Townships: Weeton-with-Preese

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

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'Townships: Weeton-with-Preese', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, (London, 1912) pp. 176-178. British History Online [accessed 4 March 2024]

In this section


Widetun, Dom. Bk.; Whiteton, 1205; Wytheton, 1236; Wythinton, 1286; Wetheton, 1382.

Midehope, Dom. Bk.; Mithop, 1212; Methop, 1286.

Pres, Dom. Bk.; Prees, Preez, Peres, 1278; Prese, 1338.

Suartebrec, 1249; Swartebreke, 1286.

The area of this township is 2,972½ (fn. 1) acres, and its population in 1901 was 374. It is curious to note that Preese, which has recognition in the official name, has no separate measurement, while Mythop or Mythorp, the western corner, has its area recorded as 677 acres, though it is not recognized in the township name; it is divided from Weeton by moss land. Weeton proper occupies the southern half of the township, the northern half containing Preese on the west and Swarbrick on the east. Each of the four places named occupies a piece of rising ground, one piece being divided by depressions from the others; at Weeton 112 ft. above the ordnance datum is attained, at Swarbrick and Preese 100 ft. and at Mythop 50 ft.

A road from Kirkham goes west and north through Weeton and Swarbrick to Singleton; from Weeton a cross road goes west through Mythop to Blackpool and another east to Greenhalgh. The old Danes' Pad is traced in Mythop, running north-west. The railway from Preston to Fleetwood and Blackpool also runs north-west through the township, and a branch line to Blackpool crosses the south-west corner.

The Fylde Waterworks have large reservoirs at Weeton.

Charles Earl of Derby procured a charter for a weekly market at Weeton in 1670, (fn. 2) and a fair for cattle and small wares used to be held on the Tuesday after Trinity Sunday. (fn. 3)

The township has a parish council.

The soil is sandy, with subsoil of clay; wheat, oats beans and barley are grown, but more than half the land is devoted to pasture.

A 'hairy ghost' is associated with Weeton. (fn. 4) There is an ancient burial cairn.

William Barrow, (fn. 5) known better as Waring or Harcourt, was born in 1610, and educated at St. Omers. In 1632 he joined the Society of Jesus, and was sent on the English mission in 1644, labouring in the London district till the outbreak of the Oates Plot. He was arrested in May 1679, and executed the following month with several other victims.


In 1066 Weeton, Preese and Mythop, assessed as three, two and one ploughland respectively, formed part of the Amounderness lordship of Earl Tostig. (fn. 6) Afterwards the lordship was divided, Weeton becoming head of the fee of the Butler of Ireland in Amounderness, (fn. 7) and Preese and Mythop being added to the fee of Penwortham. (fn. 8)

WEETON contributed 21s. 8d. to the tallage in 1205–6, the heir of Theobald Walter being a minor in ward to the king. (fn. 9) In 1242 the heir held the third part of a knight's fee in demesne and the sixth part in service. (fn. 10) From extents of Theobald le Boteler's lands made in 1249 (fn. 11) and 1286 it appears that at Weeton was a well-built manor-house; half the land, 12 oxgangs, was in demesne, and the other half was held by free farmers at the will of the lord; there were three mills. (fn. 12) The manor continued in the Boteler family till about 1400 (fn. 13); it was then acquired by Sir John Stanley of Lathom, (fn. 14) who obtained a charter for free warren there, (fn. 15) and it has continued in his family to the present time, (fn. 16) the Earl of Derby being lord of the manor. The rental of 1522 (fn. 17) shows that Weeton was then the head of a lordship comprising also Treales, Wesham, Out Rawcliffe, Little Marton, Greenhalgh, Plumpton and other lands. A court had been held during the year. To the king were paid rents resolute of 13s. 4d. for the lordships of Weeton and Treales, 10s. for the fishery at Marton Mere and 4s. for the township of Wesham. (fn. 18)

