Townships: Newton-with-Scales

Pages 165-167

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

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In this section


Neutune, Dom. Bk.; Neuton, 1242.

This township occupies a long strip of ground running north from the Ribble, with an area of 1,522½ acres. (fn. 1) The village of Newton is near the centre, Scales lying to the north-east of it, on the border of Clifton. The southern end has been reclaimed from the Ribble, and about a third of the remainder is flat ground, under 25 ft. above sea level; north of this the surface rises sharply to over 50 ft., Newton being situated on the slope, and then the ground again becomes even, descending a little at the northern boundary. The population in 1901 was 229.

The road from Preston to Kirkham passes through Scales and Dowbridge, with a loop round by Newton; and the road from Preston to Lytham crosses the lowlying ground to the south.

The soil is clayey and loamy, with subsoil of sand; wheat, beans and oats are grown, but nearly all the land is used for pasture.

The township is now governed by a parish council.

There was formerly a curious inscription on the High Gate Inn. (fn. 2)


In 1066 NEWTON was a member of Earl Tostig's fee, and assessed as two plough-lands. (fn. 3) Afterwards it was included in the barony of Penwortham, and found to be divided equally between the fees of Freckleton and Preese, held by knight's service. (fn. 4) The former moiety was held by Singleton and Whittingham of the lord of Freckleton. (fn. 5) The other moiety long descended like Preese. (fn. 6) This was sold in 1608, (fn. 7) and in 1617 was held by James Townend and Edmund Hankinson. (fn. 8)

There were immediate tenants who assumed the local surname, and were benefactors to Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 9) A small part of Newton descended from Bradshagh (fn. 10) to Coppull, and was in the time of Henry VI sold to Thomas Stanley (fn. 11) of Lathom so descending to the Earls of Derby. (fn. 12)

Newton occurs but seldom in the records (fn. 13); the 'manor' is named in 1563. (fn. 14) In 1580 SCALES also was spoken of as a manor. (fn. 15) In 1794 the lords of the manor of Newton-with-Scales were Joseph Hornby, Richard Birley and Bertie Markland. (fn. 16) The names of some of the former landowners may be recovered from the inquisitions. (fn. 17) The Hospitallers had land in Newton from an early time. (fn. 18)

John Browne of Scales and Thomas Davie of Newton-with-Scales paid £10 each in 1631, having declined knighthood. (fn. 19)

A school, known as the Blue Coat School, was founded in 1707. (fn. 20)


