Townships: Marton

Pages 239-242

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

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In this section


Meretun, Dom. Bk.; Merton, 1176; Mereton, Merton, 1212; Marton, 1297.

The hamlets of Great Marton and Little Marton stand on slight elevations, to west and east respectively, near the northern boundary of the township. Marton Mere lies on the boundary itself. The two-thirds of the area to the south of the hamlets named is a level and comparatively dreary district, largely sand-covered and moss land extending west to the sea; but in the extreme south-east corner is the ancient homestead called Peel on ground about 40 ft. above sea level. Revoe adjoins Blackpool. The township contains 4,707½ acres, (fn. 1) of which Great Marton has 1,973 and Little Marton 2,734½. In 1901 the population was 1,603 for the reduced township. (fn. 2)

There are various roads through the township connecting Lytham and Blackpool, with cross roads. The branch railway line forming the direct route between Kirkham and Blackpool crosses Marton from east to west, but there is no station.

Marton Mere (fn. 3) was formerly very extensive and liable in time of floods to spread further over the country around. An agreement as to clearing the watercourse leading from it was made in 1731. (fn. 4) 'During the work of draining large quantities of the trunks of oak and yew trees were found imbedded in the soil, all of which were in a slanting position towards the sea and some of them bore evidence of having at some far-distant time been cut down. (fn. 5)

The soil is peaty, sand and clay; wheat and potatoes are grown, but much of the land is in pasture.

Thomas Fleetwood in 1700 procured a charter allowing three fairs to be held at Marton Mere, viz. 23–4 April, 22–3 June and 27–8 September each year. (fn. 6)

In 1894 Great Marton was added to Blackpool and part of Little Marton to St. Anne's-on-the-Sea (fn. 7); the remainder, the existing township of Marton, is governed by a parish council.


Before the Conquest MARTON, assessed as six plough-lands, was a member of Earl Tostig's Preston fee. (fn. 8) Some time afterwards, probably early in the 12th century, it formed part of the honour of Peverel, forfeited in 1153. The Pipe Rolls record the receipts from Marton (fn. 9) till the honours of Lancaster and Peverel were in 1189 given to John Count of Mortain. Before this time probably it had been divided, one moiety being held immediately by a family bearing the local surname and the other by Hervey Walter, lord of the adjacent Weeton.

GREAT MARTON was about 1200 held by Adam son of Matthew de Marton, a benefactor of Stanlaw Abbey. (fn. 10) Adam died in 1242 and was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 11) a benefactor of Cockersand (fn. 12) and Lancaster, (fn. 13) as well as of Stanlaw. (fn. 14) From the later descent of the manor it appears that William de Marton and Richard his son and heir (fn. 15) conveyed the manor about 1260 to William le Boteler of Warrington and his brother Richard le Boteler of Rawdiffe, (fn. 16) and in these families—the latter having a branch, Boteler of Marton (fn. 17) —it descended (fn. 18) until the middle of the 16th century, when it was acquired by Thomas Fleetwood. (fn. 19) It was given to a younger son William, who in 1596 conveyed it to his brother Edmund. (fn. 20) From that time it descended in the same way as Rossall until 1841, when Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood sold it to Thomas Clifton. (fn. 21)

The estate of the Botelers of Marton descended by marriage to the Crofts of Dalton and Leghs of Lyme. (fn. 22) There were a few minor holders of land in Marton whose names occur in charters and pleadings, (fn. 23) as also in the later inquisitions. (fn. 24)

LITTLE MARTON descended like Weeton, (fn. 25) the Earl of Derby holding it in the 15th and 16th centuries. The manor was in 1522 farmed out to William Lache, William and Robert Whiteside and Thomas Gaulter for £9 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 26) It was afterwards (about 1600) acquired by Molyneux of Sefton and sold in 1606 to Cuthbert Clifton, together with the adjoining manor of Lytham. (fn. 27) It has since descended with the Clifton estates. (fn. 28)

The PEEL in Little Marton was held by the Cliftons from the Earls of Derby long before they acquired the lordship; thus in 1522 William Clifton paid £2 of old rent and £2 of increment. (fn. 29)

In addition to the religious houses at Cockersand, (fn. 30) Whalley (fn. 31) and Lancaster, Lytham Priory had pasture rights in Marton. (fn. 32)

