Townships: Gressingham

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

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'Townships: Gressingham', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914), pp. 85-89. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Townships: Gressingham", in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914) 85-89. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Townships: Gressingham", A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 8, (London, 1914). 85-89. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

In this section


Ghersinctune, Dom. Bk.; Gersingeham, 1183; Gersingham, 1203; Gressingham, 1205; Kersingeham, 1260.

This detached township stands on the north-west side of the Lune, into which flows a small stream, rising at the western edge of the township and flowing east through the village. North and south of this stream the land rises in little hills, heights of 300 and 400 ft. above sea level being attained. The hilly land to the south of the village is called Eskrigg; southwest of it, across a wooded clough, are Higher and Lower Snab. The acreage is 2,014½, (fn. 1) and in 1901 there was a population of 119.

From the village a road goes east to Hornby, crossing the Lune by a bridge; west it goes to join the road from Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale, and has a branch to Aughton on the south-west. Another road goes north from the village to the Kirkby Lonsdale road and south to Eskrigg.

The land is mostly used for grazing.

Two natives of the place obtained distinction in the 16th century. Edmund Scambler, born about 1520, was educated at Cambridge, (fn. 2) and became a Protestant, ministering secretly in London during the Marian persecution. (fn. 3) On the accession of Elizabeth he was made Bishop of Peterborough in 1561. (fn. 4) In 1584 he obtained promotion to Norwich, where he among other acts in 1588–9 condemned and burnt one Francis Kett. He died in 1594, leaving a large family and a large fortune. He was esteemed a good preacher, and was one of the translators of the Bishops' Bible. (fn. 5)

Thomas Penny, son of John Penny, was likewise educated at Cambridge, and became a Protestant. He was made prebendary of St. Paul's, but was deprived for nonconformity in 1577. He was famous as a botanist. (fn. 6)


Earl Tostig held GRESSINGHAM in 1066 as a dependency of Whittingham; it was then assessed as two plough-lands, (fn. 7) but later as one plough-land only. Some time after the Conquest it was granted to foresters—three-fourths (6 oxgangs) to one whose duty it was to keep the king's goshawks nesting in Lonsdale until they were strong, when he was to deliver them to the sheriff, the other fourth (2 oxgangs) to another forester, (fn. 8) who kept the aeries of the king's hawks. The services in later times were commuted for a rent of 3s. 6d. There was also the service called cowmale, which was commuted for 2s. 6d. (fn. 9)

The manor was thus divided from an early period, and became so much further divided by grants and by partition among co-heirs, each portion apparently being regarded as a 'manor,' that it becomes impossible to trace the descents. The earliest possessor known of the 6 oxgangs of land was Bernard, who granted 2 oxgangs to a son Bernard, who was in return to discharge the service due to the king. (fn. 10) The eldest son, Geoffrey de Gressingham, was living 1193 to 1204, (fn. 11) and left a daughter and heir Alice; he had given half an oxgang of land to his brother Adam and a little land also to Lancaster Priory. (fn. 12) Alice, the heir, was married to Thomas son of Adam de Kellet, (fn. 13) who was in possession in 1212. (fn. 14) Their daughter Christiana probably married a Burgh, for about 1270 William de Burgh (Burrow) was lord of Gressingham. (fn. 15) It appears that in 1228 the Icing granted Over Wyresdale and the land of Gressingham to the great Hubert de Burgh and his wife. (fn. 16) The coincidence of surnames is curious, as there was no connexion between the families. William de Burgh had a son and heir Adam, (fn. 17) after whom the family disappears, but the Harringtons afterwards occur among the principal tenants. (fn. 18) Their estate (fn. 19) descended probably to Lord Mounteagle, who had a grant of the manor from the Crown, (fn. 20) and the owner of Hornby is still regarded as lord of the manor of Gressingham. (fn. 21)

Burgh of Gressingham. Argent on a saltire sable Jive swans of the field.

