthalgh. William Rishton in 1631 paid £10 as composition for declining to take knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 216.
  • 37. Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2530–1. The reason of the sequestration is not stated.
  • 38. Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 44.
  • 39. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 250.
  • 40. The Rishtons of Dunkenhalgh had held a messuage, &c., in Church either of the heir of Dutton by a rose rent (1529) or else of the lord of Church in socage (1530); Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 36, 9. This would pass to Sir Thomas Walmesley on his purchase of Dunkenhalgh, and at his death in 1612 he was found to have held a little land in Church of the king in socage; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 252.
  • 41. The manor of Church is named with the other Petre manors in 1787 and 1808; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 646, m. 9; Lent Assizes 48 Geo. III, R. 18.
  • 42. Roger son of Adam de Radcliffe gave to Peter his brother by the same father and mother land in Church at a rent of 2s.; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1150. To this charter Uctred de Church and Adam son of the priest were witnesses. See also Towneley MS. RR, no. 417. Henry son of Roger de Oswaldtwistle gave to Peter son of Adam de Radcliffe land which Henry had had from Robert son of William de Church, at a rent of 12d.; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1162. Adam de Rishton and Mabel his wife made a grant to Adam de Church son of Peter de Radcliffe; ibid. no. 1163. Adam son and heir of Peter de Radcliffe gave his land in Church to his sisters Christiana and Agnes, and a confirmation or additional grant was obtained from Adam and Mabel de Rishton; ibid. no. 1147, 1159. To the sisters Christiana and Agnes land called Angrum was given by Adam son of Roger de Dunkenhalgh; it was bounded on the east by Antley syke, on the south by the dyke between Church and Oswaldtwistle, and on the west by Rodes; ibid. no. 1136. A third sister, Cecily, occurs.
  • 43. From preceding notes it will be seen that various families, including Radcliffe, used Church for a surname. In 1284 William son of Peter de Church claimed a tenement against Adam son of Peter de Church; Assize R. 1265, m. 4. In 1292 Robert son of Christiana de Church was accused of trespass by Alice de Rishton; ibid. 408, m. 93 d., 102 d. Simon son of Peter de Church gave a quitclaim to Robert de Rishton; HH, no. 63. John de Church and Ellen his wife are named in 1361; DD, no. 1411.
  • 44. Christiana daughter of Peter de Radcliffe gave land in Jordan houstead to Robert de Holt and Agnes his wife; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1142. The said Robert and Agnes in 1317 gave lands in Church, the homage of Richard de Wallbank, &c., to Roger de Cattlow, with remainders to his sons John, William, Henry, and Adam, and the gift was in 1322 confirmed by Cecily daughter of Peter de Radcliffe and Christiana her sister; ibid. no. 962, 1138. From the latter it appears that Agnes de Holt was the daughter of Peter de Radcliffe. Roger de Cattlow in 1317 made an agreement with Robert de Holt and Agnes his wife, by which they were to hold a messuage, &c., for life; Final Conc. ii, 25. Earlier there was also a Richard son of William de Cattlow, to whom Adam son of Uctred de Church gave lands in Wallbank; the bounds mention Elingrene and Hyndburn; HH, no. 54. In 1305 Adam (called) Humphrey de Church and Alice his wife gave a moiety of all their land to Peter de Church, who was son and heir of the said Alice; ibid. no. 33. By another charter they released all right to Peter son of Richard de Cattlow; ibid. no. 32. The Peters are probably the same. Roger de Cattlow in 1328 gave his son William all the lands he had had from Christiana de Church; Add. MS. 32104, no. 416. Robert son of Henry de Cattlow and Margery his sister occur at Oswaldtwistle in 1343; Brockholes of Claughton D. Robert de Cattlow, chaplain, in 1345 and 1355 gave his brother William and Beatrice his wife lands in Oswaldtwistle and Church; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1139, 1140. The feoffees of Robert son of William son of Roger de Cattlow in 1367 gave to William son of Robert de Cattlow lands in Oswaldtwistle and Church; ibid. no. 1151, 1149. In 1389 Robert son of William de Cattlow obtained the lands of John son and heir of Robert de Cattlow and John del Oakenbottom; ibid. no. 1148, 1143, 1164. Lands in Oswaldtwistle and Church were in 1392 granted by the feoffees to Robert son of William de Cattlow, with remainder to sons William, John, Richard, Nicholas, and Ralph. Ellen the wife of Robert is also named; Brockholes of Claughton D. Robert and Edmund Cattlow occur in 1446 and 1447; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1156; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 10, m. 35b. The estate descended to a Robert Cattlow and became divisible among his daughters, for in 1500 the estate of Alice widow of Robert Lache was