A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1914.
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Witetune, Dom. Bk.; Witington, 1212; Witthinton, 1252; Wyttinton, 1254; Quitanton, 1259; Whytington, 1277; Qwytington, 1300.
Whittington is a township and parish on the right bank of the Lune, with an area of 4,416 acres (fn. 1) and a population in 1901 numbering 390. About a quarter of the extent is formed by the level ground along the Lune; the rest is hilly, heights of 560 ft. and 600 ft. being attained near or on the western border. The township was formerly divided into two parts, Whittington proper to the north, 2,437½ acres, and Newton with Docker to the south, 1,978½ acres. The village of Whittington, with the parish church, lies about a mile from the Lune, where the level tract spoken of begins to rise towards the hills. To the north of it is Sellet and to the south-west is West Hall. Newton is to the south of Whittington, with Coneygarth on its eastern side, and Docker is the south-west corner of the township.
A small house near the church locally known as the manor-house bears the initials W. B. and is dated 1658.
The principal road is one from Arkholme northwards to Kirkby Lonsdale, passing through Newton and Whittington; from it minor roads go west to Docker and to Hutton Roof. The Lune is crossed by a ford leading to Tunstall. The Midland and Furness Railways' Carnforth and Hellifield line just touches the southern border.
The importance of Whittington in 1066 as the head of a lordship did not survive the Conquest, and the later history of the parish has been singularly uneventful. The Scots appear to have wrought great mischief in their raid of 1322, judging by the diminution in the value of the rectory. In 1624 the parish had to pay £1 9s. 9½d. when the hundred raised £100. (fn. 2) The Jacobite forces marched through in 1715; on the high ground on Col. North's estate they made an inclosure for their horses, which is still to be seen.
The parish is governed by a parish council.
William Sturgeon, an electrician of note, was born at Whittington in 1783, and died at Prestwich in 1850. (fn. 3)
The agricultural land in the parish is now used thus: arable, 362 acres; permanent grass, 3,159½ acres; woods and plantations, 249 acres. (fn. 4) The soil is a loam overlying clay. There was formerly some coal mining in the neighbourhood. (fn. 5)
In 1066 WHITTINGTON was the head of a considerable lordship held by Earl Tostig, brother of Harold. The manor itself was assessed as six plough-lands, and the whole lordship, which extended over neighbouring parts of the modern Lancashire, Westmorland and Yorkshire, contained fifty-three plough-lands. Two of the subordinate manors, NEWTON and THIRNBY, each of two plough-lands, soon became absorbed in Whittington. In 1086 the whole was in the king's hands. (fn. 6) Somewhat later the greater part of Whittington proper, with a reduced assessment of five plough-lands, was held by knight's service, while another plough-land, known as LATHEBOTE, (fn. 7) was held in thegnage by a rent of 3s. 4d.
In 1212 Adam de Yseni held the five ploughlands, but had granted this portion to Gilbert Fitz Reinfred, (fn. 8) while the heir of Robertson of Gillemichael held the thegnage plough-land. (fn. 9) This Robert, sometimes described as son of Gillemichael son of Efward (or Esward) and at others as son of Gillemichael de Lathebote, had an estate in Preese in Kirkham. (fn. 10) In 1193–4 he paid 40s. for having the king's goodwill after the rebellion of Count John, (fn. 11) and contributed to a tallage in 1203, (fn. 12) dying, it is supposed, soon afterwards. He was a benefactor to Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 13) His heir was probably the William son of Robert who in 1219 sold 8 oxgangs of land in Lathebote to Gilbert Fitz Reinfred, (fn. 14) who thus became lord of the whole of Whittington. The 3s. 4d. rent is mentioned in later inquisitions.
