The parish of Poulton-le-Fylde

Pages 219-225

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


Poulton; Carleton; Thornton; Hardhorn-With-Newton; Marton

This parish, from which Bispham has been detached, has an area of 16,691½ acres, including 1,523½ acres of tidal water, and its population in 1901 numbered 27,987. The country is in general level, with gentle undulations. The town of Poulton was formerly a place of importance in the district, being called the 'metropolis of the Fylde' in 1837, (fn. 1) but the formation of Fleetwood at the mouth of the Wyre, and, still more, the growth of Blackpool, have left it far behind. In former times the estuary of the Wyre was 'proverbial for the safety of its navigation,' (fn. 2) and Poulton was the port on it.

The history of the parish has been that of a quiet agricultural community. There are slight traces of Roman occupation. (fn. 3) Before the Reformation a large portion of the land was held by religious houses, represented by the bailiffs at their granges, and the resident gentry were little more than yeomen, cultivating their estates and apparently living in peace with each other. The destruction of the monasteries made little practical change, though it introduced an important resident family—that of Fleetwood of Rossall—but the religious revolution found a number of victims, great and small. One or two here, as in other parishes of the Fylde, suffered death for their work as missionary priests, and the most powerful opponent of the Elizabethan establishment of religion was a native of the parish—Cardinal Allen. The Civil War and the Revolution do not seem to have disturbed this parish in any noteworthy manner. One of the minor gentry, Thomas Singleton of Staining, lost his life in 1643 in the cause of Charles I. The school at Rossall, though of recent origin, provides a distinctive feature.

To the tax called the county lay of 1624 the various townships contributed as follows when the hundred paid £100: Poulton, £2 10s. 6½d.; Carleton, £1 16s. 1½d.; Thornton, £2 0s. 5¾d.; Hardhorn-with-Newton, £2 10s. 2¼d.; and Marton, £2 0s. 3¼d.; in all, £10 17s. 7¼d. (fn. 4) The older fifteenth shows much the same relative values. (fn. 5)

With the exception of Fleetwood the district remains almost entirely agricultural. The land is now occupied very largely as pasture, as may be seen by the following table (fn. 6) :—

Arable land ac. Permanent grass ac. Woods and plantations ac.
Poulton 66½ 644 5
Carleton 149 1,752½
Thornton 470 1,962 10½
Fleetwood 475 1,032 17
Hardhorn-with-Newton 578 1,951 27
Marton 1,261½ 1,851½ 20
3,000 9,193 79½

A village called Singleton Thorp, near Rossall Grange, is said to have been destroyed in 1555 by an irruption of the sea. (fn. 7)

One Robert Hey, 'a wise man, a witch or charmer,' was presented by the vicar in 1611 for the Bishop of Chester's censure for telling fortunes and the like. He was known as 'the wise man of the Fylde,' but appeared to disclaim the title, and as the vicar did not press his accusation and the churchwardens averred that he was 'an honest man, a good churchman' and a communicant, he was merely ordered to appear in Poulton Church on Sunday during service and declare his sorrow for giving offence, renouncing publicly the title of 'wise man of the Fylde.' (fn. 8)


The protestation of 1641–2 was signed by Peter White the minister and ninety-seven inhabitants. (fn. 9)

In 1643 a large Spanish ship laden with arms for the Low Countries appeared in the Wyre, having been driven out of its course, and created great excitement by firing guns as signals. The Parliamentarians first seized it, but the Earl of Derby having heard visited the place, took possession, and ordered the ship to be burnt, allowing the crew to go free. A Parliamentary major who also went to see the vessel was not able to save it; his force being small, he had to avoid the earl. (fn. 10)

Several ancient customs lingered in the Fylde till recent times, such as the bonfires on All Hallows' Eve, known locally as 'Teanley night.' A gala day marked the close of marl-getting. Onion seed had to be sown on St. Gregory's Day. A small stone through which a hole had been bored was tied to the stable key to protect the horses from witchcraft. 'Ignaging' was a dance performed by the village lads at Easter. (fn. 11)

John Hull, M.D., a botanist of some note, was born at Poulton in 1761. He practised as a physician at Manchester and died in 1843. (fn. 12) George Long, a classical scholar, was born at Poulton in 1800; he became Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, edited the Penny Cyclopaedia, 1833–46, and afterwards established the Bibliotheca Classica. He died in 1879. (fn. 13)


The church of ST. CHAD stands on an elevated site in the centre of the town of Poulton at the north end of the market-place, and consists of an apsidal chancel 20 ft. by 17 ft. 6 in., nave 93 ft. 6 in. by 36 ft. and west tower 12 ft. square, all these measurements being internal. The site is an ancient one, but all trace of the original church has vanished, the oldest part of the present building being the tower, which is said to have been erected in the reign of Charles I. The nave dates from 1752–3 and the apse from 1868.

