Families of the Northwest of England, Greater Manchester, Cheshire & Lancashire
- Visitation of Cheshire 1613
- A History of Altrincham and Bowden
- "County families of Lancashire and Cheshire"
Links for Genealogy sites will be below the family background. (as the projects develop). There is also another resource created to assist with fact checking for these families called High Sheriff's of Cheshire.
Many of the old families of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire can trace their ancestries back to the Norman Conquest of 1066. Their names effectively echo the long history of the region and are imprinted in districts and townships whose streets and placenames record their passing. These families dramatically impacted the history of Europe; they were kingmakers, stewards of England, descendants of the Plantagenet and Tudor kings, Crusaders, castle builders and much more. Through marriage they are linked with hundreds of royal families in Europe and Asia. They are also rebels who have paid the ultimate price for participating in some of the most dynamic struggles in history. Many of their descendants immigrated to the New World and were founders of important colonial families. Where descendants have emmigrated to other countries, I have included only the emmigrant and no further, as their stories would exceed the purpose of this project.
link North Chesire Historic Society: http://www.dnr.me.uk/ncfhs2/NCFHS_forms/liblistmay2011.pdf
Alphabetical Order:PLEASE.* If you add, please cite sources.
The Acker family of Little Moreton, Congleton
An old Anglo-Saxon surname, referring to a plot of arable land, deriving from the old English pre-7th Century word "aecer", meaning a ploughed field or cultivated land, which became "acker" (or 'acre') in Middle English. There are a number of spelling variations, including Acres, Ackers, Acors, Akers, Akess and Akker. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of William del Acr',1214, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King John. A Coat of Arms granted to the Ackers family is a silver shield with three gold acorns, husked green, on a black bend, the Crest being a dove rising proper, in the beak an acorn of the arms, and the Motto: "La Liberté" (Liberty).
One George Ackers (born 1788) owned Little Moreton Hall near Congleton, Cheshire and his son, George Holland Ackers, was High Sheriff for the County of Cheshire in 1852. The Ackers of Moreton Hall were landed gentry who also built Christ Church, in Wheelock near Sandbach. There is also an Ackers Crossing in the same area. James Ackers ( 1752 - 1824 ), described as the 'father of the silk trade' in Manchester, built Lark Hill Mansion on the site of what is now Salford Museum and Art Gallery. In 1792 he was Borough Reeve to the City of Manchester, later Deputy Lieutenant for Lancashire and in 1800 was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire. The Ackers also had a branch in Merseyside, where Ackers Hall was located and lands were held in the surrounding districts and townships of Roby, Huyton, Whiston, Prescot and Rainhill.
The Ainsworths of Halliwell
The Ainsworths were a family of bleachers who moved into the Halliwell district of Bolton in 1739 and leased surrounding estate lands from Captain Roger Dewhurst. Later they purchased other lands in Halliwell and in 1801 bought Smithills Hall for £26,000. They were to become extremely wealthy and influential in the area, in fact, the head of the family, Peter Ainsworth, was known locally as the "opulent bleacher". The district of Ainsworth and the Ainsworth Road are named after the family. Richard Ainsworth was largely responsible for the building of Jubilee School, and his father, John Horrocks Ainsworth was instrumental in building Saint Peters and Saint Paul's churches as well as many farms and other buildings in Halliwell.
The Andertons of Lostock
In 1542 James Anderton was born at Clayton Hall, He was to become a lawyer at London's Gray's Inn by the age of 20, and had built a house at Lostock Hall near Bolton. His cousin was reputed to be a farmer to Elizabeth I. Despite this, the family were devout Catholics - several of their number had taken religious orders at a time when such things were dangerous and potentially treasonous acts. Out of favour for their support of Catholic Stuarts, much of their lands were sold to the Marlboroughs and the Molyneux families about during the seventeenth century and the family was ultimately reduced to poverty.
The Antrobus Family of Eaton & Congleton
The family name is probably of Norse origin and almost certainly arrived with the Normans in 1066. The name has been spelled variously as Anthrobus, Antrobuss and Entrobus. Early records of the name mention Edward Antrobus who was recorded in the County of Yorkshire in 1185, and another Edward Antrobus who appears in Lancashire in 1273. Either way, this is an ancient Cheshire family but their principal seat, Antrobus Hall. The village of Antrobus lies south of Lymm, in the parish of Great Budworth in Cheshire. The family name is recorded in the Domesday Book as Entrebus, apparently from an Old Norse personal name Andri and buski, meaning a or thicket. An alternative derivation of the name is the Norman-French Entre-bois which can be interpreted as 'within the woods'. The name of Antrobus still is marked by the Village Hall in Northwich. The first recording of the present spelling of the family name is that of Joseph Antrobus, (who was married to Ann Parr), which was dated 27th August 1572 in Frodsham, Cheshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Branches of the family also emigrated to America, with Joan Antrobus settling in Massachusetts in 1635.
The Arden Family of Bredbury
The Arden family, (sometimes called Ardern, Arderne or Harden), trace their ancestry back to the 12th century, and have held substantial lands and properties throughout Cheshire and Lancashire since medieval times. The Ardernes originally moved to Chester from Warwickshire, when Sir John de Arderne of Alvanley married Joan de Stokeport, daughter of Richard de Stokeport in 1326. William Shakespeare's mother also came from the Warwickshire branch of this family. Their history in Cheshire was one of intermarriage with other county families, particularly the Davenports, the Leghs and the Dones. The family's Cheshire seats and estates were in Alvanley, Bredbury, Harden, Tarporley, and Utkinton, as well as lands in Haughton, Lancashire.
Perhaps the most celebrated member of the family was Richard Pepper Arderne, born in 1745, a brilliant lawyer, successful politician and a friend of Prime Minister, William Pitt. Richard became Attorney General, was knighted in 1788 was created Baron Alvanley of Alvanley in 1801.
The Cheshire and Chester Archives and Local Studies Unit has papers dating from the 13th to the 19th century relating to Arden family deeds, rentals, accounts, estate and family papers.
Underbank Hall in Stockport, built in late 15th to early 16th Century, was the town house of the Arderne family and remained so until it was sold by Lord Alveney in 1823. It was eventually purchased by a banking company and serves as a banking hall to this day. In 1825 the Bredbury estate also had to be sold to pay off family debts. The last male members of the family line were William Arderne, personal friend of the Prince Regent, who died in 1849, and his brother Richard, who held the title Baron until his death in 1857.
The Asshetons of Preston
This Assheton family dates back to the Norman Conquest, and had fought with the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066. They had formed an alliance by marriage with the Hothams. Asshetons and Hothams were to become members in Cromwell's Long Parliament and fought at the Battle of Agincourt. Ralph Assheton knighted by Richard III in 1483 and known as The Black Knight. Later Sir John Assheton was knighted on the battlefield at Northampton by the king. The family acquired many lands throughout Lancashire, Middleton, Whalley, Clitheroe, Rochdale and around Preston, where their new home, Downham Hall was built. Formally lived at Middleton Hall. Lord of the Manor, Ralph Assheton took the title of Lord Clitheroe when knighted in 1955.
The Baguley Family of Worsley
The Baguley family name comes from the old district Baggiley in Cheshire, which during the 11th century was held by Hamon Massy, created Baron of Durham Massy, a grant from William the Conqueror in respect of his support in the conquest of Britain. In the early 13th century, during the reign of King John, a Massy family descendant, one Matthew Massy of Bromhale (Bramhall), was given lands in Baggiley, (in present day Wythenshawe), and his heirs adopted the name Baggiley, later to be known as Baguley. Later, Sir William de Baggiley was knighted by King Edward I (known as Long Shanks), and married one of the King's daughters, possibly Lucy Corona, though some have it as Isabel. This saw the Baguley family well promoted in the aristocracy of England. They owned the salt mines in Cheshire and a mill for processing which over time made them a wealthy and influential family. Sir William built Baguley Hall sometime around 1320 and was Lord of the Manor as well as possessing other manors in Hyde and Levenshulme. Over time, through marriage, these lands passed to Sir John Leigh of Booth in 1353 and they remained in the Leigh family until the late seventeenth century, when the line terminated in Edward Leigh. It finally passed into the hands of the Tattons in 1825 when it was combined with other lands belonging to that family. An effigy of Sir William Baggiley can be seen in St Mary's Church in Bowdon. The family name is marked by the district of Baguley in South Manchester. Bigalow, a fairly common name in many old colonial countries is a derivation of the family name Baggiley.
The Barlows of Barlow Hall
The Manor of Barlow in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, was long held by a family who adopted that surname, with one Thomas de Barlow having been in residence there from about 1200. By 1389 Roger de Barlow was in possession not only of lands in Barlow, but others in Chorlton, Hardy, and Withington.
The Barlows had built Barlow Hall, as well as a small half-timbered chapel, on lands which they had held in the area since the 13th century. In 1567 Alexander Barlow was Lord of the Manor, and unfortunately for him, was among many local Manchester Catholics who fell foul of the religious changes made by Queen Elizabeth I, was committed to prison and died in custody on 24 August 1584.
A notable member of the family was Edward Barlow, later known as Saint Ambrose Barlow, a famous local Catholic martyr. Ambrose Barlow, who had done missionary work in Lancashire, was several times imprisoned, and was finally executed for his priesthood on the instructions of Parliament on 10 September 1641 at Lancaster.
In 1773 the family estates were sold and Barlow Hall has since then remained the property of the Egerton family of Tatton. In March 1879 a fire broke out at Barlow Hall in and its west wing was almost entirely destroyed. All trace of the original great hall were lost and a great deal of damage done to other parts of the building. The Barlow family name is still remembered by Barlow Moor Road which runs east-west through much of the district. Barlow Hall is now a golf club house!
The Bartons of Smithills
In 1485 Cecily Radclyffe married her second cousin John Barton, and thereby came into ownership of Smithills Hall in Bolton. The Barton family extended considerable influence over the affairs of the Smithills Deane district of Bolton over several centuries. In 1516 John gave the lands to his young son Andrew, who had married Agnes. This couple lived at the Hall as did their descendants. Finally, Grace, (the only daughter and heir of Thomas Barton and last generation of the family), married Henry, first Lord Viscount Fauconberg, whose descendants sold the manor in 1721 to the Byron family of Manchester. Sir Roger Barton had been a celebrated magistrate in the Bolton district in the mid-16th century renowned for the burning of heretic cleric George March.
The Baskervyles of Chelford & Goostry
The Baskervyle (Baskerville) Family lived at Baskerville Hall near Chelford - Sir John Baskervyle had acquired the manor house and estate in 1266 from one Robert de Camville. The Hall is sometimes known as "Old Withington" or Withington Hall, and the last owner was the descendant of a Baskervyle who took the name of his wife's family - Glegg. The original Baskervyles (sometimes spelt Baskervyyles) lived there from 1266, and according to the parish records of Prestbury their family remained at "Ould Withington" till around 1570, with a branch of the family, the Baskervyle-Gleggs, moving to Goostry in Cheshire around 1737 onwards and on well into the 1890s.
The family held substantial lands in Cheshire over many centuries including on the Wirral Peninsula. There is an account that during the building of the Hooton to West Kirby branch railway in the 19th century, the landowner, a member of the Baskervyle-Glegg family insisted upon a station being built at Thurstaston, much against the railway company's wishes.
In 1906 John Baskervyle-Glegg of Withington Hall and Egerton Leigh of Joderell Hall are joint Lords of the Manor of Goostry. Both of these families are listed in the 1937 edition of "Burke's Landed Gentry". The last Withington Hall on the site, thought to have been built around 1790, was demolished in 1958.
Sometime around 1865, Lucy Baskervyle Glegg of Withington Hall, was married to the son of the Third Viscount St. Vincent of Norton Disney in Lincolnshire and Sutton-in-Derwant in Yorkshire.
In more modern times, during the mid-1950s a John Baskervyle-Glegg is known to have attended Rugby School. Another celebrated John Baskervyle-Gregg played in the England Cricket team as a member of the Combined Services in 1962. There are other military connections. More recently, the year 2000 Edition of the Royal Horticultural Society's yearbook "The Garden" contained a chapter entitled "A Rector's Pastoral - Adam's Apples" by Diana Baskervyle-Glegg. The Sparkford, branch of the Royal British Legion, near Yeovil in Somerset, currently has a John Baskervyle-Glegg as its President.
The Belgraves (originally L'Enginour, Venables cadet line)
The Birch Family of Rusholme
The Birch family are best remembered for Birch Hall and Birchfields Park in Rusholme. Birch Hall was the family's property. The Birches sided with the Parliamentarian faction in the English Civil War and were principal agents in securing Manchester against the Earl of Derby. In 1689 John Birch, of Birch Hall, Manchester, was the High Sheriff of Lancashire.
The Bold Family of Bold
The Bold family, of the Lancashire township bearing the same name, trace their origins back to Anglo-Saxon times before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The earliest known record mentions a William de Bold in 1154, but it is thought that the foundations Bold Hall (old hall) were laid well before that.
It was in 1402, that John de Bold was the garrison commander who defended Caernarfon Castle against Owen Glendower. He was subsequently knighted, made Sir Constable of the Castle and was granted 5000 acres at Bold. In 1407 Sir John became the High Sheriff of Lancashire, and held the post until his death in 1410, the first of six Bold family descendants to hold that office. It was he who in 1406 had founded the Chantry, which is now the site of Bold Chapel in St Luke's, (formerly St Wilfrid's) Farnworth in Widnes. Later, his son Thomas de Bold fought alongside King Henry V at Agincourt 1415.
By 1588 the Bold family held extensive lands in Lancashire, with estates amounting to some 33,000 acres with 2,000 retainers helping maintain them. Their estates extended as far as Buckinghamshire and Yorkshire, and minor branches of the family also had holdings in Ireland.
In more recent times, in 1802 Jonas Bold became the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Bold Street in that city is named after him.
In 1829 Sir Henry Bold-Hoghton, also High Sheriff of Lancashire, married Dorothea Patten-Bold the daughter of Peter Patten-Bold.
The family also has royal connections, in the personage of Mary Patten-Bold (1795-1824), daughter of Peter Patten-Bold and Mary Patten-Bold (nee Parker). Mary was married to Prince Sapieha (Ostafi Eustace Sapieha Rozanski), of Dereczym in the Duchy of Lithuania.
The Bold family are represented in the Knowsley Coat of Arms, the Halton Coat of Arms and the old St Helens Coat of Arms.
We are indebted to Gordon Bold for providing us with details of the Bold Family.
The Booths of Dunham Massey
The Booth family of Dunham Massey trace their ancestry back to early medieval times when their name appears in several different forms, including Bouth, Booths and Bothe. Around 1275 William de Booths had married Sibel, daughter of Sir Ralph de Brereton, in 1474 John Legh of Booths was married to Raufe Egerton, and by Tudor times, the family had married into most of the neighbouring aristocratic families. For example, Sir William Booth (1540-1579) married Elizabeth Warburton of Arley, and yet another George Booth (1515-1543) was married to Elizabeth de Trafford.
One daughter of the family also married into the Grey family - it was of that same family that the unfortunate Lady Jane Grey came, before she fell prey to Henry VIII's axeman. Thus the family extended their influence and power base in the county.
Certainly the Booths held many lands in the area around this time, as evidenced in the House of Commons Journal of the 30th July 1660 which passed "…a Bill to enable Sir George Booth Baronet to lease and sell Lands, for Payment of his Debts, and raising Portions for Advancement of his younger Children".
This same Sir George Booth had fought for the Parliamentarian cause during the First Civil War and was elected MP for Cheshire in May 1645. He was also elected to the First Protectorate Parliament in 1654 and was commissioned to assist the Major-Generals in Cheshire. However, he appears to have fallen out of favour when he described them as 'Cromwell's hangmen' and by 1659 was plotting with Royalists to bring about the Restoration.
He headed an abortive insurrection during the summer of 1659, which was easily defeated, Booth was arrested and briefly imprisoned in the Tower of London but was soon released on bail.
In April 1660, Booth was elected to the Convention Parliament. He was one of twelve MPs appointed to convey Parliament's invitation to Charles II to return as King. It was also granted "That the Sum of Ten thousand Pounds be conferred on Sir George 1976 they have been National Trust Property.
The Tameside Metropolitan Borough - the district is named after the family
The Bostocks of Cheshire
Bostocks who lived in Cheshire had their ancestry in one Osmer, the Saxon Lord or Thane of the Manor of Bostock. Strict puritans by the time of the Reformation and dissatisfied by the Church's tolerance of Catholics, Arthur Bostock emigrated to America around 1640 and established a large Connecticut-New Hampshire Bostock ancestry. The Bostocks held extensive lands throughout Cheshire and parts of Lancashire including at Great Budworth, Warmingham, Church Coppenhall and in Church Minshull. Broadbottom Hall was built by them in 1680 and up to the 19th century, Broadbottom Hall and much of the surrounding land was owned by the Bostock family. The name is sometimes written as Bostwick or Bostick in America, but has the same root.
The Bradshaws of Wigan
Sir William Bradshaw was first user of the surname, having changed it from the earlier form of Bradshaigh (Brafishaigh or Bradshagh). The family had owned the districts of Haigh and Blackrod, but these had been paid to the crown in exchange for his knighthood. William is best known for his visit to the Crusades of 1314, when, failing to return in 10 years, his wife Mabel supposing him dead, remarried to Sir Osmond Nevile. When William did actually return and following a prolonged chase after his usurper, killed the unfortunate Nevile. The event is commemorated by a stone monument at Mabel's or Mab's Cross in Standishgate, Wigan.
The family resided at the 250 acre Haigh Hall estate and had done since the time of Edward II. The Hall became the seat of the Earl of Balcarres upon his marriage into the Bradshaigh family.
The Brereton Family of Cheshire
The Brereton family tree begins in 1175 with William de Brereton. His family had arrived from France with William the Conqueror, and that William was named after him as a tribute - it was to become a recurring name within the family. Later, another unfortunate William Brereton, along with four companions, was arrested and sent to the Tower of London charged with high treason as lovers of Anne Boleyn . Despite protestations of innocence, they were sentenced to death and beheaded on Tower Hill in 1536. The Brereton family exerted power and influence over Cheshire with holdings in Handforth, Malpas, Cheadle and at their country seat at Brereton Hall. It was a Sir William Brereton who also headed parliamentarian forces at the Battle of Middlewich and the siege of Nantwich in the English Civil Wars. The Brereton's established Handforth Hall when they became lords of the manor of the Bosden area in the early 1500s. One Sir Richard Brereton was the last owner of Tatton Park before the Egerton family took it over.
The Bulkeley Family of Cheadle & Beaumaris
The Bulkeleys were an important land-owning family of south Manchester. As early as 1326 part of the Manor of Cheadle (then worth £30 per annum) was acquired through marriage by one Richard de Bulkelegh, who inherited the northern part which became known as Cheadle Bulkeley, and remained so until it was merged with neighbouring Cheadle Mosley in the late 19th century to become the present district of Cheadle, (now in the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport). The estate passed on thereafter to several succeeding generations of Bulkeleys until, through wastefulness, they were forced in 1756 to sell off the estate to the Reverend Thomas Egerton.
