Townships: Medlar-with-Wesham

Pages 153-157

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.

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In this section


Middelarghe, Middelerwe, 1226; Middilhargh, 1292.

Westhusum, 1203; Westeshum, 1262; Westesom, Westsom, 1292; Wessum, 1324.

Bredekirk, 1249.

Mulebrec, 1249; Molebrek, 1276.

Wesham, with Mowbreck on the east, occupies the southern part of the township, having Medlar as a long prolongation northwards, and Bradkirk, which (though quite detached) is reckoned with Medlar, as a prolongation westward. The total area is 1,965½ acres, (fn. 1) of which the two portions of Medlar furnish 1,079 and Wesham 886½. In 1901 there was a population of 1,826. The surface in general varies from 25 to 60 ft. above the ordnance datum, but there is some higher land on the west of Bradkirk, 125 ft. being there attained.

The principal village is modern, clustering round the railway station on the border of Kirkham. Through it go roads northward to Greenhalgh and north-west through Bradkirk to Weeton and Blackpool. The railway from Preston to Blackpool and Fleetwood crosses the township close to the southern border, having the station already named, which is called Kirkham and Wesham. From it the Lytham line branches off.

There are two cotton factories. The soil is clayey; wheat, oats and potatoes are grown, but most of the land is used for pasture.

The township is governed by a parish council. There are a lecture hall and concert room.


None of the component parts of the township—Medlar, Wesham, Mowbreck and Bradkirk—is named in Domesday Book; in 1066 they were probably included in Kirkham and Greenhalgh. (fn. 2) Afterwards they were in the hands of different lords.

MEDLAR was about 1180 held in thegnage by Roger de Hutton of Penwortham by a rent of 8s.; it was assessed as one plough-land. (fn. 3) He gave it to his daughter Cecily in free marriage with Benedict Gernet (fn. 4); she afterwards, as it seems, married Ellis de Stiveton or Steeton. She gave Medlar to the Knights of St. John about 1207, and they granted to Gilbert son of Roger son of Reinfred, (fn. 5) he in turn transferring it to the canons of Cockersand. (fn. 6) In 1299 the Hospitallers confirmed the Cockersand right; a rent of 2s., instead of 1s. 6d., was to be paid to them, and 2s. also on the death or removal of an abbot. (fn. 7) The canons retained possession till the Suppression, (fn. 8) and in 1543 Medlar was granted by the Crown to William Eccleston of Great Eccleston. (fn. 9) In 1592 Thomas Eccleston had only a rent of 20s. from lands there, (fn. 10) the greater part having apparently been acquired by the Westbys of Mowbreck, (fn. 11) for in 1557 William Westby held messuages in Medlar and a close called the Cornfield of the king and queen in chief by the fortieth part of a knight's fee and a rent of 8s., (fn. 12) i.e. the old thegnage rent. Land or rent in Medlar was re-granted to the Hospitallers by Queen Mary, as part of the Stidd estate, (fn. 13) and seems afterwards to have been acquired by the Shireburnes. (fn. 14)

WESHAM was in 1189 confirmed to Roger son of Augustin de Heaton by John Count of Mortain; one part, assessed as 4 oxgangs of land, was held by a rent of 2s. yearly, due to the chief lord, Count John; the other part, also assessed as 4 oxgangs, had been granted to Roger by Adam son of Adam Artwin. (fn. 15) Five years later the whole plough-land was confirmed to Roger de Heaton by Theobald Walter, the rent of 4s. being apparently unaltered. (fn. 16) It was held by Roger's heir in 1212, (fn. 17) and in 1262 a later Roger de Heaton was found to have held in chief of the king 8 oxgangs of land in Wesham, 2 in demesne and 6 in service, rendering 4s. yearly. (fn. 18) The estate passed to the lord of Mowbreck, who in 1557 was holding lands, windmill, &c., in Wesham of the king and queen by the rent of 4s. (fn. 19); but the mesne lordship, like that of Mowbreck itself, was vested in the Botelers of Ireland, (fn. 20) perhaps in virtue of the grant of Amounderness, and as an appurtenance of their lordship of Weeton was acquired by the Stanleys. (fn. 21) The Earl of Derby remains the chief landowner to the present time. For a long time part of Wesham was held by the Greenhalgh family, (fn. 22) but was sold to the Masons in the time of Elizabeth. (fn. 23) One or two other holders occur. (fn. 24)

Boteler. Or a chief indented azure.

