Townships: Singleton

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

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'Townships: Singleton', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, (London, 1912) pp. 183-188. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

In this section


Singletun, Dom. Bk.; Schingleton, 1168; Singelton, 1176; Singilton, 1257; Singleton, 1286.

The larger part of this township is known as Great Singleton with 1,575½ acres; it contains the village and chapel near the centre, with Enam or Avenham to the south-west and Brackinscal to the south-east. Little Singleton occupies the northern part, bordering the River Wyre with its picturesque scenery; it is divided near the centre by a small area known as Pool Foot, which, with a detached plot to the west, measures 53½ acres. Little Singleton has an area of 1,294. acres; the hamlet or village is near its centre, with Mains to the north-west, while Singleton Grange and Bankfield are in the eastern portion. The total measurement is 2,923 acres, (fn. 1) and there was in 1901 a population of 373. The surface is almost level, but falls away to the north and to the west; on the latter side are the low-lying Carrs, drained by a dyke cut some years ago at the expense of the landowners. It goes along near the western boundary of the township, and empties into the Wyre, near Skippool, Poulton. (fn. 2)

A road from Kirkham and Weeton leads north to Great Singleton and then to Little Singleton, where it turns westward, crossing the boundary brook at Skippool Bridge and turning south to Poulton. From this road a branch goes north past Mains to cross the Wyre by Shard Bridge. From Little Singleton another road turns off to the east towards St. Michael's, while from Great Singleton other roads go east and west to the adjoining townships.

The village is said to have been the residence of Mag Shelton, a famous witch. 'The cows of her neighbours were constantly milked by her, the pitcher in which she conveyed the milk away, when stolen, walking before her in the shape of a goose.' A neighbour, suspecting, once struck the 'goose,' and the pitcher was broken, the milk flowing out. (fn. 3)

There is a sheep fair on 21 September.

The soil is clayey, with marl subsoil; oats, potatoes and turnips are grown. Sixty years ago almost all the land was under the plough, but about three-fourths of the land is now pasture, for the dairy farms.

The township is governed by a parish council. There is a fire-engine station, with a volunteer brigade.

The Gillow family, formerly seated in this and adjacent townships, produced several noteworthy men. (fn. 4) Henry Lushington, at one time chief secretary to the Government of Malta, was born here in 1812. He died in 1855. (fn. 5) John Bilsborrow, D.D., born at Singleton Lodge in 1836, was Bishop of Salford from 1892 till his death in 1903.


Before the Conquest Singleton was included in the great lordship held by Earl Tostig in Amounderness; it was then assessed as six plough-lands. (fn. 6) Afterwards it was retained as demesne by the lords of the honour of Lancaster, (fn. 7) except that half a plough-land was given to the hereditary bailiff of the wapentake by way of fee, and two plough-lands more were granted to Cockersand Abbey.

Singleton is named in the Pipe Roll of 1168–9 as contributing to an aid, (fn. 8) and in similar ways later. (fn. 9) The demesne rendered 28s. to the farm of the county in 1226, (fn. 10) but this had been greatly increased by 1258, (fn. 11) and the value of the vill to the Earl of Lancaster was in 1297 estimated at £21. (fn. 12) Accounts of the halmotes in 1325 have been printed. (fn. 13) A brief extent made a few years later states that there were then twenty-one messuages and 26 oxgangs of land in the hands of bonders; the total value to the lord was £24. (fn. 14) A more elaborate extent of the year 1346 has been preserved. There were then 28 oxgangs of land, held by bondmen or natives, each containing 12 acres and rendering 14s. 3½d. yearly. The payment was made up of 5s. rent and 9s. 3½d. in lieu of various services, including the carriage of the lord's victuals at any time of the year by three suitable beasts. An additional service was the carrying of victuals whenever the lord travelled from Ribble Bridge to Lancaster Castle and back. Merchet for sons and daughters and letherwit for sons were due. At death the lord took all the bondman's goods, reserving the best beast for himself, paying debts, and returning to the widow and children two-thirds of the remainder. In 1346 there were also a few cottagers and three tenants at will. There was an ancient custom that an unmarried woman living by herself in the township should par the lord 3d. yearly in the name of advowson. (fn. 15)