PREESE was held, together with a portion of Newton-with-Scales, by a local family, having been given by Warine Bussel to Gillemichael son of Efward, who had married his daughter, as the fourth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 19) It descended in the Prees family, (fn. 20) of whom little is known, (fn. 21) until about 1360. In 1401, after the death of Margery de Prees, it was found that she had held the manor of the king as of the honour of Penwortham by knight's service and 12d. rent, and that the heir was her nephew, Edmund Skillicorne. (fn. 22) It descended to Nicholas Skillicorne, who heads the pedigree recorded in 1567, (fn. 23) and then to his grandson Nicholas, who held it in 1609. (fn. 24) Soon afterwards the manor was sold, and in 1634 was held by John Wolverton. (fn. 25) In 1756 John Parkes purchased a moiety of it from Thomas Gorst and Rachel his wife. (fn. 26) The hall (fn. 27) now belongs to Mr. Thomas Horrocks Miller of Singleton.

Skillicorne of Preese. Sable a cross counter compony or and azure between four garbs of the second.

SWARBRICK in Preese seems always to have been a member of Weeton. (fn. 28) It gave a surname to a family or families of long standing in the district.

MYTHOP, though part of the fee of Penwortham, was held as the tenth part of a knight's fee by the lords of Weeton, (fn. 29) and has descended with it. A family surnamed Mythop occurs, but does not seem to have been of long continuance. (fn. 30)

Sir Gilbert Gerard was in 1593 stated to have held land in Preese of the inheritance of Richard Balderston. (fn. 31)

Some of the Earl of Derby's lands were sold by the Commonwealth authorities in 1653. (fn. 32) Three 'Papists' registered estates in 1717. (fn. 33)

For the Church of England St. Michael and All Angels' was erected at Weeton in 1843. A parish was assigned to it in 1846, (fn. 34) and the vicar of Kirkham has the patronage.

A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1827, (fn. 35) but has long since disappeared.