The old structure, (fn. 14) which was pulleddown in 1751, is described as being built of red sandstone with double-gabled roof supported down the middle by four octagonal pillars and semicircular arches and lit by round-headed windows. It appears to have been originally, like Bispham, a narrow, aisleless building with small chancel, enlarged at a later date by the addition on the north side of an aisle which perhaps doubled its width. The descriptions left of the building do not materially assist in determining the date of its erection. The tower, which stood at the west end of the original nave, was retained when the church was pulled down, and, the walls of the new building being erected on the old foundations, is therefore at the south-west corner of the present church. A stone with the date 1622 and the name of Peter White, vicar, and another with the initials of six churchwardens and the date 1638, apparently indicate some rebuilding or alterations in these years. (fn. 15) In 1883 the building underwent extensive repairs, and a further renovation and decoration took place in 1908.

The apse is built in a modern Norman style with three groups of double round-headed windows, and forms the sanctuary, the chancel arrangement being carried into the nave for a distance of 19 ft. The chancel arch is of 1868 date and is semicircular in form. The nave is a fairly good example of 18thcentury work, with round-headed two-light windows and drafted quoins at the angles. On the south side are two good classic doorways with Tuscan pilasters carrying entablature and pediment, above which the wall is pierced by elliptical windows. The doorway on the north side has a plain moulded architrave. The roof, which is of one wide span and covered with slate and with an external stone cornice, is divided inside into nine bays by eight plain principals plastered between. On the south-east corner is the vault of the Fleetwood family, approached from the outside by a door within a small stone porch of good classic design with moulded architrave and pedimented head carried on consoles. Over the door is the inscription, now somewhat defaced, 'Insignia Rici Fleetwood an hujus eccliae patronis, Anno Dni 1699.' (fn. 16) The spout heads on each side of the building are of handsome design with the date 1753, the arms of Fleetwood-Hesketh, and the Hesketh double-headed eagle.

The tower is of gritstone and very plain in design, with diagonal buttresses of seven stages and a vice in the south-east corner. It finishes with an embattled parapet and angle pinnacles of Renaissance type, and the belfry windows are of two plain, round-headed lights with slate louvres, but without hood mould or any ornament, the whole having the appearance of very late work and giving some credibility to the local tradition of its being of 17th-century date. The west side is quite plain, without door or window, but the masonry in the lower part appears to have been rebuilt in a way suggesting a former window. There is a clock on the south side to the market-place, and also a small round-headed doorway, apparently an 18th-century insertion, which is the only means of access to the tower, the arch having presumably been built up when the nave was erected. The interior of the tower was renovated in 1908.

The nave has galleries on the north, south and west sides supported by small stone classic columns and approached by a staircase in the north-west corner. The north and south galleries, which stop about 20 ft. from the cast end of the nave, retain their original square pews, but the west gallery, along with the nave, has been reseated with modern benches and all the fittings are of modern date. Over the vault in the south-east corner were originally the Fleetwood pews, but the whole of the east end of the 18th-century structure is now thrown into the quire, the organ being placed on the north side. The baptistery, however, which occupies the southwest corner, is formed by a carved oak 17th-century screen of good design, originally part of the pew belonging to Sir Peter Hesketh, the Hesketh garb being carved on two of the posts and the doubleheaded eagle and a griffon introduced into the decorative treatment. The low door, however, bears the crest of the Rigbys of Layton, together with the initials A.R. and the date 1636, and belongs to a pew of that family's. In the baptistery are the two dated stones already mentioned, and there is also an oak cupboard with the date 1730 and the names of the churchwardens. On the south wall at the east end are preserved four sides of an octagonal oak Jacobean pulpit discovered in 1877 encased in a later pulpit supposed to have been erected in 1753. The sides are richly carved and divided into three panels of unequal size, the middle ones with the common semicircular arched ornament of the time, while along the top is carved crie alovd spare not lift up thy voyce lyke . . . (fn. 17) There are some brasses belonging to the older church, one to Ann wife of Richard Harrison, vicar (d. 1697), and others to Geoffrey Hornby (d. 1732) and Dorothy his daughter (d. 1740). A number of hatchments of the Fleetwood and Hesketh families are hung on the walls above the galleries, and there are monuments to Fleetwood Hesketh (d. 1769), Francis Hesketh (d. 1809), Bold Fleetwood Hesketh (d. 1819), and Edward Thomas Hesketh (d. 1820). (fn. 18)

There is a ring of six bells cast in 1741 by Abel Rudhall of Gloucester. The sixth was recast in 1865 and has the names of the vicar and wardens of that date. The whole were re-hung in 1908. (fn. 19)

The old plate (fn. 20) consists of a large paten of 1698–9 inscribed 'Poulton 1699'; a small visiting chalice 6 in. high and cover paten, the chalice inscribed 'Given for the use of the poor sick Communicants in the Parish of Poulton in the County of Lancaster' and the cover '1735,' both by R. Richardsun of Chester; and a flagon with the makers' mark B and W. There are also two modern chalices, two patens, and a flagon presented by the Rev. T. Clark in 1866.

