The parish of St Michael-on-Wyre

Pages 260-267

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


Upper Rawcliffe with Tarnacre; Out Rawcliffe; Great Eccleston; Inskip with Sowerby; Elswick; Woodplumpton

The church from which the parish takes its name lies in the township of Upper Rawcliffe, on the south bank of the Wyre, which river divides the area into two unequal parts. The district is for the most part flat and lies low, except in the extreme south, where a height of about 120 ft. above sea level is attained. The acreage amounts to 18,888½, and the population in 1901 was 3,691.

The history of the parish has been extremely placid, and there is even yet no railway line within its boundary. The population is employed almost entirely in agriculture, and the land is now occupied as follows (fn. 1) :—

Arable land ac. Permanent grass ac. Woods and plantations ac.
Upper Rawcliffe 1,598½ 1,991 49
Out Rawcliffe 1,565 2,437 46
Great Eccleston 109½ 1,125 3
Elswick 145½ 690½ 15
Inskip with Sowerby 942½ 1,875 31
Woodplumpton 178 4,492 10
4,539 12,611 154

The plague of 1349–50 visited the parish, taking off many of the people. (fn. 2) Sir Richard Kighley of Inskip was one of those who fought at Agincourt, being killed in the battle. (fn. 3) The Reformation was long resisted by a number of the people here as elsewhere in the Fylde. (fn. 4) In the Civil War the principal squires—Butler and Kirkby—lost sons in the cause of Charles I; but men were raised also for the Parliament, (fn. 5) and around Elswick there was sufficient Puritanism to stir the people to the building of a place of worship. The Jacobite rising of 1715 brought disaster to the Butlers of Rawcliffe, but in 1745 the parish seems to have been untouched by the invasion.

To the ancient tax called the fifteenth St. Michael's contributed £6 4s. when the hundred paid £56 4s. 8d., (fn. 6) and to £100 leviable on the same district for the county lay of 1624 this parish would contribute £10 12s. 2d. (fn. 7)

The church of CHURCH ST. MICHAEL (fn. 8) standsclose to the left bank of the River Wyre, which bounds the churchyard on the north side, the west end facing on to the road immediately south of the bridge. It consists of a chancel 33 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft. 8 in. with north vestry, nave 45 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft. 8 in., south aisle 15 ft. 10 in. wide extending the full length of nave and chancel, short north aisle 8 ft. 3 in. wide, and north chapel 24 ft. 8 in. by 12 ft. 9 in., south porch and west tower 13 ft. square, all these measurements being internal.


The building is substantially of 15 th and early 16thcentury date, but there may be portions of an older structure in the north wall of the chancel and at the west end of the south aisle adjoining the tower, the masonry of which may date from the 13th century. The evidence of the building, however, is not sufficient to make it possible to trace the development of the plan or to arrive at any conclusion as to the extent and appearance of the earlier structure, except that its length must have been about the same as that of the present building. On the north chancel wall the older masonry, which is of red sandstone, includes a buttress 2 ft. 6 in. wide with a 10 in. projection, and at the west end of the south aisle the fragment of old walling, which is 3 ft. 6 in. wide and stands 6½ in. in front of the later wall, has been pierced by a pointed window 2 ft. 9 in. high and 12 in. wide, now built up. The present plan is that of the 15th-century building, but there is said to have been a restoration or partial rebuilding in 1549, (fn. 9) when the tower is said to have been erected and new bells purchased. The tower seems to have been rebuilt or refaced in 1611 by Henry Butler, whose arms and initials together with the date are carved on the north-west merlon of the parapet facing west. The north chapel, originally the chantry of St. Katharine, was repaired in 1797, and in 1854 the church was reseated and some restorations carried out, the old square pews being taken away and the whitewash removed from the arches and columns of the nave. (fn. 10)

The chancel and nave are under one continuous blue-slated roof and the south aisle has a separate gabled slated roof finishing behind an embattled parapet. The walls are generally constructed of rubble masonry with sandstone dressings, the whole of the parapet of the south aisle, together with its eastern gable, being of dressed stone.

The east wall of the chancel, however, is built of red sandstone blocks and may be a 17th-century reconstruction. The east window is of three trefoiled lights with perpendicular tracery and moulded jambs and mullions with a very slight reveal and without hood mould. On the south side the chancel is open to the aisle by two wide arches, but there is a 5 ft. 6 in. length of straight wall at the east end in which is a piscina with cinquefoiled head and chamfered jambs, now only 19 in. from the floor and without bowl, and on the east wall to the north of the window is a plain stone bracket. The north wall sets back 6 in. at a distance of 7 ft. 3 in. from the east, forming a slight recess about 9 ft. long, to the west of which is a modern two-light traceried window. Before the erection of the vestry there was a second window to the eastward, the position of which may still be seen in the plastered wall within the recess, of which part of the external hood mould remains. The arrangements of the sanctuary being altered in 1907 necessitated the vestry door being pushed further westward and a skew passageway being formed through the wall. There is no chancel arch or screen and no distinction between the chancel and the nave, except in the construction of the roof, which in the chancel is boarded and consists of three bays with plain king-post trusses, the tie-beams cutting across the top of the east window. The same roof is continued over the nave with collared principals and shaped wood brackets on stone corbels, and is of seven bays plastered between the trusses and with three modern dormer windows on the south side.