About 1510–15 disputes arose between the king's tenants of Singleton and those of the Abbot of Whalley's manor of Staining as to boundaries, and particularly as to the carr. It was decided that the carr belonged to the king alone, but the tenants of Todderstaffe and Hardhorn had right of common. (fn. 16)

Singleton proper, or GREAT SINGLETON, remained in the hands of the Earls and Dukes of Lancaster, and eventually of the Crown, until 1623, when this manor, with Ribby and Wrea, was sold to Edward Badby and William Weltden. (fn. 17) Within a few years it seems to have been purchased by William Fanshawe, auditor of the duchy, (fn. 18) descending to Simon Fanshawe, who in 1748 sold it to William Shawe of Preston. (fn. 19) His son, William Cunliffe Shawe, who succeeded in 1771, sold it to Joseph Hornby of Ribby about 1800. In 1852 it was purchased from the trustees of Hugh Hornby by Thomas Miller, one of the great cotton manufacturers of Preston, (fn. 20) who resided at Singleton and did much for the material improvement of the district. Dying on 24 June 1865, he was followed by his son, Mr. Thomas Horrocks Miller, the present lord of the manor, who resides at Singleton Park, having built the mansion there. He also owns the Avenham estate. (fn. 21)

Lancaster. England differenced with a label of France.

LITTLE SINGLETON, as half a plough-land, was, as above stated, granted in serjeanty. (fn. 22) The holders adopted the local surname, but their principal manor was Broughton in Preston, with which Little Singleton descended to the heirs and representatives of the Balderston family. (fn. 23) On the partition in 1565 it was assigned to the Earl of Derby. (fn. 24) In 1602 it was sold by Alice Countess of Derby and the heirs of Ferdinando the fifth earl to William Hesketh of Little Poulton, (fn. 25) who was probably already the occupier.

The manor-house, known as MAINS, thenceforward became the chief residence of this branch of the Heskeths. George Hesketh, who has already occurred in the account of Aughton as half-brother of Gabriel son of Bartholomew Hesketh, (fn. 26) had a considerable estate in the town of Kirkham and the neighbourhood, and in 1566 was described as of Rossall. He died in 1571, and was succeeded by his son William, aged thirty. (fn. 27) This William died at Mains in 1622, but as nothing is said in the inquisition as to his holding land in Little Singleton, the purchaser in 1602 may have been his son William, aged sixty at his father's death. (fn. 28) William died in 1623 holding the manor of Little Singleton, and was succeeded by his son Thomas. (fn. 29) Pedigrees were recorded in 1613 and 1664. (fn. 30)

Hesketh of Mains. Argent on a bend sable three garbs or, a canton of the second.

The family were distinguished by their fidelity to Roman Catholicism even in the days of Elizabeth. (fn. 31) In the Civil War it was a matter of course that they took the king's side; one of the sons was killed in a skirmish at Brindle in 1651, (fn. 32) and the family estates were by the Parliament sequestered for recusancy as early as 1643. (fn. 33) A later William Hesketh registered his estate as a 'Papist' in 1717. (fn. 34) His son Thomas, inheriting the manor of Claughton in Garstang, took the name of Brockholes; and ultimately Mains, like Claughton, was devised to a relative by marriage, and has thus descended to its present owner, Mr. W. J. Fitzherbert-Brockholes.

MAINS HALL stands in a pleasant situation close to the bank of the River Wyre, and was originally a house of very considerable interest, being built on three sides of a quadrangle which was open to the south. To some extent this disposition still obtains, though the west wing has disappeared and the building has been so much altered and pulled about from time to time that it has lost nearly all its architectural interest, and having been for a long time used as a farm-house has suffered much in other ways.