The chief lordship, with part of the land, descended, like other of the Lancaster inheritance, through the Lindsays to the Gynes and Coucy family, and at length reverted to the Crown in right of the duchy, in the way already narrated under Nether Wyresdale. After the death of William de Lancaster in 1246 his manors of Whittington, Thornton, &c., remained for some years in the king's hands for debt; in 1254 they were leased by the tenant, Sir William de Valence, to Walter de Lindsay. (fn. 15) In 1258 Madoc de Aughton (or le Waleys) claimed 5 oxgangs of land in Whittington against William de Lindsay and William Sturnel, (fn. 16) and the tenement, as 3 oxgangs, was in the following year released by Madoc to Walter de Lindsay. (fn. 17)
In 1285 the manors of Warton and Whittington were held by Ingram de Gynes and Christiana his wife, (fn. 18) and they were the chief lords in 1300, (fn. 19) while in 1302 Ingram held the fourth part and the sixth part of a knight's fee in Whittington and Yealand. (fn. 20) In 1318 this manor was settled upon Ingram and Christiana for their lives, with remainders to Baldwin de Gynes and issue and his brother Robert, for life only. (fn. 21) Ingram and Christiana were in 1324 found to have held of Baldwin certain lands and a mill in Whittington. (fn. 22) At the same time the rents of Thomas Earl of Lancaster were found to have included 3s. 4d. from Ingram de Gynes for the tenement formerly held by Gillemichael. (fn. 23) William de Coucy in 1340 obtained a grant of free warren in his manors, including Whittington. (fn. 24) Robert son of Ingram de Gynes, having taken the French side when Edward III went to war, forfeited his manor of Whittington with his other estates. (fn. 25)
After the later restoration of the family to favour the holding of William son of William de Coucy was defined as the third part of the manor of Whittington, and was held of the Duke of Lancaster by knight's service and a rent of 3s. 4d. (fn. 26) On reverting to the Crown after the death of Philippa Duchess of Ireland the manor of Whittington was granted out with other parts of the fee. (fn. 27) A lease for twenty-one years was in 1554 granted to Henry Earl of Cumberland, (fn. 28) but just before it expired—namely, in 1573— this manor, under the name of GARNYGARTH or Grangegarth, was sold to Richard Robson and another, (fn. 29) who were probably agents for Francis Tunstall of Thurland. (fn. 30)
Francis Tunstall was in 1584 engaged in disputes with Lord Morley and Elizabeth his wife, and he stated that there was no 'manor of Whittington' known by that time absolutely, though that name was commonly applied to his manor of Garnygarth. (fn. 31) One Thomas Newton appears to have had an interest in this manor, which was in 1585 purchased from Tunstall and Newton by Henry Brabin of Docker, (fn. 32) who in 1590 came to a further agreement with Thomas Newton. (fn. 33) Henry Brabin died in 1617 holding the manor of Garnygarth or Grangegarth and the capital messuage called Whittington Hall, with lands called Nether Blees, &c., in Whittington and Newton, capital messuages called the Hurst and Docker Hall and various lands. All was held of the king as of his duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 34) His son William, who succeeded, died a year later, and his eldest son John died in 1623 holding various messuages and lands in Newton and Docker of the king as Duke of Lancaster by the hundredth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 35) His heir, his brother William, then seventeen years of age, died at Docker in 1638, leaving a son and heir Henry Brabin, five years old. (fn. 36) Henry recorded a pedigree in 1664, when his son William was seven years old. (fn. 37) Thomas Brabin, one of the family, owner of lands in Burtreber, Garnygarth, Newclose, &c., took part with Charles I in 'the first war,' and had to compound for his estate with the Parliament. (fn. 38) The Brabin manor and estates were afterwards conveyed by marriage to John North of Docker, and were sold to Carus of West Hall.
Another part of Whittington was probably granted to the Cansfield family, for in 1271–2 Christiana widow of Walter de Lindsay made a claim against Alina, guardian of the lands and heir of Richard de Cansfield at Whittington. (fn. 39) This estate descended to the Harringtons of Farleton and Hornby, (fn. 40) and appears to be the 'manor of Whittington' which is recorded in the Mounteagle inquisitions in the 16th century. (fn. 41) It included Sellet. From a document cited by Dr. Whitaker it seems that Lord Mounteagle in 1529–30 claimed a superior lordship of Whittington as an appurtenance of Hornby, (fn. 42) but this was unfounded. In 1597 an estate of eighteen messuages, lands, &c., in Whittington, Docker, Newton and Over Kellet was transferred to Henry Brabin and others by William Parker Lord Mounteagle, Elizabeth his wife and Henry Parker. (fn. 43) The 'manor' is not mentioned, but this seems to have been an alienation of the Mounteagle tenement, which probably became to a great extent merged in the Brabin lands and manor.
