Townships: Downham

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

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'Townships: Downham', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911), pp. 552-558. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Townships: Downham", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911) 552-558. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Townships: Downham", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, (London, 1911). 552-558. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

In this section


Dunum, Dounum, 1292; Donum, 1302; Dounom, 1311.

This township occupies the northern slope of Pendle Hill. At the foot is the village of Downham, in a vale lying east and west, and bounded along the north by a ridge of high land, along which ran a Roman road. Still further north of this ridge the surface descends to Ings Beck, which is the county boundary. The area measures 2,300 acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 the population numbered 246.

From the village several roads branch out. Westward goes one to Chatburn and Clitheroe; north-east goes another, by Downham Green and Newfield Barn, towards Gisburn in Yorkshire; south goes one to Radbrook and Worston; while east and south-east go two roads into Twiston, and then south round Pendle towards Newchurch and Burnley. The railway from Blackburn to Hellifield passes through the north-west corner, but there is no station.

Annel or Hannel Cross once stood in the south-east corner on a spur of Pendle. (fn. 2)

Cromwell's men were quartered at Downham 15 August 1648 on their way to the battle of Preston. (fn. 3)

A supposed case of demoniacal possession is reported in 1694. (fn. 4)

To the county lay of 1624 Downham paid £1 13s. 11¾d. and Twiston 11s. 4d., when £100 was required from the hundred. (fn. 5)

The agricultural land in Downham, Twiston, Chatburn and Worston is thus occupied: arable, 7 acres; permanent grass, 3,642½ woods and plantations, 139. (fn. 6) In Downham itself the land is mostly in pasture; the soil is light, overlying limestone and freestone. Crystals known as Downham diamonds are found.

The township has a parish meeting. The water supply is in private hands.


From later notices it seems that DOWNHAM was anciently assessed as three plough-lands and a half. (fn. 7) It formed part of the honor of Clitheroe, and in 1241 was assigned, as the fourth part of a knight's fee, to the Countess of Lincoln, widow of John de Lacy, in dower. (fn. 8) In 1242 it was held by Robert de Chester. (fn. 9) Later it seems to have reverted to the Lacys, who are found to hold a plough-land and a quarter in demesne, this being the manor proper, while the remainder was held by a number of tenants, (fn. 10) of whom Henry de Downham was in 1302 said to hold the third part of a knight's fee there. (fn. 11) The extent made in 1311 shows that the lord held 117 acres of arable land, receiving 59s. a year from tenants at will, while 10 acres of meadow yielded 20s. The 10 oxgangs of land were held in bondage by natives, who paid on St. Giles's Day at the rate of 3s. an oxgang, and rendered at Midsummer in common an additional 3s. in all. Cottagers held nine tofts at 6d. each toft. The water-mill was worth 26s. 8d. a year. The free tenants rendered 17s. 9d. The halmote was held in conjunction with Pendleton and Worston. (fn. 12)

In 1354 Henry Duke of Lancaster granted the manor to John de Dinelay, excepting the rents of the free tenants, then amounting to 38s. 2d.; he was to render the services due for the fourth part of a knight's fee and pay a rent of £12 6s. 7d. yearly, also render 2s. for ward of Lancaster Castle and puture. (fn. 13) The grant was confirmed by the king in 1357. (fn. 14) John de Dinelay died in 1367 holding the manor of Downham and lands in Yorkshire; he was succeeded by his son Richard, aged forty-eight. (fn. 15) Richard died a little over two years later, in September 1369, Henry his son and heir being twenty-six years of age. (fn. 16) John of Gaunt in 1380 made a lease of 40 acres at Downham Green to Henry de Dinelay grandson of John de Dinelay at 13s. 4d. a year, (fn. 17) and he appears to have intended to repurchase the manor from Henry, paying 80 marks. (fn. 18) Henry died in 1390 in possession of two-thirds of the manor, of which John Parker of Foulridge took possession, but the heir was Henry's half-brother John de Dinelay, aged twenty-two. (fn. 19) The other third part was probably in his mother's possession as dower. (fn. 20)

John de Dinelay obtained possession, and about 1412 paid 25s. as relief. (fn. 21) He died in 1416, when his heir was a son Richard, aged fifteen. (fn. 22) Here the detailed evidence ceases for a time. (fn. 23) Richard Dinelay died in 1511 seised of the manor of Downham, which was held of the king in chief by the fourth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 24) His son John having died before him, he was succeeded by his grandson William Dinelay, then aged twenty-five. (fn. 25) At William's death in 1535 he was found to have held the manor of the king as Duke of Lancaster, not in chief as before. (fn. 26) His son Henry was then twelve years old, and sold the manor to Ralph Greenacres in 1545. (fn. 27) He in 1558 sold it to Richard Assheton, (fn. 28) the purchaser of Whalley Abbey, who in 1563 transferred it to Edward Dauncey, (fn. 29) but subsequently regained it. (fn. 30) He died in 1579, having directed a partition of his estates between the sons of his nephew Ralph Assheton of Great Lever, (fn. 31) so that while the eldest obtained Whalley at his father's death in 1587, (fn. 32) the younger son Richard Assheton succeeded to the manor of Downham.