Plan Of St. Michael's Church

The south arcade consists of six pointed arches of two chamfered orders springing from octagonal piers, 1 ft. 8 in. diam., with moulded capitals and bases and from responds at ends. The two easternmost arches to the chancel are wider than those to the nave, the piers are thicker and the detail of the capitals different, but they appear to have been built at the same time. The north arcade consists of four pointed arches on octagonal piers similar to those on the south side, the capitals only slightly differing in detail. The piers are 5 ft. 6 in. in height to the top of the capitals, the height of the arches above being 10 ft. 2 in. to the crown. There is a 4 ft. length of blank wall at the west end of the nave on the north side and the whole of the interior walling is plastered. The windows of the south aisle are all square-headed, of three lights with external hood mould, (fn. 11) and are probably of 16thcentury date. There are two windows and a priest's door to the chancel aisle and a single window and doorway to the nave. The east window of the aisle has a four-centred head with three pointed lights and hollow-chamfered mullions and the west window is modern.

The porch, which is dated 1611, stands 12 ft. from the west end of the aisle, and is built of wrought stone with a blueslated overhanging roof and segmental outer arch. It is very plain in character and small in size, measuring only 8 ft. 3 in. by 8 ft. 11 in. wide, and has a seat on each side.

The north aisle proper is confined to the two western bays of the nave, beyond which, to the east, it is merged into the chantry chapel. Its west end, which now forms the baptistery, is lighted by a modern three-light segmental-headed traceried window, and has a pointed north door opposite the second bay. The wall west of the doorway is occupied by a modern Gothic memorial to members of the Swainson family, and the floor of the baptistery is raised two steps above that of the nave. The aisle roof is a continuation of that of the nave, with low overhanging eaves.

The Butler chapel, or St. Katharine's chantry, is now seated with modern pews and open to the nave, but at the west end is separated from the aisle by an ornate early 19th-century Gothic screen, said to have been made at Lancaster and bearing the arms of the France and Wilson families. (fn. 12) The floor is boarded and raised two steps above that of the nave, and the chapel is covered with a separate low-pitched gabled roof with flat plaster ceiling, the latter probably introduced in 1797. At this time, too, a fireplace was built in the north-east corner, and is still in position though bricked up. There are two segmentalheaded windows on the north side, each of three cinquefoiled lights and trefoiled tracery, and at the east end a taller three-light window of similar type with perpendicular tracery. (fn. 13) On the exterior, which is almost entirely covered with ivy and has a modern straight parapet and two square buttresses and a diagonal one at the north-east corner, is a shield with the arms of Butler. The chapel contains no monuments, but on a framed board at its west end is an escutcheon with the arms of Roe of Rawcliffe, with helm, crest, mantling and motto.

The tower is faced with large wrought sandstone blocks and is very irregular in shape, the west and south walls being at an obtuse angle. It has a projecting vice in the south-east corner and diagonal buttresses of five stages finishing below the belfry stage, which is slightly set back with a plain splay. The belfry windows are of two flat trefoiled lights without hood mould, and have slate louvres, and the tower finishes with an embattled moulded parapet, angle pinnacles and leaded roof, the height to the top of the parapet being 46 ft. 6 in. The west door has a four-centred head of two hollow-chamfered orders and hood mould, and above is a three-light segmental-headed transomed window of poor detail, with plain chamfered jambs and mullions and rounded heads to the lights. There is a clock on the east and west sides, but the north and south sides are plain except for the belfry windows and a square opening immediately below. The date 1611 on the parapet is probably that of the whole of the external walling, if not of the entire rebuilding of the tower. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders placed high up above the roof principals, obtuse and awkward in shape.

All the fittings, including the font and pulpit, are modern, but there are fragments of ancient glass in the north chancel window and westernmost window of the chapel, the former heraldic and the latter a circular piece with a picture of sheep-shearing, one of a former series representing the months or seasons. (fn. 14)

There is a ring (fn. 15) of three bells, the first dated 1652, with a long inscription in Gothic letters difficult to decipher. The second bell is dated 1663 and inscribed 'God save the King,' and with various initials, and the third is by Abel Rudhall of Gloucester, 1742.

The plate consists of two silver chalices of 1792, with the arms of Wilson impaling France, two silverplated patens and a plated flagon. (fn. 16)

The register of baptisms begins in 1659 and those of marriages and burials in 1662. From 1659 to 1707 the registers have been printed. (fn. 17)

The churchwardens' accounts begin in 1667.

In the churchyard is a sundial, the plate dated 1796 and bearing the names of the Rev. Hugh Hornby, vicar, and of five churchwardens. The oldest dated gravestone is 1667.


At the Conquest the church was no doubt in the gift of Earl Tostig as lord of Amounderness. No change seems to have been made afterwards, so that Theobald Walter, when lord of the wapentake, 1190 to 1200, had this advowson also, for he gave the church of St. Michael with all its appurtenances to the Abbot and monks of Wyresdale in alms; they were to appoint a vicar with a portion sufficient for his maintenance. (fn. 18) The monks accordingly appointed one H. to the charge, allowing him the land to the east of the church with the fishery there and half a mark yearly. They also undertook to provide a clerk to assist him. (fn. 19)

