Townships: Caton

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

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'Townships: Caton ', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914), pp. 79-85. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Townships: Caton ", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914) 79-85. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Townships: Caton ", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914). 79-85. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

In this section


Catun, Dom. Bk.; Caton, 1184 and usually; Catton, 1200.

The greater part of this township is hilly, the land sloping north from Clougha Pike and Ward's Stone, 1,836 ft. above sea level, to the wooded valley of Artle Beck, then rising again to Caton Moor, where over 1,000 ft. is reached, and then descending to the Lune. By the riverside is a level tract of land, where the pleasant village is placed, with the church at Brookhouse a mile and a half to the east of it and the hamlet of Caton Green still further east on higher ground. Artle Beck, already mentioned, rises near the centre of the eastern border, flows west and north-west for over 3 miles, passing Crossgill and Hawkshead and receiving various tributary brooks, the chief being Foxdale and Udale Becks from the southern side; it then turns north by Grassyard, reaching the Lune to the east of the village. By the church Tarn Beck, joined by Kirk Beck, runs down to the Lune. The hill-side district south of Artle Beck is called Littledale. Apart from the wooded land named there are some other plantations in this part of the township. The area of the whole is 8,395 acres, (fn. 1) and in 1901 there was a population of 1,181.

The principal road, that from Lancaster to Hornby, passes through the northern end of the township, having branches north to Halton by a bridge over the Lune, and south to Quernmore. Nearly parallel to it, but on higher ground, is another road, from the village past the church and Caton Green to Claughton, where it joins the main road again, and from it a road branches off to Crossgill on the southeast. The Midland Company's railway from Lancaster to Hellifield runs through the township on the north side of the main road, and has a station at the village named Caton.

Mason, the friend of the poet Gray, thus described the view looking east from Caton: 'The scene opens just 3 miles from Lancaster. To see the view in perfection you must go into a field on the left. Here Ingleborough, behind a variety of lesser mountains, makes the background of the prospect: on each hand, up the middle distance, rise two sloping hills, the left clothed with thick woods, the right with variegated rock and herbage; between them in the richest of valleys the Lune serpentines for many a mile, and comes forth ample and clear through a well-wooded and richly-pastured foreground. Every feature which constitutes a perfect landscape of the extensive sort is here not only boldly marked, but also in its best position.' (fn. 2)

A Roman milestone was found in Artle Beck. (fn. 3)

William Gibson, one of the early Quakers, was born at Caton in 1629. He served in the Parliamentary army, endured much suffering for refusing to take oaths and pay tithes, and published some theological books. He died in 1684. (fn. 4) Michael Jones, an anticjuary and genealogist, son of Michael Jones of Caton, was born about 1775 and died in 1851. (fn. 5)

The township is governed by a parish council.

In the village is the Victoria Institute and Reading Room, built in 1888. In 1826 there were cotton mills, and the coal and slate of Littledale were worked. (fn. 6) A cotton mill and bobbin mills still exist, and tiles and bricks are made. Bobbins used to be made at Littledale. The land is mostly in grass; the soil is a loam. An attempt made in 1804 to find coal near Grassyard Hall proved a failure.

The pipe line of the Manchester water supply from Thirlmere passes through the township.


In 1066 CATON was one of the twelve manors held by Torfin. (fn. 7) The ancient assessment is not recorded separately. Afterwards it was held of the honour of Lancaster by a thegnage rent of 20s. Adam Gernet, lord of Heysham, held it till his death in 1200–1, (fn. 8) and his son Thomas in 1212 (fn. 9); Vivian, the son of Thomas, succeeded in 1221 (fn. 10) and held till his death in 1246. (fn. 11) After a time the mesne lordship of the Gernets of Heysham and their successors was neglected, and Caton was held by a younger branch of the family, which adopted the local name.

Matthew Gernet in 1199 obtained the king's confirmation of a former grant of pasture land in Caton afterwards known as Littledale. (fn. 12) Matthew, who died in 1202, (fn. 13) was succeeded by John Gernet, (fn. 14) whose son Roger de Caton succeeded him in 1241, (fn. 15) and dying ten years later was followed by a son John, only three years old. (fn. 16) He held the whole manor in 1297 of the Earl of Lancaster, paying 26s. 8d. a year, (fn. 17) i.e. 20s. for Caton and 6s. 8d. for Littledale.

Another Matthew Gernet, ancestor of the lords of Burrow, held 3 oxgangs of land in Caton in 1212 by grant of the first-named Adam Gernet, paying 6d. rent, (fn. 18) and his son Roger succeeded him in 1215. (fn. 19) In this way there were three lords of the place in 1230, when they renounced any right to the advowson of the chapel there in favour of Lancaster Priory. (fn. 20)

The John de Caton of 1297 (fn. 21) was succeeded by a son or grandson Thomas, (fn. 22) whose daughters Alice (or Aline) and Agnes succeeded before 1317, (fn. 23) and thus the manor became divided into moieties. (fn. 24) Alice married William son of Sir John de Lancaster of Howgill in Westmorland. Agnes married John de Culwen or Curwen, and this moiety descended in the Curwen family till the 17 th century. (fn. 25)