Yet another portion, probably a third part, must have been granted to Richard son of Roger, lord of Woodplumpton, who died about 1200, or to his ancestors. (fn. 44) This may have been anterior to the grant of the whole to Gilbert Fitz Reinfred. Quenilda, widow of Roger Gernet and one of the daughters of Richard of Woodplumpton, was in 1252 found to have held 5¼ oxgangs of land—nearly the third part of two plough-lands-of the heirs of Sir William de Lindsay by a rent of 4s. 5d., a rent indicating 6s. 8d. for a plough-land. (fn. 45) Later, moieties of Richard's inheritance were held by the Stockport and Beetham families. Thus in 1254 Ralph de Beetham held 7½ oxgangs of Walter de Lindsay by a rent of 6s. 8¼d. (fn. 46) The Stockport moiety with part of the Lindsay lordship was acquired by Alan de Copeland, who held part of the adjacent Kirkby Lonsdale, (fn. 47) and his heir transferred his manor, somewhat later called West Hall, to John de Hudleston, (fn. 48) giving portionsalso to William le Gentyl and Philippa his wife (fn. 49) and others. What became of the Beetham part is not known—it may be that afterwards stated to be held by the Morthing family and known as Morthinglands, (fn. 50) but may have been acquired by the Harringtons. (fn. 51)
Of these three manors, in addition to which there was also a rectory manor, the most important, though not the first in rank, was that of WEST HALL, which was granted to a younger branch of the Hudleston or Huddleston family, seated there for nearly three centuries. John de Hudleston in 1301 obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Whittington and Holme. (fn. 52) In the same year he settled the manors of Whittington and Clayton-le-Dale upon a younger son Robert, (fn. 53) who is not heard of again, with remainder to another son Adam, who succeeded, (fn. 54) and was followed by his son John. (fn. 55) The descent is obscure, but Richard Hudleston died in 1415 holding the manor of West Hall and the advowson of Whittington Church of Sir Richard Hudleston of Millom in Cumberland by knight's service, Sir Richard in turn holding of the king as Duke of Lancaster by knight's service and doing suit to county and wapentake. (fn. 56)
Ralph Hudleston, the son and heir of Richard, was twenty-six years of age. In 1428 he took service in the French wars in the retinue of the Earl of Salisbury (fn. 57); he died ten years later. (fn. 58) The lordship descended (fn. 59) to Miles Hudleston, who died in July 1577 holding the manor of Whittington alias West Hall, with the advowson of the church, of the queen as of her duchy by the hundredth part of a knight's fee. (fn. 60) His heir, an infant daughter Anne, afterwards (1589) married Thomas son of Christopher Carus of Halton, (fn. 61) and in 1598 they made a settlement of the manor and advowson. (fn. 62) West Hall descended like Halton for more than a century, (fn. 63) and, as above stated, the other manor or manors became joined with it by purchase from John North.
The Carus family had been much reduced in fortune, partly, no doubt, owing to their adherence to the Roman Catholic religion, and after the Revolution to the Stuart cause; and after the death of Thomas Carus in 1716 the estates in part had to be sold by order of the Court of Chancery. Thus in 1732 the manor of Whittington was acquired by James Bordrigge, of a family long settled in the neighbourhood, (fn. 64) and by the marriage of his daughter and heir Alice to Oliver North of Newton, representative of a younger branch of the Norths of Docker, it came to the ancestors of the present holder. Their son Miles inherited the Thurland lordship; his son Richard Toulmin North dying unmarried in 1865 was succeeded by his grand-nephew Mr. North Burton, who then assumed the surname of North. He died 11 April 1910, and was succeeded by his son Colonel Bordrigge North North, C.B., M.V.O., the present lord of the manor. (fn. 65)
Newton Hall is built on the site of an old building of which little remains but a door with the initials of Oliver and Janet North and the date 1678.