The registers begin in 1591. The three earliest volumes, extending to 1677, have been printed. (fn. 21)

The churchyard, which is almost entirely inclosed by surrounding buildings, (fn. 22) is intersected by flagged paths and has an entrance at each of its four corners, that at the south-west leading from the market-place. It was at one time a 'filthy place almost surrounded by a ditch.' (fn. 23) On the south side is an octagonal stone sundial shaft without plate on two older circular steps.


The church of Poulton, with one plough-land and all appurtenances, was given by Roger of Poitou to the Abbey of Sees in 1094. (fn. 24) In spite of a confirmation, (fn. 25) Theobald Walter was able, a century later, to lay claim to the advowson, but in 1196 released his right to Poulton and Bispham on being allowed the advowson of Preston. (fn. 26) The Prior of Lancaster, as representing Sees, appears to have retained a moiety of the rectory (fn. 27) and given the other moiety to a clerk who would be responsible for the maintenance of divine worship. In 1247, however, it was agreed that on the next avoidance of the latter moiety the whole should be appropriated to Lancaster Priory, (fn. 28) a vicarage being ordained. The vicar was to receive 20 marks a year, being responsible for all ordinary dues, and was to be duly instituted by the archdeacon to the cure of souls. (fn. 29) Afterwards the vicar was paid out of the small tithes and oblations, but had a house provided for him. (fn. 30) In 1291, when the rectory was valued at 70 marks a year, the vicarage was estimated at 10 marks. (fn. 31) The destruction wrought by the Scots in 1322 seems to have been unusually great in this parish, for the value of the rectory was reduced by 70 per cent, in consequence of it, while that of the vicarage fell to 40s. (fn. 32) As in other cases, the rectory was, as part of Lancaster Priory endowment in 1432 transferred to Syon Abbey, (fn. 33) and was in 1535 valued at £62, (fn. 34) the vicarage being then worth £7 16s. 7d. clear. (fn. 35)

During the wars with France the advowson had several times been in the king's hands (fn. 36) owing to seizures of the temporalities of foreign houses, and on the suppression of Syon it was again taken by the Crown. It was in 1554 purchased by Thomas Fleetwood of Rossall, (fn. 37) and has descended to Mr. C. H. Fleetwood-Hesketh of North Meols.

The rectory became divided among several impropriators. (fn. 38) In 1650 the vicar had a house with 2 acres of land, the small tithes and tithe salt throughout the parish, which then included Bispham, but in some parts these dues were limited by prescription; the whole was worth about £55 a year. (fn. 39) About 1717 Poulton, without Bispham, was certified as worth only £28 18s. a year, but some additional endowments were given. (fn. 40) A terrier of 1755 has been preserved; it shows a total revenue of £67 2s. 6d. (fn. 41) At present the vicar's income is reported to be £260. (fn. 42)

The following have been rectors and vicars:—

Instituted Name Presented by Cause of Vacancy
c. 1160 Gamel (fn. 43)
c. 1200 Richard (fn. 44)
oc. 1246–7 Alexander de Stanford (fn. 45)
oc. 1294 Roger (fn. 46)
oc. 1325 John (fn. 47)
oc. 1332 William de Sellerdale (fn. 48)
1 Apr. 1338 William de Stalmine (fn. 49) The king
2 July 1339 William de Preston (fn. 50) " exch. W. de Stalmine
7 Oct. 1349 John de Fishwick (fn. 51) "
oc. 1356 William de Clayton (fn. 52)
oc. 1365–9 Ralph de Penwortham (fn. 53)
6 Sept. 1383 William de Southworth (fn. 54) The king
23 Aug. 1403 William Tyndour (fn. 55) "
21 May 1422 John Lytham (fn. 56) " d. W. Tyndour
7 June 1437 William Cronkshaw (fn. 57) Syon Abbey
25 June 1442 Richard Brown (fn. 58) " d. W. Cronkshaw
18 June 1469 John Oxcliffe (fn. 59) " d. R. Brown
oc. 1500 Richard Singleton (fn. 60)
c. 1512–20 William Bretherton (fn. 61)
oc. 1530–5 Hugh Sneyd, B.D. (fn. 62)
oc. 1548–52 Robert Clerke (fn. 63)
20 Dec. 1552 Randle Woodward (fn. 64) The king
oc. 1557 Richard Cropper (fn. 65)
6 Nov. 1565 William Wrightington (fn. 66) John Fleetwood d. R. Cropper
9 Sept. 1573 Richard Greenhall (fn. 67) Bridget and William Fleetwood d. W. Wrightington
11 Jan. 1582–3 Peter White (fn. 68) Edward Fleetwood William Parson
16 Jan. 1644–5 Robert Freckleton (fn. 69) John Browne
oc. 1650 Peter White (fn. 70)
oc. 1653 Thomas Rigby, M.A. (fn. 71)
1 Aug. 1662 George Shaw (fn. 72) Bishop of Chester
6 Oct. 1674 Richard Harrison, B.A. (fn. 73) Richard Fleetwood d. G. Shaw
6 Aug. 1714 Timothy Hall, B.A. (fn. 74) Edward Fleetwood d. R. Harrison
4 July 1726 Robert Loxham, M.A. (fn. 75) " d. T. Hall
28 Nov. 1770 Thomas Turner, B.A. (fn. 76) Frances Hesketh d. R. Loxham
28 Dec. 1810 Nathaniel Hinde, M.A. (fn. 77) Bold Fleetwood Hesketh d. T. Turner
13 July 1828 Charles Hesketh, M.A. (fn. 78) Peter Hesketh res. N. Hinde
6 Oct. 1835 John Hull, M.A. (fn. 79) Rev. C. Hesketh res. C. Hesketh
21 June 1864 Thomas Clark, M.A. (fn. 80) " res. J. Hull
Mar. 1869 William Richardson, M.A. (fn. 81) " d. T. Clark
10 June 1889 Thomas Hill Guest, M.A. (fn. 82) Mrs. Hesketh d. W. Richardson
7 Apr. 1907 John Young, M.A. (fn. 83) C. H. Fleetwood-Hesketh res. T. H. Guest

