Townships: Priest Hutton

Pages 182-183

A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.

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Hotun, Dom. Bk.; Presthotone, 1307.

This township, formerly also called Nether Hutton, occupies a hilly tract 1,085 acres in extent (fn. 1); the surface is broken by numerous spurs of the hills to the north-east, the general descent, east to west, being from nearly 500 ft. above sea level at Dalton Park to less than 100 ft. near Tewitfield. The population in 1901 was 172.

A branch of the Lancaster and Kendal road goes through the western end of the township; from it a minor road extends south-east to the village, and then turns south to Borwick. The railway from Carnforth to Wennington runs through the eastern end, near the Keer. The Lancaster and Kendal Canal crosses the extreme south-west corner.

Matthew Hutton was born here in 1529, and, being educated at Cambridge, adopted Protestantism and became one of the leading divines in England after the accession of Elizabeth. He was Master of Pembroke College and Regius Professor in his University, and after holding a number of dignities became Bishop of Durham in 1589 and Archbishop of York in 1 596. In his later see he showed himself a vigorous persecutor of those who clung to the old religion and in 1604 wrote protesting against any relaxation of the laws concerning them. He died in 1606. He was thrice married, and purchased an estate at Marske in Yorkshire, where his descendants have since continued. He was a benefactor to his native place, founding the school and hospital at Warton. (fn. 2)

Thomas Wilson, 1747–1813, of mark as master of Clitheroe School, was another native; he is noticed among the rectors of Claughton. (fn. 3)


In 1066 HUTTON was, like Warton, one of the manors held by Torfin of Austwick. (fn. 4) Afterwards probably it was granted to the Lancaster family and assigned by them to the endowment of Warton Church, thus acquiring its distinctive prefix. (fn. 5) One moiety of the manor appears to have been retained by the rectors of Warton in demesne, forming an important part of the rectory manor, which included lands also in the remaining townships of the parish. (fn. 6) The other moiety was held of the rectors by the Lancasters of Caton (fn. 7) and their successors, Harrington (fn. 8) and Mounteagle. (fn. 9) Other land, though not called a part of the manor, was held by the Crofts of Tewitfield of the rector of Warton. (fn. 10) In 1331 a fourth part of the manor belonged to a family surnamed Hutton, of whose history nothing is known. (fn. 11)

Lord Mounteagle in 1594 sold or mortgaged his manor of Priest Hutton to Robert Bindloss, (fn. 12) and afterwards it descended like Borwick. (fn. 13) The Croft estate is later found in the possession of Washington, (fn. 14) Lawrence (fn. 15) and Middleton of Leighton. (fn. 16) One or two other names occur in the inquisitions. (fn. 17) It does not appear that any manor is claimed now.

Whitebeck Mill was in 1560 the subject of a dispute between Richard Ashton and George Middleton. The latter claimed under a lease from Lord Mounteagle to his father Gervase, and when plaintiff cut off the stream of water he ordered it to be turned on again. (fn. 18)

There is a Methodist chapel in the Tewitfield corner of Priest Hutton.