In another celebrated branch of the family - Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris (c.1500-1547), was Chamberlain of North Wales - his great-grandfather was Sir William Troutbeck, a descendant of King Edward I. His descendants were made Viscounts Beaumaris. In the 17th century, Humphrey Bulkeley served in the Parliamentarian army during the English Civil Wars, and succeeded for a while to the Cheadle estates and died unmarried aged 60. He is buried, along with several other members of the Bulkeley family, in St Mary's Parish churchyard in Cheadle.
St Mary's still displays the Bulkeley Coat of Arms, as well as stained glass commemorating the marriage of the third Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris and Cheadle in 1577. The National Archives hold papers at the University of Wales in the Bangor Department of Manuscripts & Archives, relating to the Bulkeley family, dating back to the 14th century. The Bulkeleys are still recorded in street names in the township and in the local school which bears the family name. The Bulkeleys of Beaumaris are today one of the leading families in North Wales and the family still lives in Anglesey.
The Byrom Family of Kersal
The estate of Byrom has existed since the thirteenth century. Byrom Hall, the ancestral home of the celebrated poet John Byrom and was constructed in the 18th century. A timber-framed 16th century monastic building in Kersal, known as "the Kersal Cell" had badly fallen into disrepair so that it had to be demolished, and was purchased by the Byrom family in the 1660s. Tradition has it that John Byrom wrote the hymn "Christians, Awake" at Kersal Cell in 1749. The family had long been prosperous and influential in Manchester from dealing in linen drapery.
The Byron Family of Droylsden
The 1950 Arms of Droylsden incorporate the Arms of the Byron family, to which the famous romantic poet Lord Byron belonged, who were Lords of the Manor of Droylsden. The 12th century Clayton Hall, (now part of Manchester), was an early home of the Byrons and its moat still exists along side St Cross Church. By 1585 Sir John Byron was living at Royton Hall; it was here that, during the reign of Charles I, Sir Clifford Byron had a hand cut off by an intruder that he had disturbed - only a severed hand remains as (anecdotal) evidence of the event. In fact much of the district of Royton was held by John de Byron during the 13th century and remained in the Byron family until the early 17th century.
The Chaddertons of Chadderton
The Chadderton family take their name after the district of that name, which is now in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham. In medieval times, Chaddertons fought for the king and were knighted at the Battle of Agincourt. Later family members were High Sheriffs of Lancashire, and others governed the Isle of Man for the Earl of Derby. They came into ownership of the lands of Chadderton under a medieval system of land tenure, whereby the district of Chadderton was sublet to the powerful de Trafford Family and in about 1235 Richard de Trafford gave the lands to his son Geoffrey, who adopted the name of the estate and thereby became the founder of the Chadderton family. Geoffrey de Chadderton had Chadderton Hall built and became first Lord of the Manor of Chadderton.
At the beginning of the 14th century other lands were added to the Chadderton holdings, including lands at Crompton.
By 1367, the Manor had passed into the possession of the Radcliffe family, who were one of the most illustrious families in England. It was John de Radcliffe, Lord of Chadderton, fought at Agincourt in 1415, and was knighted by King Henry V.
The present day Oldham Metropolitan Borough Coat of Arms still bears the griffin - a device taken from that of the Chadderton family. Chadderton Hall, the old family seat, was demolished in 1939.
The Charnock Family of Astley Hall
The Charnock Family took their name from the township of Charnock Richard near Chorley, where they had their original home - an area now famed as the home of the Camelot Theme Park. It was Robert Charnock who rebuilt Astley Hall. Robert married five times, firstly to Isobel Norris of Speke Hall near Liverpool, and promoted the building of the first school in Chorley in 1611.
The family had a somewhat chequered history, with Robert's younger brother, John, being executed for high treason in 1586 following an abortive attempt to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots - the so called 'Babington Plot'. Robert Charnock himself died in 1616.
In 1624 Thomas Charnock became MP for Newton-in-Makerfield. Catholics and Royalists to a man, like many other Lancashire families who followed the old religion, at the end of the Civil Wars the family was fined heavily by Parliament for their support of King Charles. Robert Charnock, the last of the family male line, died in 1653. Robert's daughter and sole heir, Margaret, married Richard Brooke from Mere in Cheshire and thereafter Astley Hall passed into the ownership, through this marriage, to the Brooke family and thence to the Parkers and in the early 20th century to the Tattons.
The Cheetham Family of Stalybridge
The Cheethams were an important textile family, major employers and benefactors in the township of Stalybridge. He built the Castle Street Mills and the Bankwood Mill in the town. The Cheetham Park & Eastwood Nature Reserve is one of the nation's oldest RSPB areas and was presented to Stalybridge by the Cheetham family. John Cheetham (1802-86) was one-time MP for Salford. A local philanthropist, he helped establish local libraries and art galleries.
The Chorlton Family of Chorlton
The Chorlton Family name is evident in areas of Manchester like Chorlton-cum-Hardy and Chorlton on Medlock and traces its history back to 1546, during the reign of Henry VIII when George Chorlton is reputed to have been awarded the family Coat of Arms.
By the late 18th century Dinah Chorlton lived at Withington Old Hall, whose farmlands extended well over a 1,000 acres. It was allegedly the only Manor House in Manchester with a moat round it at that time. In total, the Chorltons held 19 farms - Dog House Farm, Chorltons Farm, and Catch Croft Farm among them - there may have been many others.
In more recent times, Squire Robert Chorlton had been a technical author for the A V Roe Company in Manchester, and was a founder member of The Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society.
We are indebted to Sheila D. Turton for providing us with this short history of the Chorlton family name.
The Clayton Family of Clayton-le-Moors
The Clayton family dates from the time when Robert de Clayton came to England with William the Conqueror and was granted lands known as Clayton-le-Moors for his important military services during the invasion of 1066. Clayton Hall dates back to the 12th century and the present-day park is situated on what remains of the vast estate of the De Clayton family. It is reputed that the Royalist army were stationed at Clayton Hall before its attack on Manchester and Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed there. Clayton Hall is said to boast three ghosts. The Claytons continued to own Clayton Hall until one Adam de Grimshaw married Cicely Clayton and made Clayton his home. It is thought that he took on the surname of Clayton, while the remainder of the Grimshaw family remained in their native Crowtree near Blackburn.
Through marriage the Grimshaws acquired the lordship of Clayton, which eventually became the residence of the Byron family. Later, during Tudor times, the family had rebuilt Clayton Hall as a moated manor house, which remained in the Byron family until it was sold to Sir Humphrey Chetham in 1620 - he died there in 1653.
The Manor of Adlington in Lancashire was purchased by Thomas Clayton sometime around 1688. In addition to the Manor of Adlington, Thomas Clayton bought the adjoining manor of Worthington from Edward Worthington. Thereafter the properties of Adlington and Worthington were passed by descent to members of the Clayton family, most notable among whom were Richard Clayton who became Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland from 1765 until his death in 1770, and another Richard Clayton who studied law and served as Recorder of Wigan from 1815 to 1828 and was Constable of Lancaster Castle and British Consul at Nantes. The latter Richard was created a Baronet in 1774 and died at Nantes in 1828. Robert Clayton, brother to Baron Richard Clayton, succeeded to the Baronetcy and estates.
In the 19th century, upon the death of Richard Clayton Browne-Clayton in 1886, the Adlington Hall Estate was sold. The estates and lands comprising 129 acres was eventually bought by Wigan Corporation in 1921 for the princely sum of £4000.
The Clowes Family of Broughton
The Clowes family emerged as major landholders and in Broughton, Salford in the early 18th century. First significant mention occurs in 1721, when John and Helen Radcliffe sold Booths Hall to Samuel Clowes, described as "a Manchester merchant", who seems to have systematically bought much land and property in the area, including the Tyldesley Manor. In 1731 he bought Chaddock Hall. Samuel Clowes died on 5th August 1773, bequeathing Booths and Chaddock to his grandson, also Samuel. Samuel seems to have been a regular inherited name in the Clowes family, as some time after 1722, another Samuel Clowes had purchased certain rents which were part of the lordship of Tyldesley. On 25th December 1782, he had also leased two of his farm holdings, (Grundy's Farm of 15 acres and Urmston's Farm of 8 acres) for an annual rent of £14 14s (£14.73) for 99 years to Warrington School. Samuel also made a great deal of money out of the building of canals in the region. Records show a bill and receipt to the value of £257.12s.1d (£257.60 in modern coinage) for purchase of land in Boothstown, taken for the Leigh Canal, "…paid to Sam Clowes, Esq., by His Grace the Duke of Bridgewater". Another sum of £97.5s.10d was paid by one John Coupe, for use of the land in Boothstown in Worsley, for rights to build a canal. Around 1840 the 'township' of Broughton, consisted of 1,004 acres, of which some 870 were owned by the Reverend John Clowes, a notable gardener and botanist, who thereafter records show as owning most of what became Broughton Park. Thus the family acquired land by marriage and by wise purchases. They took the decision to develop Broughton Park for housing in the early 19th century, specifying that all the dwellings should be of substantial rateable value. Many of the splendid villas they built still stand in Broughton Park and Higher Broughton. Through various land deals, the family clearly grew rich as evidenced in 1836-38 by the building of St John's Parish Church on Wellington Street, (the first to be built in Broughton), which was and paid for by the Clowes family. The Rev John Clowes, who died in 1831, is buried there, having completed the extraordinary term of 62 years as rector of St. John's Church. Later, when a turnpike road was proposed to run from Manchester through Strangeways, Broughton and on to Bury; bitter negotiations took place with the Clowes family who owned of most of the land. Their insistence on Toll Bars was very controversial at the time, but the eventual completion of Bury New Road, as it became known, added even more money into the Clowes family coffers.
Great Clowes Street which joins the Higher and Lower Broughton districts of Salford was named after the family.
The Cotton Family of Christleton
The Davenport Family of Bramhall
The Davenport family's original seat was in Astbury, near Congleton in Cheshire, and family origins can be traced back to one Ormus de Davenport at the time of the Norman Conquest. He was given the Manor of Davenport from the Venables of Kinderton, the original Norman feudal Lords. In 1166 Ormus' son Richard became the chief forester of Leek and Macclesfield. Later the family acquired the hereditary status of Magistrate Sergeants of the Forest of Macclesfield.
The Davenport family developed branches at Davenport, Calveley, Wheltrough, Woodford, Capesthorne and Bramhall.
Sir Humphrey Davenport, who was Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, was a younger son of the Davenport family of Bramhall and married Mary Sutton of Sutton Hall (c1590). Bramhall Hall in Stockport was the grand home for the Davenport family of Stockport, who resided there for 500 years - today it belongs to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and is open to the public. Bramhall park used to be the parkland and woodland estate attached to Bramall Hall. The Hall is one of Cheshire's grandest black and white timber framed buildings and dates back to the 14th century. Subsequent owners carried out substantial refurbishment in the 19th century. Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire is stilled owned, and lived in, by the Bromley Davenport branch of the family, who have resided there since the 11th century. Genealogy Link:http://archive.org/stream/genealogyofwarre1854warr/genealogyofwarre...
COMPILED AND PREPARED FROM ORMEROD'S HISTORY OF THE COUNTY
OF CHESTER ; COLLECTIONS FROM THE HARLEIAN MSS. ;
PAROCHIAL AND TOWN RECORDS IN ENGLAND
AND AMERICA, ETC., ETC.
BY A. BENEDICT DAVENPORT,
East Chesire Past and Present by Earwaker Link: http://books.google.com/books?id=VwMcAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA451&lpg=PA451&dq...
The de la Warre Family of Manchester
In 1204, King John had granted to John de la Warre the Lordship of Bristol and in 1206 he was Lord of the Manor of Wickwar in Gloucestershire. On the death of Thomas Greddle, or Grelly, the eighth Baron of Manchester, (See Grelley Family) in 1347, the vast estates of the family passed, through the marriage of his sister Johanna with John de la Warre, into the hands of the de la Warre family. They held the Manor of Manchester for over a century.
In the early 14th century during the reign of King Edward II, John de la Warre was called to be a member of parliament. He had distinguished himself in the battle of Cressy, during the Wars of the Roses.
In 1422, Thomas de la Warre, Lord of the Manor, (1359-1426) founded a college, granted by royal licence (now "Chets" music school and Chethams Library) and a collegiate church (now Manchester Cathedral). Thomas was a priest in the parish of Ashton-under-Lyne from around 1371-72, and afterwards became rector at Manchester, though he did not inherit the title of Baron until the death of his elder brother John, who died childless in 1398. De la Warre maintained his interest and patronage in the collegiate church until his death in 1426. He is buried in the Abbey Church at Swinehead, which had been founded by Robert Grelley in 1134. There is a statue of Thomas La Warre on the facade of Manchester Town Hall. After his death the line ended and the Barony passed to the West family through his half sister Joanna.
Later, a celebrated family member, Thomas West, Baron de la Warre, is recorded as having married Cecilia, daughter of Sir Thomas Shirley in Virginia in 1596. He was the proprietor of the Virginia Company and Virginia's first governor, and he became immortalised in giving his surname to Delaware Bay, river and state in the USA.
The village of Wickwar, 20 miles south-west of Gloucester, is an ancient market-town which derives its name from Wick, (meaning "a turn in a stream"), and War, from the manor having belonged to the de la Warre family.
Downes Family of Shrigley & Worth
The Downes family of Shrigley Hall, Macclesfield, held the estate for over 500 years until the early 19th century. The ancient estates of Shrigley and Worth were in the ancient parish of Prestbury, in the Diocese of Chester and the Downes of Shrigley and Worth was a branch of Downes of Sutton-Downes and Overton-in-Taxall.
The Shrigley estate dates back to the de Shrigley and de Macclesfield families of around 1313, and was originally home to the Downes, who held the estate from the early 14th century, when documents exist showing William, son of Robert de Downes, in occupation.
Other branches of the family existed at Butley and Tytherington in Cheshire, and at Wardley and Chorley in Lancashire. Worth Hall, near Macclesfield, originally the home of the Downes family of Worth, is now Davenport Golf Club. There is also documentary evidence of a branch of the Downes Family at Nantwich from 1596 to the early 19th century.
Though the family is now extinct, and the last of the male line of succession, Edward Downes having died on the 30th December 1819, before his death he had sold the family estates; that of Worth-in-Poynton was sold to Sir George Warren of Poynton, and that of Shrigley to Mr William Turner of Mill Hill, Blackburn in Lancashire. Turner had built St John's & Gregory's Church in Bollington in 1834, and the church still contains murals of the Downes family.
Edward Downes was survived by two sisters, Bridget Downes (spinster), and Sarah, wife of John Leach Panter of North End Lodge, Fulham in Middlesex.
Shrigley Hall reopened as a hotel in 1989 and was carefully restored to retain its original character.
The Duckenfields of Tameside
The Duckenfield family were lords of Dukinfield from the 13th century until the mid-18th century. The most celebrated of the Duckenfields was Robert Duckenfield of Dukinfield Hall was a man of great Puritan faith. He distinguished himself in battle for Cromwell's parliamentarian cause when in 1651 he commanded the forces which secured the Isle of Man and in 1653 was appointed to Cromwell's Little Parliament. He is buried at the Church of St. Lawrence in Denton. The family amassed a great deal of land and property throughout Cheshire and by the mid-17th century they owned the whole of Dukinfield, now part of the Tameside Metropolitan Borough - the district is named after the family
The Duttons of Tabley
Descended from William Fitz-Nigel, who died without male heirs, the family passed through marriage of the female side to the Duttons, Warburtons and Hattons, and possibly the Leghs and the Daniels families. All these were major ruling families of Cheshire throughout several centuries right up to modern times. The township of Tabley was held by William Fitz-Nigel in the time of William the Conqueror and is recorded as thus in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The Duxburys of Standish
The earliest known record of the Duxbury family was established in the parish of Standish, having originated near Chorley in Anglo-Saxon times. Various alternative spellings of the surname include Dukesbury, Ducksbury, Dukesbery, Deuxberry and Duxberry. The Duxbury surname probably deriving from the Old English pre-7th Century personal name "Deownc" and "byrig" (meaning a fort), hence "Deowue's fort" and the modern spelling dates back to the mid-16th Century. The first recorded spelling of the family name, in 1549, is shown to be that of Issabella Duckesbere, of Great Harwood in Bolton. Originally, one Magnei de Duxbury's acquired the land around 1135 AD. The influential Duxbury family, whose country seat was at Duxbury Hall, grew to own lands in Adlington, Standish and Chorley, as well as other parts of Lancashire. However, during the so-called Banastre Rebellion of 1315 one Henry de Duxbury was imprisoned and most of his lands seized, including the Manor of Duxbury, for his part in the Rebellion. This rebellion had been closely associated with Standish Parish and was led by Sir Adam Banastre, against Thomas, Earl of Lancaster.
Duxbury Manor eventually passed to the Standishes, the Mayhews. In the late nineteenth century under Standish ownership the estate comprised some 6,054 acres. The Carr family added 1,900 more acres in the mid-19th century to create a large holding. In 1932 the Manor finally reverted into the ownership of Chorley Corporation.
The Eaton Family of Cheshire
The Eatons (sometimes 'de Eaton' or 'Eyton') were a powerful family during the medieval period and through intermarriage with other Cheshire families accrued wealth and influence throughout the region.
Sometime during the early 14th century Sir Nicholas de Eaton married one of the de Stockport (sometimes 'de Stokeport') heiresses, thus tying the Eaton family into the continuing history of Stockport. And, to demonstrate to the family's long influence and power in the township and the wider county of Cheshire, the coat of arms of Stockport still bears the double-headed eagles from the arms of the De Eaton family.
It is also recorded that In 1311 Nicholas de Eaton and his wife Joan, (daughter and heir of Richard de Stockport), are mentioned as tenants of Birkdale hall in Lancaster ("A History of the County of Lancaster" Volume 3. 1907).
In 1369 Isabel de Stockport (or de Eaton), heir to her brother Richard, died childless and the next in succession through marriage was Sir John Warren, son of Sir Edward Warren, the second husband of Cecily de Eaton, and subsequently family descendants went on through the Warren line. Around 1498 Thomas de Eaton married Anne of the prestigious Cheshire-based Vernon family.
The Egertons of Tatton
A powerful and influential family, both at national and county level. Sir Philip Egerton (d 1563) married Eleanor Brereton, the daughter of Sir Randle Brereton of Malpas. Sir Thomas Egerton (1540-161) was Chancellor of England and 1st Viscount Brackley. Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, known as the 'Canal Duke' held extensive properties and coal mines in Worsley and built the Bridgewater Canal. Maurice, the last Lord Egerton, died in 1958 leaving the country seat at Tatton Hall and its extensive Park to the National Trust. The 3rd Duke of Bridgewater died childless and bequeathed his canal-property to Lord Francis Leveson Gower (who subsequently changed his name to Egerton), who was made Earl of Ellesmere in 1846. In 1784 another Sir Thomas Egerton, of Heaton Hall was made Baron Grey de Wilton, and later, Earl of Wilton in 1801. Sir Thomas was responsible for the raising and funding of the Royal Lancashire Volunteer Regiment and died in 1814. His volunteers trained on Drill Field, located between High Bank (now Nazareth House) and Sedgley Park.