  • 1. 2,972 acres, including 14 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1670, p. 267.
  • 3. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 493.
  • 4. Ibid. 482.
  • 5. Dict. Nat. Biog.; Gillow, Bibl. Dict.; Foley, Rec. S. J. Under the name of William Harcourt the cause of his beatification was in 1886 allowed to proceed at Rome; Pollen, Acts of Martyrs, 382.
  • 6. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 288a.
  • 7. Ibid. 350. The Weeton lordship included also Treales, Greenhalgh, Rawcliffe and Wesham.
  • 8. Ibid. 335, n. 1.
  • 9. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 202.
  • 10. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 152–3. The demesne lands were in Weeton and Treales; the sixth part was in Thistleton, Preese and Greenhalgh.
  • 11. Ibid. 173. In 1249 there was only one mill. Certain land belonging to Weeton, called Quinschalcishurede, was worth 3s. yearly, and a plot of meadow 3d. For the dower of Margery widow of Theobald le Boteler in Weeton, &c., see Close, 64, m. 19.
  • 12. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 264–6. In 1291 Theobald le Boteler was commanded to do homage to Edmund the king's brother for his lands held of the honour of Lancaster; Duchy of Lanc. Royal Charters, 175.
  • 13. See Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 385. Edmund le Boteler in 1302 held half a knight's fee in Weeton of the Earl of Lancaster; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 316. James son of Edmund le Boteler of Ireland in 1324 held the manor of Weeton with Little Marton, &c., by knight's service and the yearly rent of 10s. for a goshawk, 5s. for castle ward, and 13s. 4d., doing suit to the county and wapentake; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. The manor of Weeton was included in a feoffment by James le Boteler Earl of Ormonde and Eleanor his wife in 1329; De Banco R. 278, m. 180d. See also 325, m. 380. The Earl of Ormond in 1346 held the fishery of Marton Mere by 10s. rent, two (not three) plough-lands in Weeton, three in Little Marton, three in Treales, two in Wesham and Mowbreck by half a knight's fee, rendering 13s. 4d.; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 52–4. Eleanor Countess of Ormonde held in 1355; Feud. Aids, iii, 90. She was a plaintiff in 1356 (Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 26 d.), and tenant of Weeton in 1361; Inq. p.m. 35 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 122. The Earl of Ormonde in 1378 paid 10s. to the aid as for the moiety of a fee in Weeton, Greenhalgh, Treales, Thietleton, Out Rawcliffe, Bradkirk, Medlar and Esprick; Harl. MS. 2085, fol. 421, &c. In 1384 John (James) son and heir of James Boteler, late Earl of Ormonde, had livery of 100 marks rent from the manor of Weeton; Kuerden fol. MS. p. 56. See also Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 359, 363.
  • 14. Sir John Stanley was lord of Weeton in 1401; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 76.
  • 15. The grant was made in 1408 to John Lund and Thomas Charnock, chaplains; Chart. R. 9 Hen. IV, no. 6.
  • 16. John Stanley in 1431 held the moiety of a knight's fee in Weeton, Trealet, Wesham and Thistleton; Feud. Aids, iii, 95. In 1445–6 Sir Thomas Stanley held in Weeton of the inheritance late of the Earl of Ormonde (and) the fishery called Marton Mere, rendering 20s. yearly or a sor goshawk; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. Thomas the second Earl of Derby in 1521 held the manors of Weeton and Treales of the king by the service of half a knight's fee and the rent of 13s. 4d. The clear value was £30; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 68. The manors of Weeton and Treales occur at various times in fines and recoveries of the earl's estates; e.g. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 276, m.75 (1715); Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 623, m. 1a (1776).
  • 17. In the possession of the Earl of Lathom.
  • 18. The free tenants of Weeton paid 31s. 2¼d.; also 3s. sake-fee. The tenants of Treales paid 5s. 9d. sake-fee; those of Wesham paid 4s.; and John Boteler of Out Rawcliffe paid 1d. as the price of a pair of gloves for that estate. The tenants at will in Weeton paid £13 16s. 8d.; the value of the works and boon hens was 9s. 9d. The profits of the court amounted to 8s., but the steward's expenses absorbed 2s. 4d. of that sum.
  • 19. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 29. The heir in 1212 had three of the original four plough-lands, and was a minor in ward of the Archdeacon of Stafford and William de Harcourt. Robert son of Gillemichael (ibid. i, 90) gave an oxgang in Preese, viz. the sixteenth part of the whole vill, saving his demesne of Wray, to the canons of Cockersand in free alms; Chartul. (Chet. Soc), i, 200. He as Robert de Whittington added three parts of a field called Wray lying between Preese and Aykscough; ibid. 201. Gillemichael had a son Gospatrick, who gave land in Burton in Kendal to Cockersand; ibid, iii, 1008. Gospatrick Prat in 1212 held land in the adjacent Dalton; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 90. William son of Henry or William de Hothwaite had land in Burton and Dalton in 1228; Final Conc. i, 54; Cockersand Chartul. iii, 1010. He may be the William de Prees of 1235; Final Conc. 71. The heir of the above-named Robert was probably the William de Prees acting as juror in 1242, when he held the fourth part