During the reigns of Elizabeth and James I there were great disputes between the lord of Downham and his tenants and the tenants of Chatburn also respecting Downham Green, which had been inclosed. (fn. 33) The following are examples of the complaints: Early in the former reign the tenants of the queen's manor of Chatburn alleged that all the people of the lordship had been accustomed to have common on 'one great waste ground thereto adjoining commonly called Downham Green,' but Richard Assheton 'of his malicious and covetous mind' had recently inclosed (fn. 34) 40 acres of it with a great ditch and a hedge. In 1570 Assheton was petitioner; the green belonged to his manor, and he had inclosed about 20 acres, leaving some 500 acres still unfenced within the manor of Downham, but some Chatburn people, 'envying and malicing the good and prosperous estate' of their neighbour, had assembled in warlike array, together with a great number of the women of Chatburn, and had broken down his wall of inclosure, so that he had no profit from it. (fn. 35) In 1590 only about 30 acres of the green were left open, and the people of Chatburn agreed with Richard Assheton, he allowing them 11 acres, 'to be measured after the rate of 8 yds. to the pole,' and to be taken on the Chatburn side of the land; the queen was asked to ratify this agreement and to allow her copyholders to occupy this addition to the manor at the rate of 4d. an acre. (fn. 36) Thomas Ryley, one of the leaders of the Chatburn tenants, made further complaint in 1593 that he had been prevented from digging for stones and burning them in lime-kilns on Downham Green. (fn. 37)

Assheton of Downham. Argent a mullet sable pierced of the field.

In 1591 Richard Assheton had agreed to a delimitation of the boundary of the township. (fn. 38) In 1609–15 inquiry was made on behalf of the Crown as to the right to view of frankpledge, &c., (fn. 39) and a royal confirmation was in 1615 given by James I. (fn. 40) A settlement of the manor was then made by Richard Assheton and Margaret his wife. (fn. 41) The family were Puritan in religion. (fn. 42) The eldest son of Richard Assheton died in 1596 by bewitchment, as was supposed, so that the inheritance devolved on the second son Nicholas, whose Journal for 1617–19 gives a vivid picture of the life of a country gentleman at that time—divided between society, church-going, farming, carousing and sport. (fn. 43) A settlement of the manor was made in 1624 by Richard Assheton, Margaret his wife, Nicholas Assheton and Frances his wife. (fn. 44) Nicholas died in 1626, and then his cousin Sir Ralph Assheton of Whalley appears as owner, (fn. 45) but Ralph Assheton son of Nicholas succeeded, and on his death in 1643 (fn. 46) his brother Richard came into possession. He was a member of the Presbyterian Classis in 1646, and died in 1657, having bequeathed his estates in Downham and Worston to his cousin Sir Ralph Assheton of Whalley, (fn. 47) who died in 1680. By his will Downham went to the representative of Radcliffe Assheton of Cuerdale, son of Ralph Assheton of Great Lever and nephew of the Richard who obtained Downham in 1587. (fn. 48)

Radcliffe Assheton died in 1645 (fn. 49); his eldest son John, differing in politics from his relatives, was a captain of foot in the king's service, and died at Bristol in 1643. (fn. 50) It was his son Richard who succeeded to Downham, and from him the manor has descended regularly to the present lord, Mr. Ralph Cockayne Assheton. (fn. 51)

DOWNHAM HALL is a modern rebuilding of an older house, standing on high ground to the west of the church at the north end of the village. The front faces north and consists of a central portion with pediment and Doric portico of four columns, flanked with projecting east and west wings. The house is of two stories and built of stone, but except for the central feature is architecturally uninteresting, the windows being plain square-headed sash openings and the roofs of flat pitch above a cornice. Portions of door arches and window jambs of the older house are to be traced on the south side, which was originally the front, (fn. 52) but the centre part of the present building and one wing were erected in 1835, the second wing following at a subsequent date. On either side of the windows over the portico are inserted ancient carved shields with the arms of Henry Lacy Earl of Lincoln and John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, and in the grounds are fragments of mediaeval masonry, probably from Sawley Abbey, and a stone with the initials and date R.A. 1589. (fn. 53)

A house known as the Old Hall stands in the lower part of the village facing the road, and is a picturesque two-story building with low mullioned windows and projecting two-story gabled porch, over the doorway of which was formerly a panel, now removed. The roofs are covered with stone slates, and the building is now divided into three cottages.

Of the minor estates or manors there is little to record. (fn. 54) The most ancient estate known is that of Ralph le Rous, to whom about 1140 Ilbert de Lacy confirmed a grant of land already made by one Aufray; it was to be held by the eleventh part of a knight's fee. (fn. 55) This may have been represented by the later Heriz holding. (fn. 56) Thomas de Ravensholme died in 1370 holding a messuage called Ravensholme of Henry de Dinelay by knight's service and 12d. rent; also half an oxgang of land, viz. 4 acres, of the Duke of Lancaster by knight's service, and 20d. rent. His heir was John de Downham, son of Richard the Cook, aged fifty. (fn. 57) The estate, of which a fourth part was acquired by the Worsleys, (fn. 58) was afterwards much divided. (fn. 59) The estate of Henry de Down ham (fn. 60) passed to Dinelay by marriage and became merged in the superior manor. The Blackburn plough-land seems to have been acquired at the end of the 13th century from William de Featherston, (fn. 61) descending to the Blackburns of Garston (fn. 62) and the Irelands of Lydiate. (fn. 63)

The abbeys of Whalley (fn. 64) and Sawley (fn. 65) had land in Downham, and some other landowners occur in the records. (fn. 66)

William Dinelay and Richard Shuttleworth contributed to the subsidy of 1524 for their lands, and Richard Brotherton in 1543. (fn. 67) Sir Ralph Assheton and Christopher Banastre appear in 1626. (fn. 68) To the hearth tax of 1666 there were seventy-four hearths liable; the chief houses were those of Sir Ralph Assheton with ten hearths and Robert Bulcock with five; five other houses had three hearths. (fn. 69) William Assheton paid about half the land tax in 1787; James Whalley was the next important owner. (fn. 70)


The chapel of ST. LEONARD (fn. 71) at Downham existed in 1296, when its altarage was worth 4 marks, the customary stipend of the chaplain, and the tithes of Downham and Twiston were worth 10 marks. The land of the demesne was valued at 1 mark. (fn. 72) The church goods taken away by the commissioners of Edward VI included two chalices, a cross of latten and some vestments. (fn. 73) The church as it stood in 1800 was 'a plain Gothic building, with a tower, two side aisles, a north and south chapel, and a middle choir. (fn. 74) The south chapel belonged to the lord of the manor and the north chapel to the Starkies of Twiston.