The Ellesmeres of Worsley
The Ellesmere family derives from the Egertons through the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater (see above). They were influential benefactors in several local districts around Salford, including Worsley and Walkden. Ellesmere Shopping Centre in Walkden is named after the Ellesmere family who did so much for the town. Worsley Court House, a grade 2 listed building, was built in by the 1st Earl of Ellesmere to house the manorial court of Worsley - the so-called Court Leet - it last sat in 1888. The 1st Earl also had built the Packet House and endowed the local church which still carries his coat of arms as does the M60 Motorway bridge nearby. Much of character of modern Worsley is defined by Ellesmere's gifts to and building in the township
The Entwistles of Entwistle
One of several theories concerning the Entwistle family name has it as of Norman French origin, and that the early family members had acquired their lands as Norman Barons after the invasion in 1066. The name may be derived from 'Estouteville' as some authorities suggest. In any case, the Entwistles married into noble Norman families of the time. Another explanation has it being from the Old English or Norse origin - 'twisle' or 'twisla' meaning 'a piece of land at the confluence of two rivers' - a geographical feature of the local Entwistle landscape. The other portion of the name 'Henn' may have derived from the water fowl that were found in the vicinity - but this is very speculative. Many alternative spellings of the name have existed in early medieval times - 'Antwysell', 'Antwisel', 'Hennetwisel', 'Ennetwysel' and 'Entwissell'.
The small village of Entwistle, consisting of around 1668 acres, is named after the family who held these lands for many centuries. It is located between the towns of Bolton, Darwen and Bury. It is surrounded by the villages of Edgworth, Quarlton and Turton, and is on the main railway line between Manchester and Blackburn.
The Entwistle township dates from the early 13th century, when it was part of the Manor of Entwistle which was held by the Entwistle Family. Their county seat was Entwistle Halland, originally built around the year 1200. Its most famous family resident was Bertine Entwistle, who is said to have been knighted by Henry V on the field at Agincourt in 1415. The present Entwistle Hall was built in the early 17th century. The Entwistle family also inherited the Castleton Hall from Dorothy, daughter of Robert Holt, who married into the Entwistle family in 1649.
The Fazakerley Family of Kirby
First recorded references are made to the 'de Fazakerley' family (infrequently spelled 'Fazakerleigh') in 1276. Later, in 1412, it is recorded that Robert de Fazakerley, who had married Ellen de Walton, arrived at the Manor of Walton, accompanied by a sizeable armed contingent, to dispossess his new father-in-law, John de Walton, of all the goods and chattels in lieu of the dowry which had not, apparently been paid. In the event, the dispute was not settled until 1426, when a third part of the manor was awarded to Robert de Fazakerley and Ellen as her belated marriage portion.
The Fazakerleys were Roman Catholics and supported the Royalist cause during the English Civil Wars, and paid dearly for their convictions.The possessions of both Nicholas Fazakerley and his father Robert Fazakerley of Walton, who were both killed during these wars, were confiscated by parliament after the war and sold. The posthumous charge was that of High Treason.
Many members of the Fazakerley family distinguished themselves over the years. Included amongst them were Thomas de Fazakerleigh who became the Coroner for Lancashire in 1379 and John Fazakerley who was Governor of the Isle of Man from 1418 to 1422. At least two members of the family were Mayors of Liverpool, including John de Fazakerley in 1428 and Roger Fazakerley in 1530.
Sir Henry Fazakerley who died in 1531 is recorded in a brass plaque as having been a priest at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Drayton Beauchamp. The grave of William Fazakerley of Kirkby, who died in 1600 and is buried at St Mary's Church in Walton, is claimed to be the oldest surviving grave in Walton. Nicholas Fazakerley, born in Prescott in 1682, was the Member of Parliament for Preston from 1732 to 1767. John Nicholas Fazakerley (1787-1852) was the MP for Great Grimsby in 1818, for Lincoln in 1826, and for Peterborough from 1830 to 1841.
The family name is nowadays immortalised in the district of the same name, (formerly in Lancashire, now in Merseyside) and by at least 2 local schools bearing the name Fazakerley. Up until 1850, High Street in Prescott was known as Fazakerley Street. Interesting Fazakerley website link: http://www.fazackerley.co.uk/the_infamous.htm
The Feilden Family of Blackburn
The Feildens are believed to have originated in Great Harwood, probably descended from Rudolf of Hapsburg and came over to England in the fifteenth century. They may well have been descended from Flemish weaver emigrés that were settling in the north of England at that time. The Feildens were great landowners in Blackburn, having bought the lordship of the manor in 1721 and their family tree includes the Asshetons, Claytons and Whittakers. Witton Park in Blackburn, some 485 acres (195 hectares) of wood and farmland, was the site of their country seat, Witton House, built in 1800 by the Fielden family, who held it until 1947. At this time Major-General Feilden sold the estate and park to Blackburn Corporation in the sum of £64,000, with some of the purchase cost provided by local benefactor Mr R E Hart, after which 400 acres of land were made available for public use. Unfortunately, having suffered the ravages of time, Witton House was demolished in 1952. However, the stables and outbuildings survived and these former stables and coach-houses were renovated in the late 1970s. They were officially opened in 1980 as the visitor centre for the country park.
The Fells of Swarthmoor
In 1586, George Fell, a lawyer and member at the landed gentry, built Swarthmoor Hall on land acquired around the time of the Percy Rebellion in 1569. Fell's son Thomas inherited the house around 1634 and brought his new wife Margaret Askew to live there. Thus he became the owner, by marriage, of Marsh Grange, his wife's family home and estate in the Furness Peninsula (now in Cumbria).
Thomas was a supporter of Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarian cause during the Civil War, though he disagreed with the execution of Charles I.
He managed nevertheless to hold on to his influential position and was eventually made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Thomas Fell served as a magistrate in Lancaster and was an MP in Cromwell's Long Parliament.
The Fodens of Cheshire
The Foden family name first appeared in Cheshire during Anglo-Saxon times, possibly originally derived from Odin (the pagan god of the Saxons) and has several alternate spellings including Fodin, Fowden, Fodon, Vodden and Voden. Later, as surnames tended to indicate place of birth, it possibly simply meant someone who came from the village of Foden, (now Foden Bank in Prestbury). By the 18th century they held significant farming lands around Astbury and Prestbury in the County of Cheshire. There were emigrations of family members to both America and Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries. The earliest record of the name appears to be one Philip Fowden, who married Katherine Broke at Prestbury Church in 1563. Shortly after, in 1568, Hugh Fowden and Mary Stubbs were also married at the same church. Foden and ERF lorries were founded by Edwin Foden (1841–1911) and other members of the Foden family in Sandbach. Neither company now remains, having been taken over and production moved elsewhere. and the former mansion home of the Foden family at Westfields was demolished to make way for a new council building, but the celebrated Foden's Brass Band, originally created for employees, is still based in Sandbach and was British Open Brass band Champions in 2008.
The Gee Family of Gee Cross
The name 'Gee' probably originated with the arrival of the Normans in England and is perhaps a corruption of the Norman surname 'Gui' or 'Guy'. According to some sources, the Gee surname cannot be traced further back than the 17th century, however, the Gee name seems to have existed in Leicestershire from 1400, Nottinghamshire from 1460, and Lincolnshire from about 1340.
It is disputed whether the village of Gee Cross, in Hyde, Greater Manchester, is named after the well-to-do Gee family, or is perhaps a corruption or abbreviation of 'Gerrard's Cross', a local stone cross which has long stood there. But it is clear, however, that the Gees held important positions in the neighbourhood from very early times and were known to be local philanthropists from the 16th century up to recent times. Later, American immigrants may have changed the name to 'Jay'. '''The Gerrards of Brynne & Wigan'''
An ancient and powerful land-owning family in Lancashire, particularly around the districts of present-day Wigan. The name Gerrard (sometimes spelt Gerard, Garret, Garrett or Gerart) is an old Anglo-Saxon name meaning "spear carrier" and is recorded in the Doomsday book of 1086. The Fitz-Gerrards of Brynne boasted an ancient ancestry going back to the times of Alfred the Great.
DeBretts identifies the Gerrard family as deriving its origin from the same ancestor as the Duke of Leinster, the Marquess of Lansdowne, the Lords Windsor, and many others. The descendants of Gerald or Gerard, third son of Walter Fitz-Other, continued the surname of Gerard, and eventually settled at the Brynne in Lancashire. Sometime around 1250 William Gerrard inherited Brynne Hall by marriage to the daughter and sole heiress of Peter de Brynne. The family seat Brynne (Bryn) Hall dates from the fourteenth century.
Documentation shows that the family owned lands around the Winwick, Standish, Hindley and Ashton-in-Makerfield districts of Lancashire in the mid-16th century.
In 1544 Thomas Gerratt had been made Earl of Hertford at Leith in Scotland and by 1555 William Garrett had become Lord Mayor of London. Subsequent family members became Attorney General and Chancellor of Ireland.
The family name is still recorded by Gerrard's Bridge on the nearby Leeds & Liverpool Canal as well as the Gerrard Arms pub in Aspull. The Gerrard family tomb is at All Saints Church in Wigan.
The Glassbrooks of Glazebrook
The lands of Glazebrook, just under 3000 acres of historic lands once held by the Glassbrook family, lies within the County of Lancashire, six miles to the north east of Warrington. It is the most easterly township in the West Derby hundred, bordering the Salford hundred, with its southern boundary the River Mersey. This was the Earldom of the de Glasebrook family, and old Norman French family who owned it in the eleventh century - originally given by William the Conqueror to his illegitimate son Galfe. Ownership is recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Its existence predates the County Palatine of Lancashire, which was not created until 1297, and there are many deeds in existence related to the history and ownership of the lands.
The lands contain a railway station and the village of Glazebury, as well as the River Glazebrook, which itself runs into the Mersey. The source of the river is a lake called 'The Flash' or the 'The Glaze'.
The Glassbrook family once successfully defended the lands against the advancing Scots, whilst the Grosvenors held the west against the Welsh, and the de Trafford's the east as well as 10 other families who held the line, including the de Botteliers (Bootle).
In the 1800 survey the district was known as Glassbrook. Nowadays, the township comes under the administrative authority of the County of Cheshire. Other family name derivations include Glazebrook, Glassbrook and Glasebrook.
We are indebted to Alan Glassbrook for providing the information on the Glassbrook family.
The Grelley Family of Manchester
Appearing in the Roll of Battle Abbey (Hastings, 1066) the family name first appears as 'Greile', in Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Greslet', and in various later documents as Grelle, Gressy, Greslé, Grille, Grylle, Grelly, Grelley, Greslai, Gredle, Gredley, Gradley, Gredlai, Greidley, Gresley, and Greddle. Modern versions also include Gradwell, Gradell and Gresley.
After the Norman Invasion of 1066, the Salford Hundred, along with extensive other lands in Lancashire, (all the lands between the Rivers Ribble and Mersey), were given by William the Conqueror to one of his favourite barons, Rogier de Poitevin (also known as Roger de Pitou). These lands included several fiefdoms, the Manor of Manchester amongst them. Later, de Poitevin granted this manor, in turn, to one of his own supporters, Albert de Greslé (also known as Albert Greslet or Grelley). Grelley was a Norman knight who had taken part in the Battle of Hastings and was to become the first Baron of Manchester, and his family held the manor thereafter for the next 200 years. Peter de Gresley was patron of the rectory of Manchester in 1276. The family lived in Grelley Manor, which is now Chethams Library, located adjacent to Manchester Cathedral.
The last of the family to bear the title was Thomas Greddle, (or Grelly), the eighth Baron of Manchester, and when he died in 1347, unmarried, the vast estates of the family passed, through the marriage of his sister Johanna with John de la Warre, in to the de la Warre Family.
Later branches, notably the Gradells of Ulneswalton, in Croston were known to have settled in Clifton near Kirkham in the 18th century, and they have continued under the name Gradwell to the present day. There is also a Gresley family in Derbyshire and a Greasley family in Nottinghamshire (occasionally appears as
Gresley), but whether or not these are related is open to question and a matter for others to conclude.
We are indebted to Geoff Gradwell for providing most of the information on the Grelley family.
The Grimshaw Family of Crowtree & Sabden
For the greater part of the 19th century the Grimshaws of Crowtree were one of the most influential families in Barrowford. Records show the Grimshaw family history dating back certainly as early as 1276 when one Richard De Grymishagh held the tenement of Crowtree, near Blackburn, which he had inherited from his father Walter. One Nicholas Grimshaw of Heyhouses lived in Sabden during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The main branch of the family continued to live there latter years of the 17th century. The family had probably taken its name from the local district, originally spelt Grymishagh or Grymishaw, (meaning 'an open wood'). In the 14th century, Adam De Grimshaw had married Cicely De Clayton, and thereafter this branch of the family resided at Clayton Hall, Clayton Le Moors. The rest of the Grimshaw family lived at Sabden, which was to be their family home from around 1594 to 1800 when (another) Nicholas Grimshaw sold it.
The tragic Moorfield Pit disaster of 7th November 1883 saw 68 men and boys killed and injured, many of the Grimshaw men among them - a plaque on the A678 bridge over the Leeds and Liverpool Canal near the Moorfield Colliery site commemorates the event.
The Grosvenors of Eaton Hall
Eaton Hall in Cheshire has been the family home of the Grosvenor Family since the 15th century. Sometime during the 1440s, Raufe, second son of Sir Thomas Grosvenor of Hulme (near Northwich), married Joan of Eton (or de Eaton), the heiress to the Eton (later Eaton) Estate. By 1601 Richard Grosvenor, (who was made 1st Baronet in 1622), had already acquired lead and coal mines as well as stone quarrying interests in Denbighshire, Coleshill and Rhuddlan, Flintshire, Wales. Richard's son Roger having been killed in a duel in 1661, upon the death of Sir Richard the baronetcy went directly to his grandson Thomas (then aged 8).
The first Marquess of Westminster built Halkyn Castle in 1825. The family acquired the manor of Holywell, Fulbrook and Greenfield in 1809. A later Richard Grosvenor was created Baron Grosvenor of Eaton in 1761, and Earl Grosvenor and Viscount Belgrave in 1784. The 1st Earl's only son, Robert, succeeded to the title in 1802. In 1831 he was created Marquis of Westminster.
A later descendant, one Hugh Lupus (named after the 1st Norman Earl of Chester) succeeded as the 3rd Marquis in 1869 and was elevated to the Dukedom in 1874. Successive dukes held the estate until the present day and Eaton is still the country seat of the 6th Duke of Westminster and his family. The family still has great wealth and many holdings throughout the UK including large areas of central London and the 5 star Grosvenor Hotel & Spa in the City of Chester.
The Halsall Family of Halsall
In 1066 the township of Halsall was held by a man named Chettel. Soon after Conquest the Barony of Warrington included the northern portion of the parish of Halsall, as well as Barton and Lydiate. By 1212 Robert de Vilers was the Lord of the Manor of Halsall and the family name of 'de Halsall' seems to have been adopted sometime before 1280, when Gilbert de Halsall is a prominent figure in the region. He is recorded as having inherited a local meadow and a mill. The name survives throughout several subsequent centuries. In 1395, one Henry de Halsall, who had embraced an ecclesiastical career, was presented by his father to the rectory of Halsall, which in 1413 he exchanged for the archdeaconry of Chester. A great deal of county intermarriage followed, amongst them the Heskeths, the Molyneux of Sefton and the Stanleys of Weaver.
A prominent Halsall of the early 15th century was Sir Gilbert Halsall, who fought in the French wars and was bailiff of Evreux.
In the late 16th century, Edward Halsall was a powerful local figure in the region and held various public offices - he had founded the school at Halsall. A Henry Halsall was made a knight in Dublin on 22 July 1599 and was probably sent to prison for debt in 1631 whereupon the estates passed into ownership of Sir Charles Gerard who had married Penelope, daughter of Sir Edward Fitton of Gawsworth (near Macclesfield).
The Harrisons of Warrington
The Harrison family name has existed in Lancashire possibly from Anglo-Saxon times, well before the Norman Conquest of 1066. It occurs in many manuscripts, from time to time with various spellings, including Harryson and Harieson.
Towards the mid 1850s the family purchased Samlesbury Hall, which had been in danger of falling into dereliction, until the Harrisons saved it for the nation by investing large amounts of money into its restoration.
The Hattons of Tabley
Descended from William Fitz-Nigel, who died without male heirs, the family passed through marriage of the female side to the Duttons, Warburtons and Hattons, and possibly the Leghs and the Daniels families. All these were major ruling families of Cheshire throughout several centuries right up to modern times. The township of Tabley was held by William Fitz-Nigel in the time of William the Conqueror and is recorded as thus in the Domesday Book of 1086.
The Heatons of Deane
Sometimes spelled Heton, the first appearance of the family name is one Randle de Heaton, around 1135, of Heaton-under-the-Forest. In 1199 King John granted land to Roger de Heton around the River Lune in North Lancashire in the Manor of Heton-in-Lonsdale. Many sub-branches are followed along the way including Heatons of Heaton-under-the Forest, Heatons of London, Heatons of Billinge, Heatons - Clouch Branch and Ravenhurst Branch. The family came south to live in the parish of Deane in Bolton. The Heatons gradually enlarged its possessions over the following two centuries and their family name appears as far south as Heaton Moor, Heaton Mersey and Heaton Chapel and grew in power and influence, holding various public appointments. In the 13th century two heads of the family received knighthoods. Later, the lands was divided amongst several sons and when finally, on the death of William de Heton in 1387, most of the lands in Lancashire were inherited by his two daughters they subsequently passed out of the hands of the Heton family on their marriage, inheritance then only passing down through the male line.
Henshaw Family of Siddington
The Henshaw family are particularly numerous in North East Cheshire. Based on the hamlet of Henshaw in Siddington, the landed family have existed here since Saxon times and saw later migrations to Ireland and America. Henshaw is noted in the Domesday book as "Hofinchel". Other variant spellings found in English records are Henshawe, Henshall, Hanshaw and Hinshaw. Henshaw Hall Farm in the village of Siddington occupies a place formerly known as Henneschae ('hens' copse'). This family existed in the area from about 1250 according to some books on Cheshire history. One member was slain at the Battle of Blackwater, during the O'Neil rebellion around 1596.
The Heskeths of Rufford
The Heskeths originally acquired the Manor of Rufford through intermarriage with the Fitton Family, when in 1275 Maud Fitton married Sir Thomas Hesketh of Holmeswood, and half of Rufford came by way of a dowry Their grandson, Sir John de Hesketh, later married Alice Fitton, and thereby secured the rest of the estate and became Lord of the Manor. Heskeths had for some time lived at Martholme but eventually Rufford became the family's main home.
The Heskeths were great benefactors of the Church of St Lawrence at Great Harwood. Thomas Hesketh founded a Chantry at the Church in 1521 and bequeathed it an endowment of land. His son, (also Thomas), was knighted at the coronation of Mary Tudor in 1553. Despite being a fervent supporter of Queen Mary and himself a Roman Catholic he managed to retain some status when the Protestant Queen Elizabeth came to power in 1558 and went on to serve with distinction becoming High Sheriff of Lancashire in 1563. Subsequent generations married well into other powerful Lancastrian families, notably the Stanleys, as well being elected as Members of Parliament for Lancashire and High Sheriffs of the County. In 1593, Richard Hesketh was involved in the plot to place the 5th Earl of Derby on the throne, in succession to Elizabeth, but was betrayed and sentenced to death. Family lands in Great Harwood, Tottleworth and the house at Martholme eventually passed by marriage to the de Hoghtons.