  • 1. The Census Rep. 1901 gives 1,472 acres, including 7 of inland water; there are also 15 acres of tidal water and 40 of foreshore.
  • 2. Printed in N. and Q. (Ser. 6), ii, 336, from a local paper.
  • 3. V.C.H. Lancs, i, 288a.
  • 4. Ibid. 335.
  • 5. One of the moieties of Newton was in 1202 held of Roger de Freckleton by William de Winwick and Maud his wife; Feet of F. Yorks. 4 John, no. 45. The other moiety was probably that held by Gunilda (or Quenilda), described as 'lady of Newton' in the Cockersand charters. Alan de Singleton and Warine de Whittingham held the Freckleton moiety in 1242; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc Lancs, and Ches.), i, 152. In 1292 Alice daughter of Richard de Marklan and widow of William de Newton claimed dower in two-thirds of three messuages and 3 oxgangs of land in Newton against Henry de Lacy Earl of Lincoln, Maud daughter and heir of John son and heir of William de Newton and wife of William de Beconsaw, and others. Adam de Freckleton claimed the lordship, and stated that William de Newton had held of him by knight's service, and John his son also; Maud the daughter and heir of John was under age, and the tenement was given to the Earl of Lincoln, who allowed one-third to Almorica, John's widow. The jury, however, found for the plaintiff under a grant made by William de Newton; Assize R. 418, m. 9 d.; 419, m. 12 d. In 1384 Robert de Freckleton granted John de Newton a messuage and 1¼ oxgangs of land in Newton and Warton for life; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 24.
  • 6. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 30, 152, 316. It continued in the families of Prees and Skillicorne till the 17th century. In 1292 Margery widow of John Franceys claimed dower in half an oxgang of land in Newton against Robert de Prees; Assize R. 408, m. 43 d. William son of William de Prees, a minor, in 1361 recovered a messuage and land in Newton against Adam Wodebridde, Alice his wife and William Browning; De Banco R. 408, m. 79. Margery de Prees in 1401 held 2 oxgangs of land in Newton of the king as of his honour of Penwortham by knight's service; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 76. John Skillicorne in 1478 held nine messuages, 100 acres of land, &c, in Newton of the king, paying 6d. a year; ibid, ii, 105. The family had an earlier interest in Newton, for in 1357 Adam Skillicorne purchased an oxgang of land, &c, there from William de Thornton and Maud his wife; Final Conc, ii, 155, 180. Nicholas Skillicorne in 1606 still held the 'manor' of Newton-with-Scales; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 70, no. 83. Soon afterwards it must have been sold, for in a Skillicorne fine of 1609 it is not named; ibid. bdle. 76, no. 31.
  • 7. In Aug. 1608 James Townend and Edmund Hankinson paid £5 for licence to agree with Nicholas, John and William Skillicorne respecting the manor of Newton-with-Scales, a windmill, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 301, m. 9d.
  • 8. James Townend of Weeton (Ducatus Lanc, iii, 407) died in 1618 holding a moiety of the manor of Newton-withScales, and various messuages, lands, &c, of the king as of his duchy by the hundredth part of a knight's fee. William his son and heir was fourteen years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 97. Some Townends occur in the Preston Guild Rolls. Edmund Hankinson died in 1619 holding a moiety of the manor, various lands, &c, of the king as of his duchy by the twentieth part of a knight's fee. The heir was his son Robert, three years old; ibid. 123. For the Hankinson family see Preston Guard. Loc. Notes, no. 546. Hugh Hornby of Kirkham is said to have married Margaret daughter and eventual heir of Joseph Hankinson of Kirkham (she died 1804), and thus probably the moiety of the manor descended to Hornby of Ribby; Burke, Landed Gentry. In 1652 one moiety of the manor of Newton-with-Scales and messuages, windmill,&c, there was held by Thomas Davy, Margery his wife, Robert Clifton and Jane his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 151, m. 108. A moiety of the manor was held in 1753 by the Hornbys of Ribby; ibid, bdle. 348, m. 240. Nothing further is known of any manor of Newton.
  • 9. Adam son of Leysing de Newton and Robert his son were benefactors; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), i, 201, 205. Summerbrook Furlong, Dounanesbreck, Fretlands, Avenams, Aldefield and Feredale are names occurring in their charters. Gunilda daughter of Richard son of Swain and wife of Robert son of Huck gave land in Lumland, as also did her son Jordan de Newton; ibid, i, 203–4. William son of Albert with hii wife Siegrith daughter of Robert de Newton also gave land in Summerbrook Furlong; ibid. 205. Another benefactor was William son of Richard de Bispham, who gave the canons the eastern moiety of Dalebridge Head, in part bounded by the 'great street,' from Dalebridge at Lund to the Carr; ibid, i, 205. The abbey's rentals 1451–1537 are printed ibid, iii, 1262–3.
  • 10. Adam son of Richard de Bradshagh and Margaret his wife in 1331 settled a messuage and 1½ oxgangs of land in Newton upon Adam's son William and Ellen his wife; Final Conc. ii, 79.
  • 11. William Coppull the elder sued for the manor of Newton-in-Amounderness, with twelve messuages, 200 acres of land, &c, in Warton, Kirkham, Kellamergh, Wesham, Greenhalgh, Elswick and Hambleton; the defendant was John Coppull; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 20, m. 14 (about 1456). John son of William Coppull sold to Thomas Stanley lands in Newton, Freekleton, Kirkham, Warton, &c., which had descended to him from his mother Alice daughter of John son of William de Bradshagh; Kuerden MSS. iii, C 33.