The present building stands on high ground at the north end of the village, close to the high road, which skirts the churchyard on the north and east. The ground falls rapidly on the south side, from which there is a very fine view from the churchyard towards Pendle Hill. The old church, with the exception of the tower, was pulled down in 1800 and the present building erected. (fn. 75) It is an extremely plain stone structure in the poorest Gothic of the day, the plan being a simple rectangle 73 ft. long by 34 ft. wide inside without any structural division of quire or aisles, with a south porch at the west end and a slated roof with overhanging eaves. The tower is of late 15th-century date with diagonal buttresses of four stages stopping below a string course under the belfry windows and a projecting vice in the north-east corner. The west doorway is pointed, with hollow-chamfered jambs and head and label over, and retains, though in a very bad condition, its ancient oak door. The west window is of three cinquefoiled lights and tracery under a sharply-pointed four-centred arch, the mullions alone being new. The belfry windows are pointed and of two cinquefoiled lights with hood mould over, and have been partly restored. The tower terminates in an embattled parapet with poor angle pinnacles, and gargoyles on the north and south, on which sides also is a clock. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders and is only partly visible, the end wall of the new church having been built in front of it.

The east window is of five lights, and there are four three-light windows in the north and three on the south side, the mullions being carved in the heads. The font is octagonal and apparently of 16th-century date, but has been spoiled with paint; the sides are ornamented with shields, six of which, however, are blank, the others being carved with the Legs of Man and a cheveron between three fleurs de lis. There are some old square pews at the east end, and the original three-decker pulpit remains against the north wall. At the west end is a gallery, but there is no organ, and the interior remains substantially as it was when built. (fn. 76) A brass chandelier, presented by Ralph Assheton of Preston in 1802, hangs from the flat plaster ceiling. There are numerous mural monuments to members of the Assheton family, the oldest being those of Lady Dorothy Assheton, who died in 1635, and Sir Ralph Assheton of Whalley, who died in 1680.

There are four bells, three of which are said to have come originally from Whalley or Sawley Abbey, but one of these has been recast. The fourth is a new bell by Taylor of Loughborough, the gift of Ralph Assheton in 1881. The first of the old bells is inscribed 'Vox Augustini sonet in aure Dei,' and the second 'Sta. Margareta ora pro nobis,' and both have marks attributed to John Walgrave (c. 1408). The third bell was recast by Taylor of Loughborough, and is inscribed 'St. Katharine, mdccclxxxi,' (fn. 77) the old form of lettering being copied.

The plate consists of a chalice and cover paten of 1613–14 (the date 1614 being scratched on the bottom of the chalice); a flagon inscribed 'The gift of Mrs. Assheton, of Cuerdale, to Downham Church for the use of the holy altar. Anno Domini 1728'; with the arms of Assheton on the lid; and a breadholder of 1804.

The registers of baptisms and burials begin in 1653 and those of marriages in 1655. There is a gap in the burials between 1766 and 1770.

There is a pedestal sundial on the south side of the church dated 1808.

The old allowance from the rectory of Whalley was £4 a year, (fn. 78) increased to £10 by the Archbishops of Canterbury before 1650, at which date £30 a year had been added out of sequestrations. (fn. 79) In 1717 the certified income was only £10 15s. 4d., the addition to the old £10 arising from fees (fn. 80); but in 1722 Nathaniel Curzon gave £200, in return obtaining the advowson, (fn. 81) which descended in his family till about 1845, when it was purchased from Lord Howe by the Hulme Trustees, the present patrons. (fn. 82) Some augmentations have been obtained, and the net income is now stated to be £190 a year. (fn. 83)

The following have been curates and vicars:—

oc. 1541 Thurstan Duckworth (fn. 84)
1563 Robert Thomlinson
oc. 1565 Miles Carrier (fn. 85)
oc. 1617 James Whalley (fn. 86)
oc. 1645 George Whitaker, M.A. (fn. 87)
1655 Jeremiah Hey (fn. 88)
1674 Carus Philipson, M.A. (fn. 89)
1683 Richard Wright (fn. 90)
1695 George Barker (fn. 91)
1702 Richard Pollard (fn. 92)
1704 George Escolme, B.A. (fn. 93) (Hart Hall, Oxford)
1716 George Brown, B.A.
1720 James Langfield
James Matthews (fn. 94)
1724 James Cowgill, B.A. (fn. 95) (Trinity Hall, Camb.)
1747 James King, D.D. (fn. 96)
1774 Thomas King, M.A. (fn. 97)
1774 William Kendall (fn. 98)
1802 Thomas Wilson, B.D. (fn. 99)
1813 Thomas Starkie, M.A. (fn. 100) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)
1818 Philip Abbott (fn. 101)
1853 Sampson Thomas Henry Jervois, M.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1882 William Stocks
1893 Edward Curling, M.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1899 Harold Broadbent Moore, M.A. (Brasenose Coll., Oxf.)
1908 Francis Thomas Bradshaw, B.A. (Wadham Coll., Oxf.)

Depositions taken in 1563 showed that lands worth 17s. 8d. a year had been 'given for the maintenance of the service of a priest to do the morning mass within the church of Downham, and that part of the said lands were given by Sir William Hinde, priest, deceased, and . . . were bestowed to the use aforesaid by the space of fourteen years. Sir Robert Thomlinson, priest, now doing service at Downham, took the profits thereof' until the previous Martinmas, when the lord of the manor (E. Dauncey) 'restrained' him. There were also sixteen or seventeen stocks of money and kine belonging to the church. Another witness added that the morning mass endowment had lasted forty years, and that the priest had also to keep a school. (fn. 102)

Of the history of the chapel there is little more to tell. It appears to have been served by several priests before the Reformation. (fn. 103) Afterwards it was served by a single minister or curate, who had usually some other charge, the stipend being insufficient for maintenance by itself. An 'exercise' was allowed at Downham in 1617, but quickly forbidden. (fn. 104) In 1672 it was reported to the Bishop of Chester that there were monthly conventicles and many Quakers. (fn. 105)

There is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel.

