The history of the county palatine and duchy of Lancaster, England


Half a century has elapsed since Baines's History of Lancashire was first issued to the public. Its appearance was hailed with general satisfaction as the first attempt to give anything like a complete History of the Palatinate, and it has ever since been recognized as the standard topographical work on the county. In the collection and arrangement of his materials, Mr. Baines devoted many years of patient industry and scholarly research, but his production was unfortunately, disfigured by many inaccuracies — the result of the confusing, and oftentimes contradictory, evidences of mediaeval times, and the occasional acceptance, without verification, of the abstracts of other laborers in the field of antiquarian research ; but, in spite of these defects, and the huge gaps it was known to present, the original edition became exceedingly scarce, and chance copies that found their way into the market commanded correspondingly high prices.

The rarity of the work, and the frequent inquiries for it, induced the late Mr. John Harland, about twenty years ago, to undertake the preparation of a new and revised edition, pruning out what was redundant and obsolete, and bringing down the chief events in the history of important parishes and towns to his own time. More correct versions, in English, were given of the Domesday Survey, of the grants and charters to the various boroughs and towns, and of the abbreviated Latin documents contained in Mr. Baines's work. But it was always considered a defect in this edition that the family pedigrees, which formed such an important feature in the original work, were omitted, and it has been the regret of every antiquary that Mr. Harland had not the time at his disposal to correct the many inaccuracies they undoubtedly contained, and present them to his readers in a correct and trustworthy form. Mr. Harland's death occurred just as the first volume was completed, and his literary executor, the Rev. Brooke Herford, at the request of the publishers, took up and completed with praiseworthy care the task that had fallen from his hand.


Table of Contents

Earliest Notices of Lancashire — The Roman Conquest and Rule in Britain.— B.C. 55 to A.D. 418 1

The Saxon Period — Invasions, Conquests, and Short Rule of the Danes — Termination of the Saxon and Danish Dynasties of England - The Norman Conquest. — A.D. 448 to 1066 12

William the Conqueror's Suppression of Revolts in the North — His Extension of the Feudal System and Seizure of Church Lands and Property — The Domesday Survey and Book — The Honor of Lancaster — Its First Norman Baron, Roger de Poictou — Its Grant by the Crown to Randle, third Earl of Chester. — A.D. 1066 to circa 1120 34

Territory of South Lancashire (between Ribble and Mersey) successively the Possession of the Earls of Chester, of the Ferrers, Earls of Derby, and of Edmund Crouchback, first Earl of Lancaster — His son Thomas, second Earl, executed, whose brother Henry, third Earl, was succeeded by his son Henry, fourth Earl, created first Duke of Lancaster, and called "The Good Duke" — John of Gaunt, second Duke — Creation of the Duchy and its Privileges — The County Palatine, its Chancery Court, &c. — A.D. 1128 to 1399 47

Character of Henry Plantagenet, Earl of Derby and Duke of Hereford — His Quarrel with the Duke of Norfolk, and Banishment — Elevated to the Dignity of Duke of Lancaster on the Death of his Father, John of Gaunt — Returns to England — Expels Richard II. from the Throne — Elevation of the Noble House of Lancaster to the Royal Dignity — Possessions of the Duchy of Lancaster separated from the Crown Possessions — Establishment of the Duchy Court — Abolition of the Duchy Court of Star Chamber — History of the Duchy continued — Its Courts, Chancellors, Officers, &c. — Ducatus Lancastrice, from the Harleian MSS. — A.D. 1380 to 1886 64

Creation of the County Palatine — Sheriffs from the Earliest Records — Courts of the County Palatine — Ecclesiastical and other Courts — Assizes — Public Records of the County Palatine. — A.D. 1087 to 1886 82

The Earldom of Lancaster possessed by King John — Privileges to the Honor of Lancaster in Magna Charta — Forest Laws and Assize of the Forest at Lancaster — Grant of Land between Mersey and Ribble — Large Drains on Lancashire for Men and Money for the Wars — Wars of the Barons — Edward II. the Prisoner of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster — Analysis of Landed Possessions in the County, from Testa de Nevill. — A.D. 1164 to 1327 99

Representative History of the County of Lancaster — First Members for the County of Lancaster, and for its Boroughs — First Parliamentary Return and first Parliamentary Writ of Summons for Lancashire extant — Members returned for the County of Lancaster in the Reigns of Edward I. to Edward IV. — Returns formerly supposed to be lost from Edward IV. to Henry VIII. — County Members from 1 Edward VI. to 50 Victoria — The ancient Lancashire Boroughs, consisting of Lancaster, Preston, Liverpool, and Wigan, resume the Elective Franchise 1 Edward VI. — Newton and Clitheroe added to the Boroughs of Lancashire — Representation of Lancashire during the Commonwealth — List of Knights of the Shire for the County of Lancaster, from the Restoration to the Present Time — Alterations made in the Representation of the County and Boroughs of Lancashire by the Reform Acts of 1832, 1867, and 1885. — A.D. 1295 to 1886 118