Stanley. Argent on a bend azure three stags' heads caboshed or.

MOWBRECK was from an early time in the possession of the Botelers of Ireland. (fn. 25) Of them it was held, like Wesham, by the Heaton family, the immediate tenant in 1286 being Adam de Bradkirk who rendered 4s. yearly, (fn. 26) which continued to be the service due from the manor. The manor was settled on William de Heaton and Anilla his wife in 1328–30, the free tenants being Nicholas del Marsh, John de Bradkirk, Thomas de Greenhalgh and John son of Roger de Wesham. (fn. 27) About 150 years later the manor was held by one William Westby, (fn. 28) perhaps by descent from Nicholas del Marsh, and in 1479 he settled it upon his son John and Mabel daughter of Richard Boteler. They had issue two daughters—Beatrice, who married Lawrence Preston, and Alice—but John by a second marriage had a son William, who after various disputes obtained the manor from the Prestons. (fn. 29)

Westby of Mowbreck. Argent on a cheveron azure three cinquefoils pierced of the field.

He died in May 1557 holding the manor of Mowbreck of the king and queen as of their duchy of Lancaster in socage by 4s. rent, and leaving a son and heir John, twenty-seven years old. (fn. 30) This son proved one of the most uncompromising adherents of the old religion in the county. At the beginning of active persecution in 1568 he was summoned before the queen's commissioners, and replied that he had 'not resorted to the church Sundays and holydays,' as the laws of the realm required, nor 'received the communion in such sort as by the laws he (was) likewise appointed'; he had entertained William Allen (afterwards Cardinal), not as a disloyal subject but regarding him only as a relative. (fn. 31) He remained constant, and is found on the recusant lists as heavily fined. (fn. 32) In 1585 he sent a petition to the queen asking for some consideration; he was sixty years of age, he had lately paid £25 for the furnishing of a light horseman, (fn. 33) and his goods had been seized for a fine of £80, though his 'ancient rents' amounted to no more than £42 a year. He therefore desired the queen to accept £10 or 20 marks as a composition. (fn. 34) He died in 1591 in possession of the family estates; the heir was his son John, eleven years old. (fn. 35)

The younger John Westby died in 1605, and was succeeded by his brother Thomas, then nineteen years of age. (fn. 36) Thomas Westby, who recorded a pedigree in 1613 (fn. 37) and paid £13 6s. 8d. in 1631 on declining knighthood, (fn. 38) died at Burn in Thornton in September 1638, leaving his son John heir to a somewhat diminished estate. (fn. 39) On the outbreak of the Civil War John Westby and his brothers espoused the king's side, (fn. 40) and his estates were sequestered and finally sold for his recusancy and delinquency by the Parliamentary authorities. (fn. 41) The estate of his brother and successor Francis suffered a like fate, (fn. 42) as did that of his half-brother George. (fn. 43)

Francis Westby succeeded in 1661, and recorded a pedigree in 1664, being then forty-four years of age. (fn. 44) Mowbreck descended to his son Thomas (fn. 45) and grandson John, who in 1717 as a 'Papist' registered his estates at Burn in Thornton, Mowbreck, Westby, &c., the Lancashire portion being valued at £230 6s. 1½d. per annum. (fn. 46) He left four daughters as co-heirs, and they or their representatives, after the death of his brother Robert in 1762, obtained the Mowbreck estates. (fn. 47) Division and sales followed, but part returned by marriage to Thomas Westby of Rawcliffe, a distant cousin. (fn. 48) His estate descended to two of his sons, (fn. 49) and then by will to the son of a nephew, (fn. 50) George Westby, (fn. 51) who was in 1842 followed by his son Joscelyn Tate Fazakerley Westby. (fn. 52) It was in 1893 purchased from the mortgagees by the Earl of Derby, the present owner. (fn. 53)