At the sale in 1732 there were rents of £2 14s. 4d. payable to the lord of the manor, and boon hens and services such as ploughing had to be rendered. The customary tenants on the death of a lord or tenant paid eight years' customary rent as a fine and on every alienation sixteen years' customary rent. A female heir had also to pay sixteen years' rent for admittance; on her marriage her husband became tenant and paid an additional eight years' rent. The sole right of getting millstones or freestone on the moor belonged to the lord of the manor. The earliest court roll extant is dated 1654; the records of the manor have been preserved regularly from 1702. Courts are still held. (fn. 66)
The family of North (fn. 67) appears at Docker in the 16th century, (fn. 68) but had been settled there much earlier, as Thomas North in his will of 1585 desired to be buried with his ancestors in Whittington Church. In 1574 Edward North was bound to supply arms to the muster. (fn. 69) He was among the freeholders in 1600. (fn. 70) In 1630 John North compounded for his recusancy by an annual payment of £6, (fn. 71) and the following year was called upon to pay for refusing knighthood. (fn. 72) The lands of Richard North the younger of Docker, son of John North, were in 1652 ordered for sale by the Parliament. His 'delinquency' is not stated. He was allowed to compound. (fn. 73) Docker Hall descended to Thomas North, who died in 1790, after which it was in 1825 sold to Joseph Gibson of Kirkby Lonsdale. (fn. 74)
Docker Hall, now a farm-house, is of little or no architectural or antiquarian interest, having been very much modernized and altered, but the older walls belong to the original late 16th or early 17thcentury house. It is of two stories, but has been whitewashed and the roof is covered with blue slates. Nearly all the mullioned windows have been built up. Two loose stones, found not far from the house and now built into the outbuildings, bear the dates 1622 and 1633 respectively, the latter with the initials WEB, and on a later addition is a stone with the initials THM and the date 1721. The house stands high up on the hill-side.
LOWER DOCKER HALL, which, as its name implies, stands near the bottom of the hill, is also a farm-house, and retains little of its original appearance, having been much altered and modernized. A few 17th-century mullioned windows remain, but the house, which is of two stories, is without architectural interest. In a detached building used as a barn close to the house a piece of 15th-century oak carving was discovered in 1909. (fn. 75)
On the sale of the Carus estates Whittington Hall, but not the manor, and other portions were sold to purchasers whose representatives in 1830 sold to Thomas Greene, M.P. for Lancaster, and his grandson Mr. Henry Dawson Greene is now the owner. (fn. 76) The present hall was built in 1831 in the Gothic style on the site of a much older house, which had long been used as a farm-house. The building is stated to incorporate part of an ancient peel tower; there are extensive grounds around it. West Hall, about half a mile south-east, after being held by Benison and Fenwick, (fn. 77) now also belongs to Mr. Greene, who has been noticed already as lord of the manor of Slyne and one of the lords of Cockerham.