confirmed by Agnes widow of Richard Riding, eldest daughter and co-heir, Margaret (second daughter) wife of Richard Cunliffe, Isabel and Margaret daughters and heirs of Ellen (fourth daughter) and Elizabeth (fifth daughter) widow of Gilbert Rishton; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1146. Thomas Cattlow occurs in 1521 (ibid. no. 1158), also in 1544; Ducatus Lanc. i, 170. The above named Elizabeth Rishton left four daughters and co-heirs: Christabel wife of James Jackson, Margaret wife of John Greenwood, Alice wife of Robert Wright (who had a daughter and heir Ellen), and Agnes wife of William Goodday, and a partition was made in 1506–7; Kuerden MSS. iii, C 8, no. 19. Rents were payable to the heirs of Ralph Rishton of Aspden and of Richard Radcliffe of the Tower. Lands named Longfield, Townfield, Ollertrods, Fleet, Hulseholes, Caleyard, Lyee, &c., are named. Catthul may be a form of the name. A moiety of the Stubbs in Ponthalgh was granted to Robert son of Henry de Catthul for the rent of a barbed arrow; Add. MS. 32104, no. 1141.
  • 45. In 1316 Cecily daughter of Peter de Radcliffe gave the Rodes to Christiana her sister; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), R 44, 54; Brockholes of Claughton D. Several families seem to have taken a name from it. Thomas son of William de Cowhill granted to Stephen del Rodes a messuage which his father had held of Uctred de Church. The rent of a barbed arrow was to be paid to Robert de Rishton; HH, no. 49. Uctred de Church granted land in Church to William de Rodes at a rent of 12d.; Towneley MS. DD, no. 779. Uctred granted to Alexander son of Henry the Chaplain lands which he had obtained from Roger son of William de Rodes. The rent was a pair of white gloves. The bounds name Benebutts, Greenlache and Schole ridding or Scale ridding; ibid. no. 862. Uctred son of Uctred de Church gave to Roger son of Henry de Oswaldtwistle the homage of Robert son of Robert de Hayleys for land in the Rodes; ibid. no. 857. Alice widow of Roger de Hayleys released her dower in the Rodes to Adam son of Alan de Rodes, Alan having purchased from Roger; ibid. no. 842. Richard son of Alexander de Rodes gave a quitclaim to Adam his brother; ibid. no. 819.
  • 46. In 1316 Adam de Aspden, Roger his son and John his son attested a charter cited above; C 8, 13, R 44, 54. The heir of Aspden, viz. Roger son of John de Aspden, was convicted of the death of Richard de Rishton at Church in 1375, but was pardoned; Coram Rege R. 464, m. 18 d.; Cal. Pat. 1377–81, p. 232. Roger son of John de Aspden in 1368 granted Foxholebank to William son of William de Radcliffe; Kuerden MSS. iii, C 8, no. 18. Geoffrey and Awyn Aspden were fined in 1447; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 10, m. 42.
  • 47. Peter de Radcliffe gave to Richard de Wallbank lands lying between Guthesyke and Kulnland, the description naming the Oldturncroft, the outlane of Church towards Dunkenhalgh Syke, &c. The rent was to be a pair of gloves. Uctred de Church was a witness; HH, no. 31. William son of Richard de Wallbank had land called the Impes and Smerebutts from Roger Nowell, to whom it had been released by his man Adam son of Adam de Church; ibid. no. 26. The similarity to a charter (no. 59) already cited suggests that William's father was the alumnus of Henry the Chaplain of Rishton. Adam son of Uctred de Church granted a mill to William son of Richard de Wallbank. An arrow rent was payable to Henry de Lacy: ibid. no. 45. William son of Richard gave to Adam the chaplain his brother land in Merseland and Kemisdoles in 1289; ibid. no. 38. The pond and holme of the mill in Church and six selions in Turncroft were granted by Peter de Radcliffe to Henry son of Richard de Wallbank; RR, no. 404–5. The same Henry had a moiety of the Stubbs in Ponthalgh from Adam son of Uctred de Church; DD, no. 1410. In 1290 Stephen del Rodes gave nine selions in Church to Adam de Wallbank, chaplain, and Henry his brother, viz., in Lungridding, Turncroft, Impes, Kemisdoles, Meadowcroft and Greenlands, in exchange for land which Henry de Wallbank had purchased from Adam son of Uctred de Church in Ponthalgh and Linfurlong; HH, no. 28. Henry son of Adam son of Christiana de Church in 1311 gave to William de Wallbank his right in the mill of Church which Uctred de Church had given to Henry's grandfather Roger de Dunkenhalgh; DD, no. 1406. Richard son of William de Wallbank settled a messuage, with land and a moiety of the mill, upon his son Henry who had married Beatrice, in 1331; RR, no. 585. Henry son of Richard de Wallbank and Alice daughter of Adam de Clayton in 1350 released their right in the mill of Church to Thomas de Altham, who had had the same from William son of Henry de Wallbank; HH, no. 35. In the following year William son of Henry de Wallbank gave to Thomas de Altham all his lands in Church except the dower of Alice widow of Richard de Wallbank; DD, no. 1443. In 1388–9 William son of Robert Gibson de Duckworth made a feoffment of lands in Church which had belonged to his mother Ellen daughter of William de Wallbank; HH, no. 51.
