Townships: Thornton

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

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'Townships: Thornton', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 7, (London, 1912) pp. 231-237. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

In this section


Torentun, Dom. Bk.; Torrenton, 1226; Thorinton, 1258; Thornton, 1297.

Steinol, 1176; Stanhol, 1200; Stainhol, 1226 (fn. 1); Staynolf, 1346.

Brune, Dom. Bk.; Brunne, 1204; Brone, 1262.

Rushale, Dom. Bk.; Rossall, 1212; Roshale, 1228.

This township forms a peninsula between the Irish Sea and the Wyre estuary. At the northern end is the modern town of Fleetwood, built on an ancient rabbit warren and now formed into a separate township, which includes Rossall on the western side with its famous public school, founded in 1844. The history of this school has been narrated elsewhere in the present work. (fn. 2) In the remaining part of Thornton the original village occupies the southeast portion on slightly elevated ground overlooking the Wyre. On the north-west slope of the same ground is Stanah. Trunnah, the Ho'mes and Pool Foot are in the centre of the township and have Burn Hall to the north and to the west a little seaside resort called Cleveleys. This last name has in common usage superseded the ancient Ritherham or Ritherholme. Burnt Naze or Bourne Naze lies on the Wyre on the border of Fleetwood. The surface is low-lying and flat, the ancient hamlets named occupying the more elevated portions.

In more recent times there have been three divisions: Thornton, in the centre, with 2,112 acres; Stanah, in which is Thornton Hall, 1,427 acres, and Fleetwood, 2,848½ acres; in all 6,387½ acres, including tidal water. (fn. 3) The population in 1901 was 3,108 in Thornton proper and 12,082 in Fleetwood, or 15,190 in all.

The principal road is that from Blackpool to Fleetwood, going north through the eastern side of the township. It is joined by another road between the same places going along the sea coast. From it other roads branch out; one goes west to Cleveleys, another east to Thornton Church and then south to Poulton. The Preston and Wyre railway goes north to Fleetwood, at which is the terminus; there is a small station called Cleveleys—a misleading designation— to the south of Trunnah. On the western road between Blackpool and Fleetwood an electric tramway runs.

A 'submerged forest' has tokens near Rossall and along the coast to Blackpool.

A special commission was in 1637 directed to inquire into the possibility of gaining land from the sea at Thornton Holmes or Poulton. (fn. 4)

Thornton Marsh was inclosed in 1800. (fn. 5) One result of the making of the railway to Fleetwood has been that about 400 acres of marsh land at the mouth of the Wyre west of the line have been reclaimed. (fn. 6)

From various allusions to saltcotes it seems that salt-making is an ancient industry of the place. A 'salt-weller' of Thornton was buried at Poulton in 1676. There are modern salt and alkali works at Burnt Naze.

The soil is various, with clay subsoil; oats and potatoes are grown.

A school board was formed in 1877. (fn. 7)

Fleetwood became an independent township in 1894. (fn. 8) The remaining portion, the existing township of Thornton, is governed by an urban district council of twelve members elected by four wards.

Two newspapers are issued at Fleetwood, the Chronicle and the Express; each appears twice a week.


In 1066 there were three manors in this township, all members of Earl Tostig's Preston lordship, viz. Thornton, assessed as six plough-lands, Burn and Rossall, as two each— ten in all. (fn. 9) They retained their individuality later, but Thornton became still further subdivided.

In 1212 it was found that THORNTON proper, as five plough-lands, was held in thegnage by William son of Robert de Winwick, who rendered 20s. a year. (fn. 10) The other plough-land, lying in STANAH, was held in drengage by Adam son of Eilsi and Alan son of Hagemund, who rendered 5s. yearly. (fn. 11) Robert de Winwick had granted one of his plough-lands to Uctred son of Huck, (fn. 12) the ancestor of the Singleton family, who by marriage acquired a further share of Thornton and probably a moiety of the drengage plough-land in Stanah. Thus in 1324 Adam son of William Banastre held a moiety of Thornton, paying 8s., and a moiety of Stanah, paying 4s. 6d.; while the other moieties were held by Lawrence son of Robert de Thornton and John son of John de Staynolf respectively, paying corresponding rents, viz. 8s. and 4s. 6d. (fn. 13) The assessment of the whole appears to have been reduced by one-half, and thus in 1346 Thomas Banastre held one plough-land and John son of Lawrence de Thornton another in Thornton and Stanah, formerly Robert de Winwick's, while the third plough-land in Stanah was held as to one moiety by John de Staynolf and as to the other by a number of tenants. (fn. 14) In 1378 Thomas Banastre and John de Thornton held the manor (fn. 15) and in 1445–6 Richard Balderston and the heir of John son of Lawrence Thornton held a plough-land each as before, but Stanah is omitted in the record. (fn. 16)

Of the two moieties of Thornton proper one, as indicated, descended with the Singleton estates to Banastre (fn. 17) and Balderston, (fn. 18) and on the partition in 1564 was allotted to Gilbert Gerard, (fn. 19) who died possessed of it in 1593, the tenure not being recorded. (fn. 20) It appears to have been purchased by the Fleetwoods of Rossall, whose 'manor' of Thornton was the only one recognized in later times. (fn. 21)

The other moiety was held by a family using the local surname, descendants, like the Singletons, of Robert de Winwick, the earliest immediate lord of the undivided manor of whom there is record. His son William, the tenant in 1212, gave 10 marks and two palfreys in 1201 for 30 acres of land in Thornton, of which Theobald Walter had disseised him, and for relief of his land. (fn. 22) He died before 1215, when Alan de Singleton gave the king 20 marks that he might have Alice his daughter and co-heir. (fn. 23) The other daughter Margaret or Margery married Michael de Carleton, who had to pay 10 marks for pardon in marrying without licence one who was in the king's gift. (fn. 24) Margery de Winwick died in or before 1258 holding two plough-lands in Thornton of the king in chief by the yearly service of 2s., owing suit to county and wapentake. Her son and heir Richard de Thornton was of full age. (fn. 25) The other two plough-lands had become part of the Singletons' estate. (fn. 26)