The monastery was transferred to Ireland, and the gift of the church appears to have lapsed, for when in 1203–4 lt: was alleged that Garstang was a chapel pertaining to St. Michael's the patron was the king. (fn. 20) From that time the advowson remained with the honour of Lancaster (fn. 21) until 1409, when Henry IV gave it to the newly-founded college of St. Mary Magdalen at Battlefield near Shrewsbury. (fn. 22) A vicar was appointed in 1411, on the death of the last rector. (fn. 23) When the college was suppressed with other chantries in 1546–8, the rectory and advowson were taken by the Crown, and after minor grants (fn. 24) the rectory was in 1611 sold to Francis Morrice and Francis Phillips of London, but the advowson was reserved. (fn. 25) This, however, with the rectory soon afterwards became the property of William Johnson. (fn. 26) After various sales the advowson came into the possession of the Rev. Hugh Hornby, vicar from 1789 to 1847, and it has descended to his grandson the present patron, Mr. Hugh Phipps Hornby. (fn. 27)

In 1216–26 the rectory, then in the king's gift, was valued at 30 marks yearly, (fn. 28) but not long afterwards, in 1246, it was said to be worth 70 marks. (fn. 29) The value continued to increase, and in 1291 was recorded as £66 13s. 4d., (fn. 30) but this after the raid of the Scots in 1322 was reduced to little more than a third, viz. £23 6s. 8d. (fn. 31) This valuation was confirmed in 1341. (fn. 32) In 1527 the rectory, appropriated to Battlefield College, was valued at £20 a year and the vicarage at £8. (fn. 33) Some eight years later, however, the farmers of the rectory paid £31 1s. 4d. to the college, (fn. 34) while the vicarage was worth £10 17s. 6d. clear. (fn. 35) By 1650 the value of the vicarage had increased to £50 a year, (fn. 36) but about 1717 was certified as £44 10s. (fn. 37) The vicar and patron in 1816 obtained an Act of Parliament to commute the vicarial tithes, &c., for a corn rent, securing a dear annual income of £700, (fn. 38) and the net value is now given as £584 a year. (fn. 39)

The following have been rectors and vicars:—

Instituted Name Patron Cause of Vacancy
c. 1196 H. (fn. 40) Wyresdale Abbey
oc. 1204 Mr. Matthew the Physician (fn. 41)
c. 1216 Mr. Macy (fn. 42) King John
c. 1224 William of Savoy (fn. 43) Henry III
15 Oct. 1227 Mr. William de Avignon (fn. 44) " prom. — of Savoy
15 Nov. 1227 Mr. Henry de Bishopston (fn. 45) " "
6 Mar. 1237–8 Mr. Peter de Aqua Blanca (fn. 46) " ? "
oc. 1246 James de Monasteriis (fn. 47)
19 Feb. 1264–5 Richard le Rus (fn. 48) Henry III
oc. 1289–95 Walter de Langton (fn. 49)
oc. 1294 Thomas son of Alan (fn. 50)
oc. 1312 Simon de Balderston (fn. 51)
oc. 1322–60. William de Balderston (fn. 52)
oc. 1367–88 William de Hornby (fn. 53)
1 Mar. 1390 Thomas de Herdwick (fn. 54)
oc. 1428 Richard Raby (fn. 55)
5 June 1444 Thomas Wainwright (fn. 56) Battlefield Coll d. R. Raby
oc. 1451–2 Peter (fn. 57)
18 June 1463 William Houghton (fn. 58) Battlefield Coll
oc. 1504–8 Robert Richardson (fn. 59)
oc. 1509–30 John Preesall (fn. 60) Battlefield Coll.
[1532 Robert Hill " ]
1535 Christopher Gradell (fn. 61) Exors. Bp. Blythe. d. J. Preesall
23 Sept. 1537 Michael Thornborow (fn. 62) Battlefield Coll. d. C. Gradell
16 July 1549 Thomas Cross (fn. 63) G. Kirkby, &c. d. M. Thornborow
27 June 1577 Adam Wolfenden (fn. 64) The Queen d. T. Cross
31 Dec. 1628 Nicholas Bray (fn. 65) William Johnson res. A. Wolfenden
8 May 1629 The King
oc. 1651–2 Henry Jenny, M.A. (fn. 66)
16 Feb. 1658–9 Nathaniel Baxter, M.A. (fn. 67) Alex. Johnson
5 Mar. 1663–4 John Greenwood (fn. 68) exp. N. Baxter
25 Feb. 1668–9 Thomas Robinson, B.A. (fn. 69) William Johnson
29 Feb. 1715–16 Richard Crombleholme (fn. 70) Thomas Clitherall d. T. Robinson
14 June 1729 William Crombleholme (fn. 71) Edw. Crombleholme. d. R. Crombleholme
24 Sept. 1765 Robert Oliver, M.A. (fn. 72) Richard Whitehead d. W. Crombleholme
2 Aug. 1768 Anthony Swainson, M.A (fn. 73) " res. R. Oliver
14 July 1784 Charles Buck, M.A. (fn. 74) John Swainson d. A. Swainson
19 Oct. 1789 Hugh Hornby, M.A. (fn. 75) Joseph Hornby res. C. Buck
Mar. 1847 William Hornby, M.A. (fn. 76) William Hornby d. H. Hornby
15 Sept. 1885 Phipps John Hornby, M.A. (fn. 77) " res. W. Hornby

This list of clergy does not call for any comment, though one or two of the early rectors were men of eminence. The service of the parish church, chantries and chapelries before the Reformation would require a staff of at least five priests. The list of 1548 does not seem to have been preserved, (fn. 78) but in 1554, and again in 1562, three names are entered in the Bishop of Chester's visitation list. (fn. 79) Afterwards there were apparently only the vicar at the parish church and the curate at Woodplumpton. (fn. 80) Copp chapel was added in 1723. A religious census was made in 1755, when the vicar and churchwardens recorded the 367 families in the parish (apart from Woodplumpton) thus: Church of England, 297; Protestant Dissenters or Presbyterians, 26; Quakers, 3; Papists, 41. (fn. 81)