A school free to the children of the township was founded in 1703; the curate was to be the master. (fn. 106)


Official inquiries into the local charities were made in 1826 and 1901, and the report of the latter, issued in 1902 with a reprint of the earlier one, shows that £8 10s. a year is available for the poor. The poor's land seems to be due to gifts by Richard Waddington (1671), Lady Elizabeth Assheton (1686) and Margaret Slater (1702) (fn. 107); it is now let for £5 a year, and this is given in doles of 2s. to 5s. on St. Thomas's Day. Sir Ralph Assheton's charity, as recorded in the account of Whalley, gave £4 to Downham, half for a sermon on 30 January and half for the poor; the latter part is given in money to five of the poor inhabitants. A rent-charge of 30s. on a farm called Nutshaw was by some benefactor unknown given for providing blue cloth for the poor; doles of flannel are now given out of it.


  • 1. The Census Rep. 1901 records 2,302 acres.
  • 2. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xviii, 23.
  • 3. Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), iii, 175.
  • 4. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. x, 213.
  • 5. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 23.
  • 6. a Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 7. In the knight's fees of Henry Earl of Lancaster in 1349 the tenants of Downham were the earl himself holding one plough-land and 2 oxgangs of land in demesne, where twenty plough-lands made a knight's fee, Robert de Blackburn one plough-land, John de Dinelay half a plough-land, the heir of John son of William 2 oxgangs of land, the heir of Hugh de Downham 1½ oxgangs, the heir of Robert Spendlove ½ oxgang, the heir of William son of Alan 1 oxgang, the heir of Henry le Heriz 1 oxgang and he heir of Richard Cook 3½ acres; Lansdowne Feodary, printed in Baines' Lancs.
  • 8. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 148 n.
  • 9. Ibid. 150. Sir Robert de Chester also held part of Worston (ibid. 216) and occurs as witness to local charters; Whalley Couch. (Chet. Soc.), i, 73–5, 320.
  • 10. See note above. In 1296 the Earl of Lincoln's receipts from Downham were: From the rector of Whalley for an assart, 4s.; farm of lands, payable on St. Giles's Day, £8 11s. 5½d.; of demesne lands, £3 13s. 4d.; of mill, £2 14s.; of Alexander de Cuerdale, 10s.; of Mr. Henry de Clayton, 1d.; of William de Waddington, 1s.; and of Richard the clerk of Downham 1½d. in lieu of a pair of gloves; the sale of turf produced 2s. 0½d., the fines and perquisites of the halmote 10s. 6d., and the impounding of beasts 2s.; De Lacy Compoti (Chet. Soc.), 10, 11. The only additional receipt in 1305 was 10d. for the pasture of Greenhow, &c.; ibid. 107.
  • 11. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 318. From the next note it appears that Henry held only a third part of the land, though he appears to have discharged the whole of the knight's service due from the manor, which had been increased since 1242.
  • 12. Ibid. ii, 5. The plough-land held by the Blackburn family is not mentioned. The oxgangs in the hands of the free tenants named amount to 9⅓ in all, or a third part of three plough-lands and a half. Another extent of 1323 is printed ibid. 192; the free tenants of 1296 were represented by the heirs of Geoffrey de Cuerdale and Ralph de Clayton, Walter de Waddington and Richard the clerk. Several tenancies had expired and the net receipts from Downham were £16 11s. 2½d.
  • 13. Towneley MS. DD, no. 2234; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 333, where the rent of the free tenants is stated at £1 3s. 4d. only. A former note shows that John de Dinelay held half a plough-land in Downham in 1349. He married Margaret, who is stated to have been daughter of Henry de Downham; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 41. It was probably the same John who had complained of an assault upon him at Downham in 1329 by the Abbot of Sawley and some of the monks and lay brothers; De Banco R. 278, m. 38 d. Robert de Blackburn demised to him for fifteen years his capital messuage, &c., in Downham at a rent of 4 marks; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), B 291. In 1348 John de Dinelay complained against a number of persons for cutting down his trees, &c., at Downham and Cliviger; De Banco R. 355, m. 19 d. After acquiring the manor he proceeded against various people of Downham for depasturing, &c.; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 3, m. iv.
  • 14. Towneley MS. C 8, 13, D 39; the manor had been acquired without the king's licence. In the aid of 1346–55 John de Dinelay contributed for the fourth part of a knight's fee in Little Downham formerly held by Robert de Chester; Feudal Aids, iii, 88. He held similarly in 1361; Inq. p.m. 38 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 122.
  • 15. Inq. p.m. 41 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 20; the Lancashire part of the inquisition is now illegible, but has been preserved by Towneley. The manor-house and buildings were in great decay. There were sixteen tenants holding for terms of years; Towneley MS. GG, fol. 408, where the Assheton of Downham deeds are given.
  • 16. Inq. p.m. 43 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 32; the sixteen tenants paid 32s. a year for their messuages and £7 for 140 acres of land; the water-mill was worth 31s. yearly and the halmote 3s. 4d. In addition to the manor he held a messuage and 5 oxgangs of land of the duke by knight's service and 20s. rent.
  • 17. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xiv, 106; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, D 47–8. A grant by Henry son of Richard de Dinelay had his armorial seal appended, showing a fesse and in chief three mullets pierced, with legend +sigillvm. henric. dynelay; Dods. MSS. cxlii, fol. 64.
  • 18. C 8, 13, D 49; GG, fol. 409.