The Lancaster moiety descended to William son of William de Lancaster, who proved his age in 1365, he having been baptized at Caton Church in September 1344. (fn. 26) Sir William de Lancaster died at the beginning of 1399 holding the moiety of the manor of Caton and of the pasture of Littledale by rents of 10s. and 3s. 4d. respectively. His heir was his son John, aged thirty and more. (fn. 27) This part of the manor was afterwards acquired by the Harringtons of Farleton and Hornby, (fn. 28) and so passed to the Lords Mounteagle, by whom it was held in the 16th century. (fn. 29) Their seat was called Caton Hall. (fn. 30) The estate was dispersed about 1600, (fn. 31) and this part of the manor was sold to William Croft, (fn. 32) after which it can be traced for about a century. Sir Henry Compton of Brambletye, the purchaser, (fn. 33) was a Royalist and recusant, (fn. 34) and had his estates sequestered in the Civil War; they included a manor of Caton and part of the lordship, for which he compounded. (fn. 35) He died in 1649, and his younger son George appears to have succeeded. (fn. 36) He may have purchased the other moiety of the manor, (fn. 37) which was afterwards in 1673 sold to Richard Biddulph, (fn. 38) and in 1688 the manor was held by Robert Dalton of Thurnham. (fn. 39) With Dorothy, one of his daughters, it went to Edward Riddell of Swinburne Castle. (fn. 40) It was purchased by Henry Rawlinson in 1780 and by his son Abraham's representatives sold to Thomas Edmondson in 1806. (fn. 41) The new owner settled at Grassyard two years later, and at his death in 1835 the manor passed to his only son John, who died in 1868. Thomas Grassyard Edmondson, his only son, succeeded, and on his death in Scotland in 1900 the manor went to his three sisters, the Misses Edmondson. The manor courts have been revived, and they are held at Caton in December. (fn. 42)

Lancaster. Argent two bars gules, on a canton of the second a lion passant gardant of the field.

Caton Hall was acquired by the Baines family, but the Mounteagle manor appears to have been separated from it. (fn. 43) The Crofts of Claughton would not require a manor-house in Caton. A messuage called Ellers was in 1562 claimed by Peter Barwick in right of his wife Margaret daughter of Richard Curwen against William White (grantee of Lord Mounteagle) and the jurors of Caton Court. (fn. 44) Ellers is now owned by Mr. B. P. Gregson, together with other lands in the township.

The Curwen moiety descended from John and Agnes de Culwen, married between 1329 and 1331, (fn. 45) to Roger de Curwen (fn. 46) who died in 1403 holding a moiety of the manor of Caton of the king as of his duchy by a rent of 10s., also the moiety of Littledale by 3s. 4d.; his son Walter was aged twenty-four. (fn. 47) The seat of this part of the manor, in later times at least, was at Gresgarth or Grassyard. Walter died in 1457 holding similarly, and leaving a son and successor John, aged forty. (fn. 48) The next step is uncertain, but Gilbert Curwen died in 1483 holding the moiety of the manor, and was succeeded by his son John, twenty-seven years of age. (fn. 49) John Curwen died in September 1500 holding one ploughland in Caton of the king as duke by services unknown to the jurors. His son Richard was twelve years old. (fn. 50) The pedigree recorded a century later states that Richard had a son Thomas, who was succeeded by a son Nicholas, living in 1613, and whose heir was apparently a sister Elizabeth wife of Thomas Morley of Wennington. (fn. 51) It seems to have been acquired by the Girlingtons of Thurland, whose issue probably sold the manor to George Compton in 1666.

Curwen. Argent fretty gules, a chief azure.

Lancaster Priory, (fn. 52) Cockersand Abbey (fn. 53) and the Knights Hospitallers (fn. 54) held lands in Caton in connexion with which the Dobson family occurs. (fn. 55) The rectory of Tatham had a tenement. (fn. 56) A number of minor families occur in pleadings (fn. 57) and inquisitions, (fn. 58) including some bearing the local surname, but there are only fragmentary notices of them. (fn. 59) Nicholas Curwen was the chief resident freeholder in 1600, but there were a number of small holders. (fn. 60)

LITTLEDALE went with Caton, as has been shown, but it does not seem to have been regarded as a manor. In the 17th century the names of Smith, (fn. 61) Farthwaite or Faithwaite of Pott Yeats (fn. 62) and Foxcroft occur as owning land there. (fn. 63) Richard Walker in 1630 compounded for his recusancy by a fine of £2 a year. (fn. 64)

There is a local tradition that the estate called the Cragg in Littledale was by the first Lord Mounteagle granted in fee to the then tenant, Richard Baines, for his bravery at Flodden Field in 1513. (fn. 65) It afterwards belonged to a family named Parkinson, (fn. 66) from whom it descended by marriage to the Faithwaites. (fn. 67)

Ralph Fincham (fn. 68) and Robert Scruton (fn. 69) had their tenements sequestered by the Commonwealth authorities in the Civil War time. Robert Croskell and Edward Bullenwere indicted for recusancy in 1678, (fn. 70) and Elizabeth Wilson, widow, as a 'Papist,' registered her estate in 1717. (fn. 71)

An Inclosure Act was passed in 1815, (fn. 72) and the award, made in 1818, is kept at Lancaster. (fn. 73)


The church of ST. PAUL (fn. 74) is situated on high ground at the east end of Brookhouse village, and consists of a chancel with north organ chamber, clearstoried nave with north and south aisles, south porch and west tower. There is also a small vestry at the west end of the north aisle to the north of the tower. The tower is the only part of the structure which is ancient, the rest having been rebuilt in 1865–7 in the style of the 15 th century. The old structure is described in a parish book of 1863 as 'a very poor building without the smallest architectural interest except the old church porch door, which is a remnant of a much more ancient church.' This doorway, which is of 12thcentury date, has been preserved, and is now built into the west wall of the vestry adjoining the tower. It is small in size, being only 3 ft. 7 in. wide, built of gritstone, and has circular angle shafts with cushion capitals, and square inner jambs with impost mouldings supporting a sculptured tympanum, with a single outer order and hood mould over. The tympanum has, however, been cut away in the form of a semicircular arch, so that only the outer portion of it remains, 9 in. wide at the top and 8 in. at the springing on each side. Enough of the sculpture is left, however, to show that the subject was the Temptation in Eden, the top of the tree and the heads of Adam and Eve, together with the serpent and the figure of an animal, being visible. Originally the tympanum has been about 4 ft. 3 in. by 2 ft. 6 in. The square jambs of the doorway have been carved with the trellis pattern, but are now very much weathered. The doorway, which is only 6 ft. in height from the bottom of the moulded bases of the shafts to the top of the caps or underside of the tympanum, is now built up with a number of old sculptured stones discovered in the masonry of the old church in 1865, one of which, probably of early 14th-century date, has a cross and sword and bears an inscription. (fn. 75)