Of the Thornton family there is little to record. (fn. 27) The Lawrence above-named left two sons, John, who died in 1396, and William. (fn. 28) Another William seems to have succeeded; he died in 1429, (fn. 29) when the heir of John was found to be Thomas Travers son of Roger Travers by Alice daughter of John Thornton. The daughters of William Thornton shared the estate in spite of that finding. (fn. 30) The story is obscureIn 1601 James Worthington purchased a sixth part of the manor from Hugh Adlington and Sibyl his wife. (fn. 31) A minor family of the name appears in later times holding land in the Holmes. (fn. 32)

This family probably descended from one of the numerous tenants recorded in Stanah in 1346. (fn. 33) The principal of them, John de Staynolf, who took his name from the place, has no further record, (fn. 34) but his estate may have been that held later by Banastre of Bank. (fn. 35) The estate of Lawrence of Ribbleton, (fn. 36) Travers of Nateby (fn. 37) and Norcross (fn. 38) can be traced for some time, and the later landowners occurring in the inquisitions may have inherited or purchased other of the shares. These include Finch of Worthington, (fn. 39) Albin, (fn. 40) Brickell (fn. 41) and Hodgson. (fn. 42) Some others are recorded. (fn. 43)

BURN was among the possessions of Roger de Heaton's heir in 1212. (fn. 44) Roger had had it taken from him by Theobald Walter, but recovered it in 1199–1200, after John became king. (fn. 45) It descended in the Heaton family (fn. 46) till the 15th century, when it passed on partition to Westby of Mowbreck. (fn. 47) This family retained it for over 300 years, (fn. 48) frequently residing there, (fn. 49) and then it passed by marriage to the Rev. J. Benison, who married Anne daughter and co-heir of John Westby. (fn. 50) Afterwards it was sold to Fleetwood and later to Horrocks of Preston. (fn. 51)

ROSSALL after the Conquest does not seem to have been accounted a manor. It became a pasture ground from which the lords of the honour derived a profit of about £5 a year. (fn. 52) In 1216 King John at the request of the Earl of Chester bestowed it on the abbey of Dieulacres in Staffordshire, (fn. 53) and twelve years later Henry III confirmed the gift. (fn. 54) The monks obtained surrenders of rights from most or all of the previous landowners there, (fn. 55) and received also a number of gifts in other parts of Thornton and in Bispham. (fn. 56) In 1291 the goods of the abbot in Rossall were taxed at £61 10s. a year, but after the Scottish invasion of 1322 at £16 13s. 4d. only. (fn. 57) In 1498 the abbot was summoned to prove his right to wreck of the sea at Rossall. (fn. 58) After the Dissolution the Rossall estate remained in the Crown for some years, (fn. 59) but was in 1553 sold to Thomas Fleetwood, who was to hold it by the twentieth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 60) A year later he obtained a further grant of monastic lands in Marton, Bispham and Layton, together with the advowson of Poulton vicarage. (fn. 61) He died in 1576 holding Rossall Grange, with wide lands in the parishes of Poulton and Bispham and elsewhere; his heir was his son Edmund, aged twenty-eight. (fn. 62)

Edmund Fleetwood, who recorded a pedigree in 1613, (fn. 63) died in 1622 holding Rossall Grange, with Ritherham and other lands in Thornton, and the manors of Norbreck and Little Bispham of the king by the twentieth part of a knight's fee, and various other estates. (fn. 64) His son Paul, afterwards knight, (fn. 65) was forty-six years old. Sir Paul died about 1657, involved in debt. (fn. 66) His eldest son Edward had died about 1644 without male issue, and a younger son Richard succeeded; he recorded a pedigree in 1664, being then forty-five years of age. (fn. 67) He had three sons, but Rossall went to a nephew Richard, (fn. 68) son of his brother Francis. This younger Richard had a son Edward Fleetwood, whose daughter Margaret in 1733 married Roger Hesketh of North Meols, and carried the estates into that family. (fn. 69) Their greatgrandson Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, bart. (fn. 70) (1801– 66), was the founder of the town of Fleetwood. He sold Rossall Hall to the founders of the public school there.

Fleetwood of Rossall. Per pale nebuly azure and or, six martlets counterchanged, a canton argent.

Also connected with Rossall, as lessees from Dieulacres Abbey, was the family of Allen, which had a considerable scattered estate in the district. In 1534 the Abbot of Dieulacres granted the grange of Rossall to John Allen and George his son for their lives (fn. 71); the abbot afterwards in 1538–9 gave a seventy years' lease of the rest of the abbey lands, including Ritherham, a windmill in Norbreck, &c., and this seems to have been confirmed about the same time for fifty years by Nicholas Whitney of Walden, a rent of £13 6s. 8d. being payable to the king and £10 to Whitney. (fn. 72) John Allen's will, dated 1569 and proved 1570, was formerly among the Worthington of Blainscough deeds. His son George had the queen's licence in 1574 to go with his wife to the Spa in Germany. He died in August 1579 holding messuages and lands in Poulton, Thornton, Norbreck, Great Bispham, Marton and many other places; part at least of his Thornton lands was held of the Earl of Derby in socage. (fn. 73) John, his son and heir, was fourteen years of age, and Elizabeth, the widow, sister of John Westby of Mowbreck, took charge of the estates. She was a zealous Roman Catholic, and in 1582 was indicted for not going to church. This was the beginning of more serious trouble, for at the end of the following year (1583), Sir Edmund Trafford becoming sheriff, it was determined to arrest her, partly perhaps out of hostility to her brother-in-law, Dr. William Allen, partly, too, it is supposed, at the instigation of Edmund Fleetwood, who had had disputes with her. On trial the widow was outlawed and her property confiscated, she then retiring to Rheims, where she could enjoy freedom of conscience. (fn. 74) John Allen died in 1593 without issue, holding messuages and lands in Thornton and other places as before; his heir was his sister Mary who in 1612 was the wife of Thomas Worthington of Blainscough in the parish of Standish. (fn. 75)