Mains Hall

The north side facing the river preserves something of its 17th-century appearance, having a large middle gable and a smaller one to the east; but all the windows are modern, and additions have been made from time to time. All the external walls of the main building are covered with rough-cast and whitewashed and the roofs are covered with modern grey slates. The south side, or garden front, was rebuilt in the 18th century, and is a rather uninteresting two-story elevation with sash windows, central doorway and a projecting gable at the east end. The doorway, however, is a good piece of 18th-century work with flat canopy supported by carved brackets. The hall has been 'altered and re-altered, modernized and re-modernized,' alterations carried out in 1846 having almost gutted the interior. (fn. 35) The west wing, which contained the kitchen and offices, was pulled down in the first quarter of the 19th century, (fn. 36) and is said to have contained a 'hall part' having a huge open chimney and wainscoted with 'fluted oak of the reign of Henry VIII. (fn. 37) The west end of the main building has been rebuilt three stories in height in a very plain manner, detracting in a very large measure from the otherwise rather picturesque appearance of the south front, a picturesqueness produced mainly by the long line of 17thcentury red brick buildings on the east side and the inclosing brick wall to the garden. The wall is about 10 ft. 6 in high, with triangular buttresses on the outside, and steps down at each end to the front, where it forms a dwarf wall with wood railings, the entrance being flanked by tall brick gate-piers surmounted by balls. The garden is about 90 yds. long by 50 yds. in width, extending some feet beyond the house on either side, and is inclosed for its greater length on the east by the outbuildings already men tioned, which stand detached from the main building. Towards the north end of these facing the garden are the initials, roughly worked in the brickwork, of Thomas and Margaret Hesketh and the date 1686. The building on which the initials occur is now a stable, but the upper part is usually known as the 'chapel,' though no signs of its having been used as such are now visible. It is described as being 'desolate' in 1845, when 'the picture of the Virgin and Child had fallen from the altar and the altar rails were in decay.' (fn. 38) The outside staircase which formerly led to the 'chapel,' which is now a hayloft, has long been removed. In the north-west corner of the garden is a brick pavilion measuring 13 ft. 6 in. by 11 ft. internally, with pointed slated roof, now in a state of dilapidation. The lay out in front of the house must have been originally very effective, and even yet in its decay and semi-wildness is not without beauty. On the north side, between the house and the river, is an octagonal brick pigeon-house with pointed roof.

SINGLETON GRANGE, or Newbigging, was considered to lie in Little Singleton probably because, being the estate of Cockersand Abbey, (fn. 39) it was independent of Great Singleton Manor. In 1384 inquiry was made as to the tenure of part of the land held by the abbot, it being alleged that John Count of Mortain had granted a messuage and 12 acres to John Joy and his heirs to find a man with a horse to be ferryman on the water of Wyre—which alms had been withdrawn. (fn. 40)

The Grange was after the Suppression sold to William Eccleston of Great Eccleston, (fn. 41) and seems to have been alienated subsequently in small parcels. Hugh Hornby died in 1638 holding a messuage in Singleton Grange and leaving a son and heir John, aged forty. (fn. 42) William Leigh, clerk, who was rector of Standish, died at Preston in 1639 holding a capital messuage called Grange House in Singleton Grange, with various cottages and land in the township. Theophilus, his son and heir, was forty years of age. (fn. 43) His grandson Charles Leigh, M.D., said to have been born at Singleton in 1662, was author of the Natural History of Lancashire published in 1700 (fn. 44); he practised as a physician in Manchester, where he was living in 1704. (fn. 45) A pedigree of the family was recorded in 1664. (fn. 46) Richard Burgh of Larbreck also had land at the Grange in 1639. (fn. 47) Cuthbert Harrison, minister of Singleton during the Commonwealth and founder of the Nonconformist chapel at Elswick, had an estate at Bankfield, which has continued in his family. (fn. 48) The present owner is Mr. Charles Edward Dyson Harrison Atkinson.