The tower, which is 55 ft. high and 12 ft. square inside, appears to be of early 16th-century date, and is built of rubble with dressed quoins, and was at one time covered with rough-cast. (fn. 76) It has diagonal buttresses of five stages on the west side going up to the embattled parapet and flat buttresses at the east side facing north and south, with an internal vice in the south-west corner. The west door has a pointed arch of two hollow-chamfered orders and hood mould, and above is a segmental-headed window of three cinquefoiled lights with perpendicular tracery but without hood mould. The belfry windows are squareheaded and of three round-headed lights, with stone louvres and hood moulds. The battlements have a continuous moulding, and there is a good 18th-century iron vane. The north and south sides are quite plain up to the height of the belfry windows except for a single trefoil-headed light on each side and the slits to the vice on the south. The tower arch is of two chamfered orders dying into the wall at the springing. The floor of the nave is 18 in. above that of the tower.

There are three bells: the first dated 1605, with the initials W. O. and the inscription in small Gothic letters 'In Dulcedine vocis cantabo tuo N[omin]i'; the second has the initials R. O. and is dated 1617, with an inscription in large Roman letters 'in ivcvnditate soni sonabo tibi deo'; the third is by Luke Ashton of Wigan, 1724, and is inscribed 'Gloria in excelsis Deo.'

The plate is all modern, and consists of two chalices of 1864–5; a flagon of 1862 inscribed 'Presented to Caton Church 1864 by Bryan Padgett Gregson as an affectionate memorial of Hannah his wife who died 8 January 1864'; and a breadholder of 1872.

The registers of baptisms and burials begin in 1585 and that of marriages in 1586.


A church or chapel existed at an early time, the lords of the manor renouncing any claim to the patronage as early as 1230. (fn. 77) Somewhat before this date there is mention of a hermit residing in one of the doughs. (fn. 78) By the ordination of the vicarage of Lancaster in 1430 the vicar was obliged to maintain a resident curate, (fn. 79) and this duty was probably fulfilled even after the Reformation, the vicar's income not having been affected by the changes in religion; but Caton is not named in a list of churches and chapels made about 1610. (fn. 80) In 1650 the curate, who had a small sum from the vicarage, had been allowed £100 a year from Royalist sequestrations. (fn. 81) This would cease at the Restoration, and in 1717 the certified income was only £9 10s., being tithes and dues allowed by the vicar of Lancaster; the curate was constantly resident. (fn. 82) The benefice was declared a vicarage in 1867. (fn. 83) The present net income is £189. (fn. 84)

The vicar of Lancaster nominates the incumbents, of whom the following is a list:—

oc. 1674 Richard Myers (fn. 85)
oc. 1689–91 Anthony Procter, B.A. (fn. 86) (Camb.)
1707 John Sharpe
James Fenton
1748 Richard Capstick (fn. 87)
1751 William Johnson
1755 Thomas Nicholson (fn. 88)
1798 Legh Richmond, M.A. (fn. 89) (Trin. Coll., Camb.)
1801 Payler Matthew Procter, M.A. (fn. 90) (Corpus Christi Coll., Camb.)
1803 Robert Gibson, LL.B. (fn. 91) (Trin. Hall, Camb.)
1841 Edward Thurtell (fn. 92)
1852 Arthur Christopherson, M.A. (fn. 93) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)
1876 Charles Edward Adams, M.A. (Sidney Sussex Coll., Camb.)
1878 Constantine Adolphus de Lusignan, M.A. (fn. 94) (T.C.D.)
1888 John Henry Humphrey, M.A. (fn. 95) (Clare Coll., Camb.)
1894 E. T. W. Gilbert
1895 Walter James Locke, M.A. (fn. 96) (T.C.D.)

St. Anne's, Littledale, is a chapel of ease consecrated in 1755. (fn. 97)

A Presbyterian meeting was allowed at Caton in 1689 at the house of Richard Jones. (fn. 98) This does not seem to have continued. At present there are places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, Congregationalists, (fn. 99) and Baptists. The Rev. John Dodson, vicar of Cockerham from 1835 to 1849, having seceded from the Established Church, retired to an estate he had in Littledale, and there opened a Free Church in which he ministered for thirty years. He died in 1890. (fn. 100) This building is still in use.