William Russell of Marton had a priest taken in his house in 1604, and a number of other residents were presented to the Bishop of Chester as 'suspected of relieving seminary priests and Jesuits.' (fn. 33)

Nicholas Sanderson of Great Marton and John his son registered small estates in 1717 as 'Papists.' (fn. 34)

A house at Moss Side in Little Marton was licensed for Nonconformist worship in 1762 and it continued in use till the rise of Blackpool. (fn. 35)

Services in connexion with the Church of England were held in the schoolroom, built about 1717, from 1748 at latest, for in that year James Fisher was nominated to the 'chapel of Marton' by the vicar of Poulton. (fn. 36) The church of St. Paul was built in 1800 and consecrated in 1804; it has been considerably enlarged from time to time. A separate parish was assigned to it in 1892. The vicars are nominated by the vicars of Poulton. (fn. 37) A mission room is connected with it.

There is a Wesleyan chapel at Moss Side, built in 1872.


  • 1. The Census Rep. of 1901 gives the portion outside Blackpool as follows: 3,503 acres, including 10 of inland water.
  • 2. To these should be added 7,659 in Blackpool and 31 in St. Anne's, making a total population for the old township of 9,293.
  • 3. For map see Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 24.
  • 4. Fishwick, Poulton (Chet. Soc), 25–7.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Pat. 12 Will III, pt. iv, fol. 532, no. 6.
  • 7. Both changes were effected by Loc. Govt. Bd. Order 31813.
  • 8. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 288a.
  • 9. In 1175–6 Randle de Glanville rendered account of 7s. of the farm of Marton, escheat of the honour of Peverel; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 31. Similar receipts occur until 1188–9, when the sheriff accounted for 6s. of the farm of Marton and 4s. of Clifton received before the Count of Mortain had them from the king; ibid. 72. In 1216–22 the Earl of Ferrers was in possession; Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 121. Great Marton rendered 5s. a year to the Earl of Lancaster in 1297 and Little Marton 10s.; ibid, i, 289. Part may at one time have been held by Bussel of Penwortham; see Penwortham Priory (Chet. Soc), 3.
  • 10. Whalley Couch. (Chet. Soc.), it, 443. He confirmed the right to draw water from the Great Mere which had been allowed the monks by Theobald le Boteler, but reserved the right to build a mill himself. Matthew de Marton attested the grant of half an oxgang of land in the vill made by William son of Richard to Adam his brother; Lytham D. at Durham, 2 a, 2 ae, 4 ae, Ebor. no. 30. Adam de Marton held three ploughlands in 1212 by knight's service; Lancs. Inq. p.m. i, 37. In 1236 he held the fourth, part and the twentieth part of a knight's fee in Marton 'of ancient feoffment'; ibid, i, 144. Thus ten plough-lands there made a knight's fee.
  • 11. William paid 3 marks as relief in May 1242, on succeeding; Fine R. 26 Hen. III, m. 9; Close R. 53, pt. i, m. 2. In the same year he was found to hold the tenth part and the twentieth part of a knight's fee of the king in chief; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 153. This was a moiety of his father's tenement.
  • 12. As William son of Adam de Marton he gave an acre in Landirg open-furlong between land of Amery de Thornton and Michael de Marton, also liberty to get turf in the great moss of Marton; Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), i, 153.
  • 13. He gave a toft, &c., next that of his brother Michael; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc), ii, 439. for Michael see Assize R. 1265, m. 4.
  • 14. As William de Marton, son of Adam son of Matthew, he granted half a selion extending from the Prior of Lancaster's barn to Redcarr; Whalley Couch, ii, 446. As 'lord of Marton' he granted half an oxgang of land in Great Marton, with 2 acres on the east side of Suterdale, in the Hall Stude and in Ketelsworth towards Layton, and common of pasture, also a house and garden; ibid. 447–8. Margery widow of William in 1271 released to the monks her right in these gifts; ibid. 449. She had married William de Kirkby.