The glory of a family otherwise obscure, and one of the greatest men the county has produced, is the above-named William Allen, brother of George. (fn. 76) He was born about 1532, and educated at Oxford, where he became Fellow of Oriel and principal of St. Mary's Hall; he was a canon of York in 1558. A zealous and resolute adherent of Roman Catholicism, (fn. 77) he lost his preferments soon after the accession of Elizabeth, but stayed on in Oxford as long as it was safe to do so, flying to Louvain in 1561. His health suffering he returned to his family near Poulton, and though sought for by the government he lived in England from 1562 to 1565. He returned abroad, was ordained priest, and at Rome in 1567 broached his plan for the foundation of an English college both for general education and the training of learned priests; the sending of missionary priests to England was an afterthought. The following year the seminary at Douay was established, (fn. 78) several Oxford exiles assisting Allen, who was created D.D. in 1571. The plan succeeded and there were 120 students in 1576. (fn. 79) The college, however, owing to popular excitement against the English, had to be removed to Rheims in 1578, staying there till 1593. In 1584 Allen published what is considered one of the most valuable of his books—the True, Sincere and Modest Defence of English Catholics, in reply to Lord Burghley's apology for the executions of missionary priests, Seminarists and Jesuits. He went to Rome in 1585, and lived there till his death. About 1576 he began to take part in the politics of the time, which were inextricably mixed up with the religious struggle, and became an advocate of the plans of Philip II, which resulted in the Armada of 1588. (fn. 80) In 1587, in anticipation of this expedition, he was made cardinal by the title of St. Silvester and St. Martin in Montibus. He spent the rest of his life in the ordinary duties of a cardinal, (fn. 81) and dying 16 October 1594 was buried in Trinity Church in the English College at Rome, (fn. 82) which he had assisted to found in 1576–8. (fn. 83) While his political schemes failed, the college at Douay to some extent fulfilled the objects of its founder, defeating Elizabeth's anticipation that Roman Catholicism in England would die out quietly—of starvation—by supplying a long succession of missionary priests to labour in England at the peril of their lives. After more peaceful times came round at home the French Revolution drove the college from its old seat, but it is still represented by St. Cuthbert's, Ushaw, and St. Edmund's, Ware.

Cardinal Allen is said to have borne sable a cross potent quarter pierced or charged with four gouttes gules, in chief two lions' heads erased of the second, all within a bordure engrailed erminois.

There are several places of worship in Thornton proper. In connexion with the Church of England Christ Church was opened in 1835, and a separate parish was assigned to it in 1862. The patronage is vested in trustees. (fn. 84) There is a mission church at Burnt Naze and another at Cleveleys.

The Wesleyans built a chapel as early as 1812. (fn. 85) There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel, and at Thornton Marsh a meeting-place of the Society of Friends. There is a Congregational mission room at Cleveleys.

The Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, near Burn, was opened in 1899.

As already stated, the modern town of FLEETWOOD owes its origin as also its name to the enterprise of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood, who judged that the mouth of the Wyre would form an excellent site for a port. He procured the construction of a railway line from Preston in 1835–40, (fn. 86) the building of the town proceeding at the same time. (fn. 87) He obtained an Act of Parliament in 1842 vesting the government of the place in a board of commissioners. (fn. 88) The town was very popular for many years as a seaside holiday resort, and when it declined somewhat in this respect the place improved as a seaport. Queen Victoria and the royal family, travelling from Scotland to London, landed at Fleetwood 20 September 1847. There is a considerable fishing industry, it being the port for a large fleet of steam trawlers which operate from the Portuguese coast to Archangel. A dock was opened by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company in 1877. In 1875 the manorial rights, with lands, buildings, &c., were purchased by a limited liability company for £120,000. The railway company built a grain elevator in 1882, and made provision for the fish trade by an ice factory and cold storage; it also maintains steamboat services to Belfast and (in the summer) to the Isle of Man. The government has a barracks and rifle range. There is a ferry from Fleetwood to Knott End across the Wyre. (fn. 89) A coat of arms is used.

The town is now governed by an urban district council of eighteen members, (fn. 90) which meets in the town hall close to the railway station. (fn. 91) The council possesses the market rights, and a market was built in 1892. Friday is the market day. The other public buildings include library, seamen's institute and cottage hospital. Water is supplied by the Fylde Water Board and gas by a private company.

There are a number of places of worship. In connexion with the Church of England St. Peter's was built in 1841, and a separate parish was assigned to it. The patronage is vested in the devisees of the late Mrs. Meynell-Ingram. There is a mission church of St. Margaret, built in 1893. The cemetery is outside the town.

A Wesleyan church was opened in 1847, (fn. 92) and the present one was built on the old site in 1899. The Primitive Methodists also have a church. The Congregationalist church was built in 1848. (fn. 93) The Plymouth Brethren, the Society of Friends and the Salvationists also conduct services.

Mass has been said since 1841 (fn. 94); the present church of St. Mary was opened in 1867.


