Townships: Hardhorn-with-Newton

Pages 238-239

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

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In this section


Hordorn, 1332. Nuton, 1332.

Staininghe, Dom. Bk.; Steyininges, 1292; Staynyng, 1297; Steyninge, 1302.

This township is bounded on the south and east by the brook running from Marton Mere to join the Wyre. The surface is in general low and level, but there are elevated portions rising to 50 ft. above sea level in the centre, south and east. On the central one stands the hamlet of Hardhorn; to the south-west is Newton and to the south Staining; while near the south-eastern boundary is Todderstaffe Hall. The area is 2,651 (fn. 1) acres and the population in 1901 numbered 597.

A road leads north-west through Staining and Newton and then north to Poulton, with branches west to Blackpool and north and east to Hardhorn and Singleton. The Preston and Wyre railway runs near the eastern boundary, with a station at Todderstaffe called Singleton.

Agriculture is the only industry, chiefly as dairy farms. The soil is variable, with subsoil clay.

The township is governed by a parish council.

Richard Davie or Davies of Newton raised a company for the Parliament's service in the Civil War, but was killed with most of his men at the capture of Bolton in 1644. (fn. 2)


In 1066 STAINING, assessed as six plough-lands, was part of Earl Tostig's lordship of Preston. (fn. 3) Afterwards it was held by the Constable of Chester, for about 1134 William Fitz Nigel, lord of Halton, granted three plough-lands in Staining to his newly-founded priory of Runcorn, while his son William recovered them when he transferred the house to Norton, but granted two-thirds of the demesne tithes to the canons. (fn. 4) His successor, John de Lacy, 1211–40 gave the whole in free alms to Stanlaw Abbey. (fn. 5) Later the monks were said to hold it by the service of half a knight's fee and a castle-ward rent of 5s. (fn. 6) The grange of Staining seems to have been the abbey's manor-house for all their estates in the Fylde.

In 1348 the monks obtained a charter for a market on Thursdays at their vill of Hardhorn and a fair on the eve, day and morrow of St. Denis (8–10 October); in the following year by another charter the weekly market was assigned to Monday. (fn. 7)

The manor remained in possession of the monks till the confiscation of the Whalley estates after the rebellion of the north in 1537, and was sold by the Crown to Thomas Holt, (fn. 8) who sold to George Singleton. (fn. 9) The family had probably been tenants under the abbey for some time, (fn. 10) and they continued in possession until the beginning of the 18th century. George Singleton, the purchaser of Staining, died in 1551 holding the manor with messuages, lands, &c., of the king by the third part of a knight's fee. (fn. 11) His successor was his son William, of full age, who died in or about 1556 holding the 'manor or grange' of Staining as before and leaving a numerous family, the heir being a son Thomas, seven years old. (fn. 12) Thomas died in 1563, still a minor, and a younger brother, John, succeeded. (fn. 13) He died in 1589 holding the manors of Staining and Carleton. He left two daughters (fn. 14); but the manors went to a brother George, who died in 1598, and was followed by his son Thomas, aged six. (fn. 15) The religious history of the family is not known. Thomas was no doubt a Protestant, for he was a justice of the peace, (fn. 16) but his son Thomas was a Roman Catholic (fn. 17); he raised a troop for Charles I at the outbreak of the Civil War (fn. 18) and was killed at the battle of Newbury in 1643. (fn. 19) His children were very young, as appears by the pedigree recorded in 1664. (fn. 20); four of them succeeded—John, Thomas, George and Anne. (fn. 21) The last-named died in 1719, and Staining went to John Mayfield, son of her sister Mary. The history then becomes obscure. (fn. 22) The manor in 1810 was purchased by Edward Birley, by whose daughter it passed to her husband, William Henry Hornby of Blackburn. (fn. 23) He was succeeded by his son Sir William Henry Hornby, bart.

Singleton of Staining. Argent three cheveronels gules between as many martlets sable.

Thornber states that the hall had its 'boggart,' the wandering ghost of a Scotchman murdered near a tree which has since recorded the deed by perfuming the ground near it with the odour of thyme. (fn. 24)

TODDERSTAFFE (fn. 25) was another estate of importance in former times, (fn. 26) but of Hardhorn and Newton, which give a name to the township, (fn. 27) practically nothing can be stated, though from the former was derived a surname varying between Hardern and Hordern.

The Abbot of Stanlaw obtained leave to have an oratory at the manor of Staining, (fn. 28) but this does not seem to have led to a permanent chapel.