During the early 19th century the family fortunes fared badly as new mechanisation and better transport systems hit the farming and weaving industries hard, markets fell and tenant's rents went unpaid so that in 1819 Sir Thomas Dalrymple Hesketh sold the estate to Richard Grimshaw Lomax of Clayton-le-Moors for the sum of £75,000. This sale ended all Hesketh power in Rufford, their Lordship of the Manor having lasted over 500 years. Henceforth it was Richard Lomax who would own almost the entire district having already purchased most of the reminder of the Lower Town earlier in 1772.
The Heywood Family of Heywood
By the 12th century Heywood was identified as a hamlet in the township of Heap, and the Heywood Family can be traced back to 1164 when a Peter Heywood was living here. In 1286, it was recorded that Adam de Burgo (or Bury) 'granted land in Heywood, in the parish of Bury county of Lancaster,' to Peter de Heywood. Heywood Hall, the family seat, was built in the 13th Century and rebuilt in 1611. The Heywood family were Royalists in the Civil War and their fortune much reduced. As a result in 1717 the Hall was sold to John Starkey of Rochdale. One of the officers that apprehended Guy Fawkes in the vault of Parliament House on 5th November 1605 was a Peter Heywood. And yet another Peter Heywood was a midshipman on board the Bounty' when the crew mutinied. (A model of the ship is in Heywood Library). St Luke's church, which dominates the centre of the town, started life as a chantry chapel for the Heywood family. Robert Heywood rebuilt the chapel in 1640. Regrettably, though the Starkeys left the Heywood Hall to Heywood Council, it was finally demolished in 1960.
The Heywoods of Little Lever & Manchester
Another Heywood family, possibly related to those in Heywood, lived at Little Lever in Bolton. Of this branch, Sir Benjamin Heywood was elected MP for Lancaster in 1832 and knighted in Queen Victoria's Coronation Honours. The family were by then merchant bankers in Liverpool and Manchester. John Heywood and his son Robert (1786-1868) had founded a successful cotton quilt manufacturers firm, in Bolton in 1803. Difficult to establish, but much written of were suggestions that the Heywoods were involved in slavery, though some years later, Robert Heywood gave a public lecture in Bolton deprecating the practice of slavery, and was indeed on the list of subscribers for an anti-slavery publication published in 1842.
The Heywood family however contributed greatly to the improvement of Manchester during the nineteenth century. The family's latest wealth was derived from banking, Heywood's Bank in St Ann's Square being one of the city's best-known banks. Oliver's father, Benjamin Heywood, was a key figure in the establishment of the Manchester Mechanics' Institute and the movement to provide public parks. In 1888 Oliver Heywood's work was recognised when he was made Manchester's first Honorary Freeman. In the same year he as made High Sheriff of Lancashire. Heywood died in 1892 and was buried at St John's, Irlam-o'-th'-Heights. A statue to honour him is located in Albert Square facing the Town hall.
The Hibberd Family of Birtles & Over Alderley
Hibbard or Hibberd is a surname of Norman origin, and is most likely an early medieval English form of a Norman personal name "Hildebert" or "Hilbert". Other altyernatives include Ilbert Hibbert, Hibberd and Hibbard. It almost certainly arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066, though a reference is made in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles to an Archbishop Hibbert during the reign of King Offa in the 8th century. The Hibbert family emerged as an important and influential family name in Cheshire where their manor, county seat and estates were located. Following the Conquest Normans adopted the name from an old Germanic given name "Hildeberht", from "hild" and "berht", somewhat crudely translated as "battle famous". The personal name is also recorded in its Latin forms as "Ylebertus" around 1150 and as "Hildebertus" in 1160, both occurrences in Lincolnshire. Various other corrupted forms are found elsewhere: Hilbert (1283 in Suffolk), Hileberd (1327 in Somerset) and Heebarde (1568 also in Suffolk). The name has also been variously spelled Hibbet, Hibbott, Hibert, Hibberte and Hibot.
Early records of the name mention Johannes Frere et Hibbott who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. An Edward Hibberte appears in Yorkshire in 1400, and William Hhibert was documented in Lancashire in 1473.
St Catherine's Church in Over Alderley, Cheshire was built as a private chapel by Thomas Hibbert of Birtles Hall in 1840. The Hibbert family collected valuable oak carving, stained glass and brass from various sources. Much of this, being hundreds of years older than the building itself, gives the interior of the church a unique appearance. It became the parish church of Birtles and Over Alderley in 1890. Nowadays the church is a Grade II listed building and features in Simon Jenkins' book "England's Thousand Best Churches".
Birtles Hall is an impressive Grade II listed country house which was built in 1790 for the Hibbert family. In more recent times the Hall has been sympathetically restored, retaining most of its original features and has been converted into six 'luxurious' apartments.
The Hoghtons of Hoghton
The old family of de Hoghton (or Houghton) and their country seat at Hoghton Tower, sometimes known as Houghton Castle, dominate the area of central Lancashire around Darwen and Preston. This old family is of Norman descent, tracing its history back to before the Invasion of 1066. It is reputed that a Houghton came over on the same ship as William the Conqueror himself, and that the Houghton coat of arms is the oldest in Cheshire and the second oldest in England. By the mid-16th century the Houghtons were fervent covert supporters of Catholicism, at a time when the Catholic Faith was outlawed. It is believed that none other than William Shakespeare stayed with the Houghtons for a while in the role of school teacher. Richard de Hoghton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I.
The Holdens of Rossendale
Records show a Robert de Holden owning lands around Haslingden in Rossendale from the 13th century. The Holdens were to remain one of the most prominent and influential Lancashire families in the area until the 19th century.
Holden Hall, their home in Haslingden, was built in the 15th century and is said at one time to have been named "Haslingden Hall" and the residence of Robert de Haslingden. The hall was demolished at the beginning of the 19th century to allow expansion of the adjacent cemetery. The Holden family lived at Holden Hall for over five centuries until Ralph Holden, the last male heir of the family line, died in 1702. For many years the family made a living from the management of surrounding mature forests, but by the middle of the 19th century very little woodland was left.
The Hollands of Clifton
The Hollands (or de Hollands) have a long and influential history around the districts of Clifton and Prestwich, north of the present day City of Manchester. In 1341 Sir Thurstan de Holland purchased a piece of land, known as Roden, (or Rooden) in Prestwich - land nowadays known as Heaton Park. In 1666 a William Holland inherited the estate of Heaton (or Heton) just outside Prestwich township. William was buried in Prestwich in 1682. His daughter Elizabeth eventually inherited the estate and upon her marriage to Sir John Egerton ownership passed to the Egerton family at Heaton Hall which was extensively rebuilt in 1777. William de Holland also came into possession of the Clifton Hall in Salford on the borders of Prestwich, and the Holland family retained the property for over three centuries. Later, in the English Civil Wars, the Hollands, particularly Thomas Holland and son William, who had supported the Royalist cause, suffered extreme punishments for their bad fortune.
The Hollands of Upholland
The Hollingworths of Hollingworth
The Hollingworth family were Lords of the Manor of Hollingworth in Longendale from the mid-thirteenth century until the early 18th century, and were the most prominent and influential family in the Longendale area for more than five centuries. The family held two major properties in the area, Hollingworth Hall and the Old Hall and by the late 17th century held almost 700 acres of the surrounding lands including five farmsteads. In 1734 the family influence and prosperity declined and its properties passed to Daniel Whittle, before, in 1831, being sold to one Robert de Holyngworthe, who claimed to be a descendant of the original Lords of the Manor. His ownership was short lived however, and the larger of the estates passed through a variety of hands until in 1924 it was sold to Manchester Corporation Waterworks. The Hall was demolished in 1943, having previously served as a school and a mental asylum. The remainder of the estate, based on the Old Hall, was sold by the Hollingworth family in 1800 to Samuel Hadfield.
The Hultons of Westhoughton
It is recorded that Iorweth and Madoc Hulton, came to Bolton from Wales in 1167. In 1304 Richard de Hulton, of Hulton Park south-west of Bolton in Westhoughton, is recorded as having freehold of lands in the districts of Hulton, Ordsall, Flixton and Heaton. At Hulton he built Hulton Hall, which, by the late 19th century was surrounded by a 1,316 acre park of plantations and pleasure grounds with 4 acres of water. The estate which is rich in coal mines was the sole property of the Hulton's of Hulton Park.
The old Hulton family was highly respected, influential and long lasting. The last surviving member of the Hulton family, Sir Geoffrey Hulton, died only a few years ago after more than eight centuries dominating the land west of Bolton. It was in 1819, at the infamous "Peterloo Massacre", that magistrate William Hulton ordered the Yeomanry Cavalry in to arrest Orator William Hunt as he addressed the great demonstration at St Peter's Field in Manchester, thus setting off a train the events which were to go down in history as a less than glorious event. One spelling of the family has it as Hilton, both versions have existed over the centuries and some of the earliest references use the Hilton spelling.
The Hydes of Denton
The township of Hyde in modern Tameside bears local name of one of its oldest and most distinguished families. It began with one Matthew de Hyde (or Mathaeus de Hide) whose son Robert acquired the title Robert de Norbury from King Edward II, as well as Lordship of the Manors of Hyde and Newton in Cheshire, Shalcross in Derbyshire and of Halghton in Lancashire. The family is related by ancestry to the Hydes of Wiltshire at Tisbury and West Hatch and to Edward Hyde, the Earl of Clarendon. The Hydes (or Hides) held estates at one time comprised of one hundred and ninety one acres. Their county seat was at Hyde Hall, a sixteenth century building, much altered in subsequent centuries by brick face work. Probably the most famous member of the Hyde family was Anne, wife to King James II and mother of Queen Anne.
The Irlams of Irlam
During the 13th century, 'Irrewilham' as the district known was in the possession of the de Irlam family. Two centuries later the de Irlam's lived at Irlam Hall but by 1688 this seat had become the property of Thomas Latham who played a major part in bringing William of Orange to the throne. The Irlams were an influential family in what is modern-day Trafford, though they seem to have disappeared into antiquity and little trace of them seems to have survived. We do know that, later, Irlam Hall was in the possession of John Greaves - when he died in 1848 he bequeathed land and money for a church and vicarage to be built in Irlam - the present day St John the Baptist Church.
Kirkbys of Kirkby-Ireleth, Ulverston
The Kirkby family have long been associated with the village of Kirkby-Ireleth, a township and a parish in Ulverston in Cumbria, (formerly in Lancashire).
The pedigree of the Kirkby family can be traced to Orm son of Ailward or Eiward, whom Albert Grelley, (then Lord of Manchester), granted a knighthood. Several generations saw Roger, his son William, and subsequently his son (also called Roger) coming into ownership of lands at Kirby-Ireleth. By the end of the 12th century one Roger de Kirkby was in residence at Kirkby Hall (once known as Cross House or Kirkby Cross). This was to be the seat of the Kirkby family for at least ten generations - it contains some curious ancient decorations; and what remains of it is now a farm house.
The name Kirkby is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and the Parish Church, dedicated to St Cuthbert, which stands in the hamlet of Beckside, six miles NW of Ulverston may have been founded by Alexander de Kirkby, who lived during the reign of King Henry III. Later additions to the nave and chancel were made by successive Kirkbys up to the time of Henry VIII. Later generations of the family bequeathed monies or set up trusts to support the poor and they were notable as local benefactors, as well as acquiring large areas of land in the Dalton and Furness region. The arms of the Kirkby family are to be found in this church as well as other oak carvings of the arms, which formerly adorned the banqueting hall of Kirkby Hall, that were subsequently removed to Holker Hall.
In the early 18th century the Kirby estate fell on bad times when in 1719 Colonel Roger Kirkby mortgaged the estate to a banker, representing the Duchess of Buckingham. When Roger later became insolvent, and the manor fell into the possession of the Duchess in part payment of her claim and was later sold on to the Cavendish family, the present owner being the Duke of Devonshire.
The De Lacy Family of Clitheroe & Blackburn
The ancient Lancashire town of Clitheroe was originally given to Roger de Poitou by William the Conqueror following his support at the Invasion of 1066. Poitou in turn passed it on to the de Lacy Family in 1121; they held it for almost 200 years and around 1186 they built Clitheroe Castle, possibly the oldest surviving building in Lancashire. They also held Burnley and 'Blackburnshire' in mediaeval times - part of the Burnley Borough Council Coat of Arms still bears the so-called Lacy Knot in recognition of this.
Alternative spellings include Laci, Lacy, and Lascy. The name almost certainly derives from Gautier (or Walter) de Lacy, a hero of the Battle of Hastings, and his brother Ilbert, who were from the town of Lassy in the Calvados region of Normandy.
Ilbert was rewarded for his part in the Invasion with a gift of the whole district of Blackburnshire, with 170 lordships, of which 150 were in Yorkshire. He also held the Manor of Rochdale, the town and castle of Pontefract, and extensive lands in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. Large areas around Pendle and Rossendale were for many centuries the private hunting grounds of the de Lacy Family.
The Yorkshire branch of the family took the name 'de Pontefract', while others were Earls of Lincoln.
Walter de Lacy seems also to have acquired lands in Shropshire, from where he is linked with the earliest developments around Ludlow Castle - the hamlet of Stanton Lacy (originally the Saxon hamlet of 'Stantun') in Ludlow was renamed after him. From around 1086 Walter's sons, Roger and Hugh, built the earliest surviving parts of the Castle and the de Lacy family retained the Lordship of Ludlow until the end of the 13th century.
Many succeeding generations married into aristocracy, particularly female members of the family. Roger de Lacy was constable of Chester between 1193 and 1211.
The Langleys of Agecroft
Agecroft (also known as 'Achecroft' or 'Edgecroft') was the manor house of Pendleburg (Pendlebury - now part of Salford) being the residence of the Prestwich family until Johanna de Prestwich married Roger de Langley - subsequently the Langley's, formerly of Middleton, are recorded as residing at Agecroft Hall in 1389. In that year they also acquired Drinkwater Park, which was farmed as part of the medieval estate of Robert de Prestwich. The Langleys married well and propitiously, having sons and daughters wed into the de Trafford family, the Hollands, and the Asshetons. These connections and their considerable land holdings in the region made them a powerful local family for several centuries. Sometime around 1340 Richard de Langley married Joanna, sole heiress of the Prestwich family, and subsequently the Prestwich and Heaton estates came into the possession of the Langleys.
By the 14th century the family seat was in Middleton. In 1385 Sir Robert Langley was appointed as Rector of Radcliffe and the following year saw him appointed Dean of York. This appointment was blocked by Pope Boniface IX, because of Langley's part in the deposition and murder of King Richard. On his death the larger portion of Sir Robert's manor and estates went to his elder daughter Anne which subsequently became part of the Reddish estates through marriage, and his extensive land holdings in Polefield (in Unsworth, now part of Bury Metropolitan Borough) passed to his other daughter Dorothy. Thus by the estates passing to the female descendants of the line, the Langleys were subsumed into other great families through marriage.
The Langley family history had already achieved notoriety by the early 15th century, when in October 1404, Charles Langley was elected Bishop of London and Archbishop of York, despite opposition from Rome - the Pope went on to excommunicate Langley as well as the King, who had promoted him.
The family name is still honoured locally by having several street named after them as well as the large housing estate of Langley in Middleton (now part of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale).
The Lathoms of Knowsley
The Lathoms (also sometimes Latham) are an old Lancashire family dating back to the Norman Invasion. An early account tells of Robert, son of Henry de Lathom, who died in 1198, holding the manor of Woolfall, near Huyton, (now in Merseyside). Records show the construction of the original house on the site of Lathom Hall in the 12th century as principal residence of the Lathom family. The Hall eventually passed, sometime during the 14th century, into the Stanley family by the marriage of Isabel de Lathom with Sir John Stanley, who became Earl of Derby following the battle of Bosworth in 1485.
In 1496 the house was substantially remodelled and fortified in preparation for a visit by the Earl's father-in-law, King Henry VII. Sir John Stanley, who was apparently in great favour with the King, and one of the most powerful of the feudal lords, received a Charter of Free Warren in 1386 in the manors of Lathom, Knowsley, Childwall, Roby and Anlasargh. The Lathoms were responsible for establishing several churches and villages in the area, including at Burscough and Roby.
Burcough Priory, a small abbey near Ormskirk, was built in 1190 by Henry de Lathom and in 1189 Robert de Lathom became the first Lord of the Manor. Later, in the 16th century, it was demolished under Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. The Stanleys being staunch Catholics, like so many other Lancashire families, in 1644, during the English Civil Wars, Parliamentarian troops besieged Lathom House.
Part of the Lathom land holdings included Roby, where, in 1304 another Robert de Lathom was granted a Royal Charter to hold a market and fair. These only survived for a short time and by the mid-1320s the market had moved to nearby Prescot. In 1372 there was an unsuccessful attempt to establish Roby as a borough. There being no surviving male heirs, all Lathom holdings eventually all passed by marriage into the Stanley and Harrington families.
Lawton Family of Church Lawton
The history of the Lawton family began when lands were given to Hugh de Mara, Lord of the Manor of Chester (sometimes known as Hugh Lupus or "Hugh the Wolf") by his brother-in-law, William the Conqueror in gratitude for his support in the 1066 Invasion of England. Here he built a Norman Church to replace the Saxon one - hence the Church Lawton connection. The first record of the Lawton name, however, occurs with Adam de Lauton, who lived during the reigns of King John and King Henry III. Legend has it that he rescued the Earl of Chester from an attack by a wounded wolf and in gratitude was granted a thousand acres of land stretching from Congleton to Sandbach. The bleeding wolf can still be seen in the arms of the Lawton family, and is also commemorated in the nearby pub, "The Bleeding Wolf" at Scholar Green. The thousand acre estate became the Parish of Lauton, (later Church Lawton), and is recorded in the Domesday Survey of 1086.
During the Reformation period Squire William Lawton bought the church patronage from Henry VIII.
Ownership of the estate has considerably diminished over the subsequent centuries, but is still in the possession of the Lawton family, though members now live as far afield as Kent, America and Spain. Lawton Hall, the country seat, built in the 17th century, still stands despite part being destroyed by a fire in 1997.
The last squire to live there left during the First World War when for a time it was used as a hospital, and during the Second World War it was used by the local fire service. Between the wars it also served as a hotel and a school for the disabled. In 1952 it was leased by Mr Harrison and became a private school which ran until it closed in 1986. For several years thereafter, the property was uninhabited and became derelict and several disputes over ownership placed the property in limbo. By the mid-1990s the Hall had fallen victim to vandalism and theft, with most of its valuable fittings being torn out or wrecked. In more recent times extensive efforts have been (and are being made) to restore and refurbish Lawton Hall. For an update on the building, see the Lawton Family Website at www.realm.lawton.net.