BRADKIRK, (fn. 54) though recently accounted as part of Medlar, seems always to have belonged to the lords of Wesham. (fn. 55) It gave a surname to a family of long continuance in the district. (fn. 56) Adam de Bradkirk died in September 1349 holding in conjunction with Ismania his wife the manor of Bradkirk of Edmund de Heaton by fealty and the service of 4s. yearly. John his son and heir was only two years of age. (fn. 57) Later the estate was held on lease of the Earl of Derby (fn. 58) by the Parkers, (fn. 59) and in 1653 was purchased by Christopher Parker. (fn. 60) It did not continue much longer in his family, being sold in 1723. After passing through several changes it was again sold in 1797 to Joseph Hornby of Ribby, (fn. 61) and has since descended with his estates.

James Hornby of Medlar, as a recusant, had part of his estate sequestered under the Commonwealth, (fn. 62) and John Swarbrick of Wesham, as a 'Papist,' registered his estate in 1716. (fn. 63)

Christ Church, Wesham, was built in 1894 as a chapel of ease to the parish church of Kirkham.

There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

During the times of persecution mass was said at Mowbreck, (fn. 64) which remained the seat of the mission till 1809, when it was removed to the chapel opened at Kirkham. As an offshoot of this St. Joseph's, Wesham Cross, was opened in 1886. (fn. 65)