  • 48. Uctred de Church gave half an oxgang of land in Church (lately occupied by Henry son of Warine) to Simon de Oswaldtwistle at 12d. rent; Kuerden MSS. iii, C 8, no. 1. To Roger son of Simon de Church he gave the half oxgang lately held by William de Hothersall at 20d. rent; ibid. no. 2. This half oxgang was by Roger given to his son Richard; ibid. no. 4. Adam son of Uctred de Church gave Kilnbutts and two long selions on the south side of the church near the church way to Roger son of Roger son of Simon de Church; ibid. no. 5. The family perhaps took the name of Fulwood, for Roger son of Roger de Fulwood and Roger son of Richard de Fulwood (1314) occur; ibid. no. 6, 7, 3. In 1350 Roger de Fulwood granted his lands in Church for ten years to William son of Nicholas de Church and Alice his wife; ibid. no. 8. Alice was probably a Fulwood. Nicholas de Church in 1337 gave his son William lands in Church and Oswaldtwistle; HH, no. 34. The father of Nicholas is not known, but his descendants were surnamed Collinson. In 1378–9 John son of William Collinson of Church gave to feoffees the half oxgang which descended to him after the death of Roger son of Richard de Fulwood; Kuerden, loc. cit. no. 9. In 1395–6 he settled all his lands in Church on his son Henry, with remainders to other sons William and John; ibid. no. 10. In 1441 Richard son of Henry Rishton made an exchange of lands with Roger Rishton and Henry Collinson; ibid. no. 14. The lands were in Micklehey and Eastfield; the former parcel measured 7 acres by the standard of Ightenhill. The Old Wallbank, Turncroft and Dickridding are named. Henry Collinson, whose wife was named Alice, in 1444 settled lands on his son Edmund, with (partial) remainder to a daughter Isabel; ibid. no. 15, 16. Ralph Rishton and Thomas Collinson were the landowners contributing to a subsidy in 1600; Lay Subs. Lancs, bdle. 131, no. 274.
  • 49. Richard son of Adam Nowell in 1330 granted land in Church to Roger son of Adam (wife Cecily) son of Stephen; RR, no. 432. In 1357 Richard Nowell claimed a messuage and land in Church against Thomas de Altham and against Robert son of Gilbert de Rishton; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 7, 16; 6, m. 5 d. At the last reference his pedigree is set out: Richard Fitton -da. Elizabeth, married Roger Nowell -s. Adam -s. Richard (plaintiff) and William (bailiff of the wapentake). John Nowell died in 1525 holding land in Church of Ralph Rishton; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 76. Roger Nowell in 1566 held a little land and 19d. free rent in Church of Ralph Rishton; ibid. xi, no. 26. His successors held the same, but the tenure is not always recorded; in 1624 it was said to be held of Ralph Rishton in socage; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 428.
  • 50. William Baron of Oswaldtwistle died in 1618 holding two messuages, &c., in Church by tenure unknown; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii, 172. James Baron and Anne his wife had disputes with Sir Thomas Langton respecting land in Church about 1550–60; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 117; i, 292. Thomas Greenwood of Oswaldtwistle died in 1618 holding lands called Ollertrodes, Fleets and Churchfield in Church of the heirs of Ralph Rishton by 3d. rent; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii, 244. The Greenwood tenement may be traced to the John Greenwood (1506) mentioned above in the account of Cattlow. Richard Greenwood and Thomas his son had land, &c., in Church and Oswaldtwistle in 1577; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 39, m. 116.