Lees Family of Lees, Delph & Werneth
Evidently an old established Lancashire family, though there is very little information forthcoming about Lees family early history. It is known that sometime before 1547, the Lees family acquired a farmstead built in a 'slack', (local dialect for a 'swampy' close), and this eventually became known as Slack Hall. In 1660, James Lees and his son Edmund, a blacksmith, rebuilt Slack Hall Farm. James and his wife initials are carved on the door lintel.
More recent Lees family history is much fuller, as they emerged during the second half of the 18th century as major industrialists in mining, cotton, and steel manufacturing in the region. Consequently they acquired great wealth and land - partly through endeavour and part through wise marriages.
James Lees of Clarksfield was a particularly successful businessman and industrialist and gradually took over ownership of most local pits, founded the Greenbank Cotton Mills at Glodwick and acquired lands over a wide region. Other family members developed similar industrial concerns: Asa Lees founded the Soho Iron Works at Bottom of Moor and Eli Lees founded the Bedford & Hope Cotton Mills. By 1790 there were 14 Lees collieries operating in Oldham.
In their role as local philanthropists, the family also gave its name to the village of Lees, which still bears their name today. Papers dating back to the 18th century, also relate to H Lees & Sons, Steel Manufacturers of Ashton-under-Lyne; these are now kept as public records at the Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre.
In 1865, Chadderton Hall was sold to the Lees family, and after the death of Colonel Edward Brown Lees was held by his trustees; Werneth Park, (many family members lived at Werneth Grange), was presented to Oldham Town Council by the Lees family in 1836. In 1910, Dame Sarah Lees became Lady Mayor of Oldham, the first woman in England to acquire the title.
See also: The Lees & Coal Mining in Oldham
The Leghs of Adlington
Hamo de Leigh, of Norman descent, was made Lord of the Manor of High Legh, in Knutsford, Cheshire around 1215. Later the Legh (or Leigh) family resided at Adlington Hall near Macclesfield - a beautiful manor house which became home to the Legh family from 1315 when Robert de Legh and his new bride Ellen de Corona moved to live there. In 1442 Sir Piers Legh, the first occupant of Lyme Hall, fought at Agincourt and died later in the same campaign. Piers had inherited Lyme Hall and Park in Cheshire, though extensive Renaissance development and rebuilding was to be undertaken later by the family.
Lyme Hall, one of their former homes, was given to Stockport Corporation in 1947. They owned the Manor of Newton (part of the Goldborne district of Wigan) and lands in Winwick, where Legh family tombs may still be found. They also held extensive lands throughout Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire and thereby exerted powerful influences upon the local demography and economy - the origin of the title "Lyme" may indeed be as a result of their vast estate stretching as far south as Newcastle-under-Lyme near Stoke.
The Leycesters of Tabley
When Sir Nicholas Leycester married Margaret de Dutton in 1276 he acquired the township of Tabley near Knutsford in Cheshire. They had two sons; Roger and John. The fourth descendant from Sir Nicholas was John de Leycester. He erected Tabley Old Hall during the reign of Richard II. Later, Sir Peter Leycester, who was born in 1613, is said to have been the first historian in the county, having created a virtual database of the families of Cheshire. His grandson, Sir Peter Byrne, assumed the name of "Leicester" by Act of Parliament. His son, again called Peter, had the present Tabley New Hall built in 1760 to replace the old Tudor building.
Sometime in the late 18th century, Viscountess Bulkeley, Anna Dorothea Warren, (heiress to the Warren family of Poynton), left part of her estate to the 2nd Lord de Tabley, on condition that her family name was incorporated, (ie. Leicester Warren). By 1811, the Sixth Baronet, Sir George Leicester had assumed the name and arms of the Warrens, and thereafter the Tabley branch were known by the name of Leicester Warren.
' The Listers of Gisburn'
The first record of the Listers in the Parish of Gisburn occurs in 1312 when a member of the Listers of West Derby married Isabel de Bolton. She had been described as having descended from Leofric, King of Mercia, who had married Lady Godiva. In the Domesday Survey of 1086, the manor of Gisburn (or "Ghisebum") was held by the Abbot of Salley (Sawley) and in 1224 was repossessed by the crown. In 1613 the Manor of Gisburn came into the possession of the Lister family. Later, as a result of his having raised troops and cavalry to fight in the Napoleonic Wars in 1797, Thomas Lister was made Baron Ribblesdale of Gisburne Park, and thereafter the family name effectively changed to Ribblesdale. The first Lord Ribblesdale planted more than a million oak trees in the Ribble Valley. The fourth Lord Ribblesdale's two sons were both were killed in action, one during the Boer War in South Africa and the other in the First World War. In 1927 part of the estates were sold to pay death duties of the last Lord Ribblesdale. On the death of his two sisters in 1944 the rest of the estates were sold.
The Malbanks of Cheshire
An old family dating from the Norman Invasion, which married into the influential Vernon Family (of Haddon Hall) and who number among their descendants the de Stokeports (of Stockport) as well as the Wilbrahams and the Breretons. William Malbank was made Baron of Nantwich following the Norman conquest.
This family line then continues through to Thomas Malbon, Mayor of Congleton in the late 1600s from this date a branch of the family then moved out into Staffordshire.
An influential family in Nantwich for many years, the opening page of the very first commissioned parish register of Nantwich, begun in 1539, describes the book as representing "...the pairyshe of Wychemalbank" (named after the original Norman baron William Malbank). It seems probable that the surviving Malbon family later moved into the parish of Barthomley, situated on the border of Staffordshire, though still lying within the old hundred and deanery of "Namptwich" (modern day Nantwich) at that time: the parish contained five townships, Barthomley, Alsager, Barterley, Crewe, and Haslington. There are memorials also in the local church, for the family of Malbon. Other family members moved to Cheadle and Mobberley in Staffordshire. Other variants on the original name exist, such as Malbanc, Mallbone, Milbanks, and Milbanke, and many Malbon families still exist in Cheshire around Nantwich and Malpas. More information on the family website: http://www.malbon.co.uk/malbonhistory.htm.
The Marsdens of Bolton
In the years following the English Civil Wars, Thomas Marsden made his personal fortune from cotton. He had raw materials brought directly from London to Bolton, where he produced yarn and woven cloth using local around Bolton. The finished materials were then resold on London markets. His keen business sense enabled Marsden, over a three-year period, to conduct more than £50,000 worth of business - at that time a small fortune. In 1670 Marsden bought Little Bolton Hall from Gilbert Ireland. The Marsden family made personal fortunes in spinning and weaving and became major employers and a powerful influence within the townships of Bolton.
The Mainwarings of Peover
The Mainwarings (pronounced "Mannering") held the manor at Peover Hall from the time of the Norman Conquest. Ranulphus, believed to be the family's ancestor came to live in Over Peover (pronounced "pee-ver"). The present Hall was built by Sir Randle Mainwaring in 1585 and had a Georgian extension built by Sir Henry Mainwaring, the last male heir of the family. In 1797 the house was purchased by Thomas Wettenhall, who took the name of Mainwaring guaranteeing that the house would continue in the family name until 1919 after which it was owned by several other unrelated families.
During its long history, the Mainwarings numbered lords and knights amongst their relatives as well as several Sheriffs of Chester and Lords of the Manor. Documents and deeds held at the John Rylands Library in Manchester show their possession of several Cheshire townships, including Allostock, Astle, Baddiley, Goostrey cum Barnshaw, Chelford, Knutsford, Nantwich, Over Peover, Great Warford, Little Warford, Waverton, Wharton, Withington and Worleston.
The de Mascy/Masseys of Dunham, Massey, Wirrall, Ollerton & Pontington,Chesire
Hamon Massey I , son of Sir William De La Ferté-Macé Sn De La Ferté-Macé and Miss De Conteville Burgh, was born in 1076 in Dunham, Massey, Cheshire, England and died in Dunham, Lancaster, Lancashire Dist., England. General Notes: Biography:
Hamon, l is thought to be the founder of the Mascy (Massey) family. The seat of his holdings was the Village of Dunham and his family lived at Dunham Massey Hall. His title was Baron de Dunham and his descendents would continue to live at Dunham Massey Hall until after 1458, when it became the possession of the Booth Family by marriage to a Massey Heiress.
At the time Hamon Lived at Dunham Massey Hall it was a three winged Manor, in the shape of a "U", surrounded by a Moat. The extensive grounds outside the Moat contained a Deer Park, Orchards, a River and several Fishing Ponds.
Later owners made many changes and it bears little resemblance to the origional Massey homestead. It now belongs to the British National Trust and is open to the public. It is located four miles south-west of Altrincham, which is a suburb of Manchester.
Sites obtained by Hamon l, in addition the the house in Chester and land in Wirrall peninsula, were Ullerton or Owlarton. It is located approx. two miles south-southeast from the town of Knutsford. Going northwest to the Mersey River, Northeast to Bramhall or Bromhale, which is those days would have been two miles s/w from Stockport, Thence below Stockport to the Mersey River.
With these two lines denoting the s/e/ and s/w/ boundary and the Mersey River being the northern boundary of an area having a triangular shape. At about the midway point of the northern boundary on the Mersey River would be the river crossing to the City of Manchester original location in Lancaster, which lies to the north of Chester.
This probably marks the area with the greatest holding of the Barons de Mascy in Cheshire. With these lands Hamon de Mascy had lesser Lords who held portions thereof for him or under his "right"
Examples would be Adae de Carrington and Alano de Tatton. Both constituted Estates granted to Hamon.
In 1092 King William Rufus was a guest at the Court of Hugh Lupus in Chester, at least two of his Barons attended the King, Hamon de Mascy and William Venables. They along with their entourage of adherents and servants of Hamon's, accompanied the King on a hunting expedition in the Wirrall Peninsula.
This probably took place on lands which had been set aside as a hunting preserve of the King and treated as his possession, which had not been the subject of a grant, not even to Earl Hugh Lupus.
No doubt it was a consequence of some occurrence on this hunting expedition that a new estate was given to Hamon l, in fee of Hugh Lupus. Pottington, the area which is called today the village of Puddington, was granted by the King himself, so that there after the de Mascy Cheshire Barons held it in fee of the King rather than in fee of the Earl.
For that reason Pontington was in later years especially prized. One can only speculate why King William Rufus made this generous grant. However, as soon as the Hunting party returned to Hugh Lupus' Castle at Chester, Hamon sought out a scrivener, possibly a Monk whose duties were appropriate to the purpose of recording as follows:
"I, William, King of England do give onto Mascy all my right, interest and title to the hop and hopland (Valley land) from me and mine with bow and arrow, when I shoot upon yerrow (the Place), and in witness to the sooth (action or statement) I seal with my wang tooth." Inscribed as witness was William Venables "fratre suo".
In the consideration given to the first Hamon de Mascy it should be remembered that he was a part of the court and governing body of nobles in Cheshire at a time when it was a county Palatinate under Earl Hugh Lupus.
What this means is, that it's rule was like that under a country under martial law. At least Earl Hugh Lupus was not hampered by either King William the Conqueror or King William Rufus and he reigned in Cheshire as King. The Barons and their Lords were almost constantly put to defend against the Welsh on Cheshire's western border and to maintain control over the Saxons who made up the bulk of the population.
Hammon Massey, the first Baron of Dunham-Massey, held the towns of Dunham, Bowden, Hale, Ashley and half of Owlerton in Bucklow Hundred, under Hugh Lupus, Earl of Cheshire in the reign of William the Conqueror. All of which one Edward held formerly, as appears by Domesday Book. So it appears this Edward was dispossessed of his right herein and these lands given to Harmon by Hugh Lupus.
Harmon also had land in Maxfield, Hundred, Bromal and Pudding ton, in Virally Hundred and other places, at the same time. Source. From the History of Cheshire, by Sir Petrer Leycester. Research Notes: Dunham Massey
A township in Bowdon Parish, Bucklow Hundred (SJ 7388). In 1920 the Olffield Brow area was transferred to Altrincham civil parish, and further parts were lost in 1936. In 1974 Dunham Massey was transferred to the borough of Trafford in the county of Greater Manchester. Includes the hamlets of Dunham Town, Dunham Woodhouses, Oldfield Brow (until 1920) and Sinderland Green. The population was 872 in 1801, 1255 in 1851, 2644 in 1901 and 523 in 1951.
Churches and Chapels:
Bowdon, St. Mary (C of E). Dunham Massey, St. Margaret (C of E). Built 1855, serving the township of Dunham Massey. Registers of baptisms 1855-1935 and marriages 1856-1932 are at the CRO.
Dunham Town, St. Mark (C of E). Built 1864 as a chapel of ease to St. Margaret's, a separate parish from 1873. Registers of baptisms 1866-1915, Marriages 1867-1983 and burials 1921-1953 are at the CRO.
Dunham Massey, All Saints (C of E). A Chapel of ease to St. Margaret's. Founded c. 1890, closed 1911. Registers of baptisms 1891-1911 are at St. Margaret's. Dunham Massey, Methodist Chapel (Primitive). Built 1875. Altrincham, St. John the Evangelist (C of E). Sinderland Green, Methodist Chapel ( Wesleyan). Built 1881 Electoral Districts: North Cheshire (1832-67); Mid Cheshire (1868-85); Altrincham (1885-1945); Bucklow (1945-48); Knutsford (1949-74). Poor Law Unions: Altrincham (1836-95); Bucklow (1895-1930). Registration Districts: Altrincham (1837-98); Bucklow (1898-1974); Trafford 1974+). Hamon married Margaret Sacie about 1093 in England.
The Middletons of Leighton
The Middleton family had many holdings in Lancashire, and Sir George Middleton (died 1673), was the owner of Leighton Hall in the 17th century, at which time he was Sheriff of Lancaster - his arms hang at Lancaster Castle. As a mark of the family status, the Chantry Chapel of St Mary's in St Oswald Parish Church in Warton is dedicated to the Middleton family. They acquired the chapel along with Leighton Hall, by the marriage of Alyson Croft with Geoffrey Middleton in 1438 and the Middleton coat-of-arms is carved on a seat near the lectern.
After the end of the Civil Wars, heavy punitive fines were levied on the Middleton estates, as, in line with many Roman Catholic Lancastrian landowners, Sir George was a staunch royalist supporter. Sadly, while away fighting battles, his tenants stole many of his possessions and along with post-war seizures, confiscation and fines, typical of Cromwellian vengeance, very little of their once extensive and wealthy estates remained intact. Consequently, at Leighton Hall only a small portion of the kitchens survive from the time of the Middleton family tenancy.
It was not surprising then, that Edward Middleton from another branch of the family, emigrated to the United States in the 1600's, and his grandson, Henry Middleton, was elected on 22nd October 1774 as the President of the First Continental Congress, (the precursor of the US Presidency).
There is a plaque dedicated to Sir George Middleton in the church at Warton, where George Washington's family is buried. The district of Middleton In Lancaster is almost certainly named after the family.
We are indebted to Judith Middleton-DeFord for suggesting and supplying much of the information on the Middleton Family
The Molyneux Family of Sefton & Croxteth
The Molyneux family were one of the oldest families in the original county of Lancashire. Normans by descent, they were initially to be granted the Manor of Little Crosby, which had been held by one Uctred until 1066. By 1212 it was owned by Richard de Molyneux of Sefton. The family later also owned most of the districts of Speke and Rainhill. Some time around 1250 Little Crosby left the family ownership by marriage through the female line, passing on to the Blundell family.
However, the Molyneux family gradually grew in power, wealth and influence, and in 1446 King Henry IV granted Croxteth Park, an area measuring over 900 acres, to Richard Molyneux.
In 1483 Thomas Molyneux was appointed Constable of Liverpool Castle and Steward of West Derby and Salford, and Master Forester of Simonswood, Toxteth and Croxteth. The Molyneux family were made Earls of Sefton in 1771.
In 1575 they had begun building Croxteth Hall as their new country seat but the last of the buildings was only completed in 1902. Surrounding the hall was farmland as well as extensive lands for hunting and shooting. The Hall is located just two miles from Aintree Racecourse, which the Molyneux family had owned and developed, and until relatively modern times Croxteth Hall was busy with numerous house guests during Grand National week. At other times throughout the year the Park was a venue for pheasant shoots and riding. It was not uncommon for important society figures and even royalty to stay for country house parties at Croxteth, particularly during the Edwardian era.
Excessive gambling debts forced the Seftons to sell off land and since the last Sefton Lord of the Manor died without heirs in 1972, the estate and Hall has been maintained and administered by Liverpool City Council. Nowadays the rooms are open to the public, showing life both above and below stairs. The Hall is also a popular venue for concerts and art exhibitions.
The Mosleys of Manchester
Ancoats Hall in Manchester was the principal seat of the Mosleys (sometimes Moseleys). It was here that the family sheltered the young Pretender on his way to the invasion of Scotland in 1745. The Mosleys were prosperous merchants, and Sir Nicholas Mosley was the first member of the family to be Lord of the Manor of Manchester, and also one-time Lord Mayor of London. He and his brother had set up a business in woollen manufacture at a time when Manchester had a virtual monopoly on that industry. His business expanded to such a degree that Nicholas moved to London to handle that end of the trade and to negotiate many profitable export agreements for his company. He was also appointed as Alderman to several London wards, he was made Lord Mayor of the city in 1599. He was a great success in this role, carrying it out with enthusiasm and dedication, being instrumental in raising soldiers and money to finance the building of warships for the navy of Queen Elizabeth I to defend England against the Spanish Armada. He also arranged to supply troops, ordnance and provisions to Ireland in support of the campaign by Lord Essex. For this he was eventually knighted, aged 72 years, by the Queen. Sir Nicholas also built Hough End Hall in Manchester.
The Norris Family of Speke
The Norris Family of Speke are thought to have Saxon origins dating well before the Norman Invasion of 1066. There are many variations in the spelling of the Norris family name, including Norrys, Norries, Noris, Norreys, Noreis, Noriss, Norrish, Norie, Norrie, Norse and Norice. The name is probably derived from the Old English/Scandinavian words "nord" (north) and "hus" (house), indicating that the original family probably lived in a house at the north end of the settlement. Historically speaking, the Norris family is first known at Speke, near Liverpool in 1314, when the region still lay within the county of Lancashire.
It was William Norris II who began building the present day Speke Hall over 450 years ago, with funds accrued as the spoils of war. William also began the long family tradition of standing as Member of Parliament for Liverpool.
Isobel Norris was the first wife of Robert Charnock who rebuilt Astley Hall, and promoted the building of the first school in Chorley in 1611.
Like many old Lancashire families, the Norrises were staunch Roman Catholics - until in 1651, that is, when Thomas Norris became the first head of the family to convert to Protestantism. Nevertheless he was regarded as a Royalist during the Civil Wars which resulted in the punitive confiscation of the Norris Estates by Parliament - these were not regained until 1662.
The Norrises held the Speke estates, on and off, until the mid-18th century, by which time it amounted to around 2,400 acres. In or around 1795 the family vacated the house and moved to live in a fashionable district of London, and the house gradually fell into disuse and ruin.
The 20th century saw the virtual obliteration of all traces of the Norris estate, though several restorations to Speke Hall itself were undertaken by later owners and residents during the 19th century. Standing as it does today at the edge of a modern industrial estate, bordering on the runway of Liverpool Airport, it is an unlikely setting for a fine restored Tudor house, now in the (hopefully) safekeeping of the National Trust.