  • 1. 1,967 acres, including 7 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. Wesham was later reputed to contain two (or three) plough-lands and Medlar one (or half). The former was probably taken from Kirkham and the latter from Greenhalgh.
  • 3. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 47; it was held by Ellis de Hutton son of Roger in 1212.
  • 4. Ibid. She was living and in possession in 1212.
  • 5. Robert the Treasurer, Prior of the Hospitallers in England, confirmed to Gilbert (son of Roger) son of Reinfred 'the whole vill of Medlar, i.e. one ploughland with all its appurtenances, &c., which we had by the gift of Cecily daughter of Roger, formerly wife of Benedict Gernet.' Gilbert and his heirs were to pay 12d. a year to the knights on St. Oswald's Day, half a mark as obit, and the 8s. a year due to the king; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), i, 170. Ellis de Hutton confirmed his sister's grant to the Hospitallers; ibid. 171.
  • 6. Ibid. 168; one plough-land in Medlar, the mill of Greenhalgh and the service of Adam de Cornay and his heirs. The canons were to perform the service due to the king. The grant was made in or before 1216, when the king confirmed Gilbert's grant to the abbey; Cal. Rot. Chart. (Rec. Com.), 218. Gilbert seems to have become the abbey's tenant. He obtained a quitclaim respecting Medlar from Maud de Stiveton, daughter and beneficiary of Ellis de Stiveton, and had granted his whole tenement to Reyner de Stiveton, guaranteeing also to pay the 8s. service due to the king; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 440–2. It was perhaps in consequence of this grant that an Ellis de Stiveton claimed Medlar in 1235, and on the Abbot of Cockersand calling William de Lancaster (son of Gilbert the benefactor) to warrant him Ellis resigned his right on being paid 25 marks by William; Cockersand Chartul. i, 169; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 63.
  • 7. Cockersand Chartul. i, 167; see p. 171 for the earlier agreement for 1s. 6d. rent. The canons obtained 3 oxgangs of land from Robert son of Ellis de Hutton, and another in 1271 from Eda daughter of Roger de Medlar, who had been enfeoffed by her father in marriage; ibid. 172. This last grant is probably that referred to in a claim by Eda daughter of Roger de Furness in 1292; she alleged that she had demised an oxgang of land to the abbot's predecessor for life in 1276, he promising a robe yearly, which was withheld. The verdict was for the abbot; Assize R. 408, m. 96 d.
  • 8. In 1324 the Abbot of Cockersand was stated to hold Medlar in conjunction with. Newbigging or Singleton Grange; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. In 1346 he held half a plough-land in Medlar in thegnage by a rent of 8s.; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 52. A similar tenure was recorded in 1445–6, but the abbot alleged that he held in pure alms; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. In 1303 Adam son of Richard de Mowbreck claimed a messuage and half an oxgang of land in Medlar held by the Abbot of Cockersand; De Banco R. 145, m. 95 d. The Cockersand rentals 1451–1537 are printed in the Chartul. iii, 1264–5.
  • 9. Pat. 35 Hen. VIII, pt. ix, m. 11. The grant included a close called Cornfield.
  • 10. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 38.
  • 11. William Westby was defendant in 1543 in various claims as to lands in Medlar lately of Cockersand Abbey; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 80.
  • 12. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17. A similar return is made in later inquisitions.
  • 13. Pat. 4 & 5 Phil, and Mary, pt. xiv.
  • 14. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi, no. 5.
  • 15. Farrer, op. cit. 437.
  • 16. Farrer, op. cit. 439. The homage and service of Alexander de Wesham was included.
  • 17. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 48. Sabina widow of Roger de Heaton had dower from Wesham in 1203–4; Farrer, Lancs, Pipe R. 181.
  • 18. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 231. The value was 16s. a year.
  • 19. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17.
  • 20. In 1286 William de Hoton (Heaton) was mesne tenant between Theobald le Boteler and Adam de Bradkirk; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 265. Two plough-lands in Wesham and Mowbreck were included in the Earl of Ormond's estate in 1346; Survey (Chet. Soc), 52–4. The two plough-lands may have been composed thus: Wesham, one; Mowbreck, half; Bradkirk, half.
  • 21. Sir John Stanley held the Boteler estate in 1431; Feud. Aids, iii, 95. The Derby rental (at Lathom) for 1522 shows that 4s. was paid to the king as the free rent of the vill of Wesham. The tenants at will paid 44s. a year and eight hens (each worth 1½d.). The 4s. paid to the Crown in 1557 by William Westby was no doubt the same rent, he being immediate tenant.