  • 19. The succession led to disputes. In 1394–5 John Parker and Alice his wife, then tenants, were to be distrained for reliefs, &c.; Memo. R. (L.T.R.), 160, m. 30 d. In 1395 John de Dinelay claimed the two-thirds of the manor against John Parker of Foulridge and Margaret de Dinelay daughter and heir of Henry; Pal. of Lanc. Chan. Misc. bdle. 1, file 3, no. 40. Margaret's guardian was William de Radcliffe of Todmorden. In 1396 John de Dinelay claimed lands in Clitheroe and the Ley and Holroyds in Cliviger against John Parker, Richard son of William de Radcliffe of Todmorden and Margaret his wife, Robert Holden of Simonstone and Alice his wife. The estate was traced back to Adam de Dinelay, who in 1313–14 gave it to his son John and Margaret his wife; DD, no. 1205. Their son Richard, who succeeded, was twice married—to Alice de Kighley and to Alice Franks—having a son Henry by the former and John (plaintiff) by the latter; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 40–2; Pal. of Lanc. Chan. Misc. bdle. 1, file 8, m. 23, 24. Henry's sisters of the whole blood were (1390) Margaret wife of William Popeley, Elizabeth wife of Henry Lacy and Isabel wife of William Parker.
  • 20. A detailed account of the dower assigned to Alice widow of Richard de Dinelay in 1369 is recorded in Inq. p.m. 45 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 19. She was still living in 1416.
  • 21. Memo. R. (L.T.R.) 176. An inquiry as to the tenure was ordered in 1414; Add. MS. 32104, no. 785. The return in 1416 stated that Henry de Dinelay had held the manor of the king in chief, as of his crown, by knight's service and a rent of £12 6s. 7½d. and 2s. for castle ward. He married Alice daughter of John de Mallum, who after his death bore a daughter named Margaret, still living; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. i, no. 15.
  • 22. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 121. The manor was stated to be held of the king in chief, as of his crown of England, by the service of the fourth part of a knight's fee. His wife Margaret survived him.
  • 23. John son and heir of John Dinelay of Downham is mentioned in 1423; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 24. Probably Richard died during minority and his brother John succeeded. In 1445–6 John Dinelay, Henry Parr and Agnes his wife, Christopher Banastre, John Alanson and Richard Bretherton held the fourth part of a knight's fee in Downham, whereof the relief was 25s. John Dinelay's share was 7s. 5d.; he said he had been in ward to the king, who sold it to Robert Halsall, late escheator. The Parrs' share was 11s. 10d., but Agnes was in ward. The other shares were respectively 2s. 11d., 2s. 2d. and 8d., which had been received; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. John Dinelay was living in 1463; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 75. From a confused note by Dodsworth it seems that Richard Dinelay living in 1498–9 was the son of John; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 110b. It seems to be taken from Richard's answer to a summons to show by what right he claimed view of frankpledge, &c., in his manor of Downham; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. 13 & 15 Hen. VII.
  • 24. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, no. 5. Agnes was the widow of Richard Dinelay; she held messuages and land in Downham and Clitheroe for life by the demise of John Dinelay father of Richard. Alice wife of Edmund Haworth also had a messuage in Downham, and Edward son of Richard Dinelay had another. From the age of the grandson it may be inferred that Richard was born before 1440.
  • 25. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, no. 5.
  • 26. Ibid. vii, no. 8; there were also daughters Grace and Agnes. Nicholas Hancock was brother-in-law. A messuage, &c., had been granted to Joan daughter of Thomas Lister of Westby in Craven.
  • 27. For the descent from this time see Whitaker, Whalley, ii, 120. In 1548 Henry Dinelay complained that he had been defrauded of the manor. His story was that he agreed with Ralph Greenacres concerning the marriage of his prospective children; should he have a son and heir this son was to marry Ralph's daughter, but should his heir be a daughter she was to marry Ralph's son. Being ignorant of Latin he signed certain deeds which Ralph said would carry out this arrangement, but which he found afterwards were a full conveyance of the manor to Ralph at a perpetual rent of £20. He charged his uncle Nicholas Hancock of Lower Higham with a share in the fraud; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 26, 74. One of the deponents said that Dinelay, when taken to Serjeants' Inn in London to acknowledge a fine concerning the manor, was muffled with his hat-band and covered with a cloak, though it was only six o'clock on a summer afternoon—he was afraid of being recognized and arrested by Ralph Greenacres. This, however, was denied, but Dinelay was arrested at Chester. The court in 1550 decided in favour of Greenacres and awarded him £100 for expenses; ibid. 85–7. For the recovery (1547) see Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 183, m. 6. Anne widow of Henry Dinelay died in 1596 holding (in her own right) tenements in Pendleton, Clitheroe Castle parish, &c. They had a son William, aged nine in 1600; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), v, 263–7.
  • 28. Whitaker, loc. cit.
  • 29. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 25, m. 100; Edward Dauncey v. Richard Assheton and Jane his wife. Edward Dauncey contributed to the subsidy at Downham in 1563; Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 250, no. 2. In 1566 Dauncey, as seised in fee, proceeded against various persons for trespass, &c.; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 323.
  • 30. In 1567; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 221, m. 5.
  • 31. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 86. He held the manor of Downham with messuages, water-mill, &c., of the queen as of her duchy of Lancaster.
  • 32. Ibid. no. 90. Downham was held of the queen as of her duchy by the fourth part of a knight's fee and a rent of £13 6s. 8d. In 1588 a settlement of the manor of Downham was made between Richard Assheton, Ralph his brother and Ralph's wife Joan; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 50, m. 178.