There were two endowed chantries. One was founded by John Boteler of Out Rawcliffe (d. 1534) at the altar of St. Katharine in the north aisle of the church. (fn. 82) The priest was to celebrate for the souls of the founder and others and to teach a grammar school. The clear revenue at the confiscation in 1547–8 was £5 10s. 8d., derived from lands in Great and Little Eccleston, Esprick and Staynall Mill. (fn. 83) The other chantry, of the B.V. Mary, was founded by William Kirkby of Upper Rawcliffe, and had an endowment of £4 13s. 10d. (fn. 84) A gift of land in Great Sowerby, made by Thomas Urswick in 1423 for the support of a chaplain in the parish church, (fn. 85) may have become merged in the general endowment.

The old grammar school was destroyed with the chantry, and the next schools were not founded till the beginning of the 18th century.


Official inquiries as to the endowed charities of the parish were made in 1824 and 1898, and the report of the latter (fn. 86) contains also a reprint of the former report. It appears that the gross income is £303 a year, but £104 is devoted to the schools and £67 to ecclesiastical purposes. It is singular that there are no funds for apprenticing children and no almshouses. For the whole parish there is an ancient bread charity of £2 yearly, distributed after morning service at the parish church on the second Sunday of the month in 'cobs' of bread.

For the poor of Great Eccleston there are sums of £3 17s. 6d. from the benefactions of William Gualter, (fn. 87) Jonathan Dobson (fn. 88) and William Fyld, (fn. 89) distributed in money doles, (fn. 90) and £1 from Ellen Longworth for bread for the poor attending Copp Church. (fn. 91) Elizabeth Hoole or Hull gave about 2 acres of meadow in Elswick to the Roman Catholic chapel in Great Eccleston, charging it with the payment of £3 a year to the poor of Elswick. (fn. 92) This sum is distributed by the parish council in money gifts at Christmas.

Thomas Knowles of Sowerby in 1686 gave his estate at Loudscales in Goosnargh for the benefit of the poor of Great and Little Sowerby, Inskip, Tarnacre and Goosnargh, in equal shares. The gross rental is £90. Three-fourths of the net income, about £82, is divided equally between Inskip with (Great) Sowerby and Upper Rawcliffe with Tarnacre (which includes Little Sowerby). The money is given by the trustees in doles averaging about 14s. in December. (fn. 93) For Inskip with Sowerby there is a further money dole of £16 18s., due to the gift of John Jolly in 1750, (fn. 94) and for Upper Rawcliffe with Tarnacre other doles of £2 10s. from Ralph Longworth (fn. 95) and £2 from John Hudson. (fn. 96) In Out Rawcliffe £1 1s. a year used to be given, but had ceased by 1824. (fn. 97)

The township of Woodplumpton has £23 18s. 4d. a year from the benefactions of Thomas Houghton (fn. 98) and George Nicholson, (fn. 99) applicable in kind, or in medical relief, money gifts or education. It has also £8 15s. a year, given in money, from the bequest of Richard Edward Waterworth in 1850. (fn. 100)