  • 22. In 1292 Thomas son of William de Greenhalgh claimed the third part of certain moor and turbary in Wesham against John de Sotehill and Denise his wife, William le Boteler of Warrington and others. Denise replied that she held in dower, of the inheritance of Christiana, daughter of Roger de Heaton, and that plaintiff had common of pasture and turbary. The father of the plaintiff married Alice daughter of Roger de Heaton (called Hoghton) and Roger gave her in marriage 3 oxgangs of land out of the 8 he held in the vill; Assize R. 408, m. 45. From another pleading it appears that Denise was the widow of Roger. Thomas de Greenhalgh, John de Marays and John son of Roger de Bradkirk brought a claim against William de Heaton and others in 1334, but did not prosecute it; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 122. James Greenhalgh died in 1559 holding messuages, &c., in Wesham of John Westby in socage, by a rent of 18d. yearly; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xii, no. 23. The rent was the proportion of the 4s. due for 3 oxgangs. George Greenhalgh grandson of James succeeded. William Westby in 1547 complained that James Greenhalgh and others had made encroachments on the waste of Wesham lordship; Ducatus Lanc, i, 231.
  • 23. Richard Mason in 1564 purchased a messuage, &c., in Wesham from George Greenhalgh and Agnes his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 28, m. 266. Gregory Mason purchased a messuage— perhaps the same—from Hugh Mason, Anne his wife and Margaret Mason widow in 1571; ibid. bdle. 33, m. 13. Gregory died in 1581 holding his land, &c., of John Westby by the rent of 18d. Cuthbert his son and heir was thirteen years old; his widow was Ellen Pleasington; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 55. Cuthbert secured his inheritance, or made a further purchase, by agreement with James Greenhalgh in 1585; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 47, m. 104. Peter Mason 'of Wesham' was a recusant in 1607; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1603–10, p. 383. Ralph son of Peter Mason 'of Lathom' in 1612 held, in addition to his father's lands, a messuage and 40 acres of land, &c., in Wesham of Thomas Westby in socage by 18d. rent; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 237. His heirs were two daughters. The estate may have passed to the Fleetwood family.
  • 24. The local surname was used. John son of Roger de Wesham was a free tenant in 1330; Final Conc, ii, 78. In 1350 Roger son of John de Wesham granted to Cecily daughter of Richard le Spencer of Newton, whom he married, an oxgang of land in the place for life; Towneley MS. C 85 (Chet. Lib.), Edw. III, no. 11. William Aspinwall purchased a messuage, &c., in Roseacre and Wesham from the Earl of Derby and Lord Strange in 1591; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 53, m. 209. Edward Aspinwall died at Toxteth Park in 1632 holding an estate in Roseacre and Wesham of the king as of his duchy, by knight't service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii, no. 1. It seem to have descended to Edward Aspinwal of Hale in 1698; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 240, m. 116. Thomas Hesketh of Rufford in 152 held land in Wesham, but the tenure was not known; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 16. 'Mr. Robert Fleetwood of Wessum' was buried at Kirkham 19 March 1641–2; Reg. A 'Mr. Fleetwood' was buried there 21 Oct. 1665 and Mrs. Mary Fleetwood 22 Aug. 1667; ibid. Richard Fleetwood of Rossall held Wesham Hall and the demesne lands in 1696; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 252, quoting R. 5 of Geo. II at Preston.
  • 25. In 1249 the land of Theobald le Boteler in Mowbreck and Bradkirk rendered 4s. yearly; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 172, 265.
  • 26. Ibid. 265. In 1276 Denise widow of Roger de Heaton complained that William de Heaton, Adam de Bradkirk and John de Goosnargh had broken her grange at Mowbreck; De Banco R. 15, m. 58. A year later William de Heaton complained of waste by Denise in Wesham and Mowbreck; ibid. 21, m. 74.
  • 27. Final Conc, ii, 78. This fine confirmed a charter dated at Mowbreck in 1326; Memo. R. (L.T.R.), 128, m. xv. In 1334 Thomas de Greenhalgh, John del Marsh and John son of Roger de Bradkirk were tenants; Coram Rege R. 297, m. 122.