  • 33. There are documents, &c., relating to the dispute in Towneley MS. GG, fol. 410; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 210; iii, 209, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 273, m. 25; 281, m. 11 d.; 297, m. 18; 313, m. 9; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 237, &c.
  • 34. Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. xli, C 5.
  • 35. Ibid. cxliv, A 10.
  • 36. Ibid. cxlvi, K 4.
  • 37. Ibid. clxvi, R 3.
  • 38. GG, fol. 409b.
  • 39. Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 303, m. 17 d.; 308, m. 9; 312, m. 17; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, D 46. Richard Assheton in his defence stated that John de Dinelay, the grantee in 1354, had a descendant living, one Richard Illingworth.
  • 40. Pat. 13 Jas. I, pt. iii.
  • 41. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 86, no. 21.
  • 42. The Journal of Nicholas Assheton supplies proof.
  • 43. It is printed in Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 122–41, and by the Chet. Soc. (old series, xiv), with notes by Canon Raines. The great event recorded is the king's visit to Hoghton Tower. There is a notice of the writer in Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 44. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 105, no. 36. For one in the preceding year by Richard Assheton and Nicholas his son and heir-apparent see ibid. bdle. 104, no. 54.
  • 45. Sir Ralph Assheton contributed to the subsidy of 1626 as for Downham, and his son's wife was buried there in 1635.
  • 46. He was a Parliamentarian, being placed on the committee for sequestering Royalists' estates in 1643; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc.), 90.
  • 47. The descent is taken from the pedigrees in Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 121, and Foster, Lancs. Ped.
  • 48. For disputes concerning Downham between Richard Assheton and Sir Edmund (brother of Sir Ralph), 1691–4, see Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiii, App. v. 336–7.
  • 49. Abram, Blackburn, 464.
  • 50. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 10. Richard the son of John was aged twentytwo in 1665, when the pedigree was recorded.
  • 51. The following outline of the descent is from Foster's Pedigrees and Abram's Blackburn: Richard Assheton of Cuerdale and Downham, d. 1710 -s. Ralph, d. 1705 (?) -s. Ralph, d. 1729 -s. Ralph, d. 1759 -s. William, high sheriff in 1792, d. 1833 -s. William, d. 1858 -s. Ralph, M.P. for Clitheroe (Conserv.) 1868–80, d. 1907 -s. Ralph Cockayne, born 1860. There was a recovery of the manors of Downham and Cuerdale and free fishery in the Ribble and Darwen in 1749, Ralph Assheton being in possession; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 568, m. 3. Again in 1780, William Assheton tenant (ibid. 632, m. 8); and in 1816, William Assheton the younger; Aug. Assizes, 56 Geo.III, roll 8.
  • 52. Note by W. A. Waddington to Whitaker, Whalley (ed. 4, 1876), ii, 118–19, from which this description of the hall is taken.
  • 53. Ibid.
  • 54. Some particulars have been given in former notes. In 1322 Robert de Blackburn held one plough-land by the twentieth part of a knight's fee; Henry le Heriz (in right of his wife) and Margery widow of William de Cathirton held an oxgang of land by the eighth part of a knight's fee; and Richard the Cook held the fourth part of an oxgang where 20 oxgangs of land made a knight's fee; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 134–5.
  • 55. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 387–8.
  • 56. Adam de Heriz in 1301 gave to William de Hedersford and Amery his wife all his land in Ravensholme in Downham and in Twiston; Add. MS. 32104, m. 879. In the following year Edmund Talbot acquired the same; Final Conc. i, 199.
  • 57. Inq. p.m. 44 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 2. Cecily widow of Richard the Cook released 1½ acres in Westrode in Downham to John de Dinelay in 1344; Towneley MS. DD, no. 2103. In 1389–90 John son of Richard the Cook gave land in Ravensholme to Robert de Feilden of Pendleton, who transferred to Thomas de Radcliffe of Winmarleigh; Towneley MS. GG, fol. 421. The Radcliffe of Winmarleigh estate descended to Sir Gilbert Gerard, who died in 1594. The lands in Downham were stated to be held of Dinelay or Assheton in socage; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 3, &c.
  • 58. Robert Worsley died in 1438 holding the fourth part of a messuage called Ravensholme in Downham of John Dinelay in socage by a rent of 3d. His heir was a nephew Richard (son of John) Worsley, aged twenty-two; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1475. Richard Worsley married Isabel daughter of Henry Towneley, and died in 1463, leaving a son Robert, four years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 75–7. In 1465 Richard's widow complained that Edmund Greenhalgh and Edmund Pilkington of Tottington had abducted the heir at Great Mearley; his marriage belonged to her; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. 5 Edw. IV. She had in the previous year agreed that he should marry Elizabeth daughter of Edmund Greenhalgh; Towneley MS. OO, no. 1643. Robert Worsley died in or before 1486, when his widow Elizabeth claimed dower in Downham, Twiston and Mearley against Richard Aughton, Margaret his wife, Lawrence Shuttleworth, Elizabeth his wife, Richard Hoghton, Joan his wife, Thomas Starkie, Alice his wife and Agnes Worsley; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 62, m. 10 d. The women mentioned were Robert's sisters and co-heirs. In 1470 Nicholas Shuttleworth agreed with Isabel widow of Richard Worsley concerning the marriage of his son and heir Lawrence with Isabel's daughter Elizabeth; Folds D.
