Townships: Bryning-with-Kellamergh

Pages 159-161

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

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In this section


Birstatbrinning, 1200; Birstatbrunning, 1239; Burstad Brining, 1242; Brunigg, 1252; Brining, 1257.

Kelfgrimeshereg, 1200; Kelgrimisarhe, 1239; Kelsimshargt, 1249; Kelgrimesarth, 1254; Kelgrimsargh, Kelegrymesarch, 1251; Gelgrumysharagh, 1292; Kelgremargh, 1405; Kellermargh, 1444.

The township has an area of 1,061 acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 the population numbered 129. The hamlets from which it takes its name are situated in the centre of it, Bryning at the north end and Kellamergh at the south end of a strip of land rising above the general level, though attaining only 64 ft. above the ordnance datum. About the same height is attained again on the eastern border.

A road from north to south passes through the two hamlets, from each of which other roads go off towards Lytham.


At the Conquest BRYNING and Kellamergh were included in Ribby, and like it became part of the demesne of the honour until, about 1190, they were granted by John Count of Mortain to Richard son of Roger, thegn of Woodplumpton. They were assessed separately— Bryning as two plough-lands and Kellamergh as one— and were to be held as the fourth part of a knight's fee. Richard died in 1201, and John as king confirmed his former grant to the five daughters and co-heirs. (fn. 2) This part of the inheritance in the main descended to the Beethams (fn. 3) and then to the Middletons (fn. 4); the portion belonging to the Stockport family seems to have been given to a John de Baskervill, (fn. 5) whose descendants continued to hold it in the 14th century. George Middleton had a number of lawsuits with tenants and others. (fn. 6) The manor and estate seem to have changed ownership several times after 1680, (fn. 7) and nothing is now known of any claim to the lordship.

A portion of KELLAMERGH, afterwards described as a moiety of the manor, (fn. 8) came before 1246 into the possession of the family of Ulnes Walton, (fn. 9) and was together with their principal manor purchased by Henry Earl of Lancaster in 1347. (fn. 10) It descended with the duchy till 1551, being then sold to Anthony Browne. (fn. 11) This moiety also has disappeared from the records. (fn. 12)

Bryning is found as a surname, and Kellamergh also gave a surname to a local family or families, (fn. 13) among whom were benefactors oi Lytham Priory. (fn. 14) Another family of long continuance was that of Sharples. (fn. 15) John Bradley (fn. 16) of Bryning was a freeholder in 1600. (fn. 17) James Bradley, his successor, (fn. 18) was repeatedly fined for recusancy; his eldest son Edward was killed at Marston Moor, fighting on the king's side, and a younger son, Richard, born in 1605, became a Jesuit priest. Labouring in Lancashire in dangerous times he was arrested by the Parliamentary soldiers and imprisoned at Manchester, dying there before his trial on 30 January 1645–6. (fn. 19) Part of the estate was sequestered for 'delinquency only' under the Commonwealth. (fn. 20) A pedigree was recorded in 1665. (fn. 21) The inquisitions yield the names of a few of the old landholders (fn. 22); among them was Edward Mercer, (fn. 23) who died in 1637, and whose mother's land in 1652 stood sequestered for 'popery.' (fn. 24) John Mercer as a 'Papist' registered his freehold estate in Kellamergh in 1717. (fn. 25) A family named Leyland occurs in the 18th century. (fn. 26)