The Ormerod Family of Whalley
The Ormerod family name seems to have been derived from an old Norse name of "Ormr" meaning possibly a serpent, snake or dragon, and originated in or around Cliviger, a medieval East Lancashire hamlet in the parish of Whalley originally known as 'Ormes Royd' or Ormes Rod. A 'royd' or 'rod' had several meanings in early medieval times, including a small valley, a clearing, wood or cultivated area, so the surname could translate variously as "dragon wood", "snake valley", "serpent field" or any other possible combination. Alternatively, however, and more probably, it may simply mean "Orme's Clearing" as Orme is known to have had extensive land holdings in the region, and clearing woodland to create arable farmland was a widespread and common practice.
The Domesday Book of 1086, for example, witnesses that significant areas of land in Northern England were owned by a Gamel and Orm his son; they were probably Christian Vikings who had settled in the Lancashire-Yorkshire borders area, and by the middle of the 11th century Orm was already a man of considerable wealth and importance.
According to 'Baines' History of Lancashire' the Ormerods of Ormerod went on to hold the Manor of Ormerod from 1311 until 1793, when Charlotte Ann Ormerod, conveyed the estate to her husband, Colonel Hargreaves and the lands passed out of the family name.
The earliest recorded Ormerod is one Matthew de Homerodes, whose name appears on documents sometime around 1270. Matthew had, possibly, three sons: Gilbert, Adam and Tille (though some sources have Gilbert and Tille as the same person). It is through them that all Ormerods are believed to be descended. Though the first recorded spelling of the present family name is probably that of Peter Ormerod, dated 30th January 1563, who was married to Agnes Pearson at Burnley.
Another branch of the Ormerods lived in Rossendale, at the now abandoned settlement of Gambleside. Spelling variations of this family name include Ormerod, Omerod, Omrod and Ormrod amongst others. It is still a widespread surname throughout Lancashire and West Yorkshire with significant family descendants in Australia and the Americas.
The Osbaldeston Family of Osbaldeston Hall
The Osbaldeston family of Lancashire traces its roots back to 1063 AD, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, but it is believed to be even older. Several alternative forms of the name have appeared over the years, including 'Osbaldtun', 'Osbaldstun', 'Osberston', 'Osbaldton' and 'Osbaston' although American branches have also been shortened to simply 'Deston'. All are derived from old Saxon, which means 'the settlement or homestead possessed by Osbald (or Oswald)'.
The family lands centred around the fertile River Ribble which included Osbaldeston, (the village which still bears the family name), Balderstone, Salesbury, Walton-le-Dale, Clayton-le-Dale, Samlesbury and Billington. The Domesday Survey of 1086 shows Osbaldeston and Balderstone as one of the twenty eight manors held in 1066 by a freeman who was probably the ancestor of Ailsi, son of Hugo de Osbaldeston. The family has a long and distinguished history in the county with extensive land holdings, status and power base in the region. For example, in 1387 Thomas Osbaldeston inherited the manor and estate of Cuerdale, near Walton-le-Dale. Then, prior to the Battle of Agincourt, in the 15th century, Sir John Osbaldeston was knighted by King Henry V, and became the lord of Chadlington Manor in Oxfordshire.
Further, in keeping with many noble families, intermarriage with other county families of rank was common, and extended their fortunes even further, with the Molyneux, Radcliffes, Duttons and Darwyns, among others, married into the family.
Osbaldeston Hall, built by Sir Edward Osbaldeston towards the end of the reign of James I, was the ancient family seat, until the last family resident left it sometime around 1750. Extensive renovation of the Hall had been carried out in 1593 by John Osbaldeston. By the early 20th century, Osbaldeston estates, together with those of the Oxendale family, totalling about 935 acres in all, were in the possession of the Dugdale family, and thereafter sold on further by auction. The Lavery Family owned the Hall from 1942 until it passed into the possession of the Inghams who carried out renovation and modernisation to the buildings.
In 1991 the Hall was purchased by the Walmsleys, so that Osbaldeston Hall is still a significant and recognised beautiful country house in the region. It reputedly has two ghosts, the so-called 'Red Monk' and a 'Blue Lady'. Alongside is Osbaldeston Hall Farm, now used as a local riding school.
There are several branches of the family name including the main families of Osbaldeston of Osbaldeston; Oxendale in Osbaldeston; Sunderland in Balderstone; Walton-le-Dale as well as other branches at Hunmanby and Hutton Buscel, East and North Yorkshire; Chadlington and Burford, Oxfordshire and many minor branches, such those in Blackburn, Preston and Disley in the High Peak District of Derbyshire.
We are indebted to Peter Osbaldeston for providing all the details of his family history, of which this is a very short version.
The Parker Family of Browsholme
The Parkers of Browsholme are descended from Peter de Alcancotes, who held the Manor of Alkincoats in Colne, Lancashire, in the mid-13th Century when they gained the title of 'park-keepers' (or 'parkers') to John of Gaunt in the Hodder Valley. They kept Radholme Laund in the Forest of Bowland
Browsholme Hall, (pronounced 'Brewsom'), the historic house dating back to an earlier house before 1507, is the ancestral home of the Parker Family, Bowbearers of the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, who have lived there since the present house was built in the early 16th century. Browsholme is located in the Forest of Bowland about 4 miles northwest of Clitheroe in Lancashire, though before 1975 it was in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The original house was built by Edmund Parker who obtained a new lease from the crown in 1507. Thomas Parker, Bowbearer of the Forest of Bowland, purchased the freehold of Browsholme from the Crown in 1603 and proceeded to embellish the house. Through intermarriage, the Parkers joined other powerful families in Cheshire, Lancashire and Westmorland. John Parker (1755-1797) was one of the two MPs for Clitheroe. Thomas Lister Parker (1779-1858), became a patron to the great English landscape painter, William Turner in 1798.
In 1957 Colonel Robert Parker opened Browsholme Hall to the public. The branch of the Parkers now living at Browsholme is most remarkable for having produced distinguished judges in three successive generations. The present day owners, Robert and Amanda Parker still live at Browsholme.
Branches of the Parkers are scattered throughout England, in America and Australia.
The Penketh Family of Penketh & Great Sankey
There are several known spellings of this family name including Panketh, Penketh, Pankethman, Panketman, Pankettman, Penkethman, and others. An old regional surname derived from the village and former ancient manor of Penketh in Lancashire. The family lived in Penketh Hall from around 1216 to 1624 and one of the first mentions of the family name was William de Penketh who was witness to a charter in 1240. In 1280 Gilbert and Robert Penketh became joint lords of the Manor of Penketh. Gilbert had two sons, Henry and Richard and through them the inheritance went to seven daughters, or grand-daughters, in 1325. The eldest, Margery, married Richard de Ashton and their descendants retained the lordship of the manor, under the surname Ashton, down to the seventeenth century.
In 1643 during the Civil Wars, Royalist John Ashton was killed at Bolton, and Thomas succeeded to the manor.
Another Thomas Penketh was to become a famous Scottish doctor and a monk of the Warrington Monastery - he is mentioned by Shakespeare in his "Richard III" historical tragedy.
In 1656, one John Penketh was ordained a Catholic priest and in 1663 became a Jesuit, and was sent on a mission to England. In 1678 being implicated in a political plot, he was betrayed, tried at the Lancaster assizes, and condemned to death. However, he was reprieved, but spent many years in prison before his release on the accession of King James II. The manor of Penketh came into the possession of the Atherton family, and has descended as Great Sankey to Lord Lilford. (See also "Sankey")
The Pilkington Family of Rivington
The Pilkington Family have their roots were in the Manor of Pilkington, near Whitefield in Bury, and their ancestry goes back to Alexander (sometimes known as Leonard) de Pilkington who fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It was upon his marriage that Whitefield and Underworth (later called Unsworth) became part of the Pilkington Estate. The districts of Stand and Outwood, old parts of Whitefield, remained solely in the hands of the Pilkington family until the fifteenth century when the entire Manor passed to the Derby family - probably forfeited because of the Pilkington family allegiance to the defeated and deposed King Richard III.
Robert Pilkington fought and died at the Battle of Agincourt and Sir Thomas Pilkington fought at the Battle of Bosworth and was killed at the Battle of Stoke in 1487.
In the early 16th century, James Pilkington, the third son of Richard Pilkington of Rivington Hall, became the first Protestant Bishop of Durham and thereafter the family gained lands all over England. His brother Leonard Pilkington founded a Grammar School in the 1500s at Rivington, near Horwich, with the permission of Queen Elizabeth II.
Nearer to the present day William Windle Pilkington, who was born at Windle Hall, St Helens in Lancashire on 26th September 1839, the eldest son of Richard Pilkington, was to become one of the founders of the famous Pilkington Glass works in St Helens. He was married to Ann Evans, who was the daughter of Richard Evans, proprietor of the Haydock Collieries.
The Pollitt Family of Stockport
The Pollitt family traces its ancestry back to Norman times, through various different spellings of the name, (including Pollit, Paulet and Pawlet). The earliest known existence of the name in England is Henricus filius Ypoliti, in Yorkshire in 1171.
Early records show that in the early 13th century Herriard House in Hampshire had passed by marriage into the Paulet family, and that by 1493 large tracts of land around Basingstoke had come into the possession of John Paulet and his family - in 1551 he was created Marquess of Winchester.
Basing House, near Basingstoke in Hampshire, was the palace of William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester, a powerful and wealthy Tudor courtier. It was built on the site of a Norman castle and is reckoned to have been the largest private residence in England according to some authorities. Henry VIII and Philip of Spain are said to have dined there. In the early 18th century Harry Paulet (1691-1759) was created 4th Duke of Bolton.
Branches of the family are found scattered around the country, as far apart as Devon, Somerset, Jersey, Staffordshire and Cheshire, with a branch certainly moving to the North West Region, notably around Huddersfield (Yorkshire) and Wigan, and in the 1830s a contingent of the Pollitt (sometimes Pollett) family was living in the Cheadle and Heaton Norris areas of Stockport. Slater's Directory of Salford & Manchester of 1848 shows the company of Pollett & Taylor, (Dressmakers and Patchworkers) existed in Oak Street in Manchester, and a Joseph Pollitt is listed in the Nobility, Gentry, Clergy section of the same publication.
Sarah and James Pollitt ran the 'Black Boy' Public House on Bridge Street in Stockport from 1795 to 1824, on the site of the town's first Sunday School, (which started in an upstairs room above the pub). John Pollitt and family ran 'The Grapes' in Stockport in the 1800's.
More recently, Pollitts owned and ran a large local vegetable concern on the main A6, and George Pollitt was a council member for a time on Stockport Council. He also owned and ran cinemas in Manchester and Stockport, and another section of the family had a sweet factory in Denton, Tameside. Female members of the family have married sons of Robinsons (the local brewery family) and into the Stokeport family.
The Prestwich Family of Clifton
The now demolished Hulme Hall at Worsley was both the one-time seat of the Prestwich Family and the residence of the Lord of the Manor of Manchester. In 1291, Adam de Prestwich purchased the Manor of Pendlebury (known also as Shoresworth) later to be passed on to the Radclyffe family of Ordsall Hall (see below). Sometime around 1340 Richard de Langley married Joanna, sole heiress of the Prestwich family, and subsequently the Prestwich and Heaton estates came into the possession of the Langleys. In earlier times, the Prestwich family had been wealthy vintners, with extensive land holdings in the north of Manchester as far as Farnworth (now in Bolton), but lost most of their lands and fortune during the Civil Wars.
The Radclyffes of Ordsall
Sometime in the early 15th century, Elizabeth Radclyffe had married her cousin Robert Radclyffe and built their first home at Foxdenton Hall. The Radclyffe (or Radcliffe) family were to become major landowners in Ordsall, Prestwich and Salford, as well as owning Wythenshawe Hall and Park in early medieval times. The earliest part of Ordsall Hall dates from just before 1361 when Sir John Radclyffe (1354-1362) was granted a licence for his chapel at Ordsall. Sir John had fought for the bravely and victoriously in France and was awarded one of the most noble family mottos in the land: "Caen, Crecy, Calais". He was also responsible for the introduction of Flemish Weavers and as such began England and the Northwest's long association with the textile industry. In 1341 Richard de Radclyffe sold a piece of land in Prestwich called Roden (later to be known as Rooden) and nowadays as Heaton Park. The last of the family was Charles Robert Eustace who died in 1953 and brought to an end the long line of Radclyffes.
The Rigby Family of Standish
The name Rigby comes from the old Norse meaning "Ridge Farm" and almost certainly is derived from the place called Rigby in Lancashire. The earliest known spelling of the surname is that of Gilbert de Rigebi, which was dated 1208, and a little later in 1285 of one Henry de Ryggeby. It is recorded that in 1339 Ambrose de Wrightington leased to Edmund de Rigby and Joan his wife a parcel of land at Smithscroft, (Towneley). The Rigbys also appear in connexion with Arley as early as 1483, though this was later sold on to the Standish family. The Rigbys owned significant lands around Standish, Coppul, Chorley and Duxbury by the 16th century. Harrock Estate Wrightington and Parbold was long held by the Rigby family. Unfortunately, they were staunch Royalists during the Civil Wars, and subsequently Alexander Rigby's estate was confiscated by Parliament, which ruined the family's fortunes, and Alexander died penniless and disgraced in the Fleet Prison in 1713. Burgh is said to have been sold by the Rigbys in 1727. The church of St Mary the Virgin was built for the worship of the Rigby family of Middleton Hall in Goosnargh.
The Sandbach Family of Sandbach
The township of Sandbach in Cheshire, (probably originally spelt 'Sandbecd'), is mentioned as having a church and its own priest in the Domesday Book in 1086. Consequently, it is a fair assumption that the family took its name from the town.
In the 13th Century, during the reign of King John, Sandbach and the surrounding lands were held by Richard de Sandbach, who was made High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1230. His brother, Thomas, was also Rector of Sandbach. Thomas's son, Randle, was made Lord of the (small) Manor Budenhall near Congleton. The succeeding centuries saw the ownership of the Manor of Sandbach passing out of the family to the Leghs of Booth and then the Radclyffes of Ordsall who held it for about 250 years. Margaret de Sandbach, daughter of Sir Richard, had married the powerful Sir William de Brereton, (whose family had accompanied William the Conqueror in his invasion of Britain), sometime after 1226, and thereafter the families were closely linked. (See Brereton Family). Later, sometime shortly before 1313, a later Richard de Sandbach became rector of the College at Chaplains located in the Church of St Mary and Thomas the Martyr at Upholland near Wigan. Thereafter the family seems to have been assimilated, along with their lands and wealth, into other noble families of the county through marriage and subsequent references to the Sandbach family are few and far between.
The Sankey Family of Little Sankey
The Sankey family name has been variously spelled Sonkye, Sonkey, Sanchi, Zanchey or Sanki. Some mention of the Sankeys will be found during documents belonging to the reign of Henry III. Little Sankey Hall was the ancestral family seat, and the family were wealthy and influential landed gentry of the county of Lancashire, though the old manor was transferred to Cheshire in 1974. The family name is probably derived from the village of Sankey and the river of that name in the locality. The name probably derives from the 7th century English "Sand ig", meaning a sandy place, or even an island of sand in a fen or bogland.
First known mention of the name is Sonkey in 1086, though one Gerard de Sanchi, Lord of the manor of Sankey, the first known forebear of the family of any distinction, in an ancient record "Testa de Nevill", during the reign of King Edward I (1272-1307).
In about 1250, one Robert Banastre, Baron of Newton, granted land in the district of Lowton to William de Sonkye. In 1242 there is mention of a Roger de Sankey although his direct descendants are unknown.
The Sankey family arms are over the front door of the local parish church (later obscured by whitewash). One family member is known to have fallen at the battle of Agincourt, and another died at Flodden.
As late as 1670 there is an instance of the name being spelled as Zanchey. There are various recorded spellings of the surname, including Sonchi in the year 1180, Sanki in the tax rolls and registers of 1202, and as Sonkey in 1228, Roger de Sonky in 1299, John Sankey of Dublin in 1562, and Edward Sankey whose will was probated in Chester in 1609.
The Savage Family of Rocksavage
The Savage family were a powerful an influential family in Cheshire before the 18th century. Since 1368 they had been lords of half the Manor of Cheadle, (later known as Cheadle Moseley), and were the original owners of Bradshaw Hall, having been built by Sir John Savage during the reign of King Henry VIII. In 1569 Sir John built Rocksavage House at Clifton, near Runcorn in Cheshire, which became their main county seat. In 1674, this great red sandstone house was listed in the Hearth Tax returns as having 50 hearths. During the English Civil Wars, a later John Savage, a devoted Royalist, lost Rocksavage to Parliamentarian forces, who looted and demolished much of the building. After the Restoration of Charles I, it was restored to the family and was completely renovated. Sir John's celebrated son-in-law, Sir William Brereton also built Brereton Hall as a replica of Rocksavage. Sir Thomas Savage who was made 1st Viscount Savage married Elizabeth Darcy, 'Countess Rivers' sometime in the early 17th century and the title Earl Rivers remained in the Savage family of several succeeding generations. By the 17th century, Thomas and Elizabeth Savage were members of the royal court, Thomas being Chancellor to Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, and his wife Elizabeth was one of her ladies of the bedchamber. Unfortunately, they fell dramatically from grace when they were imprisoned for debt. Though the main branch of the Savage family died out in the 18th century, (through marriage of females of the family line, and no male heir to continue it), and Rocksavage House ceased to exist two centuries ago, the name still survives - in 1998, HM Queen Elizabeth officially opened Rocksavage Power Station (now the Rocksavage Power Company Limited).
The Scarisbrick Family of Ormskirk
The Scarisbrick family, major county landowners, were described once as the 'richest commoners' in Britain. From 1238 they lived on the site of present day Scarisbrick and held powerful influences as one of the great families of Lancashire. One of the earliest references to the family name is 1230 when Scarisbrick was included in lands which Roger de Marsey sold to Ranulf, Earl of Chester. The family married extensively with other notable Lancashire families, including the Heskeths, Halsalls, Bradhaighs and Barlows. They were patrons of and made several grants to support Burscough Priory.
Their country seat, Scarisbrick Hall is a most beautiful house, and originally dated back to the time of King Stephen. The present building of 1867, thought by many to be one of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in Britain, was designed by Pugin. Its 100 foot high clock tower dominates the landscape for many miles around. The hall remained in the possession of the Scarisbrick family until 1948, but is now used as the school premises of Kingswood College. Greaves Hall was also built for the Scarisbrick family. The District of Downholland remained part of the Scarisbrick estate until 1945 when the hall and the estate sold in various lots. The Scarisbrick family business seems to have been in leather, textiles and drysalter's trades, as well as having a paper-making business at Milnthorpe in Cumbria. The Scarisbrick family vault is in Ormskirk Church and the last member of the family to be buried there was Thomas Scarisbrick, the funeral taking place on the 26th July 1833.