  • 1. Including 1 acre of inland water.
  • 2. Dict. Nat. Biog. The letter referred to is printed in Whitaker's Richmondshire, ii, 315. He appears to have been clear in general of the Church spoliation of the time, but wai forced to grant the queen a favourable lease of some Church land on his translation to York.; F. O. White, Eliz.. Bishops, 298–307. For an account of his family, with pedigree, see Yorks. Arch. Journ. vi, 238. A tradition as to his origin and eagerness to learn is in Hist. of Ch. of York, quoted in Hutchinson, Dur. For the rivalry between Hutton and Sandys see Morris, Troubles of our Cath. Forefathers, iii, 99, 100.
  • 3. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 4. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 289.
  • 5. Disputes in the 16th century indicate that the rectory lordship was still recognized; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 88, 317.
  • 6. The chief rents of the rectory in 1650 amounted to £7 7s. 2d. A court roll of 1699 in the possession of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners gives details of rents in Warton, Priest Hutton, Yealand Redmayne and Borwick. It states that no fines were paid except by a tenant on entering by descent. Tenant right was conveyed without the consent of the dean and chapter. Another roll dated 1736 records that tenants in Hutton paid £5 0s. 2d., and others in Warton £1 15s. 7½d. The collection of the small rents was probably neglected, and in 1826 the tenants refused to appear. In 1858 the parson's rents actually paid were: from Hutton, £2 8s.; from Warton and Lindeth, 15s. 6d.; and from Borwick, 5s. 4d. The tenants in Hutton were Rowlandson Clarkson, Thomas Bainbridge, George Marton, Robert Muckalt, Jane Watson and Peter Warton. This information is due to Mr. Floyer, lately vicar, who searched the records at Worcester.
  • 7. Sir William de Lancaster of Caton died in 1399 holding the moiety of the manor of Priest Hutton of the rector of Warton by the rent of 6s.; Inq. p.m. 22 Ric. II, no. 28. His widow Christiana held similarly in 1405; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1449. Sir John son and heir of Sir William had livery; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 6. Roger de Lancaster in 1267 obtained a grant of free warren in Ulverston and Hutton; Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 76. This may be Priest Hutton.
  • 8. Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 103, 110. Christiana widow of Sir Robert Harrington held the moiety in 1444 of the rector in socage; D D, no. 1470.
  • 9. Thomas Lord Mounteagle in 1560 held the manor of Priest Hutton, but it was then regarded as part of the Hornby lordship held of the king by knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 1. John Sleigh in 1576 purchased a messuage in Priest Hutton from William Lord Mounteagle; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 38, m. 116.
  • 10. In 1307 Roger de Croft held lands in Warten and Priest Hutton in which dower was claimed by Iselda widow of John de Rigmaidea, and he summoned Robert de Leyburne and Isolda his wife to warrant him; De Banco R. 164, m. 304. John de Croft of Tewitmire died in 1347 holding a messuage and land in Hutton of the rector of Warton by rendering a rose yearly; Inq. p.m. 21 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 42.
  • 11. William son of Adam de Hutton successfully claimed the fourth part against Thomas de Maidenston, Alice his wife, Cecily his daughter, William son of James de Bolton, William his son and others. He stated that he had granted it for twenty years to the said William son of James de Bolton, who had afterwards given it in fee to his son William; Assize R. 1404, m. 26 d.
  • 12. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 56, m. 167; the deforciants were William Parker, Lord Mounteagle and Henry Parker. There appears to have been another sale or mortgage of the manor by Lord Mounteagle and Elizabeth his wife in 1596; ibid. bdle. 59, m. 282. Robert Bindloss died in 1595 holding a messuage and land in Priest Hutton; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xvii, no. 7. He had given the manor of Nether Hutton with other estates to his younger son Christopher for life; it was held of the queen as of her duchy in socage; ibid, no. 52.
  • 13. Lands in Hutton appear in some Bindloss settlements, but the manor is not named again till 1698, when with Borwick it had passed to the Standish family; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 240, m. 140.
  • 14. In 1396 Thomas Washington of Priest Hutton granted his son John various lands in the township which he had received from William Washington of the same place; Duchy of Lanc. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), L 1018. In or before 1408 Joan widow of John Washington gave her son John tenements in Dalton, Hutton, Over Kellet, &c.; ibid. L 1090. Robert Washington held land in Hutton in 1517, part of an estate held by knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 10.
  • 15. The Lawrences of Yealand Redmayne held a messuage, &c., in Hutton, but the tenure was not known; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 41, &c.
  • 16. In their case also the tenure is not stated.
  • 17. Lawrence Starkie of Lancaster in 1532 held land in Nether Hutton by knight's service; Duchy of Lane. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 21. Thomas Bradley of Silverdale in 1586 held a messuage, &c, of the queen in chief by the eighth part of a knight's fee and a rent of 13s. 4d.; ibid, xiv, no. 51. Sir Piers Legh in 1636 held land in Hutton with his manor of Dalton; ibid. xxviii, no. 32.
  • 18. Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. xlviii, A3.