  • 15. Richard son of William de Marton about 1270 confirmed his father's grant to Stanlaw; Whalley Couch, ii, 450. Gilbert the clerk of Lancaster and John son of Robert de Shireburne had granted certain oxgangs of land, &c., in Marton to Cockersand Abbey and Richard son of William de Marton confirmed the gifts; Cockersand Chartul. i, 154–5. Gilbert de Lancaster, just named, held half an oxgang of the monks of Stanlaw for life, paying them 4s. rent and promising his assistance in their business in the county; Whalley Couch, ii, 451.
  • 16. A number of the charters are in Raines MSS. (Chet Lib.), xxxviii, 89, &c., 389. From these it appears that William de Marton (son of Adam son of Matthew) gave half an oxgang of land in Great Marton to Sir Richard le Boteler, together with the homage and service of Amery de Thornton and a fishery in the Great Mere; ibid. 93. He made another grant and his eldest son Richard confirmed his father's charter; ibid. 91, 89. Alice the widow of Richard de Marton gave a release in 1296; ibid. 99. Richard son of William de Marton gave land in Scoutlonglands and Redcarr to Richard son of Richard le Boteler and other land to Walter de Wilton and William brother of Hugh de Marton; ibid. 91, 93. In the latter the grantor's mother Margaret is named and it is attested by Sir William le Boteler and Sir Richard his brother. Amery son of Simon de Thornton gave land in Great Marton to Richard son of Sir Richard le Boteler; ibid. Henry de Haydock gave half an oxgang of land in Norcross to Richard son of Sir Richard le Boteler and Ellen his wife, Henry's daughter. The grantor had had it in free marriage with Alice his wife; ibid. 383. To the same Richard, described as 'my nephew' (nepos), Walter de Carleton son of Sir William granted land in Great Marton which he had received from his brother William; ibid. 107. This charter ii attested by Sir William le Boteler, Henry his son, William his brother, William de Singleton and Alan his son. Studholme, Hall stead, Faethewra and Crooklanda are other places in Marton named in these charters. William le Boteler of Warrington granted an oxgang of land in Marton, at 6d. rent, to Thomas son of William de Bispham; Add. MS. 32104, fol. 100b. Richard le Boteler (about 1277) granted to Richard his son all his lands in Marton received from William de Marton and Richard his son; Raines MSS. xxxviii, 89. Isabel widow of Henry le Boteler in 1294 complained that she had been seized at Marton and imprisoned and that her corn there had been reaped; but William le Boteler of Warrington stated in reply that she had sold him the growing corn for 6 marks; De Banco R. 103, m. 71, 66 d.5 105, m. 60. Isabel le Boteler, widow, in 1304 directed her tenant John de Staynall to pay 7s. to Father Humphrey, monk of Whalley; Whalley Couch, ii, 452.
  • 17. Richard Boteler of Marton died in 1323 holding a capital messuage, lands and the fourth part of a fishery in Marton Mere of Nicholas son and heir of William le Boteler of Rawdiffe by knight's service; other messuages, horse mill, &c., of William le Boteler of Warrington by knight's service; and a windmill of the heirs of Richard Russell by an arrow rent. His son and heir Richard was four years old; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 145–7. The son became a ward of Sir William le Boteler of Warrington, who in 1323–4 granted the lands to Cecily widow of Richard le Boteler; Raines MSS. xxxviii, 103. A description of house (with chapel), &c., is given. John son of Richard Boteler of Marton appears in 1357, 1358 and 1361; Raines MSS. xxxviii, 105; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 6, m. 4d.; Assize R. 441, m. 2. John Boteler of Marton granted to feoffees in 1362 all his lands, with the reversion of those in Little Layton held by Agnes widow of Nicholas Boteler, and in 1367 the feoffees regranted them to John Boteler and Margaret his wife; Raines MSS. xxxviii, 107. The seal to the former charter shows a cheveron with three fleurs de lis between three covered cups. In 1369 Agatha daughter of John Boteler gave a quitclaim to her father and Margaret his wife; ibid. 389. John Boteler of Marton was living in 1385; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 22. John the elder had a protection on going to Ireland in 1386; Cal. Pat. 1385–9, p. 189.