A barn in Hardhorn was in 1689 licensed as a meeting-place for Presbyterians. (fn. 29)


  • 1. The Census Rep. 1901 gives 2,653 acres, including 13 of inland water.
  • 2. War in Lancs. (Chet. Soc), 42, 50.
  • 3. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 288a.
  • 4. Ormerod, Ches. (ed. Helsby), i, 691; Dugdale, Mon. Angl. vi, 314.
  • 5. Whalley Couch. (Chet. Soc), ii, 419. The benefactor also released the whole farm of Staining. William the Monk and Thomas de Beaumont his heir had given to John Constable of Chester, probably the grandfather of John de Lacy, the whole vill of Staining for 15 marks paid and 30s. rent; ibid. 420. This grant was attested by Henry the prior (of Norton), and throws some light on the intermediate history of the place. In 1208 Philip brother of Geoffrey de Valoines of Farleton had some estate in it; Rot. de Oblatis et Fin. (Rec. Com.), 425. Cecily de Layton allowed the monks a moiety of the marsh between Marton Mere and Little Carleton, and William and Richard le Boteler also made concessions as to the marsh, which divided Staining from Layton. Theobald Walter, butler of Ireland, allowed them to draw water from Marton Mere for their mill, but they were not to take any fish; ibid. 421–4; Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 71. The other charters in the Coucher refer to agreements as to tithes made with the monks of Sées and Lancaster as rectors of Poulton; see also Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc), i, 70; ii, 527. The Abbot of Whalley in 1469 claimed common of pasture in Staining and Weeton against John Skillicorne; Pal of Lanc. Plea R. 36, m. 14. There were later disputes; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 10; ii, 19, 31.
  • 6. a The Abbot of Whalley paid 4s. a year to the Earl of Lancaster in 1297, and in 1302 held by half a knight's fee; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 289, 316. The service for Staining with Hardhorn and Newton was that of half a knight's fee and 5s. for castle ward in 1324; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. Similarly in 1346 the abbot held five plough-lands in Hardhorn or Newton or Staining for half a knight's fee, and paid 5s. for castle ward; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 54. The five (not six) plough-lands appear again in 1445–6; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. The tenant about 1540 is not named, but 6s. was paid for Staining Grange itself. The principal tenants at that time were Lawrence Rigson, house and windmill, paying £2; Constance Singleton, widow, house and 30 acres arable, 33s.; Lawrence Archer, similar tenement, 30s. 4d.; and Thomas Wilkinson, a messuage and 20 acres, £1; Whalley Couch. iv, 1242–3.
  • 7. Chart. R. 143 (22 Edw. III), m. 9, no. 9; 144 (23 Edw. III), m. 8, no. 7. Nothing further seems to be known of them, but the Monday market of Poulton may have been derived from the second charter.
  • 8. Pat. 35 Hen. VIII, pt. iv.
  • 9. This is stated in the pedigree of 1664.
  • 10. Cf. Constance Singleton above. In a writ of 1474 there are named John Singleton of Woodplumpton and Margaret his wife, George Singleton of Staining and Richard his son; Pal of Lanc Writs Proton. 13 Edw. IV.
  • 11. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. br, no. 17. He had granted certain messuages, &c., to George Browne and his heirs and others to trustees for the use of Alice wife of his ton William Singleton. He had also land in Woodplumpton. A few deeds of the family are preserved in Dods. MSS. cliii, fol. 73.
  • 12. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. x, no. 30: the estate included two windmills. The inquisition names his mother Margaret, his grandmother Eleanor, late wife of George Westby, his sons Richard, John and George. His great - grandfather. Award Singleton in 1501 had settled a burgage in Preston and a close in Woodplumpton called 'Mykelleghe' on Eleanor wife of Lawrence Singleton son of Award. The descent thus appears: Award -s. Lawrence -s. George -s. William. Daughters Helen and Margaret are named in the next inquisition. It appears that Lawrence Singleton diedin or about 1518; Fishwick, Poulton (Chet. Soc.), 69. An annuity was granted by the Crown (as guardian) to Alice widow of William Singleton, together with the custody and marriage of Thomas the heir, in 1557; Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bk. xxiii, 146 d.
  • 13. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 43. Margaret widow of George Singleton had married William Ambrose and was still living; Eleanor Westby had died. John, the brother and heir, was aged thirteen. Alice the widow of William Singleton is named as if living at Staining, but her will, dated 1558, is aaid to have been proved at Richmond in this year; Fishwick, op. cit. 183. A grant by the father to James Massey of Layton and Richard Houghton of Kirkham, comprising a windmill at Hardhorn and lands at Staining, was the subject of dispute soon after Thomas Singleton's death; Ducatus Lanc. ii, 296.