  • 1. Including 2 acres of inland water; Census Rep. (1901).
  • 2. Chart. R. (Rec. Com.), 90. The daughters are named as Maud (wife of Robert de Stockport), Margaret, Avice (wife of William de Mulhum), Quenilda and Amuria. Robert de Stockport had in 1200–1 paid part of 10 marks (for two palfreys) for confirmation of three ploughlands in Bryning and Kellamergh; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 132. Accordingly in 1212 and 1236 the heirs of Richard son of Roger held the fourth part of a knight's fee; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 40, 144. Roger Gernet, Thomas de Beetham and Robert de Stockport were the heirs in 1242; ibid. 153. The share of Thomas de Beetham in 1249 was 9½ oxgangs of land, each worth 5s. a year, and a part of the windmill, 3s. 4d.; ibid. 171. It is noted that twelve ploughlands there went to a knight's fee. Quenilda widow of Roger Gernet in 1252 also held 9½ oxgangs of land, worth in all 43s.; ibid. 190. Her share was divided between Beetham and Stockport, so that Ralph de Beetham in 1254 held 13¾ oxgangs of land by knight's service and a rent of 17¼d. Each oxgang was then worth 6s. a year and the tallage of the bondmen 15s.; his three-fourths of the windmill was worthless, the mill being waste; ibid. 194, 201. The Beetham share was called the seventh part of a knight's fee in 1256–8; ibid. 221. Afterwards a division of the whole of Richard son of Roger's estate seems to have been made, and in 1297 the 'heir of Beetham' held all Bryning and Kellamergh of the Earl of Lancaster, paying 2s. 6d. (for castle ward), and having in 1302 the fourth part of a knight's fee there; ibid. 290, 298, 316.
  • 3. In spite of the statements quoted in the last note the extent of 1324 shows that the Beetham family had not obtained the whole manor. Thus in Bryning Ralph de Beetham held three-fourths of the vill and 12 oxgangs of land by the service of 15d. and the fourth part of a knight's fee; while John de Baskervill held the other part and 4 oxgangs by the service of 5d. for castle ward and the tenth part of a knight's fee. In Kellamergh, described as a hamlet of Bryning, Ralph de Beetham held 2¾ oxgangs of land, John de Baskervill 1¼, and Thurstan de Northlegh in right of his wife Margery 3 (? 8), each paying 1¼d. per oxgang for castle ward and holding by knight's service; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. In 1346 Sir Ralph de Beetham held two (not three) plough-lands in Bryning and Kellamergh by the fourth part of a knight's fee and a payment of 2s. 6d. for castle ward; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 46. At the same time John Davenport held a plough-land (?) in Bryning and Kellamergh and lands in Woodplumpton and Formby; ibid, 52. Just a century later Thomas Beetham held the fourth part of a knight's fee in Bryning and Kellamergh, the relief being 25s.; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. By 1473 the Beetham manor of Cowburn in Warton had been made to include Bryning and others; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 102; Chan. Inq. p.m. 19 Edw. IV, no. 87. As in other cases (see Bootle) this Beetham manor was afterwards held by the Earls of Derby; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 68. The tenure is not recorded. The Derby rental of the time (at Lathom) shows that only 11s. 6d. was received from tenants.
  • 4. Gervase Middleton of Leighton in Lonsdale in 1548 held lands, &c., in Warton, Kellamergh, Bryning and Wrea of the king by fealty and the yearly rent of 2s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 11. George Middleton in 1600 held the 'manor' of Kellamergh, with messuages, lands, &c., in Kellamergh, Bryning and Hollowforth, but the tenure is not recorded; ibid, xvii, no. 51. In 1640, however, the manor and estate were stated to be held of the king as of his duchy in socage by 1d. rent; ibid, xxix, no. 64. The Middleton manors in 1654 and 1666–9 included that of Bryning; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 156, m. 135; 176, m. 154 (Sir T. Clifton, plaintiff); 182, m. 94.
  • 5. For the Baskervill share see a preceding note. The family seems to be that seated at Old Withington in Prestbury; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), iii, 717. John de Baskervill was defendant in 1275 and 1278 to claims for dower put forward by Ellen widow of Robert de Stockport in respect (inter alia) of 4 oxgangs of land in Bryning and Kellamergh; De Banco R. 11, m. 94; 23, m. 5 d. In 1372 Richard Mason and Margaret his wife, widow of William son of William de Baskervill, claimed dower in four messuages, &c., in Bryning and Kellamergh against Richard le Buntable, vicar of Prestbury, and others; ibid. 448, m. 353 d.
  • 6. Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 114, &c. In 1583 George Middleton of Leighton complained that whereas his father Gervase and his ancestors had as lords of the manor of Bryning held court baron there at which the freeholders had appeared and done their suit, one John Bradley, a freeholder, had secretly practised with Mrs. Middleton, plaintiff's motherin-law, to get into his hands all the court rolls of the manor, intending to withdraw his suit. Further orders having been given to sever each man's tenement by stakes, &c., Bradley had pulled up the partitions and stakes and had likewise destroyed the common pinfold; Duchy of Lanc. Plead, cxxx, M 13. In reply Bradley asserted that his father James had been lord of the fourth part of the manor of Bryning, so that plaintiff was not lord of the whole manor. He also asserted that Kellamergh was a 'town or manor' distinct from Bryning; ibid, cxxvi, M 8. This seems to be evidence that the Stockport or Baskervill manor was still remembered; see also Bradley inquisition below. Middleton in reply denied the assertions; ibid, cxxxiii, M 1. George Middleton died seised of the manor of Kellamergh and Bryning about 1598, and was succeeded by his son Thomas, who soon afterwards made complaint of James Crook and John Mercer as having wrongfully entered certain lands and refused to surrender the deeds; ibid, cxcviii, M 6.