  • 1. Two places of the same original name, now distinguished as Stanah and Staynall, lie on the west and east sides of the Wyre. It is not always possible to determine which of the two is intended in the mediaeval references.
  • 2. a V.C.H. Lancs, ii, 614–15. A coat of arms was granted in 1892.
  • 3. The Census Rep. 1901 gives; Thornton, 2,996 acres, including 19 of inland water; Fleetwood, 2,510 and 46. To these must be added 73 acres of tidal water and 657 of foreshore in Thornton and 134 and 2,778 respectively in Fleetwood.
  • 4. a Duchy of Lanc. Special Com. no. 1167.
  • 5. Porter, Fylde, 271. The Act was passed in 1799. The final award seems to have been in 1806; Lancs, and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 56. In 1739 the king leased to John Wilkinson the marshes called Thornton Marsh, Holme Marsh, Stanah Marsh, Trunnah Marah and Haddle Moss for thirty-one years; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xxvii, 178.
  • 6. Porter, op. cit. 227.
  • 7. Lond. Gaz. 27 Nov. 1877.
  • 8. Loc. Govt. Bd. Order 31813.
  • 9. V.C.H. Lancs, i, 288a. Thornton proper seems to have contained four plough-lands and Stanah two, afterwards reduced (as stated in the text) to two and one. Burn also was considered one plough-land at a later time.
  • 10. Lancs. Inq, and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 46. The 20s. rent is named again in 1226 and 1297; ibid. 139, 289.
  • 11. Ibid. 51. The second plough-land in Stanah was included in William de Winwick's Thornton estate. It appears to be this 'Stanhol' which is mentioned in the Pipe Rolls, &c., as contributing to aids and similar taxes; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 35, 130 (where the tenants are called Uctred and Gilbert); Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 135, 176.
  • 12. From the later history it seems that this plough-land was half in Thornton and half in Stanah. This may account for an error in 1226, when Robert de Winwick's estate was called five plough-lands in Thornton and half a plough-land in Stanah.
  • 13. Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40b. The Stanab rent seems to be made up in each case of a thegnage rent of 2s. for the moiety of a carucate pertaining to the Winwick estate and 2s. 6d. for the moiety pertaining to the drengage land. Thus Thornton (with half Stanah) paid 20s. as in 1212, and the other half of Stanah 5s. as before. The tenants did suit to county and wapentake.
  • 14. Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 56. The minor tenants in Stanah clearly represent the Singleton or Banastre portion; the Thorntons do not teem to have retained any part of it.
  • 15. Dods. MSS. exxxi, fol. 81b.
  • 16. Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20.
  • 17. William Banastre in 1323 held a moiety of Thornton (except the half of 5 oxgangs of land) by a rent of 8s. and suit of court. It was worth £10 13s. 4d. a year; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 160. Thornton and the Holmes by Thornton were among the lands of Sir Thomas Banastre of Bretherton in 1379; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 15.
  • 18. Richard Balderston in 1456 held a moiety of the manor of Thornton and the Holmes, of the king as of his duchy, in thegnage by a rent of 8s.; ibid, ii, 63. The Stanah portion was probably omitted because the tenants paid their small rents direct to the duchy receiver. The manors of Thornton and Holmes were in dispute in 1508; Final Conc, iii, 164. As in other cases, the 16th-century inquisitions show that the Balderston estate here was held by Edmund Dudley, Thomas Radcliffe of Winmarleigh and his successors, Alexander Osbaldeston. and the Earl of Derby.
  • 19. In right of his wife Anne; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 216, m. 10.
  • 20. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 2.
  • 21. The manor of Thornton was included in a settlement of the Rossall estate in 1695; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 235, m. 75. It occurs later in a similar way.
  • 22. Fine R. (Rec. Com.), 116; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 130. In 1205–6 he paid 2 marks to a scutage; ibid. 205.
  • 23. Ibid. 252. William de Winwick had given the canons of Cockemnd 3 acres in Thornton, and afterwards Alan de Singleton and his heirs were in possession, paying a rent of 4s. to the abbey; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet Soc), i, 160. William married one Maud daughter of Robert, who had lands in Whittingham; ibid. i, 231–2. As Maud de Thornton she was unmarried and in the king's gift in 1222–6; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 128.
  • 24. Baldwin le Blund in 1215 offered 20 marks for permission to marry Margaret, but before 1221 she had married Michael de Carleton; Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 190; Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 60. Michael was dead in 1226, when his brother William purchased the wardship of his heir; ibid. 136.
  • 25. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 211. Richard de Thornton—probably there were two or more of the name—occurs as juror, &c., from 1244 to 1297; ibid. 160, 289. He consented in 1246 to an agreement between the Abbot of Cockersand and Alice de Thornton as to the Whittingham lands of his grandmother Maud; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 103. He gave the monks of Lancaster a site for their tithe barn in Thornton; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc), ii, 424.
  • 26. Alice widow of Alan de Singleton in 1245 arranged with William the son of Alan as to the succession of two ploughlands in Thornton, she acknowledging William's right and receiving it for life, together with a third part of the fishery at Singleton. If Alice should not be able to grind in her mill of Thornton she might use that of Singleton free of multure. She released to William all her dower right and he gave her £10; Final Conc, i, 92.