Several 'Papists' registered estates in 1717. (fn. 49)


The earliest record of St. Mary's Chapel at Singleton occurs in 1358, when Henry Duke of Lancaster granted the custody of it to John de East Witton, hermit. (fn. 50) It remained in use (fn. 51) till the Reformation, but in 1547 a stipend of 49s. a year was paid to a priest to celebrate in the chapel. (fn. 52) It appears that there was a curate as late as 1578, but he was conspicuous for neglect of his duties and bad morals. (fn. 53) Afterwards the building ceased to be used, and was with the appurtenances sold by the Crown in 1618 to Sir James Auchterlony. (fn. 54) During the Commonwealth period a new chapel was built, and the people requested a minister and endowment. (fn. 55) It seems doubtful whether it was this building or some part of the old chapel which after the Restoration came into the hands of the Roman Catholics and was used for service as opportunity offered (fn. 56); but in 1749 the new lord of the manor, who owned the building, gave it to the Bishop of Chester to be used as a chapel of ease to Kirkham, (fn. 57) and, having provided a small endowment, the right of presentation was conceded to him. (fn. 58) This right has descended with the manor to Mr. T. H. Miller. In 1809 the chapel was pulled down and a new one was built; this lasted for fifty years, and was replaced by the present St. Anne's Church in 1861. (fn. 59)

The following have been incumbents (fn. 60) :—

1749 Edward Threlfall
1754 John Threlfall, B.A. (Wadham Coll., Oxf.)
William Threlfall
1797 Thomas Banks (fn. 61)
1842 William Birley, B.A. (Trinity Coll., Oxf.)
1843 Leonard Charles Wood, B.A. (Jesus Coll., Camb.)

In 1689 there was a Quakers' meeting-house in Great Singleton. (fn. 62)

From what has been said about the Heskeths, who had a domestic chapel at Mains, (fn. 63) it might be inferred that all through the penal times the missionary priests were able to minister in the Singleton district, and direct evidence is available that even in the most bitter periods they carried on their work. Thus Thomas Robinson, born at Singleton, was baptized in 1651 by a secular priest named Holden, and on entering the English College at Rome in 1673 he stated that 'his parents had suffered both public and private spoliation of their property in the Civil War on account of their faith.' (fn. 64) Later than this, as above stated, an old chapel was used till about 1750. On being dispossessed a new one was built about 1768, (fn. 65) but the lease expiring was given up when St. John's at Poulton was opened in 1813. (fn. 66) It was again used from 1832 to 1860, by which time, through Mr. Miller's influence, very few Roman Catholics remained in the township. (fn. 67)