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. a Engl. Hist. Rev. v, 529; fourscore men and women was the Archdeacon of Richmond's estimate. The jury appear to have allowed 20s. out of the 50s. claimed for probates.
  • 3. Lancs, lnq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), i, 116.
  • 4. This appears in the township histories, but the only residents who in 1630–2 compounded for the two-thirds of their estates liable to sequestration for recusancy were Thomas Kirkby of Rawcliffe (by an annual payment of £5), Leonard Clarkson of Woodplumpton (£3), and Robert White of Great Eccleston (£8 13s. 4d.); Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xxiv, 176–8. A list of recusants in 1610 is printed in Fishwick's St. Michael's (Chet. Soc), 12–14. A large number of the people refused to make the Protestation of 1641; ibid. 16–17. An annotated list of the convicted recusants c. 1670 will be found in Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc), v, 166, 180–2, 190–2, 204–6.
  • 5. War in Lancs. (Chet. Soc), 42. The same chronicler shows that the royal and parliamentary troops crossed the parish from time to time; e.g. 38, 67.
  • 6. Gregson, Fragments (ed. Harland), 19. The details were: Upper Rawcliffe, 8s. 8d.; Out Rawcliffe, £1 6s.; Great Eccleston, 16s. 4d.; Elswick, 19s. 4d.; Inskip with Sowerby, 10s, 4d.; Woodplumpton, £2 3s. 4d.
  • 7. Ibid. 23. The details were: Upper Rawcliffe, 14s. 10¾d.; Out Rawcliffe, £2 4s. 5¾d.; GreatEccleston, £1 7s. 11¼d.; Elswick, £1 13s. 0¾d.; Inskip with Sowerby, 17s. 8d.; Woodplumpton, £3 14s. 1½d. Extracts from Subsidy Rolls 1523–80 are printed in Fishwick, op. cit. 9–11; they give the names of the principal residents.
  • 8. The invocation appears in Domesday 'Michelescherche.' It had then one plough-land. The distinguishing phrase 'upon Wyre' is found in 1216.
  • 9. Fishwick, op. cit. 62. The statement seems to be based only on the fact that in 1549 Thomas Singleton by his will left 40s. 'towards the churche and buyldinge of the steple of Seynct Mychaells.' The later notes to Glynne's Churches of Lanc. 24 give the date of rebuilding as 1525.
  • 10. Some work was apparently done in 1809 and 1811, these dates being on spout heads on the south side of the building.
  • 11. The westernmost one is slightly different in detail.
  • 12. Fishwick, op. cit. 57.
  • 13. The lower part of all these windows to a height of 18 in. has been filled in with brick, so as to form a window seat inside.
  • 14. It bears the figure of the crab and is lettered 'Junius.'
  • 15. In 1692 it was ordered that during the winter the sexton should ring the great bell at 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.; Fishwick, op. cit. 65. In 1742 the churchwardens reported their two bells out of order, 'the great bell being lately burst'; Visit. Ret.
  • 16. On 21 Apr. 1671 Thomas Knowles and Ann his wife bestowed on the church a piece of silver plate inscribed 'Ex dono Thomae Knowles et Annae ejus uxoris de Sowerby,' to remain for ever as a proper right of the parish to be employed about the holy sacrament of the body and blood of Christ. This appears to have been lost.
  • 17. Lancs. Parish Reg. Soc. Publ. xxvii (1906). Transcribed by Henry Brierley.
  • 18. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 336; from Me confirmatory grant by William de Chimelli, Archdeacon of Richmond, between 1194 and 1198.
  • 19. Ibid. 337–8. If H. did not himself act as chaplain he was to provide a sufficient deputy. The monks reserved the right to construct a mill on the land to the east of the church.
  • 20. See the account of Garstang Church.
  • 21. Thomas Earl of Lancaster had the advowson in 1316, and received the king's licence to alienate it; Cal. Pat. 1313–17, p. 512.
  • 22. Duchy of Lanc. Misc. Bks. xvi, 139 (pt. iii); Cal. Pat. 1408–13, p. 59. The papal confirmation was obtained; Cal. Papal Letters, vi, 226.
  • 23. Dugdale, Mon. viii, 1427. The college was to keep the chancel in repair. An imperfect translation of the ordination of the vicarage in 1411 may be seen in Porter's Fylde, 458–9.
  • 24. Some of the lands, particularly in Tarnacre, were granted to John Pickerell and John Bernard in 1549; Pat. 3 Edw. VI, pt. xi. The rectory was leased to Robert Worsley for eighty years in 1575; ibid. 18 Eliz., pt. vi. Other church lands in Tarnacre were granted in 1589; ibid. 31 Eliz., pt. vii. Further details from the Duchy Pleadings are printed in Fishwick, op. cit. 46–53. An agreement as to the rectory between William Doddington and Henry Kirkby was enrolled in 1564 in the Common Pleas; Mich. 6 & 7 Eliz.
  • 25. This is stated in an abstract of title of William Johnson's trustees in the possession of W. Farrer; the date is 28 July 1611. In the following October the grantees sold to Thomas Gatacre and Richard Taylor, who in 1613 sold to John Cook of Hartwell Park, Northants. The purchaser had already secured the interest of Worsley and others to whom grants had been made. In 1620 Cook sold to William Johnson. For this see also Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 326, m. 3 d. The Patent Rolls show grants apparently at variance, viz. in 1610 to John Eldred and others in fee (Pat. 8 Jas. I, pt. xxi), and in 1612 to Robert Earl of Salisbury for forty years; ibid. 9 Jas. I, pt. x. Various references are given in Exch. Dep. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 10, 12, &c.
  • 26. How he acquired the advowson does not appear—perhaps in virtue of the Worsley lease—but he presented in 1628, when the king also presented by way of confirmation. The above-named abstract mentions William Johnson, Julalia his wife, Alexander and Richard his sons. Alexander about 1630 married Anne Turner, and in 1654 was described as of Rushton Grange in Yorkshire; his son William was married to Mary daughter and heir of Thomas Coomber, D.D. The will of Alexander Johnson was dated 1666 and that of his son Richard 1680; the latter left a son and heir Alexander, who married in 1681 Mary sister of Allen Bellingham of Levens. They had a son Allen, who in 1706 was to marry Elizabeth Lawson of Wakefield. Allen Johnson and others had the advowson in 1703; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 478, m. 5 d. Some further particulars of the family are given in Fishwick, op. cit. 45, where it is stated that Allen Johnson sold the advowson to the Rev. Richard Crombleholme, whose son Edward sold it to Thomas Whitehead; his great-grandson, of the same name, rector of Eccleston, sold it to the Rev. Christopher Swainson; his grandson sold to Joseph Hornby, who gave to his brother the Rev. Hugh Hornby.