The list of clergy contains nothing of note except the long incumbency of Peter White, nearly seventy years except for a very brief interval. Before the Reformation there was no endowed chantry, (fn. 84) and those at Staining and Carleton, of which there is early mention, were probably not permanent. The Visitation List of 1548 shows four clergy in addition to the vicar; one of them would serve Bispham. (fn. 85) In 1554 there were the vicar and an assistant at Poulton and another at Bispham, but in 1562 the vicar and the curate at Bispham were the only clergy recorded. This probably continued to be the regular staff till recent times, the building of Marton Chapel, about 1750, leading the way to further changes.

A catalogue of the library at the parish church in 1720 is preserved at Chester. (fn. 86)

Schools were founded by James Baines in 1717 at Poulton, Thornton and Marton. That at Carleton originated from a bequest by Elizabeth Wilson in 1680. (fn. 87)


Official inquiries into the parish charities were made in 1824 and 1898. The report of the latter inquiry, published in 1899, contained a copy of the former report, and from it the following account is taken.

For the whole parish there is available the endowment given by the above-named James Baines in 1717, the earliest charity known to have been established in Poulton. He gave £800 to trustees, for the 'maintenance, use, and best advantage' of the poor not receiving help from the rates and for the apprenticing of poor children. Half the interest was to be given for both objects to the township of Poulton and half equally for apprenticing only among the other four townships. The distribution was to be made at Christmas. A farm was bought at Little Carleton, now known as Carleton House Farm. The net income is about £112, which is divided into eight parts, Poulton receiving four and the other townships one each. Very few apprentices are now bound, and in Poulton the £30 given in doles 'appears to be wasted' as to the greater part. Thus the capital is accumulating, but the charity is not so useful as it might be. The poor of this parish have an interest in the Foxton Dispensary at Blackpool.

For the township of Poulton Nicholas Nickson of Compley, by will of 1720, left £100 to the vicar and the poor. Land called Durham's Croft was purchased for £120, the additional £20 coming from the rates. The rent was divided thus: one-sixth to the rates, the remainder equally between the vicar and the poor. The poor's portion was given in small doles in 1824. The vicar of Poulton is in possession of the land, and gives £4. 1s. 8d. a year to the overseers as the portion due to the poor rate and to the poor. Doles of 2s. are given to twenty-eight poor persons.

Ellen Whitehead of Poulton (1727) left money or land for the poor of Hardhorn-with-Newton. In 1824 there were three cottages and a weaving shed (built in 1817) on the land. The rents were distributed in doles, but irregularly. The gross income is now £12 11s. 8d., of which about £8 is distributed to the poor in gifts of 5s. or 5s. 6d. each.

For Marton there are several charities, over £31 being distributed in food and clothing. Edward Whiteside, a sailor, of Little Marton, in 1721 left his plot of land for cloth for the poor; it consists of 5 acres in Poulton called the Long Marsh, and is let for £20. About £18 is available for a distribution of cloth made in November to thirty or more persons. William Whiteside in 1742 gave £100 for clothing. This is represented by rent-charges on Marton Green and Webster's farms. (fn. 88) John Hodgson in 1761 left land to be sold for endowing a dole of meal for Great Marton; it seems to have produced £100, and is represented by rent-charges of £2 10s. each on Top o' the Town and Whittam farms. The two charities are combined in working; the doles of meal have ceased, and the income of £8 6s. 8d. is used for doles of calico to a large number of persons in Great Marton. Edward Jolly in 1784 gave £60 for a weekly dole of bread to be distributed at the chapel on Sunday mornings to such poor persons as might have attended service. Should the chapel become a dissenting meeting-house the destination of the gift was to be changed. The income is £1 15s. 8d., and nine penny rolls are given each Sunday after service.

The Thornton charities are recent. Elizabeth Goulding of Fleetwood left the residue of her estate for the benefit of poor widows living at Fleetwood; the capital is represented by £151 11s. 1d. consols, and there is an annual income of £4 3s. 4d. distributed according to the founder's wish. Elizabeth Bond of the same town in 1880 left securities, now bringing in about £5 10s. a year, for the benefit of the poor, to be distributed by the vicar of Fleetwood at his discretion.