  • 1. The Census Rep. 1901 gives 2,730 acres, including 17 of inland water; there are also 35 acres of tidal water and 110 of foreshore.
  • 2. This and much other local information has been afforded by Messrs. J. W. Fair and Rea, agents to Mr. T. H. Miller.
  • 3. Thornber, Blackpool, 308–9.
  • 4. Thomas Gillow, D.D., son of Richard Gillow of Singleton, 1769 to 1867, has a notice in Dict. Nat. Biog. Memoirs of him and several other members of the family will be found in Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. ii, 474–88. The Gillows of Leighton in Yealand are descendants.
  • 5. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 6. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 288a.
  • 7. The tithes were given to St. Martin of Sees in 1094 by Count Roger of Poitou; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 290.
  • 8. Ibid. 12.
  • 9. In 1176–7, 5 marks of aid; in 1200–1, 18s. increment of farm (for half a year); in 1205–6, 47s. 8d. of tallage; ibid. 35, 130, 202. In 1181–2 Richard de Molyneux paid 201. for leave to agree with the men of Singleton as to a certain new assize; ibid. 46–7. Singleton contributed £2 5s. 8d. to a tallage in 1226 and £4 in 1248–9, £8 in 1261; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 135, 176, 228. In 1229 the sheriff was ordered to reinstate Richard son of Ralph de Singleton, who had held 2 oxgangs of land by a rent of 2s.; Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 176.
  • 10. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 139. The Abbot of Cockersand also paid 20s. for the two plough-lands of Newbigging. In 1246–8 the farm of Singleton amounted to £5 3s. 6d. and the pleas and perquisites to £5 2s. 6d.; ibid. 169.
  • 11. For two years and a half (1256–8) the farm and the pleas and perquisites amounted in all to £13 1s. 1d.; ibid. 221. The issues for the three years and a half following, 1258–62, amounted to £15 9s. 9d. without the pleas and perquisites; ibid. 230.
  • 12. Ibid. 289.
  • 13. Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 93–4. Three women paid 6d. each for licence to marry.
  • 14. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 692.
  • 15. Add. MS. 32103, fol. 149b. There was another custom that the township should provide four cows for the lord's stock, each man contributing his share. The names of the bondmen are recorded; their holdings varied from half an oxgang to 2 oxgangs of land. The six plough-lands of 1066 seem to have been divided thus: 3½ demesne, 2 Cockersand, and ½ serjeanty. Sometimes, however, the abbot was said to have five plough-lands and the bailiff of the wapentake one. John of Gaunt in 1373 (?) granted Sir Thomas Banastre for his life the vill of Singleton with all rents, &c., to be held by the rent of a rose; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xtii, 131. A rental of the king's lands in Great Singleton in 1508 is preserved in Towneley's MS. OO. The Abbot of Vale Royal paid 3s. 4d. for his tithe barn there.
  • 16. Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 19, 20; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc), ii, 271.
  • 17. Pat. 20 Jas. I, pt. iii.
  • 18. In Burke's Landed Gentry, in the pedigree of Fanshawe of Dengie, Essex, William Fanshawe (1583–1634), auditor of the Duchy of Lancaster, is styled 'of Great Singleton,' and the later descent is thus given: -s. John, d. 1689 -s. William, d. 1708 -s. Thomas Edward, d. 1726 -s. Simon, d. 1777. Christopher Slinger was plaintiff and William Fanshawe deforciant in a fine in 1699 regarding the manor of Great Singleton, lands there, view of frankpledge, &c.; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 243, m. 55. Thomas Edward Fanshawe was vouchee in recoveries of the manor in 1712 and 1716; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 496, m. 2; 502, m. 3. Simon Fanshawe in 1747; ibid. 564, m. 9.
  • 19. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 338. Courts leet, courts baron, and view of frankpledge are named in the fine. From the pedigree in Fishwick's Preston (341) it appears that William Shawe died in 1771, and his son W. C. Shawe, M.P. for Preston in 1791, died in 1821. This son was vouchee in a recovery or the manor of Great Singleton in 1771; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 614, m. 6.
  • 20. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 495. Mr. Cunliffe Shawe presented to the curacy in 1797, and Mr. Hornby was lord of the manor in 1809, rebuilding the church. Mr. Miller greatly improved the estate by draining the carrs and in other ways.