  • 27. See the account of Ribby-withWrea and the pedigree in Burke, Landed Gentry.
  • 28. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 120.
  • 29. Assize R. 404, m. 22; it was in the king's gift.
  • 30. It was worth 100 marks, and in the Earl of Lancaster's gift, in 1297; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 298.
  • 31. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 307, 327.
  • 32. Inq. Nonarum (Rec. Com.), 37. The decline was attributed in part to the allowance of hay tithes and other altarage (£14 13s. 4d.) and £2 for glebe, but chiefly to the invasion of the Scots and other misfortunes, resulting in a decline of £26 13s. 4d. The separate townships contributed thus: Upper Rawcliffe, £2; Out Rawcliffe, £4; Eccleston, Elswick and Inskip-with-Sowerby, £2 13s. 4d. each, and Woodplumpton £9 6s. 8d.
  • 33. Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 15.
  • 34. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iii, 195.
  • 35. Ibid, v, 263. The mansion-house and glebe were worth 11s. 4d., small tithes £3 0s. 8d., Easter roll £7 13s. The vicar paid ecclesiastical dues amounting to 7s. 6d.
  • 36. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 146–8. The vicar had a house, 10 acres of glebe (in Tarnacre) and the small tithes, out of which he had usually paid the curate of Woodplumpton £4 a year. The value of the tithes was much reduced by prescriptions. In 1651 an augmentation of £50 a year was ordered out of the sequestrated estates of Sir Thomas Tyldesley and others; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 105, 114, &c.
  • 37. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet, Soc), ii, 448. The glebe, 24 acres, was worth £10, Easter dues and small tithes £24, 10s., surplice fees £5, legacy from Ralph Longworth £5. There were five churchwardens, being one for each township, except Woodplumpton.
  • 38. Ibid. 449.
  • 39. Manch. Dioc. Dir. For the Terleways land see a later note.
  • 40. Farrer, op. cit. 337. A much later charter relating to Ellel and Sowerby was attested by H. chaplain of the church of St. Michael and Thomas, deacon of the same place; Dods. MSS. liii, fol. 90b. This H. is no doubt the 'Henry the Chaplain' named in Cockersand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), i, 245.
  • 41. Farrer, op. cit. 192; the king's physician. He proffered 10 marks in order that the trial of his claim that Garstang was a chapelry of St. Michael's might come on without delay. He occurs several times in the Patent Rolls, &c., until 1209.
  • 42. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 119. He may be the same as Master Matthew.
  • 43. The rectory about 1220 seems to have been much sought for. The Patent Rolls show that in 1224 Randle, clerk of the son of the Earl de Ferrers, had letters of presentation to it; Cal. Pat, 1216–25, p. 472. In 1225 William de Thornour, clerk, was presented by the king; ibid. 1225–32, p. 8. Yet about the same time a son of the Count of 'Salvata' held it, as is shown by the cause of vacancy in 1227; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 119. It appears that this was William son of Thomas Count of Savoy, Bishop of Valence from 1226 till 1241, when he was succeeded by his brother Boniface, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1242–70; Gallia Christiana, xvi, 314.
  • 44. The rector having been promoted to a bishopric the king presented two clerks one after the other; Cal. Pat. 1225–32, pp. 147, 169. William de Avignon was presented to Bromsgrove in the same year; ibid.
  • 45. There are many references to this rector in the Patent Rolls of the time. According to Le Neve he refused the deanery of Salisbury.
  • 46. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, p. 211; he is described as clerk to the bishop-elect of Valence. He had a grant of the archdeaconry of Salop in 1239; Le Neve, Fasti, i, 482.
  • 47. Assize R. 404, m. 22.
  • 48. a Cal. Pat. 1258–66, p. 408.
  • 49. Cal. Papal Letters, i, 508, &c.; dispensations to hold other benefices. See Manchester. This busy 'king's clerk' discharged his duties by deputy.
  • 50. Cal. Pat. 1292–1301, p. 123. From the Cal. Papal Letters, i, 559, it would seem that Langton still held St. Michael's in 1295.
  • 51. De Banco R. 193, m. 40 d.; rector of St. Michael's on Wyresbank.
  • 52. He had a dispute as to the tithes of Myerscough with the monks of Lancaster in 1326; it was stated that he had carried away the tithes for five years past; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc.), 453–5. He seems to have been resident, as he occurs in local deeds; in 1348, Towneley MS. C 8, 5 (Chet. Lib.), Edw. III, no. 10; in 1360, Towneley MS. OO, no. 1565. The surname is given as Balderston and Bolleron; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 6, m. 4; 7, m. 6.
  • 53. Rector of Ribchester (q.v.) 1350–65. He is named as rector of St. Michael's, De Banco R. 426 (1367), m. 221; 440, m. 33; 463 (1376), m. 67. He was still rector in 1386; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxii, App. 361–5. He was living in 1389, receiver of the duke, and probably retained the benefice till his death; ibid. 365. In 1383 Margaret daughter of William son of Robert de Hornby called upon William de Hornby, rector of St. Michael's, and John de Hornby, rector of Tatham, to hold to an agreement regarding lands in Bentley, &c.; De Banco R.491, m. 574.