SELLET (fn. 80) appears to have been included in the Harrington manor, but was to a considerable extent owned by Cockersand Abbey. (fn. 81) The tenants were named Baines, and this family occurs from early times (fn. 82) down to the 17th century. Robert Baines died in 1588 holding his capital messuage of Sellet of Lord Mounteagle as of his manor of Hornby by a rent of 15s. John his son and heir was sixteen years old in 1603. (fn. 83) During the minority there were disputes as to common rights in Sellet Wood. (fn. 84) John Baines of Sellet in 1630 compounded by a fine of £10 a year for the two-thirds of his estate liable to be sequestered for recusancy. (fn. 85) In 1652 John Baines son of Colonel Baines of Sellet, apparently a prisoner in Newgate, wrote to Edward Moore of Bank Hall for assistance, as his estate had been sequestered. (fn. 86) Sellet was afterwards acquired by the Carus family, (fn. 87) and is now owned by Dr. W. S. Paget-Tomlinson of Kirkby Lonsdale. (fn. 88)
SELLET HALL, which stands on high ground at the north-east end of the parish and is now a farmhouse, is a two-story building, apparently of 17th-century date, (fn. 89) with mullioned and transomed windows, but it has been very much altered and modernized, and has lost nearly all its architectural features. It seems, however, to have been originally a house of considerable interest, and the large bay window to the hall and other transomed openings in the principal or south front, though now many of the lights are built up, preserve something of its original character. The roof, however, is a modern slated one running the length of the building, with overhanging eaves carried on over the projecting portions of the front, giving it an undistinguished appearance. The hall has been curtailed at the west end, but was originally about 25 ft. 6 in. by 19 ft., with a square bay window 10 ft. 6 in. by 5 ft. 6 in. of six lights on the south side. The doorway, now built up, was in the south-west corner, and the fireplace, which has a flat moulded arch, on the north side. The east wall retains some oak wainscot in square-framed panels, and two flat arched doorways with moulded jambs and heads lead to the rooms at the east end of the house. In one of these is some original oak panelling, and the staircase which lies to the north-east of the hall in a projecting bay likewise retains some original wainscot. Externally at the back the staircase bay and the hall chimney break up the otherwise straight lines of the building. The walls are of rubble masonry with dressed quoins, and the south front, which is about 50 ft. in length, faces on to a garden.
There were families surnamed Whittington (fn. 90) and Newton. (fn. 91) The Daltons, (fn. 92) and under them the Berwicks of Borwick, long had an estate in the township. (fn. 93) The inquisitions and other records afford a few further particulars of the former landholders. (fn. 94) Cartmel Priory had land at one time, but gave it to Alan de Copeland in exchange for some in Allithwaite. (fn. 95) In the time of Charles I a decision was given against a custom of tenant right claimed there. (fn. 96)
An inclosure award was made in 1817. (fn. 97)
The church of ST. MICHAEL (fn. 98) stands on high ground (fn. 99) on the northwest side of the village, and consists of a chancel 30 ft. 6 in. by 18 ft. 6 in., with north vestry and organ chamber and short south aisle, clearstoried nave 50 ft. by 18 ft. 6 in., with north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower 12 ft. 9 in. by 11 ft. 9 in., the greater length from west to east; all these measurements being internal. The eastern part of the church is new, dating from 1875, in which year the whole building underwent a very thorough restoration, and except for the tower the exterior presents few features of antiquarian interest; for, though the old walls remain, new windows have been inserted in both aisles and clearstory, the walling redressed and refaced and a new roof erected. The general appearance, therefore, is that of a modern Gothic church built up to an older tower. The chancel and nave are under one continuous roof of green slate with overhanging eaves, and the aisles have lean-to roofs. The porch is of timber on a stone base, and replaced in 1875 a stone one with rounded arch and gable erected in the 18th century. Fragments of cheveron and cable moulding are built into the wall within the porch on each side of the south door and also into the tower, but these are the only traces of the building which seems to have stood on the same site in the 12th century. The moulded base of a 13th-century pier, used in a reversed position as the capital of one of the present piers of the north arcade, suggests a possible rebuilding at that period, but what remains of the original structure appears to be a 16th-century reconstruction of an earlier church retaining the 15th-century tower. In 1717 the building was 'decayed,' but was shortly afterwards restored, (fn. 100) being described in 1722 as 'in good repair, but not yet quite finished.' The walls are of rubble masonry, and before 1875 were covered with rough-cast, but this may have been part of the 18th-century work. The church was a plain building with square-headed windows to aisles and clearstory, on plan a parallelogram measuring internally 72 ft. by 36 ft., widening out to 38 ft. at the east end, and with a small vestry in the north-east corner. In 1875 the chancel was extended 13 ft., a new and larger vestry built, the east end generally rearranged, the old square pews which filled the church removed and modern benches inserted. The south aisle was not extended, its east wall marking the original extent of the building, but the new vestry on the north side was carried out to within 3 ft. of the chancel wall.