  • 1. Thornber, Blackpool, 281.
  • 2. Baines, Lancs. Dir. 1825, ii, 463.
  • 3. Traces of a Roman road leading north through Marton and Poulton to the Wyre mouth have been noticed. A hoard of Roman coins was found near Fleetwood in 1840.
  • 4. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 23.
  • 5. Ibid. 19; the payments were: Poulton, £1 9s. 6½d.; Carleton, £1 1s. 1½d.; Thornton, £1 3s. 8d.; Hardhorn-withNewton, £1 9s. 4d.; and Marton, £1 3s. 6½d. This gives a total sum of £6 7s. 2½d. when the hundred paid £56 4s. 8d.
  • 6. a Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 7. Thornber, op. cit. 54, referring to Dodaworth. The story is very doubtful, but the coast-line has suffered much from erosion.
  • 8. Chester Dioc. Reg.
  • 9. The names are printed by Fishwick, Poulton (Chet. Soc), 31–3. Another list of the inhabitants, from an assessment of 1660, will be found ibid, 202–4.
  • 10. War in Lancs. (Chet. Soc.), 25–7. This may be the origin of the 'tradition' of a vessel of the Spanish Armada having been in danger off Rossall; Thornber, op. cit. 60.
  • 11. Details of these and other local customs are given by Thornber, op. cit. 82– 105; and Trans. Hist. Soc. iv, 102–18. The Teanley fires were lighted on a cairn in Hardhorn.
  • 12. Dict. Nat. Biog.; see notes on Carleton township.
  • 13. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 14. A description of the church is given by Thornber (Blackpool, 285), who, after recording the wanton destruction of a monument to the Singletons of Staining, adds: 'Two other relics which belonged to this house of God long before the Reformation are still existing [1842] in the possession of the Roman Catholics, viz. a rude brass crucifix, the property of the Reverend Mr. Platt, late priest of the Breck Chapel, and a chalice, which, having fallen into the hands of James Hesketh Brockholes, esq., of Maini Hall, was presented by him to the Popish chapel at Claughton.' There does not seem any evidence that either of these had belonged to Poulton Church. Its appearance about 1870 is described by A. Hewitson, Our Country Churches, 391.
  • 15. These two stones are now fixed in the wall of the baptistery at the south-west corner of the nave. The latter was discovered in 1836 on the removal of the pulpit. Thornber (op. cit. 286) conjectured that it commemorated the erection of the tower.
  • 16. In 1882 some workmen discovered, in removing the lead gutter over this vault, that a portion of a similar inscription was cut on the stone cornice in raised 3-inch letters'; Fishwick, op. cit. 45.
  • 17. The panels were placed in their present position on the south wall in Nov. 1878.
  • 18. The inscriptions on all the mural monuments in the church are given in full in Fishwick, op. cit. 50–8.
  • 19. The inscriptions are: (1) 'Prosperity to all our benefactors, a r. 1741'; (2) 'Peace and good neighbourhood, ar. 1741'; (3) 'Prosperity to this parish, a r. 1741'; (4) 'When you us ring we'll sweetly sing, ar. 1741'; (5) 'Able Rudhall cast us all at Gloucester, 1741'; (6) Originally had names of churchwardens.
  • 20. A return of church goods sent to the Bishop of Chester in 1725 recordaa paten, flagon and chalice.
  • 21. Lancs. Parish Reg. Soc. Publ. vol. xix (1904), transcribed and edited by Wm. Edward Robinson. The Churchwardens' Accts. begin 1708; Fishwick, op. cit. 88.
  • 22. Some of these have been condemned to demolition (1909).
  • 23. Thornber, Blackpool, 285. This probably refers to the 18th century. It was surrounded by a ditch in 1751, on the borders of which were several fine sycamore trees, subsequently cut down. The houses probably date from the end of the 18th or beginning of the 19th century.
  • 24. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 290, 294. In a pleading in 1293 it was stated that the church was built by Roger of Poitou, who endowed it with a third part of the land, which was all that he held directly in the place; Lanc. Ch. (Chct. Soc), ii, 485.
  • 25. Farrer, op. cit. 298; by John, when Count of Mortain, 1189–93.
  • 26. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 6.
  • 27. Honorius, Archdeacon of Richmond (1198–1200), specially confirmed to them the moiety of the church of Poulton and the moiety of the church of Bispham, which (among others) they had to their own uses according to a confirmation by Pope Celestine (111,1191–8); Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc.), i, 117.
  • 28. Ibid. 122. The Archdeacon of Richmond agreed on condition that the monks released their claim to the advowson of Bolton-le-Sands and a pension of 3 marks from that church. The right of Lancaster Priory was the subject of inquiry in 1351, and found to be established; Fishwick, op. cit. 205.
  • 29. Lanc. Ch. i, 141. Bispham is called a chapel only.