The earliest possessor of the 2 oxgangs of land seems to have been the Kettel de Gressingham who in 1203–4 contributed half a mark to the scutage. (fn. 22) In 1212 this portion was held by William son of Dolfin and William son of Gilbert, (fn. 23) and about ten years later by William and Benedict. (fn. 24) The latter is probably the Benedict son of Kettel whose right to I oxgang of land was acknowledged by Adam de Coupmanwra in 1235. (fn. 25) From this time the descent becomes obscured, (fn. 26) but in 1346 the holders of this oxgang were John de Twisleton, Lawrence Balrig and Cecily de Southworth. (fn. 27) Two of these families were of long continuance in the township; the Twisletons had Over Hall till the middle of the 16th century, (fn. 28) and the Southworths, who continued till about 1500, (fn. 29) perhaps had Nether Hall, which was later the property of a family named Thompson. (fn. 30) Both were afterwards held by Croft (fn. 31) and West. (fn. 32)

The only other noteworthy family was that of Green, whose estate was called a manor (fn. 33); it descended in the 16th century to Parker. Some other names occur, as Lancaster, (fn. 34) Washington, (fn. 35) Middleton (fn. 36) and Redmayne. (fn. 37) Eskrigggave a surname to residents. (fn. 38)

Gressingham Hall

Cockersand Abbey (fn. 39) and Lancaster Church (fn. 40) had lands in the township.

The freeholders recorded in 1600 were William Parker, John Thompson and Richard Johnson, the last being of Eskrigg. (fn. 41) Francis Wood, as a Royalist 'delinquent in both wars,' compounded with the Parliamentary authorities for his estate; his fine was £51 15s. (fn. 42)


The church of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST (fn. 43) stands on high ground sloping to the south and consists of a clearstoried chancel and nave of three bays under one roof with north aisle of equal length and west tower. The building was 'restored,' or perhaps rebuilt, in 1734, (fn. 44) and was further altered in 1862, to which date all the windows, which are of Gothic design, belong. The latter alterations were carried out under the superintendence of Messrs. Austin & Paley.

The walls are of rubble and the roofs are covered with stone slates and have overhanging eaves. The tower has a plain parapet with flat coping and single-light belfry windows. On the south side there is a good 12th-century roundheaded doorway, 3 ft. 3 in. wide, of three moulded orders springing from imposts and moulded jambs 6 ft. high, the height of the doorway being 7 ft. 9 in. The middle order has the cable mould and the outer one the cheveron, and there is a modern hood mould. (fn. 45) The font, which stands under the tower, is plain and may be ancient. The pulpit is dated 1714 and bears the initials of the Rev. Richard Thompson, curate. There is a brass inscribed 'Near this Pillar lieth the Body of old Robert Eskrigge of Eskrigge and Richard his son and Robert his grandson Robert Eskrigge of Winnick Clerk fixed me here and Richard and Robert their heires now appeare 1696. Non imagine loquamur sed vivunt.' In the vestry are an old oak chest and two old chairs. There is one bell by Luke Ashton of Wigan inscribed 'Gloria in excelsis Deo. Thomas Williamson warden 1740.' The registers begin in 1710.


The chapel of Gressingham, which originally belonged to Melling, (fn. 46) was given by Roger de Montbegon, lord of Hornby, who died in 1225–6, to the abbey of St. Martin at Sees, (fn. 47) and so became dependent upon Lancaster Church. A graveyard was consecrated in 1230. (fn. 48) By the ordination of the vicarage in 1430 Gressingham was to have a resident curate, and the obligation was probably fulfilled. (fn. 49) The religious changes of the 16th century did not relieve the vicar of Lancaster from this duty and in 1610 there was a curate in charge. (fn. 50) The minister in 1650 desired his chapelry to be made into a parish, with the additions of Aughton from Halton and Arkholme from Melling. The income at that time was £6 13s. 4d. from small tithes, with £40 added from the sequestered estate of Lord Morley, 'a Papist delinquent.' (fn. 51) This addition would cease at the Restoration, and in 1717 the income was under £9, partly from small tithes and partly from the rent of a parcel of land. The curate then read prayers and preached every Sunday. (fn. 52) After the restoration or rebuilding of the chapel (fn. 53) in 1734 a further endowment of £800 was procured from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 54) The net value is stated as £84 a year.