  • 18. The Botelers of Warrington were usually regarded as the chief lords of Marton. Thus William Boteler and Edmund Boteler in 1302 held half a fee and the tenth part of a fee in Great (and Little) Marton; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 316. In 1324 William Boteler held the manor with Layton, &c.; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. In 1346 William Boteler held twothirds and Nicholas Boteler one-third of the third part of a knight's fee in Great Marton, paying yearly 5s. for castle ward; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 58. Sir William Boteler in 1355 answered for the tenth and twentieth parts of a knight's fee formerly held by William de Marton; Feud. Aids, iii, 90. Sir William Ferrers of Groby was said to hold by knight's service in Marton in right of his wife Elizabeth in 1431; ibid. 95. She was the widow of Sir William Boteler. Both lordships were recognized in 1445–6, when John Boteler (under age) and Nicholas Croft held the third part of a knight's fee in Great Marton in the proportions of two to one; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20. Great Marton is named in 1416 among the manors of Sir William Boteler of Warrington; it was held by knight's service; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 113. Similarly it occurs in 1472 (ibid. ii, 82) and later; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 13. John Boteler of Rawcliffe in 1488 held messuages and lands in Great Marton of Boteler of Warrington by the third part of a knight's fee, and his great-grandson, James Boteler, died in 1504 holding lands in Great Marton of Sir Thomas Boteler (of Warrington) by knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. 111, no. 43, 109. Thomas Fleetwood in 1565 purchased the Great Marton estate of Richard and Henry Butler (of Rawcliffe); Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 27, m. 191.
  • 19. It was sold by Sir Thomas Butler of Warrington together with Layton to Browne; Thornber, Blackpool, 325. In 1550 the estate was sold by John Browne to Thomas Fleetwood; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 14, m. 276. See also Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xii, no. 2; held by Thomas Fleetwood by knight's service in 1576.
  • 20. Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 279, m. 7d.
  • 21. Fishwick, op. cit. 23. Marton is named in fines, recoveries, &c., among the Fleetwood manors.
  • 22. In 1383–4 an agreement was made for the marriage of Ellen daughter of John Boteler of Marton with Nicholas son and heir of John Croft; Raines MSS. xxxviii, 583. She had in 1378 been married to Edward son of Sir Thomas de Lathom the younger, lands in Layton being settled on them in that year with remainders to John Boteler of Kirkland, Thomas son of John Boteler of Marton and John son of Nicholas Boteler; ibid. 109. See Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 20, 141, and the account of Dalton in Lonsdale. Nicholas Croft was in possession in 1417; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 14.
  • 23. To Stanlaw Abbey Richard son of Henry de Marton, with the consent of Margery his wife, gave half a selion in Marton fields, lying between land of William de Marton and Amery son of Simon de Thornton in Kettlesholmewathwra; Whalley Couch, ii, 450. Hugh son of Richard le Rous of Marton had an oxgang of land tenanted by Henry de Whittington at a rent of 2d. He gave his whole right there to the canons of Cockersand about 1240, and made other grants; Cockersand Chartul. i, 151–3. Henry de Whittington son of William son of Swain appears also in Carleton. William le Boteler of Warrington granted to Thomas son of William de Bispham an oxgang of land in Marton for his homage and 2½ oxgangs for 6d. rent; Brockholes of Claughton D. Adam son of Hugh de Marton in 1283 claimed lands in the township against Stephen and Paul sons of Henry de Marton; De Banco R. 48, m. 56. The above-named Amery de Thornton appears more prominently at Thornton in Sefton. In 1282 Amy widow of John de Warton claimed dower in a messuage and oxgang of land in Marton against Amery de Thornton; ibid. 44, m. 32. In 1344 Alice widow of Amery de Thornton claimed dower in a messuage, &c., in Great Marton and Great Layton against John de Bradkirk; ibid. 337, m. 33. Joan widow of Richard de Thornton in 1292 complained that William le Boteler of Warrington had disseised her of common of pasture in Great Marton, but the jury found that the 6 acres of marsh referred to were in Layton; Assize R. 408, m. 70 d.