of a knight's fee in Preese and Newton of the fee of the Earl of Lincoln (Penwortham); Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 151–2. He occurs down to 1258 (ibid. i, 212) and Robert de Prees in 1286 (ibid, i, 265), another William acting as juror in 1297 and holding the fourth part of a fee in Preese and Newton in 1302; ibid, i, 289, 316. There were three Roberts contemporary; for in 1278 Maud widow of Robert son of Austin de Prees claimed a messuage, toft and oxgang of land against Robert son of William de Precs, who called Robert son of Robert son of Austin to warrant him, which younger Robert appeared accordingly; De Banco R. 27, m. 38; 30, m. 13. He had then to give dower to Maud; ibid. 31, m. 44. Maud claimed dower in Preese against Robert son of William de Singleton in respect of a messuage, toft and 2 oxgangs of land, and against Robert son of William de Prees; ibid. 27, m. 60. Robert de Prees was defendant in another plea of dower in 1292; Assize R. 408, m. 30.
  • 20. William de Prees, as stated already, was tenant in 1297 and 1302. He was, no doubt, the William distrained to do homage to Edward II in 1322 for two plough-lands in Preese held by the fourth part of a knight's fee; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 136. It ihould be noticed that Robert de Prces was to do homage for the plough-land in Newton; ibid. William de Prees and Amery his wife were plaintiffs in 1323–4; Assize R. 425, m. 2. Amery daughter of Henry de Walley in her widowhood in 1328 granted to one of her sons, Henry de Hacconsall, part of her father's land with remainder to John son of another of her sons, Robert de Prees; Towneley MS. C 8, 5 (Chet. Lib.), Edw. III, no. 12. In 1338 William de Penereth and Emma his wife did not prosecute a claim for a messuage and 2 oxgangs of land in Preese put forward against Robert de Prees, Alice his wife, William the son of Robert, Maud his wife, Edmund son of Robert, Henry de Hacconsall and Ellen his wife. Henry was in possession, having entered by Robert de Prees; Assize R. 1425, m. 2 d., 6 d. A Robert de Middleton seems to have been in possession about 1358 as bailiff for William de Caton and Joan his wife; Assize R. 438, m. 4, 14. In 1361 the heir of William son of Robert de Prees held the fourth part of a knight's fee in Preese and Newton; Inq. p.m. 3 5 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 122. Cf. Feud. Aids, iii, 87.
  • 21. Between 1354 and 1361 the Duke of Lancaster granted to Adam Skillicorne the custody of the lands of William son of Robert de Prees, deceased, with the marriage of John son and heir of William; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 344. There are other allusions to Adam in the same report; it appears that he became coroner for the county and died probably in 1383, when a new officer was appointed; ibid. 356. John Skillicorne probably succeeded, but he died in 1385; ibid. 358. Adam son of William Skillicorne gave 2 marks for a writ of entry in June 1364; Fine R. 165, m. 11. Lands, &c., in Newton and Preese were in the hands of Adam Skillicorne in 1371, but nothing is said of any manor; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 180. A little earlier (1368) William son of William de Prees, in right of his brother John, had established his title to a messuage, &c., in Weeton against Adam de Skillicorne and William de Becconsaw, who had entry by Robert de Middleton and Alice his wife; De Banco R. 431, m. 309.
  • 22. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 76. The guardianship of the heir was granted to William de Rigmaiden; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xl, App. 531. It seems probable that Adam Skillicorne had married his daughter to John de Prees, at the same time securing the manor to her and her heirs. Nicholas de Prees put in a claim soon afterwards; Lancs. Inq. p.m. i, 75. A story at variance with the above record was related in 1535, it being stated that various lands and the manor of Preese were through William de Southworth, vicar of Poulton, settled on Adam Skillicorne and Alice then his wife, with remainder to his son Edmund; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, no. 3. The fine above cited, referring apparently to the same act, says nothing of a 'manor.' The same inquisition recites a settlement by Edmund Skillicorne and Margaret his wife. The writ of diem cl. extr. in the case of Edmund Skillicorne was issued 12 Mar. 1400–1; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 2. The inquisition states that he held burgages, &c., in Lancaster in conjunction with Margery his wife, daughter of Thomas Rigmaiden. William Skillicorne, his son and heir, was fifteen years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 75. William, born at Wedacre in Garstang on 8 Sept. 1385, proved his age in 1408; ibid, i, 91. He held the manor of Preese by the fourth part of a knight's fee in 1431; Feud. Aids, iii, 95. The writ of diem cl. extr. after his death was issued 6 July 1437; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 37. His son was the John Skillicorne who died in 1478 holding the manor of Preese and lands, &c., in Newton of the king as of his duchy by a rent of 6d., also lands, &c., in Warton, Preston and Lancaster. William his son and heir was forty-eight years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 105. John Skillicorne, William his son, Richard and James sons of William Skillicorne, were burgesses at the Preston Guild of 1459; Guild R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 12. William, who married Agnes Lawrence of Scotforth (Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 163, m. 20), died before 20 Feb. 1495–6, when the writ diem cl. extr. was issued; Towneley MS. CC, no. 638. The inquisition stated that he held the manor of Preese and 2 oxgangs of land in Newton of the king's honour of Penwortham by knight's service and 6d. rent; Towneley MS. 