  • 21. Information of Messrs. J. W. Fair and Rea.
  • 22. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 52, 151. See the accounts of Broughton and Balderston.
  • 23. William son of Alan de Singleton had a mill and fishery at Singleton in 1245; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 92. Thomas de Singleton proved his title in 1292; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 388. Joan (de Singleton) widow of Thomas Banastre held the manor of Little Singleton in 1303; Final Conc. i, 201. William Banastre died in 1323 holding of the Earl of Lancaster the hamlet of Little Singleton by serjeanty of the bailiwick of Amounderness and Blackburnshire; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 159. In 1346 Thomas son of Adam Banastre held a plough-land in Little Singleton by the same serjeanty, paying £2 a year; Survey, 50. Richard Balderston held the manor of Little Singleton by serjeanty in 1457; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 63. In or about 1460 a petition was addressed to the Bishop of Exeter as Chancellor by John Pilkington and Robert Harrington, as lords of Singleton, in right of their wives; Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 28, no. 224. Thomas son of Gilbert de Singleton put in a claim to the manor of Little Singleton in 1344 against John and Nicholas sons of Thomas Banastre; De Banco R. 338, m. 337. The story shows that the claim failed; nevertheless the Singletons of Broughton Tower and Chingle Hall appear to have retained certain land in Little Singleton; Final Conc. iii, 164 (1508). This is not mentioned in the inquisitions, but is said to have been the estate called the Lodge, once the residence of William Cunliffe Shawe; Baines, loc. cit. Robert Hesketh and John Talbot were in 1466 appointed to arbitrate between William Singleton and Joan widow of Richard Balderston; Kuerden MSS. iv, S 12.
  • 24. Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 216, m. 10. Little Singleton occurs, as part of the Balderston estates, in the inquisitions of Edmund Dudley, Thomas Radcliffe of Winmarleigh and his successors, Thomas Earl of Derby and Sir Alexander Osbaldeston. In that of the Earl of Derby in 1521 the 'moiety of the manor' is stated to have been held of the king as of his duchy by serjeanty, viz. being bailiff of the king of his wapentakes of Amounderness and Blackburnshire; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 68. The tenure of 'the manor of Singleton alias Little Singleton' was recorded in similar terms after the death of Ferdinando, fifth earl; Add. MS. 32104, fol. 426.
  • 25. Brockholes of Claughton D. A confirmatory fine shows that the manors of Little Singleton and Elswick, with lands there and in Mains, Great Eccleston, Newton-with-Scales, &c., were purchased by a large number of persons; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 65, no. 69. The deforciants were Thomas Lord Ellesmere, Chancellor of England, Alice his wife, Grey Bridges Lord Chandos, Anne his wife, Sir Thomas Leigh and Thomas Spencer. Alice (Spencer) was the widow of Ferdinando Earl of Derby, and Anne was one of his daughters and co-heirs. The twenty plaintiffs (or purchasers) include Richard Burgh, William Hesketh, and Cuthbert Sharpies. On the other hand it should be noticed that a manor of Singleton—probably titular only— occurs among the Earl of Derby's estates in 1631; ibid. bdle. 118, no. 1. William Hesketh held the manor of Little Singleton in 1712, and Thomas Brockholes, lately called Thomas Hesketh, in 1737; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 493, m. 5; 544, m. 12.
  • 26. Bartholomew Hesketh was described as 'of Rufford'; Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A 13476. He seems to be the founder of the chantry at Rufford.
  • 27. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiii, no. 15. He held nothing in Little Singleton.
  • 28. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 365.
  • 29. Brockholes of Claughton D.
  • 30. Visit. (Chet. Soc.), 21 (1613), 136 (1664). They give the descent as: Bartholomew Hesketh -s. George -s. William -s. William, d. 1628 -s. Thomas, d. 1653 -s. William, aged forty-six in 1664 -s. Thomas, aged five. A more extended pedigree may be seen in Fishwick, op. cit. 197.