  • 24. From a charter cited it appears that the Shireburnes held land in Great Marton in the 13th century. In 1492 Robert Shireburne held there of the Earl of Derby in socage; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 92. George Allen of Rossall in 1579 held two messuages, &c., in Marton of William Fleetwood in socage by 20d. yearly; ibid, xiv, no. 80. They were held of Sir William Fleetwood in 1593; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 197–9. In some cases the tenure is not stated, but the following held of the king by knight's service: John Hulton of Darleys, 1606; Robert Bamber, 1607, by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee— son and heir John, aged fifteen; Anthony Veale, 1609; William Greenbank, 1610 —cousin and heir Lawrence Greenbank, aged fifty; John Massey, 1618, by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee; ibid. 68, 77, 163, 177; ii, 117. John Butcher died in 1623 holding land in Great Marton, and leaving a son and heir John, aged thirty-four; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvi, no. 6. Thomas Butcher (grandson of Robert) died in 1632 holding a messuage and lands in the same place; his heir was his brother William, aged nineteen; ibid, xxvii, no. 6. William Moore in 1632 held a messuage, &c., of Sir Paul Fleetwood; Hugh his son and heir was two years old; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 861.
  • 25. The heir of Theobald Walter held three plough-lands in 1212; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 37. Sir Theobald le Boteler in 1249 had three plough-lands in Marton with Lynholme, worth £8 to £11 yearly; ibid. 172, 173. Again in 1285 it was found that Theobald le Boteler had had 24 oxgangs of land in Marton, each worth 10s. in the hands of free farmers, with land in Lynholme worth 26s. 8d.; ibid. 265. Edmund Boteler held in 1302; ibid. 316. John son of Edmund in 1324; Dods. MSS. cxxxi, fol. 40. The Earl of Ormonde in 1346 held three plough-lands in Little Marton, and paid 10s. rent (or a sor goshawk) for the fishery called Marton Mere; Survey of 1346, p. 54. In 1355 Eleanor Countess of Ormonde leased to John Boteler the hamlet of Little Marton for ten years at a rent of 10 marks, with right of turbary there; Dods. MSS. xxxiii, fol. 42b; liii, fol. 86. In 1445–6 Sir Thomas Stanley held the three plough-lands and fishery, paying for the latter 20s. a year or a sor goshawk; Duchy of Lanc. Knights' Fees, bdle. 2, no. 20, fol. 8.
  • 26. Derby Rental at Lathom. For the fishery in Marton Mere 10s. was paid to the king as formerly.
  • 27. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 70, no. 60, 40; Piccopc MSS. (Chet. Lib.), iii, 50.
  • 28. See Pal. of Lanc, Feet of F. bdle. 80, no. 24, and the accounts of Lytham and Clifton. Sir Cuthbert Clifton in 1634 was stated to hold the manor of Little Marton and lands there (in reversion after the death of Alice Dowager Countess of Derby) of the king as of his duchy by knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, no. 43. He held two messuages, &c., in the Peel as part of the same.
  • 29. Derby Rental at Lathom. William Clifton in his will (1537) desired his trustees to obtain a grant of the Peel for the benefit of his son Thomas; Wills (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 71.
  • 30. The rentals 1451–1537 for Marton, Poolhouse, Hayholm in Bispham and Thornton are printed in the Cockersand Chartul. iii, 1266–7.
  • 31. The Whalley lands were acquired by Thomas Fleetwood in 1554; Pat. 2 Mary.
  • 32. William son of Adam de Marton gave the monks of Lytham entry for their cattle, &c., in the whole moss pertaining to the vill of Great Marton; Lytham D. at Durham, 2 a, 2 ae, 4 ae, Ebor. no. 32. Richard son of William, as lord of Marton, renounced all claim to common in Lithcarr lying between Marton and Lytham; ibid. no. 35. Henry de Clifton gave a quitclaim on his part; ibid. no. 36.
  • 33. Visit. P. at Chester Dioc. Reg.
  • 34. Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 93, 107.
  • 35. Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. i, 152–9, with view. The house of Matthew Hoole (Hull) of Marton was licensed for Presbyterian worship in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 232. This may have been the original seat, for Matthew son of Robert Hull of Little Marton Moss Side was baptized at Poulton in 1658; Regs.
  • 36. Mr. Fisher was the schoolmaster of Thornton and was a native of Kendal; Ch. P. at Chester Dioc. Reg.
  • 37. In 1804 George Hall was nominated by Bold Fleetwood Hesketh and others; Ch. P. For list of ministers see Fishwick, op. cit. 60–2. In 1890 there was a dispute as to the patronage.