  • 7. The following references are given, but may not all refer to the Beetham manor:— In 1713 Edward Rigby held the manor of Bryning-with-Kellamergh, with various lands, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 497, m. 5. In 1760 Robert Hesketh, Anne his wife, Henry Sharples and Anne his wife held the manor or lordship of Bryningwith-Kellamergh, courts leet, courts baron, views of frankpledge, &c., belonging to the said manor; also messuages and lands in the township and ten cattle gates on Freckleton Marsh; ibid. Feet of F. bdle. 364, m. 98. In 1805 George Cowban, Robert Leach and their wives had the manor or reputed manor; ibid. August Assizes, 45 Geo. III (fines).
  • 8. From what has been stated, it must have been part of the Stockport share.
  • 9. Warine de Walton, as shown later, warranted in that year; Assize R. 404, m. 10; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 194. The story is given in detail in the accounts of Ulnes Walton, Leyland, and Eccleston in Leyland. In the fines the estate is called '30s. rent,' but as above stated Thurstan de Northlegh held 4 oxgangs of land in Kellamergh in 1324. This was half the manor.
  • 10. Ibid, ii, 124; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. i, no. 51. In 1403 Adam Hogeson of Kellamergh died holding a messuage and an oxgang of land and meadow (12 acres in all) of the king (as of his duchy) of the manor of Ulnes Walton by knight's service and a rent of 9d. Thomas, the son and heir, was six years of age; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1508. Thomas seems to have died soon afterwards, for in 1405 the wardship and marriage of Roger son and heir of Adam Hogeaon were granted to John Fleetwood; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 532.
  • 11. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxiii, 70 d.
  • 12. In 1558 there was a settlement or partition of the manors of Ulnes Walton and Kellamergh, &c.; half was to belong to Anthony Browne and Joan his wife and half to William Farington; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 20, m. 4. Four years later the Earl of Derby obtained one moiety of them from Sir Thomas Gerard and Elizabeth his wife, who gave warranty against Anthony Browne; ibid, bdle. 24, m. 78. He also obtained the reversion of Farington's moiety; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 289, m. 19. This part of the manor descended to Ferdinando, the fifth earl; ibid. It may have been repurchased by the Faringtons, for in 1675 George Farington held the manors of Ulnes Walton and Kellamergh; ibid. Feet of F. bdle. 194, m. 102.
  • 13. –14 William son of Ughtred claimed by inheritance in 1246 1½ oxgangs of land in Kellamergh against Robert son of Ughtred, but did not prosecute; Assize R. 404, m. 13 d. At the same time Margaret daughter of Siward de Kellamergh claimed the third part of an oxgang of land against Thomas de Beetham and another third against Jordan son of Quenilda. Thomas stated that he held in right of his wife Amiria, and had a son Ralph. Jordan summoned Warine de Walton to warrant him, and Warine in turn called Richard Banastre, who called Robert de Stockport, Roger Gernet and Quenilda his wife and Ralph son of the said Amiria. These appeared accordingly and stated that the land was the villeinage of Hugh de Morteyn, and that plaintiff's father had held his 2 oxgangs of him by villeinage; they alleged further that Kellamergh was a member of Singleton, part of the king's demesne, where such a writ did not run; ibid. m. 10. Richard son of Gilbert de Kellamergh was defendant in 1292 and 1294; Assize R. 408, m. 57; 1299, m. 16, 18. John son of William son of Jordan de Kellamergh in 1347 put forward a claim to land in the place against John de Bradkirk, Robert de Newton, vicar of Kirkham, and John son of William le Wower of Kellamergh. The last-named John said that his father William had had a grant of the land in 1318 from plaintiff's father, and so prevailed; Assize R. 1435, m. 43.
  • 14. Robert de Kellamergh (son of Richard) about 1240 granted the monks two butts, lying between land of his brother Richard with easements in the vill of Kellamergh; Lytham Charters at Durham, 2 a, 2 ae, 4 ae, Ebor. no. 14. Robert the son of Robert afterwards gave a release; ibid. no. 15. The above-named Richard son of Richard de Kellamergh also gave land, and the gift was confirmed by his son William; ibid. no. 17, 18. The same Richard gave his daughter Eda, on her marriage with Robert son of John the Salwaller (or Sauner), a 'land' in Kellamergh near the 'land' of the little tower (turrelli), on the Wallfurlong; ibid. no. 16. It is noteworthy that a William 'del Castell' contributed to the subsidy of 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 60. John father of the bridegroom promised to compensate the monks out of his oxgang of land in Warton should Eda reclaim the land her father Richard had given; Lytham Charters, ut sup. no. 22. The brothers Richard and Robert also gave and confirmed various parcels of land to the monks; 19. A grant by Beatrice daughter of Adam de Kellamergh and Clarice to the monks is noticeable as having been attested by the lords of the place—Robert de Stockport, Roger Gernet and Thomas de Beetham—among others; ibid. no. 22. It may be added that Robert de Stockport (about 1230) released to the monks Simon de Kellamergh, with all his offspring and chattels; ibid. no. 26. Adam Banastre also released to them the homage of Robert son of Richard de Kellamergh; ibid. no. 27.