The incumbents, styled vicars, are presented by the vicar of Lancaster. The following is an imperfect list:—

oc. 1674 Anthony Lund (fn. 55)
oc. 1677 Thomas Garforth, B.A. (fn. 56) (St. John's Coll., Camb.)
1684 Richard Thompson (fn. 57)
1725 Alexander Bagot, B.A. (fn. 58) (Christ's Coll., Camb.)
1758 Robert Armitstead (fn. 59)
1807 John Atkinson, M.A. (fn. 60)
1808 Richard Davies, B.A. (fn. 61)
1820 William Nelson (fn. 62)
1838 William Stratton, B.A. (St. Edmund Hall, Oxf.)
1857 William Stratton, B.A. (New Coll., Oxf.)
1890 William Suffield Forster Maynard, B.A. (T.C.D.)
1898 Thomas Mercer, B.A. (Corpus Christi Coll., Camb.)


  • 1. 2,019 acres, including 46 of inland water; Census Rep. 1901.
  • 2. B.A. 1542.
  • 3. The reference given is Strype, Mem. iii (2), 147.
  • 4. He was 'a prelate entirely after Elizabeth's own heart, for he alienated much of the lands belonging to the see, all to the profit of the queen and her courtiers'; G. A. Poole, Peterborough (Dioc. Hist.), 145.
  • 5. F. O. White, Eliz. Bishops, 158–61; Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. V.C.H. Lancs. i, 288b.
  • 8. Lancs. Inq. and Extents (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 125–6.
  • 9. This payment is recorded in 1262; ibid, i, 230. It is called cowmale in 1297; ibid. 297.
  • 10. Ibid. 96. In another place (ibid. 125) the grant is stated to have been made by Geoffrey de Gressingham. Bernard the elder may be the Bernard the Forester who, with William his brother, were among the jury which in 1157–63 decided the boundary between Furness and Kendal; Farrer, Lancs. Pipe R. 311. Bernard the younger left a widow Margery, who in 1222–6 held his 2 oxgangs of land; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 126.
  • 11. In 1193–4 he paid 100s. for having the king's goodwill after taking part in Count John's rebellion; Farrer, op. cit. 78. In 1203–4 he paid 1 mark, to the scutage; ibid. 178. His heir paid half a mark in 1205–6; ibid. 204.
  • 12. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 96; Adam was to render a pound of pepper yearly. Geoffrey de Gressingham, the king's forester, about 1200–4 gave to Lancaster Priory the homage and service (2s.) of his nephew Richard son of Roger de Gressingham and the lands held by him, viz. an assart called Ramessorm in Prestonholme with a croft and messuage in Gremescherie, with such easements as by the oath of the lawful men of the vill should rightly suffice for the occupier and his cattle; Lanc. Ch. (Chet. Soc), i, 152.
  • 13. Adam son of Adam (de Kellet) in 1205–6 proffered 25 marks and a palfrey for the marriage of Alice daughter and heir of Geoffrey de Gressingham, with her whole inheritance, for the use of his brother; Farrer, op. cit. 203.
  • 14. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 96. Thomas son of Adam was living between 1216 and 1222 (ibid. 125), but Alice died about that time, leaving a daughter Christiana, for whose marriage her grandfather Adam de Coupmanwra offered the king 100s.; ibid. 125. The offer may not have been accepted, for her father Thomas in 1227 gave 10 marks for her wardship and marriage; Excerpta e Rot. Fin. (Rec. Com.), i, 155. Adam de Coupmanwra and Thomas his son attested a Gressingham charter; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, 97. Thomas de Coupmanwra, apparently the same as Thomas de Gressingham, occurs down to about 1270 (ibid. 158, 228), when he allowed the monks of Lancaster to take two oaks a year from his woods in Gressingham and two more from Kellet; Lanc. Ch. 160.
  • 15. William de Burgh as lord of Gressingham gave to Lancaster Priory his land called Priestcroft, lying between the church land and the highway from the church to the wood; ibid, i, 157 (before 1285). Margaret widow of William de Burgh was claiming dower in 1279–80 against the Abbot of Cockersand and others, who called John Gernet (of Caton) to warrant in Gressingham and Adam de Burgh in Kellet; De Banco R. 30, m. 26; 34, m. 21; 38, m. 14.
  • 16. Cal. Close, 1227–31, p. 68.