  • 27. From the text it appears that Lawrence son of Richard de Thornton was in possession in 1324 and John son of Lawrence in 1346. John was defendant ten years later; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4, m. 1 d.; 5, m. 25 d. A pleading of 1302 calls Richard de Thornton the son and heir of Clarice daughter of Robert Wath; Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 246. Another of 1356 gives a different descent, stating that John de Thornton was son of Lawrence son of John (and Clarice) de Thornton, living in the time of Edward I; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 5, m. 25 d. A step (Richard) may have been omitted after Lawrence. Amery and Thomas de Thornton contributed to the subsidy in 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 70. Richard son of Amery (fem.) de Thornton was accused of taking a horse from Henry de Carleton in 1331; De Banco R. 286, m. 24 d. John son of Richard de Thornton occurs in 1352–5; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 2, m. xj d.; 4, m. 1 d. In 1412 John son of John de Thornton received land in Little Poulton from William de Poulton; KLuerden MSS. ii, fol. 245b.
  • 28. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 24. He held the moiety of the manor of John Duke of Lancaster in socage by a rent of 8s.; it was worth £10. His heir in 1429 was Thomas Travers, aged forty, son of Alice daughter of John de Thornton by Margery his wife, daughter of John de Bradkirk. John appears to have had two sons named John, and they with their uncle William had held possession of the estate from 1396 onwards.
  • 29. It does not appear who was father of William, who left four young daughters, Agnes (aged ten), Katherine, Elizabeth and Joan; ibid, ii, 26. William held the moiety of the manor as before. A writ of Amoveas manus in favour of the daughters was issued in 1432; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 33.
  • 30. In 1450 William Tarleton, Katherine his wife, Robert Adlington, Elizabeth his wife, Christopher Worthington and Joan his wife claimed three-fourths of the moiety of the manor against Thomas Travers, Lawrence Travers and Richard his brother, William Travers, and William Harebotell and Agnes his wife, and their claim was allowed; Final Conc, iii, 117. The four daughters of William Thornton are here named as married, but one of them probably died without issue, this moiety being afterwards held in thirds. Very little is known about these fragments. In 1487 a praecipe was issued to William Heth and Agnes his wife (daughter and one of the heirs of William Thornton) to maintain with Christopher Worthington a convention as to two messuages, 50 acres of land, &c., in Thornton; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton, file 1 & 2 Hen. VII. From a writ of 1513 it appears that Katherine widow of Robert Adlington (who must therefore have married twice) became the wife of Giles Lever, and had an interest in the family estates in Adlington, Thornton, &c.; ibid. 4 Hen. VIII. Hugh Adlington of Adlington died in 1525 holding four messuages, two saltcotes, a fishery, &c., in Thornton of the king as of his duchy by a rent of 2s.; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 73. The rent is a fourth part of the old one. His grandson Hugh Adlington died in 1556 holding similarly; ibid, x, no. 34. Joan Worthington died in 1501 holding messuages and land in Thornton and the Holmes of the king in socage by a rent of 2s. 8d.; ibid, iii, no. 108. The rent is a thirdpart of the old one. The family was seated at Crawshaw in Adlington.
  • 31. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 63, no. 86. Thomas Worthington died in 1627 holding six messuages, lands, &c., in Thornton of the king; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 1292.
  • 32. Richard Thornton died in 1555 holding a messuage, &c., in Holmes in Poulton of the Earl of Derby; Hugh, his son and heir, was forty-four years old; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 42.
  • 33. Survey of 1346, p. 56; they were John de Staynolf, 4 oxgangs of land, paying 4s. 6d.; Roger de Northcroas and Thomas son of Robert de Staynolf, each an oxgang, paying 7½d.; William Lawrence, Thomas Travers and John Boteler, each the fourth part of an oxgang and paying 16d., 16d. and nil (?); Adam the Knight, 5 acres, 4d.; Richard Doggeson, 5 acres, 6d. There was one plough-land in all, rendering 5s. drengage rent. The rents, as here stated, amount to more than the old 5s. and 4s., yet there has probably been some omission. Another version, preserved by Dodsworth (lxxxvii, fol. 66b), records John Boteler as holding a third part of the manor by a rent of 20d. From the rents it may be conjectured that Lawrence, Travers and Boteler held the Thornton part of this moiety of Stanah (under Banastre), and that Norcross and the others (with Boteler in part) held the drengage moiety.
  • 34. John de Steynhole died about 1264–5 holding a plough-land in Stanah of the king by drengage and 5s. rent; half was in demesne and half in service. His son Roger was of full age; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 234. Roger de Staynolf gave a messuage and land in Thornton to William de Marton, who married his daughter Margery. Their son Richard had a daughter and heir Margery, who in 1346 claimed them against Thomas del Mere; De Banco R. 349. m. 243; 354, m. 381 d. Margaret mother of Richard de Staynolf of Preston and wife of William Hudson in 1396 held in her own right certain lands in Little Staynoll {? Stanah), Holmes and Thornton; Richard was an outlaw in 1408; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 89; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxvii, App. 173; xl, 532. In 1500 Robert Staynoll made a settlement of lands in Thornton, Stanah and Holmes, with remainder to William his son and heir; Brockholes of Claughton D.
  • 35. Henry Banastre purchased in 1515 from Gilbert Charnock and Emma his wife, it being Emma's property; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 11, m. 231. Richard Banastre in or before 1548 held messuages, &c., in Thornton; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 33. His son William held in 1555 of the Earl of Derby by 2s. rent; ibid, x, no. 37. The estate descended to Henry Banastre in 1641; ibid, xxix, no. 15. In 1617 the rent was given as 6d. only; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), ii, 77.
  • 36. Final Conc. ii, 141 (1354); Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), i, 72 (1398). No particulars are given. Robert Lawrence in 1524 held his lands of the heirs of William Singleton; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 57. Henry Browne held land in Thornton in 1601; ibid, xviii, no. 23. Here as elsewhere Lawrence and Travers were no doubt the heirs of the Haydock family, who about 1292–1305 had messuages and land in Thornton and Great Carleton; Assize R. 408, m. 61 d.; De Banco R. 149, m. 109; 156, m. 75 d.