Lancashire History in the Reign of Edward III. — Pestilence — Creation of the First Duke of Lancaster — Heavy Imposts on the People of the Duchy — Death of the First Duke of Lancaster— His Will and Possessions — Administration of the First Duke, from the Rolls of the Duchy — Renewal of the Dukedom in the person of John of Gaunt — The Franchise of jura regalia confirmed, and extended in favor of the Duke of Lancaster — Continuance of the Royal Bounty to the House of Lancaster. — A.D. 1327 to 1377

Power of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster — The Duke's Expedition to Spain — Larger Measures in Lancashire than any other part of the Kingdom — Accession of the House of Lancaster to the Throne — Grant of the Isle of Man, first to Henry, Earl of Northumberland, and afterwards to Sir John Stanley, Knight — Annals of the Duchy — Charters of the Duchy — Will of Henry IV. — Henry V. ascends the Throne — Union of the County of Hereford to the Duchy of Lancaster — Battle of Agincourt — Death of Henry V. — His bequest of the Duchy of Lancaster. — A.D. 1377 to 1422 155

Scarcity of Records for History during the Wars of the Roses — Marriage of Henry VI. — Claims of the Rival Houses of York and Lancaster to the Throne — Wars of the Roses — Henry VI. dethroned by Edward IV. — Henry seeks an Asylum in Lancashire — Taken by Sir John Talbot — Sir John's Grant for this service — Catastrophe to the Lancastrian Family — Edward V. murdered in the Tower — Coronation of Richard III. — His Warrant for seizing a Rebel's Land in Lancashire — -The King's Jealousy towards the Duke of Richmond, son-in-law of Lord Stanley, extends to his Lordship — Attainder of Lady Stanley, Countess of Richmond — Landing of the Duke of Richmond in England — Battle of Bosworth Field— Confiscation of Lancashire Estates — Union of the Houses of York and Lancaster — Sweating Sickness - Lambert Simnell and Perkin Warbeck, Pretenders to the Throne — Fatal Consequences of the Civil Wars to the Duke of York's Family (note) — Sir William Stanley accused of High Treason: condemned and executed - Henry VII.'s Royal Progress to Lancashire — Execution of Edward, Earl of Warwick, the last Male of the Plantagenet Line — Death of Henry VII. — A.D. 1422 to 1509 174

The Sixteenth Century — Henry VIII. ascends the Throne — Invasion of England by the Scots — Battle of Flodden Field — The King's Letter of Thanks to Sir Edward Stanley, &c. — Lords-Lieutenant first appointed — The Reformation — Religious Persecution — Visitation of the Monasteries — Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries — Insurrections produced by the Dissolution of the Monasteries — The Pilgrimage of Grace — Dispersion of the Rebel Army — They reassemble, &c. — Finally dispersed — Renewed Rebellion in the North — Execution of the Abbot of Whalley and Others — Dissolution of the Larger Monasteries — First Publication of the Bible in English — Excommunication of the King — List of Lancashire Monasteries — Their Revenues administered by the Duchy — Aggregate Value of the Dissolved Monasteries — Bishopric of Chester, &c., erected — List of Chantries in Lancashire — Decayed Towns in Lancashire — Privilege of Sanctuary — The King's Death. — A.D. 1509 to 1547 196

Lancashire in the Reign of Edward VI. — In the Reign of Queen Mary — Lancashire Martyrs: John Rogers, John Bradford, George Marsh — Muster of Soldiers in the County of Lancaster in Mary's Reign — Lancashire in the Reign of Elizabeth — General Muster of Soldiers in Lancashire in 1559 — Ecclesiastical Commission, consisting of the Earl of Derby, the Bishop of Chester, and others — State of Lancashire on the Appointment of the Commission — Catholic Recusants - Mary, Queen of Scots, seeks an Asylum in England - Placed in Confinement - Puritan Recusants— Rebellion in the North to Re-establish the Catholic Religion — Suppressed — Meetings of the Lieutenancy — Original Letter of Edward, Earl of Derby, to the Queen- Letter of the Earl of Huntingdon to Secretary Cecil, casting Suspicion on the Loyalty of the Earl of Derby — Proved to be Ill-founded — Part taken by Lancashire Gentlemen to liberate Mary, Queen of Scots - Comparative Military Strength of the Kingdom — Muster of Soldiers in Lancashire in 1574 — Declaration of the Ancient Tenth and Fifteenth within the County of Lancaster — The Chaderton MSS. relating to the Affairs of the County of Lancaster— Original Papers relating to the Lancashire Recusants— Lancashire Contribution of Oxen to Queen Elizabeth's Table— MS. of the Lancashire Lieutenancy — Lancashire Loyal Association against Mary, Queen of Scots, and her Abettors — Trial and Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots — The Spanish Armada — Letter from the Queen to the Earl of Derby thereon — Preparations in Lancashire to resist — Destruction of — Thanksgiving for National Deliverance in Lancashire — Memorable and Fatal Feud — Atrocious Abduction — Levies of Troops in Lancashire for Ireland - Suppression of the Rebellion there — Death of Queen Elizabeth- Loyal Address of Lancashire Gentry to her Successor, James 1., on his Accession to the Throne.— A.D. 1547 to 1603 214