  • 17. In 1289 Adam de Burgh, son and heir of William de Burgh and lord of Gressingham, confirmed the gifts of oaks made by Thomas de Coupmanwra and by Adam's brother William de Burgh; Lanc. Ch. i, 162. This gift was made by William as 'dwelling in Gressingham,' and consisted of an oak a year from the wood there and another oak from the common wood of Gressingham and Halton; ibid. 159. Another William de Burgh was 'dwelling in Middleton' in 1265; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 233. Adam de Burgh of Gressingham was plaintiff in 1284; Assize R. 1268, m. 19. He occurs again in 1297 and 1302; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 303, 311; Cal. Pat. 1292–1301, p. 481. In 1314 Christiana widow of Adam de Burgh claimed dower in Gressingham in various messuages, water-mill, &c., held by Roger son of William de Burgh and Denise his wife, Alice daughter of John de Caton the younger, John Balrig and Matthew son of John de Caton (a minor); De Banco R. 204, m. 192 d. It appears that Roger de Burgh the younger and Denise his wife were custodees of the heir and that Denise herself held in dower; ibid. 211, m. 17 d.; 218, m. 182 d. In 1323 Christiana widow of Adam de Burgh held a moiety of the manor, rendering 3s. 4d. yearly, and Roger de Burgh held a messuage, rendering 4d.; Lancs. Inq. and Extents, ii, 122.
  • 18. In 1346 a total of 3s. 8d. was paid by John de Harrington, William son of William de Lockhaw, Thomas de Gressingham, William del Green, Alan Hughson, Henry de Heybergh, Benedict Adamson and Cecily de Southworth for one plough-land in Gressingham held by the eighth part of a knight's fee. In addition John de Twisleton, Lawrence Balrig and Cecily de Southworth held I oxgang of land there by serjeanty of the forests of Cawood and Quernmore; Survey of 1346 (Chet. Soc), 66. The sheriff's compotus of 1348 records the payment (given as 3s. 6d.), and omitting the serjeanty, which paid nothing, adds that the reeve of Skerton answered for 2s. 6d. cowmale. Alan son of Hugh de Erghum (Arkholme) in 1337 was plaintiff against William de Lockhaw, John his son, Richard Baines of Whittington and John his son respecting a small piece of land in Gressingham; Assize R. 1424, m. 8. Damages of 2d. were awarded him.
  • 19. Thomas de Harrington died abroad in 1361 holding land, &c., in Gressingham of Adam de Southworth and other lords, which Sir James de Pickering occupied after Thomas's death. The next heir was Nicholas son of John de Harrington of Farleton; Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III, pt. i, no. 99. An estate at Gressingham was in the time of Henry VIII held by the Harringtons of Huyton of Lord Mounteagle; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. vi, no. 57; viii, no. 41.
  • 20. See the account of Hornby. The manor of Gressingham occurs in the inquisitions as part of the Hornby fee. John Penruddock of New Sarum in 1589 stated that he had obtained the manor of Gressingham in 1582 (Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 250, m. 7) from John Whitbrook, merchant of London, but that some of the tenants resisted his possession. John Thompson son of Oliver Thompson said he held the capital messuage called Nether Hall by inheritance, and other lands he held of Lord Mounteagle by tenant right. He had heard that Whitbrook and plaintiff had certain rights in the Mounteagle land, and though he and other tenants had so far paid their rents to Lord Morley they were ready to pay them to whomsoever the court might direct; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. cxlvii, P 5.
  • 21. End. Char. Rep. for Lanc. 1903, p. 114.
  • 22. Farrer, op. cit. 178. Kettel had several sons. In 1202 Siegrith widow of Gilbert son of Kettel claimed dower in Gressingham against John son of Finthor, who allowed her one-third of two-thirds of an oxgang of land in Scathekholme, Fite, Holme, Eskrigg and the crofts towards Ulvesthwaite; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 12. Adam son of Kettel de Gressingham gave to Cockersand Abbey half an oxgang of land, also land in Bustocrigg; Chartul. (Chet. Soc.), iii, 922–3.
  • 23. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 96. Of the former possessor nothing is known, but he gave land in Bustocrigg, Eskrigg and Oakscroft to Cockersand; Chartul. iii, 921. His father was no doubt the Dolfin de Gressingham who in 1184 gave 1 mark to have his suit with Adam respited; Farrer, op. cit. 50.
  • 24. Lancs. Inq. and Extents, i, 125–6. The three lords in 1230 were Thomas, William and Benedict; Lanc. Ch. i, 153.
  • 25. Final Conc. i, 71.