  • 31. For some notes on the family see Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. iii, 285, 290; Foley, Rec. S. J. vi, 493; vii, 356–7. William Hesketh, who was a brotherin-law of Cardinal Allen, was in 1577 a recusant, 'in lands £20 and in goods poor'; Gibson, Lydiate Hall, 215 from S. P. Dom. Eliz. cxviii, 451. In 1584 he had, as a recusant, to provide a light horseman for the queen's service; ibid. 231, from S. P. Dom. Eliz. clxxxiv, 33. He was fined the, £260 a year in 1586; ibid. 238, from S. P. Dom. Eliz. cxc, 43. His arrest was desired in 1593; ibid. 261.
  • 32. This was Thomas Hesketh, son of the Thomas who died in 1653; Visit, of 1664 (Chet. Soc), 136; War in Lancs. (Chet. Soc), 74.
  • 33. Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 218–21. Thomas Hesketh, who died in Oct. 1653, had twothirds of his estates sequestered for recusancy in 1643. William as son and heir succeeded to the remaining third, but had not been convicted of recusancy, nor had he been charged with an offence against the State, though his father had aided 'the King of Scots' in 1651 and his brother had died in arms against the Parliament. The petition of 1654 was on behalf of William's seven daughters, of whom the eldest was twelve years old.
  • 34. a Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 133. The annual value was £198 13s. 4½d., but allowance was made for annuities. William Hesketh was son of the Thomas (aged five) of 1664. He married Mary daughter of John Brockholes of Claughton and heir of her brother; their numerous children all died without issue, three of the daughters being nuns. Some other members of the family are named; ibid. 96, 135.
  • 35. Trans. Hist. Soc. Lancs. and Ches. (1853), v, 159.
  • 36. a Thornber, writing about 1837, says it was taken down 'some years ago'; Hist. of Blackpool, 301. He describes it as 'the most venerable part of the mansion.' Various 'hiding places' were discovered during the demolition.
  • 37. Trans. Hist. Soc. Lancs. and Ches. v. 159.
  • 38. a Trans. Hist. Soc. Lancs. and Ches. v, 159.
  • 39. King John in 1216 gave two ploughlands (with their appurtenances) of his demesne in Newbigging by Singleton, from which 16s. used to be received; but the canons of Cockersand were to pay 20s. yearly; Cockersand Chartul. i, 40. The grant was twice confirmed by Henry III; ibid. 43; Originalia R. 40 Hen. III, m. 11. From an entry in the Pipe Roll of 1213–15 it seems that the canons had already been in possession at a rent of £2 a year; Farrer, op. cit. 252. The name Singleton Grange was used in 1297, at which time the abbot paid the 20s. yearly; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 289. In 1346 the abbot's tenement in Newbigging was called five plough-lands. He paid 20s. yearly; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 52. For rentals, see Chartul. iii, 1264–5.
  • 40. a Pal. of Lanc. Docquet R. 1 (8 Reg.).
  • 41. Pat. 35 Hen. VIII, pt. ix. The grant included Medlar also. The amount paid was, £244. William Eccleston and his son became involved in various disputes as to the fishery and the marsh; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 180; ii, 254; iii, 19. Thomas Eccleston died in 1592 holding ten messuages, &c., in Great Singleton, commonly called Singleton Grange. The tenure was not stated; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 38.
  • 42. Ibid, xxx, no. 91. His tenement was held of the king as of his manor of East Greenwich in socage.
  • 43. Ibid. no. 34. The tenure is not stated. A settlement had been made in 1623.
  • 44. Dict. Nat. Biog.; Loc. Glean. Lancs. and Ches. i, 68; Fish wick, Kirkham, 187–8. A portrait is prefixed to his Natural History. He had no issue, and the estate seems to have been divided and sold.
  • 45. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. xxii, 186–8.
  • 46. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 183; Leigh of Singleton Grange.
  • 47. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, no. 100. The tenement in Singleton Grange and Great Singleton was stated to be held of the king by the fiftieth part of a knight's fee.
  • 48. Fishwick, op. cit. 189, with pedigree. The estate is eaid to be the same as that of Hugh Hornby above; Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1870), ii, 495. There are family monuments in the church.
  • 49. Estcourtand Payne, op. cit. 125, 133, 137, 147, 149. The names were Ellen Bickerstaffe, James Buller, Elizabeth widow of William Hull, Richard son of Edward Hull, and Thomas Knott. The Butlers were of some standing there; Ducatus Lanc. iii, 183, &c. George Buller of Singleton in 1622 had land in Lea; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 317.
  • 50. Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 345.