The east window is of three lights with perpendicular tracery, placed high up in the wall, and there are similarly placed windows of twc lights on the north and south of the sanctuary. There is no structural division between the chancel and nave, the same modern open-timbered roof being continued over both. The north side of the chancel has a length of blank wall with door to the vestry, and a single modern pointed arch to the organ chamber, and on the south side there is a corresponding arch at the west end with a half arch springing from a new pier abutting against the wall of the sanctuary. The nave is separated from the chancel by a modern oak screen, and has arcades of four pointed arches of two chamfered orders on octagonal piers, the easternmost arch being 3 ft. wider in span than the others. The aisles are of slightly different width, the northern one being 7 ft. 3 in. and the southern 6 ft. 6 in. wide; and the height of the piers also differs, those on the north side being 7 ft. to the top of the capitals and those on the south side 7 ft. 6 in. On the south the capitals are of very plain character with square and hollow members, but on the north the first and third piers from the west have moulded capitals, and the middle one is the 13th-century base already referred to. The windows of the aisles are of three lights with square traceried heads, and those of the clearstory single quatrefoil or circular openings.
The tower, which is 50 ft. high, has a projecting vice in the north-east corner and diagonal angle buttresses of seven stages going up to the underside of the string course below the embattled parapet. The west door has a pointed arch with hood mould and double hollow-moulded jambs and head, and the west window is a square-headed one of three roundheaded lights with external hood mould. The belfry windows are of similar type, but without hood moulds, and have wood louvres. The internal stages of the tower are not indicated on the outside, the north and south sides being quite plain, but on the west side, between the window and the belfry, is a niche with incurved trefoil head containing a modern figure of the Good Shepherd, and on the east side, towards the village, is a clock. (fn. 101) The tower arch is of two chamfered orders dying into the wall at the springing, the weathering of the 15th-century roof being visible above. (fn. 102) It is open to the church, and the floor is 1 ft. 9 in. above that of the nave, owing to the slope of the ground. The lower part of the tower, which has a hipped lead roof with good iron weather-vane, is used as the baptistery, a large font of polished limestone being modern. An old circular stone font, probably of 17th-century date, lies on the south side of the churchyard near the porch. (fn. 103)
On the south side, from which there is an approach from the village across the fields, the ground falls rapidly from the church, but on the west it rises in the form of a mount, (fn. 104) on the top of which is a stone sundial shaft on a square base of five steps, which may have been the steps of a cross. The shaft, which is 3 ft. 3 in. high, appears, however, to have been made for the dial, which bears the inscription 'Ex dn. Ric. Jackson Rector de Whittington An. Dn. 1641.'
There is a ring of six bells. The treble is by E. Seller of York, 1739, and is Inscribed 'Gloria in Altissimis Deo' and with the names of George Hornby, rector, and four churchwardens. The second, inscribed 'Prosperity to this Parish,' is by A. Rudhall, 1754; the third, fourth, and fifth by Taylor & Co. of Loughborough, 1875, (fn. 105) and the tenor is a recasting in 1875 by Taylor of a bell founded in 1673, and bears both dates.
The plate consists of a silver-gilt chalice with the maker's initials 'W.R.,' the only other marks being indecipherable; a modern silver-gilt paten; and a large paten and silver-gilt flagon, both inscribed 'In usum Ecclesiae Whittingtoniensis Ao. Dnj. 1719. Donum Leonardi Jackson, A.M. Rector de Tatham filij Richi. Jackson (fn. 106) nuper Rectoris de Whittington in Com. Lancastriae.'
The registers begin in December 1538. The first two volumes (1538–1764) have been printed. (fn. 107) The tithe map is kept at the rectory.