  • 12. The Derby rental of 1522 (at Lathom) shows 54s. 8d. received from the tenants in Newton; also ten hens valued at 15d. Henry Earl of Derby was plaintiff in 1591 respecting lands, &c, and the repair of Proud Bridge in Newton, Scales, Clifton and Freckleton; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 253.
  • 13. William del Bank claimed two messuages, &c, against Adam del Bank in 1351; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1, m. 1 d. (July), 8 d. (Mich.). John le Spenser of Newton in 1375 made complaints of depasturing; De Banco R. 457, m. 341. About 1541 began disputes between John Grimboldston and members of the Elston family respecting a tenement in Newton-in-Scales; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. Lent, 32 Hen. VIII; Sessional P. 33 Hen. VIII, Writs of Assize, Aug. 36 Hen. VIII.
  • 14. In a claim by William Skillicorne, who held by inheritance, respecting the common; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 270.
  • 15. Ibid, iii, 92, in a petition by James Browne. The Browne family had had lands in Newton from 1419; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1791, 1882, 1884. George Browne died in 1567 seised of six messuages, &c, in the Scales and Newton, held of William Skillicome by a rent of 1½d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 4. The estate went to James Browne, a cousin. Another George Browne in 1572 purchased a messuage, &c, from Ellen Taborner, widow; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 34, m. 32. In pleadings of 1580 Scales is called a 'manor.' James Browne, then claiming, stated that his grandfather James Browne of 'Houghton' had held it, and had settled it on his son William, with remainders to younger sons Henry and Alexander. William had two-sons, Evan (who had one son Richard, s.p.m.) and George (s.p.m.), and the younger James claimed as son and heir of Henry. It appeared that on George Browne's death his brother Evan's daughters had shared; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. 22 Eliz. cxvi, B 19. James Browne died in 1586 holding land of William Skillicome by 1d. rent, and two closes of the queen as of her duchy by the hundredth part of a knight's fee; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 42. John Browne in 1595 purchased a messuage in Newton-with-Scales from William Skillicorne and Joan his -wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 57, m. 68. Henry Browne of Scales was a freeholder in 1600; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 233. James Browne of Newton in 1621 held his messuage and land there of the king by knight's service as of the fee of Penwortham, and by 3d. rent. His son John, aged thirty, was the next heir; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 239. In the case of the Cliftons of Clifton their tenement in Scales (once called a 'manor') appears to have been regarded as part of the manor of Clifton, Scales being on the border, but in Newton they held land of the Earl of Derby in socage or by knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, no. 12, 48. Henry Halsall, however, in 1575, was found to have held land in 'Newton in le Scales,' as part of Clifton, of the queen; ibid, xiii, no. 34.
  • 16. Licence for gamekeeper; Preston Guard. Loc. Notes, no. 1129.
  • 17. Adam de Bradkirk in 1349 held 1½ oxgangs of land in Newton of the duke as of the fee of Penwortham by knight's service, sake and ward; another ½ oxgang of Richard the Harper by knight's service and a rent of 7¼d.; and the fourth part of an oxgang of William de Prees by knight's service and 15d.; Inq. p.m. 28 Edw. Ill (2nd nos.), no. 1a. The Newsham family had land in the township in 1380; Final Conc, iii, 7. George Newsham in 1585 held two messuages in Newton-in-Scales of William Skillicorne by a rent of 2d.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 88. William Westby of Mowbreck in 1551 purchased two messuages, &c, from Christopher Colbome; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 14, m. 253. This tenement was in 1557 found to be held of Sir Richard Hoghton in socage by the rent of a peppercorn; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17. The statement is repeated later. The origin of the Hoghton lordship is unknown; it may have resulted from their manor in Whittingham. George Hesketh of Poulton in 1571 held land, &c, in Newton of William Skillicorne by 1½d. rent; ibid, xiii, no. 15. In 1622 this estate was held 'of the lords of the said town' by the same rent of 1½d.; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 366. Robert Hankinson died in 1604 holding cottages in Newton of Nicholas Skillicorne as of his manor of Newton-with-Scales by ¾d. rent. Edmund his sqn and heir was twenty-six years of age; ibid, i, 135. This Edmund, as already stated, acquired a moiety of the manor. John Browning in 1617 held land in Newton of the king as of his manor of East Greenwich by 18s. rent. Margaret, his daughter and heir, was five years old; ibid, ii, 225. Robert Hesketh of Rufford died in 1620 holding a messuage and land in Newtonwith-Scales of the king as of his duchy in socage. Thomas Stanley afterwards occupied the same; ibid, iii, 357–8.
  • 18. In 1246 the Prior of St. John claimed warranty from William de Prees respecting 1½ oxgangs of land; Roger and Richard, sons of Jordan de Newton, were the prior's sureties; Assize R. 404, m. 4. The place is mentioned among the Hospitallers' lands in 1292; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 375.
  • 19. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 221–2.
  • 20. John Hornby, the founder, who lived in Newton, directed that the children were to be instructed freely 'in learning and in the principles of the Protestant religion,' and taken to Kirkham Church every Sunday; End. Char. Rep. Kirkham, 24.