  • 1. 8,393 acres, including 68 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. In a letter to Dr. Wharton, quoted in Baines' Lancs. Dir. ii, 30.
  • 3. Watkin, Roman Lancs. 182.
  • 4. Dict. Nat. Biog. Thomas and John Gibson purchased land in 1562; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 24, m. 223. John Gibson was plaintiff somewhat later; Chan. Proc. (Ser. 2), bdle. 76, no. 35.
  • 5. Gillow, Bibl. Dict, of Engl. Cath. iii, 668; his elder brother Charles (d. 1840) in 1815 became heir to the barony of Scrope. His younger brother Captain Edward Jones, who died in 1854–5, was a good draughtsman and a friend of Dr. S. Hibbert-Ware.
  • 6. Lancs. Dir. ut sup. The cotton factory had been established before 1808, and was worked to a large extent by children apprentices. The factory was sold in 1815 by — Hodgson to — Greg of Manchester; Corry, Lancs. ii, 14–16. There was then a silk mill also.
  • 7. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 289a.
  • 8. Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 132, 140.
  • 9. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 92; he held two plough-lands in Caton in thegnage by 20s. rent.
  • 10. Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 89. The 20s. from Caton was acknowledged in 1226; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 140.
  • 11. Ibid. 161; the mill in Caton is mentioned.
  • 12. Farrer, op. cit. 112. The heir of Matthew Gernet held the pasture in 1212; the rent due from it was half a mark; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 92.
  • 13. Farrer, op. cit. 152; Roger de Burton gave 60 marks for the wardship of the land and heir of Matthew Gernet and the marriage of the widow, she being Roger's daughter.
  • 14. John was probably the unnamed heir of 1212 and son of Matthew, for Walter son of Adam Gernet mentions (before 1268) that his father had exchanged certain land in Caton with John son of Matthew Gernet; Cocker sand Chartul. (Chet. Soc), iii, 873. John held land in Caton and gave some to Cockersand Abbey; ibid, iii, 849–52.
  • 15. Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 360. He acquired 2 oxgang-dales in Welslet in marriage with Helen his wife, and made a number of gifts to Cockersand; Chartul. iii, 853–9, 863 (Helen the widow confirms), 875.
  • 16. Three inquisitions were taken after his death. By the first, in 1251, it was found that Roger de Caton had held in chief of the king a pasture called Littledale by the service of 6s. 8d. yearly, also 6 oxgangs of land in Caton of Roger de Heysham by the service of 7s. 2d. (7s. 6d. later), with the third part of a water corn mill and the third part of a fulling mill. He also held lands in Burrow and Leek. His son and heir John was born in 1249; Lancs. Inq, and Extents, i, 184. At the second inquiry, in 1259, he was called Roger Gernet of Caton, and the heir was said to have been born in 1248; ibid, i, 224. The wardship of the heir was granted to William de Bussay (ibid. 226), but livery was made to John de Caton in 1259; Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), ii, 319. After this a third inquiry was made; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 225.
  • 17. Ibid. 293.
  • 18. Ibid. 92.
  • 19. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 262.
  • 20. Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc), i, 164; they were Vivian de Heysham, Roger Gernet and John Gernet.
  • 21. As John son of Roger Gernet of Caton and John Gernet lord of Caton he made grants to Lancaster Priory; Lanc. Ch. i, 168, 172. John de Caton as chief lord of the fee aggrieved some of his tenants by inclosurcs, and in 1271 it was agreed that a certain fence should be thrown down; afterwards, in 1284, the complaint was renewed by two of the tenants against John de Caton, Ranulf de Dacre and Joan his wife; Assize R. 1265, m. 4. John granted 40 acres of his waste to Ranulf and Joan, and they inclosed it; Walter Gernet of Caton made complaint of this in 1291, Joan being then a widow; De Banco R. 91, m. 320; Assize R. 407, m. 2; 408, m. 22. John de Caton in 1301 obtained a messuage and land in the township from John de Hutton and Sigrith his wife; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 192. In 1305 Hilda widow of William de Bensted made a claim against John de Caton and John his son, but did not prosecute it; Assize R. 420, m. 6 d. At Trinity, 1312, John de Hornby was plaintiff against John de Caton the elder; De Banco R. 193, m. 40 d.
  • 22. In July 1312 John de Caton and Roger his son claimed the manor of Caton and 1,000 acres of wood in Roeburndale against Thomas de Caton, who allowed them to hold for life at the rent of a rose, with reversion to himself and his heirs; Final Conc. ii, 10. It is not clear whether this John is the elder or the younger, but in 1313 Roger son of John de Caton claimed a messuage, &c., against John de Caton the elder; De Banco R. 199, m. 49. In 1315 Joan widow of Roger son of John de Caton claimed two messuages in Caton against Thomas son of John de Caton and Mary his wife; ibid. 209, m. 41. Thus Roger may have been son of the younger John and Thomas of the elder. Roger left a daughter and heir Margaret, as appears later.
  • 23. In that year Mary, widow and one of the executors of Thomas de Caton, was defendant; De Banco R. 220, m. 332 d.
  • 24. In 1323 Alice and Agnes, daughters of Thomas de Caton, held Caton by a rent of 20s. and Littledale by 6s. 8d.; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 119–20.