As Whittington was the head of a great lordship before the Conquest, it is probable that some chapel existed there from an early time, though it may not have become a parish church till later. Robert son of Gillemichael is said to have given the advowson to Cartmel Priory before 1200, and the priors had an annual pension of 2 or 4 marks from the rectory till the Suppression. (fn. 108) It appears that Henry son of William son of Swain, a clerk, held Little Carleton in Amounderness about 1230, and took the surname of Whittington from his church. (fn. 109) On the division of the manor disputes as to the advowson began. In 1292 Ingram de Gynes and Christiana his wife, the chief lords, claimed the advowson against Alan de Copeland, but it was shown that the ancestors of Richard de Stockport had presented to the church. (fn. 110) At a vacancy in 1298 the king as guardian of the lands of his brother Edmund claimed the presentation against John de Hudleston, William le Gentyl and Philippa his wife. The defendants replied that the last rector had been presented not by Earl Edmund but by Alan de Copeland, in right of a certain oxgang of land in Whittington; this oxgang Alan had granted to Philippa, together with the advowson and a rent of 7s. from the land, while he had granted the manor, to which the advowson was appurtenant, to John de Hudleston. The verdict was in favour of the last-named. (fn. 111)
Two years later there was a further inquiry, on a proposal (which was rejected) to grant 2 acres of land and the advowson to the Prior of Cartmel, whose right to 2 marks pension was acknowledged. It was found that Thomas de Beetham held a third part of the advowson of Ingram de Gynes and Christiana his wife, who held of the king. John de Hudleston held the other two-thirds in virtue of a grant from Alan de Copeland; one-third was held by him of Robert de Stockport, who held of Ingram de Gynes, while the other third was held immediately of Ingram. William le Gentyl and Philippa his wife put in a claim to the third part of the advowson, in virtue of another grant by Alan de Copeland. (fn. 112) Some further disputes occurred from time to time, (fn. 113) but the advowson continued to descend with the West Hall manor of the Hudleston and Carus family until the disposal of the Carus estates at the beginning of the 18th century. (fn. 114) It was then, like the advowson of Halton, divided from the manor, and was in 1718 purchased by Edmund Hornby of Poulton-le-Fylde, whose descendant, Major E. G. S. Hornby of Dalton, is the present patron.
There is a small rectory manor, and fees are payable on alienation. Records of it are extant from 1758, from which time each successive rector has admitted tenants. (fn. 117)
The value of the rectory was taxed at £16 in 1 291, but after the ruin caused by the Scottish invasion of 1322 the estimate was reduced to £3 6s. 8d. (fn. 118) This was also the value of the ninth of sheaves, &c., in 1341. (fn. 119) In 1527 the value of the rectory was stated as £24, (fn. 120) but in 1535 the net value was given as only £13 9s. 9½d. (fn. 121) In 1650 the profits of the rectory were 'commonly reputed' to be £137 a year, there being no composition or prescription to limit the claim for tithe, except for hay in Docker. (fn. 122) In 1717 the income was about £120. (fn. 123) The net value is now given as £220. (fn. 124)
The following have been rectors:—
|Instituted||Name||Patron||Cause of Vacancy|
|C. 1200||Henry son of William (fn. 125)||Prior of Cartmel||—|
|c. 1240||William de Rotherfield (fn. 126)||Archdeacon of Richmond||d. Henry|
|2 Dec. 1292||Mr. John Lovel (fn. 127)||Edmund Earl of Lancaster||—|
|13 Jan. 1296–7||Thomas de Weston (fn. 128)||John de Hudleston||res. J. Lovel|
|oc. 1305||Robert de Hudleston (fn. 129)||"||res. T. de Weston|
|oc. 1311||John de Lucton (fn. 130)||Prior of Cartmel||d. R. de Hudleston|
|—||Roger Scott (fn. 131)||Richard de Hudleston||depr. J. de Linton|
|—||William Felagh (fn. 132)||"||res. R. Scott|
|oc. 1344||William de Newton (fn. 133)||—||—|
|14 Sept. 1377||Reginald de Westbury (fn. 134)||Archdeacon of Richmond||—|
|9 July 1380||William Baines (fn. 135)||John de Hodleston||—|