  • 37. William Travers in 1524 held his lands in Turnoll (Trunnah) of William Kirkby by the service of a red rose; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 62. The same tenure is recorded in later inquisitions. Trunnah was regarded as part of Holmes. In 1635 this estate was held by Thomas Hull, who left a son and heir John, aged sixteen; Towneley MS. C8,13 (Chet. Lib.), 509. Another of the family, Richard Hull of the Turnyate, in 1638 held his land of the king, and left as heir a son Thomas, aged thirteen; ibid. 497. This Richard was no doubt the son of Thomas Hull, who died in 1614 holding messuages, &c., in Thornton of the king as duke in socage and in Stanah by the hundredth part of a knight's fee; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc), ii, 8.
  • 38. In 1360–2 William son of Roger (son of William) de Norcross claimed a messuage and 5 acres of land in Thornton against John the Knight of Holmes and Ellen his wife; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 8, m. 12 d.; De Banco R. 408, m. 110 d. David (son of William) Norcross died in 1593 holding a messuage, &c., in Stanah of the queen as of her castle and honour of Lancaster by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee and 8d. rent. His widow Agnes afterwards married John Nelson. His heir was a daughter Mary, aged six months; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvi, no. 9.
  • 39. Robert Finch in 1610 held messuages, &c., in Thornton and Holmes, Stanah, Trunnah, &c., of the king in socage; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc), i, 156. Richard Finch, his cousin and heir, died in 1629 holding messuages, &c., in Holmes in Thornton of the king as of his manor of Pontefract, also a salt marsh of the king as duke; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, pp. 425–6. His heirs were the sons of an elder brother, Christopher Finch of Mawdesley.
  • 40. Christopher Albin died in 1638 holding a messuage, saltcote, &c., in Thornton of the king by a rent of 28s. 4d.; his son and heir Robert was fourteen years of age; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, p. 1.
  • 41. Richard Brickell died in 1621 holding a messuage in Holmes of the king; Richard, his son and heir, was twentyeight years of age (perhaps in 1630 when the inquiry was made); ibid. p. 55.
  • 42. Robert Hodgson died in 1613 holding a messuage and 14 acres of the king in socage; his son and heir John was fourteen years old; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc), i, 258. John Hodgson died leaving an only child, Ellen, in 1652 the wife of Robert Hoole (or Hull) of Carleton, and was succeeded by a brother, Richard Hodgson of Pool Foot, and he, being a recusant, had two-thirds of his estate sequestered. A younger brother, William, had 'lived in Ireland till the bloody insurrection began and then was enforced to fly into England for the safety of the lives of himself, his wife and children, leaving their livelihood and all their fortunes behind them save only some principal goods,' which he kept 'twelve miles beyond Preston,' till the Parliament's forces took Lancaster and other places there, and then 'our party' took away those goods, not knowing that William was in the Parliament's service in London and had 'found a man to go forth with the Earl of Essex.' He had also sent his own son 'to sea in the Adventure frigate against the Dutch, and he continued there till peace was made and since came home very sick' and chargeable. William, having had no compensation for these losses, desired a lease of his brother Richard's sequestered estate; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 233–6. Thomas Hodgson in 1629 held land in Thornton of the king; his heir was his son Richard, aged eleven; Towneley MS. C 8, 13, p. 509.
  • 43. Beatrice de Marton and Margery her sister claimed a messuage and half an oxgang of land in Thornton against Richard son of Jordan de la Mere; De Banco R. 257, m. 252. The estate of Thomas Fleetwood of Rossall in 1576 extended into Stanah, Trunnah, Holmes and Ritherham; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xii, no. 2. George Duddell in 1589 had land in Holmes in Thornton; ibid, xv, no. 43. Thomas Eccleston in 1592 held four messuages, &c., in Thornton; ibid, xvi, no. 38. The tenures are not stated. John Allen's estate in 1593 was said to be held of the Earl of Derby in socage; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc), i, 197–9. George Crane (of Skippool) died in 1636 holding a messuage, &c., of the king as duke. His heirs were four daughters— Margaret, aged fourteen, Anne, Janet and Agnes; Towneley MS. C 8,13, p. 249. Elizabeth Woodhouse, widow, died in 1637 holding a messuage, &c., of the king in socage; the next of kin and heir was Peter Woodhouse, aged fifteen; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, no. 68. Peter son of Peter Woodhouse of Thornton was baptised at Poulton 17 Apr. 1622; Reg.
  • 44. –3 Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 48.
  • 45. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 115. Sabina, widow of Roger, sought dower there in 1203–4; ibid. 181.
  • 46. Roger de Heaton in 1202 field 8 oxgangs of land of the king in chief by a rent of 10s.; Lancs. Inq, and Extents, i, 231. About 1284 there was a dispute as to the succession; Assize R. 1277, m. 31 d. In 1324 Adam Banastre was said to hold Burn by a rent of 10s. (Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40b), but it was perhaps as trustee; for in 1346 William de Heaton held in Thornton in the place which was called Bum one plough-land in socage, rendering 10s. a year, also relief, and suit to county and wapentake; Survey of 1346, p. 56.
  • 47. In 1445–6 Ellen Westby held one plough-land in Burn in Thornton in socage, paying 10s. rent, as before; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20.
  • 48. See the account of Mowbreck in Kirkham. William Westby in 1557 held three messuages, &c., in Burn in Thornton of the king and queen as of the duchy of Lancaster in socage by 10s. rent; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 17. Thomas Westby died at Burn in 1638 holding six messuages, a windmill, &c., there; ibid, xxviii, no. 42.