  • 26. In 1291 Adam son of Benedict de Gressingham complained that Thomas son of Benedict and others had disseised him of certain land; Adam (de Burgh) was chief lord; Assize R. 1294, m. 9 d.; 408, m. 45. One Benedict de Gressingham was in 1292 fined for impeding the court proceedings by talking in the hall and making a great tumult; ibid. m. 8. An Adam son of Benedict de Gressingham was plaintiff in 1359; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 7, m. 6 d. John de Caton probably obtained one of these oxgangs of land, as later possessors seem to have been his heirs. He in 1292 purchased a messuage and land from William de Furness and Clarice his wife; Final Conc. i, 172. Matthew son of John de Caton the younger, a minor, in 1317 called upon William de Slene, as custodee of Thomas son and heir of Adam son of Richard de Burgh, to warrant him; De Banco R. 218, m. 182d. Richard Perce and Margaret his wife in 1335 made a claim against Matthew son of John de Caton; ibid. 301, m. 18 d.
  • 27. Survey, 66, quoted above.
  • 28. John de Twisleton and Helewise his wife claimed in 1301 an acre in Gressingham against John son of John de Caton and Denise his wife. Denise said she had nothing except as John's wife, and he held by gift of his father. The jury found that the plaintiff held only as tenant at will of John the father, and gave a verdict for the defendants; Assize R. 419, m. 2 d. From a plea already cited it appears that Denise was in 1314 the wife of Roger de Burgh. In 1344 John de Twisleton (probably another person) and Eve his wife claimed a toft against Cecily de Southworth, an acre against William the Tailor and three messuages, &c., against Alice daughter of John de Caton, in right of the said Eve, of Alice widow of Roger son of John de Burgh of Leck and of Christiana widow of John Jopson the Geldherd; De Banco R. 339, m. 258. In 1346 the same John and Eve claimed the third part of six messuages, two-thirds of a mill, &c., against John son of Sir Robert de Harrington, Cecily de Southworth and William the Tailor. It appeared that Eve, Alice and Christiana were the sisters and heirs of Matthew son and heir of John de Caton; ibid. 348, m. 533. In 1552 William Thompson acquired a messuage in Eskrigg, and in 1560 he further purchased seven messuages, watermill, fishery, &c., in Gressingham and Mickle Eskrigg from Robert Twisleton and Agnes his wife; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 14, m. 127; 22, m. 23. This estate was called Over Hall, as appears from a complaint by the purchaser and his son Richard in 1561, alleging that William Twisleton, brother of the vendor, had tried to disseise them. Robert Twisleton was described as of Bramham in Suffolk, son and heir of Thomas Twisleton formerly of Gressingham; Duchy of Lanc. Plead. Eliz. 1, T 3. In 1584 Robert Twisleton, son of the above-named Robert, claimed Over Hall as heir of his grandfather Thomas, who had settled it on his wife Joan for life. It had come into the hands of one Richard Redman, who died about 1 579, and whose son John conveyed to John Thompson (son of Oliver son of William), who then sold to Edmund Scambler, Bishop of Peterborough and later of Norwich; Duchy of Lane. Plead. Eliz. cxxxiv, T 2; cxxxvii, T 8. The defendant Thompson said that part of what was claimed, viz. Snable, was held by his grandfather William, who had died about eighteen years before. It will be seen that Over Hall was afterwards acquired by the Crofts of Claughton.
  • 29. From the Survey of 1346 already cited it appean that Cecily de South worth then had a share in each of the two ancient divisions of Gressingham. The origin of her title does not appear. Adam de Southworth and Alice his wife occur in 1352 (note 33). In 1405 the escheator was ordered to give livery of a messuage, &c., to Richard de Southworth, son and heir of Alice widow of Adam de Southworth; Dep. Keeper's Rep. xxxiii, App. 5. Alice had died in Nov. 1404 holding by the thirty-secondth part of a knight's fee; Richard her son was thirtyfour years old; Towneley MS. DD, no. 1502. Richard and his wife Alice made a settlement of lands in Elswick in 1413; Final Conc. iii, 72. John Southworth died in 1480 holding of the king as duke by the thirty-secondth part of a knight's fee and the payment of 3s. 4d.; also 2s. for cowmale. His son and heir was Nicholas, aged forty; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 113. The tenure seems to indicate the holding of Bernard son of Bernard in 1212.