  • 25. In 1329 Joan widow of Roger de Caton claimed a piece of land against William Wither, Mary his wife (apparently the widow of Thomas), William son of John de Lancaster, Aline his wife, Agnes daughter of Thomas de Caton and others; Assize R. 427, m. 2 d. In the same year the Prior of Lancaster recovered the third part of Caton Mill against those named; De Banco R. 279, m. 175 d.; 280, m. 279 d. Two years later John de Culwen and Agnes his wife obtained a moiety of twothirds of the manor against William son of Sir John de Lancaster of Howgill (Holegil) and Aline his wife; Assize R. 1404, m. 25. The Abbot of Cockersand in 1334–6 claimed 9 acres against the same William, Aline, John and Agnes; De Banco R. 300, m. 144 d.; 307, m. 90. In 1346 John de Culwen and William de Lancaster, in right of their wives, held two plough-lands in Caton by 20s. a year and the pasture of Littledale by 6s. 8d.; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc.), 72. Agnes afterwards married John Swainson of Ellel, and in 1355–6 they with William de Lancaster and Aline his wife claimed the manor of Caton against Edmund de Prescot and John de Lancaster, who alleged a grant from Joan widow of Roger son of John de Caton; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 4, m. 8 d., 29. The plaintiffs in this case were defendants in 1360, when Robert Pert of Strickland and Margaret his wife, daughter and heir of Roger de Caton and Joan, claimed certain land in Caton; ibid. 7, m. 5; 8, m. 8. The will of William de Lancaster, dated and proved in Sept.-Nov. 1361, is printed in Test. Karleol. (Cumb. and West. Antiq. Soc.), 39. His wife is called Aline.
  • 26. Chan. Inq. p.m. 39 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 28. Nicholas de Warton, chaplain, baptized him. One of the witnesses said he had a son drowned in the Lune the day William was born.
  • 27. Ibid. 22 Ric. II, no. 28. He held also the moiety of Priest Hutton, as well as Howgill, &c., in Westmorland. Christiana widow of Sir William held the manors till 1406; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 6. Sir John Lancaster died in 1436 or 1437; ibid, xl, App. 533–4. According to a later pedigree he had for heirs four daughters, Christiana and the others named in the succeeding note, and they made a partition of the inheritance; Foster, Dur. Visit. Ped. 241.
  • 28. Sir Robert Harrington and Christiana his wife (in her right) in 1438 obtained a moiety of the manor of Caton against Thomas Fleming, Isabel his wife, Robert Crackanthorpe and Elizabeth his wife; Final Conc. iii, 103. In 1443 Christiana, as widow, made a feoffment of her moiety; ibid. no. She died the following year, being then widow of William Chorley, holding land, &c, in Caton and Priest Hutton. She seems to have had no issue, for her heirs were her three sisters—Margaret widow of Sir Matthew Whitfield, Elizabeth widow of Robert Crackanthorpe and Isabel wife of Thomas Fleming; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1470.
  • 29. It occurs in the various inquisitions and fines regarding the Mounteagle estates; the tenure had been altered to knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 64; xi, no. 1; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 13, m. 85 5 36, m. 7.
  • 30. In 1539 Thomas Lord Mounteagle demised his capital messuage called Caton Hall to Robert Baines for life; but Baineg in 1560 complained that four tenants of Lord Dacre had ten years ago occupied part of the land wrongfully; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. xliv, B 14. The Baines family are later found in full possession of the hall.
  • 31. The fines of 1597 indicate several sales in Caton and Littledale by William Parker Lord Mounteagle, Elizabeth his wife and Henry Parker; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 58, m. 295, 312, 332, 388, 396.
  • 32. Lord Mounteagle in 1597 transferred the manor to trustees; ibid. m. 39; Pal. of Lane. Plea R. 281, m. 10. It was purchased by William Croft of Claughton, as appears by a complaint by Thomas Baines in 1598 respecting fishing in the Lune, as many as seven salmon having been taken at a time. Baineg held the manor-house and demesne lands; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. clxxix, A 14. See also Com. Pleas Recov. R. East. 42 Eliz. m. 10. It appears from the inquisitions that the Crofts already held land in Caton, but its tenure is not separately recorded. The above-named William Croft died in 1606 holding twelve messuages, land, &c., in Caton of the king in chief by the two-hundredth part of a knight's fee. He had in 1601–2 settled his manor of Caton with Little Field, Deep Clough and Tongue Moor, lately purchased from Lord Mounteagle, on his wife Mary daughter of John Gascoyne and his issue by her. They had a daughter Mary, born in 1604; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 49–56.
  • 33. Mary Croft married William Lascelles of Brackenbury and then John Leyburne of Cunswick (his second wife); Foster, Visit, of Cumb. and Westmld. 81, 82. In 1630 Sir Henry Compton and George Compton purchased a moiety of the manor of Caton and Littledale from John Leyburne and Mary his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 117, m. 17. Sir Henry was a younger son of the first Lord Compton; Collins, Peerage (ed. 1779), iii, 179.
  • 34. Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 20.
  • 35. Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 74; Cat. Com. for Comp. ii, 1602–4.
  • 36. He joined 'the Scots army the last time they were in England,' i.e. probably when Charles II marched south to Worcester, and in Dec. 1651 his mother, Dame Mary Compton, desired the heads of the charge of delinquency for which he had been before the council of state. He was discharged 'on its appearing, that he was a man of distempered brain and a lunatic'; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 2922.
  • 37. Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 176, m. 40; George Compton v. Thomas Talbot and Katherine his wife, in 1666—the manor of Caton with messuages, &c, there and at Tongue Moor, and half the mill.
  • 38. Ibid. bdle. 190, m. 13.
  • 39. Ibid. 220, m. 38.
  • 40. See the accounts of Thurnham and Aldcliffe. In 1725 Robert Gibson obtained the manor of Caton from Thomas Riddell; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 296, m. 52. Thomas Riddell was vouchee in a recovery of the manor, with fishery in the Lune, &c, in 1762; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 595, m. 6.