Ancient Manners and Customs of the County — Dress — Domestic Architecture - Food — Coaches - Education — The Church - Sports and Pastimes — The Arts — The Laws - Superstition and Witchcraft - King James's First Progress - Lancashire Knights — The Plague — The Gunpowder Plot — Letter to Lord Monteagle — Cecil's Account of the Discovery — Fate of the Conspirators — Lancashire Baronets - Lancashire Witches — Dr. Dee's Petition — Seer Edward Kelly, the Necromancer — History of Lancashire Witchcraft — Duchess of Gloucester — The Stanley Family — Satanic Possession - Case of Seven Demoniacs in Mr. Starkie's Family at Cleworth — Dispossessed — The Conjuror Hanged — King James's Daemonologie — Witches of Pendle Forest — Samlesbury Witches- Second Batch of Pendle Forest Witches- Examination of the Lancashire Witches before the King in Council — Deposition of Ann Johnson, one of the reputed Witches — Case of a Lancashire Witch in Worcestershire - Richard Dugdale, the Lancashire Demoniac — His Possession — Dispossession — Witchcraft Exploded — Progress of King James through Lancashire — The Book of Sports — Further Honours conferred on Lancashire Men — Letter from King James to Sir Richard Hoghton, with Autograph — Letter from the King's Council to the Earl of Derby, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire and Cheshire. — A.D. 1603 to 1625 255

Death of James I. — Accession of Charles I. — Contests between the King and his Parliament — Lancashire Members — Lords - Lieutenant — Breaking out of the Civil War in Lancashire — County Meeting — Summons of Lord Strange to Manchester — Musters made by him in Lancashire — Impeachment of Lord Strange — Meeting of Loyalists at Preston — Blowing-up of Hoghton Tower — Campaign of 1643 — Act of Sequestration — Summons by the Duke of Newcastle to Manchester — Answer — Military Operations in Lonsdale Hundred — Assembly of Divines — Campaign of 164 4— Siege of Lathom House; of Bolton; of Liverpool — Deplorable Condition of the People of Lancashire — Seal and Patronage of the Duchy — Military Possession of the County by the Parliamentary Forces — Catalogue of the Lords, Knights, and Gentlemen of Lancashire who compounded for their Estates in 1646 — Classical Presbyteries of Lancashire — Campaign of 1648 — Battle of Preston — Execution of King Charles I. — Campaign of 1651 — Battle of Wigan Lene — Fatal Consequences of the Battle of Worcester — The Earl of Derby made Prisoner — Tried and Executed — Duchy and County Palatine Courts — Summons of Oliver Cromwell of a Lancashire Member — Sir George Booth's Failure to Raise the Royal Standard — General Monk's Success — Restoration of Charles II. — A.D. 1625 to 1660 283


Restoration of Monarchy and Episcopacy — Corporation and Test Acts — Act of Uniformity — Ejected Ministers in Lancashire — Five-mile Act — Sufferings of the Nonconformists — Abolition of the Feudal System — Militia Quota for Lancashire — Lancashire Plot — Conspiracy of the Earl of Clarendon and others — Rebellion of 1715; of 1745 — Lancashire Gentry — Lancashire Visitations — Geographical Situation of the County — Climate — Meteorology — Soil and Agriculture — Forests — Geology — Lancashire Rivers — Catalogue of the Bishops of Chester from the Institution of the Bishopric, 33 Henry VIII., to the Present Time — Rate imposed upon the Clergy to provide Horses and Arms for the State in 1608 — Ecclesiastical Courts, their Jurisdiction, Fees, and Revenues — Catalogue of the Bishops of Manchester from the Foundation of the See — Creation of the See of Liverpool. — A.D. 1660-1745 322

Lancashire Hundreds at the time of the Conquest — Mr. Whitaker on the Old Hundreds — Newton and Warrington Hundreds merged in the West Derby Hundred — Hundreds synonymous with Wapentakes — Institution of Hundreds — Made subservient to the Security of the Persons and Property of the Subject by King Alfred — System of Government, Ecclesiastical and Civil — Statute of Winton — Enumeration of the Present Hundreds of Lancashire — Order of their Arrangement in this History — Representation of the People Act, 1867 — Area and Population of County Divisions and Boroughs — The Lancashire Boroughs created by the Act of 1867 — Changes made by the Act in the Parliamentary Representation of Lancashire — The Reform Acts of 1884-5 — Changes made in the Parliamentary Representation by the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885 — Towns and Places included in the several County Divisions 368


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The County of Lancaster, though not particularly famed for those monuments of antiquity which shed a lustre on history, local as well as national, is by no means destitute of ancient remains. Its distinguishing characteristics, however, consist in the extent of its commerce, the importance of its manufactures, the number and value of its modern institutions, and the activity and enterprise of its abundant population. In tracing the history of such a county, it becomes the duty of the historian to describe with as much brevity as is consistent with accuracy the monuments bequeathed to us by our ancestors, without exhausting the patience of his readers with prolix details and controversial disquisitions.