  • 30. Ibid, ii, 380. It was in 1275 ordained that the vicar, besides a suitable house, should have the whole altarage of the church of Poulton and chapel of Bispham, except living mortuaries and the tithes of wool, &c., in Great Layton and Thornton, which belonged to the Prior and monks of Lancaster.
  • 31. Pope Nich. Tax. 307, 327. The Prior of Norton had a 'portion'—£2, reduced to 10s. The Abbot of Stanlaw also had a portion—£13 6s. 8d., reduced to £6 13s. 4d., besides paying 10 marks to the Prior of Lancaster. This last was in respect of Staining. Compositions between the priory of Lancaster and the abbeys of Cockersand and Whalley as to tithes are printed in Lanc. Ch. i, 50, 70, 527; see also Whalley Coucher (Chet. Soc.), ii, 395.
  • 32. Inq. Nonarum (Rec. Com.), 37. The various townships were able to pay thus: Hardhorn and Layton, £2 6s. 8d. each; Marton and Bispham, £2 3s. 4d. each; Thornton, £113s. 4d.; Carleton, £1 10s.; and Poulton, £1 3s. 4d.—£13 6s. 8d. in all. The glebe was estimated at £1 6s. 8d., and the loss through lands waste by the destruction of the Scots at £32.
  • 33. Simpson, Hist, and Antiq. of Lanc. 241.
  • 34. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i, 425. In the minister's accounts, after the Dissolution, only £30 6s. 8d. is recorded as coming from Amounderness; Dugdale, Mon. vi, 544.
  • 35. Valor Eccl. v, 262. The house and garden were worth only 1s. 8d.; the tithes of calves, 7s.; of salt, 24s.; flax and hemp, 20s.; small tithes, offerings, &c., as in the Easter roll, £5 18s.; in all £8 3s. 8d. For synodals 2s. 8d. was paid, and for procurations 4s. 5d.
  • 36. See the list of vicars.
  • 37. Pat. 2 Mary; lands in Layton, &c., were purchased at the same time. On 12 July 1557 Thomas Fleetwood of Heskin granted the next presentation to John Fleetwood of Penwortham, John Wrightington of StanHish, Richard Wrightington his son and heir-apparent, and Alexander Wrightington of Enfield; Church Papers in Chester Dioc. Reg. The advowson was bequeathed to a younger son William, who in 1596 sold it, together with the manor of Layton, &c., to his brother, Edmund Fleetwood of Rossall, who died in 1622 holding the advowson; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 316.
  • 38. The rectorial tithes, &c., were leased to Thomas Bradley and others in 1577; Pat. 19 Eliz. pt. xii. In 1605 the rectory was sold to Lawrence Baskerville; Pat. 3 Jas. I, pt. xii. See also Pat. 6 Jas. I, pt. iii, xv. In 1650 Baron Rigby had the tithes of Poulton, Marton and part of Bispham with Norbreck; Sir Thomas Tyldesley those of Hardhorn-with- Newton, Carleton, Thornton and the remainder of Bispham with Norbreck; Alexander Rigby those of Layton; Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 150.
  • 39. Ibid. 151.
  • 40. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 456; the glebe land and churchyard produced £2 9s.; prescriptive payments for tithe hay, hemp and flax, £5 15s. 5d.; tithe hay in kind, £3 18s.; Easter dues, as let, £9; tithe geese, hemp and flax, in kind, as let, £1 15s.; tithe pigs, £1 1s.; surplice fees, £5. He states that Richard Fleetwood of Rossall had in 1687 given £10 a year to the church and Mr. Baines in 1717 land worth £4 10s. There were five churchwardens chosen thus: 'Every Easter the old churchwardens write down every one three persons living in the township for which he serves, out of which the minister chooses one. The clerk is chosen by the heir of Staining Hall, now John Mayfield, gent, a Papist: 1722'; ibid. 458. Grants were later secured from Queen Anne's Bounty.
  • 41. Visit. Ret.
  • 42. Manch. Dioc. Dir. There are a vicarage-house and 36 acres of glebe.
  • 43. He attested a Bispham charter by Robert Abbot of Shrewsbury, who died in 1167; Shireburne D. at Leagram.
  • 44. Farrer, op. cit. 335, 338, from deeds between 1194 and 1206; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), i, 333.
  • 45. He was rector of a mediety; Lanc. Ch. i, 122. See also ii, 431. He claimed certain lands in Poulton in 1246; Assize R. 404, m. 12 d. He may have retained his rectory till 1275, when the ordination of a vicarage was finally settled. He is not called a 'clerk.' Robert son of Alexander de Stanford obtained a toft adjoining the cemetery by grant of Adam son of Robert de Poulton; Lanc. Ch. ii, 387.
  • 46. Ibid. 421.
  • 47. Lancs. Ct. R. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 134.
  • 48. This vicar in 1332 came to an agreement with the Prior of Lytham as to the tithe of fish taken on the Warthes north or south of the Milne Pool of Layton. The prior was to have the tithe, but was to pay 2s. a year; Lytham D. at Durham, 3 a, 4 ae, Ebor. no. 33.
  • 49. Cal. Pat. 1338–40, p. 30. The date is that of presentation. The king presented in this and other cases because the estates of alien priories had been taken into his hands during the war with France. For the king's claim see De Banco R. 316, m. 182. After presenting William de Stalmine it was found that one Henry de Carleton opposed, and he was fined for it; ibid. 317, m. 288.