  • 51. In 1440 a licence was granted to celebrate in the chapel at Singleton for one year; in 1452 a similar licence for three years was granted, and an indulgence of forty days for the chapel was afterwards added; Raines, Lancs. Chantries (Chet. Soc), 216. The chaplain was probably maintained by subscription of the inhabitants, but the 49s. later paid to a stipendiary indicates that the Dukes of Lancaster, as lords of the manor, had made a small allowance.
  • 52. Ibid. A lease, apparently of the chapel property, made to Sir Richard Hoghton (26 Feb. 1546–7), contained a provision that he should pay 49s. to the priest, who at that time was Richard Godson, thirty-eight years of age. This name does not appear among those of the Kirkham clergy in 1548. The chapel had no plate, but possessed 'ornaments' worth 2s. 4d. and a small bell, which were taken by the king; ibid. 267, 275, 277. The above-named lease caused disputing in 1561; Fishwick, op. cit. 45.
  • 53. Raines, op. cit. 266, note; 'he hath, lately kept an ale-house and a naughty woman in it.' His name is not given.
  • 54. Pat. 16 Jas. I, pt. xiii; the chapel was 'ruinous.' The chapel house and chapel yard were included, as also the stipend due to the chaplain and a windmill with suit of the demesne tenants, which seems to have been the endowment. The grantee, aged twenty-five, one of the king's carvers, was in 1604 to marry Dorothy, widow of Sir John North, aged thirty-six. Foster, Marriage Licences. The old chapel was still existing in 1650, having been held on lease by Ralph Eccleston, a recusant, and purchased by Robert Holt of London; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2549.
  • 55. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 155. The chapel was 'newly erected' in 1650, but it is not stated who built it. There was then no minister, but Cuthbert Harrison officiated 1651–4, £50 having been given out of Thomas Clifton's sequestered estates; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 98, 139.
  • 56. Thornber (Blackpool, 306) gives a different account. He states that the chapel of 1650 was turned into an inn, and that the old chapel remained in the hands of 'the Romanists' till 1745, 'when, on the suppression of the rebellion in this year, the Protestants of the village celebrated the fifth of November with greater zeal than usual, raising contributions of peats at every door and among the rest at the priest's. The refusal of his housekeeper so enraged the people that with one Richard Seckington at their head they ejected the priest both from his house and church.' This traditional account must be a little wrong in the date.
  • 57. The chapel and chapel-yard were consecrated in 1754.
  • 58. Deeds of 1749 and 1756 printed in Fishwick's Kirkham, 47. The chapel was then known as St. Anne's. William Shawe gave £200 for endowment and, £200 was added by Queen Anne's Bounty. The curate of Singleton was to assist at the parish church on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Day, Whit Sunday, and other Sundays on which sacraments were usually administered. In the deed of 1749 the chapel was said to be 'then used as a popish chapel.
  • 59. Fishwick, loc. cit. See also Hewitson, Our Country Churches, 378–86. In the chancel is an old oak chair, said to have been Milton's.
  • 60. Church P. at Chester Dioc. Reg.
  • 61. Succeeded William Threlfall, who resigned; Consistory papers at Chester. 'William' may be an error for 'John,' for Thornber states that only 'two ministers, Mr. Threlfall and the Rev. Thomas Banks,' had occupied it till 1837. John Threlfall was master of Kirkham Grammar School from 1744 till his death in 1801; Fishwick, op. cit. 148.
  • 62. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 230.
  • 63. Fr. John Berington, S. J., was there from 1701 to 1720; Foley, Rec. S. J. vii, 54 (Meales); Gillow, Haydock Papers, 235; Tyldesley Diary.
  • 64. Foley, Rec. S. J. vi, 421; he had studied humanities at Kirkham, Poulton, Singleton and St. Omers. A similar statement was made by James Swarbrick, who had been baptized by a priest named Matthewsin 1655; ibid. The convicted recusants c. 1670 (including Robinson and Swarbrick) are recorded in Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc), v. 198–202. For the fate of James Swarbrick see Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 355.
  • 65. Thornber, loc. cit. One of the priests there, — Watts, became a Protestant and was appointed curate of Wrea Green, where he died in 1773.
  • 66. Hewitson, op. cit. 404.
  • 67. Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Cath. ii, 474.