The Seddon Family of Middleton & Manchester
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Sedan, dated 16 January 1521, when he married Elizabeth Greenehalghe, at Manchester, during the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547). Recorded as Seddon and sometimes as Sedan, Sedden, Seden, and Seyden, this is an English surname originally associated with the county of Lancashire. It was locational and originated from a now "lost" place thought to have been situated in the Manchester area of Lancashire. There are no recordings extant of the early forms of the placename, but it is believed to mean "the broad, wide hill", from the Olde English pre-7th century "side", used in the sense of a hill-slope, with "dun", a hill. An estimated three thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since the 12th Century, due to such natural causes as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, and the enforced clearing and enclosure of rural lands for sheep pasture from the 15th Century on. Recordings of the surname from Lancashire Church Registers include the marriage of Richard Seddon and Alice Scholefeild on 13 January 1542, at Middleton near Oldham. Richard Seddon (1845-1906), Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born in St Helen's, Lancashire, and served an engineering apprenticeship before going to the Australian gold fields in 1863, and then on to New Zealand.
We are indebted to Beth Seddon Busby for providing this information on the Seddon Family.
Daniel Seddon of Farnwoth emailed further details of the Seddon family. He states that according to the Bridgewater Papers held in the University of Salford: "The earliest recording of the family name is that of Thonet and Edward Seddon, who were tenants of The Lords of Worlsey in 1446. Richard Seddon of Ringley is also recorded as having married a Joan Standish in 1473."
The Sherburne Family of Stonyhurst
The Sherburne family's ancient country seat was at Stonyhurst in Lancashire and had been so since around 1246. Variations on the surname include Sherburn and Shyrburne. Richard Sherburne (1460-1513) built the choir at Mitton church and was succeeded by his son, Hugh Sherburne (1480-1528). Thomas Sherburne (1505-1536), was High Sheriff of Lancashire and Richard Sherburne (1526-1594), was knighted and held various public offices including Lieutenant of Lancashire. He enlarged his estates and rebuilt the house at Stonyhurst and Mitton church. He retained his Catholic faith after the Reformation and his son, Richard Sherburne (1546-1629) bought the rectory and advowson of Mitton from James I to avoid problems with non-attendance at church. Richard Sherburne (1586-1667), married Elizabeth Walmsley (d.1666). In 1540 a Barony was granted to the Sherburnes. The family also had close connections with the Isle of Man. Richard Sherburne was deputy-governor in 1532, and his son, Sir Richard, was governor from 1580 to 1592. During the 1640s they were forced to flee to York when their estates were confiscated by Parliament on account of their Catholic faith and support for the Royalist cause during the English Civil Wars. Their son, Richard Sherburn (1626-1689), remained at Stonyhurst. Their daughter, Anne, married Marmaduke Constable, who was also Catholic and Royalist, and they lived with the couple on their Everingham estates. Their lands were passed down through several subsequent generations of the family until 1702 when the Sherburne estates then passed to Mary, the young wife of Thomas Howard, 8th Duke of Norfolk, ensuring that they would be, once and for all, into the ownership of the Dukes of Norfolk. Stoneyhurst Hall is now a Roman Catholic college.
The Shrigley Family - Macclesfield
Shrigley originally spelled " Shriggelegge" in 1285 was derived from the Old Englich "scric" and "leah". Scric is believed to refer to the grey backed shrike that was found in the woodland clearings in the Peak District of Pott Shrigley. Also sometimes spelled Shriggley. The Manor of Shrigley was first given to Horswin, Lord of the Manor and great-nephew of William the Conqueror. Horswin and his 5 brothers all had lands and titles given to them as part of the new Norman establishment after the Conquest of 1066, and these lands in the County of Cheshire were all held personally by William the Conqueror's family, the Macclesfield Forest was itself a Royal hunting forest. Shrigley hall, now an hotel, dates back over five centuries and was originally home to the Downes family until it was sold to William Turner, High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1821. Historically a private family house, Shrigley Hall opened as a hotel in 1989 and was carefully restored to its original beauty. The hotel sits high above the estate on the edge of the Peak District National Park and has exceptional views. See also: Downes family.
The Shuttleworth Family of Gawthorpe
The Shuttleworths were for several centuries an influential land-owning family in the Burnley area whose wealth came from wool weaving. They lived at Gawthorpe Hall, their family seat for some 400 hundred years and their estates date back to medieval times. The family name reflects a connection with the old woollen weaving tradition of the district, probably being derived from the old English word "schotil" ("shuttle"), a device still in evidence three times on the family Coat-of-Arms. The Shuttleworths numbered Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) as a family friend - she spent some time as a guest at Gawthorpe. Gawthorpe Hall is situated in Padiham on the edge of the Pennine Hills, standing in its own secluded wooded grounds on the banks of the river Calder. It began life as a 14th century so-called 'pele' tower, built as a defence against the invading Scots. Then, sometime between 1600 - 1605 for Sir Richard Shuttleworth, a wealthy Elizabethan barrister. Nowadays it is a compact three-storey largely Jacobean house.
One of the family's most celebrated members was Colonel Richard Shuttleworth (1587-1669). He was twice made High Sheriff of Lancashire, Member of Parliament for Preston and commander of the Parliamentarian Army of the Blackburn Hundred during the Civil Wars of 1642-49. After his death Gawthorpe was not occupied by a member of the family for 150 years, but several 'caretaker' occupants looked after the estate.
It was not until the 1850s that the Hall would see the family's return, when Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, the great Victorian reformer, commissioned Sir Charles Barry to carry out restoration and improvements to the house. More recently, in view of the exorbitant cost of upkeep of the Hall, Lord Charles Shuttleworth left Gawthorpe and moved to live at Leck Hall near Kirby Lonsdale in 1953. Today the Hall is a National Craft Centre, thanks initially to donations given by the Hon. Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth (1886-1967) in the 1960s - she was the last of the family to live at Gawthorpe Hall. Her particular skills in the art of embroidery and lacemaking and the extensive collection she made have formed the basis of the nationally important textile collection that she formed. The Hall is now looked after by the National Trust and is leased to Lancashire County Council who partly let it as a College of Further Education. Lord Shuttleworth is currently the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire.
The Staffords of Botham & Eyam
The family branches of the Staffords and de Staffords of Botham and Eyam are numerous and are widely spread over many English counties, though strictly speaking, as a predominantly Derbyshire family, their place in this website is arguable, though on account of their Mellor connection they have been included here as a courtesy.
They trace their certain history back as far as Robert de Teoni, born in Rouen in Normandy in 1039, who was a standard bearer and cousin of William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He was created First Baron de Stafford for services to the Conqueror. It is also likely that the family ancestry may trace back even earlier to one Sviedi Svidrasson, born in 675 AD at Maere in Norway. Generations of the de Staffords were subsequently born at Stafford Castle (in Staffordshire) and in the 11th and 12th centuries several were made Sheriffs of Staffordshire. By 1480 the 'de Stafford' surname had been dropped in favour of, simply, 'Stafford'. Botham Hall in the township of Mellor, about 8 miles southwest of Glossop, probably came into the possession of William de Stafford in 1380 through his marriage to its co-heiress, Margaret de Mellor, daughter of Roger de Mellor. The Botham estate was of modest size, and there are many gaps in the history of the family. While Botham was one of the Stafford's traditional country seats, the other branch at Eyam in Derbyshire probably began around 1200, when Richard de Stafford, a Templar to King Henry III, set up a home at Eyam Hall. Richard had been given the land by Sir Eustace de Thorstein, Lord of the Manor of Eyam, in gratitude for services rendered. Eyam stayed in possession of the family until the 16th century when it passed by marriage into the Bradshaw family and was renamed Bradshaw Hall. The Staffords, largely through marriage, acquired much property and lands over the years, eventually owning nearly all the property in the townships of Eyam, Foolow and the hamlet of Bretton, comprising many hundreds of acres. They were also lords and sole owners of the two manors of Calver and Rowland. In 1787 Botham Hall was purchased by Samuel Oldknow, the celebrated mill owner and cotton manufacturer of Mellor (Marple).
We are indebted to Geoffrey Stafford for supplying a detailed genealogy of his family, from which this extract was taken.
The Standishes of Lancashire
The start of the old Lancashire family of Standish came into being shortly after the Norman Conquest, when the Bussel family acquired the two adjacent villages of Stanedis and Longetre, (now known as Standish and Langtree) as gifts from a grateful William the Conqueror. Later, an elder daughter of the family, Juliana, married Radulphus de Stanedis, who took the name "de Standish". The family held the unbroken Lordship of the Manor of Standish over the following seven centuries (1220-1920). Later the name was simplified to Standish. The country seat of the family is at Standish Hall, which was first built on its present site in 1574 by Edward Standish. The family of Standish held extensive lands in Lancashire, including coal mining rights over their lands in Adlington, near Macclesfield. In 1840 Sir Thomas Standish of Duxbury is reported to have sold a coal mine in Duxbury for £8,000. Henry Noailles Widdrington Standish, the last Lord of the Manor, died without any heir at Contreville in France and the house of Standish came to an end.
The Stanleys of Knowsley & Lathom
The Stanleys were one of the great families of Lancashire whose main houses were at Knowsley (now in Merseyside) and Lathom in south-west Lancashire between Liverpool and Ormskirk. The family name derives from Adam de Stanley (1125-1200) who became Lord of the Manor of Stanley in Staffordshire, close to the Cheshire border. They also came to own extensive lands in the Isle of man and, in 1405, Sir John Stanley became First Lord of Man. The Stanleys had providentially joined the winning side during the Wars of the Roses and in 1485, Sir John had joined Henry of Lancaster against Richard III, and thereafter received several more estates in Cheshire in payment for his loyalty and support to the new king. In 1408 he was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Eventually they were to hold extensive lands in Lancashire including Huyton, Prescott, Winwick and Ashton-in-Makerfield (now part of Wigan Metropolitan Borough), as well as being made Earls of Derby.
The Starkie Family of Huntroyde
The Starkies originally came from Barnton in Cheshire. It is recorded that in 1465, Edmund, son of William Starkie of Barnton, married Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of John de Simonstone whose family had held land in Simonstone since 1230. Already a powerful and influential family, it was Roger Nowell Starkie who presided at the trial of the so-called 'Lancashire witches' at Lancaster in 1612. The Starkies were sufficiently wealthy to provide arms for the local militia in 1574, and Edmund Starkie was summoned by the Queen's Council to lend money to Elizabeth I to defend the country against the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Edmund was the original builder of the family's country seat at Huntroyde. His grandson, John (1584 - 1665) inherited the Huntroyde estate in 1618 and went on to become one of the Chief Justices of the Peace in Lancashire, and in 1633 he was appointed Sheriff of Lancaster. John's eldest son Nicholas, a captain in the Parliamentary army, was killed at the siege of Hoghton Tower in 1643. During the Commonwealth period John Starkie was also appointed to the committee responsible for the confiscation and disposal of former Royalist lands.
Later, through marriage, the house at Hall i' th' Wood in Bolton, passed into the ownership of the Starkie family. Other inheritances and shrewd purchases added Simonstone, Shuttleworth Hall in Hapton, lands in Osbaldeston and Salesbury, property at Heaton near Horwich, and Westhoughton, estates in Pendle, Mearly, Pendleton and Heyhouses to be added to the Starkie family wealth and holdings. By the end of the 19th century, the Starkies were the owners of nearly 9,000 acres of land in north-east and central Lancashire. Nicholas Le Gendre Starkie (1799 -1865) was Member of Parliament for Pontefract from 1826 -32, but was also a prominent Freemason, being Provincial Grand Master for the Western Division of Lancashire. Well known and respected philanthropists, later family members donated churches in Padiham, Clowbridge, Higham and Hapton. In more recent times, Edmund Starkie (1871 -1958) who served as Captain in the Boer War, with his wife, were prominent local promoters of the Red Cross and St John's Ambulance Brigade, and gave Huntroyde to be used as a hospital for convalescent soldiers during the First World War. After On his death in 1958, the estate passed to his nephew, Guy Le Gendre. The house was partially demolished in 1969 and eventually sold in 1983.
The Stockports of Stockport
After the Invasion of 1066, Normal earls ruled their newly acquired lands with absolute power. They, in turn, created barons, exercising authority beneath them and responsible for raising armed men when they were required. One of those feudal barons was the Sir Robert, newly created Baron de Stockeport. It was his son Robert who would be largely responsible for the development of the town of Stockport, which still bears the family name. The de Stockport family virtually controlled the township over the next 600 years, obtaining a Charter in 1220 granting the burgesses of Stockport the right to elect their own mayor, without interference from their Earl or Baron.
The Sudell Family of Blackburn
Although the Sudell (sometimes spelled 'Sudel') family came from lowly beginnings and were of peasant stock and tradespeople, they have been associated with the development of the Borough of Blackburn for more than 400 years. John Sudell, who held chantry lands at Oozebooth in 1548, is the earliest member of whom any records are known, and a William Sudell was living in Blackburn during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. His son was baptised at the parish church in September 1601. William Sudell was elected Governor of Blackburn Grammar School in 1714. Around 1799 Henry Sudel, purchased the Woodfold estate and built Woodfold Hall in Mellor which was to develop into an extensive estate, apparently well stocked with deer and wildfowl. Several local estates were also purchased and by 1820 Henry Sudell was a millionaire. However, ill-advised speculation in continental and American markets led to major financial losses and in 1827 he was declared bankrupt and the family left Woodfold Hall to live at Ashley House near Bath , thus bring Sudell family influence in Lancashire to an ignominious end.
The Talbot Family of Bashall, Salesbury & Carr
The Talbot family traces their origins back to Richard de Talbot, who is mentioned in Domesday Book of 1086 as holding land from Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham.
The unfortunate King Henry VI of the house of Lancaster is recorded as having sought refuge from his enemies at Clitheroe and was betrayed to Edward IV by the Talbots of Bashall and Salesbury, including Thomas Talbot, son of Sir Edmund Talbot, together with his cousin John, to whom Henry surrendered his sword. The Talbots were rewarded for their work by King Edward, receiving all their costs and charges. Additionally, Sir Thomas Talbot received the sum of £100, and a yearly pension of £40, thereby identifying him as the prime mover in the capture of the deposed King. It is recorded that later the Talbot family held the Manor of Withnell (near Chorley) in Lancashire, when James Talbot married Mary Parke. In 1783 two of John Talbot's sons were educated at the English College in Rome and were priests in England, one becoming a Jesuit. Other Talbot family members lived in Preston. In 1813 William Talbot founded the Talbot Schools at St Walburges, Preston. Bagganley Hall, Chorley, was a one-time home of the Talbot family, rebuilt by one John Parker 1633 and demolished in modern times prior to the building of the M61 Motorway.
The Tattons of Wythenshawe
The Tatton family first appeared in Northenden around 1297. In 1370 the family became Lords of the Manor of Northenden and took control of the Wythenshawe and Northenden districts. Robert de Tatton built their new home at Wythenshawe Hall around 1540 and it was to be the family home for fourteen generations of Tattons over the next four centuries. The Family and the Hall withstood and survived an abortive siege by Oliver Cromwell during the Civil Wars. By 1926 the last member of the Tatton family died and Wythenshawe Hall and the surrounding parkland was left to Manchester Corporation
Tetlows of Ashton and Oldham
Sometimes spelled 'Tetlawe', there is evidence of fines being levied against this old family with one Robert de Tetlawe in 1410, and in 1422 Adam de Tetlow having rented properties in Ashton-under-Lyne. They still held lands around Prestwich in the 14th century, when Joanne de Tetlawe married Richard Langley and set up Langley Hall just north of Prestwich and began the Langley family of Middleton and Agecroft, who held the lands for several hundred years thereafter. Around 1320-21, during the reign of King Edward II, Richard Tetlow, son of Adam de Tetlawe, had been granted lands around Werneth in Oldham. Adam de Tetlow had also apparently married Eva, daughter of William de Oldham, and obtained her lands in Werneth and Oldham. The Tetlawes were to live at Chamber in Werneth for many generations and the family name appears in numerous historical documents which support this. Gradually, the name was changed to Tetlow, and their family line remained intact until the 17th century, when Jane, sole heiress of Robert Tetlow, married George Wood, who in 1646 sold it on to Henry Wrigley, a linen draper from Salford. Sometime around 1680 Wrigley's granddaughter, Martha married Joseph Gregge and the estate past to him and thereafter was in the possession of the Gregg family.
Towneley Family of Burnley
The powerful Towneley (sometimes spelt Townley or Townsley) family lived in the Burnley area from the mid-thirteenth century. Towneley Hall, their imposing Elizabethan country seat, dates from the early 15th century and is set in 62 acres of parkland. Since 1903 it has been a museum and art gallery and is rated as one of the finest medieval mansions in Lancashire. It still displays a large wall chart displaying their family tree.
In the year 1200, one Roger de Lacy had granted lands at "Tunleia" (Towneley) to his son-in-law, Geoffrey, and building probably began in about 1400 and completed during the 15th century.
The Towneleys were an important Catholic family and the hall contains the 15th Century Whalley Abbey vestments and a private chapel - they were consequently persecuted for their faith during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In 1817 Peregrine Towneley donated an area of land at Burnley Wood on which to build a Roman Catholic church as well as donating £1000 towards its construction. For many years the Towneleys possessed the original scripts of the Wakefield Mystery Plays, (the so-called Towneley Manuscript); they are now in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California and are sometimes referred to as the 'Towneley Cycle'.
In more recent times, the Towneleys held land around the Stargate Pit until 1826, and gleaned a great deal of new wealth from surface coal mining in the area, where coal had to be transported across Towneley land for payment of a toll or wayleave.
Towneley Hall remained with the Towneley family until the early 20th century, when Lady O'Hagan (Alice Mary Towneley) sold the Hall and 62 acres to Burnley Corporation for a nominal sum of £17,500 in 1901.
The Traffords of Trafford Park
The Trafford family, (or more properly the 'de Trafford' family), were once one of the most prominent Catholic families in Victorian Britain, and trace their ancestry back well before Norman times - a member of the family is said to have served King Canute. One Radulphus, an early forebear of the family died in about 1050 in the reign of Edward the Confessor. The family's long association with Trafford Park dates at least from the late 12th century, though nowadays the family name is perhaps best known by virtue of the Trafford Centre, Manchester United's home ground at Old Trafford and the industrial estate at Trafford Park which now lies in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford and was formerly in Lancashire.
Much later, around the beginning of the 17th century, Cecil de Trafford was knighted at Houghton Tower, and Trafford Borough Coat of Arms still bears a Griffon, emblem of the de Trafford Family.
The Traffords had extensive land holdings throughout Lancashire and Cheshire, and had pre-Reformation connections with Wilmslow church and held lands at Alderley Edge, where the De Trafford Arms pub still survives. In 1882, their estates at Trafford Hall were threatened by the projected Manchester Ship Canal which was intended to run round its north side. The plan was vehemently opposed by Sir Humphrey de Trafford right up to the time of his death in 1886. In 1898, after numerous abortive attempts by Manchester City Council to buy the estate for conversion into a public park, Sir Humphrey Francis de Trafford sold the land in its entirety to Trafford Park Estates, who turned it into the first industrial estate in Europe. It is reckoned now to be the largest estate of its kind in the world, and perpetuates the family name of the Traffords.