'Lancs. Tenures' (in possession of W. Farrer), 8. William was succeeded by a son John, whose grandson Richard died in 1534 leaving four daughters, the eldest being only ten years old, by his wife Isabel daughter of Ralph Langton of Newton; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, no. 3, where the descent is given thus: Adam -s. Edmund -s. William -s. John -s. William -s. John -s. William -s. Richard. The heir male was Nicholas Skillicorne, then thirty years of age. John Skillicorne was of Preese in 1523, when he had a dispute with the Abbot of Whalley as to common of pasture on Carr Marsh on the border of Staining; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 31. His wife at that time was Margaret sister of James Anderton of Worden in Leyland; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 51. Afterwards (in 1528) he married Anne, James's widow; she died in 1534; ibid, vii, no. 3; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 37. John was living in 1532. From a further inquiry made about 1556 it appears that Richard's four daughters were then living and married.
  • 23. Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 52; Nicholas is described as son of John Skillicorne. He had a son William and grandson Nicholas. The elder Nicholas and hit three sons. were burgesses at the guild of 1542; Preston Guild R. 19. Nicholas was dead in 1550, when the manor was in the king's hands by reason of the minority of William, his son and heir; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxiii, 55 d. In 1592 an informer told the government that 'Mr. Skillicorne of Preese hath for many years a recusant schoolmaster, who for sundry years was one William Fletcher, then a recusant, now the schoolmaster at Wigan'; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 258, quoting S. P. Dom. Eliz. ccxv, 79. William Skillicorne died in 1601 holding the manor of Preese, and was succeeded by his son Nicholas; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xviii, no. 35. For a pedigree see Fishwick, Kirkham, 191.
  • 24. A feoffment of the manors of Preese and Newton was made by Nicholas Skillicorne in 1606; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 70, no. 83. The manor of Preese alone appears in a similar rine in 1609, when the deforciants were Nicholas Skillicorne, William his son and heirapparent and Elizabeth his wife, John Skillicorne and Priscilla his wife; ibid, bdle. 76, no. 31. No Skillicornes appear in the Preston guild roll of 1622 or later. Nicholas and John Skillicorne were convicted recusants in 1620; Cal.S.P. Dom. 1619–23, p. 150.
  • 25. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 125, no. 43. From the draft of an Act of 1624 it appears that John Skillicorne had conveyed the manor to Robert, Edmund and Charles Wolferstone; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. iii, 30.
  • 26. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 354.
  • 27. In 1836 it belonged to Hugh Hornby of Liverpool, and was afterwards sold to Thomas Miller, father of the present owner; Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1836), iv, 400; (ed. 1870;, ii, 493.
  • 28. The 4 oxgangs of land there were in 1286 held by free farmers of Theobald le Boteler; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 265. This is probably the land in Preese held by the heir of Theobald Walter in 1242; ibid. 153.
  • 29. In 1212, of the four plough-lands granted by Warine Bussel to Gillemichael, only three were held by his heirs; the other, in Mythop, was held by the heir of Theobald Walter; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 29. It was worth 4½ marks yearly in 1249 and 64s. in 1286; ibid. 172, 264. The tenure was in 1302 recorded as the tenth part of a knight's fee in Mythop, held of the Earl of Lincoln; ibid. 316. This is repeated in later extents, &c.; e.g. Feud. Aids, iii, 91. In 1522 the tenants of Mythop paid £4 a year, including 3s. 3d. as the value of the works and services; Derby Rental (at Lathom).
  • 30. James le Boteler Earl of Ormonde in 1329 complained that Robert de Prees and Adam son of Thomas de Mythop had rescued cattle from his pound at Weeton; De Banco R. 278, m. 157. Adam son of Richard de Mythop in 1341 confirmed to his son Richard lands at the Bankhouses in Warton; Lytham D. at Durham, 1 a, 2 ae, 4 ae, Ebor. no. 20. The witnesses included Henry, Geoffrey and Robert, sons of Richard de Mythop. Nicholas son of Robert de Mythop had land in Elswick in 1402–5; Towneley MS. C 8, s (Chet. Lib.), Hen. IV, no. 5,7. There was another place of the same name in Lytham.
  • 31. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 2.
  • 32. Cal. Com. for Comp. ii, 1117; Swarbrick, Mythop, &c.
  • 33. James and Thomas Swarbrick and William Blacoe; Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 134–5. For the convicted recusants c. 1670 see Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc), v, 195–6.
  • 34. By Order in Council 21 Jan. 1846.
  • 35. Baines, Lancs, (ed. 1870), ii, 493.