  • 28. One William Westby and Ellen his wife had lands in Lancaster and Urswick in 1413; Final Conc, iii, 71. Ellen Westby, probably a widow, held Burn in Thornton in 1445–6; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. The William named in the text was probably a later member of the family; for him see the pleadings of 1517–18 printed in Fishwick's Kirkham (Chet. Soc), 172–4. It appears that John Westby died about 1511, and that his son William was then under age. Writs of diem cl. extr. after the death of William Westby, probably the grandfather, were issued on 11 Mar. 1515–16 and 1 Apr. 1517; Towneley MS. CC (Chet. Lib.), n. 754, 787. The surname Westby is derived from a place of that name in Gisburn, held of the Percys; Adam de Westby occurs in 1258; Yorks. Inq. (Yorks. Arch. Soc), i, 70.
  • 29. The agreement was made in 1531; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle, 11, m. 102. William Westby was plaintiff, and Lawrence Preston and Beatrice his wife were deforciants.
  • 30. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17. In addition to Mowbreck he held lands in Medlar, Wesham, Kirkham, Newtonwith-Scales, Burn in Thornton, Heaton and Urswick. Elizabeth his wife survived him. William Westby's will is printed in Richmond Wills (Surtees Soc), 90. He desired to be buried in his pew and under his form in Kirkham Church. He left the manor of Mowbreck to his son John, his wife having been provided for by the assignment of Burn Hall to her.
  • 31. Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 205, from S. P. Dom, Eliz, xxxvi, 2. A pedigree was recorded in 1567; Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 47.
  • 32. In 1586 he was liable to the fine of £260 a year; Gibson, op. cit. 238. In 1582 his house had been one of the resorts of one of the missionary priests, a nephew of his; ibid. 222, quoting S. P. Dom. Eliz. cliv, 76. It is related that on one occasion he 'was glad to stand for a whole winter's day almost in a pit of water up to the ears, and often forced to duck under the water lest he should be espied of the persecutors'; Allen, True, Sincere and Modest Defence of Engl. Caths. 173–4 (quoted in Month, civ, 517).
  • 33. This was a special tax on recusants.
  • 34. Gibson, op. cit. 235, quoting S. P. Dom. Eliz. clxxxvii, 51. The petitioner had a wife and four children, of whom the eldest was under six years. He had elder daughters by a former marriage.
  • 35. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xv, no. 6. In addition to lands in Lancashire he also had the manors of Holmes, Duffield and Westby in Yorkshire, with lands there and in Gargrave, Thorpe, Settle, Gisburn and York. The tenures of Mowbreck, &c., were recorded as before. His will (recited in the inquisition) names his youngest son William, daughters Ellen and Mary and cousin William Haydock of Cottam. Anne his widow was a recusant in 1593; Gibson, op. cit. 261.
  • 36. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 33–6. The tenures of the manors of Mowbreck, &c., are recorded as before.
  • 37. Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 90. Two of his sons, John and Thomas, were safely taken to Douay in 1623, but the attendant was captured at Dover on his return; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1623–5, p. 6.
  • 38. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 221.
  • 39. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxviii, no. 42. The tenures of Mowbreck and Wesham were recorded as before. John Westby was aged twenty-nine.
  • 40. It is said that six of the brothers fought for the king; Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc), i, 128. In the 1664 pedigree it is recorded that one brother, Thomas, was killed at Preston on that side. This was 'the popish doctor, Dr. Westby,' killed in 1643; Civil War Tracts (Chet. Soc), 75.
  • 41. Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2634; Index of Royalists (Index Soc), 44. Mowbreck and other manors were purchased by Thomas Wharton and James Lowd. Though most or all was recovered, the family were impoverished.
  • 42. Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3124.
  • 43. Ibid, iv, 3138. George Westby of Rawcliffe was ancestor of the later Westbys of Mowbreck. In this way White Hall in Rawcliffe became the principal seat of the family.
  • 44. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 331. Most of the details as to later descents in the text and following notes are from the pedigree in Foster's Lancs. Peds.
  • 45. He was one of those charged in the 'Lancashire Plot' of 1694; Jacobite Trials (Chet. Soc), 16, 30, 33. He died in 1699. Three of his sisters in 1681 sent 40s. to the receiver of recusants' estates, 'which is' (they state) 'according to what we always paid since this charge was laid upon us'; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 127. In 1688 John Westby son and heirapparent of Thomas Westby of Mowbreck was contracted to marry Jane daughter of Christopher Parker of Bradkirk; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 202, quoting 2nd-3rd Roll of Geo. I at Preston.