  • 50. Cal. Pat. 1338–40, p. 264. William de Preston had been vicar of Giggleswick. See Whitaker, Craven (ed. Morant), 166. He had a dispute with his predecessor in 1341 as to money owing; De Banco R. 325, m. 84. He was no doubt the William, vicar of Poulton, who was in 1345 joined with the Prior of Lancaster as liable for the repair of the chancel; Fishwick, op. cit. 207–8. A William de Preston was Archdeacon of Stafford in 1339; Le Neve, Fasti, i, 574.
  • 51. Cal. Pat. 1348–50, p. 401. The church of Poulton with its chapel of Bispham became void in the time of pestilence between 8 Sept. 1349 and 11 Jan. 1349–50; Engl. Hist. Rev. v, 526.
  • 52. Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxxviii, 105. William de Clayton was 'late vicar' in 1359; ibid. 383. He was styled the same in 1429, having been concerned, in conjunction with Ralph de Penwortham, chaplain—no doubt his successor as vicar—in a grant to John de Thornton, who died in 1396; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 24.
  • 53. This vicar occurs in 1365 and 1369; Kuerden MSS. iii, A3; ii, fol. 260.
  • 54. Cal. Pat. 1381–5, p. 305. He was trustee in a Skillicorne settlement referred to in Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vii, no. 3.
  • 55. Cal. Pat. 1401–5, pp. 261, 265.
  • 56. Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 397; William Kenwolmersh, Treasurer of England, and others presented, Henry V having lately granted them the priory of Lancaster. This presentation is referred to by Bishop Gastrell, as if from the original register of Archdeacon Bowet; Notitia Cestr. ii, 458. As John 'Lathom' he was still vicar in 1430; Rentals and Surv. R. 378. 'Richard' is named as vicar in a deed of Sept. 1423; Add. MS. 32106, fol. 309. This must be a mistake in dating; see Richard Brown later.
  • 57. Fishwick, op. cit. 68. He is named in a deed of 1437–8 as vicar; Kuerden fol. MS. 213.
  • 58. Raines MSS. xxii, 409.
  • 59. Ibid. 385. John Oxdiffe was still vicar in 1487; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. file 1&2 Hen.VII.
  • 60. Brockholes of Claughton D.
  • 61. William Bretherton was one of the feoffees of Cuthbert Clifton, who died in 1512; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iv, no. 12. He is named in proceedings concerning the transfer (after 1518) of the lease of tithes, &c.; Fishwick, op. cit. 69, quoting Duchy of Lanc. Plead, iv, B37.
  • 62. He was witness to the will of George Allen of Rossall, 1530; Fishwick, op. cit. 127. A letter of hit is printed in L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (2), 206. He was vicar in 1535; Valor Eccl. v, 262. A Hugh Snead (1513) occurs in the pedigree of Snead of Willaston near Nantwich; Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), iii, 492. Two of the surname graduated at Cambridge, one as D. Civ. L. in 1511– 12 and another (Hugh) as D.D. in 1529– 30; Grace Book B (Luard Mem.), ii, 5; i, 254; ii, 156. Ralph Sneyd, LL.D., became rector of Woodchurch in 1530; Ormerod, op. cit. ii, 524. A Dr. Sneyd was vicar of Rye in 1535 and later.
  • 63. He was vicar in 1548, the king being then called rector; Visit. List at Chester. He signed the return of the church goods (which included two chalices and three little bells in the steeple) in 1552; Fishwick, op. cit. 42.
  • 64. Act Bk. at Chester, 1502–76, fol. 40. He compounded for his first-fruits 14 Dec. 1552; Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 408. Other vicars seem to have been excused this payment. His name is in the visitation list, 1554.
  • 65. Named as vicar in the will of George Hull of Poulton, 1557; Fishwick, loc. cit. He appeared and subscribed at the bishop's visitation in 1562, but died soon afterwards, his will being dated and proved in 1565. From his bequests he appears to have been one of the Croppers of Lathom. He desired to be buried 'within the parish church of Poulton in the highest chancel near unto the table'; Fishwick, op. cit. 70–1. The last word shows that the altar had been removed.
  • 66. This and later institutions are from the church papers in the Diocesan Registry at Chester. Many of the particulars concerning these incumbents have been derived from Fishwick, op. cit. 71– 87, where biographies will be found. John Fleetwood presented by virtue of a grant from Thomas Fleetwood; Kuerden MSS. ii, fol. 267. William Wrightington by his will 1573 made his brother John his executor; ibid. His family had land in Shevington, &c.
  • 67. The patrons were Bridget Fleetwood of the Vache, widow, and William Fleetwood her son.
  • 68. Act Bk. at Chester, 1579–1676, fol. 9b. This vicar's name appears constantly in the registers until about 1633. He was a 'preacher,' but not resident in 1590; S.P. Dom. Eliz. xxxi, no. 47. He was then or soon became a Puritan, for in 1604 it was reported that he did not wear the surplice nor use the sign of the cross in baptism. There was only one communion in the year, and the chancel of the church had fallen down; Visit. Papers at Chester Dioc. Reg. In 1610 the report of him was 'a preacher but never preacheth'; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 8.