  • 15. In 1251 Godith widow of William de 'Kelkemath ' claimed dower in Kellamergh against Henry de Sharples, Gilbert son of Roger de Freckleton and William son of Richard; Curia Regis R. 145, m. 1, 5 d. John the son and Maud the widow of Henry de Sharples were defendants in 1292 to claims to land made by the granddaughters and heirs of William son of Henry de Kellamergh—viz. Ellen wife of Roger son of Avice de Preston, Margery wife of Richard de Tulketh, Ere wife of Adam son of Margery and Cecily wife of Robert de Ribbleton; Assize R. 408, m. 70 d. In 1346 John son of William de Kellamergh and Adam de Sharpies seized a number of cattle grazing on their common of Corcolcar. The owner of the cattle, William the Palfreyman of Lytham, asserted that they were feeding on Hestholme Carr in Lytham; De Banco R, 348, m. 242. Roger Kellamergh in 1444 complained that John Sharples and others had been breaking his close; Pal. of Lanc Plea R, 6, m. 6. Thomas Sharples died in 1527 holding a messuage, &c, in Kellamergh of the king as of his lordship of Penwortham by a rent of 3s. 11d.; William his son and heir was fifteen years old; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 43. This property was soon afterwards acquired by Thurstan Tyldesley of Wardley and passed to his son Thomas, as appears by their inquisitions; ibid, x, no. 44, 27.
  • 16. One James Bradley in 1560 claimed a windmill, &c., in Kellamergh and Bryning as son and heir of John, son and heir of James, son and heir of William (son of Thomas) Bradley and Margaret his wife, on whom the tenement had been settled in the time of Henry VI; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 207, m. 9 d.
  • 17. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 232. John Bradley son of James was, as already shown, engaged in suits respecting lands in the manor of Bryning from 1583 onwards; Ducatus Lanc, iii, 131, &c.
  • 18. James Bradley died at Bryning in 1617 holding messuages, lands and windmill there, and other lands in Kellamergh, Wrea, Freckleton, Kirkham and Warton. No share of the manor was claimed. He left a widow Ellen and a son and heir Edward, then thirteen years of age. It is recorded that the Bryning lands were held of the lord of Stockport in socage by the rent of a pair of gloves at Easter; those in Kellamergh were held of the king; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 79, 80.
  • 19. Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. i, 287; Foley, Rec. S. J. ii, 178.
  • 20. The estate of James Bradley the elder was ordered for sale in 1652; Index of Royalists (Index Soc.), 41. James Bradley the younger, 'having been ever conformable,' put in a claim, but the estate was sold to Bartholomew Heiketh of Aughton; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc Lancs, and Ches.), i, 216–17; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3010. The two Jameses were probably the brother and son of Edward.
  • 21. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 49. The descent is thus given: John Bradley -s. James (d. c. 1620) -s. Edward (killed at Marston Moor, fighting on the king's side) -s. James (aged forty) -s. Edward (aged fourteen).
  • 22. The Heskeths of Rufford had land in Kellamergh in the time of Henry VIII, but the tenure was unknown; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 16; vii, no. 14. The tenement of George Hesketh of Poulton in 1571 was held of the lords of Kellamergh in socage; ibid, xiii, no. 15. Later it was held of the king; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc), iii, 366. John Nickson of Kellamergh, who died in 1618, held a messuage, &c., of the heirs or assigns of Jordan de Kellamergh. William Nickson son and heir of John was seven years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. ii, 87. George Browne in 1567 held a messuage, &c., in Kellamergh as part of his Kirkham estate, the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxf., being lords; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 4.
  • 23. Ibid, xxix, no. 9. The tenure is not recorded. William son and heir of Edward was two years of age. William Mercer was defendant in 1582 and 1590, while John Mercer was claimant of lands in the manor of Bryningin 1601; Ducatus Lanc, iii, 161, 243, 422.
  • 24. In 1645 two-thirds of one-third part of the Mercer tenement was sequestered for the recusancy of Elizabeth mother of Edward; she died in 1651. Two-thirds of another third were in 1646 sequestered for the recusancy of Alice Mercer, widow of Edward. William Mercer the son made petition in 1652 in respect of these portions; Royalist Comp. Papers, iv, 128–9. The claim was allowed; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3013.
  • 25. Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 89.
  • 26. Pedigree in Fishwick, Kirkham, 196. Richard Bradkirk of Bryning died unmarried in 1813. A sister Elizabeth married John Langton; M. I. at Kirkham.