  • 41. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iv, 546. Henry Rawlinson was M.P. for Liverpool (where he was a merchant) from 1780 to 1784. He died in 1786. Martha Rawlinson, widow, held the manor in 1794. Henry's son Abraham was afterwards of Chadlington Hall, Oxford; Pink and Beaven, Parl. Repre. of Lancs. 201. In 1802 Abraham Tyzack Rawlinson and Eliza Eudocia Allenia his wife were vouchees in a recovery of the manor; Pal. of Lanc. Aug. Assizes 42 Geo. III, R. 17b.
  • 42. This information has been afforded by Miss (Constance) Edmondson of Grassyard.
  • 43. Pleadings already quoted show how the Baines family obtained it. Joan Baines in 1620 made a settlement of the capital messuage called Caton Hall, the remainder being to her natural brother Edward Fincham, and after his death to his sons Ralph and Richard equally. She died at Caton in 1633, being then Joan King, widow, and her heir was her nephew Thomas Fincham son of Edward (who had died before Joan); he was thirty years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxvii, no. 5. Thomas Thornton in 1705 obtained the capital messuage called Caton Hall, with lands, fishery, &c., from John Wildman, Elizabeth his wife, Nicholas Hathornthwaite, Mary his wife, Henry Foxcroft and Katherine his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 254, m. 91.
  • 44. a Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), ii, 251; iii, 113.
  • 45. See note 25 above. Robert de Culwen and Joan his wife in 1340 claimed dower in Caton against Edmund son of John de Hornby in right of a gift by Thomas de Rigmaiden, Joan's former husband; De Banco R. 323, m. 32.
  • 46. Roger de Culwen and Agnes his wife in 1375 allowed John Swainson and Agnes his wife to hold a moiety of the manor for life, with reversion to Roger and his heirs; Final Conc. ii, 189.
  • 47. Towneley MS. DD, no. 1506.
  • 48. Lanc. Inq.p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 64; an inclosure called Jock Close is mentioned. He held lands also in Ellel and Goosnargh. John Curwen, son and heir of Walter, made complaint to the Lord Chancellor as to the conduct of the feoffees; Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 26, no. 216.
  • 49. Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 114. John Curwen soon after succeeding (1485) made a settlement of the manor of Caton with messuages, &c, in Caton, Hornby, Ellel, Halton, Goosnargh and Gre6singham. The remainders were to his brothers Thomas, William and Edmund; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 6o, m. 1. There is another reference to him in R. 86, m. 7.
  • 50. Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 79. Richard Curwen is, about 1523, named at the head of a list of gentlemen and 'riotous persons' who by day and night hunted deer in the king's park at Quernmore, and lay in wait to murder the under-keeper because he resisted them, even employing men disguised in women's apparel to catch him unawares; Duchy Plead. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 115. Richard Curwen of Grassyard died before 1536, when his daughter Cecily was engaged to marry Nicholas son and heir of William Bardsey of Bardsey; Pal. of Lanc. Sess. P. Aug. 30, Hen. VIII. Sir William Molyneux of Sefton died in 1548 holding a messuage and land in Caton lately of Cockersand Abbey; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. ix, no. 2. Thomas Curwen alias Culwen purchased this from his heirs in 1564; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 26, m. 94.
  • 51. Visit, of 1613 (Chet. Soc), 68. Elizabeth Morley had sons Thomas and William, the latter living in 1613 and having a son Nicholas, eight years old. Nicholas Curwen made a settlement of a messuage, moiety of the water-mill, &c, in 1590; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 52, m. 27. The same Nicholas, described as of Grassyard, in 1598 complained of various trespasses by the purchasers of the other moiety of the manor, lately Lord Mounteagle's; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. clxxxviii, C 12,23. In 1621 Nicholas with Grace his wife made a feoffment of their manor of Caton with water mill, fulling mill and lands, &c, in Caton and Halton; Pal. of Lane. Feet of F. bdle. 96, m. 12. Nicholas Girlington may have acquired an interest in it at that time, for the feoffees called Nicholas Curwen to warrant against him; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 324, m. 3. Nicholas Curwen of Caton in 1629 compounded for his recusancy by an annual fine of £15 (Trans. Hist. Soc. [new ser.], xxiv, 173) and in 1631 for having refused knighthood by a payment of, £10; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 220. His will, dated in 1626 and proved in 1634, gives no information as to his estates. The executors and residuary legatees were Thomas Shireburne of Heysham and Richard his brother.
  • 52. Roger son of Vivian Gernet of Heysham and Wimark his wife granted a third part of the corn mill and a third part of the fulling mill to the monks of Lancaster, together with easements in the wood; Lanc. Ch. i, 166. The prior recovered his right there in 1329–30; ibid, ii, 460–71. John Gernet of Caton gave them land in Bensted and John de Houton gave water rights on the Artle beck; ibid, i, 168–70. The priory estate in Caton was probably regarded as a dependency of the manor of Bulk and passed to Robert Dalton of Thurnham; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xiv, no. 1.
  • 53. The abbey had a considerable estate in the township, the result of many separate gifts; Chartul. iii, 826–81. A large number of field-names occur in the charters, including Tunbrook, Kirkbrook, Merebrook (the Claughton boundary), Kirk Bank, Welslet, Spanrigh, Holekil, Crow Nest (3 oxgangs), Calveshurst, Oakenhead, Stanrays and Bradeflos. Roger de Wyresdale (p. 860) granted all the wood of Sidyard, from the bridge to the path towards Lancaster, following Eskow Brook to the Lune and the Lune to Tadpool. The 'great way from Lancaster to Hornby' is named also; p. 851. For the rental see ibid, iii, 1286–9. The Cockersand lands in Caton were with those in Gressingham and Claughton granted to Richard Pimond in 1544 for £437 10s.; Pat. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. ix. He at once sold to Thomas Croft, who was to hold of the king by the twentieth part of a knight's fee; W. Farrer's deeds.