  • 69. His institution and later ones are recorded in the Institution Books, P.R.O., and printed in Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 95, &c. Freckleton was son-inlaw of Peter White and had charge of Bispham. He was in Chester when the city was taken by the Parliamentary forces (Feb. 1645–6), and had his goods sequestered for his 'delinquency.' He was pro tempore placed in charge of Backford and received an augmentation from the Committee of Plundered Ministers; Commonw. Ch. Surv. 218; Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 204–11, It is reasonable to suppose that he was appointed to Poulton as a relief to the vicar, not to supersede him.
  • 70. In 1650 the vicar was 'Mr. Peter White, formerly an able and painful minister, but now very aged and infirm. The cure was supplied by Mr. John Brereley, who had no allowance; the parishioners desired he might have allowance and encouragement'; Commonw. Ch. Surv. 151.
  • 71. Educated at St. John's Coll., Camb.; M.A. 1638, Fellow 1639; Mayor, Admissions, i, 5; Baker, Hist, of St. John's (ed. Mayor), i, 295. He was a son of Alexander Rigby of Burgh and Layton, a Cavalier. Thomas Rigby, who occurs at Broughton-in-Furness in 1650–1, was vicar before Nov. 1653, when a son of his was baptized at Poulton. In 1660 it was agreed that an additional sum of £30 should be paid to a 'godly and painful minister' at Poulton, approved by the committee, and it was next ordered that it be paid to Thomas Rigby; Plund. Mins. Accts. ii, 316. Soon after the Restoration he went to Ireland and acquired benefices and prebend there. For pedigree see Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 244.
  • 72. An entry in the registers states that 'Mr. George Shaw was presented vicar and took quiet possession according to a legal form the 16th day of December, 1661.' The presentation and institution by the bishop in 1662 show there was some defect in his title to Poulton. He was of Cockerham, son of Robert Shaw, clerk; and after two years at Queen's Coll., Oxf., was admitted to St. John's Coll., Camb., in July 1658; Mayor, Admissions, i, 137. He married a daughter of Sir Paul Fleetwood, and sister of the then patron.
  • 73. Educated at Brasenose Coll., Oxf.; B.A. 1668; Foster, Alumni. He was 'conformable' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 230. He enlarged the vicarage-house. For pedigree see Misc. Gen. et Her. iv, 118.
  • 74. Educated at Brasenose Coll., Oxf.; B.A. 1703; Foster, op. cit. He administered the holy sacrament seven times in the year at least; Visit. Ret. 1725.
  • 75. Educated at Trinity Coll., Oxf.; M.A. 1715; Foster, op. cit. He was rector of Workington 1724–6. In 1749 he obtained another benefice, being presented to Poulton a second time.
  • 76. The actual nominators were Richard Wilbraham Bootle of Lathom, Thomas Hunt and Robert Moss; with the consent of Frances Hesketh, widow. Thomas Turner, described as formerly curate of Bradford, was educated at St. John's Coll., Camb., which he entered in 1743; R. F. Scott, Admissions, iii, 109, 538. This vicar purchased the living, then worth £75 per annum, for the sum of £200'; Thornber, Blackpool, 288. His funeral is said to have been the last conducted at night by torchlight; on such occasions each householder illuminated his windows with candles; ibid. 294.
  • 77. Educated at St. Mary Hall, Oxf. He was vicar of Shifhal 1811–31, and rector of Kingswinford 1814.
  • 78. Educated atTrin. Coll, Oxf.; M.A. 1830. He was also incumbent of Bispham. In 1835 he became rector of North Mcols (q.v.).
  • 79. Educated at Brasenose Coll., Oxf.; M.A. 1826. Hon. Canon of Manchester 1852. Presented to the rectory of Eaglescliffe, Durham, 1864.
  • 80. Educated at Queens' Coll., Camb.; M.A. 1829. Incumbent of Christ Church, Preston, 1834–64.
  • 81. M.A. by Archbishop of Canterbury, 1859. He was rector of St. John's, Miles Platting, 1852–69.
  • 82. Educated at Christ's Coll., Camb.; M.A. 1865. Rector of St. Mark's, Hulme, 1871–89.
  • 83. Educated at Christ's ColL, Camb.; M.A. 1904.
  • 84. A Thornton chantry is mentioned in the 15th century; Lancs. Inq. p.m.(Chet. Soc.), ii, 25.
  • 85. These details are from the Visit. Lists in Chester Dioc. Reg.
  • 86. Dioc. Reg. There is a brief account of this library in Fishwick's Poulton, 197.
  • 87. Notitia Cestr. ii, 459, 460; End. Char. Rep.
  • 88. The rent-charge became divided into thirds. Two of these are still existent; but the other, paid in 1824 by William son of William Bonney and grandson of Robert Bickerstaff, has been lost, as the purchaser of the land from which it was due refused to pay on the ground that it was not named in the conveyance to him in 1870.