  • 30. Pleadings already quoted show that Nether Hall was in 1589 held by John Thomoson, as son and heir of his father Oliver (d. 1571), who was son of William Thompson of Claughton (d. 1566). The inquisition states that William held his lands, &c., in Gressingham of the queen as of her duchy and Oliver of Lord Mounteagle by knight's service; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. xi, no. 32; xiii, no. 9.
  • 31. Edward Croft in 1591 purchased four messuages, &c., in Gressingham and Mickle Eskrigg from John Thompson and Ellen his wife, and made a further purchase in 1595; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 53, m. 213; 57, m. 156. William Croft of Claughton died in 1606 holding Over Hall, Swine Strings, &c., which Gabriel Croft had recently purchased from the Bishop of Peterborough, and which were held by the serjeanty of being forester in Cawood and Quernmore; Lancs. Inq. p.m.(Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 50–6. Edward Croft (brother of William and Gabriel) died in 1614 holding similarly; ibid. ii, 90. Elizabeth Croft of Gressingham in 1630 paid £9 a year as composition for the two-thirds of her lands which should have been sequestered for her recusancy; Trans. Hist. Soc. (new ser.), xxiv, 174.
  • 32. In 1655 Lancelot Pickering and Margaret his wife obtained from Lawrence Croft and Mary his wife a moiety of the manor of Gressingham; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 157, m. 47. Three years afterwards William West purchased the manor from Lancelot Pickering, Margaret his wife, Christopher Harper, Jane his wife; Miles Barber, Janet his wife, Stephen Greenhood and Margaret his wife; ibid. bdle. 162, m. 176. There was a further fine in 1701, William West v. Henry West and Martha his wife; ibid. bdle. 247, m. 89. A later fine (1745) refers perhaps to a different estate: Edward Wilson v. Francis Wilson and Anne his wife, respecting a mansion-house and lands at Gressingham, Eskrigg and Snabb; ibid. 332, m. 51.
  • 33. William del Green was one of the tenants in 1346, as already shown. In the same year a pardon was granted to Thomas del Green; Cal. Pat. 1345–8, p. 510. Matthew del Green in 1352 complained that Adam de Southworth and Alice his wife had taken his cattle at Eskrigg. He was grandson of Benedict de Gressingham, who had held of Adam de Gressingham by 12d. rent; Alice de Southworth was this Adam's granddaughter; Duchy of Lanc. Assize R. 1, m. 6. Thomas Green in 1441 complained of depasturing by James Thornton, Thomas Twisleton and others; Pal. of Lanc Plea R. 3, m. 13b. William Green in 1479 granted his manor of Gressingham to his brother John; Add. MS. 32108, no. 1422. William Green died in 1499 holding the manor of Gressingham Hall, measuages, &c., and a close next the park called Iparsclose of the king as of his duchy by services unknown. His heir was his granddaughter Elizabeth (daughter of John Green), then aged ten, but married in 1501 to Edward Parker; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. iii, no. 31, 84. William Parker was in possession in 1586; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), iii, 167. He died in 1622 holding a capital messuage, water-mill, &c., of the king as duke by the sixtieth part of a knight's fee and 12d. rent. Edward his son and heir was forty years of age; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), iii, 391. In 1631 Edward Parker compounded for declining knighthood; Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 221.
  • 34. In 1312 Roger son of Roger de Lancaster summoned John son of Roger de Lancaster to warrant him; De Banco R. 195, m. 273 d. John de Hornby the younger claimed 22 acres against the same Roger son of Roger in 1320; ibid. R. 236, m. 130.
  • 35. Robert Washington of Warton died in 1483 land in Gressingham by services unknown; Lancs. Inq. p.m. (Chet. Soc), ii, 116.
  • 36. Edward Middleton died in 1524 holding messuages and land in Eskrigg and Gressingham of the king as duke by 3d. rent. Oliver Middleton, his son and heir, was twelve years old; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. v, no. 59.