  • 46. Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 147, 318. John Westby died in 1722. John Westby was succeeded by his brother Thomas, who died in 1729, and was followed by Robert. In 1731 a Private Act was obtained (4 Geo. II, cap. 29) by which the manor of Burn and lands in Thornton and Carleton were to be sold for the discharge of debts, &c. Several family deeds are recited in it.
  • 47. Foster, ut sup. The co-heiresses were Catherine wife of Alexander Osbaldeston (of Sunderland), Mary wife of Rev.Thomas Alderson, Anne wife of Rev. John Benison and Bridget wife of William Shuttleworth, whose only child and heir (Margaret) married Thomas Westby of Rawcliffe in 1744. In 1740 Robert Westby, having no male issue, settled his estates with remainders to the right heirs of Thomas his father; Piccope MSS. iii, 194, quoting Roll 9 of Geo. I at Preston. Another deed (1756) states that Catherine mother of Alexander Osbaldeston was a daughter and co-heir of John Westby; Robert, the brother, is named; ibid. 370, from Roll 32 of Geo. II. An indenture of 1769 respecting lands, &c., in Wesham and Medlar was enrolled in the Common Pleas Hil. 10 Geo. III (R. 15); see also ibid. Mich. 13 Geo. III, m. 3 for the manor of Mowbreck.
  • 48. The descent is thus given: John Westby (d. 1638) -s. George (Rawcliffe) -s. John -s. John- s. Thomas, who had a brother George, as below.
  • 49. John, who died in 1811, and Thomas, who died in 1829, both unmarried.
  • 50. Thomas Westby, son of George, above-named.
  • 51. The pedigree in Burke's Commoners, i, 597, after stating that George Westby had held office in Honduras, recorded that the family 'is one of those ancient Catholic houses still numerous in Lancashire which through good and bad repute adhered to the faith of their forefathers.' The tradition seems to have been ended by George Westby's act, for 'his widow, a recent convert, went to reside with her young family in London. Here she relapsed, and the children were not educated in the faith of their forefathers'; Gibson, op. cit. 205.
  • 52. Mr. Westby married in 1863 Matilda Harriett daughter and co-heir of H. Hawarden Fazakerley of Gillibrand Hall, near Chorley, and then assumed the name Fazakerley in addition to his own.
  • 53. Inform, of Mr. Windham E. Hale, who adds that a century ago the Mowbreck estate was held by four lords, all Westby descendants. On a division authorized by a Private Act in 1857 the hall and 331 acres became the property of J. T. Westby. The former estates of the family are now held chiefly by Lord Derby and the representatives of the late John L. Birley of Kirkham.
  • 54. The name was commonly spelt Bredkirk.
  • 55. a The land of Bradkirk had before 1189 been granted by Hervey Walter and Theobald his son to Roger son of Augustine de Heaton; Farrer, op. cit. 437. In 1249 the land of Bradkirk and Mowbreck had paid 4s. yearly to Theobald le Boteler; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 172, 265. This rent was in later times paid by Mowbreck alone.
  • 56. Adam de Bradkirk about 1230 gave lands in Elswick in marriage with his daughter Amabil; Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc), ii, 459. He in 1235 purchased an oxgang of land in Wesham from Ellen widow of Richard de Rimington for which he was to render 6d. a year; Final Conc. i, 72. He (or his son Adam) had also land in Greenhalgh in 1242; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 152. Adam de Bradkirk was living in 1262, Roger in 1286 and another Adam in 1293; ibid. 231, 264, 277. Adam de Bradkirk and Adam his son attested a charter c. 1260–70; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 85, no. 24. Adam son of Adam de Bradkirk about 1250 confirmed land in Elswick to the monks of Stanlaw; Whalley Coucher, ii, 464. John son of Adam de Bradkirk made a grant in 1281; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 86b, no. 45. Another John was a free tenant of Wesham in 1328–30; Final Conc. ii, 78. John de Bradkirk and Alice his wife had a grant from Lytham Priory in 1327; they had a son John, who was succeeded before 1344 by his brother Edmund and he by another brother Adam; see the account of Lytham. A little light is thrown on the descent by pleadings of 1349, in which Adam (son of John) de Bradkirk produced the charter granting his land, made by Roger son of Augustine de Heaton, to Adam the clerk son of Richard. This last-named Adam was great-grandfather (? ancestor) of the former, who then had a dispute with his superior lord as to the tenure, he alleging that he held by the service of 4s. only, while Edmund son of William de Heaton alleged that he held by the fourth part of a knight's fee; De Banco R. 349, m. 209 d.; 356, m. 353.