  • 59. A partition was made in 1494; Lancs. Inq. p.m. loc. cit. In the same year Richard Radcliffe of Todmorden and Charles his son released to Margaret widow of Richard Aughton, Lawrence Shuttleworth and Elizabeth his wife, John Banastre and Joan his wife, John Dean and Agnes his wife, Thomas Starkie and Alice his wife all claim on lands in Downham, Twiston and Rimington; Add. MS. 32104, fol. 233b. Joan's marriage with John Banastre was afterwards declared void by the Archbishop of York, the husband's previous marriage with Elizabeth Popeley never having been dissolved; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 70. John Dean died in 1538 holding messuages and lands in Billington, Wilpshire, Mellor, Downham and Twiston. Those in Downham were stated to be held of the king as of his duchy. He had a second wife named Joan, and left a son and heir William, aged fifty-three in 1543; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, no. 12. Already in 1536 William (described as son and heir of John Dean by Agnes sister and co-heir of Robert Worsley) had agreed to sell his estate in Downham and Twiston to Sir Thomas Langton; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 163, m. 1. Sir Thomas afterwards sold to Richard Assheton; GG, fol. 421. The Deans acquired other land there (Final Conc. iv, 142), for John Dean alias Jenkin in 1557 granted land in Downham to Richard son of John Serjeantson; GG, fol. 422b. John Dean died in 1616 holding a messuage, &c., in Downham of the king as duke by the hundredth part of a knight's fee. He left a son and heir John, aged about sixty; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 170. Part of the land was sold by Richard Assheton in 1559–61 to John Hatgill of Holden, Yorks. (GG, fol. 422); he or his son died in 1617 holding 6 acres of the king as duke by knight's service and 10d. rent, and the reversion (after the death of John his father) of 7½ acres called Ravensholme held of Richard Assheton by knight's service and 3d. rent. His son and heir Adam was twelve years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii, 198.
  • 60. William the Skinner had a spinney in Holcliff Field from William de Featherston, then lord; it descended to his grandson William de 'Grenawe,' who in 1306 granted it to Master Henry de Downham; Liverpool Free Lib. D. (by Mr. R. Gladstone, jun.).
  • 61. There are several tokens of the Featherston manor. Walter de Waddington was in 1276 called to warrant 2 oxgangs of land in Downham which Robert de Featherston had given in marriage with his daughter Sarah wife of Walter de Waddington, ancestor of the abovenamed Walter; Assize R. 405, m. 3a. In 1292 Adam de Malsys claimed a messuage and 4 oxgangs of land in Downham against Robert son of Adam de Wiswell, alleging that he was son of William son of one Richard de Malsys, who had married Alice daughter of William de Featherston. John son of Adam de Blackburn warranted to defendant, showing that the said Richard de Malsys had by charter granted the half ploughland to his ancestor Adam de Blackburn; Assize R. 408, m. 33 d. The claim was renewed in 1303, when Robert de Blackburn called Alice, Joan and Henry Dule and Agnes his wife to warrant him, they being next of kin and heirs of Adam de Blackburn; De Banco R. 145, m. 187; 146, m. 14 d. Robert de Blackburn had in 1292 to defend his title to one plough-land in Downham against John son of Adam son of John de Blackburn. It appeared that John and Robert were half-brothers, the latter being Adam's son by a second wife, Alice, and holding by his father's grant to him; Assize R. 408, m. 27 d., 64 d. Alice afterwards married Adam de Pemberton, and claimed dower against Robert de Blackburn; ibid. m. 56 d. In 1296 Adam son of Adam de Blackburn claimed 4 oxgangs of land in Downham against William son of Adam de Blackburn; De Banco R. 114, m. 86 d. The following Downham charters have been preserved by Towneley (MS. C 8, 13, in the Chetham Library): William de Featherston to Adam de Blackburn, 4 oxgangs of land at 4s. rent—F 39; Richard de Malalis (Malsys) to Adam de Blackburn, half a plough-land at 4s. rent and the service of the fortieth part of a knight's fee—M 74; Adam son of John de Blackburn to Robert his son and Alice his wife, one plough-land—B 290; Adam de Blackburn to John his son, land at 8d. rent—B 292; Henry de Downham clerk to Adam de Blackburn, 'my lord,' land and also an oxgang of land—B 41, 40. In 1296 Master Henry de Downham recovered 4 acres in Downham against Robert son of Adam de Blackburn of Wiswell; De Banco R. 111, m. 79 d.
  • 62. John de Blackburn of Garston died in 1405 holding 6 oxgangs of land in Downham of the king as of his duchy by knight's service; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1457.
  • 63. John Ireland died in 1514 holding lands in Downham of the king as duke by the fortieth part of a knight's fee; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, no. 16.
  • 64. Gilbert son of William de Featherston gave to Whalley Church 4 acres lying between the brooks descending between Hareshaw and Nutshaw, in North towards the abbey (Sawley), and near Brette Street towards Chatburn; Whalley Couch. i, 318. Henry de Cotes gave 9 acres of arable land and 2 acres of meadow between Monkdyke on the east, Millbrook on the south, Cockshaw and Cockshaw syke as far as Ravensholme, to Peter de Chester as rector of Whalley; ibid. 319. Roger rector of Whalley gave 4 acres under Greenhow to Jordan son of William the Skinner at 2s. rent; ibid. 320. William de Greenhow, probably the son of Jordan (cf. a former note), gave them back for an endowment of the chapel; ibid. 321. The rental of 1537 shows only two tenants paying 17s. 8d. in all; ibid. iv, 1218. The Whalley lands in Downham were granted to John Braddyll in 1545; Pat. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. xi.
  • 65. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii (1), p. 409; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 245.