The Tyldesleys of Myerscough Hall
The Tyldesley family seat was at Myerscough Hall where the family in 1617 acted as loyal hosts to King James I. In 1651 Charles II also lodged there on the way to claim the throne of England. The Tyldesley family were devout Roman Catholics and Royalist supporters and Thomas Tyldesley was killed at the battle of Wigan Lane, by Parliamentarian forces. By 1332 they had established themselves as Lords of the Manor of Tyldesley, and their lands would bear the family name thereafter right up to the present day. The fields and forests of the Tyldesleys to the north; then known as Tyldesleyhurst, and now called Mosley Common. In 1375 Thomas Tyldesley acquired lands in Chaddock hamlet by marriage to Agnes Sutherland; later, Shakerley lands were added to the family holdings. By 1700, the Tyledsley family had virtually disappeared through marriage into other noble families. As an example, in 1696 the men of Tyldesley-cum-Shakerley were convened to swear an oath of loyalty to the new King William III. Some sixty-five men are recorded as having taken the Oath of Association , administered by the constables of the township. The list shows only one inhabitant from the former prominent families, Thomas Chaddock. Others, including the Tyldesleys, had gone.
The Urmston Family of Urmston
When William the Conqueror bequeathed substantial north west lands in gratitude to Baron Rogier de Poitou (or Poictou) who had aided in his conquest of England; he in turn gave part of his holdings to Albert de Greslé. In turn, Geslé (or Grelley), sometime during the reign of King John, bestowed lands upon Orme, the son of Edward Aylward. This area became known as Orme's Tun (meaning 'Orme's settlement' or dwelling), which later became, Orme Eston, (crudely, 'Orme - his town'), then Ormeston and finally Urmston.
In 1292 Sigreda, the heiress of the neighbouring Manor of Westleigh (in Leigh, now in the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan), married Richard Urmston, and these lands also passed to the Urmston family. However, the Lordship of the Manor of Westleigh was to be frequently disputed many times over the following years, but by the early 17th century the rights seem to be firmly in the possession of the Urmston family and remained there until the last of the male Urmstons died in 1659. Elements of the Urmston Arms (notably, the spear) are to be found included in those of Leigh.
Urmston Hall itself, the family's county seat, was built c.1350, was rebuilt towards the end of the sixteenth century, later became a farm and was finally demolished in 1937. The township of Urmston, which bears the family's name is located west of Manchester in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.
The Venables Family of Middlewich
The Venables Family (sometimes 'de Venables') hail originally from the town of Venables near Evreux in Normandy, and it was Gilbert de Venables, (also known as Gilbert Hunter), huntsman to the Dukes of Normandy, who first held the Barony of Kinderton in Cheshire for Hugh Lupus after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Other family members became Barons of Chester and of Warrington, and over time Venables became a prominent Cheshire and Lancashire surname, as did the anglicised version of 'Hunter'. The Domesday Book of 1086 shows Gilbert 'Hunter' holding Brereton, Davenport, Kinderton and Witton (Northwich) and Ralph Hunter holding Stapleford in Cheshire and Soughton in Wales. Later the family became Lords of the Manor of Middlewich.
Wincham Hall, recorded as 'Winundersham' in the Domesday Book, was given to Gilbert de Venables following the Norman Conquest, but it successively passed in and out of the Venables family's ownership through inheritance, married and sale over the following centuries. It survived until bombing in the Second World War destroyed it, after which it was finally demolished.
The family's influence and power throughout medieval Cheshire is evidenced by the wreath on the Coat of Arms of the Borough of Congleton, which are the heraldic colours of the Venables family, as do the Arms of Northwich where the ship shown above the shield shows on its mainsail the wyvern of the Venables family.
They held many other lands throughout Britain including Woodcote near Winchester, when, in 1677, the manor had been purchased by the Venables. The Venables family also purchased Antrobus Hall in Great Budworth sometime during the reign of King Henry IV - they resided here for many generations.
The Venables Family have a worldwide website and there are regular Venables family conventions held in England and in France. The Middlewich Festival, held in September each year, also acts as a gathering of the Venables family members from around the world.
Genealogical Link: http://www.thornber.net/cheshire/htmlfiles/venables.html
The Vernons of Cheshire
The Vernon family can trace their ancestry back to France before the Norman Invasion of 1066, notably in the persons of William de Vernon (alive in Normandy 1052), and his son, Richard de Vernon, Lord of Shipbroke (alive in 1086 in England). Richard was a Knight of William the Conqueror and grantee of Shipbrook, and of 14 other manors in Cheshire before the Domesday survey. He was married to Adzelia, daughter of William Peverel of Nottingham. Peverel was an illegitimate son of William the Conqueror. Another Richard de Vernon, a one-time favourite of the powerful King John, was appointed High Sheriff of Lancashire from 1200-1205.
The Vernons were an influential family who lived and owned much of the lands around Rode, North Rode, Rode Heath and Gawsworth in Cheshire, where many of the family are buried. The family spread far and wide in northern England mostly through marriage. William de Vernon's great-grandson, also called Richard, had married Avice, daughter and co-heir to the manor of of William de Avenell, of Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, thus adding extensive Derbyshire lands to their ownership. Others married into the de Stokeport family of Stockport and into influential families in Shropshire, notably in Tong where many members of the family lie buried. However, the family is probably still best known for its ownership of Haddon Hall in Derbyshire and Gawsworth Hall near Macclesfield.
The Walmsley Family of Rishton
The Walmsley family was associated in earlier times with the Lancashire village of Riston. In 1581 it was recorded that Sir Thomas Talbot sold the manor of 'Rissheton' to Thomas Walmsley - the manor continued in the possession of the Walmsley family until 1711 when it passed by marriage out of the family holdings. The wealth and importance of the family continued until the 19th century, when they became prosperous textile manufacturers. The family held shares in the Grimshaw Bridge Mill at Eccleshill, an early water-powered carding and spinning factory, erected in 1782 by William Yates. Following Yates' failure in 1790, the mill was worked briefly by William Booth of Lower Darwen. By the early nineteenth century, Walmsley, Townsend & Green had taken over. In 1823, the surviving partner, Joseph Walmsley, was employing 23 hands at the mill, and the whole undertaking came into the sole possession of the Walmsley family. In 1855 the family retired from business and sold the Grimshaw Bridge plant, but the Walmsley family name is still well remembered in placenames throughout Lancashire.
The Warburtons of Tabley & Warburton
The Warburtons trace their family history back a very long way and are one of the oldest established families in Cheshire and Staffordshire. Warburton Village in Lancashire is where the Warburton family is said to have originated, nine hundred years ago. They owned the manor of Glazebrook and in 1384 Geoffrey de Warburton ceded the manor to Hamon Mascy (Lord of the Manor at Rixton.) This led to the combining of the two areas and became known as Rixton-with-Glazebrook. Later, one William Warburton (1615-1673) was born and died in Warburton, the estate and later the village having been taken after the family name. William had married Jane Burgess in 1641 in Rostherne where she was born. Later there was intermarriage with the Egerton family to become the Egerton-Warburton family on the inheritance of Rowland Egerton, 7th son of Philip Egerton of Oulton Park. He had married Mary Brooke of Norton Priory and rebuilt Arley in the 1840s as well as having created the present Budworth village.
By 1766 members of the Warburton family were prominent trustees of Cobridge School in Staffordshire, as well as being cofounders of Lymm Grammar School in Cheshire. In fact, the Warburton family crest is still incorporated in the Lymm Grammar School school coat of arms.
The Warburtons were, like most old Cheshire families, a staunch Catholic family and originally rented lands from the Biddulph family on the Grange estate in north Staffordshire. At Grange in the early 18th century John Warburton built a Potworks for the manufacture of white stoneware which he exported, most profitably by all accounts, to Holland. By the time he died in 1752 he had amassed a considerable property which included the Tabley estate in Cheshire for which he paid £1,000.
The Warren Family of Poynton
The Warren family seems to have made its first appearance in records in 1164, when Hamelin Plante Genest (later changed to Plantagenet), a Norman Baron and illegitimate half brother of King Henry II, married Isabel 'de Warrene'. They settled to live in Surrey, where the de Warrenes soon were granted the Earldom of Surrey and, by 1254, the family seems to have moved to Norfolk. They also held lands in Suffolk, Somerset and Sussex. The last de Warenne Earl of Surrey died in 1347. Soon after they appear to have been inexplicably disinherited and a branch of the family moved north to start a new life in east Cheshire sometime around 1380. Later on the death of the last Plantagenet king of England, some descendants changed their surname to Wareing or Waringe.
Ultimately the Warrens were to hold significant tracts of land throughout Cheshire over the centuries, which they acquired through purchase and propitious marriage of daughters of the Warren family into other influential Cheshire families. The Manor of Adlington, adjacent to Poynton, had been purchased by John de Warren from the Stokeport family sometime shortly thereafter.
In 1777 Elizabeth Harriett, daughter and heiress of Sir George Warren, was married to Thomas, the 7th Viscount Bulkeley, a substantial landowner in Anglesey. Subsequently they took the name of Warren-Bulkeley. Elizabeth was a local beauty immortalised in a George Romney portrait, which was specially commissioned for the marriage - it now resides in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. In 1784 Thomas was created Baron Bulkeley of Beaumaris. In 1792 Sir George Warren had purchased the Worth estate from the Downes family - it is now Davenport Golf Club.
Later, in that century, Anna Dorothea Warren, Viscountess Bulkeley, left part of her estate to the 2nd Lord de Tabley (of Tabley House near Knutsford) on condition that the family name incorporated Warren, (ie. Leicester Warren).
By 1811, the Sixth Baronet, Sir George Leicester had assumed the name and arms of the Warrens, and thereafter the Tabley branch were known by the name of Leicester Warren.
By the end of the 19th century, the Warrens were connected to most of the county's leading aristocracy. The Manor and Title of Poynton itself was held by the Warren Family until 1801 when the last surviving male, Sir George, died and was succeeded by his daughter, Lady Warren Bulkeley. Childless, she died in 1826 when it passed to Frances Maria Warren, Lady Vernon. The Vernons held the estate until the final sale in 1920. Sources: '''Memoirs of the Ancient Earls of Warren and Surrey, and Their Descendants to the Present Time''' – John Watson http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=_VeVwcwUUG4C&printsec=front...
http://www.thornber.net/cheshire/htmlfiles/warren.html "Warrens of Poynton and Stockport"
The Whitaker Family of the Holme
The Whitaker Family (with one 't') trace their ancestry back to at least 1340, when Richard de Whitacre, came to live in Cliviger at Padiham, Lancashire. They were clearly an influential family of some importance during the Middle Ages and Tudor times, as in 1431, there is a reference in records to one Thomas Whitaker of The Holme. From 1548-1595, William Whitaker was Master of St John's College, Cambridge. By 1587 he is known to have been father of seven children, six by his first wife, including Alexander, known as 'the Apostle of Virginia', who went to Virginia, USA as a missionary in 1611. He lived near Jamestown, had a parish in Henrico County, published Good News from Virginia, is said to have converted the Native American Princess Pocohantas and performed her wedding. In 1615 he drowned in the James River.
William Whitaker also had another son, Jabez, by his second wife Joan (widow of Dudley Taylor), born on December 1595 in Lambeth, London. Like his half-brother, Jabez emigrated to live in Jamestown in 1619. Both he and his only known son William served as Burgesses in Virginia. Consequently, there is now an extensive network of Whitaker descendants in America. The Holme is also well documented, described as "… originally a 40-room manor house … and the county seat of the Whitaker family from the 15th century". Prior to the Whitaker ownership of the manor, Holme belonged to the Tattersall family, and had previously belonged to Edward Legh, of the Legh family from Cheshire.
Gradually, the Whitakers strengthened their local standing through marriage with other notable families of Lancashire and Cheshire, including the Sherburnes, Stanleys, Harringtons and the Towneley family.
Mrs Cary Young Adams, a Whitaker descendant of Norfolk Virginia, disputes some of the above and adds:
"Dr William Whitaker of Cambridge University married (1) Susan Culverwell, daughter of Nicholas Culverwell of London, (2) Joan Fenner, nee Taylor, widow of Dudley Fenner. He had eight children born 1583 - 1595, five by Culverwell, and three by Taylor. His married life was spent at Cambridge, and all of his children were born there. Jabez Whitaker married Mary Bourchier, daughter of Sir John Bourchier of Surrey. Jabez was prominent in Virginia, serving on the Governor's Council. He left Virginia with his family in 1628, presumably to return to England. He had at least two children, but there is no record of the names of his sons. There were two William Whitakers in early Virginia. One was too old to have been Jabez's son. The other might have been, but there is no proof of this. He might have returned to Virginia, but there is no record of this. The North Carolina Whitakers claim descent from Jabez, but offer no proof."
The Winstanleys of Wigan
The Winstanley name is thought to pre-date the Norman Conquest, and may be a corruption of "Winston's lea". From 1212 AD, Roger de Winstanley held the manor under the Lord of Billinge and is noted for the benevolent grants which he made to Cockersand Abbey. Various members of the family continued an unbroken tradition of ownership of the lands well into the early 16th century. In 1596 Edmund Winstanley and his wife Alice sold the Manor of Winstanley and Winstanley Hall, along with several coal mines to one James Bankes, a Wigan man. Upon the death of Bankes in 1617 the Manor was sold on to Sir Richard Fleetwood, Baron of Newton. Other possessions of James Bankes included the Manor of Houghton in Winwick, and other lands in Winstanley and adjacent townships. Another branch of the Winstanley family lived in nearby Blackley Hurst; their lands were eventually sold to Richard or William Blackburne in 1617, and was later acquired by the Gerard family.
A number of the Winstanleys were Quakers and in 1670 were convicted as 'Popish recusants' for which apparent 'crime' two-thirds of their properties were seized. During the 17th century Gerrard Winstanley was a writer and prominent in local politics, having been the leader of the short-lived left-wing political movement known as 'the Diggers' in the 17th Century. His political writings were widely studied in the former Soviet Union where it is thought there is a monument to his memory.
Winstanley Hall was occupied by the Bankes family for nearly 400 years until 1984, although it has now been sold for conversion to luxury apartments.
The Wilbraham Family of Woodhey
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Wilbraham Family were one of the biggest landowners in Cheshire and their seat was at Woodhey in central Cheshire - now demolished. However, nowadays the Wilbraham family name is probably best associated with the Castle at Mow Cop, the distinctive Cheshire landmark, which was built as a summerhouse in 1746 for Randle Wilbraham I of Rode Hall. At the turn of the 19th century, the Wilbraham family moved to live in Lancashire and by the time they had decided to move back to Cheshire, some 50 years later, the castle was in a derelict state of disrepair. Rode Hall had been in the family since 1669. The main house was completed in 1752, with additions in 1812 and 1927. Dorfold Hall, which stands between Nantwich and Acton, was also built in 1616 by the Wilbraham family. It was plundered by Royalist soldiers as they fought their way through Cheshire in 1643.
The Lordship of the manor of Longdendale had been granted in 1554 by Queen Mary I to the Wilbraham family. Their Longdendale estates comprised the manors of Mottram-in-Longdendale and Tintwistle. However, as 'absentee' landlords they had little practical contact with the manor lands throughout the period of their tenure. The family were made knights by 1610 and were created baronets in 1621. In the 17th century the family held around 28,000 acres of land in Cheshire of which around 15,000 acres was located in the Longdendale valley, including Micklehurst, Mottram and a small part of Godley. When Sir Thomas Wilbraham of Woodhey died in 1692 his Cheshire estates, including the manors of Mottram and Tintwistle and the lordship of Longdendale, were inherited by his son-in-law Lyonel Tollemache, the earl of Dysart in Scotland and thereby passed out of Wilbraham family control.
The Worsley Family of Tockholes
The Worsley family originated from Tockholes, Rivington, between Horwich and Chorley, not far from Winter Hill. The family name dates back to Norman times when, in 1195, Hugh Poutrell is recorded as having given one Richard Workesley the manors of Worsley and Hulton in return for his faithful service.
After the Conquest of 1066, Worsley was in the manor of Barton, and it seems probable that a member of the Barton family took on the name "de Worsley".
By 1385 the Worsley family failed to produce male heirs, and many of its lands and possessions came into the ownership of Sir John Massey of Tatton, Cheshire though marriage. The Worsleys also held lands in south Manchester, notably Platt Fields where Platt Hall is now home to the Gallery of Costume. Once the home of Charles Worsley, (the staunch Parliamentarian leader in the Civil War, and close confident of Oliver Cromwell), the original Elizabethan half-timbered building was replaced by the present Georgian house in 1764. In 1775 the estate, which included the whole of the adjoining present-day Platt Fields Park passed to the ownership of the Caril-Worsley's, which family was also responsible for the building of the neighbouring Holy Trinity Church in Rusholme.
The family also held the Lordship of the Manor of South Baddesley in Hampshire, as well as the Baronetcy of Appeldurcombe in the Isle of Wight since 1611. Appeldurcombe House, now a ruin, and the surrounding parkland, were former Worsley family possessions. The house and park have a history centred around the Worsley family who originated from Lancashire. James Worsley had been a page to King King Henry VII and a companion to the future King Henry VIII. On the latter's accession to the throne Worsley was knighted and made Captain of the Isle of Wight.
The Worthington Family of Worthington, Standish
The Worthington family resided at Worthington in Standish, Lancashire from about 1150, shortly after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Their landholdings in the area were extensive and their country seat, Worthington Hall, was built in 1577. At that time the village of Worthington was entirely rural and comprised a handful of cottages.
By 1215 the first mention is made of the Coppull Family, perhaps related to the Worthingtons, possibly the origin of the township Coppull-with-Worthington. In addition to the manor of Adlington, one Thomas Clayton bought the adjoining manor of Worthington from Edward Worthington and his wife, Jane, in 1690. The properties of Adlington and Worthington were passed by descent to members of the Clayton family, most notable among whom were Richard Clayton who became Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in Ireland from 1765 until his death in 1770. By this time, Crawshaw Hall, Adlington, and Bottom of Common End all effectively belonged to the Worthington family.
In the late 1770s, in common with many other Lancashire villages, textiles manufacturing and servicing was introduced to the village, on the site of the original Worthington Mill, the original of which dated from around 1348. Initially a small dye works, later became a paper mill, and then more recently a textile mill - it closed down as recently as 1998.
The Hall is still standing and is a working farm nowadays.
More information of the Worthington Family can be found on Edward Worthington's website at http://www.worthington.moonfruit.com.
Worths of Tytherington
The Worth estate was originally owned by the family long before 1208 when written history of the Worth family begins. Benedict and Jordan de Woorthe are known to have had land at Upton in Macclesfield. Later Robert de Worth married the heiress Anable de Tiderinton (Tytherington) and acquired her estates through this marriage, as well as several other properties. The Worth family were to remain at Tytherington until the end of the 17th century when Jasper Worth, the heir apparent, died in 1693 - Tytherington Hall had been owned by the Worths for 350 years. Over many generations, the Worth family had married into most of the powerful and influential families of Cheshire, including the Wheelocks, the Newtons of Pownall, the Beresfords, Suttons, Draycotts, Downes, Vernons and the Davenports. The heirs of the Worth family eventually sold Worth Hall and Tytherington to the Downes family. Bache Hall was also a Worth property for hundreds of years. The Worths were eventually ruined economically by the Civil Wars and their allegiance to the King's cause; their estates confiscated by parliament and the head of the family hanged. Most of the Worth family is buried in Prestbury Church.