  • 54. Fishwick, op. cit. 109, quoting reg. of Richmond. He complained to the Archbishop of Canterbury as Lord Chancellor that Thomas de Urswick held the church (which was in the king's patronage) and would not allow him to take the profits, disregarding the king's order; Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 16, no. 47. The date must lie between 1392 and 1396 or 1407 and 1409. Thomas de Herdwick had a prebend in Lincoln Cathedral, which he exchanged for one at Lichfield in 1394. He died in 1411, and was buried in the latter cathedral; Le Neve, Fasti, i, 587; ii, 223. His executors in 1416 gave fine for a writ; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), iii, 85.
  • 55. He is named in local deeds; Dods. MSS. lxii, fol. 90; cxlix, fol. 332 (quoted by Fishwick); Towneley MS. DD, no. 178.
  • 56. Raines MSS. (Chet. Lib.), xxii, 373.
  • 57. Brockholes of Claughton D.
  • 58. Fishwick, op. cit. 110. He is named as vicar in deeds from 1465 to 1478; Kuerden fol. MS. 72, 37. He was vicar in Dec. 1496; Towneley MS. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), B 204. Also in 1503; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 73.
  • 59. Kuerden MSS. iv, P 121, no. 74; Fishwick, loc. cit.
  • 60. In a return of 1527 already cited John Preesall (Presewe) is stated to have been vicar for eighteen years; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 15. See Fishwick, op. cit. 111.
  • 61. The vicarage was vacant in 1532, when William Knight, Archdeacon of Richmond, Humphrey Thomas alias Lashford, clerk, and Robert Hill, clerk, were ordered to permit the executors of Geoffrey (Blythe), Bishop of Lichfield, to present; Pal. of Lanc. Writs Proton, no. 46, 24 Hen. VIII. A grant of the presentation by the master and brethren of the college led to a dispute. It appears that they granted the bishop the next presentation as early as 1515, but on the vacancy presented the above-named Robert Hill. Judgement was in 1535 given in favour of the executors and Christopher Gradell was instituted. Hill was ordered to restore half of the fruits of the vicarage which he had received; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 158, m. 9. Gradell was vicar in 1535; Valor Eccl. v, 263.
  • 62. Mr. Earwaker's note from 'Ledger, p. 330.
  • 63. The patrons for the turn were George Kirkby and Nicholas Lawrenson by grant of John Hussey, Master of Battlefield College; Earwaker. Cross had been one of the chantry priests.
  • 64. Earwaker. Wolfenden was curate of Wigan in 1576; Pennant's Acct. Bk. John Cottam as executor of Lawrence Cottam claimed the right to present on the ground of a further grant (1544) by the college to the said Lawrence; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 241, m. 28. Robert Worsley was joined in the defence with the Bishop of Chester and Wolfenden. At the visitation in 1598 the chancel was reported to be 'very ruinous,' and a sequestration was ordered. The vicar was returned as 'no preacher' both in 1590 and 1610; S. P. Dom. Eliz. xxxi, no. 47; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 8. Being above the age of eighty, and having been vicar for fifty years and more, he in 1628 resigned the vicarage, desiring the bishop to institute Nicholas Bray; Ch. Papers at Chester Dioc. Reg. For fuller accounts of the vicars see Fishwick, op. cit. 113–25.
  • 65. The double presentation (a resignation intervening) was due to a doubt as to Johnson's right. See Chester Act Bks. 1579–1676, fol. 91b, 114 b; Inst. Bks. P.R.O. as printed in Lancs, and Ches. Antiq. Notes, i, 95, &c. Bray is said to have been a zealous Independent; Fishwick, op. cit. 115. St. Michael's was not recognized in the Presbyterian Classis of 1646, and its minister did not sign the 'Harmonious Consent' of 1648. An anecdote of his hostility to Charles I is given in Loc. Glean. Lancs, and Ches. ii, 20.
  • 66. Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 106, 141.
  • 67. Ibid, ii, 288. He was educated at Jesus Coll., Camb.; M.A. 1660; and was ordained at Manchester in 1659, having obtained the vicarage through the influence of Isaac Ambrose, vicar of Garstang; Manch. Classis (Chet. Soc), 412; Newcome's Autobiog. and Diary. Like Ambrose he was ejected in 1662, and afterwards laboured as a Nonconformist minister at Beauchief Hall, Derbyshire, and afterwards at Sheffield. He died in 1697; Calamy, Nonconf. Mem. (ed. Palmer), ii, 99–101. In 1660 Baxter secured the king's patent for his vicarage, the patronage apparently being still doubtful; Pat. 12 Chas. II, pt. i, no. 82; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xlvi.
  • 68. Nothing seems to be known of this vicar. He was buried in the chancel of the church on 6 Dec. 1668.
  • 69. Educated at Trinity Coll., Dublin; Visit. List at Chester. He was 'conformable' to the government in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 229.
  • 70. The church papers at Chester Dioc. Reg. record the institutions from this time. As already stated, this vicar acquired the patronage, in which he was succeeded by his son Edward. The name is also spelt Cromleholme. Richard Crombleholme had been curate of Hambleton 1706–17 (q.v.). For his epitaph and will see Fishwick, op. cit. 73, 120.
  • 71. In 1730 there was 'communion four times a year at least'; Visit. Ret. In 1742 the report was 'Lord's Supper six times in the year'; ibid.
  • 72. Educated at Worcester and Merton Colls., Oxf.; M.A. 1734; Foster, Alumni Oxon. He was schoolmaster of Preston, curate of St. George's in that town, and vicar of Warton.
  • 73. Educated at Worcester Coll., Oxf.; M.A. 1767; Foster, Alumni. For an account of him see Hewitson, Our Country Churches, 445.
  • 74. Educated at St. John's Coll., Camb.; M.A. 1781. Became curate of Warton in Kirkham in 1789.
  • 75. Younger brother of the patron, from whom he obtained the advowson. Hugh Hornby was educated at Christ's Coll., Camb.; M.A. 1790. He was incumbent of Whitworth near Rochdale 1804–29.
  • 76. He was the only son of the preceding vicar, and was educated at Christ Church, Oxf.; M.A. 1836. He was appointed Hon. Canon of Manchester in 1850 and Archdeacon of Lancaster in 1870. He died 20 Dec. 1899.
  • 77. Archdeacon of Lancaster 1909. He is a younger son of the late Archdeacon Hornby; educated at Balliol Coll., Oxf.; M.A. 1879. He has afforded information to the editors on several points.
  • 78. The record of church goods in 1552 is printed by Fishwick op. cit. 63.