  • 54. Roger son of Vivian Gernet granted an oxgang of land in Caton to the Hospital of B. John of Jerusalem, which Ieue and Uctred sons of Christiana had formerly held. He also gave lands at Sidyard and Welsted (? Welslet) between lands of the Abbot of Cockersand and Roger Gernet of Caton; Dods. MSS. lxxvi, 112. One of the witnesses was Sir Roger Gernet of Halton; two others were Roger son of John de Caton and Adam Gernet of Caton. A charter by Roger Gernet of Caton (c. 1250) mentions land which Matthew de Burrow had given to the Hospitallers; Cockersand Chartul. iii, 853. Simon de Butterfield was a tenant of the Hospitallers about the same time; ibid. 874. The Prior of St. John of Jerusalem in 1273 made complaint against John son of John de Gilbertholme; De Banco R. 3, m. 33 d. 5 Assize R. 1341, m. 14 d. See also De Banco R. 14, m. 59; Dep. Keeper s Rep. xxxiii, 5. Caton is enumerated in the Hospitallers' possessions in 1292; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 375. 'St. John's lands' are named in pleadings of 1588; Ducatus Lanc. iii, 203, 220. Rents and lands (including Alderclose) formerly of the Hospitallers were sold by the Crown in 1623 to John Trailman and others; Pat. 21 Jas. I, pt. viii.
  • 55. a Thomas Dobson died in 1612 holding a tenement which had belonged to the Hospitallers. His heir was a son and namesake, aged twenty-three; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Cries.), i, 264. Henry Dobson died in 1616 holding of the Earl of Derby and leaving a son John; Towneley MS. RR, no. 439. William Dobson of Caton in 1631 paid £10 for refusing knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 221. A John Dobson died in 1641 holding of the king as duke, and leaving a son Thomas, aged twenty; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, no. 6.
  • 56. b Cockersand Chartul. iii, 1288.
  • 57. In 1292 William de Gilbertholme claimed a tenement against John de Welslet; Assize R. 408, m. 44 d. Alice widow of Gilbert son of Richard the Fuller made claims against Adam son of Simon de Caton and against the Abbot of Cockersand; ibid. m. 46, 36 d. Adam the Taylor and Roger the Walker occur in 1301–2; ibid. 1321, m. 12d.; 418, m. 6 d. Godith widow of Adam de Welslet in 1282 claimed dower against John son of Alan de Welslet; De Banco R. 47, m. 34. This John was in 1302 outlawed for the death of Ralph the chaplain of Claughton; his land was held of John de Caton by id. rent; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 311. John son and heir of James Oxcliffe gave an acre called Bacon and Oxcliffecroft to Robert Morley in 1495; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 79, m. 3.
  • 58. William son of Bernard de Hest had land in Caton in 1184–5; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 56, 60. Thomas Gernet, lord of Heysham and Caton, gave 2 oxgangs of land to Adam his brother, to be held by paying 3d. rent; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 92. He may have been the Adam Gernet who gave lands in Caton to Cockersand Abbey— Swinsti-holme, Staynolcroft, Crunbesyke and Gelderane being place-names mentioned; Chartul. iii, 847–9. Walter son of Adam Gernet of Caton was also a benefactor; ibid. 873. Sir Thomas Dacre in 1458 held lands of Sir Thomas Harrington and John Curwen; Lancs. Inq.p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 65. Thomas Remington died in 1613 holding of the king as duke. The heirs were four daughters, of whom the eldest, Elizabeth, was wife of Christopher Paget; Towneley MS. RR, no. 440. Edmund Townson died in 1629 holding a messuage, &c, of the king as duke, and leaving a son and heir Thomas, aged fourteen; ibid. C 8, 13 (Chet. Lib.), 1180. William Thompson died in 1635 having the reversion of a tenement held in socage of the king as duke. His kinsman and heir was John Thompson, aged fourteen; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxix, no. 35. John Berry, who died in 1638, held two messuages of the king; Thomas, his son and heir, was eighteen years old; ibid, xxx, no. 71. James Carter died in the same year holding similarly; his heir was a daughter Margaret, born in July; C 8, 13, p. 241.
  • 59. See Cockersand Chartul. loc. cit. In 1305 Adam son of Warine de Caton recovered land against William son of Mabel de Caton; Assize R. 420, m. 10.
  • 60. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 229–30. The minor holders were Peter 'Rawenson,' Thomas Winder, Thomas and George Foxcroft, Robert Craven (two), Henry and Thomas Dobson, Nicholas Barwick and Thomas Edmondson. Peter 'Rallandson' in 1588 purchased messuages, &c., from William Heysham and Katherine his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 50, m. 124.
  • 61. John Smith died in 1597 holding a messuage in Littledale and another in Bolton-le-Sands, but the tenure is not recorded. His heir was a son Robert, aged eighteen in 1600; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xviii, no. 41.
  • 62. Henry Farthwaite died in 1624 holding a messuage and leaving a son and heir Thomas, aged thirteen; ibid. xxvi, no. 29. The tenure is not stated. A further document is printed in Pal. Note-bk. iii, 236, 262. The surname has varied from Fairthwaite to Faithwaite. The estate was called Pott Yeats and had been purchased in 1598 from Thomas Lawrence (who had bought from Lord Mounteagle) by Anthony son of Thomas Farthwaite; information of Mr. J. R. Faithwaite, the present owner. From deeds in his possession, wills, &c., the descent is thus shown:—Thomas, d. c. 1603 -s. Anthony, d. 1606 -s. Henry, d. 1624 -s. Thomas, d. 1675 -s. Henry, d. 1731 -s. Henry, d. 1775 -s. Thomas Winder, d. 1810 -s. Henry, d. 1830 -s. Thomas Winder, d. 1875 -s. John Rigg Faithwaite.
  • 63. GeoTge Foxcroft died in 1599 holding Hawse-house, &c., in Caton of Nicholas Curwen and William Croft as of their manor of Caton by a pound of pepper, a pound of cummin and suit of court. The heir was his son William, aged fifteen; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 76. Thomas Foxcroft was in 1638 found to have held two messuages, &c., in Littledale of the king in socage; his son Henry was forty years of age; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxx, no. 63.