  • 49. They were sometimes described as 'of Burn.' There is a short notice of the hall, which had a domestic chapel in their time; Thornber, Blackpool, 312. Burn Hall, originally of the 15th century but altered at a later date, is now divided into two tenements occupied by farmers. Over the porch is the date 1786 with the initials of Bold Fleetwood Hesketh. One of the rooms has a good 18th-century ceiling and a mantelpiece with the Hesketh arms. In Whitaker's Richmondshire (1823), ii, 444, it is said: 'At Burn Hall are the remains of a domestic chapel with an oak wainscot richly carved with small statues, shields and foliage, and bearing on a projecting portal the appropriate passage "Elegi abjectus esse in domo Dei mei, magis quam habitare in tabernaculis peccatorum."'
  • 50. Thornber, loc. cit.; Mr. Benison 'ruined his property in an attempt to cultivate it on the plan laid down by Virgil in his Georgics.' An Act of 1731 permitted the sale of the manor of Burn and land there, but it does not seem to have been acted upon; 4 Geo. II, cap. 29.
  • 51. Fishwick, Poulton (Chet. Soc), 169.
  • 52. This sum is recorded in the Pipe Roll of 5 Hen. III, 4 d. In 1212 Rossall wth its stock was in the king's hands, the sheriff answering; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 52,
  • 53. Rot. Lit. Clous. (Rec Com.), i, 284. This was a grant 'in bail' or during the king's pleasure. Henry III ordered an inquiry as to value in 1221; ibid. 474. The boundary between the hey of Rossall and Roger de Beaton's land of Burn was defined in 1222; ibid. 518.
  • 54. The king resumed possession in 1226; Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 160. Two years later he ordered the sheriff not to interfere with the abbot's sheep and other animals in the pasture of Rossall, and on 14 July 1228 he granted Roasall in alms for ever; Cal. Close, 1227–31, pp. 35, 62; Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 125; Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 78. This grant was perhaps revoked, but on 28 July 1247 a definitive charter was passed, granting Rossall in free alms; ibid. 325; Dieulacres Chartul. (Wm. Salt Soc), 341. Thomas de Rigmaiden, Adam son of Agnes de Middleton and Adam son of Alan de Middleton in 1290 claimed the manor of Rossall from the abbot, who alleged the charter of King Henry; De Banco R. 83, m. 40 d. In 1292 the abbey's right was called in question by the king, and the jury found that Rossall had been held in bail of King John for seven years, being then worth £20 a year, which was also its value for the first twenty-four years of Henry III, but in the following six years it was worth 40 marks yearly; the abbot was liable for the arrears—£780 in all; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 374–5.
  • 55. Dieulacres Chartul. 346. Theobald Walter, as heir of the lord of Amounderness in the time of Richard I, about 1230 released to the abbey all his title in Rossall William de Tatham in 1228 gave a similar release in return for 200 marks; he had claimed three plough-lands there; Final Conc, i, 55. Of the three plough-lands one may have formerly belonged to Burn. William de Clifton released his right for 9 marks. For Clifton see also Close 44, 17 Hen. III, m. 9 d., 10 d. Roger de Heaton about 1235 released his claim between Saltholmpool and Stodfoldpool according to the boundary between Rossall and Burn fixed in the time of Theobald Walter.
  • 56. Roger son of Alan de Singleton gave land in Stanah, excepting right in the field called Tranehole (Trunnah), and made several other grants and exchanges in the same part of the township; Dieulacres Chartul. 347–8. Henestebreck and the Gald Rene are place-names. William son of Alan de Staynole (Stanah) gave a 'land' at Foxholes upon Trunnah, &c.; ibid. 348–9. Roger son of John de Stanah, William de Thornton and Richard de Thornton gave shares of the Crook in Stanah; ibid. 349, 351. Some 'natives' also were given; ibid. 352–3.
  • 57. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 329.
  • 58. Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton. 15 Hen. VII.
  • 59. About 1540 the farm of the Grange amounted to £13 6s. 8d.; Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v, 630.
  • 60. Pat. 7 Edw. VI, pt. ix. The grant included lands in Little Poulton, Bispham, Norbreck, Ritherham and Thornton.
  • 61. Pat. 2 Mary.
  • 62. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xii, no. 2. John Fleetwood of Penwortham was his brother. Rossall Grange with its appurtenances was held, according to the patent, by the twentieth part of a knight's fee. In addition to this and the lands in Layton and Marton he had scattered estates in other parts of the county, including the Peel in Hulton, Lostock Hall in Waltonle-Dale, the manors of Eccleston and Heskin, &c. Thomas Fleetwood was also lord of the Vache in Buckinghamshire, treasurer of the Mint, sometime knight of the shire and Sheriff of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. He was buried in Chalfont St. Giles Church, where there is a monument. There is an account of the family in Fishwick's Poulton, 157–67. The late J. P. Earwaker made collections for a history of them. The place from which their surname is taken does not seem to be known.
  • 63. Visit. (Chet. Soc), 89. He was Sheriff of Lancashire in 1606 (P.R.O. List, 73), and seems to have lived at Rossall.
  • 64. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 315–16.
  • 65. At Greenwich, 2 June 1623; Metcalfe, Bk. of Knights, 181. He purchased the manors of Preesall and Hackinsall. See Exch. Dep. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 22, 24. Robert Fleetwood of Rossall, younger brother of Paul, compounded in 1631 on refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 221.
  • 66. Fishwick, op. cit. 161–2. The family estates were much reduced.
  • 67. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 111.
  • 68. Ibid.; aged eleven in 1664. He gave £10 a year each to the churches of Poulton and Bispham, of which he was patron; Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc), ii, 398, 456. He died at Rossall in 1709 and his son Edward in 1737. Settlements of the Rossall Grange estate, including the manors of Thornton, Layton, Bispham and Marton, with lands, mills, making houses, advowsons, &c., were made by Richard Fleetwood and Margaret his wife in 1695 and by Edward Fleetwood in 1733; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdles. 235, m. 75; 312, m. 46. There were recoveries of the manors of Rossall Grange, &c., in 1736 (Edward Fleetwood and Roger Hesketh, vouchees) and 1759 (Fleetwood Hesketh. vouchee); Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 542, m. 10; 591, m. 9.