  • 66. Christiana widow of Robert son of Robert de Downham claimed dower against Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 57 d. Anthony Watson of Coldcoats held land in Downham of the queen in 1568 by knight's service and 4s. 4d. rent; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiii, no. 36. His son Thomas held similarly (rent 4s. 8d.) in 1579; ibid. xiv, no. 28. Anthony Watson (son of Thomas) and Dorothy his wife sold messuages in 1583 to Roger Dilworth and to John Brotherton (? Bretherton); Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 45, m. 125, 163. Thomas Dilworth died in or before 1628 holding of the king as duke, and leaving a widow Agnes and a daughter and heir Janet (aged twenty-seven), wife of George Shuttleworth; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 340. Henry Brotherton of Howcliff (cf. Holcliff above) died in 1617 holding a messuage, &c., in Downham of the king in chief by knight's service and 14d. rent. He left a widow Margaret, a son and heir John (aged five) and several daughters. He desired to be buried in the church or churchyard of Downham, and left a cupboard, an ark and a counter to his son; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), ii, 181. William son of Nicholas Hancock died in 1586 holding a messuage in Downham of the queen as of her duchy by the sixtyeighth part of a knight's fee. He married Ellen daughter of Simon Haydock and left a daughter and heir Isabel, aged seven; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 57. James Middleton died in 1562 holding two messuages, &c., in Downham of the queen as of her castle of Clitheroe in socage, by a rent of 2s. 11½d. His son John, aged forty-nine in 1608, succeeded; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc.), i, 108. In a later inquisition the tenure was recorded as 'by the 120th part of a knight's fee and 2s. 11½d. rent'; ibid. ii, 20. Richard Allan died in 1608 holding two messuages, &c., of the king as duke by the 100th part of a knight's fee. His heirs were two daughters, Isabel wife of John Smithies and Sibyl wife of James Oddy, aged fifty-six and fifty; ibid. 171. Isabel seems to have become sole heiress. She died in 1625 and her husband a year or so later, holding two messuages of the king as duke by the 200th part of a knight's fee. Her son and heir William was about thirty-four years old; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, p. 1090.
  • 67. Lay Subs. Lancs. bdle. 130, no. 82, 125.
  • 68. Ibid. bdle. 131, no. 317.
  • 69. Ibid. bdle. 250, no. 9.
  • 70. Land tax returns at Preston.
  • 71. Whitaker, Whalley, i, 116. It is called St. Leonard's about 1300; Whalley Couch. i, 321.
  • 72. Whitaker, op. cit. i, 87. Gifts of land have been recorded above.
  • 73. Augm. Off. Misc. Bks. clxx, m. 19. Two bells and a chalice are mentioned in another account; Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc.), 275, 269. Two other bells seem to have been left at Downham; ibid. 259, 263. The 'ornaments' were worth 5s. 10d.; ibid. 277.
  • 74. Whitaker, op. cit. ii, 144.
  • 75. The spout heads bear the date 1800.
  • 76. The roof was stripped and repaired in 1832.
  • 77. The old bell had 'Sca. Katharina ora pro nobis'; Whitaker.
  • 78. a Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 10.
  • 79. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 165. The people wished it to be made a parish church with a competent maintenance. The additional allowance of £30 had been made in 1648; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 221. It was confirmed or renewed in 1656; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 162. It was to come from the rectory of Whalley; ibid. 176.
  • 80. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 328. There were four wardens.
  • 81. Ibid. 329. Queen Anne's Bounty added another £200.
  • 82. Ibid. 330 n.
  • 83. Manch. Dioc. Dir.
  • 84. In 1541 Duckworth was paid by the vicar of Whalley; Clergy List (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 18. He is named later in the visitation lists of 1548, 1554, 1562 and 1563, but in the last of these his name is crossed out and the curacy is stated to be vacant.
  • 85. Visitation List of 1565. In 1598 it was reported to the bishop that 'all was well' at Downham. About 1610 Carrier was reported to be 'no preacher'; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 10. His will was proved in 1612.
  • 86. N. Assheton, Journal (Chet. Soc.), 82, 87. He is called 'Sir James alias Mr. Whalley'; ibid. 126. The will of a James Whalley, clerk, of Danefield, Blackburn, was proved at Chester in 1633.
  • 87. He was approved by the committee of ministers 1 Apr. 1645, but may have been in charge earlier; Whitaker, op. cit. i, 221. One of this name, of Simonstone, graduated at Oxford in 1635; Foster, Alumni.
  • 88. Plund. Mins. Accts. ii, 110. Hey was still there in 1659; ibid. 289.
  • 89. The chapel was vacant in 1671; Visit. Returns.
  • 90. Visit. List of 1691; also curate of Whitewell. As 'vicar' he was 'conformable' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 229.
  • 91. His will was proved in 1702.
  • 92. The church papers at Chester Dioc. Reg. begin with the nomination of this curate by the vicar of Whalley.
  • 93. Schoolmaster of Clitheroe 1693– 1714.
  • 94. This would be the son of the vicar of Whalley, who was curate of Preston and became incumbent of Burnley in 1724.
  • 95. Nominated by N. Curzon. Cowgill was also incumbent of Clitheroe 1739–43.
  • 96. Licensed to Clitheroe also in 1743 (q.v.).
  • 97. Nominated by Assheton Curzon. This incumbent was afterwards prebendary of Canterbury, &c.
  • 98. Nominated by Assheton Curzon.
  • 99. Nominated by the Hon. G. A. W. Curzon, by the advice of his mother and guardian. Mr. Wilson was head master of Clitheroe School, &c., 1775–1813.
  • 100. Nominated by R. W. Penn Curzon. Mr. Starkie was also vicar of Blackburn.
  • 101. Nominated by R. W. P. Curzon. Mr. Abbott had other charges and was head master of Clitheroe Grammar School from 1841 till his death in 1852; J. Carr, Colne, 167.
  • 102. Duchy of Lanc. Special Com. 98.
  • 103. Duckworth had three companions in the visitation lists of 1548, but was alone in later years.
  • 104. N. Assheton, Journal (Chet. Soc.), 28.
  • 105. Visit. Returns at Chester. James Whipp had been presented in 1665 for having private Quaker meetings in his house. Bishop Gastrell in 1717 knew of no Dissenters.
  • 106. Gastrell, op. cit. ii, 329; End. Char. Rep.
  • 107. Gastrell, op. cit. ii, 330; cf. End. Char. Rep.