  • 64. Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xxiv, 174.
  • 65. Baines, Lancs. (ed. 1836), iv, 547.
  • 66. Robert Parkinson died in 1629 holding a messuage, &c., but the tenure is not recorded. His heir was a son William, aged twenty-eight; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xxix, no. 23.
  • 67. Information of Mr. Faithwaite. The estate was sold some time ago.
  • 68. The origin of his estate has already been recorded. Fincham at first adhered to the king's army against the Parliament, but afterwards took the Covenant, 'conformed readily in all things,' and maintained a horseman in the Parliament's service. He had suffered great losses, but his fine was fixed at £125; Royalist Comp. Papers (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), ii, 320.
  • 69. He was a 'Papist,' and compounded in 1653 at £5 5s.; Cal. Com. for Comp. iv, 3153.
  • 70. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 109. The list of convicted recusants at Caton about that time is printed in Misc. (Cath. Rec. Soc), v, 245.
  • 71. Estcourt and Payne, Engl. Cath. Nonjurors, 107. Edward Riddell also registered.
  • 72. 55 Geo. Ill, cap. 10 (private).
  • 73. Lancs. and Ches. Rec. (Rec. Soc), i, 56.
  • 74. The invocation of the earlier chapel is unknown.
  • 75. It is described at some length by W. O. Roper in Trans. Lancs. and Ches. Antiq. Soc. v, 254–8. The inscriptions appear to be . . . vs nazareit: crvcifixvs ivdeor and ides v: he: pi[..]h: roger Bvrgh Senivr.
  • 76. The rough-cast was stripped off on the south and west sides in 1902, when the walls were repointed; on the north side it had gone previously. In depositions of 1542 it is stated that the inhabitants of Caton had in 1537 been allowed to quarry stone at Wegbarrow in Halton for the building of the steeple of their church; Duchy of Lanc. Dep. xxxviii, D 1.
  • 77. Lanc. Ch. i, 164–5. The term 'church' is used ibid. 172. 'Christian the chaplain' had land in Caton; Cockersand Chartul. iii, 844.
  • 78. Ibid, iii, 840.
  • 79. See the account of Lancaster Church. In 1527 Richard Wering had been curate for sixteen years at the will of the vicar; the value of the free chapel was £5 6s. 8d.; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 15. In 1548 William Baines was curate, but William Thomson appears also in the visitation list. The former was alone in 1554; the will of William Baines, 'priest at Caton,' was proved in 1586. He may have ceased to minister, for in 1562 Richard Patchett had been curate, but his name was crossed out in the bishop's list and that of Thomas Carter inserted; Visit. Papers at Chester.
  • 80. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 8. No curate of Caton occurs among the contributors to clerical subsidies 1620–40.
  • 81. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 127. The curate was James Schoolcroft, M.A., who in 1648 had signed the 'Harmonious Consent' as minister of Caton. The allowance from the vicarage was £3 6s. 8d. small tithes, probably the customary stipend of the curate. An allowance of £30 had been made as early as 1646 out of Sir Henry Compton's estate; Plund. Mins. Accts. i, 20. Sir Henry was in 1648 compelled to assign £100 a year to the curate of Caton; ibid, ii, 150. Schoolcroft was ejected in 1657 and James Bowker succeeded him; ibid, ii, 308, 196.
  • 82. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 439; 'the tithes of this chapelry, which consists of but one township, are given by the vicar instead of finding a curate here.' There were two chapelwardens. The endowment was afterwards increased by, £400 private benefaction and £600 Q. A. Bounty.
  • 83. Lond. Gaz. 12 July 1867.
  • 84. Manch. Dioc. Dir.
  • 85. Visit. List at Chester.
  • 86. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 228; 'conformable' in 1689. He was there in 1691; Visit. List at Chester. He became rector of Claughton in 1691 and died in 1700.
  • 87. The church papers at Chester Diocesan Registry begin with his nomination.
  • 88. He wrote to the Bishop of Chester in Oct. 1786, asking for another assistant curate, and stating: 'I am now entered the 77th year and can't without the greatest difficulty perform the whole duty of reading prayers and preaching twice every Sunday. Had your lordship seen me struggling with the storm on foot the 8th instant, supporting myself with my staff, it would have excited your compassion.' He died in 1798.
  • 89. He lived in the Isle of Wight, and it does not appear that he ever saw Caton, which curacy is not named in his Life by Grimshawe. He became a leader of the Evangelical party and wrote the Dairyman's Daughter and other tales. He was afterwards rector of Turvey; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 90. Became vicar of Newland, Glos., 1803.
  • 91. He was brother of Charles Gibson of Quernmore. He resided at his rectory of Fyfield, Essex. See Burke, Commoners, iii, 658.
  • 92. From a short Memoir edited by his son Herbert Thurtell (Lanc. 1852) it appears that he was a younger son of John Thurtell and was born at Hopton in Suffolk 1794. He entered the navy and retired as lieutenant at the peace in 1815. He was ordained in 1820, and was incumbent of Leck, Thornton in the Fylde (1837–41) and Caton.
  • 93. He died in 1902.
  • 94. Previously incumbent of Over Wyresdale.
  • 95. Afterwards of Royton, near Oldham.
  • 96. Previously incumbent of Calder Vale 1882, and of Overton 1885. Mr. Locke has assisted the editors in the compilation of this list.
  • 97. The building was begun in 1751.
  • 98. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 232. At the Bishop of Chester's visitation in 1677 a number of 'Papists and Quakers' were presented.
  • 99. The minister of High Street Church, Lancaster, began preaching at Caton in 1798, but regular services appear to have begun in 1842; Nightingale, Lancs. Nonconf. i, 204–5. The chapel was formerly a silk warehouse.
  • 100. Lanc. Fifty Tears Ago (22 Feb. 1851).