  • 57. Inq. p.m. 28 Edw. III (2nd nos.), no. 1b. Adam also held land in Greenhalgh, Newton-by-Freckleton, Whittingham and Poulton. John died in or before 1363, when the wardship of the heir (his brother Adam), under age, was in dispute; De Banco R. 413, m. 81 d.; 420, m. 257 d. An Adam de Bradkirk was verderer for Amounderness till 1384; Def. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 356. Adam de Bradkirk (with Olive his wife) occurs in 1390 and 1398; Final Conc. iii, 35; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 70. In 1401 John de Bradkirk granted to Robert son of John the Smith of Kirkham part of his burgage in that town; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xiv, 137. There are other Bradkirk deeds in the same volume. John de Bradkirk was living in 1420; Final Conc. iii, 86. William Bradkirk was described as of Greenhalgh in 1477; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton, file 17 Edw. IV. In 1492–3 Philip son of William Bradkirk was ordered to hold with Sir Thomas Wolton a convention as to the manor of Bradkirk with messuage and land there, &c.; ibid. Ric. III and Hen. VII. In 1479 was issued a writ of diem cl. extr. after the death of Roger Bradkirk; Add. MS. 32103, no. 1417.
  • 58. a It does not appear when the estate was acquired by the Earl of Derby. It is not named in the rental of 1522, but was owned by Edward, the third earl, in 1570; Add. MS. 32104, fol. 415.
  • 59. John Parker of Bradkirk held by lease of the Earl of Derby in 1625. He was a recusant, and his estate was sequestered by the Parliament and put in the act of sale, 1652, but as he wag dead his infant grandson and heir William Parker (son of William) petitioned for discharge in 1652; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2445; Index of Royalists (Index Soc), 43. It was perhaps the same John Parker ol Radholme Laund in Yorkshire whose estate was sequestered for delinquency and recusancy in 1643. His son Christopher was in 1650 described as 'of Bradkirk'; Cal. Com. for Comp. loc. cit. He was son of John by a wife Margaret, daughter of Anthony Parker, and had come of age in 1649, and, his father being dead, claimed relief. A pedigree was recorded by Christopher Parker of Bradkirk in 1664. It shows: William Parker, d.c. 1612 -s. John, d. 1649 -s. (by second wife) Christopher -s. Anthony, aged seven; Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 227.
  • 60. This, like Mythop, Swarbreck and other lands in the neighbourhood, formed part of the forfeited estates of the seventh earl sold by the Parliament; Cal. Com. for Comp. ii, 1117. The purchaser agreed with Charles Earl of Derby to receive from him an absolute conveyance on paying three years' value to him; Piccope MSS. iii, 126. From other deeds in the same volume (114–32) it appears that Christopher Parker made hit will in 1693, and that the estate descended by 1710 to a son of the same name, who made a settlement of Bradkirk in that year. His sister and heir Catherine wife of Thomas Stanley of Cross Hall in Lathom in or about 1723 sold to Townley Rigby of Middleton in Goosnargh, and he, though a Quaker, claimed a seat in Kirkham Church in 1726 in right of Bradkirk.
  • 61. The details are recorded in Fishwick, Kirkham (Chet. Soc), 178–80. It appears that the real purchaser in 1723 was John Richardson of Preston, and Bradkirk descended in 1767 to Edward Hurst, whose initials 'E. H. 1761,' and 'E. H. 1764,' appear on the buildings. He devised it to his sister Margaret and her husband James Kearsley, the vendor in 1797.
  • 62. Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 261.
  • 63. Estcourt and Payne, Eng. Cath. Nonjurors, 135.
  • 64. As in other cases practically nothing is known of the 17th-century history. The existence of the mission in 1669 is proved from the report to the Bishop of Chester already given in the account of Kirkham Church. For convicted recusants c. 1670 see Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc), v, 202. Robert Westby (d. 1762) is described in an anniversary book now at Kirkham as the founder of the chapel at Mowbreck, and a priest is known to have resided there in 1727. In 1774 there was also a private school. Ten years later Bishop Gibson confirmed fifty-five persons at Mowbreck, and the number of communicants was said to be about 180. See Liverpool Cath. Annual (Willows); Gillow, Haydock Papers, 68, 79. In 1769 was printed at Manchester 'The Recantation of William Gant, late a clergyman of the Church of Rome and for many years the officiating priest at Mowbreck near Kirkham; with some of the causes which brought on his conversion to the Church of England.' The recantation itself was read in Kirkham parish church before the vicar, &c.; Preston Guard, Loc. Notes, no. 320.
  • 65. Liverpool Cath. Annual.