  • 69. See the account of North Meols.
  • 70. He took the surname of Fleetwood in 1831 by royal licence, and was created baronet in 1838. He represented Preston in Parliament from 1832 to 1847. There is a notice of him in Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 71. This and other particulars of the family deeds are from an old abstract of the deeds of Worthington of Blainscough in the possession of W. Farrer. The father of John Allen was George Allen of Rossall, whose will of 1530 is printed by Fishwick op. cit. 126–7. George was perhaps the son of John Allen who occurs at Norbreck in 1490; Final Conc. iii, 142. Isabel widow of George Allen in 1556 purchased lands in Thornton and Holmes from Hugh Thornton and Dulcia his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 17, m. 146.
  • 72. Whitney, who was servant to Lord Chancellor Audley, had a pension out of Dieulacres; L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiv (2), p. 73; xvi, p. 351. It may be noted that Thomas Fleetwood, afterwards purchaser of Rossall, had at the same time an annuity out of Sheen; ibid.
  • 73. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 80. For his will see Fishwick, op. cit 129.
  • 74. A long account of the business from Bridgewater's Concertatio is printed by Fishwick op. cit. 136–57. The value of the goods, &c., seized by the sheriff at Rossall and Todderstaffe early in 1584 was £926 11s. 4d. Another inquiry reported the value as £589 17s. 10d.; Duchy of Lanc. Special Com. 256. At the trial in Manchester the foreman of the jury was Edmund Fleetwood. From the pedigree of the family (Fishwick, op. cit. 156) it appears that two of Mrs. Allen's daughters became nuns at Louvain.
  • 75. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec Soc), i, 197–9. The Worthingtons sold their estate in Thornton in 1729; Piccope MSS. (Chet Lib.), iii, 240, from R. 2 of Geo. II at Preston.
  • 76. This sketch of Cardinal Allen's career is from the Dict. Nat. Biog. and Gillow, Bibl. Dict. of Engl. Catholics, i, 14–24 (with full account of his works). See also the introduction to Allen's Letters (ed. T. F. Knox); Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc.), vii.
  • 77. He was in trouble even in the time of Edward VI; Fishwick, op. cit. 131, citing Privy Council records. There is a portrait of him in Green, Hist, of Engl. People (illustr. ed.), ii, 817.
  • 78. The story is given in detail in the introduction to the Douay Diaries, edited by T. F. Knox.
  • 79. The first priests were sent to England in 1574, and by 1580 over a hundred had been dispatched; ibid. lxii. In this year the first Jesuits went. The reply of the English government was an Act making it high treason 'to withdraw any of the queen's subjects from the religion now by her highness's authority established within her highness's dominions to the Romish religion,' and high treason also to be withdrawn or reconciled; 23 Eliz. cap. 1. Eighty Douay priests are said to have suffered death under this and other penal statutes.
  • 80. In this year was printed his Admonition to the English people to assist the invaders on account of the various crimes of the queen.
  • 81. To support his dignity he had the revenues of an abbot in Calabria and the archbishopric of Palermo from the pope. Philip II nominated him to Malines, but he did not obtain that see.
  • 82. The epitaph placed over him by his brother Gabriel Allen and his nephew Thomas Hesketh is in Fishwick, op. cit. 133. 'To the parish church of Poulton where he was born, when the people there became Catholics,' he left certain vestments, which meantime were to be kept in the English college at Rome; ibid. 134.
  • 83. This college was intended for secular priests, but in consequence of dissensions was in 1579 given to the care of the Jesuits, who retained it till 1773; the students were seculars. Its Diary is (imperfectly) printed by Foley, Rec. S. J. vi.
  • 84. Porter, Fylde, 271–2.
  • 85. Ibid. 273.
  • 86. The original terminus was on the south-east side of the town, near the present dock. The line was continued northward to the present terminus at Wyre mouth, opened in 1883, to provide facilities for the seagoing passenger traffic. There is a passenger station also at the docks.
  • 87. The streets were made to radiate from an eminence called the Mount on the north side, by the Irish Sea. On the sea side is a promenade over a mile in length. To the east, at the mouth of the Wyre, is a small ornamental green; then turning south the ferry to Knott End and the railway terminus are seen. The docks are on the south-west of the town, in a bend of the river. The Pharos lighthouse, built about 1840, stands between the Mount and the station; in conjunction with the Lower lighthouse on the shore it assists in navigating the Wyre. A third lighthouse, 2 miles north of the town, marks the entrance to the channel.
  • 88. 5 & 6 Vict cap. 49. The area was extended in 1882. The port of Fleetwood under the Customs Act of 1846 extends from Blackpool to the mouth of the Wyre and thence to Broadfleet River, both streams being included.
  • 89. These particulars are from the guide issued by the council. There is a detailed account of the town in Porter's Fylde, 218–67, and Mr. Frederick W. Woods, clerk to the council, has afforded information as to recent progress.
  • 90. The council is the board of improvement commissioners extended. In 1905 the district was divided into wards— Central, East and West—and the number of councillors increased from twelve to eighteen, six being elected by each ward.
  • 91. It was originally the custom house, and then a private residence. It has been used as the town hall since 1887.
  • 92. Porter, op. cit. 234.
  • 93. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. i, 174–80. Preaching began in 1838, the minister at Preesall officiating. A church was formed in 1840, and a schoolroom was built in the following year.
  • 94. The first St. Mary's in Walmsley Street, 1841, was afterwards turned into cottages; Porter, op. cit. 224.