  • 14. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m.xv, no. 47. In addition to the manors the estate comprised sixty messuages, three windmills, &c., in Staining, Hardhorn, Newton, Plumpton, Great and Little Carleton and Poulton; also a free fishery in Marton Mere. In 1583 he had settled the manors, &c., on his wife Thomasine for life, with remainder to his brother George, making provision also for his daughters Alice and Elizabeth, who at their father's death were aged ten and five years respectively. The tenure of Staining was recorded as before, by the third part of a knight's fee. John Singleton's will (1589) is printed in Wills (Chet. Soc. new ser.), i, 106. In 1592 Thomasine was wife of Thomas Dutton, and in possession of part of the estate; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 54., m. 142.
  • 15. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 26. George Singleton had married Margaret Houghton, who survived him. A family dispute led to the death of Thomas Hoghton of Lea in 1590; see the account of Lea in Preston. The estates were in 1604 in the hands of Henry Birkheved the younger and Alice his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 65, no. 41. Alice was one of the daughters of John Singleton; Ormerod, Ches. ii, 368.
  • 16. Fishwick, op. cit. 188 (pedigree). He had a dispute about tithes in 1616; Exch. Dep. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 18.
  • 17. Thomas Singleton in 1632 compounded with the Crown for the twothirds of his estates liable to be sequestered for his recusancy by an annual fine of £20; Trans. Hist. Soc. (new sen), xxiv, 176.
  • 18. Lancs. War (Chet. Soc.), 19,25.
  • 19. Pedigree of 1664. The estate does not appear to have been sequestered by the Parliament.
  • 20. Dugdale, Visit. (Chet. Soc), 274; John the eldest son of Captain Thomas was twenty-nine years old in 1664. He married Jane Fleetwood and died in 1668, after which his widow married Thomas Cole (Fishwick), from whom Thomas Singleton, brother and heir of John, recovered the manors of Staining and Singleton in 1681; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 187, m. 29. A settlement of the manors was made by George Singleton, Christopher Anderton, Alexander Butler, Dorothy (Singleton) his wife and Anne Singleton in 1686 (ibid. bdle. 216, m. 18); yet Thomas Cole and Jane his wife were deforciants in a fine of 1689; ibid. bdle. 224, m. 150.
  • 21. As a 'Papist' she registered her estate in Little Carleton and Newton in 1717; the value was £75 5s. 10d. a year; Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 133. She also had a house at Crank in Rainford. In 1722 Christopher Gradwell, trustee, conveyed to new trustees the capital messuage of Staining, late the inheritance of George Singleton; Piccope MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 212, from R. 5 (2) of Geo. I at Preston.
  • 22. The story is given in Fishwick, op. cit. 187–8: Mary Singleton, widow of John Mayfield, was buried at Poulton, 1694; her son John died without issue, the estate going to a nephew, William Blackburn of Great Eccleston, whose son James, dead in 1784, left as heir a sister Anne wife of John Fielding. Their son Gabriel, who married an actress, left the neighbourhood. John Mayfield, 'Papist,' was heir in 1722; Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. ii, 458. A deed of 1734 recites that Anne Singleton, late of Singleton, spinster, had by her will of 1719 directed lands in Carleton, Staining and elsewhere to be sold. John Mayfield and Mary his wife had Staining Hall, with remainder to Mary, and then to John eldest son of William Blackburn of Singleton, &c.; Piccope MSS. iii, 248, from R. 5 (1) of Geo. II. See ibid. 336, from R. 9 of Geo. II. By fine in 1781 John Hankinson obtained from John Fielding, Anne his wife, James Law and Mary his wife various messuages, lands, &c., in Staining, Hardhorn with Newton, Poulton and Carleton; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 405, m. 167.
  • 23. Fishwick, loc. cit. William Henry Hornby, 1805–84, married Margaret Susannah daughter and heir of Edward Birley of Kirkham, and had issue; Burke, Landed Gentry.
  • 24. Hist, of Blackpool (written 1837), 38. He also mentions a tradition that John, when Count of Mortain, sometimes visited the place.
  • 25. Taldrestath, 1332.
  • 26. Fishwick, op. cit. 168. It became part of the Singleton estate of Mr. T. H. Miller. Todderstaffe was at one time tenanted by the Allens of Rossall, for in 1543 it was given by George Singleton of Mithop to Elizabeth widow of George Allen; Worthington of Blainscough abstract. Afterwards it reverted to the Singletons and was part of the Staining estate given to Dorothy wife of Alexander Butler; she had a daughter and heir Elizabeth, who married Robert Worswick; Gillow in Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc.), iv, 173. See also N. and Q. (Ser. 10), v, 468, 517. In Urswick Church there is a monument to Dorothy daughter of Alexander and Dorothy Butler of Todderstaffe, dated 1687; North Lorn. Mag. ii, 160. By the will of Richard Worswick of Preston in 1746 land in Great Singleton and the capital messuage of Todderstaffe were ordered for sale; Piccope MSS. iii, 350, from R. 20 of Geo. II at Preston.
  • 27. So called in 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 59.
  • 28. Whalley Couch. ii, 428–9.
  • 29. Hist. MSS. Cam. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 232.