  • 51. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii, 50. He was perhaps one of the Hindles of Cowhill; Abram, Blackburn, 639.
  • 52. Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 131, no. 317.
  • 53. Ibid. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 54. Whitaker, Whalley, i, 87; the tithes of Church were worth 4 marks, Oswaldtwistle 6 marks, Duckworth 2 marks, and Huncoat 6 marks. The abbey received £22 8s. from Church and Altham in 1536; the chapel then seems to have been called All Saints'; ibid. 116. The old dedication may have been St. Oswald, for a well of St. Oswald in Church is named in a grant of various lands by Uctred de Church to Richard the alumnus and assignee of Henry the Chaplain of Rishton; Towneley MS. HH, no. 59, 26. Adam de Walbank appears to have been the chaplain in 1290; ibid. no. 28, &c.
  • 55. Whalley Couch. (Chet. Soc.), i, 236– 40.
  • 56. Ibid. 240–5.
  • 57. It is said to have come from Dunkenhalgh.
  • 58. The Dutch bell dated 1537 now at Whalley was at one time at Church Kirk. One bell was seized by the Crown in 1547; Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc.), 275.
  • 59. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 10.
  • 60. Bishop Gastrell states that the additional £6 was given by Archbishop Juxon in 1663, but this is an error, as £10 was paid in 1650.
  • 61. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 167. An order for £30 additional was made in 1648; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 242. In the following year the £50 named in the text was ordered, and the order was renewed in 1654; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 79, 140. Though there was at first some difficulty in obtaining payment a receipt for £25 was given by the minister in 1652; ibid. 244.
  • 62. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 322; the archbishop paid £10 out of Whalley rectory, a small close of land was worth 16s., Easter roll 10s., and surplice fees 31s. 8d. There were four wardens.
  • 63. Ibid. 323; he gave £200 in 1722.
  • 64. Manch. Dioc. Dir.
  • 65. Visitation lists at Chester Dioc. Reg. Thomas Booth was the chaplain in 1541; Clergy List (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 18. His name is recorded in the lists of 1548 and 1554, but in the latter mortuus is written against it, so that he died before 1562. George Bromley, who subscribed to the queen's ecclesiastical supremacy in 1563 (Ches. Sheaf [Ser. 3], i, 34–5), was curate in 1562, but his name is crossed out in the 1563 list, and in 1565 Edmund Norham was curate. In 1591 and 1605 Gilbert Holden was curate; Visit. Returns; note by Mr. Earwaker. Soon afterwards it was reported, 'The stipendiary minister is now gone'; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 10. Holden, however, was still curate in 1621. Mr. Walkden was 'lecturer' at Church in 1622; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 68. William Ingham of Church was a member of the Presbyterian Classis in 1646. He was afterwards of Goosnargh. James Rigby, M.A., occurs 1648–54. In 1671 John Kippax of Haslingden served Church also, apparently following a Roger Brereley; in 1677 John Barlow succeeded him, and in 1690 John Taylor was licensed to serve Church and Altham; Visit. Returns. John Barlow, curate, was 'conformable' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 229.
  • 66. Gastrell, op. cit. ii, 323.
  • 67. The benefice was declared a rectory in 1866; Lond. Gaz. 18 Dec. The ecclesiastical parish was then formed.
  • 68. The church papers at Chester Dioc. Reg. begin at this point. Cort was nominated by the vicar of Whalley, the curacy being vacant by the removal of Edward Rishton. Letters of administration were granted for Cort's estate in 1727.
  • 69. Nominated by Nathaniel Curzon. He resigned.
  • 70. Nominated by Sir N. Curzon.
  • 71. Nominated by Assheton Curzon on the death of C. Hall. Mr. Armitstead was born at Studfold, Horton, in 1737 and was vicar of Mitton 1771–1814. He served Church by curates.
  • 72. Nominated by R. W. Penn Curzon; he had been in charge for about a year.
  • 73. Nominated by Earl Howe on the death of J. Swainson.
  • 74. Nominated by the Hulme Trustees on the death of R. Noble. Mr. Birchall published volumes of sermons, &c.
  • 75. Previously vicar of New Bilton; rector of Epperstone 1891.
  • 76. Rector of Heaton Norris 1888–91.
  • 77. Rector of Selham 1899, vicar of Christ Church, Colne, 1900.
  • 78. Mannex, Dir.