  • 79. Chester Dioc. Reg. One of the three, Christopher Thompson, is noted as extra; see Chester Ordin. Bk. (Rec. Soc), 108, and the account of Winwivk.
  • 80. This was the case in 1622; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 68–9.
  • 81. Visit. Ret.
  • 82. The altar existed before the chantry and St. Katharine's aisle is named in the will of Alice Boteler, widow, 1504; she left 20d. for the light burning there; Fishwick, op. cit. 55.
  • 83. Raines, Chantries (Chet. Soc), 217. Neither of the chantries is mentioned in the Valor Eccl. of 1535. William Harrison was the priest of the Boteler chapel in 1548 and fifty-four years old. There is a fuller account by Fishwick loc. cit., it being shown that this chantry was founded about 1528. In 1548 the king allowed Thomas Cross a pension of £4 13s. 10d. in respect of the late chantry; Add. MS. 32106, no. 890.
  • 84. Raines, op. cit. 220. Thomas Cross (afterwards vicar) was incumbent and forty years of age. It was part of his duty to assist the curate of the parish. From the full account in Fishwick (op. cit. 58–62) it appears that this chantry was founded before 1505, and that William Richardson, Edmund Clarkson (there in 1526) and Thomas Cross had been the chantry priests. William Kirkby, the reputed founder, died about that time.
  • 85. Add. MS. 32106, fol. 309, no. 384. Lord Derby's rental of 1522 (quoted below) shows that 141. was paid yearly. At an inquiry made in 1561 it was stated that lands in Claughton called Mickle and Little 'Tirlaweys' (Terleways) of the yearly rent of 6s. had been given by Dame Ellen Urswick (see Upper Rawcliffe) to St. Michael's Church. The tradition was that she had intended to give them to Garstang, but someone had remarked that it would be more meritorious to give to the other church, 'because St. Michael must weigh her soul,' and so she changed her mind; Duchy of Lanc. Special Com. 33. The land was secured for the church (see Ducatus Lanc. [Rec. Com.], ii, 283), and now yields £46 a year. It was formerly the custom to have a dinner for vicar and wardens out of the funds on 5 November, on which day a sermon 'against popery' was preached; the rest was applied to the church rate. The dinner and sermon are things of the past, and the net receipts are given to the church expenses account; End. Char. Rep. In 1796 it was ordered that the balance, after paying for the dinner and a quart of ale for each participant, should accumulate for the purchase of an organ; Porter, Fylde, 465.
  • 86. Issued in 1899.
  • 87. By his will, dated 1748, he left two messuages and a close called the Town Field in Great Eccleston to support two poor widows of the township. The sale produced £58, which is now held by the trustees of Copp School The interest, £1 19s. 6d., is distributed by the clerk of the parish council in money doles to poor widows, the number not being limited.
  • 88. Jonathan Dobson the elder about 1760 left £20 for the poor. This sum also is held in part by the Copp School trustees, but part was lost through the failure of Pedder's Bank, Preston, and 18s. is paid as interest. It is distributed in doles at the same time as Gualter's charity.
  • 89. By his will in 1719 he left a rentcharge of 40s. a year on land called the Stone Lands, for 'the poorest sort of householder' in the township. The charge is still paid, and the money is distributed with Dobson's.
  • 90. The list of recipients is settled by the parish council.
  • 91. She left £20 in 1789 for the purpose named. The capital is intact, and £1 a year is paid as interest. This provides ten twopenny 'cobs,' which are given after morning service at Copp Church on the last Sunday of the month to poor people who have attended the service.
  • 92. The rent-charge now exceeds the annual value of the land.
  • 93. The other fourth part goes to the poor of Goosnargh.
  • 94. He left the residue of his estate for the benefit of poor housekeepers in the township. The whole amount was £3 70, but £170 was said to have been lost by the bankruptcy of a trustee; the remainder is lent on mortgage, and owing to various charges only a small amount yearly has recently been available for distribution. The trustees give it in sums of 1s. to 3s about Christmas time.
  • 95. His will was dated 1691. In 1824 the £2 10s. was paid out of the estate called St. Michael's Hall, which had been owned by John Ashton Nelson of Fairhurst, and after his death in 1822 by his sister. Archdeacon Hornby was the owner in 1898, and paid the rentmarge through his tenant. The sum was added to Knowles' charity and similarly distributed.
  • 96. By his will in 1722 he left his estate in Upper Rawcliffe to his son Robert charged with £2 to be paid in equal sums to four of the poorest perions in the township 'to buy them such things as they should stand most in need of, against the great yearly festival of the Nativity.' Ralph Baines was the owner in 1824. and William Baines Porter in 1898; the rent-charge is duly paid and given in sums of 10s. to four poor persons.
  • 97. It had been paid by John France and then by his widow; but there was nothing to show that it was not a voluntary gift, and on her death about 1822 it ceased.
  • 98. He in 1649 devised an estate in Woodplumpton and Broughton for charitable uses; see End. Char. Rep. for Preston. A fourth part of the income (£67) is available for Woodplumpton. It used to be given in money doles, but is now united with Nicholson's gift, as follows.
  • 99. He left mocey for 'needful poor people' in the township about 1666; and in 1672 it was decreed that £210 was the sum due to the poor. The income, now £7 3s. 4d. from consols, was, like Houghton's charity, formerly distributed in money doles, but since 1870 the two have been combined and regulated under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, allowing payments as in the text. The income is applied to paying bonuses to contributors to a clothing club, care being taken to allow larger sums to the poorer members.
  • 100. He left £600, half the interest to be paid to the incumbentof Woodplumpton Church and half to be distributed in money or bread among poor persons, over sixty years of age, recommended by the said incumbent.