|oc. 1401–17||Thomas del Green (fn. 136)||—||—|
|12 Jan. 1419–20||Edmund Yealand (fn. 137)||Ralph Hudleston||d. T. del Green|
|c. 1448||William Hudleston (fn. 138)||Katherine Hudleston||res. E. Yealand|
|c. 1506||William Ashton (fn. 139)||Richard Hudleston||—|
|c 1530||Mr. Miles Hudleston (fn. 140)||—||—|
|c. 1560||Thomas Bland (fn. 141)||—||—|
|14 Apr. 1576||Hugh Conway, M.A. (fn. 142)||Francis Tunstall||d. last incumbent|
|9 July 1576||John Newton (fn. 143)||Miles Hudleston||—|
|21 Sept. 1630||Daniel Meyre (fn. 144)||Thomas Covell||d. J. Newton|
|14 July 1641||Richard Jackson, M.A. (fn. 145)||Edward Middleton||d. D. Meyre|
|30 June 1681||Thomas Bouch, M.A. (fn. 146)||Christopher Carus||d. R. Jackson|
|17 Sept. 1716||George Hornby, M.A. (fn. 147)||Edmund Hornby||d. T. Bouch|
|20 Feb. 1747–8||Thomas Nicholson (fn. 148)||Edmund Hornby||d. G. Hornby|
|10 Apr. 1755||Robert Ravald, M.A. (fn. 149)||Edmund Hornby||res. T. Nicholson|
|2 Apr. 1768||Robert Oliver, M.A. (fn. 150)||Geoffrey Hornby||d. R. Ravald|
|26 July 1782||Thomas Horton, LL.B. (fn. 151)||Rev. Geoffrey Hornby||res. R. Oliver|
|6 May 1791||Benjamin Banner, M.A. (fn. 152)||"||res. T. Horton|
|21 Aug. 1793||Thomas Butler, M.A. (fn. 153)||"||res. B. Banner|
|16 May 1825||William Carus Wilson, M.A. (fn. 154)||William Carus Wilson||d. T. Butler|
|3 Jan. 1834|
|7 Apr. 1857||Edward Pigot, M.A. (fn. 155)||Edmund Hornby||res. W. C. Wilson|
|18 Apr. 1905||John Hodgkin (fn. 156)||E. G. S. Hornby||d. E. Pigot|
There was no endowed chantry, though there were chapels at Newton and Sellet, the remains of which stood till recent times. (fn. 157) The Visitation List of 1548 records only three names—Miles Hudleston, the rector, perhaps non-resident; Thomas Bland, rector in 1562; and Richard Godsalfe, vicar of Boltonle-Sands in 1562. The same names are given in the 1554 list, but in 1562 the rector was alone (fn. 158); in later times this appears to have been the rule, but there was a curate when the rector did not reside. In 1722 the churchwardens reported to the bishop that their minister administered the holy sacrament four times a year, wore a surplice, preached every Lord's Day and was very careful in instructing youth in the Church Catechism. There was one Quaker in the parish.
The first school was built in 1763.
In 1689 Thomas Slater's house in Whittington was certified as a Presbyterian meeting-place. (fn. 159)
An official inquiry was made into the parish charities in 1899. The report, issued the same year, includes a reprint of the 1826 report. The principal charity is that of William Margison, who in 1759 left £820, partly for the school as above and partly for the poor. The charity has now an income of £27 4s., of which, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners made in 1867, the school receives £13, the remainder being applicable generally for the benefit of the poor. The old custom was to distribute the money in small doles.
Mary Hardy, widow, in 1736 left £20 for four poor widows. A small plat of land was purchased and called 'the widows' dale,' and this was augmented on the inclosure, the rent of the former being divided equally among four widows and the latter piece being sold. The same course is still pursued; the rent of the original plat is £2 14s., and the £8 received for the augmentation has accumulated at interest and is now £26.
Elizabeth Redman in 1756 left £20 for good books for poor boys, 'common plain Bibles and Testaments and the Whole Duty of Man.'The present income, 20s. 4d., is applied to the purchase of Bibles given to boys and girls on leaving school.
George Hornby, a former rector, left a rent-charge of £2 for the poor, but payment was discontinued in 1813.
Richard Sparling Berry in 1837 bequeathed £500 for the benefit of 'such poor, honest and industrious persons' resident in the parish 'as should without parochial relief or assistance meritoriously educate their children and train them in the path of piety and honesty.' In 1847 a sum of £330 was received and invested in consols, the income now being £10 10s. The charity is administered in accordance with the benefactor's wishes. (fn. 160)