  • 37. William Redmayne of Little Ursvick died in 1536, having granted his messuage in Gressingham (held of the king) to Maud widow of his son James for life; Duchy of Lanc. Inq. p.m. viii, no. 34.
  • 38. Thomas Eskrigg the elder in 1561 made a settlement of lands, &c., in Gressingham, Stubb and Overburrow. The remainders were to his wife Alice for life and then to his sons Roger, Thomas, Robert, Stephen, Richard and Lawrence; Pal. of Lanc. Feet of F. bdle. 23, m. 123.
  • 39. In addition to charters already cited John de Hoton (Hutton) gave land in the Standis; Cockersand Chartul. iii, 923. William de Burgh was then lord of Gressingham. The lands were granted to Richard Pimond with others in Caton in 1544. Pat. 36 Hen. VIII, pt. ix.
  • 40. Lands formerly of the priory of 'Crosston' were in 1600 granted to Henry Birt and others; Pat. 42 Eliz., pt. xxvii.
  • 41. Misc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 229–30.
  • 42. Cal. Com. for Comp. iii, 2037.
  • 43. The invocation of the ancient chapel is unknown.
  • 44. A brief was directed in that year to Milnrow Cliurch for the collection of money for the restoration of Gressingham Church; Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc. iv (new ser. 1898), 258–66, from which the description of the church which follows is largely taken.
  • 45. The doorway is illustrated in ibid. 262.
  • 46. It is first mentioned in an arbitration before 1195 between the Prior of Lancaster and the rector of Melling; Round, Cal. Doc. France, 239.
  • 47. Lanc. Ch. i, 20; the rectors of Melling were to take oath on their institution to make no claim to the chapel. Melling was then part of the Hornby fee.
  • 48. Ibid, 153. The date seems to be fixed by another reference to the consecrator, the Bishop of Man and the Isles; ibid. 164.
  • 49. In 1527 Edmund Wingreave was incumbent of the free chapel at the will of the vicar of Lancaster. He had been there twenty-eight years, and the value of the chapel was £4. a year; Duchy of Lanc. Rentals, bdle. 5, no. 15. The Chester visitation lists show that James Baines was curate 1548–62; in the latter year he appeared and subscribed. A list of the church goods in 1552 has been printed; Chet. Misc. (new ser.), i, 17. The will of John Fawcett, clerk, curate of Gressingham, was proved at Richmond in 1590.
  • 50. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 8; his name was Greenup and he was 'no preacher.'
  • 51. Commonw. Ch. Surv. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), 127. The reason for adding Arkholme was it was 'separated from Melting, its parish church, by the River Lune, which they cannot pass without danger of life.' The minister at that time was John Sill, 'a painful preacher,' who had been a member of the classis from 1646. A grant of £10 had been made in 1646 out of Lord Morley's estates, quickly increased to £40, the regular maintenance being stated as £2 a year; Plund. Mins. Accts. (Rec. Soc. Lancs. and Ches.), i, 22–3. No minister was named in the grant. John Sill died in 1651 (ibid, no), leaving a widow Hannah, and Henry Kidson was in charge in 1652–4; ibid. 248, 142. He had been at Hornby (ibid. 238), and was promoted to Claughton in 1659.
  • 52. Gastrell, Notitia Cestr. (Chet. Soc.), ii, 440; there was one chapel-warden.
  • 53. Ibid. 441.
  • 54. Lewis, Topog. Dict.
  • 55. This name is in the visitation list at Chester, but it is not said that he was curate.
  • 56. Visit. List.
  • 57. Also at Leek. He was 'conformable' in 1689; Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xiv, App. iv, 229. He was still curate in 1691; Visit. List.
  • 58. The Church Papers at Chester Diocesan Registry begin with him. The vacancy in 1725 occurred 'by the death of the late curate, Mr. Thompson.'
  • 59. Also rector of Claughton.
  • 60. He resigned Gressingham, probably to become rector of Gate Burton, to which one of the same name was instituted in 1808.
  • 61. In 1808 Mr. Davies of Wrington near Bristol wrote for licence of nonresidence, stating that he was engaged in a classical school, which had till then been the only source of support of himself, his wife and ten children, and that he served a church in the neighbourhood, belonging to Mr. Manby, vicar of Lancaster; Ch. P. at Chester. He resigned in 1820.
  • 62. Master of Over Kellet School.